Once upon a time, down the hill and around the curve, there lived a small woman in a castle of painted brick and siding. As the flowers bloomed brightly and the vines curled gently up the wall, the woman prepared for her day of honor: a day when the small folk in her care brought tokens of love, thanks and devotion for her days of tireless service.
The woman, who thought herself queen over her realm, received gifts of breakfast, priceless art, blossoms and praise as she reclined on her pillowed throne. The sun lit her day, as the small ones brought smiles into her presence.
Later in this day of tribute, the tides began to turn. There was a shift in the small folk’s demeanor.
Thus began the siege.
It began with a small rebellion by a 5-year-old boy, who called strike upon his labors. No laundry would he fold, no dishes would he put away, no rooms would he clean! He attacked the firm walls of authority with persistent whining, crying and the stomping of feet.
The woman, adept at handling unruly charges, placed him calmly in the corner of reflection until he relinquished his fight. As she took on his labors and folded the clothes of the residents, the boy continued his barrage of shrill protest, chipping rhythmically against the walls of her patience.
Fighting back against the siege, the woman hummed calming melodies as she attempted to retain her stalwart composure. But the battery did not cease.
Hours later, the dinner bell announced the time to serve the feast. The woman, offering treasures of coin to the oldest small one, farmed out the undone chores to the responsible peasant. Meanwhile, a tiny villager ransacked the palace kitchens, scattering plates and bowls all over the dirty floor. The boy continued his attack with tears and the gnashing of teeth, wearing down the resolve of the barely-standing battlements. Continue Reading…