Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Secret Forest: October Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Elle-Belle,

I'm feeling like the worst mom- you and I got into a huge fight this morning.  You have been doing this weird thing where you will put on pants and do karate kicks and yoga stretches and if the pants aren't super big, you have a fit and say they are too tight (well, no kidding if I did that, all of my pants would be tight too).  So you picked out an outfit this morning and put it on and it happened again but being on a time limit to get to daycare and school I didn't have time to let you change through a gazillion outfits.  So I forced you kicking and screaming into the car and you proceeded to have a meltdown.  So I mimicked your cries.  You stopped crying but you were so mad at me- you wouldn't even look at me when I dropped you off.
 Worst day ever.  I’m hoping when you are old enough to read these letters we can laugh at this story!
 PS- We only have a few more weeks to skype with Mimi & Poppy before we can enjoy snack-time with them in person!!!

And your Aunt Joanne (whom you affectionately call Joannie!) and your Gigi came to visit you this past weekend.  We had the best few days- shopping, dining out, visiting the zoo & park, lots of girl time, and prepping the house to move (I appreciate all of their help packing).  You love them as much as I do (it was so nice to have such wonderful company)!  They also introduced you to your new favorite movie... Hairspray!  That's right... you are a Broadway musical fan and I can't wait to get you closer to NYC!

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 10
“Ellie, that Frenchy Troll was kind of silly looking don’t you think?” Lion giggled.  Now that he and Ellie outsmarted another troll, Lion continued talking with a much braver tone, “That curly mustache he was sporting and that crazy blue hat and scarf seemed corny to be wearing in the forest!  Don’t you think El?”

“Well… first of all Lion, Frenchy Troll made me giggle too.  But I think it was more of his carefree personality that made me smile more than anything else.  I don’t think we should make fun of his unusual style because that would just be hurtful and I know you would never do that Lion, be hurtful that is.”

“Oh El, you’re right.  I would never hurt anyone.  Actually I kind of liked him.  He had a really cool accent and wasn’t scary at all!...”

But Ellie stopped Lion’s sentence right there, “Yeah, but don’t get too relaxed.  According to the storybook there is still another troll lurking out there somewhere.  And if it is the last one that crosses our path I fear that ogre will be more determined than ever to capture us for Trudy!”

Lion’s eyes opened wide as Ellie spoke.  His lower jaw dropped down too.  “Aw Ellie, now you’ve got me scared again!”

“Good.  I need you to be alert and on your toes.  Now let’s keep walking,” Ellie commanded as she grabbed Lion’s hand once again and pulled him along.  As they traveled further into the forest, the trees formed a canopy of sorts shutting out most of the sunlight, just like when they first entered the woods.  Only now Ellie and Lion no longer had the battery-operated candle that got them past their first set of jitters.  Ellie had dropped it when they encountered their first ogre, Tootsie Troll.  She didn’t want to alarm Lion but an uneasy feeling came over her, the kind where the hair on her arms prickled and stood straight up on its own accord.  So using her voice at a not too loud level, she hooted for Oliver to come.  But no Oliver appeared.  So she hissed for Sebastian to come.  But no Sebastian appeared.  Now a bit on edge Ellie croaked for Tad to come.  But no Tad appeared.  Ellie croaked again in the most pleading manor she could muster.  But still no Tad.  When Ellie looked at Lion, Lion could tell that Ellie was now officially afraid.  And that increased his anxiety ten-fold.  What neither Ellie nor Lion knew was that Trudy had been watching the animal trio through her magical glasses from the beginning and had Wrd Troll, the crazy haired ogre, trap and cage Oliver, Sebastian and Tad so they could no longer interfere in the capture of Ellie and Lion.  Wrd was only too happy to accommodate Trudy’s demands.  He knew he messed up when he gave Ellie and Lion their freedom to find Trudy on their own, and he was quite happy to be able to resume a place on her good side.

“E-e-e-el… your expression h-h-h-a-s me really fri-i-i-tened!  Let’s j-j-just g-g-go home!” Lion stuttered.

In the minute it took Ellie to realize that maybe Lion was thinking smarter than she was a hidden bellow came from the overgrown leafy bush in front of them.  “Friend or Foe!” it grunted.

Ellie and Lion looked at each other with panic.

“I said Friend or Foe!  Answer me now!” it grunted again.

“Ummmmmmm… friend?” Ellie offered with great hesitation.

And before she even finished the word ‘friend’ out of the bush popped a very stern looking troll with a clipboard and pencil.

“Nope.  I am checking my list here and I don’t believe either of you are on it,” he stated.  “Would you like me to check it again?”

Ellie and Lion nodded in agreement.

“All right then.  Lion, state your name please,” he dictated.

Perplexed, Lion looked at Ellie questionably and shrugged his shoulders.  “Um, my name is…Lion???”

“And yours Ellie.  Please state your name also.”

“Mr. Troll, you already know it.  You just said it,” Ellie answered.  But before you check your list again, who are you?”

“Why my name is Colonel Muster Troll and my job in the forest is to take daily roll call of all who live here and all who enter here.  I have checked and rechecked the Friend List and neither of you are on it.  Would you like me to check the ‘Foe List?” he asked suspiciously.

“NO Colonel Muster.  You will not find us on that list.  Lion and I are really quite nice and we would love to be your friend!” she answered firmly.

“Nope.  That cannot be.  Trudy will not allow it.  Unfortunately for you both neither of you are on the Friend List so I must blindfold the two of you and take you to her now,” he responded as he pulled out a pair of army green scarves to wrap around their heads.

“Wait!” yelled Ellie.  “ Can we challenge you to a game?”

“Nope.  Trudy warned me that you would try and trick me into letting you go.  Nope, I will not participate in whatever your plan is.   Nope  Nope.  Nope,” Colonel Muster said firmly.  “Now turn around and close your eyes.”

“Wait!” roared Lion.  “What if the game is called ‘Simon Says’… I mean ‘Colonel Muster Says’?” 

The little green troll’s ears perked up immediately and he dropped the scarves.  “Hmmmm… a game of ‘Colonel Muster Says’… hmmmmm… I like that.  I like that very much.” 

Lion winked at Ellie and Ellie winked back.  “Good job,” she whispered.  “Your quick thinking may have just saved us friend!  Thank you!  Now let’s hope he takes the bait,” Ellie prayed.

Colonel Muster loved the idea of playing a game that was named after him, especially a game that put him in command.  “Alright, I accept.  Just one round though… not best out of three.  And if I get you two to do something that ‘Colonel Muster’ doesn’t ‘say’, then the game immediately comes to a halt; I win and get to take you to Trudy.  Agreed?” he grunted with anticipation.

“OK Colonel Muster Troll.  But if we respond on every command correctly then you must let us go free.  Agreed?”  Ellie questioned him back.

Lion was so excited as he and Ellie played this game… well ‘Simon Says’ that is… everyday with Ellie’s mom.  And Ellie always won.  Even her mom said she was very, very good at it.  He just knew they would win and outsmart another troll.  Boy, they were on a roll.  No way could they lose!

“Fine.  Let’s get started,” the troll ordered.  He placed Ellie and Lion in an open area about five feet from himself and directed them to face him while standing at attention.  Before the game started, Colonel Muster Troll pulled out his clipboard to take roll call of who was playing the game.  But since their names weren’t on it yet, he had to pencil them in.  And because he was so anxious to get started playing the game that was graciously named after him, he passed on taking the actual roll call.  At least for now.

“Ahhhhhh- hem.  Colonel Muster says to stand on one foot.”  And they did.  “Colonel Muster says to put that foot down and lift your other foot off the ground.”  And they did.  “Colonel Muster says to hop up and down on that foot.”  And they did.  “Stop.”  And they did not stop. “Hmmmm.  Colonel Muster says stop.”  And they did.   “Colonel Muster says to twirl in a circle.”  And they did.  “Stop.”  And they did not stop.  “OK, Colonel Muster says to stop.”  And they did.  Exasperated he realized that this game was going to be a tough one to win and somehow he had to trick them.

While the little green ogre was scheming Lion whispered to Ellie.  “El, don’t you have anything in your pockets to help us win this game so we can get out of here?”

“Good thought Lion.  Let me see what I’ve got,” she responded while rummaging around in each of her pockets.   “Ahhhhh, what’s this?” she said as she reached into the pocket centered in the middle of her nightshirt.  Ellie felt a large cluster of something and enclosed her hand around it.  When she pulled it out to show Lion they were both surprised to see a huge mound of green jellybeans.  “I forgot I had these Lion.”

“Jellybeans?!  How can they help us El?  Other than tasting yummy while going into our tummies I am pretty sure they are useless,” Lion drooled while eyeing them.  Ellie agreed and was about to slip them back into her pocket when a loud grunt startled and stopped her.

Muster Troll spied the jellybeans that Ellie was holding and a sneaky idea quickly came to him.  “Let’s continue this game,” he grumbled.  “Colonel Muster Says each of you are to eat a jellybean one at a time until I say stop.”  So they did.  Lion was quite happy with this command, as he was very, very hungry.  “Colonel Muster says to eat them faster.”  So they did.  “Stop!”  And they did not stop.  Before they knew it, Ellie and Lions mouths were stocked full of chewy, gooey jellybeans.  So much so that neither of them could talk.  Only strange garbled noises came out of their mouths.

Colonel Muster Troll slyly smiled.  “Oooops.  I forgot to take roll call before the game.  Let’s do it now!” he commanded.   As he grabbed his clipboard and pencil and scanned the Attendance List the little green ogre stood at attention.  “Colonel Muster says that when I call out each of your names for roll call you must answer loud and clear the word  ‘HERE’.  Lion?” 

Lion’s eyes got as big as saucers.  He tried and tried with all his might to say the word ‘HERE’ but could not.  The only sound that came out of his mouth was  “Mmphmmphmmph.”

“Hmmmm.  Imagine that.  No response from Lion means that he did not follow Colonel Muster’s command and just lost the game.  Well then… let’s move on to Ellie.  Ellie?” he cackled.

Ellie’s eyes also got as big as saucers for she too tried and tried with all her might to say the word ‘HERE’ but could not.  The only sound that came out of her mouth was “Rarrrrraaaaarrrrrr.”

Colonel Muster Troll jumped up and down.  “I did it, I did it! I won the game!  Neither of you did what ‘Colonel Muster’ said!  Trudy is going to be so proud of me!  All right you two, I won, and you lost, so let’s go.  And then he picked up the two army green scarves that he dropped earlier and blindfolded the duo. He then turned them around five times, just enough to get them a little bit dizzy but not too dizzy.

Once they swallowed all of the jellybeans Lion did muster enough courage to ask the troll if he could at least hold Ellie’s hand on the short walk to Trudy’s cave.  Ellie was grateful that Lion asked because she too needed the comfort and the closeness of her best friend.  The troll agreed thinking no harm could come from that.

“I’m sorry El that we lost the game.  I was just so hungry and you know how much I love jellybeans.  And then when the ogre didn’t give the ‘Colonel Muster’ says to stop eating the jellybeans command, I was secretly happy because I really didn’t want to stop eating them,” pouted Lion.

“I know Lion.  I am sorry too,” Ellie said sympathetically.  “But you know me.  I would never play a game unfairly just to win it.  Rules are rules and the only way we could have stopped eating the jellybeans was if he gave the Colonel Muster command.   I guess we just have to face the fact that we were outsmarted by a troll.

“Attennnnn-hut!” bellowed the troll.  Ellie and Lion straightened up.   “It is time for you both to meet Trudy.  So start walking… rather march I say, march, march, march, march!”  And as the two friends traveled blindly down the forest path Ellie fell into a deep thought as there wasn’t much time left to figure out what exactly they had that Trudy wanted.  Lion was in deep thought too, but his was based more on the fear of Trudy herself and what the pair had just gotten themselves into…
We love you Ellie!!!
Mom & Mimi

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