Returning to Audrey's room, Tutor finds her in Joan of Arc mode, helmet on, sword drawn. "Noble Tutor," she says, regally, pointing with the tip of her plastic broadsword to the forlorn dog in the photo. "This dog needs food! She has been neglected. No dog should suffer! Right, Rex?" Rex is whining and cowering, picking up on his owner's dire mood. "We must save these dogs!" Fortunately, having thought ahead for once, and not used his own fallible judgement, having gone direct to Momma, Tutor is prepared. "Yes, the dogs of New Delhi will be saved. But first, we must formulate a plan. I have taken the liberty of approaching Momma on this matter directly...."
"You talked to Momma, about the dogs? Directly?," asks Audrey. "I did, yes," says Tutor puffed up with the reflected majesty of a trusted advisor who has access to the powers that be, directly. "What did Momma say?," asks Audrey. Tutor hems and clears his throat, enjoying his positional power as one who has direct access. A Wise Counselor, in possession of the Answers to Life's Riddles!, which it is now his privilege to impart to the young. All Audrey need do is listen and be schooled.
Whack, goes Audrey's sword on Tutor's shin. "Ouch," goes pompous, Tutor, "That really hurt." "Speak up, yon Varlet, when I speak to you, as your future Queen." "Yes, Princess." Whack, whack, whack, goes Audrey's plastic sword. "Thou shalt never ever refer to me as Princess, that is demeaning, I am Audrey!" "Yes, Pumpkin." "What did Momma say about saving dogs?" "She said you may, but....." "But what?," asks Audrey. "Momma gave me three words. And she said we have to figure it out ourselves, ok?" "Three words, like 'Abracadabra please and thank you?" "No, besides that's five words." "Tell me what my Momma said, Tutor!"
Tutor loves being a Tutor. He loves dispensing knowledge, wisdom and virtue to young minds in formation. He feels the dignity of his high calling, as a pedagogue and moralist. He draws himself up to his full height. His right arm goes out straight. His index finger, for pointing things out, goes up straight at a right angle to his extended arm. Now, holding his portentous silence, his face as impassive as a Butler's, as Audrey fidgets impatiently, he pumps his arm like a piston, on a mechanical man, forward and back. His upright index finger moves so close to Audrey's nose it makes her eyes cross, then back out, then in. Then, in his most pompous, teacherly voice, like a panelist at a World Synod of Wise Counselors, he intones: "Earn, Rule, Save." "Wait, Audrey says, "What are you saying? It is supposed to be Own, Rule, Save. Look! It is on my t-shirt, see? And it is on my flag." She points to her toybox over which the Audrey flag is, indeed, flying.
Now Tutor and Audrey must puzzle it out, as heroes might who have consulted the Oracle at Delphi, prior to waging war, only to find the cryptic utterance baffling. "She obviously knows the real motto," says Audrey. "It is on the shield in the great hall, behind her throne. It is on the Castle's stationary, business cards, and Annual Report. It is in our Constitution that Master Jack wrote up, and we all signed with the great seal, in red wax. In fact, it is on the great seal, too. 'Own Rule Save.' Now, Momma is just going and changing it? You can't change the Constitution just like that. We would need to talk to Mildred in PR. We would have to get more parchment. We would have to get buy-in from all our stakeholders, including me, Tutor. Momma can't just go changing things. Our Values, once we sort the Values Cards, and get it down to three, and write them down, are fundamental to all we do. You said that when we made our Mission Statement. We judge all our stuff by it. We hold ourselves accountable to it. You said it was our 'lodestar,' and you showed me our moral compass, made of brass, and how it always pointed to the lodestar, remember? And you moved the lodestar around and the compass spun and spun. Now you just go changing it? That is not fair. And it is making me very confused. This is the doing of Grownups! They always wreck everything. And how does this save any dogs?" Audrey sits down, upset, her sword cast aside, her helmet askew.
"Well, the official motto is one thing, of course, and that is our moral compass long term, as you point out. One day you shall inherit, own, rule, and save the earth and all things in it, thank God! But for now you own nothing...."
"I do so; I own Rex. And my toybox and everything in it."
"Momma changed only one word. Which?"
"She changed Own to Earn."
"To make fun of me! Because I don't earn anything. I am just a kid. She is saying I can't rule anything or save anything until I grow up, and Momma dies. And I don't want Momma to ever die! I love Momma." Audrey goes to her dark place, the night terrors. And Tutor knows he must bring her back to the daylight.
"Momma loves you, too, kid, and she knows what is best. If she said Earn, she means you can earn. She told me more, too."
"What?," asks Audrey through tears that come and go in childhood, like showers on a sunny day.
"Momma said she would 'consider any reasonable plan.'"
"For saving dogs?"
"Maybe she meant a plan for earning the money yourself, I think, to save dogs. The more you earn the more you save! Cinchy! Earn a lot. Save a lot of dogs! The more you earn, the more you save."
Audrey is a lucky kid; she knows Momma loves her, even as busy as Momma is. Earn Rule Save. A new secret motto, just for now. Own Rule and Save for the long term. Earn Rule Save for now. But how? It is time to get magic markers, the drawing pad, to work on the plan. But, of course, no plan is valid without empirical research first.