Something I’ve noticed about children (particularly in the south) is that they are very open. What I mean is that they are willing to tell you every aspect of their lives whether you want to hear it or not.
A girl–maybe six–lives down the street from my grandmother. We’re going to call her Rice. Now, my grandmother lives on a lane that branches off from the main road and provides a driveway of sorts for two houses. So, one day Rice comes trotting along down the lane with a baby doll and a stroller. Except–wait! Is that a bird? Is it a plain? No…
It’s an actual baby.
In a toy baby stroller.
Being pushed by a six-year-old.
“Well, I thought that was a baby doll,” my grandmother says, and the little girl shakes her head.
“No, she’s just a baby that we have once in a while.” The girl smiles like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“Yeah, my momma says that we might get to keep her because her momma just sits on the couch and cries.”
How do you respond to that??? I’m pretty sure my grandmother just says something like, “Oh…”
Just then, the girl’s slightly-older-brother pedals up on his bike, breaking hard so that the wheels squeal against the blacktop. “Rice,” he says, “you know we’re not supposed to talk to strangers.”
The little girl puts her hands on her hips. “But she’s not a stranger!” she insists. “She’s our neighbor and she lives here!”
I’m glad there are people who haven’t completely given up on the goodness of the human race, but if said people also push live babies around in strollers meant for dolls…I’m a little concerned. Well, no, I’m more concerned that her parent allowed her to take a real baby (in a fake stroller) down the street to talk to the neighbor she doesn’t know.
In other news: we have officially opened up our character creation suggestion box for This is a Book!!! You will have one week (until Thursday, April 25th) to fill out the following character form, at which time we will be narrowing the options down and providing you a poll box where YOU will pick the next character(s) introduced in the book 🙂
The form goes as follows:
NAME OF CHARACTER:
TYPE OF CREATURE/PERSON:
PLACE OF ORIGIN:
NAME OF CHARACTER: Count Fuzz
TYPE OF CREATURE/PERSON: Squish (flying-squirrel-fish)
SPECIAL ABILITY: Can fly with flimsy wings and breath underwater. He’s also an evil genius.
PLACE OF ORIGIN: Blurg (Pluto’s crazy twin brother planet)
DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC: Each squish has lime-green fur that always sticks up as if the squish has just been electrocuted.
Answer one of these forms and stick it down there *finger points down* in the comments section below. Julia and I are super psyched to see what you’ll come up with for the next chapters! (FUN. FUN. FUN. FUN…something, something…WEEKEND!) If you want to see what people have come up with so far, check out the comments for Chapter Fourteen.
Remember: one week, and then the voting begins! Ooh…Ahhh…