"Father," Kurt proclaimed, jumping up into the air and running over to embrace the man. The other children followed his lead, each and every one giving their parent a hug and him responding with a small hug and muttering their names. His words were so soft and ever so silent that they were like a gorgeous Austrian morning: gentle water droplets from the previous night gracefully lying on the crisp, freshly cut grass, birds gaily whistling merry tunes as they went about their day's work, the lake's waters peacefully flowing, and the leaves gently rustling together in the gentle breeze.
The six Von Trapp children huddled around their father, bombarding him with questions. Even Marta, who could barely verbalize her thoughts, managed to fabricate sentences that could be interpreted as a query. Normally, the Captain would answer each and every question that his children blurted out, using humor to answer the "unanswerable" questions, but he most certainly did not do it this time. His face had returned to its resting face-which made Brigitta think of him as either a great, big scary monster or a statue from ancient Greece. She had not decided which to believe yet-, which was rather contradictory to the warm greeting he had just recently given his dear children. Brigitta looked into her father's crystal blue eyes and noticed that they appeared to be slightly red, glossy, and had a pool of water on their rim. "Father," the five-year-old began, trying to talk as soothingly as she could with her high pitched voice. "Why are your eyes watery? Did something sad happen?"
Before the Captain could reply, Liesl walked over to her younger sister and rested a loving hand on her shoulder. After releasing a giggle, the eleven-year-old girl stated sweetly, "Father always gets teary eyed whenever we get a new sibling." She then walked in front of Brigitta, leaned down and placed her lips near the girl's ear, forming a cupped shape with one of her hands. "Mother told me that he's emotional, but refuses to let everyone see. But don't tell anyone that I told you. It's supposed to be a secret," she whispered. Brigitta nodded, looked up at her dad, then smiled.
By now, all of the other children had all noticed that the Captain appeared to be crying and were all, once more, bombarding him with questions. Only, this time, the question was the same, simply it was not stated in unison. "Father, why are you crying?" or some variation of this phrase was uttered and repeated several times, until Liesl decided to change the subject, realizing that her father would not budge or give a reply. "Father, have you and Mother thought of a name for the baby, yet," she asked curiously, pushing past her other siblings to be in his sight. She sweetly smiled up at him, her eyes, which were the same color as his, twinkled with anticipation.
"Agh, yes. The baby. We decided to name her Gretl," he replied, only giving as little information as he could.
"Gretl? Why, Father, that is a splendid name!"
"Gretl? Who's Gretl," Kurt blurted, butting into the conversation. "She sounds rather dumb!"
"Gretl is our new baby sister," Friedrich told Kurt, rolling his eyes.
"A new baby sister," Kurt exclaimed with the utmost disgust and shock. "You are telling me that I have a new sister?! She was supposed to be a boy! Whatever happened to Kurt Jr.?" The blonde boy turned to his father, scrunching his nose with anger. "Oh, Father! Can we please give her back to the stork? I want a little brother named Kurt Jr.! There are already too many girls in this family!"
"Honestly, Kurt! You think of no one but yourself! I cannot believe you would want to get rid of your new sister," Louisa scolded, stamping her foot on the ground.
Kurt held his mouth open wide. "Oh, my! Louisa is acting like a girl! I always thought she was a boy," he exclaimed.
Birgitta groaned. "What?" Kurt held his hand up in defense. "I'm only repeating what Firedrich said. Perhaps he shouldn't-"
"Stop, stop, stop," Marta shrieked, stomping her foot on the ground and beginning to throw a tantrum. Liesl rushed to the toddler's side, engulfing her in a hug. She then walked over to Kurt. "Honestly, Kurt. You promised to be behaved so Mother could take care of the baby without being stressed." She folded her arms.
"That was only when she was going to be a boy named Kurt Jr." Kurt gladly remarked.
The Captain seemed to notice that his children would not stop their bickering so he cleared his throat. AHEM. Bickering. AH-H-HEM. Still bickering. AH-HE-HE-HE-Hemmmmmmmmmm! The children quickly stopped their fighting and turned to look up at him. "Would you like to meet Gretl," he asked them.
"Why yes, Father. We would be delighted," Liesl replied, a smile growing wide on her lips. The other children nodded, and soon they were up in one of the bedrooms that had been prepared for the new baby. They all crept up to the crib, huddling around it to see the small infant lying in bed. "My, isn't she beautiful," Louisa stated, admiring the girl.
"I wanna- I wanna see," Marta cried, trying her best to see into the crib, which was much too high for her to see over. The Captain rolled his eyes, which were still teary, and picked up his little girl. He took a step closer, allowing her to see.
Kurt looked away from Gretl for a moment, just to give Marta a look of disgust. He shriveled up his face until it was almost not his face at all. He then returned to his resting face and went back to looking at the newborn girl. "Always so much trouble," he stated, letting out a small sigh.
The Captain shook his head disapprovingly. Agh, Kurt: the boy full of contradictions. "Kurt," he warned. "Do not speak negatively to your little sister. She's only two years old." Normally, he would take the child aside and give them a lengthy scolding. Kurt has gotten many of those in just his six years of age, most of them lasting more than thirty minutes. However, not this time. The Captain was much too in awe of his brand new daughter, that is what Liesl assumed, at least. She would have certainly been at a loss of words if she had just been given a new baby girl. Why would one wish to scold their child when they had to keep a watchful eye on their new one?
Liesl, not bothering to look away from Gretl, asked, "Father, when will we be able to see mother? Surely she can no longer be stressed since our lovely Gretl has arrived." When she said the words "our lovely Gretl", she booped the baby's nose. Gretl did not really notice, though, considering she was only possibly a few hours old and could not even open her eyes yet. The Captain did not answer his eldest daughter, in fact, he did not even burden himself with looking into her crystal blue eyes. If he had, Liesl would have seen his eyes form more tears. He could not ruin it: her happiness. He could not bring himself to tell her. Not yet.
Kurt turned around and began heading towards the door. "Gretl is boring. She can't even open her eyes to look at me! She's just a stupid girl," he complained, darting out the door before he could get a scolding from his father. Surprisingly, the other kids agreed and followed their annoying brother. Even Marta forced the Captain to set her down so she could leave. Five children left. Two remained: Liesl and Gretl, along with their Father. "Oh, please Father. May I go see Mother," she queried.
"Um, I don't know how to tell you this, but-" The Captain paused, swallowing the sob that threatened to come out. He slowly lifted his head, finally allowing his daughter to see the tears welting up in his eyes. "-your Mother, she is dead." A single tear fell from his eye.