Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Last Tender Thought

Five years ago, Bede started a story for me called “The Last Tender Thought.” The story was a serialized epic in which three main characters called the Tzaddik, the Gadgeteer and the Little Girl Who Came From the Land to Which You Can Never Return set out on a quest to rescue the Last Tender Thought, trapped under a glass dome, from the clutches of the Machine King. The Machine King lived at the North Pole, so the heroes had quite a trek to reach the kingdom. Along the way, they encountered many perilous adventures. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what they were, because I often fell asleep while Bede was telling me the story. This was the whole point of the storytelling, but all the same, I was sorry I had missed out on important plot points.

What I do remember about the story spanning five years (with long gaps between episodes) was that the Tzaddik taught the polar bears to speak, the Gadgeteer shut down the cruel oil mines, and the Little Girl freed the clockwork mice from the enslavement of the Machine King. Last night, Bede presented the finale of the story, and I stayed awake for the whole thing. It was quite a show-down. Everyone was integral to the rescue, but it was the Little Girl who seized the icicle and threw it at the glass dome, shattering the prison of the Last Tender Thought. The Last Tender Thought gummed up the gears of the Machine King, and his merciless reign was no more.

All of a sudden, I feel so sleepy. It’s way too early to take a nap, but perhaps if I just rest my head on the keyboard for a moment….

14 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

I like that Bede. Lone Star Pa never tells me stories.

Nonny said...

That just might be the most romantic thing I've ever heard!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lone Star Ma--
To be fair to Lone Star Pa (and all of the other great guys out there), the storytelling husband (or boyfriend, or partner) is a rare animal. Many people, when asked, "Tell me a story, please," say, "I can't tell stories." I would vote that most people can become good storytellers with a little practice. However, making up stories as you go along is very, very hard. I can do it in writing, but am not so great with the oral spontanaity.

Nonny--
Thanks! I think so too. I look forward to the times when Bede tells stories to Lucia.

Thanks for stopping by, you two. I am grateful for your friendships and your blogs.

abcgirl said...

that is simply lovely. i agree that verbal storymaking is a bit tricky. the last time i earnestly tried to make up a story as i went was as i was driving very late one night on the way home from a concert (3 hours from my home). i needed to stay awake and the best way to stay awake (as everyone must know) is to talk to someone, but the person i was in the car with wanted to sleep. so i told him that he could sleep, but that i would tell a story so i could stay awake but he wouldn't have to interact with me. i ended up telling a story about a man who lived under the sea and who got very angry every morning because his newspaper got wet when it was delivered. it being very late at night and i being giddy, the story quickly degenerated into fits of giggles so strong that my eyes were filled with tears and i was in danger of going off the road. my driving companion mumbled, "maybe you'd better switch to a different story." the second story didn't fare much better despite the fact that i started it off with a pretty somber image of a woman who was knitting a river. sadly, i don't remember much of the rest of these stories, so i can't tell you if they were actually hilarious, or if i was just really, really tired. but i think the best stories may be born when you are super sleepy. ever since then, my travelling companion has agreed to have conversations with me to avoid any dangerous stories being told. maybe i should re-instate the story-making car trip tradition...

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

ABCGirl: If I have any regrets about college, it is that I didn't get to know many of my frosh friends with the depth that you all had since you had four years together. I think we would have been storytelling partners in crime! (What the "crime" would be is something to speculate, but rest assured, it would have been far more interesting than getting caught in the boys' dorm 10 minutes after open house hours ended.*)


*There was a roomful of us watching a movie. Being chastised is one thing-- being called before the disciplinary dean was totally silly and a waste of time.

Lone Star Ma said...

They called you before a dean for that? Was the dean very bored? We used to do that every night in college ('cept I don't think we were watching movies) and the worst we ever got was a mildly stern talking-to by an RA.

abcgirl said...

ha! that was a hoot! ok, maybe not at the time, but the fact that we were then banned from having boys in our rooms (including our roommates boyfriends) and vice versa for 6 weeks was so overboard! ah well, i'll never be able to think of thelma and louise without remembering that incident... we never did get to really see the ending!

galetea said...

My father was a brilliant storyteller when I was small. I looked forward to bathtimes immensely, because it always meant another installment of one of his tales! His cast of characters included Walla-Walla Wallaby from Walla-Walla Washington, Mandingo Moose, who had psychic powers, Smoot, a creature who lived on Mt. Kilauea and Papoofa Panda. I don't think he ever wrote them down, which was a tremendous shame.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm going to chalk it all up to karma. I got a slap on the wrist for something that was no big deal in penance for some things that I did that were bigger deals, and didn't get caught. But my goodness, everything I did was so insignificant in comparison to what I could have been doing. I finally admitted to my father (who was much relieved) that I was only 1/5 as much trouble as I made myself out to be.

I do feel bad for my friends who were caught underage with alcohol. The police record was pretty minor to what the college would put those poor sods through!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Galetea--That's great that your father told you stories. It would be lovely if our parents could write down on a regular basis the stories they told us, but we really run them through the wringer! They get tired. I'm glad to know that Walla-Walla, WA, was in your consciousness from an early age.

Nonny said...

Wow, comment explosion over here :) You are to quick for me, I was reading Amichai's comment this morning and was gonna go post the wikepedia link myself but you had already done it. Your so helpful.

Fridaysweb said...

This made me remember one of a very few fond memories with my mother. When I was about 6 or 7, she and I would read the Little House on the Prairie books together. She'd step in when I got stuck on a hard word. I'd step in when she couldn't picture what the snow must have looked like or how the apple pie must have tasted. When my kids were little, I made up stories for them. My husband finally convinced me to put one of the favorites on paper and it's tucked away until my girls have children. Reading to people - young and old and in between - is a special thing. Being the recipient I think is even more special.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Friday--
I love those Little House books, too. Those are the books that really made me love reading. I remember learning some new, hard words, and Mom would laugh (nicely) when I pronounced them and asked what they meant.

abcgirl said...

ah yes. the little house books introduced me to the word, "slough" which i couldn't decide whether it would rhyme with "rough" or "bough" and i was surprised to learn that it rhymed with "through."