April 8, 2011
“Tell me a story, Nana,” my grandson said as I put him to bed. I mentally scrambled.
“About what, Sweetie?” I asked.
“Tell me about a warrior.”
“Once upon a time long ago, a young warrior …
“What shall we call him?” I asked.
a warrior name Jordan, wanted to do good deeds for people, but he always seemed to mess them up. When he helped his mother with the garden, he planted the bulbs upside down. When he hitched the oxen to the plow for his father, he put them on the opposite sides and they refused to move.
One day Jordan decided to leave home and try his good deeds elsewhere. He kissed his mother good bye as she handed him a pack for lunch. He shook his father’s hand, patted his younger brother and sister on the head and prepared to leave.
Mounting his horse, he donned his armor and rode off toward a small town by the mountains in the distance. The sun rose behind him warming his back and the horses flanks.
So what happens to him?” I asked. “He needs to meet someone on the road and try to do a good deed.”
“How about a beggar?”
“And what happens? Remember Jordan tries to do a good deed and it fails.”
“ He gives him a ride and he falls off.”
On his way, he saw a poor beggar sitting at the crossroads. His clothes were torn and dirty and his matted hair stuck up like the pointed mountains in the distance. Jordan dismounted and walked over to the man. I will do him a good deed, he thought. “I don’t have any money,” he said, “but I can give you a ride to that city by the mountains.”
The beggar agreed as he hopped up behind Jordan. Off they rode toward the western mountains. Soon, however, the beggar began to complain that the horse’s rump was too hard. “And besides,” he whined, “it hurts to bounce up and down like this.” “Sorry about that,” said Jordan. “Perhaps if I go faster it will be better.” He spurred the horse to gallop and was riding so hard he never noticed that the beggar fell off in the dirt and rolled to the side of the road.
“Now we need another problem that Jordan runs into.” My grandson thought a while. “I don’t know,” he said. “How about this?” I asked.
Jordan rode on till he came to a well on the side of the road. Again he dismounted to drink and water his horse. As he approached the well, he found a dog panting and lying on its side beside the well. Another means to do a good deed, thought Jordan. “Poor dog,” he said. “You must be thirsty.” He took off his helmet, scooped up water and let the dog drink. Suddenly the dog fell over dead. The water had been poisoned! “The dog saved us from dying,” he said to his horse, who dropped his head and sadly nudged the dog with his muzzle.
“Oh, that’s sad.” “Yes, it is,” I said. “Shall we change it?”
He thought. “No, sometimes things are sad – like the time your cat ran away.” “Okay, we’ll keep it. Now in every story we have three problems. What will the third one be?”
Jordan continued on but he was hungry. By and by, he saw a wooded area. He dismounted there and led his horse to a grassy spot where he grazed. Jordan sat under a tree, opened his lunch pack and began to eat. WHOOSH! An ugly monster jumped out of the tree right in front of Jordan.
“Now what does that monster look like?” I asked. “We need to describe him.” “He’s ugly and has a big head and is furry all over, and his ears stick up and are round and he growls like this: Arr-rrr-ah.” “Good,” I praise his description.
“Give me your food,” the monster growled in a big, angry voice. His big head wagged back and forth. “Not on your life,” replied Jordan, pulling his sword out of its scabbard.
“Then I’m going to take it,” cried the monster. And he jumped at Jordan. Jordan leaped aside and spanked the monster with the side of his sword right on his bum. The monster jumped in the air and ran off. (Peals of grandchild laughter.) Finally Jordan reached the plain that led to the mountain. There he saw a tower in the distance rising high into the sky. In front of it stood a seven-foot squirrel holding a small sword and wearing a helmet that slid over his left eye.
“A squirrel?” my grandson asked. “Okay,” I replied, “I know it sounds stupid, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind. I’ve been battling squirrels all morning off my bird feeder.”
My grandson shrugged. “Okay.”
The squirrel rose to his full height as he watched Jordan approach. He lifted his saber as the helmet started to slip over his left eye. Jordan drew his sword and jumped off his steed. He raced toward the squirrel and a vicious battle ensued. They slashed and swiped their swords. Jordan cut the squirrel’s leg and the squirrel cut Jordan’s arm.
Suddenly the squirrel’s helmet fell over his left eye. He reached up to push it back. Before the squirrel could swing his saber, Jordan struck him with a deathly blow, and the bushy tailed giant fell to the ground at the base of the tower.
“My hero,” Jordan heard from the top of the tower. Looking up he saw a beautiful maiden imprisoned in the top of the tower. He slashed the lock on the door with his sword, ran up the circular staircase to rescued the beautiful maiden.
I really wanted to end it with the girl riding back to his home and falling in love with his brother. But I left him in the tower to find a good deed of rescue to perform there.
Some things are better left unsaid.
(Tune in next week for a comment and critique on this!!!)