Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Travel Tales

We took a drive over Thanksgiving through West Virginia. I loved the names of the small communities, Droop, Nicely, Hico, Narrows, Clover Lick, Cornstalk; but my favorite was when we found the road down to Opossum Hollow. I wondered what stories I could find in places like these. My name is Anna and I write stories.

When we reached the creek side, I noticed a mother and daughter wandering along the edge. The little girl was about four. She was wearing purple cargo pants and a fluffy pink jacket. Her skin was the color of latte and her doe eyes a beautiful brown. She kind of danced as she walked along holding her mother’s hand.

“Ouch Mommy!” “I have another pebble in my shoe.”

“Here, sit down on the log and I’ll take it out so you can put it in your pocket.”

“Why do I want it in my Pocket?”

“Would you rather have it in your shoe?”

“No Mommy!” Where do the pebbles come from?”

“They come from the trees.”

“You’re silly Mommy, Pebbles don’t come from trees!”

“Yes, A long time ago the giant Opossum for which Opossum Hollow was named, got angry at all the elves that were hiding in the trees, jumping out to scare the
residents and visitors; and stealing from the opossum children. He put an opossum Hex on the elves, the elves parents and the elf’s children. “From this day forward for a thousand years, any elf who dares to jump out of the trees will turn to stone.”

“Well, that was mean! Do they ever turn back?”

“Yes, if they land in a child’s shoe, and if that child takes it out, puts it in his pocket, and takes it home, the stone will turn back into an elf.”

OK Mommy let’s do it!”

“Ouch! Oh goody there’s another pebble elf. Hurry and take it out and let’s go home."

Quietly I followed them to see what happened next, and soon saw them standing outside a little two room shack in the shade of a sycamore tree.

“Ok Mommy, What do we do now?”

“Let’s give the pebble a drink. They get awfully thirsty as pebbles. Now we’ll toss them out the window and into the trees.”

"Why do we want to put them into the trees?”

“When we put them into the trees they will slowly turn back into elves and can jump into someone else’s shoe.”

“But if they just got back to being elves, why would they want to be pebbles again?”

“Well that’s how they travel to see the world; hopping from shoe to shoe, wherever life and children take them. Where do you think this one came from? He’s all red and named Jasper….."

I enjoyed the exchange between mother and daughter. It brought back memories of my own talks with my daughter. She loved to ask me questions and sometimes I made up stories to satisfy her curiosity when I didn’t know the answer. This is what made me want to be a writer I think. I just have to remember to tell people this is fiction not history.

We continued down the road to the next town, Crow, West Virginia. I wonder what story I could find there.

“Do you want to go?” asked my husband.

“No way! Didn’t you see that sign?”


We’d get in there and never be able to return!”

“I wonder what happens to the people who go there? Do they eat them? Do extra terrestrials haul them off to another planet?" Laughingly reminiscing our
favorite ' Twilight Zone' stories we continued our journey. But that’s another story for another day.

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