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Strawberry (A Life and Times of Young Aaeru fic)

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Strawberry (A Life and Times of Young Aaeru fic)

Post by Sibylla Aaeru on Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:59 pm

Title: Strawberry
Author: DigiExpert
Series: The Life and Times of Young Aaeru
Rating: G
Summary: Sooner or later, Aaeru, like any otherchild, has to learn a lesson about picking berries of any kind. It's quite a hard lesson to stomach all the same.


She followed after her grandpa, following him down the rows with her tiny basket. They were spending the day harvesting wild strawberries that grew near the house. Her grandfather planned to make a variety of things with the fruits, mostly to can and preserve for the cooler months.

“Grandpa! I found a big one!” called Aaeru, holding a half squashed strawberry between her fingers, which were stained red from the other berries she’d already handled none too gently.

“Aaeru! You can’t keep squishing them in your fingers,” scolded her grandpa gently. “It’ll be no good if the strawberry is squished.”

“Oh… well then I’ll eat it!” And before he could say another word to her, the strawberry was in her mouth. Juice dribbled down her chin as she chewed and swallowed. It splattered onto her orange shirt, making interesting trails and lines.

Her grandpa loved his four year old granddaughter with all his heart, but he knew if she kept eating the strawberries, they’d never finish picking. As it was, her basket was empty, since most of the strawberries went into her mouth or fell onto the dirt. He looked down at his basket, which was mostly full. It would stay that way, as long as Aaeru didn’t get into it. “Careful you don’t eat too many, Aaeru. You’ll get a tummy ache later!”

“What’s a tummy ache?” asked Aaeru, popping yet another strawberry into her mouth.

Her grandpa leaned over to pick a few more strawberries. “It’s where you’ve eaten too much and it makes your tummy hurt. You don’t feel very good when that happens.”

Aaeru nodded wisely. “Oooh… okay, I won’t eat a lot of strawberries, grandpa!” She wandered in the opposite direction. The next time he looked back at her, she was popping more strawberries into her mouth. There was no warning the child of consequences; she’d have to learn of them the hard way.

Twenty minutes later, he had finished filling his basket. He knew that if were able to give some of the berries to one of the neighbors, she would cook a pie for the two of them to eat. He looked around for his granddaughter, who hadn’t spoken to him in awhile. He spotted her sitting near the edge of the strawberry patch, holding her tummy. She’d stained nearly every part of her body in some fashion with strawberry juice.

“Grandpa, I don’t feel so good…” she mumbled. Her basket lay a few feet away, forgotten. It had one lone strawberry inside, which was quite squished.

He leaned over and pulled her to her feet. “Let’s get you home so you can rest in bed. You ate too many strawberries and made your tummy ache. A good rest will help you feel better.”

“Are you sure?” asked Aaeru as she wrapped her arms around her tummy. She’d never had it feel this way before, and she was sure she didn’t like it one bit.

“I promise.” He smiled and helped her to her feet. “Come on, let’s go home.”

The journey back to the house was slow, even though it wasn’t very far at all. Aaeru lagged farther behind, complaining that her tummy hurt too much to walk. About thirty feet away, she fell to the ground and sat there, crying. She refused to go any further. “It hurts too much, grandpa!”

“Wait there, Aaeru. I’ll be back.” He took his basket of strawberries to the porch and set them down carefully. Then he returned to Aaeru, and picked her up easily. He cradled her in his arms and slowly walked back to the house. Aaeru buried her face in his shirt, groaning. He felt sorry for her, even though she hadn’t listened to his warning. He knew what it was like to eat too much of something and then end up with an ache as punishment.

He took her inside and to her bedroom. He placed her onto a chair, making sure she wouldn’t fall off. “Wait there, Aaeru. We have to clean you up first.”

A few moments later, he returned with a small basin of warm soapy water. He cleaned her arms, fingers, and face softly, even though she tried to refuse him.

“Don’t want to, grandpa,” she mumbled.

“You can’t go to bed dirty, Aaeru. It won’t be much longer.”

True to his promise, it wasn’t. Her fingers soon had most of the stains gone and she looked less like a strawberry now. Her grandpa removed her soiled clothing and dressed her in a fresh shirt and skirt. “There we go, Aaeru. Now you can rest in bed.”

Aaeru crawled up into bed, resting her head easily on the pillow. Her grandpa tucked the covers around her and then leaned over, kissing her forehead. “I’m sure you’ll feel better after you’ve had a nap.” He turned around to leave, but didn’t get very far.

“Grandpa?” called Aaeru softly.

“Yes, Aaeru?”

“I can’t sleep. I’m not sleepy.”

“Well, I’m sure we can fix that,” he answered, walking to the nightstand by her bed. He picked up the small, round music box. It had earned a permanent place in her bedroom, as she used it to fall asleep each night, as long as there was a breeze to blow in her window. Her grandpa pulled open the window, propping a board inside to keep it open. He placed the music box on the window sill so that it could catch the breeze. Slowly, a tune began to waft out and across the room. “How’s that?”

Aaeru stifled a yawn. “Better.”

“All right. Now sleep and rest, and when you wake up, maybe you’ll feel a lot better.” He closed the door behind him.

A few hours later, Aaeru wandered into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. Her hair had mostly come out of its pigtails while she had slept. Her grandpa was putting the finishing touches on their evening meal. “Ahh Aaeru. Feeling better now?”

Aaeru nodded. “My tummy doesn’t hurt anymore!”

He smiled. “That’s wonderful! Can your tummy handle some dinner?”

“What’s for dinner?” asked Aaeru as she climbed into a chair.”

“Chicken, corn, salad, and cut strawberries,” he replied as he brought the bowl of strawberries he’d cut up while she was napping.

Aaeru made a face. “No way, grandpa. No strawberries!”

“Are you sure?” he asked, chuckling.

“No more strawberries! I ate too many already and my tummy didn’t like that.”

“So you learned your lesson then?”

For a moment, Aaeru was silent, scrunching up her face in thought. “Yep.”

“What lesson did you learn?” questioned her grandpa, knowing the answer was bound to be interesting.

“That maybe I should eat a strawberry and put the next in the basket. I might not get a tummy ache that way.”

Her grandpa laughed. “I suppose so, Aaeru. I suppose so.”

True to her word, Aaeru ate a hearty dinner, but happily passed on the strawberries. She was more than happy to take seconds on salad though, as long as it meant that she didn’t have to touch that red fruit. Her grandpa only smiled, amused by his granddaughter’s antics. He, on the other hand, enjoyed a large bowl of strawberries while Aaeru made funny faces at him.

_________________


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Sibylla Aaeru
Sibylla Aurea of Simoun Fanfic
Sibylla Aurea of Simoun Fanfic

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