Corrie Clark of Delta, BC, sent me this story when I had a stroke and could not talk.
Captain Bob was a storyteller.
He sat on his front porch and told stories all day to children who could sit quietly and listen. He told the best stories about the children he knew and liked to make some pretty funny faces when he did. His mouth moved this way, and his arms went that way… and he never used a book.
He never wrote them down, he just told them from his head to his words and then those words went to the ears of the children. And those stories were told by the children to their families, and the families told them to friends, and the friends told them to others.
The stories traveled all over the world this way, and Captain Bob’s words were heard everywhere, and he always finished a story with two simple words… “and then”, he’d say, and stop right there so the children always came back for another story on another day.
But then one day a very bad thing happened. Captain Bob got sick. He couldn’t talk. So he sat on his porch alone. And it seemed as though all the stories had ended.
But Captain Bob lived next to a girl named Julia. And Julia spent hows listening to Captain Bob’s stories. And she knew them by heart. Julia loved Captain Bob’s stories more than anyone, and she was sad to see him sitting silent. So she decided she would DO SOMETHING.
Julia began to write the stories down. She wrote all day and all night, she wrote this way and that way, and she put down every bit of story she ever knew. Until it was one big story.
When Julia’s baby sister Bailey tried to eat the part about the pineapple and the princess, Julia put the page right back where it belonged, teeth marks and all.
And when Julia’s other sister Lillie found out about the great big story, she added her own page. “This is a purple magical Unicorn named Lightening”, she said, as she placed her page on top.
The story had grown from a few pages to a pile, and Julia took her pile to school. All of the other children wrote down their own parts of the story and added it to the pile.
William added a Dragon and a Dog. “Because every story has dragons, or dogs”. Maud added a windmill because “I’m Dutch”, she said, and Emma added love, because “every story should begin and end with love”.
And the pile grew so high Julia could hardly carry it. So she put it outside and all the children in the town started to add to the story, and soon children all over the country brought their pages and the story grew, and grew and grew. All the children everywhere who had ever heard a story added something to the big story until it grew so tall that the pile even reached the stars.
And then the pile started to sway. It swayed this way and that way… and then
It fell back down to the earth. Pages and pages floated down to the ground. It spread all -over the planet and every child, everywhere managed to catch a piece of it.
Even Julia. She caught the last page that said “The End”. But Bailey got a hold of it before she could stop her and took a nice big bite out of the story. When Julia got it back the page was in two pieces which just said “TH” and “EN”.
Julia took her page pieces next door and showed Captain Bob. Captain Bob took the pieces and put them together and made just one word….
THEN”…. And smiled.
THE END-less story.
© Corrie Clark, Delta, BC, 2010