A Fake Moral Autobiography is a rite of passage; every rich kid needs to do one to be a member of the family in good standing, but it is odious all the same, and any right-minded child will be stimulated to do a Real Moral Autobiography, if only as an act of revenge upon all the Stupid Grownups. Sanctimonious is not a word children use, nor is smarmy, or treacly, though these may appear later on the SAT, or in a cram course; self serving or self aggrandizing, are not phrases kids use, but they do have an instinct, and properly so, one that is abraded over time and lost until they too become Sanctimonious Self Serving Grownups inflicting Family Rituals on the next generation. So Dynastic Family Values and Familial and Social Dysfunction are passed down the line for at least 100 years or until the family, the community of which is a part, or the ecosystems collapse.
In any case, Audrey is working, at her request, on her real Moral Autobiography. Tutor suggests she use her crayons, magic markers, poster paint, or finger paint. First picture, "How it Was." Audrey likes the assignment and could be seen cross legged on the floor of her room, busy with her paintbox of water colors. Quite absorbed; and candidly, making a quite a mess.
Under the door of his desolate cell, Tutor sees a piece of poster paper sliding. "How it Was" is a painting of a Castle, with a high wall around it, with ponies inside, a little girl inside, and a mother wearing a crown. Above the Castle is a bright sun and a rainbow. The ponies' tails are rainbows, too. The child's hair is wild and red. Tutor affixes the picture to the wall of his cell, above the wooden plank serving as his desk. The place is brighter already.
Tutor slides back under the door a note, "Lovely! Thank you! Now, 'How Things Are.'" The note comes back, "Ok."
The next day, under the door comes, "How Things Are." And how they are is not so good. The sky is dark, the clouds tossed by the wind, lightning bolts. The sea rages against the Castle, threatening to overwhelm the beetling battlements. In the Courtyard, stand the ponies, now emaciated, with their bones showing through the skin. They are tethered by their reins to a post. The child is not alone, nor is Momma there, but a towering figure, a magician, or sorcerer, all in black, is pointing at the little girl with a long rod, accusingly. Her head is bowed.
Tutor slides back a note, "Scary! Who is the man? Is it me?"
Back comes, "No."
Tutor slides back, "Is it an evil magician?"
Back comes, "Sort of."
Tutor slides back, "Master Jack?"
Back comes, "Yes."
Tutor slides back, "Thank you, kid."
Back comes, "It was fun."
Tutor slides back, "Want one more?"
Back comes, "Yes!"
Tutor slides back, "How it Will Be"
Back comes, "Yes!"
Tutor slides back, "Make it Good!"
Back comes, "Yes!!!"
And the next day, under the door comes, "How it Will Be." And what a remarkable kid-art painting it is. The Castle under Moonlight, reflected on a placid sea. The ponies are big and strong. A little girl in a helmet, red hair protruding, gesturing to heaven with her sword is aboard one pony. A lanky figure in armor, his gaunt head without helmet, is on the other. On his arm is a shield. If you look closely you would see Audrey's Escutcheon. Own Rule Save, beneath a planet floating in space, with A U D R E Y in a semicircle above the world. The ponies are attached, like Santa's reindeer, to what look like a sleigh, but is actually Audrey's big wooden toy box. Rex, the Rescue Dog, is piloting the craft, facing forward, paws on the edge of the toy box. Behind him, piled high are huge bags of toys, groceries, medicine, clothing. Did I mention the ponies have wings? The whole enchanted team is lifting off, and flying up, up, soon to be over the battlements and gone! Gone on a mission of mercy. In the courtyard, no magician, just Momma in her crown, pointing up with one finger, and with the other hand holding a handkerchief waving.
"O My!," Tutor slips back under the door. "Thank you!"
"It's me and you."
Tutor adds, "I know, and Rex, too."
"And Momma," the note returns.
Tutor replies, "Happy Momma or Sad Momma?"
Audrey replies, "Happy and Sad."
Tutor replies, "I know, because kids grow up, even if they promise not to."
Audrey replies, "We have to save the world Tutor. There is not a moment to lose."
Tutor replies, "Can I come too?"
Audrey replies, "If you are loyal."
Tutor replies, "Yes, Your Highness."
Audrey replies, ":)"
Now Tutor has a triptych over his desk, still a prisoner, but soaring free.
But spare a thought for poor Momma. Her greatest treasures, though she owns a controlling interest in all the world's material wealth and its intellectual property, too, are not jewels, bonds, stocks, patents, royalties, or famous works of art, but the kid-art that she keeps in the big closet where she dresses. She has them taped to her big closet walls, and often stands, alone going from one to the next, remembering how things were when Audrey drew them, and feeling how fast time goes. Recently, though, she has noticed Audrey on her bedroom floor, painting away like a little maniac. She expects to soon be surprised by the next piece of kid-art. But no. Three days of drawing and no present for Momma. What is going on?
Momma confronts Audrey. "You've been busy."
"Yes," Audrey replies.
"Painting?," Mother inquires.
"Yes," Audrey says.
"You have done many?"
Audrey says, "Three."
"Well," says Momma, "are they for me?"
Silence from Audrey
"Can I see them?"
Silence from Audrey
"Where are they?"
Silence from Audrey
"Were they for your friend? For Tutor?"
Audrey nods, wondering if she is in trouble again, or if Tutor will be in even more trouble.
"Let's go see," says Momma.
When the cell door is opened, facing the door, above the plank desk, Momma sees the triptych. Approaching as one might in a gallery, hands clasped behind her back, Momma studies each picture carefully. Tutor stands to one side, Audrey to the other. Are they in trouble?
Momma says, "You, Sir, may join us for dinner."
And that night, for the very first time, Tutor gets to sit at the table, next to Audrey, rather than standing behind her like the butler. Now it is Master Jack in red velvet knees britches, and the waiter's red jacket, who must stand behind Momma, the most trusted servant, but without a place at the table.
Kid-Art is not for sale. It circulates only in the economy of love, grace, and gratitude. As with a pearl of great price, there is in kid-art no market and no such thing as a "trade," only gift for a gift. When Momma returns that evening to her room, to ready herself for bed, and enters the big closet for her dressing gown, there facing the door is the triptych.