Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's a Story Thing

I love sharing stories, especially ones I make up. I've shared this one before in various media, but thought I'd share it again as Christmas is once again upon us. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about bullying of any form. It is detestable and despisable and a true crime against any living, breathing soul. I am all for "turning the other cheek" when all the bully can come up with is words, but deep down bullies and mean girls will always be bullies and mean girls. They just grow up and change their tactics to bully their way through the adult world. That is unless they have an epiphany, a true change of heart. One year for school my daughter (who has been bullied very harshly for most of her school life) needed a story, a fractured fairy tale is what they called it. It was near Christmas so we sat down and the following story was created. I want to repeat it here. I want to keep the truth about bullying on the front page. It's toll is much deeper than anyone can ever pay.

"A Christmas fractured fairy-tale: Sammy, the Six Million Dollar Reindeer."
(c) 2008 jma

A long time ago at the North Pole, Santa was facing a shortage of reindeer. Oh there were plenty of new baby reindeers being born every day, but they were not up to the exceptional standards of their fathers, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Even Rudolph’s offspring weren’t born with glowing noses to lead the way in a storm. Santa just didn’t know what he was going to do.

One day, one of the young reindeer was practicing takeoffs and landings. They weren’t real pretty, but he was trying. Sammy would run and take off beautifully, but then have trouble sticking the landing. His dad, Dasher, told him he needed to stop for the day before he got too tired and hurt himself. Sammy of course didn’t listen and kept going. Well, it happened just like Dasher said. Sammy was getting tired and decided to do one more. He took off but his takeoff was too hard and not in a straight line. Sammy zigged this way and zagged that way until he flew right into a huge evergreen. Sammy fell 100 feet to the icy ground.

When Sammy was found some time later, he was in bad shape. Dasher called Santa, and the elves quickly went to work to try and save Sammy. All the reindeer families gathered at the hospital waiting, hoping he would be ok. Luckily for Sammy, Santa’s elves are skilled in all the latest technology. They were able to rebuild Sammy into a bigger, better reindeer who could fly at top speeds through any storm, dodge any oncoming targets like airplanes, and even go into a time warp so Santa could have more time delivering presents. The only thing was, Sammy no longer looked like a normal reindeer. He had metallic legs, swiveling ears, and eyes that glowed different colors depending on the program he was running.

All the other reindeer, at first happy he was ok, started laughing at him, calling him names like metal-head and bulb-eyes and freak. They would throw water at him trying to short-circuit his electronics, or turn up the music volume so loud it hurt his very sensitive ears. They stole his lunch and would run away screaming in fake fear if he came over to them to play. They didn’t realize that even though his body was new, his heart was still the same and all he wanted was friends. His parents tried to protect him, but nothing could stop the others. He even lost his girlfriend because her father thought he was dangerous and weird looking. So Sammy decided he didn’t need them anymore and set off on his own, and as much as he wanted someone to come looking for him, he wasn’t surprised that no one did, not even Santa.

A few years later, with Christmas only days away, Sammy’s old girlfriend, Delilah, went wondering into the forest on her own hoping to find Sammy. With the deep snow she didn’t see the crevice ahead. She fell down and was trapped. Sammy heard her cries from many miles away with his bionic ears and rushed to help her. She pleaded with him to come home and that everyone had changed and would welcome him and that they had been looking for him lately. He didn’t believe her, but he did want to see his parents. They walked into the town together, and everybody really did seem glad to see him - even Santa came over. But then Sammy found out the reason. There was a blizzard forecast for Christmas Eve and without him there would be no Christmas. They had done fine all these years without him and had not come looking for him when they didn’t need him. Sammy’s heart grew even colder than it had been and he told them no, he wouldn’t help them. Because of all the things they had done to him and that they didn’t care enough about him as a reindeer to look for him when he first left, they didn’t deserve his help. Sammy turned and left and was never heard from again. Some say he sabotaged Santa’s ride and that’s the reason there is no more Christmas.

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