Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creative Month of January: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

This past week we celebrated your Poppy’s birthday by having the family over for dinner.  We made individual pizzas and sang happy birthday.  You and your Poppy have always had a close relationship but now that we are home and he is retired, he’s been helping me watch you a lot during the week…. And you adore him (even wearing a fedora like he does but he bough you a sparkly pink one!).

And this week’s funny Ellie-ism:  When we were driving to lunch with your Poppy a few days ago, I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up.  You responded, “I want to be a penguin or maybe a lion!”  Your Poppy’s response was, “Everyone has to have a goal!”

And now here is our final story (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 (an aquarium).  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 fourth piece of fiction. 

Ellie and the Magic Teapot: Off to the Aquarium- Part 2

“Where are we Ellie?” questioned Lion, as he took in their surroundings with eyes as big as saucers.  “You said we were going to the Aquarium but this certainly isn’t the entrance area to where your mom always buys the tickets for us,” he added a bit more nervous now, “What are we doing behind a curtain?”

“Welllllllllllllll,” began Ellie, “You’re right.  This certainly isn’t the entrance lobby.  I’m pretty sure we’re past that.  Turn around and look Lion.  Somehow we’ve landed in between the aquarium’s glass and this silly curtain covering it.”

Lion looked with confusion.  “Why would they have a curtain hiding this attraction El?  Do you think it is for a special ‘unveiling’ of the cool exhibit we want to see?”  He spoke in a nervousness that was more about being caught in a place they shouldn’t be rather than a nervousness of being plain ole scared in general!

“Hmmmmmmm,” Ellie sighed.  So with both hands she felt her way down the curtains fabric until she found the center slit.  With her thumbs and forefingers she opened them just enough to peer out with one eye.  After surveying the area and observing that the coast was clear, Ellie popped her whole head out of the opening.  Lion was getting quite anxious by the silence.  Not only were there no voices to be heard anywhere in the room, Ellie herself had not made a sound.

Tugging nonstop on the blue ruffle that trimmed Ellie’s shirt, Lion whispered in a loud voice, “El… what do you see out there?  Are we going to be in trouble?”

“I don’t think so Lion,” Ellie whispered back.  “It doesn’t look like anyone is here.  In fact it looks like this room has been closed off to all the public.  Here, take a look,” Ellie encouraged as she grabbed Lion’s paw from behind her and pulled him around to the front.  Ellie was going to let him peer through the opening she created, but Lion lost his balance and tumbled forward landing outside of the curtain.

As he picked himself up he looked around.  “El, it looks like a crime scene out here.  There is yellow tape everywhere!”  And that quickly Ellie pulled him back in behind the curtain with her.

“Shhhhhhhhhh,” she said.  “It IS a crime scene!  And we shouldn’t be here either but we are!  Lion, turn around and look inside the tank.  So Lion pivoted and like Ellie he cupped his paws on the glass window and placed his face inside their frame.

“Awwwwwwww, I can’t see anything in there Ellie!” Lion grumbled.

Ellie giggled.  “That’s because you’re nose is pressing on the glass and your breath is fogging up the whole window!  Back up a few inches Lion and take a good look inside the tank.”

So Lion did.   Once the tanks window cleared he saw a beautiful undersea world.  Cool tropical fish, dancing seaweed and tiny caves dotted the colorful coral reef.  At first he wasn’t sure what it was he was supposed to be looking at, but then it became obvious.  The pirates treasure chest was missing and in its place someone had put yellow crime scene tape in the shape of an ‘X’ on the sandy floor.

Lion asked a very perplexing question, “Where did it go Ellie?”

Ellie gave Lion one of her signature shoulder shrugs and answered, “How do I know” while scanning the sandy floors bottom.  Lion watched her and waited.  Sure enough, within minutes Ellie zeroed in on a possible clue.  “Lion, look down there!” she said as she pointed to a camouflaged stingray.

“Cool El, but we already know that that is what they do to hide from predators,” a know-it-all Lion responded.

Ellie looked at him and rolled her eyes.  “I know that we know that Lion.  That is not what I am pointing at.  I’m pointing at the area where its long tail twitched and dusted the sandy granules.   I can just barely make it out, but it is there! Don’t you see it Lion?  Come on, look harder!”

So Lion narrowed his eyelids to bare slits and focused on where he thought the stingray’s tail was.  He also jumped up and down and from side to side hoping that would also provide him with a better view of all angles.  Thankfully the aquariums lights were turned up high too.  “Oh my!  Ellie, I think I see what you are seeing!” he roared with excitement.   There hidden in the dirt and just barely noticeable was what looked like to be a glinting metallic object, possibly the edge of a gold coin.  And a pirates gold coin at that!  “I have to admit Ellie that being in the center of this crime scene is a bit exciting, but since there is no exhibit for us to look at I think we should just go home and wait for your mom to bring us here on another day.”

“Are you kidding Lion?  There is a crime to be solved here and I think you and I are the perfect detectives to get the job done!” Ellie stated.

Lion was quick to answer her.  “But we have no equipment.”

“Oh yes we do my furry little friend!  You should know by now that I always load my pockets with lots of gadgets before we embark on an adventure Lion.  And this trip is no different,” Ellie answered while rummaging through her left side pants pocket.
“Ah-ha!” she squealed as she pulled out a flat square board about 4 inches wide.  Laying it down on the ground she went back to rummaging inside her right pants pocket and again squealed in delight.  There she found 2 long cylinder canisters, pulled them out and laid them down next to the flat board.

Lion stared at the floor for a few minutes.  Since nothing was happening he grumbled in exasperation, “I don’t think this is the best time to play with your shape sorter puzzles Ellie!”

“Just wait Buddy,” Ellie murmured as she tapped her toe twice on the flat board.  Click, click, click the board groaned as it stretched slowly into a privacy wall for changing clothes.  That quickly Ellie jumped behind it first.  Eyeing her pink ruffled bathing suit on one of the two hooks attached to it, she grabbed the suit and changed into it as fast as she could.  Then she walked out, took Lions hand and gently pushed him behind the wall to do the same.  Upon entering the other side, Lion saw his colorful beach ball bathing trunks and slid them on quickly.  As he walked out he reminded Ellie that he wasn’t a very good swimmer.

“Not to worry Lion,” Ellie comforted.  She picked up the two cylinders and placed one in Lions right paw while holding the other in her left hand.  “You will breath a sigh of relief when you see what happens.  OK… follow my directions.  On the count of five we need to smack them together and wait for each cylinder to break into three tank swimming necessities.”

“Huh?... Wha?... Whoaaaaaaa!”  Lion shrieked as Ellie counted to five and that quickly both cylinders broke open and split into three objects; diving tanks, swim goggles and flippers.  “Wow El!  These gadgets are way cooler than all your other cool gadgets!” Lion drooled.  He never ceased to be amazed at what Ellie could pull from those pockets!

“Ok Lion, let’s don the equipment and dive into that tank.  We’ve got some investigating to do and a pirates treasure chest to find!” she breathed with excitement.

So Lion followed Ellie’s lead and strapped the tank onto his back, put the breathing apparatus into his mouth, slid the goggles over his eyes, stepped into the duck-looking flippers and then waddled over to the ladder that was propped up on the far side of the tank.  Ellie climbed up first and without hesitation dove right in.  Lion climbed up next but stalled on the top step.  His knees started to tremble and his goggles fogged up.  Knowing that Lion would probably go into scuba-diving panic mode, Ellie rose to the surface and screamed out a little white lie.  “Hey Lion, don’t be scared.  If you take one step forward you will step into a float!”

Since Lion couldn’t see through the foggy goggles he did as Ellie told him.  He took one step forward and kerplunked right into the tank!  Once he realized how easy it was to breath with his air tank, Lion swam side by side with Ellie down to where the pirates treasure chest should have been. 

“What do you think Ellie?” he muddled.

“I think we should look around for possible suspects,” she muddled back.  “Like that one hiding behind the brain coral.  Follow me Lion.  We have some questioning to question!”   And off they swam….

Until next week Ellie!
Love you,
Mom & Mimi

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