“Maybe I fired the staff in haste,” muttered Lady Griseldis as she hauled the vacuum cleaner through every room in the vast castle.
Lord Berwyn wasn’t faring much better in the royal laundry room in the bowels of the castle.
Both could hear the cries coming from the high tower powder room.
Princess Rez, the oldest of royal children, was hard at work, combing her littlest sister’s hair.
Prince Faxon wasn’t much help. He’d been Rez’s first victim of the day since he had the shortest hair. After a mere 30 minutes, he’d been proclaimed louse, egg, and nit free. He actually enjoyed the reapplication of the slimy medicated solution on his eight year old head.
“Stop squirming,” warned Rez.
“It’s all her fault.” Donella pouted and nodded her head toward the guest bathroom in between squirms and cries.
Princess Kesava was quarantined to the cavernous bathroom until she agreed to a haircut.
“She didn’t do it on purpose,” said Rez, trying to hide a smirk. Everyone knew how vain Kesava was about her floor length curly blonde locks. She spent hours on her hair every day. She wouldn’t do anything if it meant messing up her hair -- and that left out most everything.
Lady Griseldis was so disturbed to find her beautiful daughter’s scalp covered in lice that she’d fired the entire “dirty” staff of the castle. Now the royal family was paying the price.
“Don’t worry, Donni. There’s no way she can treat all that hair on her own. She’ll come out soon -- or the bugs will eat her alive.” Rez’s last words echoed across the hall.
Another whimper escaped from the hidden Kesava.
“Whoa. Cool!” shouted Faxon.
Donella turned her head, and shrieked as Rez yanked on another section of her auburn locks with a fine tooth comb.
Faxon was studying a bagged and sealed louse under his microscope.
Kesava stormed into the room and proceeded to lock herself in the water closet.
“Hey,” said Faxon, amazed. “Ya know those black dots you’ve been finding in everyone’s hair? Get this -- they’re louse poopies. Awesome!”
With that, they heard a shriek, followed by a loud thud, in the water closet. Kesava had fainted.
“The thought of bug droppings in her hair is way more than she could handle,” laughed Rez. Her siblings laughed, too -- and couldn’t stop.
Thanks God, there are blessings even now, aren’t there? Rez’s feet ached from standing in front of the sink for so many hours. She’d already done her hair and her parents’. This was the second week of their ordeal. It should’ve been getting better, but it wasn’t.
After Griseldis brought her middle daughter back to her senses with the smelling salts, Kesava submitted to the dreaded haircut.
“You know, it wouldn’t have been so bad if you’d told Mum sooner.” Rez snipped her scissors in the air above Kesava’s head. The brainy but “plain” sister couldn’t help gloating just a bit.
“Not too short,” ordered Kesava sternly.
“Of course not,” smirked Rez.
“Rez,” said Lady Griseldis in the commanding voice they all knew so well.
Rez formed an extremely long (and bug ridden) ponytail of Kesava’s curls. After a few snips, it was free. “Too bad we can’t donate it to Curls for Love.” She hurriedly sealed seventeen years of growth into a trash bag. “They wouldn’t take this disgusting thing.”
A teary-eyed Kesava waved a fan in front of her face to keep from fainting again.
As Rez shaped her sister’s hair, Griseldis commented, “My sweet, the shorter length shows off your beautiful features all the more.”
Donella nodded in agreement.
Faxon rolled his eyes.
Lord Berwyn appeared, out of breath, carrying another load of towels.
He smiled at his prettiest daughter. “Ah now, for this, it’s almost all worth it.”
The others looked at him, confused.
“With so much less hair around here, just think of the money we’ll save on the royal water bill!”
Griseldis’ mouth dropped open in horror. “…Dear, you’ve been doing the wash with hot water, right? And drying everything on high?”
Berwyn’s face turned red, “Well, uh, some of them. We can’t have our royal wardrobe shrinking now, can we?”
This statement was greeted with silence. And then all at once the rest of the royal family screamed, “No wonder we still have lice.”
“Lord, help us,” prayed Rez.
“Cool,” said Faxon as he searched through the laundry pile for another specimen to study.
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