Looking out the window she squealed in cheer. “Go blue go! Go red go!” The little elf cheered both sides as she watched them fight. It was a special type of fighting papa called sparing. It was practice fighting for something the adults called war. All the little girl knew that it was fun to watch. The one she liked the best was the sticks. They were not as scary or loud as swords. Bows had arrows that flew far and seemed hard to use. She liked the sticks. They made a fun whap sound.
“Oh ho! A little warrior.” Her father laughed. “Which do you like?”
“I like the whap ‘em sticks!” She clapped.
“A whap ‘em stick eh? Are you going to use them for war?” Papa asked the little girl.
“Yes Papa… what is war?” Innocent green eyes asked.
“It is an adult thing.” Mama said. “You are too little for war or swords.”
“She does not like swords.” Papa promised.
“So, what is it then?”
“Whap ‘em sticks.” He laughed at the new name. “Do not worry little girls do not play with whap ‘em sticks. You can’t even pick one up.” He teased.
“I can so!” The little black braid swung as she stomped out to the field to where the fighters were cooling off. “I can to pick it up papa see!” She looked at the stick. It was bigger when she was up close. She tried to pick it up in the middle, but she couldn’t She went to one end and pulled up on it. After a moment it raised up. “See Papa! I can to pick up the whap ‘em stick”
The men laughed as they watched the daughter of their lord looked so pleased with herself. The innocent name given to the weapon amused them as well.
“Little one, You must pick it up in the middle.” Papa said somberly. “You may try again in one year to pick it up.”
“We will put it up in a special place it will be your … whap ‘em stick.” One of the men promised with a smile at the determined child.
She smiled and kissed the old warrior on the cheek then bounced to her Papa and Mama. Next year she was able to pick it up a little closer to the middle. The following year even closer.
One day excited after watching the men she found a whap ‘em stick her size. The gardener left it out so she picked it up. It swung for her but the trunk the tree did not make a whap sound. She tried the tall grass near the koi pond. No whap sound. With a shrug she said “whap!” Swung again then “whap” again.
Soon she was going around the garden swinging her stick yelling “whap!” And hitting things. “Whap wap! Whap whap!” Flowers fell to her mighty stick. “Whap whap! Whap whap!” she cut down the other side in war. She had learned that war was a big fight where people hit hard. “Whap Whap!” Petals flew.
“Zsophia!” Papa called. “What are you doing?” He seemed annoyed but there was laughter in his eyes. “How did the garden offend you?” He gestured all around them.
“The garden offends?” Looking around she saw the remnants of berry bushes and flowers and other plants lay on the ground. “It didn’t …..I guess I just… it is my size.” She blinked holding up the stick. “I was making war.”
“Looking more grave papa sat down. “Little one…. See then end of your whap ‘em stick? See the berry juice on it?”
“Don’t you dare! I forbid.” Mama came running over. “You will hand over that whap ‘em stick. You will help fix this garden. I forbid you trying to pick up that whap ‘em stick this year. You are not for war. You are a healer!”
“Beloved…” Papa began. “Healers are needed in war.”
“I do not care! She is my daughter too and I put my foot down here and forbid for ten years. During which you will put time in other things.” Mama was not in jest.
“For ten years it is.” Papa nodded. “Zsophia you will study other thigs. We will still keep your whap ‘em stick. So, if you want to you may try again in ten years.