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Thread: a sweet story

  1. #1
    erin montemurro
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    a sweet story

    Not long ago it was my daughter's 13th birthday and I wanted to give her a memorable gift, a gift that would show her just how precious she was to dear old dad. After giving it a little thought I decided to write her a birthday story, about what I wasn't sure but I knew that I wanted to include something special that we shared together. I began to think back to when she was younger (around 7 or 8) and remembered how we used to sing an old song entitled "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night (probably better known as "Jeromiah was a Bullfrog". It's a silly little song with nonsensical lyrics about a wine loving frog who wants to bring joy to the world. I'm sure most of you are familiar with it. And though we only ever knew the first part of the song and the chorus we would sing it for hours on end until our tummies hurt from laughing.
    With this in mind I decided to write a story that would tie in Jeromiah and the celebration of my daughter's 13th birthday. As I began to write I was amazed at how quickly the words flowed on to the page and as I got closer and closer to finishing of this little Aesop-like tale I began to weep like a baby. I have to admit the ending was so touching that even after I reread it several times in the editing stages I could not hold back the tears of joy. On the day of her birthday I presented it to her wrapped in a gold ribbon and told her that this was a special gift from the heart. She thanked me by hugging me and telling me I was the bestest daddy in the whole wide world. A few days later while sitting at the dinner table I asked her how she liked the story. She told me she just loved it and that I was the best story teller in the universe. I then asked her what she thought of one of the character (the man with the pointed nose) and she told me he was hilarious. From the look on her face I soon came to realize that she had probably not read the story. Just for fun I quizzed her on some other characters in the story (characters that did not even exist ) and each time she told me how wonderful they were. I then asked her what she thought of the yellow monkey in the itchy purple polka dot sweater who loved to ride on the back of the green striped elephant and she began to laugh and finally confessed, "OK Daddy the truth of the matter is I never actually read the story, but that still doesn't mean that your not the best story teller in the world" and she gave me a hug.

    You know when I really think about it, I never really thought my daughter would read the story in the first place (she has never been a reader) but I know in 15 years from now when she reads it she is going to bawl her eyes out.

    The story is entitled, Jeromiah's Journey. Hope you enjoy it!

    With not a cloud in the sky, a cool gentle breeze shook the leaves of the tall maples dressed in their rustic fall attire. I cast my line and watched as the ripples circled their way to the edges of the pond’s algae covered shores, a perfect day to the end of the fishing season. I would not be returning to the pond until the following year and would be saying farewell to my old friend Jeremiah.

    The spring fed pond at Christie’s had long been a favorite fishing haunt of mine; the trout were abundant, the surrounding nature calming, but above all, the pond was the home of my big-bellied amphibious friend Jeremiah. The countless glasses of wine, innumerable stories, and immeasurable moments of laughter we had shared over the years had long solidified our bond of brotherhood.

    On this fine fall day Jeremiah and I were perched in our usual spots, I on the dock with my fishing rod in hand, Jeremiah, on his lily pad not far from the shore. With a couple of trout on my stringer and a few glasses of wine under my belt I was in a delightful mood; Jeremiah on the other hand, seemed a little out of sorts and was not his usual happy-go- lucky self. He had hardly said a word all day and even more telling, he had hardly touched his wine.

    “Perhaps, with the cold weather approaching” I thought, “he has a case of the bullfrog
    blues. The life of a bullfrog surely mustn’t be easy in the long winter months.”
    In an effort to lighten his mood I raised my glass in his direction and declared: “ Hey Jeremiah. Let’s make a toast buddy. A toast to another year of friendship.”

    He didn’t flinch. Not a croak.

    Though tempted to try again I decided it best to leave him alone.

    As I reeled in my line and readjusted my bobber I continued to watch Jeremiah out of the corner of my eye for I was concerned. My mild concern however had soon escalated to full-blown anguish by what I was about to witness. Two mammoth flies, attracted by the allure of his sweet red wine buzzed wildly around the rim of his glass. These flies, like many of gods creatures, not having the will to resist the sweet nectar of temptation, fell victim to drink and soon found themselves thrashing about in Jeremiah’s sweet sticky liquid. These two-winged pests, packing enough protein to put any cold-blooded vertebrate into seventh heaven, had no impact on Jeremiah what so ever. On a better day, he would have flicked out his tongue with the adeptness of a skilled marksman and devoured these winged delicacies in a flash, but today he simply watched in a haze until the flies fought their way to freedom. Clearly he had lost his appetite for life.

    How it troubled me to see Jeremiah looking so forlorn and so I asked: “What’s up
    Jeremiah buddy? Looks like ya ain’t doing so good today. You Ok?”

    Looking in my direction with his sad bulging eyes he croaked: “Hey Erin? You’ve gotten to know me pretty good in the last little while, wouldn’t ya say?”

    “ Yes Jer. I’d said that’s pretty spot on.”

    “And you know how I like to bring joy to the world.”

    “And all the boys and girls,” I chimed in.

    “And joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea and joy to you and me, ” he moaned.

    “Yea, I know the deal Jeremiah. Why? What’s up?”

    “Well I haven’t been feeling much joy myself lately. I’ve been feeling a little down. Not sure what it is, but it ain’t good. I need to find some joy and pleasure for myself if I’m going to continue bringing joy to others. You know what I’m talking about Erin?”

    “Yah, I do Jeremiah. I’ve noticed you aren’t yourself today. If you wanna talk about it you know I’m here for you. You can always count on me Jer, after all that’s what buddies are for.”

    “Thanks Erin; I do appreciate it, but I think I need to get out into the world to look around
    and do some exploring. I need to meet some wise and knowledgeable people who can
    help me sort out some of my questions about life, questions about happiness, joy and pleasure. You see I’ve had this plan of doing some traveling in the back of my mind for sometime and I guess now is as good a time as ever. And when I have traveled the world and have questioned and observed the wisest of men only then will I come to know true joy, pleasure and happiness. God gave me these two powerful hind legs and I intend on making use of them as I set off on my journey in search of joy, pleasure and happiness.”

    “Well if you ask me Jeremiah, travel, adventure and observation are excellent ways to learn and develop one’s knowledge of the world; however sometimes the answers to our biggest questions can found in our own backyard. Often times they are right before our very eyes yet unfortunately we are all too often unable to see them.”

    “You may be right Erin, but I feel as though I must go and seek out the answers to these questions if I am ever to find the true meaning of joy, happiness and pleasure. Please look after my pond until I return and when I get back I will share with you all that I have learned.”

    Having said that, Jeremiah sprung from his lily pad, hopped onto my lap, shook my hand
    with his tiny moist webbed-foot and set out on his way.

    The Journey

    After hopping about for what seemed like an eternity Jeremiah’s legs began to ache. He needed to rest and decided to find a place to retire for the night. In the distance he saw the lights of a large city and thought there he might find comfortable lodgings. As he entered the city outskirts he spotted a bustling tavern and so decided to stop in for a well- deserved glass of wine before retiring. Upon entering Jeremiah made his way across the room, perched himself on a tall wooden stool at a large table and sat amongst a group of men who were engaged in hearty philosophical discussion. Jeremiah listened as the men spoke with great passion on a variety of worldly subjects. With the passage of time and a few glasses of wine Jeremiah began to feel more relaxed; he decided that he too would join in on the conversation. He introduced himself and told the men that he was on a quest. One of the men who had been particularly animated throughout the evening turned to him and asked: “What is it you are seeking my amphibious, slimy friend? Here you will find men who are both wise and knowledgeable of the ways of the world. Perhaps we may be of some help to you?”

    Jeremiah nodded to the men and began to his tell his story: “I have left my humble lily
    pad in my beloved pond in search of knowledge about the joys and pleasures of life. You
    all look like wise and well-informed men, perhaps you might tell me of these things that I
    seek? Would you mind if I asked, what is the most beautiful sight in the all of the world –
    a sight that may bring joy and happiness to all?”

    “Why that is easy,” barked a tall balding man with a very long grey beard seated directly across the table. His deeply wrinkled face showed that he was certainly a man who had experienced much in life. “Why the most beautiful sight in the world is undoubtedly the breathtaking mountains of Switzerland. With their snow-capped peaks that pierce through the heavens, there is nothing that can compare. Men travel from far and wide to visit these mountains for they are renown throughout the world for their magnificence. They are indeed the most beautiful sight for any man to behold. To see these mountains is to know the true meaning of joy and pleasure.”

    “Now just hold on for a second,” piped in another elderly man who wore a thick pair of glasses supported by his long, pointy nose. “I have traveled the world and should anyone know anything about the meaning of great beauty and the joy it is I. Certainly the Swiss Alps are indeed wonderful but they are nothing compared to the beauty of the vast Brazilian rainforest. To experience great joy one must travel to South America and trek through the lush greenery of the rainforest. There you will find trees that are so gigantic and so lofty that they too pierce through the heavens. They are indeed the most beautiful sight for any man to behold.”

    “Sheer nonsense!” interrupted yet a third man with long silver hair and a pocket full of
    pens and other writing instruments. “I too have circled the globe and have had the
    privilege to dine with many a great king and queen. If there is one sight that must be seen
    to truly discover and understand the meaning of joy and pleasure one must travel to Saudi
    Arabia and visit the great palace of The Sultan Ali Sharrif. It is there that you will find the world largest and most magnificent diamond. This splendid gem shines brighter than any of the billion stars found throughout the galaxy. This gem will leave you speechless and will truly teach you the meaning of joy, for in the world, there is no more a beautiful sight to behold.”

    Before long the topic of the world’s most beautiful sight spread throughout the tavern, and though the place was indeed full of men with both wisdom and knowledge poor Jeremiah was no closer too finding the answer to his question; for as it turned out, each man had a different answer.

    Still determined to find the true meaning of joy, beauty and pleasure Jeremiah put a second question to these worldly men: “What do you think is the most beautiful sound in the world? A sound that might bring joy to any man’s heart?”

    Clearing his throat with great bravado the silver-haired man commanded the attention of all those seated at the table. From his posture and disposition it was clear that he was a man who had captured the interest of an audience or two in his day. “Well now. certainly we are talking about something of which I know a great deal for you see,” he cleared his throat once again, “for 35 years I have been a professor of music at some of the world’s most famous universities. I have performed countless concerts in the greatest theaters across Europe, America, the Far and Middle East. My name is known throughout the universe for when I play my violin audiences are overcome with emotion and cannot help but weep from joy.

    I can tell you my little green webbed-footed friend there is no greater joy of sound than that of the music which flows my sweet sounding violin.”

    Overcome with excitement Jeremiah asked, “Why I would be honored to hear the sweet sound of joy that comes from your violin sir. Might you be so kind as to play a little something for me?”

    “Why of course not you fool! Do you think with my talent that I shall simply play for free in a horrid establishment such as this? The sums I command for my performances are astronomical; should you like to hear me play you must buy a ticket for my next performance, which will be held in Vienna next month.”

    “Bah, what nonsense,” scoffed the wrinkled- faced bearded man in response to the musician’s boasting. “To think that one must pay money to hear the most beautiful sound in the world is ludicrous. Undoubtedly the most beautiful sound in the world, a sound that can inspire joy like no other is the delightful melody of the nightingale. The voice of this songbird, particularly the male as he sings to his beloved, is like no other in the world. It has captured the imagination and inspired many a poet to write beautiful lines in an attempt to capture the depth and beauty of its melodious tone. To this date, I believe, not a single poet has sufficiently put into words the true beauty of its harmonious song. If it is the joy of sound that you seek my little pond-loving friend then you simply must listen to the evening song of the nightingale.”

    Once again Jeremiah could hardly contain his excitement: “ I should like to listen to the sweet song of the nightingale. Perhaps tonight would be the perfect occasion. Where might I find these birds of song?”

    “Oh how little you know of life my bulgy-eyed friend,” laughed the bearded-man. “The nightingale are migratory birds and the summer season has long passed. These songbirds have moved on to warmer climates for the winter. Should you travel to Egypt you will find them there basking in the sun alongside the great golden sphinxes.”

    The thought of the hot Egyptian sun on his moist green skin made Jeremiah shudder. Traveling to Egypt would definitely be out of the question.

    Once again the conversation of beauty and joy spread throughout the tavern and each man shared his opinion on what he believed to be the most splendid sound in the world. Unfortunately for Jeremiah, once again each man presented a different opinion regarding the subject.

    “My, it is getting late,” yawned Jeremiah, “however, I should like to ask one final question before turning in for the evening. Can you tell me what the most beautiful smell in the world that might be? A smell like no other that is sure to bring joy to one and all?”

    The man with the long, pointed nose and thick glasses looked at Jeremiah with assurance and began: “Who can be better qualified to answer this question than I? You only have to
    look at my magnificent elongated nose to know that I come from a family that has been blessed with an exceptional sense of smell. My father was a perfume maker, my grandfather was a perfume maker, and I too am a perfume maker. The fragrances my family has created for generations sell for thousands of dollars in the most exclusive boutiques around the world. If you are looking for the world’s most wonderful smell, one that will bring you great joy and pleasure you must sample one of my fragrances.”

    “Nonsense!” interrupted the nightingale loving man. “One does not have to spend thousands of dollars on perfume to experience the most wonderful aroma in the world; one must simply travel to the country of Bulgaria, for there you will find what is known as The Valley of Roses. In this valley, and only in this valley, might one find what is known as the Rosa Damascena. In the month of May, when the spring air is filled will the scent of this celestial flower, the natives celebrate what is known as The Festival of Roses. The joy and happiness that is derived by the sweet fragrance of this Bulgarian rose can be compared to no other. Though there are over 7000 varieties of roses known to man, it is only the heavenly fragrance of the Rosa Damascena that is celebrated, for it alone is capable of inducing the greatest felling of joy, pleasure and happiness.

    Once again the entire tavern begin to discuss the matter of the most beautiful scents in the world; and once again, much to Jeremiah’s dismay the patron’s of the tavern were unable reach an agreement.

    Feeling somewhat confused and saddened Jeremiah thanked all the wise and knowledgeable men for their company that evening and retired to a small pond in the back of the tavern.

    For the next several months Jeremiah hobbled from city to city and continued to speak and listen to men of great wisdom and knowledge. The more he traveled the more he encountered conversations, which were not unlike the one he had experienced in the tavern at the beginning of his journey. Much to Jeremiah’s disappointment he soon came to realize that rather than finding answers to his questions he was becoming more and more confused. Finally, Jeremiah decided that it was time to return to the comfort of his lily pad in Christie Conservation.

    Back at the pond

    Spring had arrived and it was time to return to Christie to do a little fishing. The prospect of seeing my old friend Jeremiah was exciting for I had missed him greatly and was curious to discover what he had learned. Having arrived at the pond I was elated to find Jeremiah perched on a newly formed lily pad not far from the dock.

    “Hey there world traveler. How are things?” I asked.

    “Ok…I guess,” he croaked.

    His tone indicated that not much had changed since our last encounter; if anything, he looked even more troubled and sadder then ever.

    “How was your journey little buddy?”

    “Well Erin, I met a lot of nice folks and I listened to the words and wisdom of many knowledgeable men, but…” he sighed.

    “But what Jeremiah?” I inquired.

    “Well regrettably, I was unable to find the answers I was looking for Erin. The truth of the matter is I am now more puzzled and perplexed than I was when I first set out on my quest. I don’t know Erin. I just don’t know what to think.”

    After a long pause Jeremiah looked up at me with his foggy, bulging eyes and asked:
    “Hey Erin, do you remember when you told me I could always count on you to talk with? Does that offer still stand?”
    “Of course Jeremiah. That’s what buddies are all about.”

    “Tell me Erin, have you ever asked yourself about the meaning of true joy, pleasure and happiness?”

    “Why sure Jeremiah, many times.”

    “Well let me ask you this then, what is the most beautiful sight in all of the world? A sight that brings you unparalleled joy, happiness and pleasure.”

    “I think I can answer that one Jer.”

    “Oh really! Go on.”

    “The most beautiful sight that I have ever seen was the birth of my one and only daughter Frances. Having watched her grow up and develop into a healthy young girl is a sight that nothing in the world can compare. To watch her dance and smile is a vision that is second to none. Each time I see my daughter I feel that I am the luckiest man in the world and that is the greatest sense of joy, pleasure and happiness.”

    “Well… what about the most beautiful sound in the world Erin?”

    “Oh that’s an easy one, for you see Jeremiah, there are no words in world that might capture the indescribable joy and happiness I feel when I listen to my darling daughter’s voice. The sweet sound of her voice warms my heart and makes me feel happy to be alive. But what’s best is when I lie down with her to wish her good night and I hear
    the beat of her heart; I know that our hearts will always be connected by an inexpressible bond, and that is the greatest sound any man can experience.”

    “And how about the greatest smell in the word? Have you thought much about that Erin?”

    “Again, another easy one Jeremiah old buddy. When I hold my daughter Frances in my arms and share with her my love by kissing the top of her head, I cannot help but be moved by the sweet scent of her golden hair. The fragrance of her hair warms my heart and lets me know that all is good in our world. Could there be any other greater joy?”

    Jeremiah did not answer.

    I looked at him and noticed he was crying.

    “Whoa Jeremiah. Are you ok? I’m sorry if I said something that upset you.”

    “No,no, not at all Erin I’m not crying from sadness but rather from joy. Oh thank you so much Erin. Thank you for filling my heart with joy, pleasure and happiness. I now remember you once telling me that sometimes the answers to our question can be found in our own backyard but often times we are unable to see them. Your story of true love for your daughter has given me more joy than I have ever experienced in my life. Oh thank you so much.”

    “Hey it’s like I said Jeremiah, that’s what friends are for. By the way, Jeremiah you got any wine kicking around. I’d like to make a toast.”

    “Sure Erin. Always got some mighty fine. What are we toasting to?” he asked as he poured two glasses of wine and handed one to me.

    “Well Jeremiah it’s my daughter Franny’s birthday tomorrow. She’s going to be 13.”

    “Her birthday? Tomorrow? Well what are we waiting for? You may have the honors my dear friend.”

    “ And so I shall, Jeremiah. Here is to you Franny. Happy Birthday!!! From your loving father and our green little friend Jeremiah the bullfrog.”

  2. #2
    erin montemurro
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Hi there folks - a neewbie to the site and I think I may have place my story in the wrong forum - was wondering if someone might help me find the right place to post stories thanks - Erin

  3. #3
    erin montemurro
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    [i want to remove my story from the forum - any one can help me with advice on how to do this - thx

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