Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Gen 3 Ch 6: A Gentle Creature
Try as they might, none of the adults in the house were ever able to defeat Dolores at chess. She was a smart child, there was no doubt about that. Her teachers had even used the word 'genius'. But while she never got into any trouble at school, her behavior was worrying. It was those pointed little comments she made, that always seemed to come out of nowhere and always hit exactly where it hurt. Clover swore that it was just the bluntness of a young child, still learning the conventions of social life, and Darwin desperately wanted to believe that. But there was a small part of him that could not shake the feeling that Dolores simply took delight in antagonizing other people.
It was rare for Dolores to be invited over to a schoolmate's house, so her parents happily consented for her to spend the afternoon at Darrin Song's.
"Um, Dolores, do you have the answer for this one here? 7 multiplied by 21?"
"You do? What is it?"
"Do the exercise and you'll know."
"I tried, but it's too hard! Please, just let me have a look at yours!"
"Ugh, ok. Just so you'll shut up I'll give you a hint."
"Oh cool, thanks, Dolores!"
"It's the same as the square root of 21609."
Dusty had grown into such a happy dog. Sometimes Darwin wondered what would have become of his best friend if they hadn't taken him in as a puppy.
It wasn't long until Darwin's good nature made him take another trip to the animal shelter. Instead of a puppy, he brought home Indi, an elderly dog. He wanted to make the last part of her life as happy as possible.
Darwin was a devoted pet owner - always putting his dogs' needs before his own.
"Mom, why is that girl sitting there all by herself? Where are her parents?"
"Shush Trent, come here. That's that girl Jewel Song told me about. She's bad news."
Clover and Darwin were usually never far during Dolores' trips to the bookstore, but their daughter made it clear that she'd rather be left alone.
Dolores really didn't mind that her schoolmates did not even try and ask her to play with them anymore. She knew that their intellect was far beneath hers and that she alone was destined for greatness. Her toy unicorns were all the company she needed.
Bloom mourned the deaths of his two younger siblings and painted a garden gnome council in their memory.
Soon, another dog joined the family. Dusty took an instant liking to Bellaboosh, who had only just become an adult dog.
Darwin watched them like a hawk to make sure that they wouldn't produce puppies, however. If there were any space for more dogs in the family, it was reserved for more rescues from the shelter. In fact, it was Darwin's secret aspiration to adopt as many animals as he could, to give them a good family to spend their lives with.
Tyree and Ginny mourned their parents' passing. Tyree immersed himself in his work, following in his mother's and grandfather's footsteps.
Ginny found solace in her toddler son Tremayne. She had married Liam O'Dourke, a man who closely resembled their grandfather Arthur. Clover was impressed with her cousins' devotion to family traditions.
Because Dolores had made her dislike for sleeping in a tent very clear, Clover and Darwin went on the occasional camping trip alone, leaving their daughter in the care of her grandparents.
To be perfectly honest, there were certain perks to sharing a tent without a child to worry about, and neither Darwin nor Clover minded Dolores' absence too much.
Darwin still spent most of his time gathering what this unbelievably rich land had to offer. Hidden Springs was brimming with precious treasures in the form of gems and metals, just there for the picking. Usually he brought his dogs along, but one particularly rainy evening he decided it was kinder to let them stay in the cozy warmth of the house.
Coming across herds of wild horses was always a breathtaking experience, but that night was one Darwin would never forget.
Could it be? Was this...
... a unicorn?!
Carefully, very carefully, Darwin approached the faintly glowing creature. It did not shy away, and sniffed his hand curiously.
It accepted the carrots that Darwin offered (he always liked to carry some fresh produce as an emergency snack) and let him stroke its head. Seeing it up close, there was no doubt about it. This was a real unicorn. And it was mesmerizing.
Darwin's thoughts went to Dolores. Somehow he felt - no, he knew - that this gentle creature was exactly what his willful daughter needed. He had to find a way to tame this unicorn, to bring it back home.
But before he could form a plan, the unicorn disappeared as the first rays of sun came glowing from the horizon.
As Darwin slowly got his thoughts straight again, he began to wonder if he had imagined it all.