Monday, April 11, 2011

Pabeles

This is a short story I made up for my son.  I used to improvise bed time stories. This one came from him suggesting a name for the main character: Pabeles [Pah-BEH-lez].  I’ve put important names [in brackets] in case you want to have your children suggest their own.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was very, very sad.  She was sad because she had the worst name in the whole wide world.  Her name was [Pabeles].  Every day, [Pabeles] would complain to her parents about the terrible name they had given her, but they didn’t understand.  It was a tradition in their families to give their children awful names.  Her parents, [Stinky Face] and [Ugly Bum]thought they had given [Pabeles] a really nice name.

“If you really hate your name,” [Ugly Bum] said, you can go to the scary hall in the middle of town.”

But [Pabeles] was too scared.  So, instead, she decided to go fishing for a new name.  Everybody knew that you couldn’t fish for a name, but [Pabeles] was going to try anyway.  She built a boat, and made a sail.  She bought fishing gear and tackle and went out to sea.  Every day she fished for a name, but all she got were fish and sharks and an occasional whale.  One day, she caught the biggest fish she had ever seen.  When she was pulling the fish aboard, it spoke to her.

“Please little girl,” the fish said, “let me go.  I am no ordinary fish.  I am a magic fish.  If you release me, I will grant you anything you want.”

“All I want is to have a new name,” [Pabeles] said.

“You can’t wish for a new name.  If you want a new name, you have to go to the scary hall in the middle of town.  However, you can trade names.  If you let me go, I will give you my name.”

[Pabeles] thought about it and decided nothing could be worse than [Pabeles], so she released the fish.

“Very well,” the fish said, swimming away.  “From now on, I will be known as [Pabeles], and you will be known as [Purple Tongue].”

“Nooooooo!” screamed the little girl, but it was too late.

So [Purple Tongue] gave up on fishing for a name.  Instead, she decided she was going to catch it in the sky.  Now, everybody knows you can’t catch a name out of the air, but [Purple Tongue] was going to do it, anyway.  She sold her boat and fishing equipment and sewed a hot air balloon and bought a basket and wove a big net.  Every day she would float up into the air and cast her net out for a new name, but she never found one.  All she ever got were clouds, and kites, and the occasional party balloon.

One day, when [Purple Tongue] brought in her net, she found the biggest bird she had ever seen.  As she was bringing it into her balloon’s basket, it spoke to her.

“Please little girl,” it said, “I am no ordinary bird.  If you let me go, I will grant you any wish.”

“All I want,” [Purple Tongue] said, “is a new name.”

“You can’t wish for a new name,” the bird said. “If you want a new name, you have to go to the scary hall in the middle of town.  However, I will trade names with you.”

She decided that there couldn’t be any names in the world than [Purple Tongue], so she let the bird go.  As it was flying away, it said:

“From now on, I will be known as [Purple Tongue], and you will be known as [Icky Blood Stump].”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” screamed the little girl, but it was too late.

So, [Icky Blood Stump] gave up on trying to catch a name and decided to dig for it instead.  Now, everyone knows you can’t dig for a new name, but [Icky Blood Stump] landed her balloon, and found a mine and bought shovels and dynamite.  Every day, she’d ride a cart into the mine and dig for a new name, but all she ever found was rocks, and coal, and an occasional diamond.  One day, she dug up the biggest worm she had ever seen.  As she was pulling it out of the ground, it said to her:

“Please, little girl.  I am no ordinary worm.  I am a—”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” [Icky Blood Stump] said, dropping it, “just give me your name.”

“Very well,” said the worm, burrowing into the ground.  “From now on, I will be known as [Icky Blood Stump], and you will be known as [Hsssslllllltttthhhhsssssssspppppptttttthhhh the Third].”

NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” screamed the little girl, but it was too late.

Under the ground, she heard the worm say:

“If you really want a new name, you should go to the scary hall in the middle of town.”

So, she gave up digging.  She sold her tools and went to the middle of town.  She went into the scary hall and walked up to the creepy man behind the desk.  She gave the man money and he gave her a piece of paper that she wrote on and gave back.  Then she went home.

Two weeks later, she received a letter in the mail.  Her name had been legally changed to [Tracy].

“What an odd name,” her parents said.

The End

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