Thursday, February 7, 2013

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

Dear Ellie,

It’s only fitting that you call Poppy your girlfriend as you guys hang out so much (he watches you sometimes when I have to go to work).  Poppy doesn’t always follow conventional parenting methods though… for instance, last week when we were on our way out the door to get you to preschool, you looked at me with a sly grin, your fist in a ball, and a twinkle in your eye and said, “You want some of this?!”  I was so shocked, I responded, “huh?” as you hit my leg (gently I may add).  I asked where in the world you learned that and of course you replied, “My Poppy taught me!”  Even after a car ride long conversation of when and where we can do things like that, I thought for sure I would be getting a call from your teacher that day but low and behold, you learn fast.  A few days later when Poppy asked you jokingly if you “wanted a piece of this” in Panera, you answered, “You can’t do that here.”  I’m so glad that you have some wisdom of appropriate behavior and I’m so glad that you and your Poppy can share so many special and funny moments together! 
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 6

Ellie and Lion swam upwards toward the bow of the ship.  Collywobbles had told them that before dawn someone had stripped the cardboard pirate prop of its clothing and accessories.  And whoever it was, was obviously still at the Helm because they were singing the wrong words and very much off key to some famous pirate song.  Not wanting to make whoever it was scared and swim off, Ellie and Lion hugged the starboard side of the ship as they inched their way forward.   As the tune got louder and the lyrics more piercing, the duo knew they were almost at the toes of the thief.

“Yo Ho.... ho, ho, ho,
A pirate I shall be.

Scary, not hairy
And mean so be wary
A pirate I shall be…
Shall be, shall be.”

Ellie whispered into her breathing apparatus for Lion to circle around to the Port side and wait for her signal (five floating bubbles) before moving in to grab the perpetrators fins, gills or whatever it had that was grabbable!

As soon as Ellie released the signal, Lion swam in, “I got him Ellie, I got him by the, the, the… wooden stick???”

“Huh?  Can you repeat that?” Ellie asked.

“Ahhhhhh, I guess.  I got him by his wooden stick!” Lion answered in a perplexed tone.

“I thought that is what you said.   What kind of a fish has a wooden stick for a body part?  Hold on, I will be right there,” and Ellie glided over to Lion’s side.  Carefully she gazed over the guilty fish from, sure enough, his wooden stick to the tippy-top point of his skull and bones black hat.  “Who are you and what are you doing wearing all this pirate garb?” she asked suspiciously.

“Do you like it?” he chirped.  “I scavenged it from the pirate prop.  Scavenged it, I did I did!  I had a hard time getting the black and white striped shirt over my head with my short pectoral fins you see, but I did it, yes I did! I inched and squeezed and then inched into it some more till this ole pirate’s shirt covered my gills.  Covered my gills I say.  And do you like the charcoal black eye patch I am sporting over my right eye?  Pretty cool, huh?  Cool, cool, cool!  Goes with my skull and bones pirate hat!  Makes me look pretty dapper.  Yep, dapper, dapper, dapper!” he bragged.

Lion, who was still holding on to the wooden stick, looked up at the fish and interrupted him, “Excuse me sir, may I ask you what this is?”

“Why yes you may.  If I am going to look like the real deal, a pirate I mean, then I had to take the stick and attach it to my pelvic fin to make it look like a wooden leg… wooden leg.  So what do you think of my costume?  Do I look like a scary pirate?  Do I?  Do I?  Do I?” he repeated.

Lion hesitated, “Well, kind of, I guess.”  But his real thought (the one he wouldn’t share because it probably would be hurtful,) was that this silly fish looked just that.  Silly.

“Whoa,” commented Ellie as she shot the fish an accusatory glance.  “First of all, you still haven’t told us who you are.”

“Oh.  My apologies.  Why I am Pete the Parrotfish.  But all my friends call me Re-Pete.  Pete or Re-Pete, Re-Pete or Pete… I know it shouldn’t bother me, but sometimes it does.  Why sometimes I find it hurtful.  Hurtful, hurtful, hurtful I say.  But enough of that.  Who are you… and you?”

“Well, I am Ellie and this here is my friend Lion,” she stated.

“Are you new to the Aquarium?”  Pete asked.  “I haven’t seen you around here before.  Nope, can’t say I have.  I definitely have not.”

“Nooooooo.  We are not new to the Aquarium.  Lion and I visit here all the time with my mom, but we are usually on the outside looking in… not the inside looking out!  It looks like today though the Aquarium needed some help in solving the crime where…”

Before Ellie could finish her sentence Pete blurted out, “Huuuuuh?  What crime?”

Ellie decided not to ‘beat around the bush’ or rather the ‘shipwreck’ and got right to the point.  ”The new exhibit’s missing treasure chest.  Did you steal the pirates treasure Re-Pete… I mean Pete?”

“Oh my, my, my NO!  Why would you think I did?” Pete squawked.

“Ahhhhhhhhhh…it is kind of obvious that something ‘fishy’ is going on here.  And maybe it’s because you ARE wearing the pirate’s clothes that you took without asking.  Am I correct?” accused Lion.

“Oh no, no, no!  I would never.  No never, never, never steal!  Why I was just borrowing all this stuff.  Borrowing I say.  Oh you couldn’t possible understand.  Nope, no understanding for you,” Pete sighed and then started to cry.

Lion felt like a brute, “Please don’t cry Pete.  I am sorry.  Ellie, help me out!” he pleaded.

“Pete… I apologize for my partner and me, but you do understand why we thought it was you who committed the crime,” she confessed as she eyed his attire from head to stick.

“Yes, yes, yes and I don’t blame you.   But you must let me explain.  You see, when my friends call me Re-Pete I think they are treating me like a guppy and aren’t taking me seriously.  So I got to thinking, thinking is what I got to.  When the Treasure Exhibit was placed in the tank with the fake pirate prop, well… the prop looked really cool and scary to me even though it was fake.  Fake, scary and cool.  So I got this cool, yep, cool idea in my head that maybe if I borrowed the 3-in-1 (fake, scary and cool) pirate prop that maybe, just maybe my friends would see me differently; maybe as a grownup,” he reasoned sadly.

Lion looked at Ellie with his Lion-cub eyes and begged her to do something.  She understood immediately and dug into her pocket to fish around for something that would help Pete out.  “Ahhhhh, I think I may have found something that might just do the trick!”

Pete looked at Lion blankly.  And Lion looked at Ellie with awe.  He knew that once she started rummaging around in those pockets of hers, something cool was going to appear.  And sure enough she pulled out a white box, which she placed on the ship’s deck.  She then tapped it twice with her left foot and the box extended outward about two feet while four legs popped out, one on each corner.  Lion smiled because there standing in front of the three of them was a little craft table with two drawers.  Ellie reached into the right drawer first and pulled out a bag of white cotton balls, a bottle of glue and some string.  While Pete and Lion looked on, Ellie formed a triangle while gluing one cotton ball in the first row, two in the second row, three in the third row and so on and so on and so on.  When she got to the tenth row Ellie weaved the twine through all ten cotton balls leaving extra string on each side.   She then reached into the left drawer and pulled out some paint.  Very carefully Ellie painted each cotton ball black.  Once she was satisfied with her work Ellie picked up her masterpiece and brought it over to Pete the Parrotfish.

“OK Pete, this is for you.  A pirate won’t be taken seriously not unless he has a scary black beard.  So turn around and let Lion tie this on you while I go and wash my hands,” she smiled.

Now it was Pete who was in awe.  “You and Lion would do that for me?  For me you and Lion would do that?” he asked incredulously.  Honored to wear her talented creation, he turned around.   Lion was all too happy to help tie the beard on to Pete as Ellie stepped back and watched.  Just then Lion remembered that he too could give Pete a surprise.  Fishing into his own pocket, which was hidden inside his bathing trunks, Lion pulled out something small.

“Pete, turn back around because I have something for you too,” Lion said proudly.   So Pete did.  Lion continued, “ I wasn’t sure if you knew that every REAL pirate has a gold tooth, so I want to give you this.”  And he handed over to Pete the small object he was holding in his hand.  It was a bright yellow square Chicklet.  “If you stick this on your tooth, you will look like the REAL DEAL, a real pirate I mean!  Just so you know though it’s gum, so don’t chew it or it will lose all of its yellow coloring and turn gummy!” he whispered.

“Thank you Ellie and Lion for your help and for believing in me too.  Is there any way that I could repay you Mateys?” Pete giggled.

“Wellllllll… actually there is.  Every time we think that we’ve found the guilty fish that took the treasure chest, we find out they are innocent.  Pete… do you have any idea who may have taken it?” Ellie questioned.

“As a matter of fact I do.  And a fact is a fact is a fact.  While I was squeezing into the pirate shirt earlier something whirled and twirled past me.  I didn’t actually get to see who or what it was because some of the sand that got kicked up from it landed in my eye.  I wish I could be of more help, but that is all I know and I know that is all,” Pete repeated.

“Hmmmmmmmm… that’s some interesting information, don’t you think Ellie?” Lion tried to reason.

“It sure is Lion.  It sure is.  Come on and follow me.  I think I know where to go next,” Ellie answered with a knowledgeable wink.
Until next week Ellie Bean!

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