Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, and Cyrene are the property of MCA/Universal and

Renaissance Pictures. This is just a work of fan fiction and not intended to infringe on the copyright of

"Xena: Warrior Princess".

The characters Little Xena and Little Gabrielle were used with permission of Lúcia da Ascenção deNóbrega lunobrega@sol.com.br. If you have not seen her drawings or cartoon connection on The Australian Xena Information Page http://xenite.simplenet.com/index.html, I recommend it!

The story is mine. January, 2000

Violence: None

Subtext: Sorry not in this one. This story was for my niece and is suitable for all ages.

Authors notes: I just wanted to say thank you to Lúcia for providing me with a wonderful image that I shared with a very special little girl! When I mentioned this to Lúcia, she asked me for a copy of the story. Well, I typically do not write the stories I tell my niece (they just come to mind before she has to go to bed or whenever she asks for one) or my friends, but I did this time.

I also want to thanks Mom. She has been trying to get me to write and post my work for a while. Mom, hereís one of the Kidís stories and maybe next time, Iíll write one for you like I did for the holidays. And Mom, family is still "The Best Gift!"

Iíd love to hearing from you. Please feel free to send me your comments good or bad. ricesue@mediaone.net

 

 

A Little Solstice

By Susan A. Rice

 

Little Xena was up before the rooster. She was sitting there just waiting for it to announce the start of a new day. The yard was covered in a fresh coat of snow. It had snowed for hours yesterday forcing everyone to stay in doors. Little Gabrielle wanted to go out and make snow angels but Xena's mother stated that they would have to wait until the storm was over. Today was looking like a great day!

"I can't wait for that bird to announce Solstice Morning," said Little Xena softly. She turned and looked across the room at Gabrielle who was curled up in her bed holding her lamb.

Then came the sound that she was waiting for since she woke up. She took off across the room and launched into the air with a mighty cry, "ALALALALALA" and landed on Little Gabrielle's Bed.

Little Gabrielle awoke with a start and asked, "What are you doing?"

"Come on sleepyhead! It's time to rise and shine. We don't want to be late today now do we?" chimes Little Xena while looking down at her friend.

"Xena, what are you talking about. It's so early. I will not rise and shine before the sun comes up! Can't we just go back to bed and start over again later?" asks Little Gabrielle as she tries to turn over and snuggles deeper into her bedding.

Little Xena says, "Gabby, don't you realize what today is???"

"Tuesday?" says a puzzled Little Gabrielle.

"Well, yah it's Tuesday, but do you know what day it is?" Upon seeing the puzzled expression on Little

Gabrielle's face, she yells, "It's Solstice! Get up, we have things to do today!"

"Uh, Xena?"

"Yes."

"I can't get up," says Little Gabrielle.

"What??? What do you mean you can't get up!? What's the problem?"

"Well, I'm trapped under the blankets and I can't get up unless you get off of them," says Little Gabrielle with a smirk.

"Oh, uh, I see your point. No Problem," says little Xena and she jumps off of the bed.

****

Little Gabrielle and Xena were down stairs eating breakfast. Actually, Little Gabrielle was still eating breakfast while Little Xena was fidgeting in her chair. She had finished a while ago and could not figure out how Gabby could do it. She looked under the table and behind her chair.

"Whatcha doing?" asks Little Gabby as she eats another piece of toast.

"I'm looking for the pack of wolves you must be hiding around here. Gabby, aren't you finished eating yet?"

"Hey!" says Little Gabrielle, "I'm just a growing kid! I want to be big and strong when I grow up."

Little Xena smiles and says, "You'll always be my best friend no matter how big you are so just hurry up already. I heard Mom talking and she can't wait to see our faces with the special gift that was left by

Senticles. Think of all the neat stuff he might have brought for us!"

Little Gabby sighs and bows her head. Little Xena sees this and asks, "What's the matter Gabrielle, why aren't you excited? This is one of the best days of the season."

Little Gabrielle looks up at Xena and tries to smile but Little Xena can tell that itís not real.

"Come on Gabby, talk to me. You are my best friend aren't cha?" asks a nervous Little Xena.

"Of course I'm your best friend!" says Gabby, "It's just that... Well yah see... I mean... I forgot to tell Senticles that I was going to be spending Solstice with you and your family."

"Oh Gabby, I'm sure that he knew where you were. I'll be right back. Why don't you finish your meal while I'm gone."

"Okay," says a quiet Gabby.

Little Xena turns and leaves the room.

****

Little Xena goes into the room where she knows all of the gifts are and starts looking at some of the nametags. She found several for herself and few for her brothers and mother, but none for Gabby yet.

She heard a sound behind her and looked up to see her Mother.

"And just what do you think you are doing Daughter?"

"Mom, Gabrielle's real sad. So I gotta know, would Senticles know that Gabby was staying here and leave

her gifts with us?"

"Where is Gabby right now?"

"She's still eating breakfast."

"Well then Xena, you can come with me and help me carry some of the packages that Senticles left in the other room into this one."

"But Mom, this is important! I have to find Gabrielle's gifts."

"I know you do. Senticles just delivered them a little while ago and put them in the wrong room. Want to help me put them in here with the rest of the gifts? Come along now." Cyrene can't help but smile at her daughterís relieved expression.

"Oh, that's good. Thanks Mom."

Little Xena followed her mother into the other room. "Mom, how did Senticles know to bring Little Gabrielle's stuff here?"

"I made sure to tell him we were having a house guest and he took care of the rest."

****

Little Xena walks back into the kitchen and sees Little Gabby standing on a chair by the sink.

"Hey, what are you doing?"

"Is this a trick question? I'm cleaning the dishes. I figured I can do this while..."

"Come on down, we have stuff to do today!" says Little Xena.

The two friends went off into the family room together. Little Gabby could not help but smile at all of the pretty packages left around the room.

Xena runs over to one of the packages and says, "Look Gabby! This one is for you, and so is this one and this one and that one over there. Senticles, must have heard that you were going to be here after all!"

Little Gabrielle ran over to look at the gift in Little Xena's hand. She smiled at her friend and asked, "Well, what are you waiting for!?! It's Solstice! Let's Go!"

The girls opened all of their gifts and had a great morning playing with some of their toys.

"Wow! This has been a great day. We got some really neat stuff, but I don't know what we're going to do with the new outfits with the antlers," chimes a very bright-eyed Little Gabrielle.

"Yah, we'll have to figure something out for those."

"Girls," says Xena's mother, "There is still one more gift which requires your attention."

The girls look around them but do not see anything. "What are you talking about Mom?" asks Little Xena.

"Go put your coats on and then come meet me out in the barn," says her Mother.

****

The girls quickly dress and ran to the front door. They were blinded for a moment by the bright sunshine reflected off of all the snow. Everything was covered. The girls giggled and jumped off the porch and raced to the barn.

"Hold up," yells Little Gabby.

Little Xena turns around just in time to watch as Little Gabrielle falls backwards into the snow and starts to move her arms and legs back and forth. Little Xena trots over to her and smiles at her friends antics.

"Need a hand getting up?" asks Little Xena.

"Nah, but my snow angel needs a best friend of her own. Do you know anyone who can help her out?" asks Gabby.

Little Xena says, "I think I'm up to the challenge!" She moves to the left of Little Gabrielle, turns around and falls back in the snow.

After a few minutes, the friends get up and take a look at the two snow angles side by side.

"Come on," says Little Gabrielle, "We don't want to keep your Mom waiting much longer." She turns and skips off to the barn.

Once they get to the barn, they see Cyrene standing by something with a blanket over it.

"About time you two showed up," she said with a smile on her face. "I thought for sure you did not want this and I was going to have to ask Senticles to come and take this back with him."

Both girls smiled up at Cyrene and waited. "All right, are you ready?" she asks.

"Yes!" they said together.

Cyrene pulls the blanket off and receives two gasps from her audience. She knew the sled would be a hit!

She looked at her Daughter face and saw the smile light up her face. Cyrene turned to Gabrielle and noticed her bouncing with excitement.

Cyrene looked at the sled and could not help but admire it. It was red with two runners and an area big enough so that the girls could enjoy riding on it together. She especially liked the footrest and the cord. It was designed so that the sled could be easily steered by flexing the boards left or right. She knew that these two would make this sled fly down the hill.

The girls still had not said anything nor did they approach the sled. Cyrene chuckled and said, "Go on! Take it outside and try it out! You know that Senticles ordered all of this snow just so you could try out your new sled."

That was all the prompting the two friends needed. They both grabbed the cord and start to head out the barn door.

"Oh" said Little Gabby as she turned back to Cyrene. She ran over and gave the woman a hug. "Thank you Cyrene for everything."

"No problem Cutie, and you can call me Mom."

"Thanks Mom," says a suddenly shy Little Gabrielle.

"Thanks Mom," says Xena. "Come on Gabby, I have the perfect hill to test out our new sled on."

****

Little Xena and Gabrielle started to pull the sled up the hill behind the inn. It was a long hike up the hill but they finally made it to the top.

"Wow, it's really high up here isn't it," says Little Gabrielle as she looks down the hill and backs up a little.

"Umm... Little Xena?"

"Yah, It's a perfect sledding hill. This will be a great ride! We'll go really fast straight down the hill" says Little Xena. She looks at her friend and notices that Little Gabrielle is a little green. "Are you OK?" asks Little Xena.

Little Gabrielle swallows a couple of times and then looks at her friend. "I'm... UmmÖ It's really high."

"Yah, you said that already, are you worried about something. Little Gabrielle, are you afraid of heights?"

"I'm not really afraid of heights, I'm just really... I don't know... It's just really high, that's all," says Little Gabrielle. She looks at her friend and sighs, "Your not afraid of anything are you? I mean, you have no fear at all right? You're always so brave and stuff."

"Well that's not true, there are lots of things that scare me but that does not stop me. It is okay to be afraid of something, but to be brave you need to sometimes but aside your fears and just do it. You do that all the time you just don't realize it because you are trying to keep up with me. You Little Gabrielle are just as brave as I am."

"Really?" breathes Little Gabrielle.

"Really" says Little Xena.

"Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's conquer this mountain!"

Little Xena raises and eyebrow and says, "Okay. Do you want to ride in the front or the back of the sled."

"Well, if I ride in the front, can you hold me on the sled?" asks Little Gabby.

"I'll always to be there to catch you! That's what friends are for!"

"Then Let's go."

Little Gabrielle sits down on the front of the sled and grabs the cord in her hands. Little Xena is standing behind her and yells, "READY!"

Together the friends yell, "GO!"

Little Xena starts running and pushes the sled over the side of the hill and jumps on behind Gabby. They start picking up speed and Little Xena notices that the sled is starting to drift to the left. She looks at her friends face and notices that her eyes are closed. "Um, Little Gabrielle, you need to open your eyes and steer the sled."

Little Gabrielle opened her eyes and leaned to the right as she turned around to look at her friend. "What do you mean I have to steer the sled? I thought you would steer the sled down the hill." As she looks forward she noticed that the sled was now going down the hill to right. "Hey, we changed directions! How'd that happen?" Little Gabrielle again looks to Little Xena

"Well, if you lean left, you go left and if you lean right you go right. Since your in the front and you keep pulling on the cord, you're the one who controls where we are going and I suggest you watch where we're going or we are going to hit that tree!"

Little Gabrielle turns around and sees the tree dead ahead. She pulls the cord on the left side and leans into the turn just missing the tree. "That was close."

"Nah, but don't hit the horse cart, that'll hurt," says Little Xena.

Little Gabrielle snaps her head back around and starts as she sees the cart heading toward them. She pulls back the other way and looks straight down the hill. She starts to have a lot of fun going down the hill and waves to some of the people who are out and about on this sunny Solstice Day. The two friends can now be heard laughing as they pick up speed heading straight down the hill. "This is GREAT!" yells Little Gabrielle.

"See! I told you it was the perfect sledding hill and there was nothing to it!"

"Oh Yah! I have just one question... We are almost to the bottom of the hill and I'm heading towards the Inn, how do we stop?" asks Little Gabrielle.

"I forgot about that... Steer around the Inn, we'll shoot past it and then slow down. OR, we can keep heading towards the Inn and then try the brakes."

"What Breaks?"

"You'll see," says Little Xena.

The continue heading down the hill and the Inn is getting larger and larger as they get closer.

Little Gabrielle yells, "Where are the brakes on this thing?!?"

"When I tell you to, put your feet on either side of the sled out in front of you and pull up on the cord with all of you strength. OK?"

"OK."

"Steady... Steady... Ready.... NOW!" Yells Little Xena as she puts her own feet out and pulls back on Little Gabrielle.

Little Gabrielle pulls back on the cord with all if strength as the snow starts flying up around her feet. She feels the sled gently bump against something and knows that they have stopped.

"You can open you eye now Cutie, you made it," said a smiling Cyrene.

"Wow that was great!"

Little Xena chuckled and said, "It's the best sledding hill around! Want to do it again?"

"You bet! Let's go!"

Before either of them could turn around, Cyrene said, "Sorry children but dinner is almost ready and you need to come inside and get changed. The hill will be there tomorrow and you can get an earlier start tomorrow then you did today."

The girls looked at each other and smiled. They knew that the hill was not going anywhere and would be waiting to be conquered again tomorrow morning.

And what a morning it would be!

 

The End.

 

Good night, Niece Nicole.

 

Thanks for reading this. I hope you enjoyed this story and will share it with that special small person in your life! Please feel free to send your comments to me. - Sue. ricesue@mediaone.net

 


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