Stories

Recovering with Love, Not with Threats

They were walking along the riverside after an indulgent family lunch, followed swiftly by an afternoon tea of several cakes, and the children were getting restless. First, the Little Boy amused himself with collecting pebbles, and when his sister the Little Girl followed suit, it quickly escalated into stones, and eventually rocks. Pretty soon, their hands were full.

As the adults stopped to chat with some acquaintances who were out for their Sunday walk too, the Ninja Turtle continued with the children, being equally impatient and disinterested in small talk. Occasionally, the kids would stop to throw some stones into the river, with the Turtle charged with the duty of counting “one, two, three, go!” before their launched their ammunition, and the arbiter of who threw the farthest, or made the biggest splash.

It was the Little Boy who posed the question.

“Are you a child, or an adult?”

It caught the Ninja Turtle by surprise, to say the least. She asked him to repeat the question.

“Are you a child, or an adult?”

The Ninja Turtle stopped walking, crouched down to the Little Boy’s level, and faced him. Little Boy was thrilled to have the Turtle’s full attention by this stage.

“Why do you ask? Do you mean I speak like a child, or act like a child, or look like a child?” the Turtle queried. In the back of her mind, she was beginning to feel a wave of fuzzy panic growing. She had no desire to discuss eating disorders with such innocent young minds.

The Little Boy nodded. Vehemently. “Why are you like that?” he demanded with childish simplicity. “Are you a child?”

The Ninja Turtle looked at his sister, the Little Girl, who was older than Little Boy by four years, and possibly had memories of the Turtle from another time. The Turtle hoped she could answer Little Boy’s question without resorting to lies, but without having to go into details of the truth either.

“Well, what do YOU think? Am I a child, or an adult?” asked the Ninja Turtle of the Little Girl.

The Little Girl, precocious for an eight-year-old, highly perceptive but also reserved, didn’t hesitate with her response.

“Of course she’s not a child, it’s obvious,” she admonished her brother. But just as quickly, she looked at the Ninja Turtle for confirmation. In the Little Girl’s eyes the Ninja Turtle saw certainty, but also great confusion.

“Then why are you like that?” persisted the Little Boy.

The Little Girl clearly wanted an answer too, but had been too shy or frightened to ask before. With her younger brother opening the can of worms, she felt emboldened to ask the same question which had been politely silenced in her mind so far.

The Turtle turned to address the Little Girl. “Do you remember when your brother was really little, how I used to be?” Little Girl nodded.

“Well, Little Boy, I’m very sick at the moment so I am the way I am for now. But to answer your question, unfortunately, I’m not a child. Your sister is right, I am an adult, just like your Mommy. And I used to look like your Mommy. When I am no longer sick, when I am healthy and strong again, I will look like Mommy once more, just as your sister remembers. Will that be OK with you?”

The Little Boy and Little Girl seemed satisfied with the answer.

“I hope you get better in two weeks,” Little Boy declared.

The Ninja Turtle smiled at his innocence. “I hope so too.” Turning to the Little Girl, she asked “what do you think?”

The Little Girl looked at the Turtle and broke into a radiant smile.

“Let’s stop over there to throw some rocks into the river. This time, you can throw with us, and you can throw one of mine if you want to.

And with that, they ran ahead excitedly, shouting for the Ninja Turtle to hurry.

 

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Arts and Culture, Travel

The Wind in the Willows v2.0

Setting of the Play:

The Yarra River at Fairfield

The Yarra River at Fairfield

Characters:

GodzillaPin (of course)

GodzillaPin (of course)

The Ninja Turtle (in a supporting role)

The Ninja Turtle (in a supporting role)

Our new friend Ducky

Our dear friend Ducky

And... the elusive, mysterious, sexy Naked Mole Rat

And… the elusive, mysterious, sexy Naked Mole Rat

The Storyline:

Ducky and the Naked Mole Rat were old friends of the Ninja Turtle

Ducky and the Naked Mole Rat were old friends of the Ninja Turtle. After a long time of not seeing one another, they finally got together for a little reunion.

After plenty of fun doing various slightly questionable activities

They went down to the riverside and made a day of it.

They went down to the riverside and made a day of it.

And Ducky made the most of the situation by cracking the whip on GodzillaPin and the Naked Mole Rat. It was less

And Ducky made the most of the situation by cracking the whip on GodzillaPin and the Naked Mole Rat. It was less “row, row, row your boat”, and more “row, row, row, death row”.

All was calm. All was peaceful. The tranquility was remarkable. They saw little ducklings.

Fluffy, fluffy ducklings... duckly duckly fluffings.

Fluffy, fluffy ducklings… duckly duckly fluffings.

They paddled upstream, then floated down stream again gently. They let the currents push them along, bobbing around a bend, when all of a sudden, they heard a child’s piteous wail. It was the most unearthly sounding horror and it shattered the scenic silence that had thus far enveloped the story, save for a brief megaphone announcement calling out for two teenage boys to “come back, your mother wants you to turn around”.

The quartet looked around. They detested being roused from their pleasant reverie of companionable silence. There, not forty yards from their boat, was a family of tourists stuck upon the riverbank, and their boat was wedged into the bank. The young girl was crying to go home. A passing boat carrying a young couple requested: “Can you help those guys out? They are stuck and don’t know how to paddle.”

What followed was rather dramatic. The young couple failed to make much progress paddling upstream against the currents themselves, and were rescued by the two teenage boys who were earlier called back by their mother on the bank. The family stuck on the riverside managed to unwedge themselves with some directions from GodzillaPin. As instructions were called out, it became evident quite quickly that the two men on the paddles could not only NOT work together, they could not even work alone. Something had to be done. And quick.

Yarra River Rescue! (Like Bondi Rescue, only 1000% funnier.)

Yarra River Rescue! (Like Bondi Rescue, only 1000% funnier.)

The Naked Mole Rat and GodzillaPin aimed towards the other boat, and Ducky quickly seized onto the rope. Thus began the heroic efforts of the lads to paddle back upstream with another full-to-capacity boat in tow. They rowed harder than they ever did before, and after five minutes, someone in the group noticed that they had done little more than beat the currents, for they hadn’t budged from the same spot. Another strategy was called for.

GodzillaPin had the most rowing experience in the group, having done it in high school. Hence, he was sent over to the other boat, while one of the men in the other boat had to come over to balance out the rescue boat. This also gave GodzillaPin less weight to carry. The Ninja Turtle and Ducky then took over the paddling to give the Naked Mole Rat a much-needed break. Suddenly, they were sailing along smoothly again.

GodzillaPin was such a good rower that despite there being one of him paddling for 5 passengers, and two of us for 4 on board, he beat the rescue boat to the boat hire point. The family was very relieved, and the patriarch of the family gave every one on the team a handshake. They found the much maligned teenage boys at the platform being told off severely by their mother, with one of them protesting “but we were saving people!” but the mother would have none of it.

Alas, the friends didn’t get to see the Badger, but they sure had one heck of an adventure
This tale will follow them for life; their bonds strengthened once more by shared strife
And the riverbank’s calm thusly restored, we hope our dear readers have not been bored.

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