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Friday, 19 September 2014

Kermit's Big Adventure

This is the story of Kermit, a little country frog who hitched a ride to The Big City!

Once there was a little green tree frog who sought shelter from The Big Bad Storm in the cracks of a Toyota pickup truck. Little did our hero know that his shelter would soon be rolling through the storm to The Land Of Concrete!

(Pause for a collective gasp and shudder)

It was a long and treacherous journey through torrents of rain above and rising water below. Kermit clung. The little frog hung on for dear life, unnoticed, in his Tacoma Storm Shelter. An hour and a half later, he finally reached The Land Of Concrete and a parking garage.

Where he waited. And he waited.

Concrete muffled the sounds of the city, so Kermit climbed out of his hidey-hole and onto the windshield to survey his situation. Hmmmmm. . .  it didn't look good. Concrete everywhere. So he waited. And while he waited Kermit pondered Life and Death, the sun and the moon, stars and fluorescent lighting. And he waited some more. For nine hours Kermit sat and thought about spiders, and pigeons, and mummification. About little green tree frogs and their place in the circle of life.

And then something happened. His stars aligned. The human returned and saw him on the windshield. And there, two lost souls struggling to survive in a world of concrete met. A cautious friendship bloomed.

So instead of driving back to the country on the freeway, the human took a detour. And along the way the human pondered life and death and God and the role of little green tree frogs and humans in the circle of life.  And all the while Kermit hung onto the windshield as the human drove really, really, really, slowly and pissed off the rest of the drivers in the city who were not wondering about the meaning of life and little green tree frogs.

(That's Kermit stuck on the windshield above the people walking.)

And soon, there in The Land Of Concrete, Kermit, the little green tree frog, found a little green place. And a new chapter in his life began.

And the human remembered this lesson:

 When all seems lost in a land of hard things, hunker down, weather the storm, and God will send you some help.    

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry -
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears the Human soul!"
Emily Dickinson

I was in the 7th grade. Scared. A new town. A new school. A new classroom. No friends. And then I met Emily Dickinson. And she was my friend. She understood the magic of books. The magic of words on a page. We'd just moved from a place that anyone would generously call "the sticks" into the outskirts of a college town and I was both exhilarated and terrified. My mother's first order of business had been to trot her children down to the local library and get us library cards. I shall never forget that building.

It had TWO STORIES! TWO! Imagine that! Two whole stories of books! (In hindsight I think it may have had three stories. I believe it had two levels for adult books and a bottom basement level for children's books.) Nevertheless, I shall not ever forget the wonder that rolled through me like sunshine the day I walked into that library. And the smell. Ah, the smell.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. Just waiting. Waiting for me. Like the drumbeats of Jumanji the books called me. They held secrets. They held the world. And they could be had for the mere punch of a library card. The library would let me take as many as I could carry. And as a country kid, I could carry a lot!

And so here I am today, a thousand miles away from that frightened child who opened up a textbook and found a new friend. Like Bilbo Baggins' book, "There and Back Again," my travels have taken me far. I have battled dragons and trolls, and like a hobbit, I yearn to return to my simple roots. And yet through it all, I have dragged my books. I have dragged some books for over 40 years. They move with me, old friends following along like faithful dogs.

We were poor, but on Saturday nights our family would clean up and go to "to town" to visit the news stand. This store carried magazines and some books. As children, we were allowed one magazine. If we wanted a book, my parents would 'match' our money. I shall never forget my first big purchase. I had saved $4 to buy the AKC Dog Breed Book. My mother matched it, so for $8 I bought a book that I've dragged across the country for forty years. My mother enrolled me in a Book-Of-The-Month club. National Velvet came from that subscription. I've carried it for over forty years.

The libary had an extensive collection of books by Albert Payson Terhune and Colonel S.P. Meek. I eagerly devoured these dog books and re-read them every few months. God bless the internet, for over the years I've collected many of the same books that fed me as a child, and I still drag them around each time I move.

As I see today's children absorbed in their electronic worlds of computers and video games, I cannot help but wonder. Do they read? Do they experience unbridled anticipation when they open the cover of a book? Old books are old friends. It's not about the story, it's about the spell, the memory of a child running her fingers across the cover and opening up the magic - the magic of words on a page.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email

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