Near 500 words: English history

Katie loved history, especially English history. So when a travelling exhibition came to her town, she gathered up her two daughters, Etta and Beth, and took them to see it. When they came to a painting, Etta was the first to ask, “Who’s that?”

Katie said, “Oh, that’s Henry VIII.”

“That’s him,” Etta asked. “Yuck.”

Beth was the youngest of the two. “He’s kind of cute. In a chubby sort of way.”

“That’s what Anne Boleyn said when she first saw the king.” Katie pointed out.

“She’s the one who lost her head.” Etta slid her finger across her throat.

“Yep,” Katie answered. “’Fraid so.”

“I would never date a guy,” Etta said, “who might chop off my head.”

“Good for you.” Katie laughed.

“But he is cute,” Beth said, studying that face. “And he wears nice clothes.”

“He should,” Etta said. “He’s a king, and he’s got the bucks.”

“They were paid for with his people’s taxes,” Katie informed her daughters.

The three took one final look and moved on.

“Now there’s his daughter,” Katie said. “Elizabeth One.”

Etta looked and said, “I like her. She’s got such sad eyes.”

“Boy friend problems,” the mother commented. “Never could keep one.”

“You’d think,” Beth said, “with all that money and running things she’d have lots of boyfriends.”

“You’d think,” her mother agreed. “But I’m afraid guys don’t like women in charge.”

Etta pitched in, “Ain’t that the truth.” She’d had experience with boys not wanting girls in charge. But it hadn’t stopped her. She wasn’t the president of her class for nothing. “I’m going to be in charge one of these days. I’m going to be President of the United States.”

“Good for you.” Katie was proud of her daughters. She loved that both of them had gumption.

Beth spoke up, “Well, I am not going to marry a guy who won’t let me be in charge.”

Her mother laughed. “Just you wait till you fall head over heels, and then we’ll see.”

“Is that what happened to you?” Etta wanted to know.

“’Fraid so,” Katie said. “But I got you two. It was worth it. Besides your dad thinks he’s in charge.”

Both daughters asked, “You mean he’s not?”

“What do you think?”

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