Friday, August 31, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Secret Forest: August Blog 5- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie Bean,

I know that most parents think their children are brilliant but I truly believe you are special.  Yes, anyone that meets you (as long as they get through your shy exterior) would agree that you are definitely quick.  But more than that, you also have a witty sarcasm about you, which is far beyond your two years.  For the past week, I’ve been telling you that the park is closed so they can repair the slide (a white lie on my part so that I can push you in the stroller for a long evening walk instead so I can log a few miles in to get those extra summer vacation pounds off).  I’ve also told you after a lengthy visit to Pottery Barn for Kids that we had to leave because it was closing (again another white lie but we were in there playing for about 45 minutes and I had no intention of buying anything as you enjoyed all of their wonderfully fun and beautiful furniture).  So as I was smitten with myself, seemingly avoiding your tantrums, you must have caught on (or perhaps never tricked at all) because when I suggested church to you on Saturday night, you said (without blinking an eye or missing a beat), “I think church is closed Mama!”  You left me speechless and you left your Dad in a fit of the giggles.  Yes Ellie, you may have outsmarted me… but you still made it to Mass that night!  I truly love how your mind works, my sweet girl!

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, and then your Mimi 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 5

Before their very eyes, Lion and Ellie saw the landscape change.  They looked around and saw that they were all of sudden in a field of strawberries.  Lion licked his lips in hunger and started to pick one.  “Wait Lion, I think this might be a trick.  Riddit Riddit!”

“Why are you croaking like a toad El?” and then it occurred to him, “Oh you are calling Tad the Toad for advice!”

Suddenly out of thin air, Tad appeared.  “Hi Tad!  Are these strawberries safe to eat?” Ellie asked. 

Tad shook his head violently back and forth, “NO! They are poisonous.  If you eat these you will fall asleep for a hundred years.”  Lion dropped the handful of red fruit he had in his paw, his eyes large as saucers at the close call.  “Are you guys ok?” Tad probed worriedly.

“We are Tad, thank you.  We just met Tootsie and Hot Dog and we are on the path to get to Trudy.  Wish us luck!”  Tad nodded and said, “You know how to reach us if you need anything else and I think another troll is onto your scent!” He glanced at a few strawberries at his feet that were splattered in green goo.  He waved good-bye after warning them to be very careful… could it be that another troll was close by?

Ellie could hear Lion’s belly grumbling in emptiness but didn’t have time to fish him out a snack because a very tiny green gremlin troll stepped out from behind a strawberry leaf.  Ellie and Lion almost stepped on him- thank goodness he called out in a billowing voice, “HALT!” which made Ellie and Lion stop immediately and peer down in curiosity to find out where the voice came from.

“Uh-Um… I’m down here!” the small creature yelled up, clearing his voice first, which helped Ellie and Lion make eye contact with their new green companion.  Aside from his size, Ellie instantly noticed that this troll was bedecked in bright red polk-dots.  Had it not been for the troll’s bad attitude and manners, Ellie thought he was rather stylish but now understood that his appearance helped him camouflage himself in this strawberry patch against unwanted visitors.  And Lion innately knew that the element of surprise was always a smart tactic.  Ellie and Lion naturally looked at one another assuming that a challenge was forthcoming.

The troll cackled in amusement, contemplating that he had Ellie and Lion right where he wanted them!  Trudy would be so proud… the troll hoped Trudy was watching.  And just to make sure the troll would get credit for his trickery, he called up to Ellie and Lion, “My name is Fruity Troll and you can call me Mr. Fruit!”  Ellie reached out to shake his hand but quickly realized that Fruity Troll wouldn’t touch her, he merely glared at her.

“Ok Mr. Fruit.  I think we understand what’s going on here.  We aren’t ready to meet Trudy yet so if we can pass your test, we would greatly appreciate your word of letting us go to meet the next obstacle,” Ellie, who always shined as a leader, said (hiding her obvious fear behind her brave words).

Fruity Troll burst out in laughter on the floor (the kind of amusement that made Fruity fall on the ground in leg stomping, belly-holding hysterics).  And when he pulled himself together (in between fits of giggles), he said, “I assume you haven’t heard of me.  Because of all the fruit I eat, I am super smart.  My riddles are special.  They are visual, meaning you have to see them to understand them if you can.  And yes, I am so confident that my riddles will outsmart you so I will agree that if you can solve two of them, you can move on through the forest.”

Lion looked at Ellie nervously and Ellie rolled her eyes, “Lion, you know your eyesight is five times better than mine!  Come on, gain some confidence!” She prodded as she poked him in the ribs to lighten the mood.

Fruity Troll ignored their conversation and friendship as she held up a big sign that displayed this:

Ba      Nana

Lion and Ellie stared at the sign and began to ask Fruity questions furiously at the same time, “Can you explain the rules again?”  “What’s the question?” “Can you help me understand?” “Do you hear me?”

Fruity Troll obviously heard them (despite giving any words as encouragement or aid) and a huge smile spread across his small face. He knew Trudy would be proud.  He started to put his sign down, knowing that Lion and Ellie wouldn’t understand the meaning.  Fruity began to appreciate how a winner feels (and he liked that warm tickly feeling inside), when out of the blue (just before Fruity set the sign on the ground) Lion said, “Banana Split!”

Both Ellie and Fruity looked at Lion in astonishment (before Fruity’s emotions turned to anger of course!).  “I told you Ellie, I am so hungry!  Fruity’s poster made me think of my favorite ice cream dessert!”  And sure enough, Ellie realized how important it was for Lion to listen to his feelings before being crudely interrupted by the small troll. 

Fruity refused to give any encouraging words after the correct answer, “You may have gotten that one easily enough but you are only halfway through,” Mr. Fruit sneered, “here is the next visual riddle,” he said as he held up a piece of thin paper bearing this:


Ellie immediately stared at the sign and furrowed her brow as Lion started pacing in thought.  But it was only seconds before Ellie started to giggle as she talked aloud, “I love my mom, especially because of what she gave me for breakfast this morning!” 

Lion looked at her quizzically hoping she would offer more information, which she did, “I love pancakes but I also love a side of fruit with them-BLUEberries!”

Fruity Troll couldn’t believe that Ellie and Lion solved his riddles so fast.  He stomped his feet and held his breath.  Green goo splattered everywhere (even on Ellie’s cotton pj’s) in his anger (Ellie saw that goo come out of his ears!).  Ellie reached down and touched Fruity’s arm as she gently said (in an attempt to calm his anger and keep the pact made), “I will tell Trudy you tried your best.  Just keep your promise and let us go on because we aren’t quite prepared to meet her yet.” 

With no words, Fruity pointed Lion and Ellie towards a field behind him.  Ellie couldn’t help but give Fruity a big hug (which made Fruity smile, although the troll did his best to hide it from the two visitors).

As Ellie and Lion, wearily marched ahead Ellie reached into her endless pocket.  But this time, instead of pulling out a new invention to help them reach their goal, she pulled out an apple and gave it to Lion.  Ellie knew that Lion needed the nutrients to keep his energy high, especially because he was so hungry.  Ellie hoped this was enough to dispel his appetite and help him focus on the next challenge that lurked around the next crevice and corner!       

We love you Ellie!!!
Mom & Mimi

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