It's time to play with Quilly and friends again! This week only one of the words is obscure and the other two are normal. This is in response to some folks telling Quilly the words have been particularly difficult lately. So if you've been holding off, thinking the words are too difficult, you're in luck! Jump in! Play with us! Go to Quilly's Blog for the "how to's" and join us!
The words this week: acquiesce, viliorate, tadpole
“C’mon Cassius! C’mon Cicero!” Alice called to the wolfhounds. The well-trained dogs immediately heeled to her side. As she trudged up the hillside Alice could feel all the tension of the last few months melting away. “This is the life,” she said to the dogs. “Gorgeous weather, everything I need in the pack on my back, and you two for company. No one talks back, no one complains. It’s great! I think you guys have been getting soft and lazy hanging out on the farm with the folks. This trip is good for all of us!”They continued on for a few minutes while Alice drank in the beauty of the foothills.
Suddenly, in response to some vibration they were catching but she wasn’t, the dogs both started a low growl. They moved into protective positions around Alice, something they did instinctually. As she tried to continue hiking the dogs pressed up against her legs, forbidding her to move further. “Okay guys, this isn’t funny.What are you seeing, hearing or smelling?” As she concentrated, very faintly over their growling Alice could hear a noise. It was an eerie high pitched keening. Alice leaned down stroking the dogs to reassure them, although she wasn’t sure who was reassuring whom. She whispered to them, "okay guys, let's move slowly."
The three of them cautiously inched towards the noise. It was cyclic, peaking in volume and pitch and then viliorating back to nothing. After the third cycle down, Alice called out, “who’s there?" She heard the rustle of brush and branches as whatever she had disturbed moved away from her. Alice snapped a leash onto Cicero and quietly said to Cassius, “Go! Pin!” The big dog shot off as she turned to Cicero and said, “Stay, good dog.” Cicero quivered but acquiesced. They heard Cassius give one short woof and heard a shout of fear. Alice called out, “he won’t hurt you. But he won’t let you move away either. Just stay where you are and I’ll come to help you.” To Cicero she said, “Okay, let’s go find Cass. "
Cicero led Alice through some brush and into a rocky area. Circling around some boulders Alice was shocked to find Cassius had cornered a child. He was filthy and ragged looking and obviously terrified. Alice spoke softly, “Cass, lie down.” The big dog immediately complied. She directed Cicero to do the same thing. Then Alice squatted down where she was and began talking softly to the child. “Hey, I’m Alice. These are my dogs. They like little boys to be their friends. They won’t hurt you.” She spoke to the dog nearest the boy, “Cassius, he’s a friend. Show him ‘friend.’” The big dog, much bigger than the child, promptly rolled over on his back, and wildly thumped his tail on the ground. Alice saw a glimmer of a smile fleet across the boy’s face.
Alice considered her options and then continued talking quietly. "You know,” she started, “I’m really hungry and I don’t like eating alone. Do you think you could have a sandwich with me? I brought some sun butter and jelly and some ham and cheese.” She unwrapped them both and held them out. The boy looked at the big dogs and then shook his head. “Oh, they won’t bother you. Cass! Ciss! Heel!" Both big dogs came right over to Alice’s side. “Lie down” she said to them and they complied. “Okay, I’ll come over to you.”
She saw the fear in the boy’s eyes so she reassured him, “I’ll just put them down here between us and then move back." She followed her words with action as she put the sandwiches on a flat rock about halfway between them. As she backed away to be near the dogs the little boy dashed over, grabbed a sandwich, and moved back. Alice smiled and went to pick up the remaining sandwich. She sat down near the rock, added two more sandwiches to the 'table' and rummaged around in her pack for her extra water bottle. “Here’s some water if you want it,” she said. After a few tense moments, the boy cautiously moved forward and sat down closer to the food, but not within reach.
He looked at the remaining sandwiches and at the dogs. Alice answered the question in his eyes. “They only eat dog food.” She pulled two containers out of her pack and took the lids off. The dogs didn’t move until she motioned them forward. Although their noses were right next to the food containers, they still didn’t eat. “Let’s pray, ” Alice said. As she bowed her head to give thanks for the food the boy watched in astonishment as the big dogs sat still and leaned their heads over until their noses almost touched the ground in front of their dishes of food. “Amen,” Alice concluded. Another motion from her hand and the big dogs started crunching their kibble. They did it all very quietly as if aware that the slightest move would send the boy fleeing.
The boy held the sandwich but didn't eat. Alice took a bite of hers and chewed a bit. After she had swallowed it, she said, “I told you my name is Alice. Will you tell me your name?” The boy shook his head no.
Alice considered the next question. The boy still didn't eat. “Okay, answer this. Was that you making the noise?” Alice asked. The boy hesitated and then nodded yes. “Are you hurt?” He shook his head no. Alice gazed at him thoughtfully and said, “well I have to call you something. I’ll call you what we called my brother when he was little. Until you tell me something else, you are now Tadpole.” The boy's eyes showed a glint of amusement as he lowered his lashes, and took the first bite of his sandwich.