Bron and the others thought it over. As much as he hated to pull such a dirty trick on Moire, the old gal had it coming. How dare she barge in and upset everyone, cause Dvora and Pat much distress by not only refusing to give her blessing but hurtfully insulting Pat's character. The handsome gentleman longneck looked at his parents then cast his eyes toward the high bluff where the kids went to get away from it all. He owed that much to Littlefoot, to Dvora, to Pat, and to the memory of his late wife.
Bron at last said, "Guys, it's not quite what I'd do, but we're desperate. If you can get Moire to lighten up then by all means do what you have to do. But don't let her eat too many of those berries. She's not a young lady anymore."
Grandma Longneck and Ducky's mom, Mrs. Beakmouth, whispered something to each other, and Grandpa noticed this, asking, "Dear, do you two have an other ideas how to get Moire to change her mind?"
"We forgot one very important thing: Moire's attendant, Angus," said Grandma. "He seems a nice sort, and didn't you notice how he looked at Pat and Bron after Moire went on her little tirade? I say we try to get him on our side, maybe have him talk it over with Moire."
"How about getting her to leave, period," chimed in Petrie's mother.
Threehorn and Thicknose laughed, and the latter asked, "Where is Angus now?"
Grandpa replied, "He said he was going to take a tour of our valley. Moire is sleeping now, and it's the only chance he had to get away."
Bron scanned the immediate area and noticed Angus heading for the bluff. Ah, maybe Thicknose and Threehorn won't have to pull their "giddyberry" trick on Moire after all. If Angus likes children, and once he finds those little ones up on the bluff, he'll at least have a few more sympathetic friends. Littlefoot and his pals will have to work their magic on Angus.
"I think, once again," Bron said, "our young ones will pull through for us. Angus is a nice guy, considering what he has to put up with."
Upon the bluff, the kids gathered as usual, but this was no fun day. Seven sad little dinosaurs talked over what had happened and tried to devise ways to get Aunt Moire to change her mind.
"Your Aunt Dvora is so sad," said Ducky dejectedly. "She is, she is."
"Me no think Pat happy either," said Petrie.
"Yeah," said Shorty, "we practiced all week for the wedding but there might not be one now."
"Yep, yep, yep," said Ducky, "Spike and I will not get to sprinkle good smelly flowers in the bride's path. I was so looking forward to a fun day. I was, I was."
Cera looked at her friends then glanced over at the distant clump of trees where Moire still slept. In her usual indignant way, she said, "Oh why not just go up to great-Aunt What's Her Name and tell her to back off! She's not the one getting married. She just came here uninvited and ruined everything!"
Ali said to Cera, "But don't you understand? Aunt Moire is very old-fashioned. There must be something wrong or else she wouldn't have told Aunt Dvora she couldn't marry Pat."
"That's because," said Littlefoot, "she hates him."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that, Littlefoot. Miss Moire may come off a bit stuffy, but she's been very kind to me all these years."
The kids looked up to see Angus, Aunt Moire's personal attendant, walking up the tall hillside with ease. He had overheard the children's conversation and wanted to help. Yes, it was too bad Moire quite possibly put a stop to a wedding, but Angus thought she overstepped by declaring Pat unfit to be Dvora's husband.
Smiling at Littlefoot, he said, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, so please forgive me. I thought since Miss Moire is presently sleeping I'd take a little tour of your valley. Very nice place you have here. Nice and peaceful, and very spacious. So unlike our home in the forest. Oh, I'm sorry about what happened earlier, that is with Miss Moire speaking so ill of Pat and Dvora."
Now the kids got even more curious about Angus. He seemed nice enough, even apologized for Aunt Moire's unkind words. Didn't Littlefoot's dad suggest the kids seek out Angus, maybe get to know him better? And didn't the kids themselves decide that it could be Angus to get Moire to ease up on the soon to be married couple?
So the children did just that: make friends with Angus. Just small talk passed among them. They asked him how long he'd known Moire and how he came to be her servant of sorts.
"Well," said Angus, "I was an orphan. I had a father and mother, but my dad died before I was born, and my mom was sick. So my grandfather took me to where Moire lived. My uncle lived there, too. He took care of me until my mother was well enough to come after me. I don't remember much about my uncle because I was so young."
"Gee," said Littlefoot, "that sounds almost what happened to me. But my dad left to find us a new home. That was before I was born though. My...Well, I suppose Aunt Moire told you what happened to my mother."
"Yes, Littlefoot, she did. That is so sad for both of us to lose our mothers. My mom got sick again then died. I was on my own until I found my way back to where my uncle lived. But he had left, so Moire took me in. She's been very good to me, and act as attendant to her. Look after her and such. She is old, so she can't do as much as she did when she was younger."
Cera, being her usual bossy self, said, "Well, that's great she took you in, but I bet it wasn't so great having to grow up with that stuffy old longneck."
"Cera!," said Littlefoot with a scolding look.
Angus smiled, saying, "That's okay, Cera. I know what folks think of Miss Moire. And yes, it wasn't all that easy growing up with her. But she watched over me, kept me fed, took care of me. I'm forever grateful to her."
"Yeah," said Shorty, "but she treats you like a servant instead of a son."
Now Angus had to think about this. What Shorty said was true: Moire does regard him more as a servant than a son. Why, not once, not in all these years, did she utter, "I love you." It was always "fetch this and that," and nothing more.
Hmm...and she never told me what happened to my uncle. I barely knew him since I was just a baby. They said he struck out on his own after I left with Mom. Moire wouldn't even tell me his name, even after I asked many times. Mom said, just before she died, "Look for your father's brother. His name is–"
But she died before she could tell me his name...
How he hated to turn on his mistress, but seeing how she ruined a wedding and insulted the prospective groom with her mean words, Angus believed it was time to part the ways. He was grown now and had no family of his own. At least the Great Valley is full of friendly folks; they could be his family. Yes, when Moire wakes from her nap, Angus will give her his notice. He will not return to the forest with her. She will have to find someone else to be her escort.
Glancing back to see Moire finally waking from her nap, he sighed, telling the children, "I see madam is awake, and I'm sure she'll be needing me for something. Nice to have met you youngsters." He was about to leave when he saw Mr. Thicknose and Daddy Threehorn approach Moire. From where he stood on that bluff, and that was quite some distance, he couldn't hear any of whatever they talked about. Then he saw Moire leave with those two. The kids noticed this, too. Petrie, hovering high overhead, said, "Cera, that your dad and Mr. Thicknose going to berry patch with Aunt Moire."
"Berry patch?," said Cera, now watching her father get all friendly with Moire. "Why go there?"
"Maybe," offered Ali, "she asked for fruit and they're showing her where to find it."
Littlefoot, his eyes following the trio's trek into the glade where the berry patch lay, figured it all out, almost. Isn't that where those "giddyberries" grow? The berries that Grandpa says aren't good for kids? He and Grandma eat them sometimes, and so do the other grown-ups. Does Aunt Moire like giddyberries?
With a sigh, Littlefoot said to his friends and Angus, "I guess we should find Aunt Dvora and Pat."
"Oh yes, yes, yes!," said Ducky. "We can help cheer them up. Maybe–"
"Maybe," said Angus, "I will accompany you. Since Miss Moire is busy with Cera's dad and Mr. Thicknose, this might be my only chance to get to know Dvora and Pat better. Perhaps I could help them find ways to get around Moire, so they can marry."
[TO BE CONTINUED...Go to Part 5]
Copyright©2006 by PRP.