Mr. Benedict (adopted father), unknown parents (deceased)
"Rules and schools are tools for fools. I don't give two mules for rules!" ~ A poem by Constance, "The Mysterious Benedict Society"
Constance Contraire is a very stubborn and intelligent girl. She is the youngest and most bothersome member of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Though she is naughty, she plays a very big role in the group. She is known for her poems, hardheadedness, and never-ending complaints. Her strength and abilities include being stubborn, writing poems, reading minds, changing minds & transfering messages into other peoples minds. Nicholas Benedict, the very man who formed the society, adopted her and welcomed her to his home.
Constance has short yellow hair and blue eyes; if she were any taller she might resemble Kate enough to be related. She is allegedly very chubby and, in the first book and all illustrations, seen wearing a red raincoat with enough pockets to hold thirty-seven pencils. She is 2-4 years old and looks it, but because of her intellect the others assume she is older. She is definitely the stubborn type. Constance is always portrayed as slightly pudgy.
The name "Constance Contraire" could be a play off "constantly contrary" or "consistently contrary," referring to Constance's stubborn attitude. In fact, it's her stubborn attitude that saves the Society in the first book.
Constance, to the Mysterious Benedict Society's surprise, is only three years old, making her a very hard headed toddler.
Constance is, in general terms, a genius, who can read, write, and speak intelligently from an extremely early age. She constantly is spouting rhymes on the spot, usually insults directed at whoever's closest to her, so much that Kate comes up with a retaliating rhyme. Unfortunately, we never get to hear it.
In the second book it's shown that Constance can tell who's where just by the pattern of his footsteps. This proves useful to the children on many occasions; such as when they are talking and Constance alerts them that Captain Noland is coming down the hall.
In the third book, this ability has heightened to the point of almost psychic-appearing power. Constance can predict the weather by sensing patterns in the air, and likely predict behavior as well by mood patterns and knowledge of a person's general behavior. She can also communicate through images telepathically, communicating her location to Reynie in form of a call number at the library.
With Sticky, she made him believe for an instant that he didn't like vanilla ice cream, giving it to her, though this caused an immense headache and stomach flu-like symptoms for a couple days.
She also got rid of Mr. Benedict's narcolepsy, which was probably one of her most stressing experiences.
Mr. Benedict tells the children that Constance is highly sensitive to patterns, making her appear psychic. However, she isn't psychic in that she can predict the future without any previous information. She is especially sensitive and can hear the Messengers' voices.
Constance is like any other three-year-old except for the happy, innocent and cheerful part. The annoyance factor is enhanced to make up for the lack. She is constantly grumpy and contrary to anything anyone has to say; she insists on having the last word and will do almost anything to get it. She is also very grumpy at everything that does not go her way.
Because of her more advanced intellect conflicting with her natural instincts, it's definitely difficult for her to relate to children her own age; thereby making her friends the only people whom she can really relate to. Constance seems to favor Reynie, but it's also quite possible she considers herself close to Sticky as well. Her behavior towards Kate is very sisterly.
Constance does, however, have toddler instincts and food is one of her main concerns, especially candies and desserts. if anything's not exactly her way she can get very frustrated. At first Kate is extremely reluctant to have anything to do with her.
The Mysterious Benedict SocietyEdit
"Milligan! Come and tell us why you're so dreadfully glum!"
"Poor Kate", said Constance,"she's lost her marbles"
"WHY YOU SON OF A MOTHER!"
"Rules and schools are tools for fools-I wouldn't give two mules for rules!"
"Now we have waited for thirty consecutive
minutes to see some old dirty Executive
thirty long minutes I could have been sleeping
but she doesn't find her appointments worth keeping!"
"Are you trying to get me caught, George Washington(Sticky's full name)?"
Constance flared. "Let's see you study with voices spouting gibberish in your head!"
The Perilious JourneyEdit
"Get your whits outtahere!"
"Do I remember them?" "Hmm, let me think, Kate. Oh wait! You mean like the men who tried to kidnap me - the one who shot wires out of their watches, shocked the wits out of me, and stuffed me into a bag?"
The Prisoner's Dilemma Edit
"I'm an orphan! I'm an orphan!" "I didn't realize this was a sad occasion"
"Green plaid is quite hidious, a pattern cooked up by dimwit designers that must have been mad."
- Constance's poems are often used for comic relief.
- Many of Mr. Curtain's henchmen are wary of Constance's special ability.
- Out of all the MBS members Constance is thought to be the most valuable by Mr. Curtain.
- Kate calls Constance, Connie girl.