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 Little Xena Information Page http://ausxip.com/index.html, I recommend it!

The story is mine. May 7, 2000

Violence: None

Subtext: Sorry not in this one. This story is 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 can share with a very special Little Gabrielle, my Niece Nicole! I also wanted to thank Murphy for all the support she gives to all the Bards and Future Bards on the ex-Guard!

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

 

Little Gabrielle Learns to Read

A Little Xena and Little Gabrielle story

By Susan A. Rice

 

Little Gabrielle was sitting in the inn with a quill in her hand. She was writing on a scroll when Little Xena spotted her. Little Xena watched Little Gabrielle for a while and finally decided, after seeing several very serious expressions appearing on her friendís face, to find out what was up.

"What are you doing Little Gabrielle?"

"I'm practicing my letters."

"Why?"

"Well, do you remember Murphy, that tall bard who was in here the other day? You know the one with the blonde hair and blue green eyes. She told me I could be a bard but I had to learn my Alpha Beta Gamma's and that I would need to learn to read and write. So, I have my lettering down but I do not know how to read words. I know if I could read them, then I could write them. I just don't know how Iím going to learn to read."

Little Xena smiled at her young friend and said, "Gabby, can I borrow a scroll, one that you don't want back?"

Little Gabrielle looked at Xena with a puzzled expression on her face and said, "Um, Ok. I have a new one in my scroll bag."

"Great! Can I also have a quill and use some of your ink too?"

Gabby rummaged in her bag and pulled out a second quill and gave Little Xena her inkbottle.

Little Xena proceeded to rip up the scroll. Little Gabrielle was in shock as she watched her friend rip the scroll into small pieces of parchment of varying sizes. She then took the pieces of parchment, the quill and the ink and got up to leave.

"Little Xena, where are you going with all that?" asked Little Gabrielle.

"I'm going into the Kitchen. Don't worry; I'll be back for you soon. You wait here, I think mom is making something special for you."

Little Gabrielle smiles and asks, "Really? What she doing?"

"Can't tell ya. Mom made me promise. OK. You just stay here and I'll be back."

Little Gabrielle watches her friend leave and realizes that she can no longer practice her lettering because she does not have any more ink. Closing her eyes, she starts to think of a story. She thought of an adventure that she had yet to go on and smiles. Soon she falls fast asleep with images of her friend flipping through her mind.

****

Slowly, Little Gabrielle opens her eyes and yawns. After a while she noticed that the sun was shining in from the window and realizes that she has been asleep for a couple of candle marks. She looks around and notices only a customer or two in the inn but no Little Xena. Little Gabrielle gets up and stretches as she turns toward the inns kitchen.

Once inside the kitchen, she sees Cyrene standing by a large pot hanging over the fire.

"Hi," said a little voice full of sleep behind Cyrene.

Cyrene turned and smiled at the still very sleepy Little Gabrielle, "So, cutie, did you have a nice sleep?"

"Yes," said Little Gabrielle as she yawned. "Excuse me."

"Your excused," said Cyrene. She looked at Little Gabrielle and knew she was very tired since she had not spotted the special treat sitting by the window.

Little Gabrielle looked at Cyrene and asked, "Where's Little Xena?"

"I think she is up in her room right now."

"Oh, Ok, thanks!" said Little Gabrielle as she turned away to go in search of her friend when she realized something strange about the kitchen. She slowly turned around and notices pieces of parchment all over the place. She looked at Cyrene and saw a couple of them on her as well.

"Um, Cy, I mean, Mom, why are you wearing parchment on your shoulder? And what is all of the parchment doing all over the place?" asked a wide-eyed Little Gabrielle.

"That you will have to ask my daughter about. Now, off with you. Like I said, she is probably in her room having some fun, but I'm sure it would be more fun with her best friend at her side."

Little Gabrielle's whole face lit up at this and started to skip out of the room.

Little Gabrielle found the door to Little Xena's room open and watched as her friend was jumping on the bed.

Little Xena had a piece of parchment in her hand and was looking at the ceiling. She took one more bounce and the launched herself toward the ceiling, easily attaching the parchment to it. She came back now on the bed and back flipped off and landed with a grin on her face. The grin became even bigger when she saw the look of surprise on Little Gabrielle's face.

Little Xena called looked at her friend and said, "It's about time you woke up. Enjoy your nap?"

Little Gabrielle nodded her head and continued to look around the room. She saw more of the parchment all over the place and she notice that there was even one on Xena's leathers.

"What is... Why have... How come..." stammered Little Gabrielle.

Little Xena stepped forward with another piece of parchment and attached it to Little Gabrielle's leathers. She smiled at her friend and said, "You know Gabby, if you want to be a bard you need to be better at asking questions."

"I'm working on it," said Little Gabrielle, "I'll learn."

"That you will and I'm going to help you," said Little Xena.

"How's that?"

"Well, with all the little parchments all over the place."

"What do you mean Little Xena? How will it help me?" asked Little Gabrielle.

"Well, they all have letters on them and those letters help to form words. You are going to figure out the letters and then say the word," said Little Xena.

"But I can't read Little Xena, how will I figure out the word?" asked Little Gabrielle.

"Because the word will have something to do with the object they are attached to. Come over here and give it a try?"

Little Gabrielle walked over to Little Xena and looked at the piece of parchment attached to it. She frowned at it for a minute and said, "Well, I know what the letters are but I do not know what the word is."

Little Xena said, "Spell it out and then try sounding it out."

Little Gabrielle's brows knit as she looked at the slip of parchment. She said, "B... E... D..." She looked to Little Xena who smiled nodding to her to continue.

"B.. E.. D.., B. E. D., OH! I get it! Bed! It's Bed!" says an excited Little Gabrielle.

"It sure is Little Gabrielle. OK, let's try another one! Which one do you want to try now?" said a smiling Little Xena.

"Well, you have a couple of pieces of paper on you, how about I try that one?" said Little Gabrielle as she pointed to the slip on Little Xena's shoulder.

"OK, give it a shot, but it's tricky!" said Little Xena.

"OK... I can do this." She looked at the slip and said, "X... E... N... A... X.. E.. N.. A.. X.E.N.A... I don't get this one. XENA... It does not sound right to me. Do I get a hint?"

"Hmm, yah, I forgot about that one. Sometimes a letter can sound like another letter. In this case, the X sounds like a Z. Try it now."

"OK, X's can sound like Z's. Gotcha. Z...ENA, Z..ENA, Oh... ZENA! That's you! Little Xena it's your name!" smiled a happy Gabby.

Little Gabrielle began to quickly go through the room, sounding out the words, or seeing the words associated with an object and saying its name. She would then repeat the word, spell it and continue on to the next word. Finally, the only piece of paper left was the one on her leathers. She took it off and looked at it.

"G...A...B...R...I...E...L...L...E." She smiled and looked at her best friend... "That's me isn't it? That says GABRIELLE."

"Yes, thatís the name of the best bard I know. Sheís my best friend to. Why, I bet she could tell you all the stories about my adventures too," says Little Xena with a big smile.

It was at that moment that Little Xena heard a rumbling sound. She looked at Little Gabrielle and asked, "When was the last time you fed that thing! Come one, letís go down stairs and feed it before it decides to come out and look for food on it own!"

Little Gabrielle followed Little Xena and down to the kitchen, all the while patting her stomach and making soothing sounds. "ShhhÖ" grrrr, "Itís okay." GGRrrg. "Little Xena is going to get something for you to eat." GGGRRRGRRR "You just need to be patient."

Little Xena was chuckling at her friendís conversation with her stomach monster. She opened the door to the kitchen and spotted her mom ladling stew into several bowls. "Hello Mother."

"Oh, I wondered what was keeping you. Are you finished playing up stairs?" asked Cyrene.

"Yes," answered Xena, "We had a great time! Little Gabrielle is doing great! She will be on her way to writing stories of our adventures in no time!"

At that moment Little Gabrielleís stomach monster decided to make its presence heard. GRRRRGRGRGGGGRRRR

Cyrene turned to look at Little Gabrielle and said, "I take it that means Ďfeed me nowí?"

Little Gabrielle bowed her head and could feel the room getting a little warmer. "Um, shhh, be quiet." She whispered. Looking back up at Cyrene she said, "Actually, it means, ĎPlease feed me now, thank youí, but you know how stomach monsters are."

Cyrene chuckled and motioned the girls over to the table and went to get two bowls of food for her hungry off spring and her ravenous friend.

Little Gabrielle looked around the room and asked, "After dinner, are we going to work on the slips of parchment in here?"

"Only if you girls promise not to get underfoot this evening. Itís very busy out there right now," said Cyrene as she put the bowls down in front of the children.

"No problem," chirps Little Gabrielle as she picks up her spoon and starts eating. "Mmm, Good stew. Thank you mom."

Little Xena smiles down at her friend, "You know, you have to breath sometime. Slow down, itís not going anywhere."

Little Gabrielle smiled at her friend and said, "Itís not the food Iím worried about!"

Little Xena laughed, and started to eat her own meal.

Finally, the stomach monster was sated and Little Gabrielle started to look around the room at all of the pieces of parchment just waiting for her to discover what they said. Suddenly her eyes were drawn to one specific piece of parchment, and her stomach monster let out another growl.

Little Xena looked at her friend and said, "I canít believe this, you ate two bowls of stew and it is still hungry? What did it do, invite a friend to join it?"

Little Gabrielle laughed. "No, silly, it was just agreeing with me on how to spell something special."

"Oh, and what would that be."

Little Gabrielle pointed to the windowsill and said, "N. U. T. B. R. E. A. D. It wants a piece of NUT BREAD and so do I. Do you think your mom would give us some?"

"Mom, can Little Gabrielle have her special treat now?" asked Little Xena.

Cyrene smiled and gave the girls the nut bread. The rest of the evening was spent listening to the sound of childrenís laughter and discovery as the girls went form one piece of parchment to another.

 

 

The End.

Good Night Niece Nicole! And you to Murphy! Time for bed!

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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