Saturday, 10 December 2016
I have a brand-new little book out, called The Legend of the Tooth Fairy and Other Tales (County Road 37 Books, 2016). It is a book of seven tales which I wrote over the years. I have always loved reading fairy tales, fables, myths, and legendary stories and this book is my very own book of tales. For me, fairy tales, fables, and such all have a lesson or important truth to teach their readers -mine are no exception. The stories are accompanied by very old antique illustrations - like the ones I remember from old story books of the past (and they're black and white illustrations that you could colour, if you wished.) Stories include: The Legend of the Tooth Fairy, The Tale of Greenfeathers: A Story for Christmas, The Fable of the Three Possums and the Old Alligator, The Fable of the Busy Beaver, and more.
Monday, 16 December 2013
On Christmas morning of 1875, three-year-old Susie Clemens found this letter from "Santa Claus". I'm guessing that her father Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) might have played "Santa's helper" that day.
Palace of St. Nicholas.
In the Moon.
My dear Susie Clemens:
I have received and read all the letters which you and your little sister have written me by the hand of your mother and your nurses; I have also read those which you little people have written me with your own hands—for although you did not use any characters that are in grown peoples' alphabet, you used the characters that all children in all lands on earth and in the twinkling stars use; and as all my subjects in the moon are children and use no character but that, you will easily understand that I can read your and your baby sister's jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well. You will find that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered in your own letters—I went down your chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all myself—and kissed both of you, too, because you are good children, well trained, nice mannered, and about the most obedient little people I ever saw. But in the letter which you dictated there were some words which I could not make out for certain, and one or two small orders which I could not fill because we ran out of stock. Our last lot of kitchen furniture for dolls has just gone to a very poor little child in the North Star away up, in the cold country above the Big Dipper. Your mama can show you that star and you will say: "Little Snow Flake," (for that is the child's name) "I'm glad you got that furniture, for you need it more than I." That is, you must write that, with your own hand, and Snow Flake will write you an answer. If you only spoke it she wouldn't hear you. Make your letter light and thin, for the distance is great and the postage very heavy.
There was a word or two in your mama's letter which I couldn't be certain of. I took it to be "trunk full of doll's clothes." Is that it? I will call at your kitchen door about nine o'clock this morning to inquire. But I must not see anybody and I must not speak to anybody but you. When the kitchen doorbell rings, George must be blindfolded and sent to open the door. Then he must go back to the dining room or the china closet and take the cook with him. You must tell George he must walk on tiptoe and not speak—otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up to the nursery and stand on a chair or the nurse's bed and put your ear to the speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle through it you must speak in the tube and say, "Welcome, Santa Claus!" Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not. If you say it was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to be. Your mama will help you to name a nice color and then you must tell me every single thing in detail which you want the trunk to contain. Then when I say "Good bye and a merry Christmas to my little Susie Clemens," you must say "Good bye, good old Santa Claus, I thank you very much and please tell that little Snow Flake I will look at her star tonight and she must look down here—I will be right in the west bay window; and every fine night I will look at her star and say, 'I know somebody up there and like her, too.'" Then you must go down into the library and make George close all the doors that open into the main hall, and everybody must keep still for a little while. I will go to the moon and get those things and in a few minutes I will come down the chimney that belongs to the fireplace that is in the hall—if it is a trunk you want—because I couldn't get such a thing as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know.
People may talk if they want, until they hear my footsteps in the hall. Then you tell them to keep quiet a little while till I go back up the chimney. Maybe you will not hear my footsteps at all—so you may go now and then and peep through the dining-room doors, and by and by you will see that thing which you want, right under the piano in the drawing room-for I shall put it there. If I should leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to sweep it into the fireplace, for I haven't time to do such things. George must not use a broom, but a rag—else he will die someday. You must watch George and not let him run into danger. If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away. Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind you to be a good little girl. Whenever you are naughty and somebody points to that mark which your good old Santa Claus's boot made on the marble, what will you say, little sweetheart?
Goodbye for a few minutes, till I come down to the world and ring the kitchen door-bell.
Whom people sometimes call "The Man in the Moon"
(Source: Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children via www.lettersofnote.com )
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Children receive a ton of candy at Halloween. Natural, organic versions of candy would be better, but still a lot of sugar is a lot of sugar. We all know that sugar is not healthy and can be addictive. Many candy manufacturers use GMO-derived ingredients from GMO corn and soy, as well as artificial flavours and colours. They also use a ton of un-natural chemicals - BOO! But it’s hard to refuse children when their friends are having fun trick-or-treating. Here’s a good way to keep your children from gorging themselves on a bag full of unhealthy, refined sugar, bad (and GMO-laced) candy. Some parents already call upon a Sugar Sprite or Switch Witch at Halloween to exchange candy for toys, books, or movies, here’s my version:
Among all the supernatural beings of the North Pole, there exists a Sugar Fairy (or Sugar Plum Fairy, or Treats Fairy, or Candy Fairy). It is the Sugar Fairy’s job to create the sweetest Christmas treats, the candy cane. She also creates a lot of the other sweet treats of the holidays, such as Christmas cookies. But she is mainly known for her power to transform, or ‘recycle’, sugar into anything a child wants. But how does she do this?
The Sugar Fairy decided that children get so much candy at Halloween and that having that much sugar was not good for them, even once a year. So she decided that she could recycle all that candy into Christmas treats, like a candy cane or Christmas cookie, as well as magically into toys and other gifts. She could also transform it into food and help for other children around the globe.
So the Sugar Fairy sends out a letter to all the parents of the world: After Halloween is over, they should place any candy into a special bowl before they go to bed. The next morning the Sugar Fairy will leave a note, money, gift card, etc in exchange for the candy that had been in the bowl. Sometimes the Sugar Fairy might leave "Goodie Points" to go toward a special item or trip. (A note would instruct the parent to purchase a specific toy, movie, or book; or indicate the number of "Goodie Points" earned)
When Christmas comes, the Sugar Fairy will ride with Santa to distribute candy canes and other Christmas treats. But sometimes, she is so thankful she will leave goodies and little gifts for days before Christmas. When Christmas arrives, an occasional organic candy cane or cookie might be okay. Christmas cookies can be made with organic, unrefined ingredients. They can also contain dried fruit and nuts.