April 27th Tell A Story Day

Now the intent in Tell A Story Day is to read a book to someone or yourself, or even tell a folklore or legend to a young person.  But I want to try something different.  I want to create a story.  Since the holiday is mainly celebrated in the US, England and Scotland, I’ll start it with a Scottish character.  It’s up to you where the story goes.  Heck, maybe if enough of us add to it we can make it another “39 Clues” and all become millionaires!  So here goes…

Ghillie Dhu

In the northwest of the highlands of Scotland, in and about the Gairloch and Loch a Druing lived a creature some thought was man, some though animal and others thought a bit of both.  He lived in the Birch Wood, dressed in moss and leaves to blend in with his surroundings, being a timid creature by choice.  He was a jolly soul, kindhearted and gentle, happy to live and let live.  He had one love outside of the woods he lived in, it was children.  He loved them and they loved him.

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That said, he was not the kind you wanted to cross though.  He was fiercely protective of his home, the woods and lochs, and would do anything to preserve them as they were. When Lord Gary decided to build an estate and village to support it on the Dhu’s native land he started a war that no one could have imagined.  For every tree Lord Gary took down, the Ghillie Dhu would make one of the village children his own.  Angry, Lord Gary cut down more trees and the Ghillie Dhu took more children, one for one.

The villagers grew more and more angry but not at Lord Gary.  It wasn’t Lord Gary that had their children, it was the Ghillie Dhu.  Now the children were fine.  They lived in the forests and learned to love them and how to protect them, all of which the Ghillie Dhu willingly taught.  As the years passed, the villagers found themselves at war with their own children, the very people they were trying to get back.

GhillieDhu

Okay, so now it’s your turn!  Help write the story to its conclusion!

March 30 Manatee Appreciation Day

Well, I have to start off with a song here…

OK, I couldn’t resist!…

Having worked for the Sea World Education Department eons ago, I have a fond place in my heart for these gentle giants. I saw daily what injuries they had to endure but I also saw how resilient they were.

I am happy that they receive their day in the spotlight!

If you have never seen a manatee in person before, it is a sight to behold. They are basically big, fat, grey teddy bears.

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How can you not love that ball of fluff…uh…I mean… blubber 🙂

This is why I find it amusing that they are associated with the tales of mermaids.

Legend has it that sailors at sea saw beautiful women swimming and beckoning them into the depths. In fact, even Christopher Columbus noted seeing such beauties – that is until they surfaced and he was quoted as saying they are “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

manatee

No one really knows why sailors thought they saw beautiful women. Was it possibly due to scurvy from all the sea water they drank – or maybe visions made up by love-sick men stuck at sea for months or years.

Manatees do continue to carry on one part of the legend though – they belong to the Taxonomic Order Sirenia – named after the songstress temptresses from folklore.

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