Thursday, October 25, 2012

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

 Dear Ellie Bean,

Well, it’s time.  This is our last weekend as Coloradans!  Your Poppy is coming later today to help us with the transition (and to have some fun too!).  The movers will come on Monday and we have one way tickets to Pennsylvania on Tuesday.  There are so many emotions that I feel Ellie.  I am sad to say good-bye to our wonderful friends that have made Colorado home to us but I am so excited to be with family again back east.  There is nothing like being raised around those that love you the most. I understand that it’s going to be hard on you Ellie in a lot of ways too but I promise that we will skype with your close friends here to stay in touch (but I also know how happy you are going to be living so close to your Mimi and Poppy!).  I am hoping for a very smooth week, despite the stress and anticipation I am really feeling. 

Today I was particularly anxious as you had to come to school with me because your daycare provider was sick and I couldn't take off with only 2 days left (and you were sooooo good- my students loved you).
And then you chopped your own hair tonight (with your scissors from your art box and then asked me to "put the hairs back on so I can do it again") so I tried to minimize the damage by giving you an at home cut (all I can say is that I'm glad you are not attached to your hair and I mean that both literally and figuratively!).
You remind me constantly to not sweat the small stuff!

The light at the end of the tunnel is that we will be back with your Dad again as a family and we will be home in time for Halloween (your Mimi bought you a penguin costume because you told her that was your favorite animal). 

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 13

Ellie and Lion had a look of panic on their faces.  They realized that Trudy was beginning to turn to stone… the more she giggled in the Giggle Grabber, the more stiff and rock-like she became.  Her feet and hands turned grey and rigid first and then cracked lines of rock traveled up her arms and legs as she howled in laughter.  “Lion, those jars in Trudy’s cave that we found contain the troll’s laughter!”  Ellie said frantically revealing what she had discovered. 

“Ohmygosh El, I didn’t realize how important those jars are!  No wonder, those trolls seemed miserable… if their laughter was bottled up and they couldn’t laugh anymore, they probably weren’t very happy! Let’s leave Trudy here and go to the front of the cave so we can open those jars!” Lion smiled enthusiastically.

“No Lion, you don’t understand.  Without Trudy’s help, we don’t know whose laughter belongs to which Troll.  And if we don’t do something soon- we may never know.  We only have one shot when the jars open to get the laugh to its rightful owner,” she said worriedly as she eyed Trudy who had now turned fully into a rock except for her head.

Lion ran to stop the machine and as soon as he did Trudy’s laughter ended abruptly.  “Why didn’t you just finish me off,” Trudy cackled firm as a board.

“Trudy, we don’t believe you are as tough as this rock exterior.  We want you to make right of the wrongs you did and help us to return the laughter to those ogres.  You can’t take something that isn’t yours simply because you aren’t happy,” Ellie said sympathetically.

“If I give back those jars of laughter, then I will be all alone again.  It’s not fair that everyone else is cheerful,” Trudy glared back.

Ellie took a deep breath as she began, “You are alone because you are mean Trudy.  No one wants to be around a cruel-spirited person.  But being mean is a choice and only you can change that.  You can start by being nice and helping those trolls that you hurt.  Lion knows some pretty funny jokes that are sure to make you laugh- without the aid of this machine,” Ellie said as she looked around in wonderment of the Giggle Grabber.  “Gosh Trudy, think about how smart you are to put something like this together.  What if you used your intelligence and talent toward good use?  Think of what you could invent to help the world!”

Trudy started to tear up but she couldn’t wipe her eyes because her hands were rock solid.  Ellie dug into her pocket and withdrew a tissue and pressed gently against Trudy’s cheek.  Ellie expected her to be frigid but instead felt warmth.  As Ellie wiped her eyes, the hard rock exterior started to soften and Ellie realized that instead of turning back into her troll self, Trudy was transforming into a human.

“No one has touched me in a long time,” Trudy said softly.  Lion couldn’t help himself- he felt so sad for Trudy, he ran over and gave her a big bear hug.  “To get love, you have to give love,” he whispered in her ear. 

“How did you get to be a troll in the first place?” Lion asked curiously.  “The meaner I became the greener I turned.  I guess how you feel on the inside really does affect your outside,” Trudy whispered in embarrassed.

Ellie and Lion each took Trudy’s hand in theirs and they walked to the front of the house where all seven trolls were waiting curiously.  Sebastian, Tad, and Oliver were sitting on the table guarding the jars with the swirling mists.

“I’m really sorry.  I wanted everyone to feel as miserable as me and I thought if I took your laughter that I would accomplish my goal.  I hope you can forgive me,” said a very humiliated Trudy who looked an awful lot like Ellie’s great grandmother now that she had turned into a real person.  “There is a troll’s name on the bottom of the jar and that’s whose laughter is inside,” she said regretfully.

Tad, Sebastian, and Oliver went right to work lifting the jars, identifying the owners and carefully handing them over one by one.  “On the count of the three, let’s open them together!” Colonel Muster yelled bossily as he tapped his clipboard.

“Oui!  I happen to like that fantastique idea,” agreed Frenchy.

“I’ll sing the numbers,” Rocky crooned a gleeful melody as they all shouted in unison, “One, Two, Three.”

The jars were opened, the mists swirled and went into the mouths of the trolls.  Within seconds, laughter and giggles abounded.  But then Ellie and Lion noticed something else.  The green skin of the ogres was transforming.  The seven trolls were becoming human too!  They were all young teenagers not much older than Ellie.  Ellie saw Tootsie, the first troll she encountered, transform into a freckled girl popping candy into her mouth gleefully as she was approached by Hotdog, an athletic boy, asking if she wanted to have a contest of who could shove more into their mouth.  Fruity, a short boy seemingly the youngest of the bunch, heard them and joined in and suggested, “Instead of candy, let’s be more nutritious and use fruit!”  And just as their eating contest began, Wrd, a tall lanky boy with mussed up hair, sauntered over and held up his hand.  “My fellow adolescents, this game is very discommodious as you could choke.  How about we compete in a different way, say a rivalry of speed?” 

And as the friends reconnected and played, Tad, Sebastian, Oliver, Ellie, and Lion hugged each other and watched the teenagers contentedly.  It was Lion who realized that Trudy had backed away and was slowly edging toward her cave.

“Trudy?” Lion called out.

“This is a happy moment, one that doesn’t include me,” Trudy said dolefully.

But before Lion could respond, they heard “Hey Trudy, do you want to join our relay team?” Tootsie called out, “We only have three on our team and you look pretty spry for your age.  We want you to join us against the other four!”

Trudy’s eyes lit up, “Me?  But I was so mean to you.  You want to play with me?”

Fruity answered, “Trudy, people can change and people can forgive.  Now come over.  We’re about to start!”

Trudy jogged over and on her way stopped at Ellie and Lion, “Thank you for teaching me a lesson.  I hope you will come back and visit me.  I think I will try to use my energy and create a machine that will help people, maybe I will try to cure cancer.”  Before Ellie and Lion could respond, Trudy skipped over to the teenagers.  Ellie couldn’t get over Trudy’s energy for an old lady.  Ellie figured she must be making up for lost time. 

“Well Lion, I think our journey here has ended.  Are you ready to head back?”  Ellie looked nostalgically at her friend.  Lion nodded as Ellie dug into her pocket one final time to grab the teapot and cups.

“El, wait!  I forgot that I promised Trudy a joke that would make her laugh genuinely,” Lion said to Ellie and then he called over to the group, “Hey Trudy, why does a bike sometimes fall over?”  He paused theatrically and then grinned as he answered, “Because it was two-tired!”  Trudy and the others howled in laughter.  Lion noticed that Trudy’s cheeks became rosy and she blew him a kiss.  “Ok El, now I’m ready!”
We love you Ellie!
Mom & Mimi

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