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The Pocket Watch

Photo by Niklas Rhöse on Unsplash

Hailey had a magic pocket watch. The thing was, she didn’t know it was magic. She only knew it was old, and it felt nice in her hands.

“Grandpa, can I get this?”

He was looking through a stack of records.

He looked up, eyes blurry through his thick glasses. “Hmm?”

“This watch. Can I get it?” She held it out.

He came over to her, tucked the album he held under his arm, adjusted his glasses, and looked.

He had wavy white hair (not bald like so many other grandpas, which made Hailey feel proud, even though she knew it was unfair)— and he moved slowly through the world. She had asked her mom about that once.

“Is it because he’s old? Is that why he’s forgetful?”

Her mom had laughed. “No, your grandpa is just always somewhere else, and it takes him a while to get back.”

Hailey had been puzzled.

“He’s some other place in his mind— he’s a great thinker, your grandpa, and he travels far away without going anywhere at all.”

“Oh! Like Narnia,” Hailey had said. And after that she always liked to watch him come back to this world. It reminded her of a video she saw on the Discovery Channel once about a whale coming up from deep water.

Grandpa gave the little knob on top of the pocket watch a turn and held it up to his ear, cocking his head to one side.

“Does it work?” Hailey asked. She knew it wouldn’t’ matter— he’d let her get it anyway, not like if she was out with Nana and Papa, her other grandparents. They were practical. They had been farmers all their lives, and Hailey figured you couldn’t go traveling to Narnia if you had to plant corn and milk cows. She knew Grandpa would be able to tell the pocket watch was special.

“Hmm,” he mumbled. (He always mumbled— unless he was reciting Shakespeare or Longfellow or one of the other poets he liked so much— then he was “a great orator,” as Mom said.)

“Something’s loose inside— hear that rattle?” He held it out to her. In the stillness of the dusty old shop, she could hear some small piece sliding against the casing. She nodded.

“But you can fix it,” she said. It wasn’t really a question. Grandpa was an engineer. He had worked on building rocket engines for NASA long ago. Mom agreed that Grandpa’s Narnia was probably full of gears and gadgets and inventions.

He shrugged and handed it back to her, which was Grandpa-speak for “yes.”

Hailey held it close and turned the dials, feeling the now-smooth filigreed case, enjoying the click of the hidden gears as she adjusted the time.

Half an hour later, Grandpa said, “Now, then,” and Hailey knew that meant he was done looking. He gave the man at the register some cash and they left the store, treasures in hand.


First draft, timed writing, Stories for Dreamers

Animal Tales tours the Arrowhead

Are you in Northern Minnesota? I hope you can join me for one of these free shows! (And bring your friends).

How did Turtle get cracks in its shell? Why do dogs sniff each other’s tails? Why does Bear hibernate all winter long? Kids and families will love finding out the answers with these interactive folktales from around the world.

This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

https://www.alslib.info/animal-tales-of-why-and-how-rose-arrowsmith-decoux/

Mantra Pages

Mantra pages image

#mantrapages :

After years of faithfully writing Morning Pages (and loving it), I quit (to my surprise) last spring.

As I’ve returned to the practice it’s been slushy and unpleasant, and full of avoidance.

BUT!

Today I “cheated” and filled pages 2 and 3 with a mantra: I TAKE ACTIONS TO MANIFEST MY DREAMS.

(Because that it was the first thing that occurred to me and it sounded way better than all the grumbling and stumbling).

…And then I wrote a dozen pages of amazing, inspiring, break through ideas of programs to offer!

(Combining storytelling, cookies, yoga, music, and workshops into a marvelous sort of House Concert-Dinner Party!)

I will begin with Mantra Pages for the foreseeable future– moreso because it is a relief to feel my hand move across the page and my mind swept clear than because of any particular mantra’s message.

It is a great gift for the page to be a friend again.

Salted Caramel Sticky Buns

I used to be pretty intimidated by yeast breads. (To be honest, I still have an illogical wariness– I treat them the way I treat horses: Sooo beautiful, but who knows what might happen).

But I’m quite proud of this recipe because:

  1. It always turns out beautifully
  2. I combined a bunch of other recipes to make it!

I also discovered (after a lot of grainy batches on the stove top) that it’s possible and even easy to make caramel in the microwave!

AND I recently made Vegan Caramel Sauce for the first time. (This is GOOD. Not like, not-bad-for-vegan, but actually really delicious.)

Of course, the rest of the recipe isn’t vegan, but you could try adapting it if you like.

Here’s the recipe:

Of course, you could also just come stay at Art House Bed & Breakfast and I’ll make it for you. 🙂

The Yawn Snatcher

The Yawn Snatcher is a wily creature.

It has curling horns,

And curving fingers.

Its feet are quiet as a whisper.

You won’t ever hear it coming.

But you might feel it:

That reaching feeling just behind your ears

Like the pull of a magnet

Drawing the yawn away.

 

The Yawn Snatcher waits

In late nights

Early mornings

Afternoons that drag on.

The Yawn Snatcher loves boring lectures

Fancy dinners

And long waits at the bus stop.

 

When a yawn begins,

The Yawn Snatcher senses it,

Smells it.

With its spindle-thin legs

It strides across the land,

Fast as a shadow.

It crouches behind you,

Fingers curled

Elbows back

Ears cocked and

Eyes bright.

 

It reaches round you

— so quickly you can’t see it,

So deftly you tell yourself it was a trick of the light—

And plucks the yawn right out of your chest.

Its fingers curl, cage-like

Around the vaporous, wriggling yawn.

Then it gobbles it down

Or stuffs the yawn into its sack

Or one of its many bulging pockets,

And lopes off

Back to its lair in the misty mountains.

And you will stand and scratch your head:

Where did that yawn go?

 

Sometimes, the Yawn Snatcher will trip,

Drop its sack with a spill,

Or the yawn will wriggle out through a hole in its sweater

And fly back to the yawner.

 

Sometimes, if it has flown a long way,

It will be a weak little thing,

Hardly satisfying at all.

 

But sometimes a quick and clever yawn

Will break free

And gather momentum.

It will hit you square in the back

Sending a shock through your whole body.

And then you will have the most jaw-cracking,

Arm-stretching,

Mumble-moaning yawn in years.

A yawn that makes you blink your eyes and smile.

 

The Yawn Snatcher will gnash its teeth,

But it can’t do a thing about it.

It will slink back to its cave

With a grumble and a grimace

To sit and stroke its stolen yawns

And swallow them one by one.

 


 

(Inspired by Ennis taking FOREVER to get that yawn out last night!)