How Frank Came Alight

Once there was a little girl who liked to play in the woods. She wore a lot of purple and liked to kick the leaves. Her name was Clara.

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Clara knew that all the fairest women of all the fairest fairy tales were good at cleaning, and while she questioned the underlying message of such a narrowly defined female prototype, she also liked the way a good Dirt Devil sucked the sediment right out of the crack where the linoleum meets the carpet. And so, like any self-respecting heroine, she gets up at 5:40 a.m., reads “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” with a glass of whole milk, and gets to work.

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After tugging on a few beards and making a few mad dashes across the sanctuary at church, Clara is ready for an adventure.

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No adventure is truly an adventure without snow-capped mountains and a really huge puddle.

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But Clara has seen a lot of big puddles from the pack on Dad’s back and she has decided she prefers puddles just big enough to make Mom sigh at the now-soaked socks but not so big that Mom puts you back in the pack.

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It is fun to splash and get wet and pretend you’re not cold, but every abridged adventure has to end and make way for the unabridged one to begin.

Time to go with Mom!

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This weekend’s real story was round and orange and full of seeds. 

Mom and Dad were sure Clara would be excited about pumpkin slime. Somewhere on their camera there’s a video you’ll never see because, despite all the parental acclaim of the inside of a pumpkin, Clara never touches the stuff.

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From the safety of Dad’s lap, she does, however, watch and kick the pumpkin very well.

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She loves her dad.

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Every tale has a talking inanimate object, and this one is no different. But, in order to talk, you have to have a face, and in order to have a face, someone has to draw one for you on a Post-it. A face is very important, especially if you’re just a head, and so ideally there is a face-design team. A team of two with competing visions.

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After deciding that eyebrows and pupils are overrated, the making of the face can begin.

“Yes, Clara, that’s a crescent-shaped eye.”October 11 045

We’ll spare you the disturbing incision process.

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It’s not a talking mirror or a fairy godmother, but it still has a lot of personality, especially when its voice sounds just a little like Dad’s. Don’t be scared, Clara. Tooth loss in an oversized squash isn’t contagious.

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This is Frank, our two-toothed, new Fall friend.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “How Frank Came Alight

  1. Nancy

    What a wonderful story! After Alaska, all scenery is going to look mundane to Clara. I’m not sure what Illinois and Missouri have to offer except a lot of loving relatives. Frank the Jack O’Lantern is a friendly looking guy. It was easy to identify the author of each vision. I can’t wait to see what Clara is this year for Halloween.

  2. My fave part: “BOOM BOOM BOOM! Mr. Brown is a wonder. BOOM BOOM BOOM Mr. Brown makes thunder. He can make lightning, SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT, and it’s very very hard to make a noise like that.”

    Ready for discussing our outside reading? 😉

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