Friday, May 6, 2011

Stories About Little People

It's one of those school holidays today in North Vancouver, so I got to hang out with the Boy and the Girl on their Friday night. The Girl had a playdate after school, so I spent less time obedient to her whims than usual --hardly a bad thing. The Boy is into his bulletin boards, grinding, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Not surprisingly, he spent a great deal of time growing Chaos in the afternoon, after correcting his uncle's painful misunderstandings. Sonic is a Sega, not a Sony character. Who knew? Everyone but uncle.

After that, the Boy launched an adventure game. Or is it the same game? Sonic Adventures 2 for Wii, Wikipedia suggests; but I might be wrong. He was complaining about characterisation, story depth, and dialogue as he did, though. There's pain there. I feel so helpless to see him going through what I went through at his age. He's already developing a callously sarcastic crust; although that might just be adolescence. Or adults modelling. Oops.

After the Playdate left, the Girl launched into a painful story of her own, of social confusion and rejection involving a bit of costume jewelry lost in the brush. I hate to be a coward, but I really want to leave the problem of raising/not raising a Mean Girl to others. That being said, the least I can do is deflect the conversation rather than validate any inappropriate behaviour. So I brought up my old stories about the Prickle People, and, Hallelujah, it worked!

Great Literature Inspires Me Every Day!
Strictly, in the story, the tiny people live in a miniaturised land surrounded by thorn forests, but ever since I read this book, I have never been able to look at a bramble patch without imagining tiny little people building tiny little cities deep within the thorns. I don't spend as much time mucking around in bramble patches as I did as a boy, but, still, thanks, Edgar Rice Burroughs, you crazy coot, you. And if I've anything to say about it, neither will the Girl.

Of course, her interests relating to very small people living under the prickle bushes are slightly different from mine, her being a girl and all. (Oh oh, indefensible gender politics alert!) I like to imagine skyscrapers a foot high, and the shepherd boys and the milkmaids herding their aphids up into the summer heights of the horse chestnut tree; escaping everyday life in the hot city for somewhere cool and green.

She, in her sweet, girlish way, plots genocide with squishings and sticky tape traps. Adorable!

Stories. Good ones make us happy. The ones that make us happiest, we make our own

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