Jake and the Dolphin


Thanks to Rochelle for shepherding the Friday Fictioneers throughout the year.  I have thoroughly enjoyed posting a story almost every week, and thanks to constructive comments from some very talented writers, I feel my writing has improved a great deal. The lovely photo this week is courtesy of Jean Hays – I seem to remember having another of her beautiful stained glass panes as a previous prompt.

 

Not long now until Christmas, only five sleeps as youngest son told me (he is 36).  So, may I take this opportunity, whether you celebrate Christmas or your own particular special celebration, to wish you all peace and happiness and a wonderful holiday with friends and loved ones.

 

Copyright - Jean l Hays

Copyright – Jean lL Hays

 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Jake and the Dolphin

 

Every year Jake’s parents took him to Florida for Christmas, hoping the holiday sunshine would help him.

‘We’re going to swim with dolphins this trip.’

Jake didn’t react; that wasn’t unusual.

Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, as they splashed about, a dolphin appeared alongside. Gently nudging Jake, it guided him through the water. Jake held him tightly. People stopped to watch the boy with the dolphin, seemingly playing together.

When he was put to bed, Jake turned to his mother and whispered ‘Love you’

She stared momentarily, not believing her ears, then hugged him.

‘Jake, you can talk.’

 

This is based on something that happened to a friend’s son. He was diagnosed with autism, a most cruel affliction, when he was two years old. He had no speech at all and although seemingly happy in all other ways, his frustration at not being able to make himself understood, gave rise to terrible temper tantrums that affected all the family. It got so bad that at times they just couldn’t take him anywhere.

When he was nine, he went swimming with dolphins and a short time afterwards, he was able to speak.  Not fluently, but enough to make himself understood.  The medical team was very doubtful that the dolphin had anything to do with it.  His mother believed that the dolphin had helped her son and I like to think so too.
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Christmas traditions, then and now


father-christmas-and-snowman.jpg

There are lots of Christmas traditions and I came across a few interesting facts on some of them –

Why do we eat turkey?

Long ago, it was the smell of roast goose or the head of a boar that filled the Christmas air in Britain. Then in 1526, a trader named William Strickland imported six turkeys from the US and sold them in Bristol, for tuppence each. The birds were popular because they were tasty, and practical. Cows were more useful alive, chicken was more expensive than it is now, and other meats were not as popular.

……….. And why mince pies?

Mince pies are the modern descendant of the Christmas Pye, a large dish filled with shredded pigeon, hare, pheasant, rabbit, ox, lamb, or mutton, mixed with fruits and sugar. It had an oblong shape, said to resemble Jesus’s cradle. After 1660, they became more like the pies we eat now.

What about Christmas cards?

The first person ever to think of selling Christmas cards was a civil servant named Henry Cole, who had worked on the introduction of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840. He was too busy that year to write to all his friends, so he commissioned a designer named John C. Horsley, of Torquay, to design a card with the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You”. In 1843, the year that Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Cole went a step further, by commissioning 1,000 cards. He used some, and put an advertisement in the press offering the others for sale at 6d each. One card from that batch was sold in December 2005 for £8,500.

( from “What’s Behind Christmas Traditions?” by Andy McSmith, 2008 Independent)

 =o=

Each year I tell myself that I will be more organised and not leave things to the last minute and each year I do exactly the same as the year before.  I think that for me, all the rush and bustle involved in the run up to Christmas is part of my “tradition”.

I love the carols played in the shops, the fact that people seem more friendly toward each other, the last minute present wrapping, the food that we wouldn’t buy any other time of year, the board games, the falling asleep after lunch, the old films on tv, the presents from relatives who seem to forget our age and size, the list could go on.  But most of all I love spending time with my family and friends, I just love Christmas.

I want to share this card with you, it’s by the brilliant Jacquie Lawson and sums up my memories of happy childhood Christmases

http://www.jacquielawson.com/cards_christmas.asp

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2013

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly….


I have managed to get my story in early for once. Thanks go to Rochelle for picking up the baton of Friday Fictioneers and to Rich Voza who supplied the photo prompt for this week. You can read more Friday Fictioneers if you follow this link

100_7262-1 ff

I know my way around.

The door I need is at the end of the corridor.

I get a call whenever he’s in town, although he only ever wants to see me in the afternoon.  He is a nice guy and I am used to odd requests.

There is the usual glass of champagne and a beautifully wrapped gift waiting for me; the dress he has chosen is laid out across the back of the chair. I change quickly.

I drink my champagne, put his gift in my bag then walk through the doorway to ‘Santa’s Grotto’.

Christmas Eve – one more sleep


I went to a carol service last Monday and I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t remember the last one that I went to.  It was a beautiful evening, the church which is very old, was lit by hundreds of candles which made the occasion magical. The service was lovely and the singing just amazing.  All the carols I knew from childhood, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Silent Night”, O Little Town of Bethlehem” …. were sung with gusto by all the congregation.

As I walked home through the snow that had fallen earlier that day, I got to thinking about past Christmases and, as a child, how excited I used to get. Making paper decorations with my sister, going shopping with my mother, seeing all the lights in the windows, hearing people calling out “Merry Christmas” to strangers as they passed in the street.  It seemed everyone got caught up in the Christmas spirit.

I tried to give my children the same wonderful Christmases that I had and relived mine again through them.  Watching their excitement as the time drew nearer, counting the sleeps till Christmas Eve, when HE would come, hopefully with the sackful of  presents they had asked for. Hanging up the stockings, which somehow became sacks over the years and the frustration of trying to find small inexpensive things to fill them with –  a tangerine, a handful of nuts, a bag of chocolate coins, football socks, gloves, while still somehow manging to put a pile of presents under the tree for them

They are all grown up now, but still come back home with their partners for Christmas.  Their rooms are all ready, the shopping is done and I will be waiting to greet them when they arrive this evening. I will watch them as they put their presents alongside ours under the tree and wonder where all the years have gone.

After a late supper, when we have had time to catch up on everyone’s news we’ll got to bed for one more sleep………….and then it will be Christmas