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Henningtom: Part 5
“Well, now we have other matters to attend to; we need to get you to the Queen.”
“Who is she anyway?” I asked him as we started to walk off in the direction we’d been headed before.
“Who?” Jiggleweed asked, apparently oblivious to what we had just been discussing.
“The queen, of course.”
“Oh. You’d love her; she’s so kind and loving to every creature of Henningtom, even the higgenbottoms. It puzzles me, really, how she can treat every being equally like she does. She has separate areas for the more dangerous animals, of course, but they aren’t wildly secluded from the rest of civilization. The Queen is a wondrous, fantastic woman. Everyone loves her.”
“She sounds incredible,” I said, looking off into the distance. I thought of my mother while he was describing the Queen. Mom always treated everyone the same; if they were gay, if they were colored, if they were a little weird, fat, or even did drugs. She never judged anyone. When I was little I wanted to be just like her one day, and then I grew up. I started to hang out with my friends and go to more age-appropriate parties. I guess I just didn’t see her as this cool woman anymore; I just saw her as another mom, my mom.
“The castle is just over that mountain,” Jiggleweed said, stopping in the middle of the forest and pointing a hoof at a far off mountain range. “The Talure Mountains. Good times, good times.” It sounded like he said this to himself, or meant to anyway, so I didn’t ask questions. We started to walk off again and I went off into a daydreaming state. It wasn’t long before Jiggleweed was trying to get my attention again.
“Maya,” he said. “Maya!”
“Huh?” I said, coming out of my reverie.
“We need to stop for some food,” Jiggleweed told me.
“But I just ate this morning.”
“You have much to learn about Henningtom, young Maya.” He shook his hand. “Time is different here; while it was morning in your world, it was still last night for us. And now that it is night for us again, you technically haven’t eaten for a complete day.” When he said this, I got very hungry, as if the time was catching up with me.
“You know what, I could use a little refreshment. Where is the picnic basket?”
Jiggleweed laughed out loud, then caught himself, realizing that someone-or something-might be able to hear him. “I’m sorry, but you humor me. We eat what we find here in Henningtom, from the soil around us.” I nodded my head, to show him I understood and picked a berry from a tree, then ate it. Jiggleweed’s smile disappeared when he saw me eat it.
“What?” I asked. “What are the black ones?”
“They’re poisonous,” Jiggleweed responded coldly.