Whilst parenting, reading to my children has become a time for learning together. How many of us, as children, really, hand on our heart, considered the sub-context of tales? The plot is generally what drives the read, and the allure of the lead character (protagonist), isn’t it?
With these thoughts in my mind when I offered to help out a Writer friend with their stories for children, I could never have imagined where the tales would take me and my family. It was all quite bizarre.
The teller of the tales didn’t want to start a website, she just wanted to tell the stories. She admitted she wasn’t ICT savvy. I offered to start a website on her behalf, it wasn’t easy. Social media activity takes up considerable quantities of time, unless we use robots. For me, there is something about doing a job yourself, that drives purpose. Although, I had to scrap been the voluntary ICT co-ordinator for S, as it was too much like hard work, I felt that I was nagging at S for her words, and no longer helping.
Sadly, the narrator of the stories has decided to stop telling her children’s stories, she doesn’t think the words will be read by others. She also doesn’t think the stories are any good.
I’ve kinda been a Ghost Writer, transcribing her words, an experience that is not for the individual who lacks self-esteem. It was almost therapeutic, but, it wasn’t therapy. I am sure that makes little sense to a novice writer. However, to the viewer who practices Creative Writing, it may make some sense.
Anyway, I’ve asked if she doesn’t mind that I have a go at publishing her words as an eBook. What has she got to lose? I am offering help, and support, and if her tales are read, we will achieve what she wanted and that will hopefully give her a boost. The boost she needs. For me, I will fulfil my own purpose as I have been focussing on the word Kindness for some years now, and finally understand the meaning of the word.
I think the stories are quite cute, they do get a little bit grim on occasions, yet, they capture a period of time when the local environment I remember as a child, was beginning to crank up to a fast pace of the late 80s. Technology was beginning to filter through and change everything that the 1950s and 1960s generations once knew.
Everything changes, it is very rare that time stands still. Unless we practice mindfulness. Even then, time doesn’t stop, it keeps on moving. However, S’s tales tell of a time when technology hadn’t yet taken over, the act of ‘thinking and actions being louder than words’ transcend through time.
Introducing The Slimy Frog:
It was a once upon a time when a young lad had just turned the age of eight. It was his birthday and he was outside playing upon the Eastern Fields of Hull.
He was playing football, all alone.
The lad was all alone because his football was very new and his mother had begged him not to show his friends, “Not yet”, she said, “or it might disappear!”
His mother wasn’t a harsh woman at all, but she was very aware of the likes in the area. She had experience, having already lived a child’s life on the estate, and she knew that when a ball was new it would get whipped. Otherwise known as stolen to the likes of me and you.
This lad’s ball was not a standard football it was a Golden Ball.
The young lad’s name was Jonathan, John for short. He hated his name, he hated where he lived and he hated that his mother liked to pretend she was well to do. Posh is the word he was looking for.
She wasn’t posh really! Yes, she always minded her Ps and her Qs and this just wasn’t the norm in their neighbourhood. I don’t believe she was posh. She wasn’t posh!
John was playing with his new Golden Ball upon the Eastern field, cursing to himself.
He could not invite friends to hang out with him, not today, even though it was his birthday.
He dribbled the football, he tapped the ball with the tip of his right shoe, then he kicked the Golden ball over into an overgrown grassy border. The ball disappeared.
John, began to feel panicky.
He knew his mother would be watching him from their rabbit hutch home. She would be in the first-floor bedroom, spying through a pair of grey binoculars. Even though John was doing as she had scold.
She didn’t trust him! And he knew it, already.
Without the ball to kick, he felt quite alone and ran over to the shrub land to quickly find his Golden Ball.
John saw it straight away, but he didn’t rush to collect it.
He sat down in the tall grass, right beside it, hiding from his mother’s control. It would only be a matter of minutes before she appeared. He was sure of that.
Suddenly he heard a soft voice whisper.
John looked around but, he couldn’t see anyone.
Then, again, he heard it.
“Hey! Kid! Down here!”
John looked down at his ball and rolled it to one side. He couldn’t believe what he saw.
There before him, laid flat on the grass, was a slimy tiny speckle back frog. If it hadn’t been lying out flat, it would have barely spanned the palm of John’s hand.
Stop! and look at your own hand, right now, and imagine a small frog in the palm of your hand, fancy that.
The frog blinked and smiled as a frog might smile, then said.
“Thanks for that Kid! I think you might have squished me?”
John didn’t respond. He stared at the frog, all slimy and covered in entrails of thick goo which may have once been inside the frog’s bottom.
“You talk?” John asked.
“Me talk, you talk, we all talk, but I guess if you can hear me, that means my life’s done in.”
The slimy frog began to cry, it sobbed and sobbed.
“I’m dying and you squished me.
I was perfectly fine and minding my own business when the sun fell out of the sky and landed on my back!”
It sighed. Then suddenly wailed,
“Why!” it yelled dramatically toward a blade of grass.
“What can I do to help you?” asked John. He hated seeing the frog in distress. He wondered whether he should put it out of its misery.
John grabbed at his Golden ball and raised it above his head in preparation for a killing; his arms shook aloft whilst he stared at the flattened frog.
“What the heck are you doing? Don’t you know how lucky it is to talk to a frog?”
The little frog pleaded, “If you put that ball down – Not on ME! – I will grant you three wishes,” he said.
John was surprised at these words and in his stupor; he dropped the ball. Thankfully, for the frog, behind his head.
“You’re going to give me three wishes, even though I did this to you?” asked John.
‘Oh yes. If you can hear me then I shall have a purpose before I go!’ it grinned. ‘Will you do three somethings for me, and I’ll grant you the three wishes?’
‘Wow, yeah, sure!’ John replied. “Oh, hang on a minute, what exactly do you want Me to do?”
John knew, he shouldn’t just trust a stranger because they were going to give him a treat. This frog, may be something different than normal, but he was still a stranger.
“Well first… I will need you to pick me up and keep me with you until I breathe my last breath. Second…
I will need you to keep me warm and safe until I die… erm… and…
Finally, whilst we you are doing thing one and thing two, I want you to show me to all of your friends and family during my last hours of life.”
That’s easy, thought John, as he hardly had any friends, and his mother kept the family a good arm’s length away, so all he had to do was take the frog home and put it in his room for a bit, how hard could that be?
“Absolutely, your wish is my command!” John laughed.
John gently picked up the frog. It shivered as he placed it into his pocket. “When do I get my first wish?” he asked as he wiped his slimy hand onto his jeans.
The frog didn’t reply.
John grabbed his Golden Ball and ran home.
To be continued…
I hope you liked this snippet and I look forward to creating the eBook soon.
Copyright exclusive to JulieSpencer4D and the original story-teller. June 2017