Star Light, Star Bright
By Sally Madison
Mary, seeing the child responding to the doctor’s medicine after setting the arm and leg bones, softly whispered to the little boy. “I see you are awake, my friend. I’m so very glad that you are better. You gave us a good scare. My name is Mary, and I am taking care of you. I saw no one around the accident who knew who you are. Can you tell me your name?”
The small boy faintly responded, “My name is Earl”, he replied in a Cockney-Boston accent.
“Well, Earl, I’ll sit you up a bit and we can have tea together.” Mary fluffed the pillows and pulled the child up to a near sitting position then poured a half cup of tea for the child.
After several sips of tea, the child’s strength seemed to be returning, so Mary inquired, “That’s an unusual name. How did you come by that name?”
“Me mum said that she wasn’t sure who my me da was, Earl of Westcott, Earl of Edinburg, or Earl of Sussex, so not wanting to make an error, she stuck with Earl. We could figure out who was me da, once I was grown, and see who I looked like.”
“Do you have other family? Mary continued.
“Ya, me brother, Lloyd,” the child replied softly.
“My, isn’t that an interesting name. And how did he come by that name?”
“Me mum, said that she wasn’t sure if his Da was Lord Winston, Lord Campbell, or Lord Danbury, so she would call him Lord. Well, me pa, who is not really me pa, but he lived with us for a spell, he didn’t like that he had a lord in the house, so he called my brother, Boy. But my brother did not like the name, Boy. He was little, so he said; his name was not Boy, but Lloyd. The name stuck, so we call him Lloyd.”
Mary would like to have continued the inquiry, but she could see that Earl’s eyes were getting heavy. “We’ll talk some more in the morning, now you just get some rest.” Little Earl, all cozy and warm, was soon fast asleep.
Later in the night, Mary heard whimpering and tip-toed to see if Earl was distressed.
“Earl, what’s the matter? What can I get you?” Mary asked.
“I need naught, Miss Mary. I just miss my brother. Me and him, we would cuddle together to stay warm. This bed is warm enough, but it’s not my brother.” Earl managed to say.
“Well, I’m not your brother, but would I do?” A simple nod gave consent. “If we scoot you over just a bit, I will get in beside you.” Mary slipped under the blankets and wrapped her arms around him. Mary’s heart swelled like never before. “Let’s look out the window and watch the sky. Oh, look there is a star right there!, ‘Star Light, Star Bright, First Star I see tonight…..’ ” Warm and comforted, Earl went fast asleep, again.