Disclaimer: I disown the characters and objects and settings of this story. They belong to J.M. Barrie.
Author's Note: For now this story is G, though the rating possibly might go up depending on what I write next. This is my guess to the event – which we are told nothing about in the book – of when Wendy became jealous of the beautiful Indian princess, Tiger Lily. Please let me know what you think; comments, suggestions, if I should change the title, anything.
A Tale of a Mother, a Boy, and a Princess
Chapter 1: Where is Peter?
Wendy nods approvingly at seeing that all the cooking is nearly done. Tonight the boys shall have a real meal: of nuts, yams, and soup. The boys will be mightily pleased, for the last two nights have been of make-believe suppers. And Wendy had to hush half of the boys when they complained this morning how they hoped there would be real food tonight. Or else, Slightly had said, they would look for berries and eat them before coming back for supper. Wendy had rebuked him and made sure they promised not to do such things.
Wendy removes the soup from over the fire and sets it on the tree stump which serves as a table. The nuts and yams are also put on the table just as the noise of laughter and proud marching echo above the girl's head: The boys have returned. Wendy smiles at the noise which reaches her ears.
First Nibs appears from his tree. He is followed, then, by Curly, Michael, Slightly, John, the Twins, and, last of all, Tootles.
"Good evening, Mother," they all greet the girl. Wendy, in turn, gives each boy a hug and looks them over, making sure they are washed from their great playing today. Each happily shows how much they have washed up before coming home. Wendy inspects each carefully and gives a praise of agreement, making the boys' cheeks turn as red as a summer apple. Oh! How they are quite pleased that Wendy is satisfied with their washing! For they have come very much to respect and adore her as their mother in the many long weeks since Wendy and her brothers first came to Neverland. And even John and Michael show her a respect which was not paid her when they were still in London. After she gives her youngest brother a nod and smile of approval, Michael requests a kiss, which he receives on the cheek.
As Wendy looks at them all, she realizes something. "Where is your father?" she questions.
The eight boys look at each other and shrug their shoulders. It is Nibs who tells what little is known.
"He went off sometime around noon. We were at Mermaid Lagoon when he suddenly flew off. We have not seen him since."
"Do you have any idea where he went off to?" Wendy frowns worriedly.
She hopes Peter did not go to the Jolly Roger to seek revenge on Hook. Peter has been in a down mood since "that evening," as he calls it. He is still mending from his wound, which Wendy looks over each night. He also fears that he has lost the boys' respect because of his weakness, though all the boys have sworn more than once to have no such thoughts and, instead, admire their father all the more. Please, do not let him be at the ship, Wendy begs silently. He is not strong enough yet to fight Hook; he will surely be wounded even more or…. But Wendy does not allow herself to finish the thought. Still a slight shudder runs through her small body. She worries about Peter a lot, even though he can take care of himself. And because of his injury, she worries even more that he will get into trouble when he goes off on an adventure.
Of course, he had gone off on his own before. Usually after he returned, he would spend the evening telling them all about his adventure, leaving them to decide whether everything he spoke of had happened or not. But often he would be back and come down into the house along with the others.
A chorus of shaking heads is the answer to Wendy's question. She sighs. She runs her fingers through her hair like a comb as she ponders on what to do. She is momentarily distracted and blinks in surprise as she watches her fingers go through her hair again. When she had first come here to Neverland, her brown hair was a little past her shoulders. Now it hangs halfway down her back. She tries to recall how long or short a time she and John and Michael have been here. But then she returns her mind to Peter. She stops playing with her hair, looks at the boys, and decides on a course of action.
"I shall go look for your father and tell him dinner is ready," she says. "You shall wait for us to return before eating."
All the boys' eyes widen with understanding. The last time the boys ate before Peter came to the table, he had been quite vexed the rest of the evening with them. They have ever since not started eating until Peter gives the signal. Eight heads of different colors and textures of hair nod in understanding.
"We shall wait," they all repeat in one voice.
Wendy sighs, and a small smile graces her mouth. She turns first to Slightly. He has been among the most helpful of the boys, asking to help set the table; or if the cooking is not quite done, he will watch the roast.
"Slightly, will you please see to it that the food does not go cold?"
The boy nods, proud to be entrusted with such a task.
"Tootles, John. I give you the task of making sure the others do not become too rowdy or excited."
"My dear sweet boys," Wendy addresses them all. "Please do behave yourselves. I hope to return shortly, and with your father."
"Oh, we will be good, pretty Mother," the boys all assure her.
Pleased, Wendy nods and goes up her tree to start searching for Peter.