Fantasy Adventure Kids

The Chronicler tapped the ink-wet quill impatiently against his desk, tiny black speckles adorning his old ceremonial coat, the desk, and the soft hay floor. The Book of Chronicles sat before his sharp nose and twitching whiskers, the pages sparse but for some names, dates and numbers. He gazed unseeingly out the window above his desk. The grass bent in the wind, a few neighbors strolled by. A peaceful day in the Kingdom. His tail twitched in frustration.

“Dear? If you’ve not much work, perhaps you could fetch some food from the market?” his wife called out from the kitchen. The Chronicler’s mulling interrupted, he stopped tapping his quill and looked down to notice the ink spots on his coat. His children rough-housed loudly in the sitting room behind him. He sighed.


The Chronicler turned to face his wife at the door. She looked at him expectantly, tail wrapped industriously around one paw to keep it out from underfoot. The children continued to tumble about behind her, whiskers and tails flailing, tiny paws wiggling. There was more excitement in his home than the entire Kingdom, he wagered.

“What’s a mouse got to do for something to happen around here?” he muttered, turning his back to his wife and children once more. The quill nib now found its way to his mouth as he nibbled on it, looking out the window again.

“Well, maybe something will happen if you nip over to the market.”

He grumbled and waved his free paw in acknowledgement. His wife’s shadow disappeared from the door. He slammed the quill on the desk and stood, straightening his stained ceremonial coat. Carefully avoiding his children’s play, he grabbed a few coins out of the house fund and strode out the door.

A few quick turns under the tree roots and he was out under the early afternoon sun. His eyes scanned the road, trying to glimpse any signs of excitement in his neighbor’s yards. Spotting nothing more extraordinary than Old Miss Spider weaving on her porch and one of the Squirrel kits digging around their yard, The Chronicler straightened his back and walked into town.

Animals moved about the market lazily in the warm weather. There were few out to begin with- most were out enjoying the day. The Chronicler looked about the stalls with little interest, his mind back at his writing desk and the lightly populated pages of The Book. As the vendors hawked their seeds, nuts, and fibers at him, all he could see were the taxes he would eventually have to record for each harvest. The gossip about Mrs. Field Mouse’s expecting her litter any day only lowered his spirits with the thought of recording several new births at once.

Deciding the market a lost cause, The Chronicler walked further on. Perhaps there had been news at the castle he’d not heard of yet. Another foray near The Rock? An attack in The Field? A Predator spotted along the perimeter? These thoughts buoyed him down the path at a pace he’d not seen all morning.

Arriving at the entrance, two Rabbit Knights nodded at him and bade him enter. The Chronicler bowed and entered the burrow beneath the tree roots.

The Queen was asleep. After one of her sons agreed to wake her, The Chronicler waited, toes in the soft earth curling. If the Queen had been sleeping, this trip was likely a lost cause.

“Good afternoon, Chronicler,” the Queen Possum said, crawling stiffly into the main room, “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

The Chronicler bowed. “I apologize for waking you, My Queen.”

Queen Possum rubbed one eye and brought the paw swiftly down her nose. “It is no trouble, Chronicler. Please, how may I be of service?”

“Well,” he started, looking down at his ceremonial coat, “I was checking to see if there had been any news of late. Any forays, threats, or adventures I might enter into The Book.”

The Queen yawned a moment before replying, “Chronicler, you know I hold your position in the highest regard. I would have sent for you the moment something had occurred. As it is, I have no forays, threats, or adventures to give you.”

“My Queen. It has been weeks! Perhaps months! And all I have had to record of our lives is births, deaths, and taxes. Has there truly been nothing worth notice in all this time?”

“I am afraid not, Chronicler.”

The Chronicler felt his paws clench into fists. The eyes of his Queen were upon him. He had never dared speak to monarchy impolitely before, but he was reaching his limit.

“If there is truly no news and no anticipation of news, My Queen,” he finally said, trying to hold back the bite in his words, “Then the position of Chronicler may do better in someone else’s paws.”

This declaration was met with silence. He did not look up from his own coat, the coat that had passed from Chronicler to Chronicler for generations. To give it up would mean a loss of a prestigious position, but the degradation of being nothing more than an accountant and census taker was more than he could bear.

           The silence lasted long enough for The Chronicler to begin to regret his outburst when the Queen Possum spoke.

           “Chronicler, let us walk the perimeter together. With luck, we may find the adventure or news you seek.”

           The Chronicler looked up in surprise to meet his Queen’s eyes. She was smiling.

           “Yes, My Queen. I would be honored.”

           With a few words to her children and to the Rabbit Knights, the Queen ushered The Chronicler out of the roots of her royal tree and began their stroll.

           As they walked along the edge of the Kingdom, the Queen asked after his family, his wife. The Chronicler was honored, and spoke robustly of his wife’s cooking, of his children’s growth. The Queen spoke of her own children, finally old enough to stop hanging on her back and feed themselves. Sunlight shone sporadically through the high limbs of the trees, illuminating bits of the path and warming their fur. A quiet breeze shook the leaves and wild grasses around them, a hush of plant whispers surrounding them.

           About an hour into their walk, they met a Rabbit Knight on patrol. The Chronicler eagerly asked after any news, only to be disappointed. He fell silent, ready to walk on. Then the Queen began asking the Rabbit Knight about his day. The Rabbit began telling her of the family of Toads he’d met on the path earlier. How they’d been having a picnic at a neighbor’s pond and how the neighbor had been kind enough to let them swim. The Chronicler’s ears perked up at this, but ultimately he felt the story wasn’t anything worthwhile. The Queen thanked the Rabbit Knight for his tale and walked on.

           The sun was directly above them when the Queen stopped to rest a while. The Chronicler obliged, sitting contentedly in the light. They both agreed the exercise was doing them good. The Queen laughed as The Chronicler patted his stomach, saying it was good to work off some of his wife’s cooking.

           A bird hopped through the grass of the perimeter. The Chronicler grew excited, only to realize it was Sparrow, a local bird. He had some soft stuff in his beak. The Queen greeted him and asked after his day. Sparrow gladly shared that he’d been off searching for something soft and warm for his wife’s nest- her belly was full with eggs and he wanted to be sure she was comfortable. The Queen complimented his warm-heartedness, to which the Sparrow deflected. It was only right, he said, and nothing gallant. The Queen disagreed but bade him well. Sparrow bowed and fluttered off with his gift.

           Rested and ready, the Queen and The Chronicler set off once more. They made more pleasant conversation about the weather, the Spring, the harvests, the sun. The anger and frustration The Chronicler had felt burdened with had dissipated under the blue sky and the green leaves. It had been a long time since he had spent so much time with someone at leisure. His spirits were raised considerably, and he told her so.

           His mood dampened when they reached a point in the perimeter where the Queen announced they must turn back. They had spent a good halfday on their walk and had not even gone half the perimeter of the Kingdom. Following roads back into the Kingdom and a few secret shortcuts, they arrived back at the castle. The Chronicler had been silent the entire journey back, his heart heavier with each step. No news had been found. He would be turning in his coat, he was sure of it.

           At the entrance of her home, the Queen Possum turned to the Chronicler.

           “So, Chronicler, do you still feel the same as you did when you first came into my chambers today?”

           He sighed. “How can I not, My Queen? We walked the perimeter, met with folks going about their business, and found no adventures. It is the same as any other day, quiet and uneventful, unfit for any Chronicle.”

           The Queen met his eye. “Perhaps.” She rubbed her nose with both paws, grooming. “Or perhaps not.”

           “My Queen?”

           “Chronicler,” she said, a smile on her face, “In times of peace, there may not be any grand adventures or tales of heroes. But that does not make those times unworthy of remembering. Sometimes the grandest adventure of the week is taking a pleasant walk with a treasured friend. Should those adventures be forgotten?”

           Before The Chronicler could respond, the Queen turned and entered her home. The Chronicler watched after her disappearing tail, thinking about their walk, the Toad family, Sparrow, his own family, Old Miss Spider weaving, the Squirrel Kit digging-

           With a smile and a twitch of his whiskers, The Chronicler straightened his back, brushed the dust off his stained ceremonial coat, and walked home with a spring in his step. There might be something here worth writing after all.

June 20, 2020 02:46

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