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FC: MEET LEVI | ...a story of imagination and great adventure...

1: MEET LEVI by kitty bauer (Happy Birthday Levi) | Thank you Levi, for inspiring me with all your long hours of conversation, deeply embedded in the jewels of your imagination. The wonderful inventions you have made of ordinary leftovers, is by far the most interesting part of being your neighbor. May God keep you safe in all your adventures. | MARCH 13, 2011

2: the collection box

3: Meet Levi. He is a curious young man who finds the most interesting things in dirt, water and grass. Levi has made it a habit to find things that others have thrown away and make some fantastic things out of them. Boxes, string, old wood and broken tools have always been attractive to Levi. He could see the many creative ways to use each of them Every piece of rotted fence or shiny pipe would have new life once Levi brought it to his growing collection box. But before I explain the secrets of his collection box, let me take you into the world of Levi. It has been said he is touched with a little bit of magic!

5: Each morning he begins with a song. It goes so something like this: "Oh I wish I were a sailor, out on the open sea, and if I were that sailor, I would be so free. Now an ocean is so bumpy. tossing me to and fro, But if I were that sailor, this is what I know. Oh...love the sea, love the sea, cuz she was made for you and me" Levi would sing this tune, just as loud as he could, while standing on top of the family table. His mother loved his joy so very much that she would encourage him by handing him a large cooking spoon to wave high in the air as if he were Captain of that ship, and a crumply old paper bag to wear on his head to protect him from the imaginary sun reflecting off the ocean water. Of course the water was really the carpet below the table and the Captain was her beloved little boy. All in all, it made for a festive morning in the house of Levi.

7: One particular morning, Levi was outside noticing just how fresh it felt. The grass was still wet from the droplets of dew and the shadows were deep. The green on the lawn was rich in color and the air was just a little sweet. Levi could hear the roaring of a motor down the street. It was the gardener mowing the lawn at his neighbor's house. The growling of the motor was getting louder and louder as his eyes were becoming fixed on the motion of the blades of tall grass dancing in the gentle wind. Lulled by the dull and constant noise of the lawnmower and the pleasant smells in the garden... Levi soon found himself ...


9: SS MIGHTY HERO | ...upon a structure he had built from many parts he had gathered in his collection box. The structure was that of cardboard boxes from a washing machine that Grandma Kitty had bought, some warn out fence posts that were no longer needed and even copper pipes he found in his garage. He had built this boat in the likes of an ocean worthy ship and even gave it a name. He called it "the Mighty Hero". Many days were spent out on the Mighty Hero, sailing over the seas of his imagination. But today, Levi found himself out on his trusty vessel with a kind of new awareness never felt before. Today Levi went on a voyage he will never forget.

10: "Hoist up the sails" he shouted. "Bring about the mast." Levi was barking out orders to his shipmates to steer the Mighty Hero toward the land he saw off in the distance. He stood at the highest point of the ship wearing a grand Captains hat and held up a staff made of fine exotic wood. Levi pointed the staff in the direction of the leafy island he saw in the horizon. "Land HO" he yelled, and with that all the shipmates began their work to gather up more speed. Soon they all felt a great THUGG. They had landed on the beach.

11: Ye ol'Shipmate | SS MIGHTY HERO

13: Walking off onto the sandy beach, Levi noticed all the beautiful trees and bushes in this new land. There were birds that looked like paint boxes filled with all the colors of the rainbow. There were trails that led to interesting places. He investigated every dark corner he could find. Being the collector that he is, Levi made sure to keep an eye out for everything that could be used to create more fantastic things. He tied a bag to his belt and loaded it up with treasures that came upon his path. Soon the bag was filled with a chewed up shovel, a big shell, a couple rocks and something that looked like it came out of an old car. He wasn't really sure what it was ... but he WAS sure it was good for something. That's all that mattered. About this time, Levi was thinking about his family back home and was wishing that they could share in this new adventure he found in this far away land. Just then, Levi remembered the one thing he always packs in his pocket when he travels far from home.

15: It was his Walkie-Talkie. He felt around and sure enough, there it was right there where he always tucks it away. With his little fingers wrapped around the solid black case, he pushed down on the "talk" button. "Hello, hello anybody there?" he yelled. Crackle Swizzz Crackle Turning down the volume Levi could hear a small and far away voice reply. "Hello, is that you Levi? Where are you son? Will you be home for dinner?" his mother hollered back. "Don't worry about me mom, there are plenty of fish in the sea." he answered. "O.K. then honey, just be sure you are safe and keep your face to the wind." And with that, Levi put his walkie-talkie back in his pocket.

16: It wasn't long before Levi heard a chattering kind of a laugh behind some bushes. His curiosity became so strong he had to find out just who or what was making that lovely sound. It was just so happy. Levi had never heard such a sweet laughter before. Getting down on his knees and separating some fern bushes, Levi saw the most interesting sight. There were lots and lots of tiny people, dancing and singing. Most of them were laughing so hard they had fallen back on their tiny little behinds. This was too funny for Levi to hold in his own great giggle. So without warning, Levi let out a great big laugh. The sound was so loud for the tiny people they looked up in fear for just a moment. When they realized what had just happened they laughed even harder. After a while of more giggles and snickers, both Levi and the tiny people's sides began to ache... in a good way. So they had to take a break from all the fun.

17: Giggle, giggle, snicker, snort snort, laugh out loud, giggle some more....

18: It really doesn't matter, we just love to laugh.

19: By this time Levi was lying on his stomach, propped up o his elbows. "Hello down there" he bellowed. "What is so funny today?" he asked. The tiny people replied, "Please sir, don't yell. You are so very big we can hear you in your whisper." "Oh, sorry." Levi returned now whispering in a very low voice. "Well, we are the tribe of Tinys known as the Wonderful People. We live in the ferns and we love to laugh." Levi was amazed but just had to ask, "What are you laughing about?" The small and tiny Wonderful man answered "It really doesn't matter, we just love the way it feels so we laugh all day long. You should try it sometime. But just not so loud or you will wake up the "Sad-Sack." "Sad-Sack?" questioned Levi. "Who or what is that?" Mr. Wonderful man explained. "He is the large pokey creature that guards the road out of our town here in the ferns." He continued in his teeny tiny voice, "If you wake him up, he may be angry and will then spread a cloud of grumpy over our town. Grumpy is a sticky gooey spray that he shoots out of his mouth whenever he is woke up before he is ready. If you get any grumpy on you, your legs will be stuck to the ground like a candy sucker sticks to your pants if you sit on it. No matter how hard you shake, it just won't come off. You can't get past him if your legs are stuck in the grumpy." Levi listened in wonder. As they were talking, there was a rustling in the leaves off in the darker part of the lush bushes. A heavy breathing could be heard as well as heavy footsteps. Levi watched as the Wonderful People all scurried off into their teeny tiny little homes that were built in the old warn out tree stumps. The ferns did a very good job hiding their front doors and painted windows. The beautiful sound of the tiny laughter had vanished and all that could be heard was those approaching ... heavy... footsteps.

20: Levi was concerned that this was the Sad-Sack he just heard about. Maybe they all made too much noise giggling so much, or maybe Levi's voice was too loud because he is so big to be in the land of the Wonderful People. Closer and closer came the footsteps. Some branches snapped and leaves were crunching...and...then...finally...the leaves separated and there he stood. Levi was standing with his mouth wide open unable to move at the very sight of this large and quite pokey creature. It was him, it was Sad-Sack.

21: At first Levi was frightened. There was a stinky smell all around Sad-Sack. There were pokey things coming out from his back and his legs. Some were even sticking out of his feet! He was an awful sight. Then, Levi looked really closely and began to see something he wasn't sure about. Could it be? Could he really be seeing what he thought he was? Levi blinked hard to clear his own eyes, and then, yes, it was true. There were big tears coming out of Sad-Sacks eyes. Sad-Sack was crying. The closer he came, the more crystally tears Levi could see.

22: Worried that he might upset Sad-Sack, Levi just had to ask him why he was so sad. "What is making you cry?" he asked. "Please don't throw any grumpy on me sir. I need to get past you so that I can get home". | Sad-Sack was very surprised that someone, anyone, would talk to him. He was even more surprised that someone, and such a Giant someone, would ask him why he was so sad. After a slow moment of quiet, Sad-Sack gave Levi an answer.

23: "I am so sad because no one could help me get these giant pokies out of my back and legs and even my toes." Sad-Sack hung his head down really low and looked at the ground. "I have lived with these pokies in me for so long I have become angry." Sad-Sack lifted his head and looked through the tears at Levi. "You," he began, "you are bigger than the rest so maybe you can help. Can you pull these pokies out of my back and legs and toes?" he asked as he looked up sadly. Levi let his shoulders relax a bit and told him that he would try. And try he did. Levi pulled each and every pokie out of Sad-Sack and put them in his bag that he always had tied to his belt. "There said Levi. "If I put them in my bag, you won't step on them again. I will take them away with me and put them in a safe place."

24: With that done, Sad-Sack began to feel something he hasn't felt in a very long time. The sides of his mouth were beginning to curl up. His face felt a little stiff at first...then...it got easier and easier. Yes, yes, I do believe it was happening. Yes, Sad-Sack was SMILING. His tears were drying up and turned into shiny pearls that started dropping to the ground. There on the ground the pearls bounced like bouncy balls.

25: With all this commotion, the Wonderful People peered out of their tiny windows and watched in amazement. One by one they slowly opened their tiny doors and took tiny steps outside to see what was going on. When they saw Sad-Sack and Levi laughing and smiling, and all the bouncing pearls on the ground, they came out into the ferns and began to, well, you know...laugh. At first it was a tiny laugh, like a giggle. Then it was a little chuckle. Finally it was great laughter all around. The Wonderful People were so happy to be making such a great big sound. Indeed, it was a very BIG laugh. "These pearls of happiness are simply BEAUTIFUL." they all shouted. "Look, come see" some of them said. "Look at what Sad-Sack has given us, such a wonderful thing for the Wonderful People. Levi was so glad for his new friends. He turned to Sad-Sack and said "Well, it looks like you will be needing a new name, my friend!"

26: "Yes," yelled out the tiny voices all at once, "Now we will call you Happy Hunk. A great big hunk of oh, so, so happy."

27: As it became darker, Levi knew it was time for him to be getting home. He could hear his mother calling out to him on the walk-talkie deep in his pocket. Happy Hunk showed him the way to the road that would lead him back to his ship in the far part of the leafy bush. "Go there" he said to him. "That dirt path will lead you back to your mighty ship at the waters edge. Be well my friend. I will remember you always." Happy Hunk called to Levi as he followed the path.

28: So Levi ran as fast as he could back to his ship, set the sails high and headed to his homeland. "I'm coming, Mom" he called into his walkie-talkie. "Be there soon." | And so it was that Sad-Sack was now known, in the land of the Wonderful People, as Happy Hunk. Whenever he would come to visit his new friends in the land of the ferns, Levi and these tiny people would laugh so hard that pearls of friendship now fell.

29: The ship had sailed on into the setting sun, bouncing up and down, right and left, all the way home. While Levi was sailing, he sang his little song: | Oh I wish I were a sailor, out on the open sea, and if I were that sailor, I would feel so free. Now an ocean is so bumpy tossing me to and fro But if I were that sailor, this is what I know. Oh Love the sea, love the sea 'cuz she was made for you and me. | SS Mighty Hero

30: About this time, Levi felt a soft and ever so lovely cloth about his face. It smelled so fresh and reminded him of his comfy safe bed at home. He heard his mothers gentle voice calling him again, but this time it wasn't on the walkie-talkie. It was near him and it was low and gentle. "Levi," she whispered, "Levi it's time to get up." There he was. Levi was in his very own bed. His mother was waking him up on a beautiful and wonderful afternoon. At first Levi wasn't sure if he was in the land of the ferns or in his own home. Where was his ship? Where were the tiny people and Happy Hunk? His mother was calling now from down the hall. Levi rolled over to get up and felt something in his little hand. His fingers were clutching something kind of sharp. He opened his small fingers to reveal a cluster of pine needles. They were poking him.

31: I wonder where these came from? | THE END

32: Did you see the change in letters on Sad-Sack's shirt. When did they change? What did they change to? Why? Can you find where Levi said "There are plenty of fish in the sea." ? What does he mean? Do you make interesting things out of pieces and parts you find around? Do you ask if you can use it, before you take it? How are pearls made? Where do they come from? Where did the pine needles come from? | QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO TALK ABOUT

33: Have you ever sat on a sticky sucker and could not shake it off your pants? If you haven't, jump up and imagine you have a strawberry and watermelon flavor sucker stuck on your pants. Now shake, shake shake and try to get it off. Are you laughing yet? Do you shake any different if the flavor of the sucker is lemon? | LAUGH A LITTLE EVERY DAY.

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