Friday, September 14, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Forest: September Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi My Sweet Elle-Belle,

As I am writing this blog after your bedtime, I am listening to you still awake upstairs and I am finding myself giggling… Ellie, you are so much like me when it comes to books.  We both have such a desire for reading.  And as I am typing, I heard you hop out of bed to go over to your bookshelf where you must have grabbed a book that you are clearly reading right now (as I can hear you talking to yourself as you turn the pages).  And most mornings, I find the book of your choice nestled in between your covers.  Your nightlight must provide just enough light for you to see the pictures to remember the words that we have read before.  Ellie, I will make you a promise- I will never stop you from reading books!  I know the suspense of putting a good book down… When you feel like you know and love the characters, it’s almost a form of betrayal to not have closure (yes, I have been known to stay up all hours of the night to finish my favorite novels and I think I am a better person to persevere well into the night… passion my dear girl is a blessing!).  
Bedtime giggles!

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 7

As Ellie and Lion walked deeper through the forest carefully, they noticed an opening with some rocky hills ahead.  Lion looked at Ellie cautiously as he knew how dangerous and sharp those cliffs could be.

“Lion, this must be the path to Trudy’s… if you think about it, our challenges have only gotten harder.  I think we need to be prepared that the stakes are higher now,” Ellie stated, although she herself was not entirely sure of what lay ahead. 

Lion wasn’t convinced, “Can we call Sebastian?” he asked Ellie hoping that she would agree to some advice.

Ellie smiled as she said, “Lion, you don’t need my permission to seek out more help!  The bigger our support system, the better!”

Lion and Ellie in unison whispered, “SSSSSSSSSSS…” and within seconds, Sebastian the Snake materialized. 

“Ssssssss…so, how are we doing ssssss… so far?” Sebastian said as he slithered around their legs managing an encouraging smile. 

Ellie and Lion looked at each other and shrugged.  “Well, we’re a bit confused.  We’ve been walking through this field and up ahead are those rocky hills.  I’m a little bit afraid,” Lion admitted, “Are we headed in the right direction?  And if we are, do you know what we can expect?”

“Sssss…surely, I will help as bessssst as I can,” Sebastian offered, “I do believe you are headed in the right direction as I have always heard ssssss…songs coming from those hills.  And I bet there is a troll sssssss…singing those ssssss…songs as a trap.”

Ellie and Lion glanced nervously at one another before Ellie asked, “What kind of songs?”

Sebastian chuckled, “You may not believe this but nursssssery rhymes that have a rock-n-roll beat.”

Ellie and Lion smiled because they were confident that they knew all the nursery rhyme songs as Ellie’s mom sung a different one every night before bedtime. 

“Don’t worry Sebastian; I think we are ok on this one.  Thank you for your help!”  Lion exclaimed with a new-found enthusiasm.  Lion was envisioning Ellie’s mom dancing out of rhythm as she sang and danced for Ellie.  Lion giggled at the thought and he could see that Ellie was nostalgic for the same reason so he grabbed her hand.  “We got this one,” he said as he winked.    

Sebastian slithered away as Ellie and Lion waved in thanks.  “Sssss… see you sssss… soon my friends,” he said as vanished into the air.

“You’re right, we do have this one!” Ellie said as she dragged Lion forward into a sprint toward the cliffs. 

Choosing to think about more positive things instead of the obstacle ahead, Lion and Ellie decided to skip.   But as soon as they approached the foothills, they heard an electric guitar playing.  It seemed like there were invisible speakers around them because the sound pierced every angle.  The music was beautiful, ingenious even.  The musician was obviously gifted.  But then Ellie and Lion heard the lyrics, the chorus to the song…. “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…”

Ellie and Lion couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the ridiculous, childish words that went along to the very mature notes the guitarist played.  It didn’t seem to make sense.  In fact, Ellie was disappointed that the words weren’t as deep as the notes that pierced her heart.  It was only then that she realized that she and Lion had precariously walked along an uphill path leading them to a ledge… a ledge on a hill…. One might even call where they were now standing, a steep cliff.

Since Ellie realized where they had meandered to first, she tried to hide it from Lion by positioning her body in front of his… but really how long until you can hide a sheer drop decline from someone?  Lion immediately knew what she was doing and appreciated her protection but knew he had to be brave because he also realized that someone was trying to push them into a corner literally and figuratively…

And just as that thought entered his head, he turned back toward the only exit (and entrance for that matter) to see a tall, skinny green troll in tight black pants holding a guitar across his chest frowning at them.

“I know who you are… and I am taking you to Trudy!” he sang furtively as he strummed his instrument.

“What’s your name?” Ellie asked him, “You may know who we are but I wish we knew your name.”

The troll sang in response (to the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” chorus) as he rocked out on his guitar, “My name is Rockin’ Troll and I like to play instruments.”

Ellie loved that Rockin’ Troll’s passion for his music became his communication tool so she dug deep into her front pocket and she pulled out a black box.  She tapped the box against her hip and the block box flipped out into a microphone.  Ellie reached into another pocket and removed two AA batteries that she gently placed into her microphone before she said (speaking directly over it), “Testing 1, 2, 3” as she tapped the mesh top.  

Rockin’ Troll looked confused as he hadn’t expected Ellie to share his musical craving.  He eyed her curiously and winked.  Without verbalizing, the two began a sing off (a singing version of a dance off, which is a competition between two musicians who must progressively perform better than the other).  Lion recognized immediately the contest that was starting to enfold so as the early, easy stages progressed (the first round the troll strummed and Ellie hummed in response), Lion said to Rockin’ Troll, “If Ellie wins this sing off, will you let us past you to get to the next troll?  We’re not ready to see Trudy quite yet; I think we still have a few things to learn.”

At that point, Rockin’ was so into the second round that he looked at Lion and shook his head in agreement.  An hour must have gone by as the troll jammed at least thirty songs that Ellie matched with her voice.  It seemed to Lion that they were still tied with their abilities.  Rockin’ Troll and Ellie looked exhausted, sweat was dripping from both of their faces (and from Lion too as he couldn’t resist dancing along to their efforts).  Ellie would have to prove something big soon to get out of this trap.       

On the 31st round, Rockin’ Troll plucked out the beautiful ballad, “You are My Sunshine.”  Lion purred happily as he knew that was Ellie (and her mom’s) favorite song every night.  Ellie not only recreated a beautiful solo part after (Lion wished he could have heard Ellie’s voice simultaneously against Rockin’ Trolls guitar), she immediately upped the ante.  She went into her Mimi’s favorite song after, “I Love my Teddy Bear.”  But it wasn’t just her voice that made it so special, Ellie had all the moves to go along with it (pointing to her eyes and hair when she sung about the bear with one eye and no hair).  

It was only then that the clearly tired Rockin’ Troll put down his guitar in defeat.  Without saying a word, he came over to Ellie and vigorously shook her hand and in the chorus notes of “Row Row Row Your Boat,” he sang to her, “Ellie, you won fair and square.   You have a beautiful voice and your songs are unique renditions…  I concede to you.  You may move on to the next troll and I hope you succeed… go merrily merrily merrily on your way, life is but a dream.”

Ellie forgot that this was a contest and was sad to see it end.  She had so much fun with Rockin’ Troll that she almost didn’t want to leave (but she knew that trolls changed their minds quickly so she didn’t waste any time dwelling).  She went over to Rockin’ Troll and kissed him on the cheek (in between the green warts of course), “Keep playing and practicing Rockin’ Troll, you have such a gift!  I hope you and I can do this again soon for a rematch!”  Rockin’ Troll bowed as Ellie and Lion raced off down the cliff and back to flat ground.  What lay ahead, they had no idea…

You are so loved Ellie!
Mom & Mimi

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