“Family??” I echoed in surprise.
Muse cocked his head to one side, “but you’re a hermit, how can you have a family?”
The old little dwarf looked guiltier than ever.
“Yes, yes… I-I know. This hermit life was alright for a while, b-but it just got so lonely… t-then I ran into a magician. He sold me a lifetime supplies of magical paint. And that’s why,” he looked down at his feet while the tips of his ears burned bright red, “that’s why I missed last decade’s Hermit Huddle. I was so scared of what they would say….” Suddenly his head popped up, “B-but now, I’m not scared anymore. I can’t hide my new family, And I d-don’t want to either! That is why I plan to walk straight into that meeting, and tell them…” and now he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, with determination steadied only by his tiny fists clenched at his sides, he declared, “I don’t want to be a hermit anymore, I wish to be a magical animal farmer!!”
The funny animals put up a little cheer in forms of flapping feathers and stomping feet. I stayed sitting, watching and rather amused.
“A magical animal farmer, huh?” I asked once Mr Jenkins had opened his eyes and a slow smile had spread across his face in the support of his animal family.
He nodded with such energy it sent ripples down his beard, “Yes, It’s not fair to m-my family to stay cooped… cooped up in here. I want to give them s-space and freedom. Maybe… maybe open up a little petting farm,” he smiled at his animals and a few of them rubbed against him affectionately.
“AW!” I clapped my hands together, “that’s so sweet! I’m so happy for you!”
Muse lifted his head from my shoulder, where he’d been dozing. “A charming proposition,” he said, sleepily.
“T-thank you,” Mr. Jenkins said, but his confidence was betrayed by his nervous hands wringing themselves white.
Popping up to my knees, I wrapped the old, sentimental dwarf in a tight hug.
“Uh!” Mr. Jenkins said in surprise.
“Don’t worry,” I assured him, without letting go I leaned back enough to see his face, “I’ll help you tell your hermit friends you don’t want to be a lonely hermit no more!”
The dwarf’s wrinkled face continued to look startled, then he broke into the biggest smile yet, and his eyes sparkled with graduated.
“You a-are far too kind, how c-can I-I ever thank y-you?”
“Not eating us is a great start,” Muse quipped, an obvious joking tone in his voice and a mischievous smile on his furry lips.
I laughed, stood, and rubbed the back of my neck, looking over the damaged room. “Yeah…. sorry about the mess… ” I said, guiltily nudging a broken and empty paint bottle with my toe.
“No no, i-it’s alright. I’ve got a life time supplies, and they are m-magical, so I can never run out!” his smile broadened and the beard around his cheeks turned pink. It was the happiest I’d ever seen him.
I smiled a smile big enough to match his own and felt all warm and happy inside.
“So what’s next?” Muse asked.
Quiet instrumentals began to play in the background, starting out slow and building up.
“Next?” Mr. Jenkins asked with a raise of both bushy eyebrows. The string instruments in the orchestral quickened their tune and the deep drums came in, “Next, we crash a Hermit Huddle!”
*all three of us turning to the camera and strikes a pose*
Joins us next time for another A-Musing adventures! Will Mr. Jenkins confess his desire to be a magical petting zoo farmer? Will the other hermits accept his dreams? Will April be able to keep her cat out of trouble!??? (probably not) You won’t wanna miss this! Don’t miss the next A-Musing adventure!!! Coming at some point in the future!