Friday, August 24, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Secret Forest: August Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

You are just about 2 ½ years old now Ellie and gone are your temper tantrums (knock on wood).  You have truly become focused on being kind as you observe people’s feelings more.  As you say in your own words without any prompting, “I’m a nice girl!” and yes Ellie, you truly have a wonderful heart.  You say I love you out of the blue and you give kisses spontaneously- it seems like when you genuinely feel, you act.  You say you’re sorry if you made a mistake and you say please and thank you when you receive a gift.  I am so proud of the little person you are becoming.  But don’t think for a second that you lost one of my favorite qualities in you- your willfulness is alive and well!  You are still staunchly independent but a lot more accepting of help if you realize after “I can do it” that you might need a hand.

Of course you share everything with your Mimi and Poppy over Skype including your shared sense of humor!  My favorite part in watching you interact with them is the pure happiness that shines from the screen.  I am so grateful that technology allows us to remain so close despite the distance!

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 4

…The five spins around and around must have made them very dizzy because Ellie and Lion had no idea how far they had actually walked.  Trying to comprehend their surroundings, they turned to each other and began chatting at the same time.  “What/Where… do/do… you/you… make/think… of/we… this/are????”

“Sorry El, you go first,” Lion nervously apologized.

“Don’t be sorry Lion, I’m as perplexed as you.  I don’t remember reading anything about this place in the storybook.  Unbeknownst to us readers, do you think Trudy captured another child and turned them into a new Troll?”  Ellie questioned without expecting an answer.

“I don’t know.  But I do know that the forest trees in front of us have some weird things dangling from their branches.  The problem is Ellie that I am too short and can’t quite make out what they are.  Can you?”

While looking upwards, Ellie tried squinting hoping to bring the dangling things into focus, but no such luck, “Hold on Lion.  I think I have something in my left side-pocket that will help.”  Rummaging around she answered only to herself, “Nope, it’s not there.  Hmmm… maybe it is in my right side-pocket.”  Since that pocket was much shallower it only took a moment for her little fingers to find the miniature shiny brass circular tube and pull it out.  “Got it!” she whispered loudly.  With a quick slap to her palm the brass object clicked and expanded a foot.  With another quick slap to her palm the brass object clicked again and expanded another foot.  One more slap expanded it one more foot making the cylinder object three feet long.  Bringing it up to her eye, she rotated the front piece until she could see the dangling objects clearly.  “Thanks to my trusty telescope I see… Ahhhhhhhhh.  Interesting.  Very interesting,” she repeated.

“What Ellie?  What are those dangling things hanging from the tree branches?” Lion asked anxiously, “And can I look through that cool thing?”

“Sure.  Here,” she said as she handed over the telescope to Lion.  “Well, as weird as this sounds, it looks like they are Ribbons.  Blue 1st place Ribbons.  And the writing on them says they are for winning all kinds of races,” added Ellie.

Handing the contraption back to Ellie, Lion craned his head and neck upward, “Hey El, put me up on your shoulders and I will grab one from a branch and pull it down.”

“Ok,” she answered as she scooped him up and balanced him on her shoulders while he reached for one of the ribbons.

“Uh-oh.  I’m stuck Ellie.  There is something gooey on the end of this ribbon that has a permanent hold on my hand.  What am I going to do?  Help me El!” Lion panicked.

“I bet it is a trick Lion.  There must be a Troll lurking near by.  Calm down. I won’t leave you.  Let’s just wait a minute and see what happens.

And sure enough only a few moments passed when a snorting Troll poked his green head out from behind the nearest tree trunk.

“HA!” the troll grunted, “I knew it!  I knew my trap to capture children would work!  I can’t wait for Trudy to see this!”

“Excuse me Mr. Troll… may I ask you your name and what is this trap you’ve concocted all about?”  Ellie calmly asked.

“Huh. Since you’ve asked I suppose I can answer.  Trudy, the one in charge, calls me Hotdog Troll because she says I always show off in races.  But I have the right to show off you know… because no one has ever beaten me.  So when she gave me this section of the forest to patrol I begged her to let me take my blue ribbons with me.  She hesitated at first but then I convinced her that I knew a way to use them to capture happy children.  And you two proved it works!  Most of my ribbons I hung on the trees right in this area because these trees have oodles of thick sticky sap.  That’s what I brushed on the tippy edge of my ribbons so when someone tries to grab one they would get stuck to it!  Woo Hoo!  It works, it works!  Now I am going to blindfold you both and take you to Trudy… and she will reward me!” Hotdog Troll grunted and snorted while jumping up and down and clapping his stubby clawed hands together.

All the while Hotdog Troll was talking, Ellie was trying to access their situation and it didn’t take her long to think up a solution where she was pretty sure the troll would have to free them.  “Mr. Hotdog Troll… before you blindfold and take us to Trudy, you first have to release Lion’s fingers from the sappy ribbon so that he can get down from my shoulders and stand on the ground.  Have you thought about how he can do that?” questioned Ellie.

“Ummmm… oh.  Actually no I didn’t think about that.  OK.  Give me a minute.” Hotdog grumbled as he repeatedly tapped his warty fingers on his warty chin. “Ha!  I’ve got it.  I’ll go get my pogo stick!  Then I will jump and jump and jump until I get high enough to pull him down!” he added quite pleased with his solution.

But Ellie was smarter.  “Hotdog, how about we make a deal… one I don’t think you can refuse.”

He was intrigued, “What kind of deal?’

“Do you possibly have two pogo sticks?” she asked sweetly.

“Yes I do.  And if you could just giggle because that would really please Trudy then I will go get them!”  Hotdog grunted with a smidgeon of excitement.

A perplexed Ellie did as he requested and directed Lion to chuckle also.  Lion did not think the situation they were in warranted one but he did his best to chuckle too.  “Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

On the end of Lion’s chuckle Hotdog hobbled off disappearing into a lush thicket only to return seconds later with two pogo sticks.  Holding on to one, he handed the other to Ellie, “Now what is the deal?”

First Ellie had to step away from Lion leaving him dangling from the branch.  “Wellllllllll… what if we make this a race?  If you jumped faster and higher releasing Lion first then you can blindfold and take us directly to Trudy.  But if I jump faster and higher releasing Lion before you do, then you have to let us go so that we can find Trudy on our own.  Deal?”  She baited Hotdog Troll.

Hotdog knew he couldn’t pass up a race that would be easy for him to win so he snorted out, “DEAL!  On the count of five start jumping.  One… Two… FIVE!” Hotdog yelled out giving himself a head start.

A startled Ellie wasn’t about to let him beat her so she jumped hard onto her pogo stick making the first bounce go quite high into the air.  Up and down the two jumped each taking turns jumping higher than the other.  Lion was getting quite dizzy as he rotated his head back and forth watching to see who would reach him first.  Remembering that trolls can’t see very well, Lion stretched his right piggy toe with all his might down for Ellie to grab first.  Good thing too because on Ellie’s and Hotdog’s next bounce they were almost even.  Hotdog was slightly higher, so Ellie quickly grabbed Lion’s toe and tugged him free of the ribbon where he fell onto Ellie who fell off the pogo stick and both rolled on the ground.  Startled they stood up, brushed themselves off and looked around for Hotdog Troll who was nowhere to be seen.

“Hotdog?  Hoooooot-dooooooooog?” they both yelled.

“Uhhhh.  I’m up here!” snorted a somewhat annoyed Hotdog Troll.  “I must have jumped a tad bit too high because my ear got stuck on the sap of my blue 1st place ribbon.  Trudy is not going to be happy with me!” he continued mumbling knowing that he was in a somewhat foolish predicament.

The sight of Hotdog dangling from the ribbon by his ear gave Ellie and Lion a fit of the giggles.  It also gave Hotdog some hope.  “Ha!  Trudy is going to love that sound from you two!” 

Again, Ellie and Lion looked at each other quizzically not understanding the meaning behind Hotdogs words.  Shrugging their confusion off Ellie reminded him, “Yes Hotdog, but a deal is a deal.  I won the pogo stick race so Lion and I are free to travel on.  Agreed?”

“Fine.  Be that way.  But if you do find Trudy, don’t tell her you saw me!” grunted Hotdog in a pleading voice.

“OK,” Lion bravely roared out now that he knew he was safe.  Taking Ellie’s hand, together they pivoted in a full circle.  While doing so, they noticed two distinct paths leading further into the forest.  “Which one do you think we should take Ellie?” asked Lion.

“Let’s ask Sebastian. “Ssssssssssss. Ssssssssssss,” sounded Ellie.  

Sebastian who was curled up inside a log nearby slithered out and coiled at their feet.  “Sssssss How can I help you?” He hissed.

“We have no idea which path to take,” Ellie responded, “Can you give us some guidance?”

“Aaaaaaaaaah.  Yessssssssss.  The one to the far left is the mossssssst dangerous.  Definitely ssssssssstay away from that one as it is almost impossible to find the way back. There are lotssssssssssss of sssssssscary thingssssssssssss hidden on that path.  I think you should take the one on the right.  It too hassssssssss trapsssssssss but Tad may be able to help you if you should need it.  Good luck!” he hissed as he slithered away.

Again, hooking their arms and tightly entwining their fingers together Ellie and Lion walked cautiously on the dirt path to the right.  Trying to calm their heart rates down they took deep slow breathes with each step inhaling on one and exhaling on two.  It wasn’t long before they found themselves being drawn forward towards a delightfully sweet smell…

We love you Ellie Bean!
Mom & Mimi

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