This is the second excerpt from my novel that I am working on… again.I have it basically written, have had it written for a while, but now it is time to finish. This is a story of a woman/ girl named Katie. It is a life journey focused on the importance of friends and family and a place to call Home. Sometimes we lose our way or take a detour that takes us years to meander around and over and under and through until we get back on the path that we are made to travel. This is a story of life and love and gratitude.
~~~~~~Excerpt II (from Home Within)~~~~~~
Momma would smile and say, “You were a little red skinned baby with wild black Indian hair. Your hair was as thick as a carpet and stood straight up. I couldn’t do a thing to tame it. I could wet it down and get it to lie flat. But as soon as it would dry, that crazy hair would pop back up like it was made of springs. And your eyes…they looked just like those little shiny black buttons on your velveteen bunny…so happy and bright.”
My first and favorite toy had been a Velveteen Rabbit that Granddaddy gave me when I was a baby. I loved that bunny just like it was real…just like the child in the book did. And it’s true too… when a person truly loves something, it doesn’t matter how old a thing gets or how shabby it looks. When a person loves something that much and for that long she isn’t looking at it like other people do. I didn’t notice how worn out it got…it always just looked like my bunny to me. I saw that bunny differently because I knew it, just like I knew myself. People that didn‘t have a real, live toy would never understand. My sisters were always threatening to throw my bunny away. They were always criticizing how dirty and nasty it was. They didn’t see what I saw. My bunny had real ears that listened to every hope and secret that I whispered. It had real shiny eyes, that may have gotten scratched and clouded with time, but those black bunny eyes could always see me…I knew he could see me because I could see myself in his eyes. And my bunny had a soft body and little arms, and when I needed one the most, he was always quick with a hug…for as long as I held him, he would hold me.
“You got that bunny when you were about three months old… that’s about the time you rubbed all the hair off of the back of your head.” Momma knew I loved to hear stories about me and my bunny. I would beg her to tell them to me so that I wouldn’t forget… and Momma was always kind to oblige. “Daddy and I called the bald spot on the back of your head ‘your discontent’ spot. When I would lay you down for a nap, you never would sleep… you would just turn your head back and forth, back and forth, trying to see what was going on around you. You would hold your bunny right up in your face and chew on it, and drool on it… and talk to it. Your voice would go up and down and then pause like you were listening for a while…like you really were having a conversation. Then when you were six months old, your discontent bald spot spread and covered your whole head! You lost all of your dark Wild Indian hair and then right away you started growing in the light hair you have now. When you were born we had all thought that you were going to have your Granny Naomi’s black Cherokee eyes and hair, and we were all surprised when they lightened up.
“You changed so much, and so quickly at about six months old that Granddaddy would tease us that it was obvious to him that the Fairy People were involved. He speculated that the Fairy People, after realizing that you were not magical, determined that some incompetent stork had made a big mistake during your delivery. Plain and simple, according to Granddaddy there had been a baby mix-up. In Granddaddy’s explanation, you were erroneously taken to live with the Fairies, and then you had to stay there for a while because they had to figure out where their own dark Fairy baby was. When they finally found their baby they didn’t know how to make the switch without us noticing, so they didn’t even try. They just switched you out in the middle of the night. That’s why you had black hair, and then you had no hair, and then you had light hair… and why you had black eyes and then you had your Daddy’s green eyes.”
Momma said that my brothers would listen to Granddaddy’s tall tales about the fairy baby-switch, and look at me in awe… like I really might have lived among the fairies…like maybe some of their mysterious power and magic might have rubbed off on me. I think my brothers always have half believed that those stories were true, even half-believing that there never was a switch made and that I was the Fairy Baby that was never claimed. That could explain why my brothers always treated me extra nice. They probably wanted to stay on my good side just in case…to insure that I wouldn’t cast a spell on them! They always did treat me different from any other girl. Whatever the reason, I was just thankful that my big brothers always let me tag along with them.
Sometimes my over active imagination would convince myself that if I was indeed a Fairy, that one day I would grow into my magic. I liked the thought that I might be more…not just a common human. I liked the thought that I might be from somewhere fantastic and have special abilities that I just couldn’t remember…abilities that would reveal themselves. I believed that even though I was never formally trained, that my magic was a part of me and would come back to me if I ever needed it. I liked the idea of being different, but I wasn’t sure I liked the idea that I wasn’t a real member of my human family. Momma must have sensed my growing worry, because one time after we had heard this same story of my Fairy life for what seemed like the hundredth time, Momma stopped laughing and said, “ Oh, Honey! You know your Granddaddy just likes to joke with you! You were mine the first second I saw you… black hair or blond, dark eyes or light…you are still the same baby as ever. My baby. Our baby. And you always will be.”
When Momma mentioned to Granddaddy that I was a little concerned that his stories were true he came over to console me. “ I know good and well that the Fairy People didn’t switch babies…” he started. I started to take a sigh of relief, but then he continued, “They didn’t switch babies, at all. They just let us keep the magical baby! They didn’t change your appearance with magic, you changed it all by yourself! Nobody else noticed, but I knew what you were up to. You always were a clever one…you didn’t want the outside world gettin suspicious!” I know my eyes must have been the size of saucers with this news! But then Granddaddy winked at me with his bright mischievous eyes and we laughed. What he said didn’t clear anything up for me, but I figured if I really was a fairy there was nothing I could do about it anyway, so I might as well not worry about it! And as long as nobody came and took me away from my human family everything would be alright. It didn’t matter how I came to be with my family… the important thing was that I was with them, and I was their’s and they were mine. Granddaddy’s stories would make my imagination go crazy. The stories made me wonder… where did I come from and how did I get so lucky to be here… with these people? Some things are mysteries and miracles that can’t be explained, but I was grateful. I am grateful.