Once upon a time, two Aunties watched two cousins every day after church. They would take these two precious, beautiful little girls out to run in the grass, soak in the sun, and expend excess energy. Jules Ethel expended her energy chasing after a little boy named Tristan, the son of a family friend. Constance Lydia Galadriel expended her energy chasing after blowing leaves, picking up every rock she saw, and waving sticks around – which her Aunties called wands.
Auntie Abigail followed after Jules Ethel to ensure she stayed safe and out of trouble as she chased the boy named Tristan. Auntie Elizabeth followed after Constance Lydia Galadriel to ensure she stayed safe and out of trouble as she chased after nature.
As they passed, one chasing a girl chasing a boy, and one chasing a girl chasing a leaf, Auntie Elizabeth quoted one of their favorite authors.
“‘What are men compared to rocks and mountains?'”
Auntie Abigail laughed. “Jules Ethel’s father should have fun when she grows up.”
Auntie Elizabeth sighed. “Maybe neither of them will ever grow up.”
“Maybe we can send them off to Never-Never Land…” Auntie Abigail also sighed. “But then we’d miss them.”
The Aunties agreed that it was better to chase boys and leaves and be here, then to miss their nieces who, though different, they loved very much.
One Sunday, the Jules Ethel and Constance Lydia Galadriel gave their aunties a slip. Jules Ethel spotted Tristan headed towards the creek and hurried after him. Constance Lydia Galadriel saw a lovely tree by the creek shedding its leaves and hurried to stand in the leaf-rain. The two girls came by different paths to the same creek.
“Where are the leaves?” Constance Lydia Galadriel said finding the tree finished shedding for the moment.
“Where’s Tristan?” Jules Ethel said finding the boy gone again on some other adventure.
The two cousins shared a glance.
“Jules! Help!” Someone yelled.
The girls spun in a circle.
It was Tristan in a spot of trouble. He had slipped down the edge of the creek and couldn’t get back up.
“Oh, Tristan!” Jules Ethel said. She started for him.
“Wait,” Constance Lydia Galadriel said. “If you go, you’ll get stuck too!”
“You’re right, what should we do?”
Constance studied the rocks, sticks, and leaves in her hands. “We could get a branch and hold it out to him?”
“Yes!” Jules Ethel said. “Tristan, we’ll be right back.”
Jules Ethel and Constance Lydia Galadriel rushed off to find a branch or a log. The first one they came to was short, stiff, and broke in their hands.
“No good,” they said.
The second was big and heavy. It was so big and heavy they couldn’t lift it.
“No good, again,” they said.
Then they saw it. The perfect branch: long, thin, and strong. Plus, they could carry it.
With Jules Ethel in the lead and Constance Lydia Galadriel following, they carried the branch back to Tristan. Getting angled correctly, they lowered it down to him. He caught hold of it and the cousins pulled. They pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled. They pulled as hard as they could. They pulled until they were out of breath. Suddenly! Tristan’s head popped up above the edge of the creek. He was safe!
“Thank you, Jules for saving me,” he said, ever the polite gentleman.
“You’re very welcome,” said Jules Ethel. “But I couldn’t have done it without my cousin.”
Tristan gave both girls a hug.
At this moment, the Aunties discovered them. They had frantically searched high and low, up and down, this way and that way, for their two nieces. The cousins excitedly told them how they had rescued Tristan.
“Well,” said Auntie Elizabeth, “I guess it’s a good thing Jules Ethel always chases after Tristan or he would still be down in the creek.”
“And, “said Auntie Abby, “I guess it’s a good thing Constance Lydia Galadriel chases leaves, sticks, and stones or Tristan would still be down in the creek.”
The two Aunties gathered the cousins up and covered them with too much love. They took the girls, and Tristan, back to their Mommies and Daddies with stories of rescue and adventure.