Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Princess Sparklemist and The SandWitch

(Note: About two years ago, my daughter asked me to make up a story. Together, we invented characters and the first Sparklemist Story was born. Now, whenever we are in the car, she begs for a new Sparklemist tale. The sagas, by request, always have to be scary, so Sparklemist has battled various foes, including pirates, dragons, smelly monsters and terrible storms. This story is my personal fave.)

Once upon a time, Princess Sparklemist and her two friends Rocky* (a giraffe) and Lily (a crocodile) set out for a hike in the desert. It was a beautiful sunny day. The cacti were in bloom and the sand dunes sparkled in the sunshine. It was hot but not too hot, and our explorers brought water and a picnic with them on their adventure.

Right before the trio planned to stop for lunch, they came upon a huge dune. As they walked around it they discovered a hole in the side, which seemed to lead deep, deep down into the sand. Sparklemist, Rocky, and Lily all stood at the edge and peered down into the dark.

All of a sudden, a green lizard popped his head out, startling our friends.

"Hello!" he greeted them. "You are at the entrance to the House of The SandWitch!"

"The SandWitch!" they exclaimed. "Who is she?"

"The SandWitch is a lovely desert dweller," replied the lizard. "She would like to invite you to tea."

Sparklemist looked at Rocky and Lily and shrugged. "What do you think, guys?" Sparklemist was a polite princess who did not like to turn down polite invitations.

"I don't know..." murmured Rocky, peering skeptically down into the dark hole. "How will we get out of there?"

"No problem!" muttered the lizard. "No need to worry about that..." He turned to the mouth of the House of The SandWitch and declared, "Follow me!" The lizard, whose name was Louie, sat on his bum at the edge of the sand tunnel and began sliding down. Rocky went next, followed by Sparklemist and Lily.

It was a long, dark, smooth and sandy ride to the inside of The SandWitch's house. When they reached the bottom, their eyes adjusted to the dim light of the sand cavern, where the SandWitch greeted them lustily.

"Ahhhhhhhhh, yes, you've come for tea, have you?" rasped The SandWitch, whose sand-colored hair was matted and knotty and whose skin was white from lack of sun. She wore loose clothes made of rough brown fabric like burlap and her calloused feet were bare.

Sparklemist stepped forward, introducing herself and her friends. "Thank you so much for inviting us. Your house is very interesting!"

Louie had taken his place on a sand shelf on one side of the cavern, and as Rocky and Lily looked around, they noticed that two more lizards, these ones brown and warty, were blocking the way out.

"Yes...well, let us have tea. And then we'll have lunch!" The SandWitch rubbed her hands together. Louie came down from his perch to grab a kettle off a small fire in the corner. Sparklemist, Rocky, and Lily all drank tea made of cactus flower petals and talked about their hike in the desert.

When they finished their sweet drinks, Sparklemist offered to share the lunch they had brought with Louie, the SandWitch, and the two rather scary lizards by the exit.

Louie and The SandWitch looked at each other. Louie cleared his throat.

"You see, well, ahem...actually, you are the lunch," he mumbled.

Rocky put a hoof behind his ear. "Huh? What did you say?"

"Ummm...well...The SandWitch will be eating YOU for lunch." He turned his head toward The SandWitch, who nodded and grinned.

"Yes, that's right! And you certainly look delicious! Especially her." The SandWitch gestured toward Sparklemist. "Though I have never had giraffe, come to think of it..."

Sparklemist was aghast. "Eat us! For lunch? You invite us to tea and then you eat us for lunch? Why, that's the rudest thing I have ever heard of!" Sparklemist put her (trembling) hands on her hips. The lizards behind her inched closer.

"Darling, that's what I do," answered the SandWitch resolutely. "I invite visitors to tea, and then I eat them for lunch. Prepare the pot, Louie."

Sparklemist, Rocky, and Lily looked at one another and back at the two guard lizards in horror. But Sparklemist quickly pulled herself together and began problem solving.

"Ms. SandWitch, aren't there other things you like to eat for lunch? Haven't you ever tried a sandwich?"

The SandWitch whirled around on her bare heel. "A SandWitch? Why, I would never eat another SandWitch!"

"Well, maybe you just had the wrong kind, like a yucky sandwich? Sometimes my mom makes those...Have you ever tried peanut butter and..." Sparklemist was interrupted by her angry hostess.

"Young lady, you think I am rude, and you are suggesting I eat SandWitches? My goodness. I would never! There are so few of us left in the desert I can't imagine eating..."

Sparklemist began digging through their backpack. "Here! Look! This is Rocky's favorite kind of sandwich...salami and havarti! And Lily, well, she just loves peanut butter and banana! As for me..." Sparklemist triumphantly held aloft a girled cheese.

"Eh? What's that you've got there, girl?" Suddenly our SandWitch was curious and twitching her nose. The lizards, too, were moving closer, and this time not so menacingly.

"They're sandwiches--and not like you are a SandWitch, silly!" exclaimed Lily, as she took a satisfying bite from her peanut butter and banana. "Here, have some!" Lily passed the sandwich around, and soon, Sparklemist was divvying up the remaining picnic.

The SandWitch, having sampled some of each type of sandwich, sniffed and admitted, "Well. Those are certainly scrumptious little lunch options. And their name is certainly nice sounding..."
Sparklemist looked straight into the SandWitch's eyes. "You see, Ms. SandWitch, doesn't it feel better to invite people to lunch and share with them, instead of eating them? I'm sure Louie could help you make some sandwiches to go with your tea...and perhaps we could come back and bring some...

"Meatball subs!" offered Rocky.

"Roast beef and gorgonzola!" shouted Lily.

"Cool lettuce wraps with flies and spiders!" cheered the lizards from the doorway of the cave.

"Sure!" smiled Sparklemist. "Now, we've really got to be going. My mother will be very worried if we don't get home soon. Thank you so much for bringing us to your house, Ms. SandWitch. Nice to meet you, Louie, and, err...lizards. I hope we visit you again soon!"

The SandWitch was already busy making up new kinds of sandwiches to share with future visitors. She happily waved to our friends as Louie showed them how to get out of the sand cave by pulling themselves up a rope anchored at the opening of The SandWitch's House.

Before long, Sparklemist, Rocky, and Lily emerged into the sunlight, squinting and relieved that they had made new friends and avoided becoming The SandWitch's lunch.

"Whew," sighed Sparklemist, "It's fun to share, but...I'm HUNGRY!" She rubbed her tummy and began marching homeward. "C'mon, you guys! Let's go get some...burritos!"

*Rocky has since been renamed "Michelle"

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