Friday, August 17, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Secret Forest: August Blog 3: Letters from Mom & Mimi

My Dear Ellie,

You are officially a toddler, a little girl- no longer bearing baby features or ways.  You talk in complete detailed sentences, sleep in a big girl bed and run without wavering.  You can do summersaults and jump off the side of the pool without fear.  You insist on being independent.  Your latest quote is, “I can do it!”  I hope you never lose that will to try your best with any obstacle because I firmly believe (after seeing your resolution that you can do just about anything!). 

You have imaginary friends who pop out of your pocket or the refrigerator or really any place that your creative mind can come up with.  Sometimes, the pink chipmunks join us, other times it’s Ben and Nico (your real life playmates that I assume you must miss at home!).  You pretend to seatbelt them in the car and push them down the slide. 

Your new favorite game is to play doctor (thanks to your Mimi and Poppy introducing it to you and buying you a kit).  And you do it so well, I wonder if you really have a knack for diagnosing patients.  You can take my temperature and read it in degrees (yesterday, mine was 4 degrees- your numbers are a bit off but you definitely get the concept!). 

You call yourself Stephanie and you always ask your Dad and I to make up names for ourselves too.  Basically Ellie, your mind is fascinating and I love that I am your mom and I get to watch you grow and love life.  You are so much fun!   

And now here is our yearlong bedtime story/stories (with many chapters to write!) for you. 

So as for our weekly guidelines: I write a piece one week in regular font, then your Mimi has to will write a piece in italics the next week.  The only things your Mimi and I agreed on were the characters- Ellie and a magic teapot and the setting (a forest with trolls).  Anything else is fair game and will make our adventure a new tale.  We also need to figure out an illustration to go with our part.  Our goal Ellie is to have a beloved bedtime story for you and future generations.   

And so we will continue our third piece of fiction. 

Ellie and the Magic Teapot: Into the Secret Forest Part 3

Lion hooked his paw under Ellie’s arm and his nervous fast breaths calmed, as he felt stronger with his friend.

Ellie looked over at Lion and winked, “It’s ok Buddy.  Just keep your mind focused on the goal.  We need to stop mean Trudy from turning the children into trolls!  And in order to find Trudy, we need to find a troll.”

“Trolls are exactly what I am afraid of!” Lion said exasperatedly, “Have you ever met a kind troll?”

“Oh Lion, you and I both know that neither of us have ever met any kind of troll so we need to keep an open mind!  But I do wonder how to find them… did Tad, Sebastian, or Oliver say how to locate them?”

Lion shook his head and then Ellie remembered that she could call upon her animal friends for help, “Hoot Hoot!”  Ellie murmured aloud.  Lion recalled that by whispering their animal sound, they would appear.

And sure enough Oliver the Owl materialized in the branches of the tall oak tree to Ellie’s right.  “What can I help you with Missy?”  Oliver flew down and Ellie reached in to give him a big hug.

“Well, we don’t know how to find these trolls that you speak of.  Where do we look for one?” Ellie asked.

Oliver’s face tightened as he told Ellie, “You don’t find them, they find you.  I would guess that at least one troll is hot on your trail,” he added as he pointed to some green goo on the leaves of the tree that Oliver flew from.

“Thank you Oliver!  It really means a lot to know you here when we need you,”

Oliver winked at the duo and then disappeared into the thin air.  Lion and Ellie continued walking ahead on the path hand in hand shivering slightly despite it being a warm afternoon.

Lion needed to distract himself from the nervous dread he was feeling in the pit of his stomach so he decided to turn his attention on the dilemma, “I wonder why Trudy turns children into trolls?”

Ellie scrunched up her mouth and made a very perplexing face squinting one eye, “Why does anyone take things that doesn’t belong to them?” she mused aloud. 

And then it came to her suddenly, her eyes wide, she added, “Maybe she needs something from them!”

Lion nodded in agreement but wasn’t totally satisfied, “But what could she possibly neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed?” he yelled as both he and Ellie fell through a leaf covered hole. 

They realized quickly that they were freefalling down a very deep hole.  Ellie knew that the landing would be brutal so she dug into her waistband pocket and pulled out what looked like a balloon. Lion looked at her quizzically.  She put it against her lips and blew into the red piece of rubber.  In three puffs, an inflatable windy slide popped out.  Lion forgot about the scary trolls and started laughing in excitement as they sailed fast down the curves of Ellie’s slide.  They reached the bottom and flew off with a loud thump.  Lion rubbed his behind.  He was sore from that jolt.  Instinctively, Ellie hopped up and looked around.  She could see two torches dimly giving light to this underground cavern and in the far dark corner; she could make out a large dark green scaly creature.  The beast moved toward them slowly.  Ellie reached for Lion’s paw to give her courage.

“I’m Ellie and this is Lion. Who are you?” she asked bravely.

“I’m Tootsie Troll.  And I am in charge of bringing you to Trudy blind-folded!” the olive ogre snorted.

“Oh no!  We aren’t prepared to meet Trudy yet and we certainly don’t want her to know we’re coming!” Lion panicked.

Tootsie Troll snickered and drooled through her big yellow teeth. “Trudy will like the two of you,” she seethed, “You are very nice and happy!”

“Tootsie, isn’t there something we can do to change your mind?  Our forest friends told us there were many trolls and we need more time to prepare.  Please don’t send us to Trudy yet,” Ellie politely begged as she pulled a brown piece of chewy candy out of her pocket and popped it into her mouth.  Tootsie noticed and immediately wanted that piece of deliciousness too.

“Ok,” Tootsie breathed noisily, “I’ll make a deal with you.  You give me three pieces of your candy and answer my riddle correctly and I will put you in the direction of the next troll.  But be forewarned, you will have to deal with Trudy sooner or later!”

Ellie shook Tootsie’s three-fingered hand and Tootsie’s long fingernails scratched Ellie’s arm, “It’s a deal!” she said rubbing the nick and then fishing for more candy to hand over to Tootsie.

Once Tootsie ate the candy, she began the riddle that Lion and Ellie had to solve.  She licked her cracked lips, sucked in her breath and spat out, “What am I?  The more you have of me, the less you see.”

Lion and Ellie looked puzzled at each other.  Tootsie grunted as she retreated to her corner, “You only have three minutes or else it’s the blind-fold and off to Trudy!”  Tootsie cackled as she got pleasure from looking at the bewildered stares from Lion and Ellie.

The torches on the wall started to dim as a gust of wind blew through the cavern from Tootsie’s shadowy corner.  Ellie wondered if there was another way out back there.

 “Oh Ellie, I think we’re doomed!” Lion cried out.

“Not so fast Lion,” Ellie said peering around at her surroundings, “It’s getting darker in here,” she noted aloud.

“Ellie, now is not the time to observe your surroundings!” Lion screeched.

“There couldn’t be a more perfect time Lion!  Darkness!  The more darkness you have, the less you see!  Darkness is the answer!” Ellie called out as she peered over to Tootsie.

“Well done Dear,” Tootsie sneered, “I suppose I need to keep my end of the bargain.”  She led Lion and Ellie into her corner revealing a hidden staircase that they used to ascend back up to the forest.

Back on to solid ground, Tootsie itched her wart-covered nose and spun Lion and Ellie around and around counting the 5 rotations but Ellie and Lion weren’t blindfolded.  Tootsie was sending them into new direction to meet a new troll.  Ellie had a fleeting thought that spinning with Lion and Tootsie was very much like Ring Around the Rosie so she began to hum the melody.  Tootsie shot her a nasty glare before disappearing in a whirl of fog.  Lion and Ellie dropped their hands and took in their new setting, which was nothing they had expected.   

We love you to the moon and back Ellie Bean!
Mom & Mimi

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