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Scribbles, Snippets, and Other Doggerel

Poetry and other writing and writing about writin

The King Doesn't do a Happy Dance

Terri Reinhart

Our grandsons are learning how to play chess. Mattheus, who just turned 6, has most of the moves down and he enjoys reminding me. Here he is playing with his Grandpa. His brother, Lucien, watched intently and helped move Grandpa's pieces. When Mattheus captured their chessmen, Lucien sighed and said, "Next time we'll have to be more careful."

I played with Mattheus one afternoon when I was very tired and trying not to nod off at the table. It was obviously awkward for him to capture Grandma's chess pieces. He would carefully explain to me where I should move in order to protect my pieces. Once, when I was clearly in harm's way, he said, "Don't worry Grandma, my Knight won't capture your King. He's not looking." Sure enough, Mattheus' Knight was turned the other direction. 

Partly to help him to not feel quite so funny about capturing my pieces and partly to keep myself awake, I would have my piece to a little happy dance whenever I captured one of his. Mattheus laughed politely, then said, "Grandma, they don't do that in chess." He's very patient with his Grandma.

The next thing I knew, there were three "Ponds" sneaking up on my King. I guess my King was looking the other way. My King got captured and, I'm not sure, but the twinkle in Mattheus' eye told me he was thinking about doing that happy dance.