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Nursery Crimes

Chapter 1: Nursery Crimes

by Jay of Lasgalen
May 28, 2012

The twins settled at Erestor’s feet as he opened the book of old tales he had found in the library.  He began to recite:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet …”

“What’s a tuffet?”  Elrohir interrupted.

“A tuffet is a little grassy mound.  See?”  He turned the book to show the illustration, and the twins nodded sagely.   Erestor started again. 

Little Miss Muffet …”

Elrohir interrupted again.  “Why are there so many humps and mounds in the grass?” he asked, pointing to the picture again.

“It is a meadow,” Erestor explained. "Do you see all the pretty flowers growing amongst the long grass?"

“A meadow?”

“Like where cows graze?”

“Yes!”  Erestor snapped.  “A meadow.  With cows.  Not a nice, smooth lawn like in your parent’s garden.”

“Oh.”  There was a pause, and Erestor blinked, finding his place again.  He opened his mouth just as Elladan piped up,  “I hope she didn’t sit in cow sh ...”

“She sat on a tuffet!”  Erestor said through gritted teeth.


Erestor began again, each word bitten off sharply; and tried very hard to ignore the whispered conversation in front of him. 

Little.  Miss.  Muffet.

(“But there’s cow muck all over the meadow down by the river.”)

Sat on a tuffet,

(“I know there is.   You have to be careful where you walk.”)

(“Or sit down!”)

Eating her curds and whey.   That, finally, regained their attention.

“What’s curds?”  Elladan wanted to know.

“What’s whey?” Elrohir asked.

He told them.   Their expressions registered their disgust.  “Yuk,”  Elladan said in succinct disapproval.

EATING HER CURDS AND WHEY,  Erestor repeated loudly.  Along came a spider …”

“A spider?”  Elrohir’s expression brightened.  “What sort of spider?  Glorfindel says there are giant spiders in Lasgalen!  As big as a dog!”

“Big as a cow!”  Elladan added, not to be outdone.  "Glorfindel says ..."

"Will you pay attention?  It was just a spider. Not a giant one."

"Oh," said Elrohir, crestfallen. 

Erestor suppressed a sigh.  It was going to be a long, long day.