Sunday, May 31, 2009

Story - Seamore and the Hot Air Balloon

Days passed, friendships grew as Jack and Seamore spent time exploring the beach. They told each other stories while digging in the sand. One afternoon they were watching the seagulls dipping and soaring over the school of fish swimming through the shallows, when the sea monster sighed.

Jack wanted to know why, and pretty soon Seamore was telling the young boy all about his dream of flying. He was so sad because he was earth bound. He wanted to see what everything looked like from above. His eyes alight, he went on to imagine how it would feel to look down on his home, and the beach that the two young ones shared. Jackie knew exactly what the sea monster was talking about. Because he felt like that himself.

One day after supper the two younglings were playing in the shallows, when a hot air balloon landed on the beach. Brightly colored, it was a magical sight. Jack said it sounded like a dragon when it's flame roared to life, keeping the balloon aloft, while allowing the basket to settle gently on the sand.

The two gingerly approached the contraption, as the balloonist hailed them. He said he wanted to tie off to a rock, and just float above the beach, hoping to attract riders. If the younglings would tie his balloon to the ground, he'd give them a short ride, up into the air.

Rarely have two children moved faster. And before anyone could say a tongue twister like Seamore Sits in the Shifting Sand the two younglings had tied off the rope and were eagerly climbing into the waiting basket.

Deafened by the roar of the dragon flames, they briefly cowered in the bottom of the basket. But as the balloon rose gently off of the sand, Jack peered timidly over the sides of the basket. Jack was surprised by how high they were already. The surprise on his face, followed almost instantly by a big grin, gave Seamore the courage to look around.

He had never imagined that he'd be so high. Excitement made him shout and dance a little dance, which made the basket sway. His eyes got really big as he grabbed the sides of the wicker. The balloonist patted him on the shoulder and told him he was safe, and gradually Seamore relaxed.

For the next several minutes the younglings looked down at the shining sea, sparkling in the late evening light. The water was changing from bright blue to a deeper shade as the sun crept toward the horizon, and the balloon began to sink toward the beach.

Jack was startled when the flames roared to life again, sending the brightly colored envelop shooting upward once again. But he grinned when he spotted his house, and his mother standing outside on the lawn. Shouting and waving, the children laughed as she waved back. In moments the neighbors where drawn to the beach where they were tethered.

The balloon sank gently back to earth and the waiting crowd of people eager for a ride. The younglings climbed from the basket, eyes shining. They stayed and talked with those waiting for their turn. Telling and retelling their exciting adventure in the sky, until finally their mothers called them home for bed.


For the 'beginning' of the story - see May 24, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Story - There once was a Sea Monster

My daughter was 6, when I told this story for the first time. She's 19 now.

"There once was a sea monster. A not terribly big one at that. And a writer tried to tell this story about it, and couldn't."

"Why not, Mommy?" asked the little girl.

"Because she kept getting distracted, little one," Sara answered, peering into her daughter's eyes through the wispy blond hair. "The writer, had a little girl, just like you. And her little girl kept the mommy so busy that she never seemed to find time to write. Until one day, one very special day, the mommy discovered that she could turn on the tape recorder when she was telling a story."

"OK Mommy, I have a tape recorder, so what is the story today?" pleaded the little girl. "May I please have a story?"

"Are you sure you're not too tired? It's almost bedtime," said her mother, knowing what the answer would be.

"I'm not too tired."

"OK, settle down. Let me tell you the story of Seamore. Now, Seamore is a monster. A sea monster. He is blue and green with shiny sparkles. He is a different kind of a sea monster, because he has hands and a pocket," said her mother smiling at the image. The little girl smiled and slid down under her covers secure in the knowledge that her mother did indeed have a story for her.

"Let me tell you a little about Seamore. He keeps his treasures in his pocket. Shiny sea shells, pearls from the oysters that grew in the ocean, and ruby from a jewelry chest that had fallen over board many years ago. It was old, but it was bright and shiny. He loved all of his treasures. He probably also had some string and maybe a small stick of two in his pocket. Just like human children, sea monsters keep many different things in their pockets."

One day Seamore was swimming along the beach, looking for treasure when he spotted something shiny in the shallows. He was watching it so closely in the shifting waves, he didn't notice that he wasn't alone on the beach. Until his hand touched the treasure just as another hand did the same.

Shocked, Seamore looked up into the wide eyes of a human. Not a full grown human, a half size one, which he knew usually meant a child. The eyes of this child looked the way he felt. But Seamore didn't want to scare anybody, so he gently pulled his hand back and smiled. The boy smiled back. And thus began the friendship between the two.

Jack was eight, and his pockets were bulging with empty sea shells and shiny rocks. He had long since learned not to put in frogs or living starfish because they wriggled and tickled. But he liked to keep buttons, and S-hooks and strong string in there. Because he never knew when he might need something.

The monster didn't look scary. But one never knew. But Jack looked down at the treasure in the water, back at Seamore and bent to pick up the shiny thing. It was a bottle cap. With a timid smile, he put out his hand to give it to the monster, since he already had one. Surprised, Seamore took the treasure gently and his grin got even bigger.

In just a few moments, the two had emptied their pockets and were admiring each other's gatherings. Jack's eyes got very big when he saw the red jewel, and Seamore really wanted Jack's S-hook and buttons. And so they traded. Each quite sure that they'd gotten the better part of the deal.

It was late, time to go home. But the two of them, agreed to meet the next day. And they met day after day, enjoying each other, becoming fast friends, in spite of their differences. The beach rang with laughter, and splashing.

Tune in for the further adventures of Seamore and Jack.