I wrote this Once Upon A Time story after we, at the TAO Humor Center, had send a shipment of over thirty puppets and stuffed animals to the St. Joseph Indian School in South Dakota (1994). These were animals used by our Clown Troop and also in a monthly Peace Meditation around a lighted globe. I felt complete with all these friends, except for one OSCO who was a huge green puppet dragon. The truth was, this puppet still scared me my inner child MIRI and so I wrote a story to attempt to overcome this fear!
ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a little girl named MIRI who just loved to be alive! Everything was magic to her everything was alive! The trees, rocks, flowers, and moss the rain, sunshine, moon and stars her toys, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus all were alive!
One day, in the middle of her play, a HUGE, scary Dragon appeared! He said, I’m going to eat up your fun and fantasy time your joy and your laughter! Dont you know everything is serious? You are almost six years old! How are you going to take care of yourself? You will need to work and be serious! How will you survive if you are so happy?
At first, MIRI was very frightened. She decided that the Dragon was right. Life IS serious and survival IS what its all about! So she went out into nature and said, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to give up our magical days. I have work to do. Playing is a waste of time! She went to her toys and teddies, called in the fairies and elves and even her special Angel. Every one of her friends was so sad that she had decided not to play anymore.
MIRI was sitting outside one day all alone, very sad and the Dragon came back to visit her. She was so sad that she forgot to be afraid! She said to the Dragon, What is your name?
Startled, the Dragon said, OSCO. He had a round tummy and fire shot out of his mouth and he was hopping to scare MIRI, but she was not afraid!
That’s a nice name, she replied. It suits you and is round and I like OOOOs. They are fun to write and play with. All of a sudden she realized that she was smiling and that her sense of wonder was back!
Well OSCO, of course, was upset because no ne had ever asked him his name! And to top it off, MIRI liked his name. He was so surprised that HE looked frightened.
What are you afraid of?, asked MIRI.
I’m afraid for anyone to get to know me, replied OSCO. I’m afraid of relationships and I need for you to leave me alone and be afraid of me!
At this point, MIRI was neither afraid nor courageous. She was interested in this new creature.
Fire! I have fire! said OSCO. I’m so strong I can crush anything in my sight and I can carry away things on my back and not even feel their weight! OSCO was hoping to really frighten MIRI.
But MIRI said, I sense you are very sad. You stole my happiness and enthusiasm for living for awhile, and YOU MISS THAT! I have an idea. Instead of stealing my JOY and trying to scare me, lets give you a new job! Tonight, my family and a few neighbors are going to have a bonfire and hot dog roast. We sit around and tell stories and laugh and eat marshmallows. We could use your fire just for fun and you could tell your story!
AND that is how OSCO and MIRI became great friends. You can still join them, roasting marshmallows with their friends around the fire, laughing and dreaming and telling starries!