As always, I look forward to an email from Sean of the South each morning. He received a special request from Kaylie, and boy – did he deliver! Here is Sean’s post –
We just moved to Clovis, New Mexico. I really miss home and all my family are in Florida. I am nine years old… My parents are divorced. And I am a very good artist.
I was wondering if you could tell a story about our situation. …If you don’t mind, I would like you to use words kids understand (but still a make it funny and emotional).
Your friend, KAYLIE
I have a story.
Long, long ago, in a land far away, there was a chubby little first-baseman who enjoyed sourdough biscuits and fried fish. Like you, his family changed. His daddy disappeared. And when that happened, the first-baseman’s world turned black.
One day, this boy went walking in the woods—for it is well-known that first-basemen love forests—and he found a creek near the river.
It was filled with magic catfish who talked to him in small voices, saying:
“No fishing poles you use,
Nor trotlines will ever work,
You will never catch us,
You chubby little jerk.”
This made the boy angry. For who were catfish to talk this way? The first-baseman had been fishing since before he played first base.
So, the next day he visited with a fishing rod. But as it happened, the boy had lost all faith in himself after his daddy died. Because of this, he caught no fish.
The catfish teased:
“Try and try,
You dumb pup,
You’ll catch us never,
You’ve already given up.”
Their singing displeased the first-baseman, for he knew the mystical scum-suckers were wrong about him.
So, the next day he fished again. Nothing.
And the whisker-fish sang:
“Fish, ye, at sundown,
Fish, ye, at sunup,
It won’t work, ye young fool,
Because you’ve given up.”
Now the boy KNEW the fish were mistaken. Mainly, because poets quit using words like “ye” after the invention of the monofilament lightbulb.
Thus, the little boy shouted, “You’re wrong about me! I won’t stop trying!”
Then, he remembered a song his daddy once sang. And so he recited in cut time:
“I will work all day,
I will work all night,
And though I may fail,
I will try and try,
“For I am strong,
Though humble I may be,
To give up is wrong,
For someone believes in me.
The first-baseman felt his pole bend. And I am pleased to report that he caught a catfish the size of an NFL player’s torso.
He carried the creature home where his mama made fried catfish and sourdough biscuits. And they ate saturated trans fats happily ever after.
I know life is tough. I know you miss your home, your friends, and your daddy. I know how hard it is to keep going. But don’t give up, sweetie.
Because I know a first-baseman who believes in you.”