"She couldn’t tell her hubby from a bunny or a dummy,
So he took her for a riiiiide, and showed her how to sliiiide,
And in the end, gave her a bennndd, she cocked her head and grinnneddd,
‘Ah never knew a dummy who danced as good as mah hubby!’"
Saral fell onto the ground in a heap laughing so hard her stomach cramped. No matter how many times she sang that song Kamilla had taught her 'hopping to the rhythm', it always ended in a fit of laughter she couldn’t control.
Mateny walked in and saw his sister writhing on the ground in laughter. He couldn’t help but giggle to himself when he saw her eyes were pouring with tears.
"What’s so funny?" He asked joyfully.
"The hubby dance!" She managed to shriek in between bouts of laughter.
He looked at her confused. He had no idea what the hubby dance was. One of her stupid games probably he thought and walked past her into the backyard. He turned to the right off the cement ground porch and saw Kabriel waiting around the side.
"Ready?" His friend called to him.
He nodded and caught up to him. They walked around through the side of the yard and went out the front. Mateny could see the river below him from atop the hill they were on. He licked his finger and put it above his head, judging the speed of the wind.
"Think we’re good," he looked at Kabriel with approval.
Kabriel nodded in agreement, and laid the kite he was holding down on the lawn where they were standing.
"On three," he posed to Mateny.
"One… two… three!"
And the two of them took off down the hill. They followed the dirty path heading straight for the small town market on the banks of the river. When the path turned, they ran onto the grass against the wind. They ran for almost thirty yards before they looked back and saw their kite flying high. The yellow and purple streamers glimmered in the midday sun. Kabriel held tight to the spool while the wind pulled at it hard. The kite took a few dives but managed to stay in the air for a good ten minutes. Then the wind died down, just enough for the kite to lose its momentum. It came crashing down to the ground and landed about twenty paces from where they stood.
The boys walked leisurely up to the path and Mateny bent down to pick it up.
"You think you can go tomorrow?"
Kabriel knew Mateny didn’t want to say where, because there were quite a few people within earshot.
"Yeah. I’m gonna finish milking the goats tonight and I plan on catching a few extra fish before I go home, so my father doesn’t have to wait for me for dinner tomorrow."
"Good," Mateny responded, excited, "want some help?"
"Sure, go grab your fishing pole. Grab a net too, Kal told me this morning they were practically jumping into his."
"Okay!" Mateny yelled back over his shoulder as he ran up the lawn to retrieve them. He ran around the other side of the palace and picked his pole and net up from the ground beside Basil’s stall. She neighed at him and he petted her nose lightly before he ran off down the hill the way he’d come. He caught up with Kabriel who was walking down the path to the river’s edge.
They found a spot where they could sit and let their legs hang down into the water while they fished. They talked about how they wanted to build a new kite and where they could get the materials. They talked about crazy, lost Grenald and his stories, and about Kamilla’s mother’s bread. They agreed, they needed to pick up a few loaves on the way home.
Once they’d caught five large humla fish and seven smaller green fish, Kabriel said they'd had enough. They packed up their gear and headed for Kamilla’s house. When they knocked, her mother said she’d prepare five loaves for Mateny if he waited. They only had to wait ten minutes before she came back with it. Mateny thanked her and told her his father would send something back. She accepted and waved as they walked back up the hill. The sky was growing dark and Kabriel said he had to get home to make sure to milk the goats before sundown. They said goodbyes and agreed on getting up early the next day to meet up. Mateny walked the rest of the way home alone.
When he got back to the palace, it was silent. He went around the side to Basil’s stall and broke a piece of bread off to give to her. She thanked him with a loud purr and he set his fishing gear down next to her stall. When he got inside, he noticed Saral had already gone to her room and his father too. He put the loaves on the kitchen table, and headed up the stairs to his room. When he got inside, he closed the door and undressed down to his underwear. And then he hopped into the bed, leaving his clothes on the floor. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.