Friday, September 21, 2012

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

Dear Ellie Bean,

It is with mixed emotions that I can officially start preparing you- we are moving back home!  I am sad to leave our wonderful friends here in Colorado but I am so excited to be reunited with family and old friends in Pennsylvania.  Your Dad has a great new job opportunity, which will allow me to stay at home with you for awhile and help you transition (as I know you are going to love being back with your Mimi, Poppy, Uncle Ryan, and Aunt Sammy, it is going to be so hard for you to leave your many friends here).  So Ellie, this fall will bring many changes (and I do have to tell you when your Mimi found out the good news, she cried tears of joy of finally being able to watch you grow in person all the time!). 
Congratulations to your Daddy-O!
I see a lot more of this in our future Ellie Bean!
We went up to the mountains (where your Daddy feels closest to Kyle) to tell Kyle where we are going.

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 8

… Lion’s emotions as to what had just happened took a turn quickly, speechless at first by two amazing singing voices and then shocked when he realized that this last ogre, Rockin’ Troll, was really quite nice.  He knew that Rockin’ worked for Trudy and Trudy would expect him to do everything in his power to capture Ellie and Lion, but Lion was pretty sure that Rockin’ did not try his absolute hardest.  Actually he was pretty sure that Rockin’ was having a good time in the sing-off with Ellie and maybe even let her win in the end.  No matter though.  At least they escaped another troll.

“Ellie?” Lion hesitated still a bit confused.

“Yes Lion, what is it?” she responded warmly.

“I’m not going to lie.  This dark forest is very creepy and scary but the trolls that we have crossed paths with so far have been more ‘odd’ than anything else.  Tootsie Troll was a bit crazy, Hotdog Troll was kind of goofy, Fruity Troll was a bit tricky and Rockin’ Troll was kind of… well… kind.  If it wasn’t for this spooky forest I would actually think that this adventure could be fun,” he stated with a delayed tremble.

Turning her head while they continued to walk Ellie answered, “I know Lion.  I agree with you.  I’m a bit scared too but at least I have you with me.” 

She then gave him her biggest and bravest smile and squeezed his hand, “Come on, we have to keep moving forward.  Hopefully we can figure out why Trudy is turning children into trolls before we actually find her and then stop her when we do come face to face!”

“Yeah, before she turns us into them.  I don’t think I want to be a troll Ellie,” Lion mumbled hoping that no ‘hidden ears’ in the forest had heard him.  Silently he snuggled closer to Ellie’s side and synchronized his step to match hers because the forests’ sounds were getting eerier and creepier the deeper they walked.

“I’m going to call on Oliver, Lion.  I don’t know why but I think we may need him,” Ellie said with some trepidation.

“That’s fine with me Ellie.  You can call Sebastian, Ted, your mom, your Mimi and anyone else that would like to join us too.  The more the merrier for the trolls to capture first!” Lion blurted out accidentally.

“LION!” Ellie scolded though she understood her little friend’s fears.  Then ignoring his comment she started to hoot.  “Whooooo… whooooo.”

Within seconds Oliver appeared on a leafless branch above them, “Yes Miss Ellie.  How can I be of service?”

Grateful for his prompt company she answered, “I am not really sure Oliver but something from the storybook tells me that I might need your guidance.  I remember reading about a troll who uses vocabulary to trap children and I fear that he may be our next challenge.”

“Quite possibly so. Do Whoooo… or rather ‘you’ have a plan?” he hooted.

“As a matter of fact I do.” Ellie answered as she fumbled through one of her many pockets.  “Uh-huh! Here they are!” she stated as she pulled out three black devices.  “Oop, wait a minute I almost forgot,” and with her other hand she fumbled through another pocket.,“Come on now… where is that book?” she questioned herself and smiled when she felt the leather binding touch her fingers.  With her left hand she presented Oliver with one of three ear/microphone headsets (keeping the second one for her own use and giving the third one to Lion.)  With her other hand she presented Oliver with a dictionary and whispered to him to have it by his side and available at a moments notice.  She then directed him on how to operate the headset, “Oliver, turn the black knob to station #11 and I’ll do the same.  Now keep that frequency open in case I call for your help.  Lion, you also.  Got it?”  Lion nodded yes in response.   “Ok… now for the dictionary my feathered friend.  At some point it is going to come in handy but exactly when, I am not sure.  Anyway wish us luck Oliver with what ever lays ahead.  I think we are going to need it!” she sighed.  Oliver bowed his head in affirmation and flew not to far off in the distance camouflaging himself within the forest trees.

Sure enough it wasn’t long before the scenery in front of them started to change.  It began with a pattern of pebbles on the dirt path.  Both Lion and Ellie crouched down to observe their layout, “Hmmmm…. This first set spells out three letters El.  O-O-B.”

“Lion, you are reading it upside down.  Walk around to the other side and see what it says.” Ellie directed.

“Oh.  Ok. B-O-O.  aghhhhh!  Ellie, it spells BOO!”

Ellie walked a bit further and crouched down to read the next set, “This one spells S-C-A-R-Y… SCARY!”

“Ellie, I-I-I-I am n-n-n-not liking this,” he stuttered as he walked a few more steps past her and saw another set of letters, “This one spells M-O-N-S-T-E-R.  Mmmmmmonst….Yikes El!  It spells MONSTER!”

“Hold on Lion, I see one more set of letters.  Hold my hand and let’s figure it out together. Ok?” she coaxed.

“Ok,” he hesitated.   Together they got down on their knees and together they read the letters out loud, “A-H-E-A-D… AHEAD.” 

“A Head???” lion screamed out. “Whose head???  My head???” he continued at fever pitch, “I’m out of here El!”  And he was just about ready to turn and run out of the forest before Ellie stopped him.

“Nooooooo Lion!  Calm down.  Someone is trying to scare us but not by taking your head.  Look.  Read the four sets of words together.” So Lion did just that and he realized that it spelled out ‘Boo… scary monster ahead!’  “Ok, I guess no one is going to take my head, but this message doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling either Ellie,” he sighed with a smidgeon of relief.

“Agreed dear friend but let’s see who’s behind this.” And with a brave front both Ellie and Lion stood up tall with their shoulders pulled back, head raised high and together in unison they yelled out, “WhoEver you are, We are NOT afraid of YOU!”  Five seconds past.  Fifteen seconds past.  Thirty seconds past.  And just as Ellie and Lion were starting to relax out popped a short pudgy troll with crazy wild hair from behind a perfectly square stump that bellowed “BOO!”

“Aghhhh!” screamed Lion, “Who are you?”

“The scary monster that lay ahead of you in the woods,” he hollered out, but his words had more of a factual tone to them rather than a scary tone.

“No you’re not,” said Ellie with a hint of a giggle.  “Who are you really?”

“Well… you are quite correct in discovering my little white lie.  Actually I am Wrd Troll.  Trudy named me that because of my intellectual and advanced vocabulary.  But the other trolls in the forest call me Wrdy Nrdy.  And that’s ok, as I see it as a sign of their immaturity.  But enough with the introductions.  I know who you two are and my job is to capture you and bring you to Trudy’s cave.  So if you would be so kind, please put on these blindfolds… and tie them tightly around your head so you cannot peak underneath, and I will spin you 5 times… and not to get you dizzy by the way, but rather to confuse you as to which direction you are going in.  Chop, chop!”  He stated while handing Ellie and Lion two ABC patterned blindfolds.

Ellie took them both with her right hand and started to twirl them.  “Ummmmm, Mr. Wrd… before we blindfold ourselves, could we possibly interest you in a Word Challenge?”  Wrdy Nerdy’s ears wiggled and perked straight up.  Knowing that she had his attention, Ellie continued on, “You can name the game, but to be fair make it best out of three, and if you win then we will tie the blindfolds around our heads and you can lead us off to Trudy.  But if Lion and I win then we are free to pass and find Trudy on our own.  Agreed?”

“Oooooooo, I LOVE word games!  Yes, yes, yes yes!!  I will take the challenge!” he screeched out excitedly while he rubbed his chubby little hands together.  “Alright then, let me think for a moment,” he added while somewhat distracted.  Ellie knew this was the perfect moment for her and Lion to quietly slip on their headsets unnoticed.   “Hmmmm… what game will be easy for me to win and you to lose?” Wrd continued while playing with a strand of his crazy hair, “Ok, I’ve got it!  For the first round you need to tell me what the longest word in the dictionary is and you have less than thirty seconds to do so. On your mark, get set, GO!” 

Ellie whispered into her microphone, “Oliver, scan the dictionary quickly for the longest word.  HURRY as we have less than thirty seconds!”

“Tick tock, tick tock… twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, tick tock goes the clock,” sang Mr. Wrd Troll in an off-key note.

Ellie, there are over a thousand pages in this book… I can’t possibly flip through them that fast to find it, but I’m trying!” answered a frantic Oliver.

“Tick tock, tick tock… ten, nine, eight, tick tock goes the clock,” Wrd Troll continued singing.

“Oh my Ellie… I am so sorry.  I cannot find it!” Oliver resigned.

“Halt!  Times up!  Do you have an answer?” asked Wrd with a raised eyebrow.

“No,” admitted Ellie disappointedly, “What is it?”

“Ha!  It is 45 letters long and it is pronounced Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovol-
canoconiosis,” answered the proud and know-it-all troll.  “I’m not exactly sure what it is, but that doesn’t matter as its definition wasn’t part of the game!  So let’s go on to round two.  What is the shortest word in the dictionary and this time you only have twelve seconds to answer!  Tick tock… GO!”

Lion looked at Ellie and said to her, “That’s easy, it is the first letter in the alphabet… a”.

“NO, it’s a trick question!” squawked Oliver, “Everybody says that answer because it’s the first word they see, but there are actually two answers.  A… like ‘a’ game and also I… like ‘I’ like you.”

“Thanks Oliver.  I think you just saved us!” Ellie beamed.  “A and I,” she yelled over to Wrd Troll.

“What?  How did you know that?” he pouted while narrowing his beady eyes at them.  “Ok then, we are tied… one to one.   But I plan on winning this last round.  It is one of my favorite games, kind of like a race of sorts.”  He then reached under the log stump and pulled out a bag holding seven small square blocks with a letter on each side.  Wrd explained the rules as he dumped them out on the table.  “The word spelled out here is CAPTURE.  We each have twenty seconds to find the biggest word within this word.  Lion, I am putting you in charge of counting backwards so no cheating.  If you do, you both will be disqualified and shipped off to Trudy, pronto.  Ready, set, GO!”

As Lion started counting backwards Ellie quickly scanned the letters and the word possibilities within CAPTURE.  With Oliver’s help they came up with words such as ‘put, rat, tape, and pear.’  Wrd Troll was also scanning the letters and called out words such as “pat, cap, tear, and race.”   Lion was at the number three in the countdown and knowing there was not much time left he took a very slow deep breath before following it with two, then with one.  Fearfully looking at Ellie he called out, “Stop!  Your answers please.”

Wrd Troll spoke first, “I found CRATE and it is five letters long!” “Ha! I won, I won, I know I won!”

Before admitting defeat Ellie took one last glance at the letters on her own.  And what she saw made her smile.  “My word is… TEACUP… and it is six letters long!”
Realizing that she just won the game, Ellie quietly whispered a sincere thank you to Oliver for helping her and Lion and told him they would be in touch again soon.  Another thank you was said by Ellie but only in the form of a ‘thought.’  It was to her Mimi for introducing tea parties to Lion and herself.

“WHAT???  IT CAN’T BE!” Wrd stomped, “I’ve never lost this game!” he continued in a shocked state.  And then with some fretting he grumbled, “Oh my… Trudy is going to be angry with me!”

“Maybe so Mr. Wrd., but a challenge is a challenge and we won fair and square.  May we leave your area of the forest and continue on now?” Ellie politely asked.

“I guess so.  A challenge is a challenge and you and your friend did win.  So you may go, but if you do find Trudy before she finds you, please tell her that I picked the wrong word game for the tiebreaker and I’ll do better next time.  Ok?”  Wrd whined.

“You’ve got it Mr. Wrd Troll.  And for the record, you are one very smart ogre who knows his words!” complimented both Ellie and Lion with a broad smile, “Now we had better get going since we are not sure how much farther we need to travel.  Bye!”

“Yeah.  Bye.  Hey, thanks for not calling me Wrdy Nrdy!  You two are really sweet.  Just be careful because Trudy really likes that.  She says that sweet kids always have laughter in them.”

Ellie and Lion looked at each other with a quizzical expression once again but continued on their journey anyway…

We love you Spaghetti!
Mom & Mimi

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