Flower Girls, Queens and Rangers

May 3, 2016

‘It’s all right, Will.’ His deep voice cut through the fear that filled Will’s mind. ‘It’s over now.’

But Will shook his head, horrified by the rapid train of events.

‘Halt, I missed…twice! I panicked and I missed!’ He felt a deep sense of shame that he had let his teacher down so badly. Halt’s arm tightened around him and he looked up at the bearded face and the dark, deep-set eyes.

‘There’s a big difference between shooting at a target and shooting at a charging Wargal. A target isn’t usually trying to kill you.’ Halt added the last few words in a more gentle tone. He could see that Will was in shock. And no wonder, he thought grimly.

‘But…I missed…’

‘And next time you won’t. Now you know it’s better to fire one good shot than two hurried ones.’ Halt said firmly. Then he took Will’s arm and turned him toward the campsite under the fig tree. ‘Let’s see what we have here,’ he said, putting an end to the subject.

pp. 4 – 5, Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 2, The Burning Bridge, John Flanagan, Philomel Books, 2005.

Apprentice Will had made some mistakes, some grave ones, but the master Ranger, Halt, reassured him, steadied him, encouraged him and breathed promise and hope into Will’s wounded, discouraged, defeated mind. It’s a good way to go about doing things.

How one is treated matters a whole heck of a lot. In my mind, the process is just as important as the “getting there.”

After 3 weekends, My Fair Lady just ended at the Garfield Center for the Arts downtown, and I had the privilege of having a small role. One thing that Eliza said was that she felt, even though she was just a flower girl, she felt like a queen when she was with Colonel Pickering because of the way he treated her. Will, (in the YA series that has grabbed me by the throat to keep reading till I get to the end), felt like a real ranger; again, because of the way his master treated him. Reading the quote in Book Two today reminded me of how we all felt like stars – real “kings and queens” in that play. Yup. It was loverly.

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