Something awful has happened! Pearl called my mom this morning and said Grace got really sick in the night. They have a nurse with her until her son Tim gets there from Montana. They think she might have to go to Pierre to the hospital. Mom said Pearl was a wreck and sent me to stay with her until things settle down. I’m not quite there yet, but I almost am.
I don’t do well with sick people. I’m always worried that whatever they have might rub off on me. I sure hope Pearl doesn’t get sick like Grace, because I’m not sure I could stay with her. That would make my mom really mad, because she thinks I’m being ridiculous. I don’t agree because not everybody is cut out to help sick people. The first thing I’m going to do when I get there is take Pearl the dog for a really long walk.
“Hi Pearl!” I’m here…are you?”
“Yes Essie…I’m so happy you’re here. I don’t do well with sick people and I feel just terrible that I can’t go and comfort Grace, but I just get too upset and I fear that will upset her.”
“Are you afraid she might rub off on you?” I asked.
“Not exactly, but I know what you mean. Whenever I’m near someone who is sick, I feel like I’m having all of their symptoms, and that can’t be good for me or poor Grace.”
“Are you a hydrocrondiac, Pearl?”
Pearl looked at me funny, but I think she is one and just doesn’t want to face it.
“Well, I’m going to take Pearl the dog for a long walk so she stays well.” I wasn’t asking a question, but Pearl answered me anyway. She told me to be back in ten minutes, because she felt a sinking spell coming on. I’ve never heard of a hydrocrondiac having a sinking spell, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
“Come on Pearl. Do your duty because you only have ten minutes.”
Pearl looked at me like she does when I have to be stern. She doesn’t like to see my stern face.
“Why do you have to take so long to pick out your spot, Pearl? Don’t they all smell just the same? I’m telling you, if Pearl has a full blown sinking spell, it will be your fault.”
When we got back upstairs, Pearl the human was sitting in her living room and she looked fine. Her hair was all nice and she even had her bright red lipstick on. She was sitting in her favorite chair and she had a notepad and a pen.
“We came back in ten minutes just like you said, Pearl.”
“Good…Because we have work to do, Essie. I’m making you my ‘Power of Splendiferous.’ Do you know what that is?”
I had no idea what splendiferous even meant, so I told her no.
As my ‘Power of Splendiferous,’ you will have certain responsibilities should I become too ill to do them myself…which in my case would be comatose. I can see the stricken look on your face, Essie, so I will explain. Here is a pen and pad so you can write things down. Are you ready?”
I took the pen and pad from her, but if she was going to get comatose, I was not going near her.
“There is good news and bad news. The good news is I don’t color my hair because it is a beautiful shade of nearly white. You won’t have to worry about dying my roots. Did you write that down, Essie?”
“The bad news is, I have a hair on my chin that needs to be plucked once a week or so. That one is critical. I would hate to think that visitors would be focused on that hair and not on my otherwise blemish free face.”
“Next…are you ready? Write this so years from now, you will be able to understand what you wrote. I look ghastly without lipstick, but I would look even ghastlier lying in bed with this bright red color on my lips. Go get my make-up case and I’ll show you which color to put on me. You can skip the lip liner. Unless you are practiced it can look garish.”
By the time I was done, Pearl had listed nine things for me to do when she gets comatose. She even showed me the nightgowns she wants to wear. She hopes she gets some for Christmas, because she only has three good ones right now. Pearl let me write down that she doesn’t expect me to put her gowns on unless I’m at least fifteen when she succumbs to whatever. I just have to make sure it gets done by an able person.
I got to take Pearl the dog for a long walk… all the way to my house to get my night clothes. I’m staying the night with Pearl. Mom said it would ease her mind. I didn’t tell her I wasn’t that crazy about spending the night with a hydrocrondiac that might have a sinking spell and get comatose. I was getting kind of used to being a ‘Power of Splendiferous.’