Saturday, March 3, 2012

Little Demi

Preface: I'm writing a fictional story, a fairytale of sorts, instead of a regular blog entry today. To get things off my mind I've decided to be creative. I hope you don't mind. Love, Rachel

There was a little house in a little wood where a little girl sat on a little chair, nudging at little coals in a little fireplace, wondering what might become of her little life.

Her name was Demi and she hated that name. Demi hated that her name meant "small." She blamed her name for her small stature, standing only just above the height of her mantlepiece, an itty bitty girl in an already itty bitty place. She would often mutter to herself about how being small really was the worst curse a girl could ever receive.

One day, Demi left her little chair and her little fireplace. She approached her mother and tugged on her apron as she worked on a vegetable stew for supper. She said to her mother, "You should have named me Gigantina and called me Gigi for short. Then maybe I would have grown up big and tall, not short and small." Her mother laughed, gave her daughter a kiss on the forehead and said, "My darling, I may have chosen your name, but that doesn't mean you must take it. Decide your own - Demi or Gigi. Whichever you choose, I'll call you by it and love you just the same."

"I will change my name then, mother. I am no longer Demi. You may call me Gigantina, or Gigi." Gigi's mother looked at her daughter for a moment, grabbed a ladle from her steaming pot and offered her a taste. The girl took the ladle herself and sampled the soup. "How is it, Gigi?" her mother asked. "Wonderful, mother," said the girl. And she went on her way.

She felt something changing after that sip of soup. Gigi was growing bigger, feeling stronger by the minute. She thought it was the name. It had changed her somehow. She realized finally, she could do better things now.

Gigi left the house to play in the little wood outside her little lawn. She put on her little shoes (but, oh, they were tight) and set off with a little walking stick (which had grown quite small for her) ready to stroll past little trees and scale little mountains.

She approached a little bridge that spanned a little river, the Itsy River it was called. Gigi saw a little beaver, making a dam out of little logs and branches and twigs. The beaver said to her, "I am very small and cannot reach the branches on the tip tops of those trees," she gestured at some fine oak tree across the Itsy. "You are much taller and bigger than I. Can you climb a tree and break off some branches for my dam?"

Gigi looked at the beaver quizzically, but quite complimented at being called big and tall, she did what her new acquaintance had asked and began to climb a nearby oak. She got big branches and small branches and branches in between. She brought the branches down, and on the way she spoke quite loudly.

"I am big and strong and tall now, and for this I will say, 'I can conquer anything that stands in my way!'"

"I thank you, dear friend, for your help and your kindness! But be wary of pride, and try not to be mindless."

Gigi thought about what the beaver had said. But instead of dwelling on the beaver's words and her past, she went on through the little woods, walking quite fast.

Next, Gigi happened upon a little nest snuggled in a low tree branch. Inside were bluebirds, gathered together waiting for their mother who was out searching for food. There was one bird, two bird, three bird and four. "But we have one more!" said bluebird number four.

"Where is the fifth bird?" asked Gigi. She looked around the little wood, at her feet and on other branches, when she saw a small bird having fallen from its nest.

"I was so hungry that I tried to fly from my siblings. I thought I could help them. Our stomachs are grumbling," said the little fifth bird. "But then I fell, I couldn't fly. And my little leg broke, so I just sat here to cry."

Gigi felt badly for the little bird. So she found him a worm. As he ate very merrily, she had an idea. So she wandered around and she gathered supplies. And she fixed him a cast from some leaves and some sap.

The little bird cried, but these weren't tears of sadness. Through his tears he spoke to his brothers and sisters, "I'm crying for joy, for the big girl has helped us!"

With a pat on his head, she returned him to his nest. And she recited as before, of her talent at its best. "I am big and strong and tall now, and for this I will say, 'I can conquer anything that stands in my way!'"

But the little bird replied as the beaver did before him, "I thank you, dear friend, for your help and your kindness! But be wary of pride, and try not to be mindless."

Yet Gigi continued on, through the little forest. She was proud that she was so strong and so tall, and happy to help all the little animals she encountered. But it was growing dark and Gigi was cold. She may have grown bigger, but she could not grow warmer. And she started to run, through the forest and the rivers, running past twigs and owls hooting, losing all sense of sight.

She stumbled and fell, landing on a bed of rocks. But Gigi picked herself up and rubbed dirt off her palms. Then she saw a small insect she had caused a great deal of harm. The little monarch butterfly's little voice yelped out in pain, "You've damaged my wing, I'll never fly again!"

Gigi began to cry. For try as she might to use her size for kindness and good, because she is big she hadn't seen where the butterfly stood.

She examined the bug, touched its wing very carefully. But with each stroke, she hurt the monarch butterfly even more. "Ouch! Stop that," the little butterfly screamed. And Gigi realized, for once, she could not do anything.

So she cupped the butterfly in her little hands. "I'll keep you safe, I'll take you home. I'll save you, little butterfly. I will right my wrong."

Gigi returned home to her mother and her stew. She sat at the table and unclasped her hands to show her mother what she knew.

"Dear mother, I've realized what I didn't before. To be tall is no better than to be small, I will think that no more. I hurt this poor butterfly, because I was so big. And because she was small, she broke like a twig. I'm no longer Gigi, please let me be Demi!"

Her mother looked down at the little butterfly and kissed her broken wing, restoring power to the poor little thing. The butterfly could fly, Demi's mother had done it! But before she flew off, the little monarch went to little Demi and spoke in her little voice:

"You did not hurt me by being big, you should not worry of your size. Whether you're small or you're tall, what matters is what's in your heart, you'll realize. If you had been small, you could not have helped the beaver, the birds or even me! Because your heart was strong, it was that which held the key. But you need to be careful, be wary of false pride - a few good deeds might spoil you inside." Then the butterfly flew off into the night sky and Demi and her mother watched her go.

Demi thought about what the butterfly had said and what the beaver and the bird had reminded her before. She wanted to be big for the wrong reasons, to show off and to be loved. She wanted celebrity, she wanted to feel good, but in the process she'd lost sight of what really matters - she'd let pride take over.

"My dear Demi," said her mother, "you understand now. Your name did not make you big, that's a skill one must learn, and only you can know how." Her mother handed her a bowl of soup and Demi felt herself shrinking down to a tiny size. She yawned a great big yawn and her mother said "it's time for sleep."

Demi's mother kissed her daughter's little head, and set her in her little bed. She blew out a little candlelight and said to her a little goodnight.

And as Demi lie in her bed that night, she thought about beavers and birds and butterflies. And she thought that maybe being small wasn't a curse, and neither was being tall. The only curse to be conquered is the pride that she'd had. Nothing else really could be quite so bad.

So Demi went to bed with renewed pride, but this time not from her size, but from what was inside. The end.

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