Sunday, January 19, 2020

Shoes: The Story of an Old Woman and a Three-Footed Giant

There was an old woman who lived in an ankle boot with a neighborhood of footwear.
“Grandmother’s house!” her grandchildren called it, climbing its laces and sliding to the sole. 
Of course, she fed them and clothed them and scolded them and encouraged them, and she was a good grandma. The Shoes Neighborhood, which was over the river and through the woods, consisted of an army boot, a cowboy boot, a brogue, a cleat, a clog, a derby, a flat, galoshes, gumshoes, an ice skate, a knee boot, a Lita bootie, a loafer, a pair of Mary Janes, a moccasin, a monk, a mule, an Oxford, a platform, a pump, a roller skate, rubber boots, sandals, slippers, sneakers, snow boots, a stiletto, a thigh high boot, and wedges. 
Much like the shoe section at the local shopping mall, there was a type of shoe for everyone’s personal taste. 
Except this time, the customer lived in his or her shoe, instead of putting them on his or her feet. 
“Shine up your shoes!” the neighborhood caretaker called, inspecting the homes during monthly inspection.
Especially during the holidays, Grammie, as her grandchildren called her, like to light up her shoe. 
“String the lights from the rooftop,” she called as the children dangled the glowing bulbs from the shoetop.
As much as everyone liked the Shoes Neighborhood for its creativity and class, it had one enemy:
Its long-standing rival was the Three-Footed Giant, whose feet never fit in shoes, because shoes come in a pair, and he had larger-than-life triple feet, so not only was the size a problem, but also his number of feet.
Baam! Baam! Baam! The whole ground shook every time he came near the Shoes Neighborhood. 
“You think you’re so special because you have shoes!” he bellowed. “Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!”
“Oh, not him again,” Grammie sighed, running to her shoelace window. “Hide the food, children!”
“Maybe if we got him his own shoes, he would stop bullying us,” one of her twelve grandchildren suggested. 
“Who knows if that would even work,” another one of her grandchildren cried in fear. 
“I’m willing to start sewing the shoes,” the oldest grandchild yelped. “Anything to end his tantrums.” 
As the Three-Footed Giant plodded his way through the streets, the thigh high boot fell over, the roller skate lost a wheel, and the stiletto broke its heel. Several porch sandal straps fell to the ground, swinging back and forth with no place to attach. It was not a pretty sight, and neighbors ran from their homes in tears and fright. 
“How big to do you think his feet are?” Grammie’s grandchildren said, measuring footprints in the ground.
“Five feet by five feet is what it looks like,” the tiniest grandchild said, looking at his own small feet. 
“He’s destroying our stylish homes,” a middle grandchild said. “Can we finish the shoes in a week?”
“A week?” one of the twin grandchildren said. “More like a day or two!” her twin said in response. 
As the twelve grandchildren worked for five straight nights in a row, they made the Three-Footed Giant individual army boots, matching his three distinct footprints, each of which had varying numbers of toes.
When the army boots were painted and laced, Grammie inspected the shoes with her spectacles. 
“Looks good to me, dear ones,” she said, hugging them for their efforts. “Now, if he would only wear them.”
She paced about the boots, gearing up for her showdown with the Giant, the next time he came ‘round. 
“We’re putting these shoes on his feet, if we have to tie him to the ground to do it!” she declared.
Weeks later, when the Three-Footed Giant came back to the Shoes Neighborhood, Grammie had been baking. 
“Those muffins smell so good!” the Giant said, suddenly sticking his nose into her shoelace window. 
“Oh, dearie,” Grammie whispered. “So good to see you! I have a gift for you. Your own pair of shoes!”
“Shoes!” he roared. “Shoes never fit on my feet, so I look like a bumbling clumsy fool. I have sores on my ugly feet, and everyone makes fun of me. Why are you telling me that I could have shoes? You’re mean.” 
“Now, son, you listen to me!” Grammie said, coming from the front door of her ankle boot home. “You put these shoes on, and you stop feeling sorry for yourself.” She parted the trees in her back yard and showed him his new pair of army boots. “These shoes are as good as anybody’s shoes, and they’re the perfect fit.”
The Three-Footed Giant paused for a moment and inspected the boots, grunting and growling and drooling. 
Grammie’s grandchildren stayed hidden in their ankle boot home, deep in their closets praying he would take the army boots and leave before he decided to eat more than their grandmother’s muffins. 
“Put me down!” Grammie said, as the Giant swiped her up into his gigantic hand. She pinched him hard.
“Aaah!” the Giant said. “I just needed your help in putting the boots on. I’ve never done it before.” 
“I can give you pointers from the ground,” she said, slipping down his side. “Behave yourself, young man.”
Then, he slammed his foot on the ground, and the whole neighborhood rattled and rumbled and cracked. 
“Fine, I’m trying to get my feet into your foots,” he said. “They look like shoes for a military general.”
“Yes, son, I’m sure you’d make a good military general, if you could get a better attitude,” she said. 
After much fussing, fidgeting, and rolling on the ground, the Three-Footed Giant shoved his feet into the boots. Then, he broke down sobbing like a two-year-old child. Each of his tears fell like huge raindrops. 
“Now that you have shoes, you can walk wherever you want in peace,” Grammie said, nodding.
Against her will, the Giant scooped Grammie up again in his palm and placed her at his heart. 
“I told you to keep me on the ground,” Grammie said, poking his shoulder with her eyeglasses. 
“I can’t leave you on the ground,” the Giant said, blubbering in tears. “I love you too much!”
“Why, son, I love you, too!” Grammie said, as her grandchildren came running from hiding. 
“I have a few friends who could also use their own shoes,” the Giant said. “Their feet never fit in regular shoes, and it causes so many hurt feelings. If I bring them by, could you make shoes for them, too?”
“My grandchildren and I will make shoes for anyone that needs them,” Grammie agreed, rolling out her measuring tape from her pocket. 
From then on, the Shoes Neighborhood was known as the most generous place for people with misshapen feet. If they couldn’t fit their feet in anywhere else, they would always be able to find the perfect shoes with Grammie, who had more children of every size and shape than she could fit in her ankle boot home. 

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Christmas Tuffet: The Holiday Story of Little Miss Muffet

If you need a Christmas tuffet, 
A seat to sit on, don’t you rough it! 
Remember the woman Little Miss Muffet, 
And ask for one as a stocking stuff-it.
Santa has presents in his budget.
Down the chimney, they will plummet.
Ask for a sleigh or a trumpet, 
Even if you think he will be reluctant.
In the end, you will be triumphant.
Just leave Santa a cookie or a crumpet.
By the time you blink, there’ll be a ruckus,
Like at a secret winter snowflake summit.
Take your gift, and don’t you covet
Someone else’s Christmas bucket.
Your greatest wish was a Christmas tuffet, 
And your dream might have been the toughest.
So sit on your stool like an elf or a puppet,
And be thankful you don’t live in a mud hut!

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Mrs. Santa Claus Cookies: The Story of a Snickerdoodle Woman

If you need a cookie on Christmas Eve, 
Mrs. Santa Claus has a few up her sleeve.
She has chocolate chip and almond biscuit, 
So much tastier than a greasy beef brisket. 
Macaroons with coconut and brownies with butter.
Fortune cookies make your heart flutter.
Oatmeal raisin and iced gingerbread men
Make you smile again and again.
Her favorite cookie in case you didn’t know
Is a snickerdoodle with cinnamon dough.
Baking soda, flour, and cream of tartar
With eggs and sugar for a quarter.
The spice smells like the holiday season.
Cookies are red and green for a reason.
You can add kisses or nuts for variation.
Hot chocolate with cream helps hydration. 
When leaving your cookie for Mr. Claus,
Take a moment and make a pause.
Learn from his wife about confection.
She’s an expert at cookie convection.
Then write him a note with your autograph
And have a hearty Christmas laugh!

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sled Dog: The Story of an Alaskan Husky

Just in case a snowstorm has come to town, 
You might need a sled dog to get around.
So if you find him at your front door, 
Hop on board and get ready to explore.
Your guide has paws and a doggy tail,
And he’ll take you on a winding trail.
Ups and downs and to-and-fro,
Through a world of endless snow. 
Most sleighs have horses with Christmas bells,
But huskies have many similar parallels.
He might bring with him a couple friends
To help him pull you through the bends.
Almost like riding in a toboggan,
Just try to protect your noggin.
Hold on tight; breathe the Alaskan air.
Watch out for a roaming grizzly bear.
It’s better than taking a rollercoaster.
At home, warm up your oven toaster.
Your sled dog is your new companion. 
A wonder the size of the great Grand Canyon.

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

The Sugar Plum Fairy: The Story of the Kingdom of Sweets

Every ballerina wants to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.
She takes the center stage like a sweet cherry. 
Dancing on her toes like a poem pretty,
Her steps are strong; her character is witty.
Like the good fairy in The Wizard of Oz,
Excited for Christmas with charm and applause.
Learn from her sparkle and her kindness,
Her costume is stunning unless you’ve got blindness.
She commands your soul to dance and spin
Until the Nutcracker comes steppin’ in.
She’s the candy hostess with the mostess,
And every holiday child ought to know this.

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Friday, November 1, 2019

Christmas and December: The Story of Two Wintertime Sheep

Once there was a pair of wintertime sheep,
Christmas and December over fences would leap.
Everyone loved Christmas and paid him attention. 
December was cute, too, but hardly got a mention.
Since Christmas had his own day, December 25th
It made some competition, and the sheep had a riff.  
Christmas would have been nothing without December, 
And he liked his brother much more than November. 
December was actually born before Christmas, 
A side note but an important point of business. 
On the 24th, December came into the world.
But Christmas came to life on the 25th and whirled. 
So Christmas decided that December must be known, 
And his reputation must increase, as he is not alone. 
Christmas can’t keep the 25th all to himself, 
All month long, he shares the Christmas wealth!
Now December and Christmas are equally important, 
And Christmas Day really can’t be shortened. 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters