Dawn brought with it a new day and with that a fresh chance for more adventures. Where can our two little friends go now after such delectable funness found around every corner? Why, our kindly King knew very well. You see, he, Marcus, had a plan.
-One must always have a map with which to set out or one will get lost along the way. And it’s unbecoming of a Lion to lose his way, he thought thoughtfully.
Marcus walked over to the tree by the river and found Kathy curled up by the water sleeping and gently nudged her awake with his paw. -Good morning “you.” Wake up. It’s time to go.
-Huh? Oh, Good morning “you,” replied Kathy from beneath her curls. Where are we going? I like it here so much and I don’t want to leave.
-It’s time. We have a long journey ahead of us and we need to get going.
-Can I say goodbye to Farasi?
-Farasi has gone Kathy. I said goodbye to him for the both of us.
-Oh, she said with a tear in her eye. Such a sensitive little Hippolina. -I understand.
-Come now. The boat is waiting for us just over there.
-The boat to my kingdom. It’s right over there.
-I’ve never been to your kingdom. Is it anything like Kenya?
-Well, no, but it is a very magical and green place. I think you will like it very much. The sun always shines there and the water is always blue.
Kathy grins at the prospect of another new adventure with her serious and purposeful Lion friend. Always a plan. One must always have one, she giggled to herself. Into the boat they climbed and driven by the currents of the river they journey to another land and another time. As they grew nearer to their destination, Marcus turned to Kathy and whispered -You cannot see where you are going. It is a secret where the King lives and no one can know. Please close your eyes. And close them she did. As Kathy felt the boat docking, Marcus led her to the place where a huge door was opened.
-You can open your eyes now Kathy.
-Ahhhh…what a beautiful place. It’s so bright and clean and shiny. Do you clean all the time?
-Ah…no…I’m the King silly goose. The servants do that. There’s Brian over there. He’s in charge of the polishing of all things in the castle.
-A busy man I’m sure, commented our wide eyed Hippo girl.
-Come here. I want to show you a special place. Follow me.
And with that Marcus turned toward the stairs and Kathy followed without saying a word. Suddenly, he was gone!
-There he was in front of me, and now he’s gone, said a perplexed and frightened Kathy.
-Kathy…I’m right here, whispered Marcus seemingly sticking his head out from the wall.
-Ahhh! screamed Kathy. -Marcus! Where’s the rest of you?
-I’m in here. Come on and stop screaming. Everyone will hear you silly goose.
The room, you see, was filled with magic and no others but the King could enter this place. Until now. The space was much like an upside down letter “U” or a horseshoe with a window in the middle that opened out to nowhere. On either side were small doors, too small for a hippo to do anything but poke in her head. Above were pictures and colors and lights and all sorts of things swirling about.
-What would you like to dream Kathy? In here, it can all come true. I learned to do magic in this room as a cub. Say what you like and it can happen.
-Oh my. What a child you must have been. What a special place this is. Can you conjure up flamingos?
-Yes of course. How many would you like?
-Can you make thousands fly by the window in a sea of pink?
-Of course. Stand back. Uno, due, tres, e cuatroooo! Poof!
A thousand flamingos go flying by the window in a sea of pink! Amazing!
-Do something else! Do something else Marcus!, squealed a delighted Kathy to her smart new friend.
-OK…watch…..Roma, Siena, Firenze!!!! Poof!
Chocolate pastries and pies and cakes and cookies and candies of every imaginable size, shape, and color filled the room! Our two little friends looked at each other and laughed and laughed. And then…they ate and ate…Kathy ate more because, after all, she is a Potomus.
Dedication: For Marc E. Parker
He gave me a gift. An incredible gift. He gave me a glimpse of the world through God’s eye. And I thought…yes. I see. This is the way it was intended.
During our friendship we would be very silly and pretend that I was Karen Blixen and Marcus was Denys George Finch Hatton. I will always treasure how much we quoted this film to each other.
We met because of our mutual passion for the film Out of Africa. Our friendship lasted two years until life took us down different paths. He was a dear person and a good man.