Category Archives: Children

For Morgan, With Love

A little poem for my daughter:

If I were a glow worm

I’d sparkle in the night.

Illuminating shadows

With my natural light

And if I were a caterpillar

I’d soon turn out to be

Pretty as the sunrise and

The wind could carry me

But I’m just a little girl

Not knowing what I’ll be.

And that’s OK because I know

I’m the one and only ME!

My dearest daughter, you are a gift from the heavens. Your life is spread out before you. Take advantage of the opportunities you are given. You can grow to be anything in this world… My only hope is that you choose to be yourself, first. I love you, my Hobbit.


The Traveler (rediscovered)

As I was doing a little spring cleaning, I came across some old pictures, a dreadful report card, my diploma and a short story. I thought my ENGL 101 instructor was the first to require me to exercise my creativity – I was wrong.

The following story was written in November 1991, while I was a Sophomore in high school. As such, it contains some child-like ideas. Also, I may have read H.G. Wells prior to writing it. I don’t remember the assignment and I think the first page or two may be missing. But here is the work – uncorrected. A surprisingly difficult task, as it is my habit to edit as I go:
(And for those who wonder.. the diploma is tucked safely away again, the report card has very deliberately disappeared, and the pictures ended up on Facebook, naturally….)

The Traveler:
“I’m Nodnal. I am a wood sprite,” the creature answered. “You must be Jonathan. Reklaw told me about you. Well, come on.”

“Wait. Where am I? Who’s Reklaw,” Jonathan inquired.

“Don’t ask questions and follow me,” Nodnal replied.

Without arguing, Jonathan followed Nodnal to a small hill. They stopped to rest when a strange animal appeared. It was a white horse with a single golden horn coming out of its forehead.

“Hello Nodnal,” greeted the horse. “I see you have found the human.”

“Hello Nicaren,” Nodnal replied.

“What was that?” Jonathan asked as the creature walked away.

“Reklaw was right,” Nodnal said, looking at Jonathan in surprise. “Your imagination is gone. That was a unicorn. Now, let’s go.”

They began climbing the hill. When they got to the top, Jonathan was speechless. The valley below was covered in blinding white snow. In the middle of this valley stood a castle made of ice.

“Dear Lord,” Jonathan prayed, “have I died and gone to Heaven? Is this your castle I see before me?”

“Is this the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen?” Nodnal asked.

“It’s wonderful,” Jonathan commented as he began to step forward.

“No, don’t move,” Nodnal warned. “If you pass this hill you will never be able to return home.”

Jonathan didn’t listen. He began walking towards the castle leaving Nodnal to run after him.

“Halt,” a loud voice rang out. A monsterous creature stepped forward.

“I was told to bring him here,” Nodnal said to the creature. “Reklaw is waiting for us.”

“A griffin!” Jonathan screamed. “The castle guard is a griffin?”

“Shut up and don’t make Ttoc angry,” Nodnal said. “He’ll eat you alive.”

They entered the castle. There were chandeliers made of ice and crystal. The walls looked like glass. On one wall, there were several different colored mirrors. Suddenly, a beautiful, musical voice sounded through the hall.

“Who said that?” Jonathan asked, not answering the question. “Show yourself.”

“Nodnal, leave us alone,” the voice asked.

“Yes your highness,” Nodnal’s voice shook.

“Jonathan, why did you come to my castle?” the voice repeated.

“I’m not telling you anything until I can see you,” Jonathan replied.

“Very well,” the voice replied, “look into the blue mirror. Do you see that young girl?”

Jonathan looked in to the mirror. He saw two young children at play and a beautiful young woman.

“Is that you?” Jonathan asked.

“No, that is my daughter, Andromeda. Don’t you remember her? You’ve met her in your dreams,” the voice said.

“I still don’t know who you are,” Jonathan announced.

“Look into the pink mirror. Do you see those colors? That is me. I am Reklaw and I am your dreams,” the voice started to weaken. “I am dying because all you ever do is work on your machine. You have forgotten how to dream.”

“Well, what can I do,” Jonathan asked. “How do I remember how to dream?”

“You already remember,” the voice declared. “Now, however, you must stay here forever. Soon, we will all die.”

“You can let me go and no one will ever know I was here.” Jonathan suggested.

“That is not for me to decide. You must talk to Namdnas. He lives in the center of Dreamland, Nodnal will go with you.”

Jonathan and Nodnal started for Dreamland immediately. Halfway there they cam across a toll bridge.

“No one may pass this bridge without answering my riddle,” said an ugly little man. “Are you prepared to try?”

“What is the riddle?” Jonathan asked.

“What animal has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” the troll asked.

Jonathan pondered the question and then he asked, “Is the answer a man?”

The troll was outraged. “How did you know?” he asked. “Never mind. Go and do not return.”

So Jonathan and Nodnal were, again, on their way.

Finally, they arrived at the gates made of silver. Beyond the gates stood a giant castle. The castle was made of pink and lavender clouds.

They walked into the castle with no problems. They entered a large hall, on the opposite side of the room was an old man. He had a white beard and was dressed in a long, blue robe.

“Come forward,” he said. “I am Namdnas, ruler of Dreamland. You have come because you wish to leave.”

“Yes. Can you help me?” Jonathan pleaded.

“Yes, only because you have come all this way. Andromeda!” the young girl came into the room. “Andromeda, take Jonathan home. Jonathan, follow her she will help you.”

Andromeda led Jonathan into a room. The ceiling was covered with dark storm clouds.

“Lay down and concentrate on going home,” Andromeda told Jonathan.

He did as he was told. Soon, the clouds began to break and sunlight came through.

“You’re almost home,” a distant voice said.

When Jonathan awoke he was in the school lab. In his left hand was his time machine and in the other was a screwdriver. The time was still midnight, time had never passed.

Jonathan finished his machine and made many trips through time, but he never again forgot how to dream.

A Dragon For Christmas

“I want a dragon for Christmas.” The child stood before her mother, arms crossed in front of her.

“There are no such things as dragons, baby.” Her mother sighed and continued washing the dishes. How do you handle a child with such a vivid imagination?

“Yes there are and I want one! I’m writing to Santa right now to ask for one.” She started reaching for her pencil and notebook, last year’s Christmas present. “Mom, how do you spell dragon?”

“Sound it out. D…r…a…g…o..n”

The little girl sat with the pencil in her mouth, a thoughtful pose. The she began to write:

Dear Santa,
I have deeN A good gurl this yer ples bring me a dragen for krismas.
Thank you love MorgaN

“O-N, baby. It’s awwnnn not eeenn” She corrected her daughter’s spelling and then reminded her, “I think you should add a couple more things on the list. I don’t think Santa can get a dragon.” Boy, was she going to be disappointed Christmas morning.

The child finished her letter and folded it into an envelope. “Here, Mom. Can you send this for me please?” Her mother took the letter, added a stamp and put it with the other mail.

The next morning Mom dropped the letter to Santa into the box with the other bills and took her daughter to school. As they drove, young Morgan began talking of Christmas and how excited she was. “I can’t wait! It’s going to be so cool having my own dragon. I’m going to name it… hmmm… what should I name it mom? I wonder if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.”

She kept on until they arrived at school. Again, Mom tried to convince the little girl, “Honey, you have to remember, dragons are not real. They are fantasy.”

“No, Mom, they are real. You’ll see. What was the name of the dragon in The Hobbit? I forgot.”

“Smaug, why?”

“Oh Yeah, Smaug. That’s what I’m going to name my dragon, Smaug.”

“Smaug was mean and tried to burn and crush the dwarves and Bilbo, remember? Are you sure you want a dragon named Smaug?”

“Yes, because my dragon will be nice. Santa wouldn’t bring me a bad dragon.” And off she went to school, leaving Mom sitting in Parent Drop-off shaking her head.

Mom and Dad had tried and tried to get Morgan to ask for something else. Now, with only a week to go, they were desperately searching for something to get her. They both knew that dragons didn’t exist and if that is all the child had asked for, then Santa had nothing to give her. She decided that something needed to be done.

“Call Work” She spoke into the car. The Hands Free device proceeded to dial her office.

“City IT” a voice answered.

“Hi Susan, it’s Kat. Hey, I’m not going to make it in this morning. Can you mark it for me?”

“Sure thing. Doing a little last minute shopping?”

“Yeah, something like that. Thanks!” She hung up and headed for the toy store.

It was Christmas, without a doubt. Eight-thirty in the morning and the store was packed. Mom walked into the Fantasy section of the store and found the toy dragon figures. She selected one of each kind and put them in the cart. She found a large red and orange dragon and grabbed it. Next she went to the books and found “Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons” and a few dragon coloring books. Finally, she went into the electronics section and picked “How To Train Your Dragon: The Game” for the Nintendo DS. If her daughter couldn’t get a real dragon for Christmas, she could at least get something.

Satisfied with her decision she headed to the checkout. In the car she called her husband and filled him in on her idea.

“You know she is still going to be disappointed.” He said.

“I know. But I had to do something! It’s Christmas and I don’t know what Santa is going to do for her. I’m going home now to wrap everything. We’ll just have to hope for the best.”

That afternoon she surprised her daughter by picking her up from school. They went for ice cream and when they got home they worked on her homework together. After dinner they tried one more time to convince the little girl that dragons didn’t exist. “Morgan, please send Santa another letter asking for something else? You know dragons are just fantasy. They aren’t real.”

“Yes, they are. I know they are. Just wait. On Christmas you’ll see.”

The week flew by and, before they knew it Christmas had arrived. As usual, they went to Mom’s family on Christmas Eve, ate too much, and came home. Before going to sleep Mom tried one more time to prepare her daughter for the disappointment she would face in the morning.

“Baby, I don’t want you to be upset in the morning, OK. I know you were hoping for a dragon, but they just don’t exist. Maybe Santa will give you something else instead. But I don’t think it will be a dragon.”

“Mom!” then she sighed. “You’ll see.”

Sadly, Mom and Dad went to bed. They prepared for the worst, a sad little girl on Christmas.

“Mom.” She heard a whisper in her ear. “Mom, wake up. You have to see this.” Mom opened her eyes and saw the smiling face of her little girl.

“What is it, Baby?” She asked as she stretched and sat up.

“Shhh, you have to be quiet. Come on.” Mom saw Dad standing behind the child with a look of disbelief.

“What?” She began to grow concerned and jumped out of bed. They followed Morgan down the hall, Dad still hadn’t said anything.

Morgan stopped and said, “OK, now look. But be quiet or you’ll wake it up.”
Confused Mom peeked around the corner and there, curled up under the Christmas tree fast asleep, was a real baby dragon. It was about the size of a small puppy and as it snored wisps of smoke came from it’s nostrils. Mom stood and stared in wonder.

Dad handed her a note. “This was in the tree addressed to us.” She took the note and read:

Dear Mom & Dad,
I have given Morgan a baby Dragon, just like she asked. Do not worry. It will not get any bigger than Nina, your Queensland Heeler. Also, it does not make fire and never will. It is a special breed. She may even be one of a kind. I found her wandering outside my work shop shortly after getting Morgan’s letter. I do not believe it was coincidence. She is quiet and loving. Please take very good care of her. There are so few wonders left in this world.
I have left instructions on how to care for her under the tree. I trust you will all do your best to make sure she is well cared for. Merry Christmas!
Santa Claus
P.S. Let this be a lesson to you… Never underestimate the strength of a child’s faith. Sometimes, that faith is enough to turn fantasy into reality. We all have the power to create… what we lack is faith in the impossible. My gift to you this Christmas is advice: Take time to think like a child and you will open yourself to worlds you’ve never dreamed of… Good luck!

Mom put the note down and watched as the sleeping dragon stretched and opened its eyes. Morgan reached down and began to pet its head. With smiling eyes the little girl said, “This is the best Christmas ever!”