Debbie was all excited because someone had sent her the first telegram of her life.
A company in England was going to pay her expenses to visit their country.
Is this a joke? she wondered.
Even though gullible, and knowing she was gullible, Debbie did fly to England. There really was a plane ticket and then a taxi cab waiting to take her to a beautiful garden, of which there are many in England.
It was such a beautiful, sunny day. For what more could she ask?
It turns out there was a whole crowd waiting for her, waving and smiling and calling out to her.
Oh no, she gasped inwardly. How is this going to turn out? I’m all for adventure – but a crowd gathering for me?
Soon a dignitary approached her. He held out a red velvet cloak, and she obligingly put it on.
“My dear woman,” began the man. “We have brought you here to crown you for your efforts.”
“What efforts?” she asked.
“The efforts to be content in your life and deciding that you were glad to be who you are,” the man, Sir Tuttle, explained. “Most of us are still searching, trying to be someone else or being frustrated that they aren’t happy. You, most gracious woman, have arrived at contentedness and acceptance. For this achievement, you must be crowned.”
“Well, okay then, sir,” Debbie answered, fighting an overwhelming desire to faint.
An army of giant nutcrackers arrived when the trumpets began to play. They were in exact formation as they came to her and saluted.
“Debbie Loesel Stanton, I hereby crown you Queen of SSS,” Sir Tuttle announced. He put upon her head a crown covered with irridescent opals, rubies and aquamarine. She nearly fell down with the weight of the crown!
“What is SSS?” The Queen of SSS asked.
“Ahem, I suppose you must know. SSS stands for sensitivity, silliness and searching,”
Sir Tuttle explained.
“Uh, because…?” Debbie ventured forth.
“Tsk, tsk, always asking questions, aren’t you?” Sir Tuttle mildly scolded. Well, I guess that fits you. You are forever researching things and asking questions. Oh, and your friends nominated you for silliness. They think it’s great you found your voice (and also your literal voice after it got affected negatively from chemotherapy) and that you’re not afraid to let loose. You love to have fun, but it is only at your expense, never others.”
“Thank you, I think,” Debbie said. “What about the sensitivity part?”
“Well, didn’t people used to tell you you’re too sensitive?”
“Yes, but I’ve decided that it’s okay to be sensitive and being that way is an asset sometimes,” Debbie explained.
Sir Tuttle went on, “Good, but I just want you to know how you’re sensitive.”
Great, Debbie thought. Let’s hear the list of how I’m super-sensitive, like I didn’t know!
“Debbie, your skin and stomach are sensitive. You are allergic to so many medications. Your feelings get bruised easily (but less so now that you’re older), and you have a heart of gold. You can feel others’ pain almost more than they can. You never want to hurt others, and from the time you were a child, you have felt sorry for inanimate objects. Everyone and everything!”
“Oh,” Debbie recalled, “like when I felt sorry for the box elder bugs that got into the house, because my mom hated them? Or the dolls with the chopped off hair that the other girls didn’t want?”
“Precisely,” Sir Tuttle confirmed.
Debbie, Sir Tuttle, and the whole crowd took one collective deep breath.
Then the string quartet began to play, little children grabbed hands and danced in circles together, and the light in Debbie’s eyes started to blind Sir Tuttle until he looked away.
Oh, what a day!, thought Debbie. Now I really can be glad that I ask a lot of questions and hurt for other people and make people laugh. It’s good to be the queen of something!