togbean's place

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Damn Everything But The Circus

The kids and I were visiting grandparents this weekend and enjoying the wonders of the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Fun with sheep and Llamas. I got some beautiful yarn from Barb Perry at Foxfire Fiber Farm The Bean and I had visited her farm last month on our knitting group's fiber farm tour. Say that five times fast, dare ya! I also got some luscious goats milk soap that is seriously scented with cinnamon - lovely! ANYWAY, while we were away the Hubby was out caching and took this lovely shot

Which has inspired me to share with you one of my creative writing projects. So, without further ado(sp?),the serialized version of my young readers book: The Vale

Chapter One

Grandfather Chickadee shook the rain from his feathers before setting his cap on the mantle. My brothers and sister and I had spent all morning helping grandmother shore up the nest and fix the few small leaks that had made it through. It had been a miserable week for late March, rain and sleet during the days and cold snaps at night.

Being first year fledglings, gram and gramp had been too worried to let us fly in that weather We were going a bit stir crazy after having been confined to the lilac bush for five days. This morning gramp had announced that he was headed out to collect something very special and if we could hold out just a bit longer, and help gram around the nest, he would tell us The Story. Five days of confinement was a easy price to pay for The Story. It wasn’t just any old tale of woodland creatures. This wasn’t a retelling of an encounter with the farmer or his family. This was THE story of the Vale. The one gramp was called upon to recite each Spring when all the folk of the Vale came together to renew their pledge.

We were still to young to attend this years gathering. We’d have to wait until we could make the trip south and back on our own. We all knew the basics of what had happened that year, all the old animals talked about the parts they had played, but to hear the details from the Vale’s only real storyteller was quite an honor. Gram tried to tell us that it was because we’d all been so good since mother and father had taken flight south but we all knew it was because gramp was worried that his voice was failing. He had lost some of the “dees” from his morning calls this winter and we were sure this would be his last telling. He needed to find someone new to carry on The Story, and I hoped he had me in mind.

Gramp had taken me aside last summer and taught me some of the plant songs. The first he taught me was the joyous trill we sing when we find the great pink lady slippers. Even when we’ve had late frosts, and all the apple blossoms have fallen, butterflies and darting hummingbirds can still find nectar in the slippers. Gramp and I had added a new verse when we found the farmer and his family planting new slippers on the edge of the Deep. He said I’d done so well that he had promised I would get to sing for the folk when the first slippers appeared this year.

2 Comments:

Blogger Melissa said...

Hi Togbean,

I like love the sweater and I also like your story. but the linguist (and pedent) in me just has to point out a confusing bit:

"Being first year fledglings, gram and gramp had been too worried to let us fly in that weather."

"Being first year fledglings" appears to modify "gram and gramp" which is a bit confusing. You might try something like:

"Since we were only first year fledglings, gram and gramp had been too worried to let us fly in that weather."

Or

"We were only first year fledglings, and gram and gramp had been too worried to let us fly in that weather."

I am looking forward to the next installment of the story!

Melissa

2:57 PM  
Blogger Marti said...

Love the sweater and the fact that it has such bright colours. And I also love the nickname...Grumble. Too cute.

3:03 PM  

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