And here's my 10 (plus a few) minute write:
Remo stood from his crouched inspection of the vines his head gardener had brought to his attention. He could hear his small daughter sobbing and calling for him from the other side of the vineyard.
“Here, Staci,” he bellowed, and heard the sound of her crying redirect toward him. He moved to the end of the row to intercept her, kneeling down as she careened into his arms. “What is it little stolidi? What turns you into a fountain that soaks my shirt, and will surely flood the whole of our estate, and then we’ll all have to pack our things and move to higher ground until your deluge settles again.”
A hiccupped laugh interrupted his daughter’s sadness, but she didn’t lift her head from his shoulder. He rocked her silently and patted her back until she quieted.
“There now. What has made you so upset?”
“Ajax,” the little girl sniffled. Just mentioning the boy’s name threatened to push her over into sobbing once more.
Remo would throttle the lad. “What’s he done this time?”
“He told me about Fitzles.”
Remo frowned, immediately lost. No doubt they were another fantastic story Ajax had conjured up to scare the little girls again. “What did he tell you about Fitzles, then?”
“About how they stick their needle claws under your fingernails while you sleep, and then your fingers turn black and fall off.”
Throttling would be too kind. “Oh those Fitzles. I see. Except Ajax has it all wrong.”
“He does?” Staci looked up at Remo hopefully.
“I don’t understand how he could become so confused. It must be that he’s so young. Fitzles, you see, move too slow to be able to put anything under your fingernails.”
“Yes. In fact they move so slow they have to use snails to get them places faster.” Remo pointed to a snail inching its way up a support for the vines. “Maybe there’s one on that snail right now.”
Staci leaned with wide eyes into the creature in question. She inspected it from multiple angles, then pouted. “I don’t see anything riding on it.”
“Well you wouldn’t, now, would you? They move too slow for us to perceive them.”
“Oh.” Staci nodded as if she knew exactly what her Baba meant.
He chuckled, scooping her into his arms again. “I think there might be two of them on that snail.”
“Really? How do you know?”
“Some adults can hear Fitzles because adults move so much slower than children.”
Staci nodded again, this time with complete understanding.
“So there are two of them, a male and a female, and can you guess what they are arguing about?”
“The female is saying they need to ask someone for directions. The male is saying that not all who wonder are lost.”
Staci clapped. “Like Mama! Mama says that too!”
“She does. She read it from a book, I think, during her studies when she lived up in the Tricities.”
“Mama is so smart,” Staci sighed.
“She is so perfect.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
“I wish I would grow up to be just like her.”
“Something tells me you will.”
Staci considered this, then squinted at him. “Do you also know that because you move so slow?”
Remo laughed and Staci joined him. He pulled the snail off the vine and told Staci to take the Fitzles to the shrubbery in the front yard because that was their intended destination. She cupped her precious cargo in her little hands and kissed her Baba on the cheek, then trotted happily away.