Okay, Wifey knows I can not resist.. So I’ll post what lead up to her above scene. Enjoy!
“What are you doing?” Ess chuckled, kneeling down beside Lily who was staring very intently at Puppy in a cold stone expression. She looked so serious and was silent as the grave as the large dog stared right back at her, his expression much more curious and adorable as his ears perked up at Ess’ approach. When Lily didn’t answer, Ess folded her hands in her lap and watched the two for quite some time. Ess felt like it had been forever and went to ask Lily again what she was up to, when the girl tilted her head back, her face stretching in a wide and noisy yawn. Essence quirked a brow, thinking that maybe the child had grown tired of this staring contest, absently stifling a yawn of her own. Puppy’s tail thumped happily over at Lily as he reflected her gesture and let out a soft whine, his jaws parting in a yawn of his own, tongue lolling out of his mouth. Lily broke her statue like pose and began giggling and tackled her fury protector in a massive hug, the dog covering the girl in kisses.
Ess snorted shaking her head. “Lily…what are you doing?” She smiled in amusement.
“Hi Miss Ess! I was trying an spearmint..” Lily giggled, when Ess’ expression when dumbfounded.
“ A what?”
“A spearmint! Jason said that he read that animals and people…who are good…sense someone is good and you can tell this by if yawning and seeing if that animal or person does it too.” Lily lifted her head proudly as if she were giving a lesson on morality.
“OOooh…an experiment.” Ess laughed and nodded, tapping her chin thoughtfully as she listened to Lily’s explanation.
“Dat’s what I said, Miss Ess. An exspearmint. And it worked. Puppy yawned when I did.”
Ess fell silent for a few moments, watching the girl lovingly play with the Wolfhound. Thinking over the girl’s words, she began to understand what she was doing, a warm smile touching her eyes as she quietly appreciated the girl’s intelligence. Lily had a pretty good understanding of what Jason had explained to her, but Ess was familiar with what the boy had read and knew it was still quite a bit over the young girl’s head.
“It’s to tell..if someone has Empathy, Miss Lily. Do you know what Empathy is?” Ess sang softly, reaching over to ruffle up Puppy’s fur. Lily looked up at Essence and tilted her head in curiosity, staying silent to politely wait for the woman to finish.
“Um..well basically it’s..for example…Let’s pretend you fell and hurt your leg and I found you. I would feel bad and sad that you hurt yourself and want to help you. Your pain I don’t really feel, because I’m not hurt, but I see you’re in pain and I want to help it go away.I would want to take care of you.” Ess reached over and lifted the girl onto her lap as she spoke, running her fingers through her hair to separate and braid the loose strands.
“So…it’s wanting to help people?” Lily asked, quietly settling into Ess’ lap.
“Sometimes. It’s understanding what someone else feels, even if you don’t feel it. Sometimes you do feel it too.” Ess snorted, shaking her head when Lily looked back at her a bit confused. “Ok..what if Puppy didn’t yawn back, what did Jason say that would have meant?”
Lily was thoughtfully quiet as Ess twisted six small braids; three on each side of Lily’s head, uniting them at the base of her neck where she began braiding those together into a much larger design. When Ess was finished, that was when Lily seemed to come to an answer.
“I think…it would mean that Puppy was bad. I think if someone didn’t care about me then they’d be mean. I’m a good girl and I like making people stuff and helping Jason and the other kids and Maga. I was sad that day your hands hurt Miss Ess and you couldn’t eat..so I helped. So..I have mapthy..”
“Empathy..” Ess corrected, brushing a few hairs from her eyes. “..Yes…you do. and you’re right…those who don’t..can be very mean..”
“You have empathy too then.” Lily smiled.
Essence giggled. “Why don’t you go find out if Mr Luckas does too? Go play your game with him…but don’t tell him why until after, ok?”
“Ok!” Lily jumped up with a small burst of energy and went to run off to find Luckas. “Miss Ess?” Lily paused in step and looked over at Essence with what could only be recognized as confidence. “…You know what?”
“What is it, Lily?”
“Mr. Luckas has to have empathy because he’s never mean to me.”
“Is that so? Well, you sure it’s not because he knows he’d get his butt whooped by a camp full of guardsmen and women if he were to be mean to you?”
Lily laughed, clapping a bit in amusement. “Maybe..but I don’t think so..”