28. A Bachelor Pad

Walking along the stream through lush green grass, Rosella came upon the home of the seven dwarves.  It was a quaint
home with a smoking chimney but the thing that just couldn’t be ignored was the fact that the house was built within a
gargantuan tree.  While the idea of a tree house sounded more than a little childish, the well-crafted architecture was
anything but.  Complete with windows and a door, the seven dwarves had made their home inside the biggest tree in all
of Tamir.  Knowing that the dwarves were all at work in their mine as they always were, Rosella didn’t feel too forward in
going inside to take a look around.  After all, she was on a mission to save Tamir, which was as much home to the
dwarves as it was to Genesta and her fairies.  So they certainly wouldn’t mind her looking for something to aid her in her
quest to defeat Lolotte.  With that reasoning in mind, the intrepid princess quietly opened the front door and crept
inside.  She responded to her sneaking with an immediate feeling of foolishness.  Who was she sneaking from?  All the
dwarves were hard at work in their diamond mine!  Knowing that her usually porcelain cheeks were flush, Rosella
relaxed her pose and let her heels click on the hardwood floors of the tree home.  The clicks came to halt as she
surveyed the kitchen area and the stairs leading up to the bedroom.  The place was a pigsty.  Dirty dishes were
everywhere.  Sooty clothes were lain out like a dirt trail up the stairs, and the princess could only imagine the unmade
beds at the end of that trail.  This will certainly not do.  How can they live like this? She thought to herself.

While standing with her hands on her hips, Rosella noticed a slow brewing soup cooking over a brick fire pit in the
kitchen.  The smell almost immediately made her remember how empty her own little stomach was.  She had been so
quick to jump into the magic mirror, that she had forgotten she had skipped dinner with her family.  And what of her
family?  Did they wonder where their precious daughter had wandered?  Had they figured it out yet?  Would she ever
see them again?  “Stop it!”  Rosella surprised herself by the sound of her own voice.  She rubbed a newborn tear away
from the corner of her eye with the sleeve of her dress and with a sniffle spoke aloud once again, “What this place
needs is a little feminine touch.”  She giggled to get herself back on task.  Smoothing out her skirt, Rosella took a deep
breath.  The dwarves would be home for dinner soon, and she decided that she would clean up their bachelor pad in
hopes of gaining the help of the ever working little men.  Perhaps they held some treasure that would aid Rosella in her
quest.  With that, the princess tied an apron around her slender waist, and went to work scrubbing the dishes, sweeping
the floors, picking up the clothes, and making the beds, singing all the way.

Only moments after finishing her work, washing and drying her delicate hands, Rosella heard the footsteps of the
dwarves, their gruff voices in idle chatter as they returned home for a short well earned meal.  While there was no
mistaking any of the dwarves for bearing a sunny demeanor, it was obvious the surprise on each of their faces as the
waddled inside to see a sparkly clean home; that, and a breath taking beautiful blonde princess standing in their
kitchen.  But it was the newly clean house that really impressed them.  Still, they were not cold to the blue-eyed eager
girl.  After shuffling one by one up to the stew pot to collect their bowl of soup, the last dwarf taking two bowls, they sat
down at their long kitchen table, leaving one seat empty with a steamy bowl of soup at its place on the table.  No word
was spoken to the girl who herself had not spoken a word, but one dwarf gestured his hand to the open seat at his
right.  Rosella timidly took her queue, stepping lightly in her heels over to the table to take her seat at the table with the
seven dwarves.  She graciously lapped up the delicious soup with her seven hosts and not a word was spoken
throughout dinner.

The dwarves finished their soup in unison, and like an assembly line carried their empty bowls over to the sink, a
practice uncommon to them, but a gesture they felt needed to respect their pretty guest.  After depositing his bowl into
the bubbly suds of the sink, each dwarf marched back outside to return for a few more hours of mining before a well-
deserved night’s sleep.  The last dwarf paused on his way out, reaching into a pocket in his soiled vest.  He produced a
small velvety bag and tossed it down on the end of the table opposite the silent doe eyed Rosella.  With a nod to her,
went out to catch up with his working brethren.  The mystified princess sat for a few moments unmoving both from the
strangeness of the company she just shared, and the curiosity of what was in the bag that the final dwarf had left for
her.  It didn’t take long for curiosity to get the better of the young girl as she slid down the wooden bench; gingerly
sliding her fingers into the bag and forcing it open so she might peek inside.  The sparkles that stared back at her made
Rosella gasp.  The bag was home to a handful of tiny diamonds!  Certainly a gift like this would certainly come in handy
in her quest.

With a renewed sense of strength from the food in her belly, and the diamond pouch in hand, Rosella doused her own
dirty bowl in the frothy sink bubbles and quickly left the dwarf tree house to head to her next destination, which was…