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Early September, 1633
Marie-Madeleine Marguerite d'Aubray clutched her Barbie and peered through balcony railings to the scene below.
For a wonder, neither of her parents were with her.
She loved Papa and Maman, she really did. Papa would always pick her up and carry her about, calling her his little angel and giving her horse rides on his back.
Maman was always so elegant and smelled so nice and would read to her in the evenings and brush her hair and put flowers in it and listen to her talk about oh so many things!
Sometimes even Papa and Maman would let her hold her baby brother Antoine and push his carriage. She adored doing so and loved to make 'little Ant' laugh.
So yes, she loved her parents and they loved her.
Honestly, though, they could get so, so around at times!
"Maman and Papa are just silly, sometimes," she told Barba-doll. Who agreed, but because Barba-doll was a little silly herself sometimes, wondered if it was all right to be up now instead of napping?
Marie-Madeleine pointed out, "I tried that, silly. But I couldn't, and anyway, don't you want to know what Maman and Papa are up to?"
Barba-doll agreed that Maman and Papa were obviously up to something. A funny old man in a red robe with a tall hat had come by and had said to Maman and Papa when he had been introduced to her that Marie-Madeleine was a very sweet child.
Which made Marie-Madeleine decide that even if he was a funny old man he was a nice old man and said so to him. Which had made the nice old man smile and thank her and let her try on his very tall hat.
The nice old man hadn't come back, but ever since his visit plenty of other adults had been coming and going from the d'Aubray household, and Maman and Papa had played with her and hugged her and read to her and tucked her into bed every night. Which, yes, they had been doing before, but now Marie-Madeleine couldn't take a step anywhere without one or both of her parents present.
It wasn't that she didn't like the attention—she did! She adored her baby brother. He was so helpless at everything it was cute, and as a good big sister she didn't mind sharing Maman and Papa with him, but even the best big sister in the world could wonder if maybe sometimes baby brother didn't get that he had to share, too?
Except now it was just, well, maybe it was a little too much the other way around now? She wasn't little Ant. She was three years old, she didn't need babying all the time!
So when Papa had carried her into her little room and put her on her bed for her nap and she couldn't and the door was open, well, what could she have done? It wasn't like Maman and Papa had told her to stay!
Confident she hadn't done anything wrong, Marie-Madeleine Marguerite d'Aubray returned her attention and that of her doll Barba back to the doings on the floor below.
She looked down right as her mother looked up.
For one moment mother and daughter stared into each other's eyes.
Then daughter Marie-Madeleine Marguerite d'Aubray rushed to her room as mother Marie Ollier d'Aubray rushed up the stairs.
Back in her bed, Marie-Madeleine Marguerite d'Aubray clutched her companion in crime Barba-doll as she snuggled herself under the covers and closed her eyes. Maybe Maman hadn't seen them?
Her mother's perfume was suddenly close to her, as if Maman was right next to the bed, bending down close.
Maybe Maman was just checking? Better look really asleep, then!
Marie-Madeleine felt a kiss on her forehead. Despite herself she giggled. It was time to play!
She wriggled deeper into the bed and the covers. Now it was Maman's turn again!
Maman started poking all around and over Marie-Madeleine. "Is there a little girl here?" she asked all the while. "Is there? A little girl named— Anna?'
Marie-Madeleine giggled. "No, Maman!"
"A little girl named—Louisa?"