In the United States’ “East Coast,” a place fondly referred to as “New England,” there is a blonde-haired fairy princess-sometimes mermaid by the name of Leah. She likes pink, red, and purple – in that order. She dutifully pours everyone 0.25″ of water at dinner, and obediently takes down the most precious ornament on the Christmas tree and holds it in front of your face, cautioning, “This is glass. You can look but you can’t touch.”
I haven’t spent a Christmas holiday with a wee little person in a very long time, and it makes me feel like I’ve missed out in recent years. Leah is one such wee little person, yet already experienced enough to regale “When I was a Little Girl” stories, despite the fact that her age takes less than four fingers to count.
Girl likes her stories, though. On Christmas Eve, she challenged my wits and asked me to tell her stories. I started off telling her about “abventures with Bill,” which she requested and liked earlier in the week, but this time she wanted stories, not abventures.
Here’s what I remember from that eight-story fire drill. I forgot some details here and there, but you can see my valiant efforts to make things moral and pack in as many Disney princesses as possible. Interestingly, there’s a theme of Asian values peppered throughout. In a proud finale, I even featured Leah’s canine companions. Read on:
- Cinderella and I rode a boat out to meet with Ariel but we couldn’t find her. So we had to send Flounder to swim to the bottom of the ocean and get her. What did you do? We had lunch. What did you eat? We ate cucumber and egg sandwiches because Ariel won’t eat seafood.
- [I totally forgot this one. But I know it happened because I remember talking about Snow White and Leah’s favorite, Briar Rose. Let’s just say the second warm-up story wasn’t up to snuff.]
- Tiana and I met up for lunch one day. What did you eat? We had fancy fried sandwiches with ham, turkey, and cheese. Then Tiana had to go practice her music. Why did she go? She had to go practice her music. How come you didn’t go with her? Because it was for her show, and I can’t sing.
- Mulan and I went to visit Kai-Lan at school and took her out to lunch. What did you eat? Noodles and dumplings. Then we had to make sure she got back in time. Why? So she wouldn’t be late for class. – Yup, super Asian.
- Tell me the one about Ariel. Ariel had a concert to practice for with only three days to go. But she couldn’t practice. On the first day, Flounder got sick. On the second day, [something happened but I forget what it was]. On the third day, Sebastian was late to rehearsal. Finally, on the Saturday before the Sunday evening concert, Ariel told everyone not to bother her so she could practice her music. So she practiced all day, took her meals by herself, and had an amazing performance on Sunday. – Throw in a forced-to-play-piano bit, and this story is super Asian!
- Tinkerbell and I went for a walk in the forest, but I’m too big to walk next to Tinkerbell. So, she sprinkled pixie dust on me and made me shrink so I was small. This small? No, that’s big, she shrank me small like this. This small? Yes, yes that’s good. We saw a lot of stuff on the walk. The leaves were reeeeally big, and we saw toadstools, and a frog. (Leah shows apprehensiveness at the mention of a frog so I quickly skirt over his appearance.) And then we came upon a lake! There was lots of water and a really old turtle swimming around. He was really wise so we said hi. Then we started walking back, but Tinkerbell was tired, so she sprinkled more pixie dust on me and I grew big. How big? This big. This big? Yes, even bigger. So when I got back to normal size I picked her up and we walked out of the woods back home.
- Tell me one about Rapunzel. Did you know Rapunzel didn’t always have yellow hair? I have yellow hair. You do, but what would you say if her hair was brown? Rapunzel has yellow hair. She does, but one day, the evil witch made her very sick and sad, and her hair turned brown. All her friends tried to make her feel better, but she didn’t get better. Finally, one day she decided she didn’t want to let the evil witch control her, so she just decided to be happy and her hair turned yellow again. The evil witch was really frustrated that she couldn’t bother Rapunzel anymore or make her sad, but Rapunzel went on being happy and kept her yellow hair. – Simultaneously “Attitude is a decision!” and anti-Asian hair at the same time.
- Sammy and Pebbles (The family dogs.) went on vacation to Africa because they wanted to see a giraffe. The first village they went to did not have a giraffe, but they had a lion. The lion was cool, but Sammy and Pebbles still wanted to see a giraffe. The second village did not have a giraffe, bt they did have a hippo. Sammy and Pebbles met the hippo and he was so impressed that they had traveled that he was inspired to go on his own vacation. Finally, at the third village, Sammy and Pebbles saw a giraffe. They had a lot of fun but they were happy when they got home to Leah’s house. Where did they go? They came home. Where is their home? Right here! What is the name of their home? Leah’s house! – I was very tempted to talk about the farting hippo on YouTube when we got to the second village, but refrained.
And thus was our first dabble in insta-storybook tales.