"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Christmas Story

At the request of one of my four grandsons, I have written a Christmas story about Gru and the Minions. If you have not seen the movie Despicable Me, here is a picture of a minion for you, as reference. They are very, very small, funny, supremely optimistic and completely adorable. I may try to write a story for each of the grandkids this year....or eventually.

The Little Lost Minion 

      Once the loud clanging sounds began, the Minions quickly adjusted their goggles, knowing they had only seconds before the explosion.
     WHOOSH-KABOOM!! The top of the building blew upward, carrying all the tiny Minions with it, flying like yellow popcorn up into the evening sky. They laughed with glee as they rocketed through the cold wintry air. Flight! Hooray!
     This was not the first time they had flown. As a matter of fact, they flew like this on a regular basis because the experiments often went horribly, hysterically wrong in Gru's laboratory.  Parachutes were part of their uniforms. This time, since it was the day before Christmas, they joined in a wild chorus of Jingle Bells as they floated, unharmed, down to the earth. By bath time they were all back inside except for one. Periodot was missing. They had seen his chute open but a sudden gust of wind had caught him and he had drifted toward the dark forest.
      As it happened, Periodot had landed safely in a small clearing in the forest and, after repacking his chute, had walked and walked until it was fully dark and he was very, very cold. He had not expected finding his way home to take so long and he knew he was lost. He sat down beside a small green tree as the light faded to blackness and snow began to fall. This was not good, not good at all. Minions are very hard workers and have a fantastic sense of humor but no sense of direction at all. He would have to wait for rescue.
      There was not a sound in the forest by that time except the creaking of brittle branches. Earlier he had heard a mother rabbit singing lullabies to her babies and all kinds of birds chatting back and forth as they got ready for bed.  The birds were silent now and clinging to branches of the tall evergreen trees, huddled together ruffled against the cold. The family of foxes who had eyed him as they passed had long since tip-toed across the frozen creek toward their warm den.
       As Periodot shivered under his growing blanket of snow, glowing blue snow fairies began to appear, weaving through the darkness. (Snow fairies, as I am sure you know, are no bigger than fireflies but with larger wings that glow a pale blue. They skim through the woods in winter, checking to see that all small creatures are tucked safely in their beds during the big snows.) 
    One of fairies noticed Peridot at once and landed in the little tree where she began to blink her light on and off. Soon other fairies noticed her and flew to join her until the entire tree was lit with sparkling blue lights. The lights gave no heat, but the North Wind noticed the blinking tree and shook a great dollop of snow loose right in front of old Mother Rabbit's doorway.
      Mother Rabbit heard something go 'kerslop', outside the opening to her front door and crept out to investigate. She immediately noticed the blinking tree and Peridot shivering in the snow beneath it. She hippety-hopped over at once and invited him to spend the night with her family and he gladly accepted.
       Never in his short life had Peridot spent such a warm and snuggly night as he did that night. Can you imagine sleeping surrounded by seven sleeping baby bunnies with soft, brown coats? No, you surely can not, for there is nothing more wonderful than that, and if you ever have such a night you will be a lucky, lucky child indeed.
       When the morning light came shining through the snowy woods the little Minion stepped out of Mother Rabbit's house into a world of sparkling white and bitter cold. Mother rabbit sat beside him and thumped her foot on the ground.
     "Sparrows!" she called, "Come and weave our friend a little brown coat with dark stripes like your own." A large flock of sparrows appeared at once and flew round and round in the air above Peridot until a small brown coat, just his size, fell out of their midst.
       Again Mother Rabbit thumped her foot and called out, " Cardinals! Come and weave our friend a hat of red feathers, like those you make for your own happy children." And six pair of beautiful red Cardinals flew round and round little Peridot until at last a tiny hat of red feathers and  thistledown came floating down onto his head.
       One more time Mother Rabbit thumped her big back foot and called in her furry voice, "Goldfinches! Come and weave our friend a pair of mittens to match your yellow vests." Suddenly a flock of tiny Goldfinches, all singing at once, flew out of the treetops and fluttered round and round in the air, weaving Peridot a tiny pair of mittens out of yellow feathers and birdsong.
        Then Mother Rabbit turned to Periodot and said, "Here is a pair of good black boots lined with rabbit fur. Now follow the Cardinal until you come to the edge of the forest.  He will leave you there and the Red Tailed Hawk will lead you over open country the rest of the way home." Then she touched her warm cheek to his cold one and disappeared into her home before he could even say 'goodbye' or 'thank-you so much for your kindnesses'.
        It happened just the way she had said it would. The beautiful red bird led Periodot to the edge of the forest and a hawk with a rust colored tail flew before him across the snowy meadows to the edge of town. He was warm as toast in his fine brown coat, his red-feathered cap and singing mittens.
      When the first sounds of the city reached their ears the hawk circled once in the air and dropped something from around its neck. It was a rust colored ribbon that held one small bell that chimed softly as it tumbled through the air.  Periodot placed the ribbon round his own neck and walked slowly toward his house, softly humming the tune of the yellow finches. Just before stepping inside his doorway he turned and saw, far way and shining against the blackness of the forest, the blue lights of the snow fairies and the soaring hawk circling above the trees.
      Every winter after that, on the day before Christmas, Periodot would bundle himself into his brown coat and black boots, tie on the red cap and slip his hands into yellow mittens to walk the long walk back to the forest with the ringing bell swinging against his chest.  In his backpack he would carry food for the birds and the bunnies as well as silver  jingle bells which he tied to the branches of that same tree that had sheltered him all those many years ago. And if you walk out into the woods on a snowy night near Christmas Day, and listen carefully, I believe you can hear the bells ringing still, as the North Wind passes by.

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