Light at the Beginning
By: Wilona Riva
Disclaimer: I don't own TLM or the nursery rhyme.
That's the Time
Melody scrunched up her nose in disgust. "I'm never going to remember how many days are in each month!" she wailed, throwing the pencil she was writing with at the door.
"Well, there's no need to recreate flying projectiles," her father joked, entering the room.
"Eric!" Ariel admonished, as her husband handed their daughter back her writing implement.
"Just joking," he said, hands held up in a gesture of peace. "Maybe a mnemonic device would help her."
Ariel's cerulean eyes lit up. "That's a wonderful idea, Eric!" she exclaimed, pecking him on the cheek.
Daughter and Husband stared at each other and then at the door Ariel had vanished through.
Melody shook her head. She loved her mother dearly, but she could be awfully naive and childish at times. She loved learning things with her mother; especially, since they were on Oceanic Studies. Her mother often got into heated debates with the tutor over whether merpeople really existed and other things about the sea that humans were wrong about.
"Dad, why does Mom emphasize the word "humans" a lot? It's like she doesn't consider herself one at times," Melody said.
"She's a mermaid at heart," her father replied, just as her mother returned with a small green book. "And speaking of which, here she is."
Ariel laughed. "Here, Melody, this might help you out a bit."
"Nursery rhymes? But, Mom, I'm too old for kiddie things!"
"Nonsense, darling, you're eight going on nine almost," Ariel smiled down at the girl. "Your father buys me a new edition every year on our anniversary."
Eric smiled at the memory. "So what rhyme did you find helpful for our sea urchin?" he asked.
Ariel opened the book and pointed to a beautiful woodcut engraving of a calendar, depicting twelve men, ranging from old to young. Underneath them, the caption read: The Twelve Months. A beautiful calligraphic poem underneath read:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
February has twenty eight alone
All the rest have thirty-one
Except in Leap Year, that's the time
When February's Days are twenty-nine.
"Thanks, Mom!" Melody exclaimed. "This'll make it easier to remember now."
Ariel beamed down at her daughter and then gazed sadly out at the sea, barely visible from Melody's turret window. "Oh, if only you could see her grow up, Daddy."
"Huh?" Melody asked, a bit confused by her mother's sudden mood change.
"Just wishing your grandfather were here to see how much you've grown up," she replied, ruffling Melody's jet black hair, while exchanging knowing looks with Eric.
A Jamaican crab, hidden beneath the parchement on Melody's dresser sighed. "He'd be proud, child. Your fadder be proud."