Monday, March 8, 2010

The Warmth of Africa

The following fictional piece is part of a creative writing challenge found at Magpie Tales; won't you join the fun?!







"Ow! What in the world...?"


He stooped to pick up the offending object nearly embedded in his foot. As he turned the sharp little creature over in his hands, a warm smile crept onto his bearded face.


“Daddy? did you find my fuzzy hat for snow?” called a small voice from the next room.


The little elephant had been tucked away in the closet for many years now, out of sight and thought.. and now, feeling the smooth ivory charm, his memory was instantly transported to a warmer clime ....Kenya.


Such cherished memories those days spent on safari with the family. A boys trip, planned by dad and richly documented in various photo albums now scattered throughout the family. The consummate adventurer, dad was always planning a new experience, indulging his love of family and other cultures. Always joking and wearing a grin, the moment of dad’s “trade” came back to him clearly now.


The dark skinned young man was a hard worker, carrying their bags and asking what needs they had... dad noticed this and took a liking to him immediately. “Young man, that elephant charm you are wearing, tell me, what’s the story?” The young man turned shy then, lowering his head and fondling the necklace with a work-worn hand.


“From girl ...” was all he would say with a smile that told the rest of the story.


Dad beamed, pushed his glasses upward and settled into that familiar stance- with one open hand resting on his leg and the other pushing back his jacket with a fist at the hip, he chuckled, saying... “A sweet thing, huh? How did you meet her? I’ll bet I can do better....”


And with that, he reached deep into his pocket, pulling out one of his many improvised machines - a radio/recorder device, with earpieces made soft and light to rest gently on the ears. A rather innovative design, even for the 90s. “Wanna trade? I’ll bet you & your girl would enjoy the music...”


A burst of cold shot through the hallway, jarring his reminiscence. “Dad, are you coming?! the hill is so fast! I want to sled down next time with you... c’mon!”


Stroking his red beard, he tucked the little elephant into his jeans pocket. Grabbing his own coat and the bright fuzzy tuque, he hurried out of the house... “I’m on my way!


...by the way, did I ever tell you about the little ivory elephant your grandpa gave to me?”



*Lovingly dedicated to the memory of a true Renaissance Man, Dr. Lyle Blackwell.


18 comments:

spacedlaw said...

I want to know what happened to the boy...

Brian Miller said...

there is a warm sense of nostalgia in your tale...like a blankeet on a cool morning. i like it. great magpie.

Vicki Lane said...

Nice blending of past and present!

Lyn said...

Really love this fanciful tale..thank you!

Peter Goulding said...

Agree with Natalie. Wonder what the girl's reaction was when she found he'd traded her love token for a tape recorder!

willow said...

Your writing is so smooth and comfortable to read. Delightful tale!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Succinct and warm! Seems like we both left room for more to come! Your blog is gorgeous.

Mama Zen said...

This is lovely!

steviewren said...

Nice way to show the journey of the carving from there to here and the memories of then and now.

rob kistner said...

a warm climb on the wings of memory -- well written...

...rob
Image & Verse

Catalyst said...

Kenya was my first thought, too, before I went in a different direction. Loved your story.

christine said...

Oh dear I felt sorry for the young girl who was to be wooed by a tape recorder rather than the romantic charm..
Christine

joanny said...

A lovely story .. want to read more...

I am with spacedlaw what happen to the boy?

Joanny

Jessie said...

such a quick tale, it leaves me wanting more...

warm smiles,

Jessie said...

thank you for the nice comment on my last post.

warm smiles,

The Muse said...

hello ms amy. sorry for the lateness...father has been quite ill and i am running behind.

happy to be here once more, to feel your spirit...through your words.

today i feel as though i have been spun between now and long ago...
a waltz that which set hearts moving...and a spin that twirled a little boy on the precipice...and i wonder about him...wonder where your delightspinning tale left him...

The Muse said...

correction
should have been typed as
"delightfully spinning"


(coffee time ) :)

amy said...

Muse,

I am sorry to know about your father...I'll say a prayer for him today.

..............

oh dear, I see I've left many of you hangin'! Never fear, the young man got the best of the trade...
what else his smile could tell was never known by Dad, but I know --

his girl, though soft-skinned and warm was also a keen business woman. She had plenty and sold the little charms to tourists coming on safari. She had instructed her beau, in the kindest of stern terms, that he should wear one of her charms in order to advertise...

It was a good trade, as no other man in Africa has a Dr. Blackwell original machine. =-)

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