“Correct as usual, King Friday.”
“Why are you standing on the balcony? Here in the outdoors you might take a chill, you should come back inside. It’s nearly time for a snack.”
“Trolley is behaving oddly, my King.” The Queen gestured down into the courtyard where several of their subjects had gathered around Trolley.
Trolley whistled once and rolled a few feet further into the Land of Make-Believe.
“What is the matter with you, Trolley?” the King asked.
Trolley rang his bell three times, slowly.
“Sire, I noticed that Trolley was still here when usually it would have left by now,” said Daniel Tiger, pointing to the watch on his wrist. “I know we don’t have regular time in the Land of Make-Believe but elsewhere it’s different.”
“Trolley seems out of sorts,” said X Owl. “All the past week it arrives here quickly, and leaves slowly. Yesterday it hesitated at the tunnel and blew a minor-key whistle before departing.”
King Friday put his hands on his hips; “I didn’t know Trolley had a minor-key whistle. What could be the matter?”
Just then Henrietta Pussycat stepped off trolley. “Meow, meow Trolley meow sad,” she said.
“Trolley can’t be sad,” blustered King Friday. Then he turned and said more quietly “It can’t be sad, can it my Queen? Trolley doesn’t have feelings.”
“Everyone in the Kingdom has feelings, my King. Perhaps Henrietta is right, and something has made Trolley unhappy.”
Trolley rang his bell several times and moved back and forth on the tracks in front of Henrietta Pussycat.
“What would make Trolley sad?” said Daniel Tiger.
X Owl flapped his wings once. “It must be something outside the Land of Make-Believe, Trolley is happy enough here. It’s only sad now that it’s time to go.”
Trolley once again rang his bell several times and moved back and forth on the tracks.
“Then let Trolley stay here in the Land of Make-Believe,” King Friday declared. “Now that’s decided let’s go in the castle and have a snack.”
“But King Friday, Trolley has a schedule,” said Daniel Tiger.
“King Friday, Trolley is a part of all lands. Travelling is what it does, if it only stays here in the Land of Make-Believe, it might lose its purpose and I don’t know what would happen.” Said X Owl.
“Trolley, are you unsafe or in danger if you leave?” Queen Saturday asked. Trolley’s bell rang twice. “I think you might be feeling like Prince Tuesday when he doesn’t want to go to school.”
Daniel Tiger sighed. “Sometimes, it’s hard to do the things we’re supposed to if they’re not fun, but growing up is learning to do them anyway. Right everyone?”
Henrietta Pussycat put her hand on the side of Trolley. “Meow, meow need meow go.”
Trolley sounded a minor-key whistle.
“Now listen, Trolley,” said King Friday. “Of course our Land of Make-Believe is wonderful and I am not surprised you want to stay. But everyone is right, your purpose is travel. You will always be welcome here, we will give you folks to carry and straight tracks to ride on.”
“I do not know what is making you unhappy elsewhere, Trolley, but if you are safe, sometimes we have to be strong enough to do things that are a little sad. Always remember that we love you,” Queen Saturday took her King’s hand, “and will always welcome you gladly.”
“Meow, meow family meow.”
Trolley backed up a few feet. It whistled the usual major-tone whistle and held it for a long while. Then Trolley began to move forward, slowly at first but then gaining its regular speed. Trolley went through the tunnel out of the Land of Make-Believe, back to the real world.
“When Trolley arrives tomorrow we should have a banner and garlands ready to decorate it with, and take a trip around the countryside,” said Queen Saturday.
“That is a very good idea, my Queen.” King Friday leaned over the balcony and called down to the folks below. “Come in, and join our snack. We will discuss ways to make Trolley feel so happy here in the Land of Make-Believe that it won’t have time to be sad at whatever is happening elsewhere.”
Trumpets sounded as the monarchs left the balcony. Each of the citizens of the Land of Make-Believe wondered briefly what could be making Trolley sad, but then there were cream tarts.
***This is my entry for week 9 of LJ Idol. I've done a complete misreading of the topic Trolley Problem, but once I got Mr. Rogers' neighborhood in my head I couldn't get it out.***