‘The Mountain Part 2’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. The backstory can be found here. Enjoy!

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, blue crayons, popcorn…and Spider-man comic books; but he still did not like to stop and wait. Here is PART TWO of his story (click here for part one):

Stuck as stuck could be – that’s what Baby Frederico had become when he slipped and fell down into a hole while he was climbing up a mountain with his family, whom he had refused to stop and wait for because they were soooooooo slow.

And now, here he was; stuck as stu—-wait. What was that sound? It reminded him of something familiar, but he couldn’t place it. It was also growing louder and seemed to be moving closer to him. He decided to stop and wait and listen – which was all he could do anyway – and see what might happen next.

Suddenly, pebbles began to roll down into the hole. This could only mean one thing. Someone or something, along with that strangely familiar sound, was nearby.

“Hi there,” a friendly and high-pitched voice called out from above. “Why are you down there?”

Baby Frederico was surprised…but there was something he liked about this voice and said, “I slid down here and now I’m stuck as stuck can be.”

“Wow! I love to slide! Here I come,” said the excited voice. And before Baby Frederico could say, “Stop! Don’t do it or we’ll both be stuck down here,” a beautifully green and brown grasshopper slid right down into the hole with him…and she was laughing all the way!

“Why are you laughing? Now we’re both stuck,” said Baby Frederico with his most frustrated voice. “We’ll never get out of here.”

“Don’t worry my little long-tailed friend. I’m a grasshopper and I can get us out of here with just one hop! For my name is Grenelda and hopping is my game,” she said dramatically as she began to laugh again. “Grab on and we’ll be out of here in less time than it takes to play a quarter note on Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet!”

Baby Frederico was confused and interested, all at the same time, so he took her by the arm and, with the quickest jump you’ve ever seen, the two were out of that hole in no time at all.

Baby Frederico’s family was just coming around the bend in the path below him and they were surprised to see him and his new friend springing right up in front of them! With concern in his voice, Papa said, “Baby Frederico, where have you been?”

Baby Frederico was ashamed to admit that he had been mad at them for being so slow. “Well papá, it is a long story and I’m sorry I ran off. I’ll explain it all to you as we finish climbing this mountain…together.”

Papá Frita smiled; Mama Mia let out a sigh of relief; and Baby Frederico’s grandparents sat down to rest. The entire Frederico Family would indeed make it to the top of the mountain, more certain than ever that they would make it to the top together. Baby Frederico also learned something that surprised him most of all – stopping and waiting can lead to a whole new adventure…and maybe even a brand new friend.

Which reminded him! Baby Frederico was so glad to be back with his family and out of danger that he nearly forgot to introduce everyone to Grenelda the Grasshopper. But when he looked around, she was gone. He wondered if she had hopped so hard to get them out of the hole that she might have hopped right out into space. If that was the case, he was glad he let go!

Still, he couldn’t help but wonder – where did she go and what was that strange, happy music that he could already hear again coming from somewhere down the mountain?

BF Mountain 1

‘The Mountain’ – Thursday stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. The backstory can be found here. Enjoy!

BF Mountain 3

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, blue crayons, popcorn…and cinnamon suckers; but he did not like to stop and wait. Here is his story:

The top of the mountain was finally coming in to view. Just a few more steps to go. Baby Frederico had started this day of climbing with his family in the happiest of moods, all smiles and bright eyes and adventurous attitude and energy to burn. He wore his toughest hiking boots and carried a big green backpack full of everything a great climber might need – graham crackers and marshmallows, a box of Battlestar Galactica band-aids, marbles, a compass, a map of caves, a camera, three rocks, his papá’s old Spider-Man comic book, an assortment of his favorite blue crayons, and six cinnamon suckers. It was the perfect day for Baby Frederico.

Or so he thought. His family – which on this trip included his parents and his grandma and grandpa – was just too slow. It took them forever to drive to the mountain; nearly a hundred years for them to get out of the car and put their sunscreen on; and a million hours to check to be sure their shoelaces were tied and their water bottles were full. He did not like to stop and wait…and he began to get mad.

“Are we ever going to start climbing up this mountain? Why is everyone so slow? Let’s go!!!” Baby Frederico started up the path by himself, not looking back to see if his words had any effect on the rest of the family.

And now, here he was, climbing over rocks and jumping across creeks on his very own mountain. He looked back to see where his slower-than-slow family was on the path. Nothing – no one anywhere. Baby Frederico stopped. “Where are they now?”, he wondered. He listened for a moment and thought he heard something, but he was mad, so mad that he wasn’t paying attention to his next step.

With a slip, a slide, and a whimpered, “Oh no!,” Baby Frederico found himself at the bottom of a small hole in a large rock. It wasn’t really a hole, more like a deep indention in the massive chunk of earth that he was trying to climb over. Still, it was large and smooth enough that he couldn’t climb out by himself. The top of his head peeked above the rim of the hole, but his arms and legs were just too short to pull himself up and over for a quick escape. He was stuck as stuck could be. He had no choice but to…stop and wait.

BF Mountain 2

And that’s when he heard something that he had not ever heard before. It must have been there all along, but it was far enough away that its sounds echoed more clearly in the hole. But what was it and where was it coming from?

Baby Frederico wasn’t sure if he should hope or worry that whatever it was would come closer. For now, all he could do was stop and wait…and listen.

(To be continued next week!)

82 Stories

82 Stories Glasses Photo

We drove to the top of Mount Scott yesterday. It’s about two hours southeast of us and a place I had never visited but often heard about. We took this drive for one reason – my 82-year old grandparents. It is near the epicenter of their 69-year love affair; a beautiful area of the world they visited on teenage dates in the 1940’s. They called us earlier in the week and asked if we would like to visit the place and see it all through their memories. We were glad to – and now more than glad that we did.

As we approached the top of the mountain in our SUV, I asked them what had changed and they looked around for a moment. “Nothing really…except the route up here,” my grandmother admitted. “It was all dirt and gravel roads back then, nothing quite so manicured and perfect and painted as it looks now. But the view, that hasn’t changed a bit. The sky is still blue, the white clouds still roll over us, the rocks and flowers are still the same browns and greens and purples, and those boats there on the lake…right there…they still look like little toys from way up here.” My grandfather, never a fan of heights, added, “Still too high up if you ask me.”

For a bit of an adventure, the kids and I decided to climb down onto the rocks below the scenic viewing path that encircles the top of Mount Scott. These rocks were slippery smooth and the purple flowers that grew between them were enticing to our youngest. The kids took pictures and laughed and poked around, being as safe as three girls in flip-flops standing on the side of a mountain can be.

When I looked back up the path to see from where we had come, I caught a glimpse of my grandparents. They may have been talking, I’m not sure, but they were holding hands and clearly peering out onto the land below, their eyes squinting through the blazing sun that was nearly at its peak in the sky above them. I told the girls to look and to remember what they were seeing. For in that moment, we were transported in time to the teenage chapters of a long-written storybook, to a portion of my grandparent’s lives lived so long ago and yet living now so close to us that all we had to do to read it was drive them up a mountain just off I-44 and Highway 49.

The stories are everywhere my friends. They just keep coming…