My wife , daughter and I were on a few ‘practice hikes’ in town to prepare for an outing to Mt. Monadnock last week when my daughter starts telling us a Story.
I could tell it was a ‘Story’ instead of a story from the way she spoke and walked while she was telling it. (If you are unsure what I mean ask any kid about their favorite superhero and listen carefully. There is s definite capital S in a child’s telling)
The Story: There is a good Queen in the forest. The Queen of Leaves and apparently the Queen of Mushrooms, the naughtiest of the forest queens, has been stealing the Leaf Crown and other items of a magical nature from the Leaf Queen!
There are other naughty queens: Pine Cone, Pine Needle and Bramble who aid Queen Mushroom in her quest to control the forest. They have an undetermined number of fierce lions at their command as well.
But that’s okay! Because the Queen of Leaves has the Good Queens of Flowers, Sticks and Grass to help HER. And there are Scary Dragons on their side.
I have about 15 minutes of her beautiful words recorded on my cell phone from that practice hike. My wife and I were held captive by the narration as we walked.
Everything we passed came into play during this epic tale of the forest realm: the mossy traps the Mushroom Queen set on the rocks to make us slip, the face someone had painted on a barkless part of one tree that became the guide to steer us in the right direction, and finally…the Key!
I didn’t see anyone else out there on our little trek, but at the end of our path, clean and shiny at the crossroads lay a Key. But it was not just ANY key. I when I asked my Story-Teller, she determined that it must be the Key to the Mushroom Queen’s Treasure Box. Well…now we had a Problem!
I was due into work in under an hour and we had just been presented with a Quest. Knowing, as we did, that the Mushroom Queen had been stealing the Leaf Wand and Crown and many other Magical Items from the Queen of Leaves all summer we had some serious choices to make.
Clearly, we could NOT join the Mushroom Queen in her naughtiness. So we had to find her lair and use this Key to steal the Magical Items back!
She asked the Tree Guide about it and learned that the naughty Queen’s hideout was very far away. We decided to find it on Mt. Monadnock!
These photos are all from that Adventure. The ground was covered with red, orange and yellow maple leaves that became Leaf Shields, a special gift from the Queen of Leaves to protect us on the journey! Very kind of her!
I have been mulling on our adventure for a week now trying to get to the blog and send it out into the world. Because I am amazed at the Power of Story. Whatever happened along our path, this girl weaved it into her tale with complete faith that This Is How It Is! My Author’s Brain was thrilled with her creativity.
(There was only a time of two when I offered a suggestion when she seemed at a loss for ideas. This was her Story and we were along for the ride!)
In the end, it became too Real. After this ===>
our courage failed us and we decided to just let the Queen of Leaves know exactly where this naughty Lair was located. She, after all, has many Scary Dragons and who better to attack a castle than a squad of flying reptiles. Discretion is the better part of valor.
My Small Bard was very tired after all this adventuring and we turned back with no shame!
“Adventures make one late for dinner!” ~Bilbo Baggins
**UPDATE** I got an e-mail from an author’s blog that I follow: Writing is Hard Work ! I loved it! Roger has a fledgling WordSmith as well. Our sprouts watch us and they learn from what we do. How easy is it to forget that? Happy Writing to your daughter Roger! I feel your pride!