"Pilar, I am leading a safari," Ivy said proudly, "And
I am tracking the evil Julian."
"Why don't you just go back to the main house…" Pilar said uselessly.
Ivy ignored her and focused her energy on sneaking up behind Julian.
She finally had him in her sights when…
"I HAVE AN IDEA!" Julian suddenly turned around and yelled.
Ivy shrieked and fell over onto the grass.
"Your dress!" Pilar exclaimed, helping her friend up off the ground.
Ivy ignored the rapidly accumulating grass stains and eyed Julian suspiciously, "What's your idea?"
"We can play LASSIE!"
"Lassie? The dog?"
"YEAH!" Julian gestured to the deep, empty well on the Winthrop Estate, "Someone can be Lassie and
someone can be trapped in the well and Lassie has to go for help!"
"Can I be Lassie?" Pilar asked hopefully, already knowing where this was headed.
Julian ignored her and focused his attention on a little boy who was riding his tricycle down the street.
"HEY TC!" he yelled through the bars on the fence surrounding the estate.
TC Russell looked over rather nervously, "Hello Julian."
"Wanna play LASSIE with us?" Julian called.
TC shrugged, "All right."
He headed over to the fence and easily slipped through the bars.
"Can I be Lassie?" he asked hopefully.
"Nope," Julian shook his head, "Even better. You can be trapped in the well!"
TC backed away, "But I don't wanna be trapped in the well!"
"It'll only be for a few minutes!" Ivy piped up.
Julian shoved TC into the well.
"All right," Ivy grinned, "Julian, you're Lassie."
"I don't WANNA be Lassie!" Julian pouted, "I wanna
be the guy that Lassie goes to for help!"
"NO! Lassie runs to ME for help!" Ivy shrieked.
"HELP! HELP!" TC was screaming from way down inside the well, "I THINK I BROKE MY LEG!"
Pilar peered over the edge, "We'll get you out!"
"NO! YOU'RE LASSIE!"
Pilar turned to face Julian and Ivy, "I'LL be Lassie!"
"No," Ivy shook her head firmly, "JULIAN is Lassie."
"No, IVY is Lassie!"
"MY LEG!" TC howled from inside the well.
Inside the Winthrop Mansion, Consuela Lopez couldn't help but sigh at what she could overhear the two men talking
"When Ivy is of the right age, she will marry Julian," Governor Winthrop said with a nod.
"I believe that would be a lucrative financial move for both of our families," Alistair agreed.
Neither of them noticed that the children were nowhere in sight.
"LASSIE is HEROIC," Ivy glared at Julian, "you don't even DESERVE to be Lassie."
"WELL NEITHER DO YOU!"
"Would somebody go for help?" Pilar attempted, "I think TC is really hurt!"
"He's just PRETENDING, Pilar," Ivy rolled her eyes, "And no one can be helped until Julian agrees
to be Lassie!"
"Pilar, call me IVY!"
"Yes, Miss Winthrop."
Ivy rolled her eyes and refocused her attention on Julian, "Lassie,
don't let little TC stay trapped in the well, GO FOR HELP!"
Julian crossed his arms, "I'm bored with this game. I don't wanna play Lassie anymore."
Ivy shrugged, "Me either. Let's find something else to do. Come on Pilar!"
Ivy dragged Pilar away. Behind them, in the well, TC continued to call for help.
Ivy regarded her huge playhouse. She turned to Julian and Pilar with a wide smile on her face.
"Let's play house!"
Pilar shrugged, "I don't think anything bad can happen doing that..."
"I'm the mommy," Ivy said brightly, cradling the demolished Princess Cough Drop, "Julian is the
daddy, and Pilar you can be the maid."
Pilar and Julian followed Ivy inside the playhouse. Ivy pointed over to the plastic stove.
"PILAR! Cook us some dinner!"
"Yes Miss Winthrop."
Pilar pretended to busy herself cooking over the stove.
Ivy carefully placed Princess Cough Drop in a plastic crib, attempting to ignore the fact that the doll's head
no longer remained in contact with the rest of its body.
"I don't like Julian," she said in a shrill voice, "Why do I hafta be married to Julian? You killed
Princess Cough Drop!"
Julian shrugged and giggled.
"It's all right Princess Cough Drop," Ivy cooed to the doll, "Julian's not your real father. He's
just the only one here to play for now."
Julian yawned, "Ivy I'm boreeeed."
"Let's just stay in here," Pilar said hurriedly, "It's safer!"
"LET'S PLAY HIDE AND SEEK!" Ivy squealed, ignoring her friend's plea.
She and Julian scampered out of the house, followed by the reluctant Pilar.
"…and so your family and my family will pool our funds and…"
The voices of Alistair Crane and Governor Winthrop droned on throughout the house.
"Perhaps the children should meet," Governor Winthrop suggested.
"Splendid idea," Alistair agreed, "Julian, sit up straight."
He glanced over to where his son was supposed to be.
Governor Winthrop stood at the foot of the stairs, "IVY! Come
There was no response.
He ascended the stairs and pushed open the door to her bedroom.
All he saw was the open window and the makeshift rope.
"Look out, look out wherever you are!" Julian called, uncovering his eyes and scampering off into the
He peered behind bushes and up into trees, as well as in garbage cans. Julian even looked down into the well, but
the only person down there was TC.
"Ivy?" he called, "Pilar?"
Finally he spotted Pilar, cowering behind a statue.
Ivy emerged with a grin from the shrubbery, "Ha ha. I knew you wouldn't find ME."
"Miss Winthrop!" Pilar suddenly yelled, "Your father is coming!"
Ivy glanced up, terrified, as her father exploded from the front door to the mansion, Alistair Crane on his heels.
"IVY!" her father screamed.
"JULIAN!" Alistair boomed.
Ivy and Julian exchanged terrified glances and simultaneously bolted into the safety of the greenery.
"I'm DEAD!" Ivy whimpered, studying for the first time her rumpled appearance.
Me too," Julian said somberly, not even wanting to imagine his father's reaction to his sneaking off like
Julian cringed away and scurried deeper into the bushes, followed closely by Ivy.
"Where are they?" Alistair demanded of Pilar, who stared up at him with wide eyes.
Pilar bit her lip and remained silent.
"WHERE ARE THEY?!"
Pilar turned on heel and bolted back towards the safety of the cottage, her dark braid flying behind her.
Alistair cursed under his breath and stomped into the bushes, followed closely by Governor Winthrop.
"Stay very quiet," Ivy shushed, "Maybe they won't—"
Suddenly she was being lifted up in the air by a pair of rough hands. A second pair of hands lifted Julian up by
"AHHHHH!" Julian kicked his legs frantically.
Ivy shrieked and attempted to dislodge herself from her father's firm grasp.
Alas, it was no use, and the two renegade five-year-olds were finally captured.
"YOU DISOBEYED ME," Alistair's voice was like thunder.
Julian cringed, "I'm sorry Father."
"TOMORROW YOU ARE GOING TO BOARDING SCHOOL IN FRANCE," Alistair continued, "THEY WILL BE ABLE TO
CONTROL YOU THERE."
"Father, don't send me away!"
Alistair grabbed his son's wrist and dragged him back towards the limo.
He nodded to Governor Winthrop, who stood on the porch holding firmly onto Ivy's wrist.
"When they are of the right age," Governor Winthrop nodded.
"Until then," Alistair tipped his hat and clambered into the limo, attempting to pull Julian with him.
Julian tugged free of his father's iron grip and bolted back for the entrance to the estate, at the same time that
Ivy kicked her father in the shin and headed for the exit.
They stopped within a few inches of each other.
"You're going away now?" Ivy sounded a bit sad.
"Yeah," Julian nodded.
"Will I ever see you again?"
Julian shrugged, "I don't know."
"I hope so," Ivy smiled, "I had fun!"
Ivy held out the decapitated head of Princess Cough Drop, "Take this so you'll always remember me."
Julian giggled and took the head, slipping it into his pocket.
Ivy leaned forward, and, as all little kids are prone to do, gave Julian a little kiss.
"EWWWW!" Julian leapt back, swiping at his face, "Cooties!"
He hurried for the limo and leapt inside.
Ivy waved to him.
He waved back.
The limo turned down the driveway and headed away.
Pilar watched the exchange from the cottage window, shaking her head nervously. Nothing good could come of this…
TC Russell was rescued from the well two hours later when a neighbor's
dog, ironically named Lassie, wandered onto the Winthrop property and discovered him calling for help. He had a
broken leg, but was otherwise fine. And as for Ivy and Julian…it was years before they ever laid eyes on one another
again. Alas, neither one had any recollection of this chance meeting, and their relationship progressed in accordance
to their families' plans. In fact, the only one who remembered the truth about what transpired that day was Pilar,
and she swore to herself that she would never tell a soul.