Friday, November 18, 2011

Big and Fuzzy (a short story)

Callie the Clam was missing. How did the other sea creatures know this to be so? Because Callie the Clam never missed the Full Moon Sing-a-long. Every full moon the sea creatures would gather in the waves, beneath the bright full moon, for dancing and singing. Callie the Clam was a most enthusiastic dancer and a very good singer. She must be found.

A meeting was held and respectable sea creatures were selected to learn the mystery of the missing clam named Callie. There was Otis the Octopus; an eight-legged bespectacled creature of great wisdom. There was Sara the Seahorse; a mind of unbounded imagination and creativity. Finally, there was Teddy the Tuna; a meticulous fish with an eye for details.

The three sea creature friends gathered together to discuss a plan for finding Callie. Otis suggested that facts and evidence must be collected. Each sea creature was given a different task, and the three of them set out, each in a different direction.

Teddy the Tuna visited the home of Callie the Clam. He looked for evidence of when Callie might have last been there, and he looked for clues to where she might have gone. Teddy was indeed pleased and impressed as he swam through Callie's house. Her house was neat and clean, with everything in its proper place. Surely, Teddy thought, if something unexpected had occurred, if some surprise befell Callie, there might be something out of place; there might be something left undone.

There was a comfortable chair just in front of a large window that offered a grand view of the sprawling reef and sea floor. On the sand next to the chair lay some knitting in a heap. Callie seemed to have tossed the knitting aside. Teddy thought this to be out of character for Callie, here was something that was out of place. It was a blanket. Teddy held it up and could see writing across its width. The words stitched into the blanket said "Big and Fuzzy Growing inside a Clam Shell".

What is this, thought Teddy. What could possibly be big and fuzzy that could grow inside the shell of a clam? He must show this clue to his sea creature friends. Teddy left and took the blanket with him.

Otis the Octopus visited the clam beds, for here were a great many of Callie's family and friends. Otis spoke with them to learn what they might know of Callie's whereabouts. There were all worried about Callie for she had been talking nonsense in recent weeks. Callie's closest family and friends recounted how Callie was perplexed and befuddled about a riddle she could not solve. What is this riddle, asked Otis. Something big and fuzzy growing inside a clam shell. “What?”, asked Otis. Something big and fuzzy growing inside a clam shell. Whatever could this mean? Otis must return to his sea creature friends and report this information at once.

Sara the Seahorse roamed far and wide across the reef and the adjoining sea floor. She questioned all manner of under the sea creatures in an attempt to learn if they had seen Callie. Sara had no luck whatsoever. No creature in her under the sea neighborhood recalled anything unusual about Callie the Clam. In her disappointment Sara returned to her sea creature friends.

Otis, Sara, and Teddy reported what they had learned, and the three of them began to consider what might be big and fuzzy and could grow inside a clam shell.  Sara was saddened at the loss of her friend Callie, and began to remember all the times they had danced and sang together under the bright full moon. Sara remembered feelings of joy and happiness when spending time with Callie the Clam.

Sara shouted out, “I know where to find Callie”, and she bolted away. Sara the Seahorse galloped across the ocean, and Otis the Octopus and Teddy the Tuna struggled to keep up with the swift little seahorse. They swam beyond the reef. They swam beyond the nearby sea floor. They swam out into the deep nothing of the ocean. They swam and swam until they come upon another reef; a reef filled with unfamiliar sea creatures. They grew cautious and scared being on a new reef, with strange sea creatures they did not know or recognize.

Suddenly, the strange sea creatures parted and there was Callie the Clam! Callie was dancing and singing. The three friends approached and called to Callie. Callie greeted them with a smile and hugs. Teddy asked Callie what she was doing here. Callie replied that she was teaching these sea creatures to dance and sing, for they did not know the joy of dancing and singing under the bright full moon. Otis asked Callie why she was doing this. Why did Callie leave her family and friends? And what possibly could be big and fuzzy and grow inside a clam shell?

Callie replied that she would soon enough return to home; return to her family and friends. Callie the Clam then turned to Sara the Seahorse and asked if she knew the answer. Sara said she did know the answer, “love”. “Yes”, said Callie, “love”. Not just love for a child. Not just love for a parent. Not just love for a husband or wife or partner. Love for all sea creatures, everywhere. The big and fuzzy something is love, and that love was growing inside Callie the Clam. She had to share that love. And so she travelled the ocean so she could meet new sea creatures and teach them the joy and happiness of song and dance; the joy and happiness of love.

Otis the Octopus, Teddy the Tuna, Sara the Seahorse, and Callie the Clam stayed with their new found sea creature friends. And under the bright full moon, in the waves of the sea, they danced and sang.

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