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"Hey! Come on you, this is the third time I've had to wake you up." she said as she gently pushed the small body. Wrapped up with only a small tuft of blond hair stuck out of its wooly shell, the hair shifted a little then settled back into its slumber. "You are never going to be ready in time." smiling she sighed. "My son the rock. Looks like more drastic measures are needed here." She looked over at her daughter who had been watched with great interest, she pointed back at the boy saying "Okay Sweets, you know what to do."

The little girl laughed and ran to the bed as quickly as her short legs would carry her. Grabbed ahold of the blanket and tugged at it until the sleeping body within was dragged unceremoniously to the floor. "Hoy!" she yelled as she leapt onto her half awake brother. She sat on his chest and bounced while pulling at his shirt. "Link! Link! Link!"

"Mom!" he whined as he lifted his head, "Get her off me!"

"Sorry," she said as she turned back to the kitchen, "you had your chance for a peaceful morning. Maybe next time you won't wait so long to get out of bed."

"Link! Link! Link!"

"Auugghhh!" he let his head drop back to the floor. "Jeez! Aryll I'm up already!"

"Be nice to your sister," his mother called back to him, "this is your own fault." He rolled his eyes. "I saw that." she said without turning around.

He looked back up at his sister she had stopped bouncing. Smiling she put two small hands on his face and said one last time "Link." she giggled as she vacated her perch her job here was done. He struggled to get untangled from his blankets, pulled out some clothes and got dressed. He yawned and walked over to the table just as his mother put a small plate of food in front of him. His sister was already enjoying her breakfast; abandoning her fork she picked up a tidbit with her fingers and wiggled it before putting it in her mouth. Watching her, he crinkled his nose at her and thought, "Ewwwww."

"And you think your manners were better at her age?" his mother said watching him from the other side of the table. "You'd better get a move on," she said between bites "We still have to wash that mop on your head."

"Wash your mop." Aryll chided.

Link just glowered at her. "Why did you have to teach her how to talk? She was a lot cuter when she was quieter."

"Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed today," his mother said picking up some of the dishes. "Aryll, please use your fork."

"Okay." she said as she snatched up her utensil.

Link picked at his breakfast, he just wasn’t hungry and pushed his plate away and laid his head on the table. "Mom?"


"When's Dad supposed to be back?"

"In a day or two."

"Oh," he said and banged his forehead back on the table. When his mother looked over and noticed he wasn't eating she said, "Link, why don’t you take your sister outside for a bit while I finish these dishes. Then we'll get to your hair okay?"

"Okay," he sat up, "come on Aryll."


"Aryll, gimme a break will ya?"


"Okay," he said as he started slowly for the door, "then I guess I'll have to look at the gulls all by myself today."

"Gulls! Gulls!" she shouted happily.

"Yeah right, gulls, gulls. Lets go."

As he opened the door and she shot past him, almost tumbling down the porch step in her excitement. "Hey! Slow down or your gonna fall!" She came back to him, grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the stairs. "Come on we'll go over here," he said pointing at the beach. As she was singing and chasing after the crabs, he walked through the shallows, keeping an eye on her to make sure she stayed out of the surf. It wasn’t long before his mother appeared.


"Yeah Mom, I'm coming." He stood in front of his sister to stop her. "Come on, Mom wants us," she looked at him but made no protest this time. She took his hand and they walked back over to the house.

He groaned, he wondered if he'd ever have a pain free hair-washing experience, "Link do you think you can do this on your own? I'm afraid your sister has made a mess of her clothes."

"Sure!" Yay! He thought, no more scrubbing!

"Alright here's the tub, the soap is in there along with a towel. Make sure you actually use the soap Link."

"Got it."

"I'll be back to check on you shortly," she said as she picked up Aryll and walked into the house.

Left alone on the porch steps, he wondered what he should do first. He ran over to spring and set down the tub, pulled off his shirt and dunked the tub in the warm water. He dumped it on his head. Drawing out some more he set that aside and picked up the soap. After a few minutes of scrubbing he knelt next to the tub and stuck his head in. With most of the soap out he dumped the remainder on some nearby flowers and dunked the tub again. While dumping it on his head his hand slipped and the tub came down with a thunk on his head. Irritated he threw it off and snatched up his towel and started to dry his hair. He looked up to see his mother watching him from the porch steps while she braided Aryll's hair. Leaving the towel on his head he snatched up his shirt and grabbed the tub and soap.

"Looks good." his mother said peeking under the towel. "Aryll play up on the porch alright?"

"Okay" she said with an exaggerated nod.

He watched her as she hopped up the steps. His mother turned back to him and smiled. "Come here," he stood in front of her. "Lets see if we can straighten this out," she said running a comb through his hair, "I think your due for another haircut."

"Can't I keep it long?"


"So I can have a pony tail like Dad has." he twisted himself around and smiled what he hoped was his charming best.

His mother smiled, "How can I resist such an adorable boy? Alright," she said laughing and turned him back around, "we'll wait for the back, but that front, I can barely see your face, that will have to be trimmed."

"Okay." he said bouncing a little with excitement.

"It's certainly long enough, and you'll be starting you lessons with Sturgeon and Orca soon. That might not be a bad idea." she finished the job and pulled him up into her lap and tickled him "but if your father says of it goes, no arguments right?"


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