Once Upon a Time, as the story always goes, there lives a marvelously imaginative little girl. Her name is Alaina.
Now, Alaina is very much like you and me. She has a big sister, a cat named Monkey, 5 dogs (4 huskies and a hound) and a large aquarium full of fish. She sleeps in a bed with three pillows, a pink paisley quilt and 27 stuffed animals. She sometimes eats cereal for breakfast but her favorite breakfast is pancakes or waffles, pass the whipped cream and strawberries please! She loves hamburgers and pizza but she really, really, really doesn’t like mustard or potatoes. Everyone always looks at her with disbelief and wrinkles in their eyebrows when she doesn’t eat her french fries or says “No, thank you”, to servings of mashed potatoes.
Alaina has blonde hair and big brown eyes, though sometimes if you glimpse her dancing down the hallway you might think her hair is pink or shiny black or striped in shades of blue and purple. You might think she is wearing a princess ballgown but when you look again you see that she is just wearing her pajamas. Sometimes, if you walk into Alaina’s bedroom you might hear her stuffed animals talking to her.
You see, Alaina’s imagination is soooooo big that it fills the room and, very often, leaks into your head!
One hot summer afternoon, Alaina and her sister Jocilyn, decided that it was just too hot to go outside and really, they were very tired of being stuck indoors.
“I know” said Alaina, “Let’s go deep sea diving and visit the sea horses and starfish!”
“Mommy,” Jocilyn asked, “Can Alaina and I go exploring in the ocean?”
Mommy was teaching one of their husky puppies to sit and, if you know huskies, they don’t like to be taught to do anything unless it is their idea! So, mommy was a little distracted.
“Sure!” Mommy answered, holding the treat above Cooper’s head, “Just try to be back in time for dinner!”
Alaina ran into her room and swooped a deep blue cover from her blanket chest. It was so soft and had long fringy things on the edges. Running back to the dining room, she motioned for Jocilyn to sit on the cool tile floor and Alaina sat down beside her, much like Little Miss Muffet’s friend the spider.
Sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce, the girls spread the blanket over the top of them.
“Ooooooh,” said Alaina, “I like it down here in the ocean!”
“Look at those shells!” exclaimed Jocilyn. “Hey, there is a hermit crab living in that one!”
“Jocilyn!, Jocilyn!” shouted Alaina, “Look at that octopus, they really do have eight legs! How do they dance with so many legs?”
Sponges here and there on the ocean bottom, moved so very slowly and tiny little schools of orange and yellow and sparkling blue fish darted in and out of swaying plants.
“Have you ever seen a mermaid down here?” her sister asked Alaina.
“Of course, I have! They always seem to know when I visit! Here comes one now.” Alaina said, as she pointed to the west.
It was hard to see the mermaid at first because the scales on her tail were the same color as the ocean, sea green and aqua blue. As she came closer her tale became very shiny.
The mermaid nodded her head and greeted them, “Hello, Girls! Have you come for a tour?”
Alaina smiled and introduced her sister to the beautiful sea creature.
“Glad to make your acquaintance, Jocilyn!” she said. “Come, follow me!” She took hold of each of the girls hands and together they continued to swim.
A giant blue shadow floated above them. Ah, a whale on its way to Alaska!
Balloons with long legs floated by…”Jocilyn, look, jelly fish!”
They saw bright red star fish with many, many, many arms. They saw purple starfish with just 5 arms.
“Here come the seahorses!”
“Oh my,” sighed Jocilyn, "I just love seahorses."
There was a tall forest of seaweed. “This is kelp,” said the mermaid. They kicked their legs and made their way through the long flat leaves.
The mermaid smiled really big and squeezed their hands, “Look",she said, "Here comes a very good friend of mine!”
An immense turtle was swimming towards them. If turtles can smile, I do believe this one was smiling.
“Jocilyn, Alaina, this is …”
“We know, we know!” shouted the girls. “You are Chelonis! You are the great seafaring turtle!”
“Nice to meet you, young ladies. Climb onto my shell, all three of you!” ‘the giant grandfatherr turtle winked at them and they continued their adventure under the waves of the deep blue ocean.
A long, long shadow started to follow them. The mermaid was looking over her shoulder and getting a little fidgety. “I am afraid we have uninvited company,” she said.
The turtle slowly turned in the water. Everyone gasped as an enormous great white shark came into view. “Hold on tight, girls” said Chelonis, “I think we can out run him!”
“Wait!” shouted Jocilyn, “I’ve read about sharks, I know how to make him go away!”
Jocilyn eased herself to the edge of the turtle and braced herself. The shark was swimming in circles around them. With each circle, it came closer and closer. They could see rows and rows of scary, sharp teeth in the sharks huge mouth. It continued to circle, coming closer and closer still.
Just as the shark suddenly turned to attack, Jocilyn made a big fist and punched the menacing sharkt right in the end of its long nose! The shark winced hard and hightailed it off into the dark depths of the ocean.
“Yay” everyone shouted, “good for you, Jocilyn!”
“Girls…..Girls” Jocilyn and Alaina could hear Mommy calling them. “Time to clean up for dinner girls.”
“Bye!” said Jocilyn to her new friends
“Bye!” said Alaina to her new friends, “We’ll be back!”
The girls threw the blanket off of them and headed to clean up for dinner.
“Wait!” said Mommy. “You forgot to put the blanket back where you got it!”
Too late, the girls were already down the hall, talking to each other about their adventure.
Mommy picked up the blanket to fold it and put it away.
“What is this?” Mommy asked herself. The blanket was a little bit wet. When she looked down at the floor there was a long piece of seaweed, a tiny periwinkle sea shell in a couple of drops of water where the girls had been sitting.
Mommy just smiled. She knew that nothing is better than a strong imagination!