The Long-winded but Light-hearted Tale of Little Long-legged Lindsay’s Lesson (A Fable of the Utmost Importance)
Experts come and Experts go,
They tell you what you ought to know.
Narrator: “Once upon a fairy tale in a galaxy near you there lived a young girl named Little Lindsay who— Hang on, it’s my phone. Yes?”
(Narrator and heroine consult.)
Narrator clears throat. “Ahem. Although somewhat unclear about why Little Lindsay called me on the phone while standing next to me, she has nonetheless reminded us that this near-true story is hers to tell. Therefore I acquiesce to, and otherwise introduce to you, Little Lindsay.”
Little Lindsay pushed her silky blonde hair behind her ears, straightened her pretty pink dress with the blue polka dots that match her eyes, held an air-microphone up to her lips and said in a loud and clear eight year-old voice, “Hi. First my parents moved me and our dog-Amber to the jungle and there were lots of monkeys and toucans and sloths’s’s and beetles and bugs and snakes and creatures that scared me so I jumped a lot and guess what my legs grew!” (Takes a breath, brushed an errant strand of hair from her face and—) “Yeah! I grew to be eight miles high but my feet were regular size so I couldn’t see the little creatures of the jungle—the anteaters and biscottis and kinkajous and howler monkeys and butterflies and toads—so what happened was I went up and down and up and down until my legs got regular sized again. See?” Little Lindsay pirouetted three times and curtsied once.
Big smile The End.
Narrator sighs and waits. Twiddles thumbs. Stirs coffee (which is difficult while twiddling) and wishes he had a biscotti.
“Okay you tell them. Do you want to take a picture of me?” Little Lindsay wanted to know but before Narrator can open his iPhone camera she ran to her room to play. Sing-song melodies could be heard through the door.
Narrator picks up the thread. “And there you have it, in summary. Allow me to elaborate. Once upon a… sorry, I already said that.” As the Narrator fumbles through his notes, the tale has already unfolded in the pages of time and floats faithfully in the ethereal record of unwritten history for all who have the vision to see it. Look it up.
Little Lindsay lived in Las Lolitas near LA (not Louisiana). Las Lolitas was a lazy little town of about six billion, nine hundred and seventy-three million seven hundred and thirty-eight thousand four hundred and thirty-three smallish if not downright diminutive people where many such little girls skipped down perfectly constructed sidewalks lined with evenly spaced “Lm” trees while singing “La-la-la-la-la” etcetera. Everyone agreed “La-Lo Land” was fun and patted each other on the back in a friendly, semi-conscious habitual manner.
It all began on a Tuesday.
“Honey,” Mommy said, “we’re going to move to Pura Vita-Veedaville and have a vivacious, vital life in the jungle.”
“What?” Little Lindsay asked. “Where’s the L in that?”
“Huh? Oh never mind. We’ll have so much fun! Right Amber?”
Amber cocked her canine head and wondered, “Woof? What’s a jungle?”
Little Lindsay looked pensive for a long time, maybe even 11.2 seconds, taking it all in—digesting what it means to move to another place far from everything she knows and ever knew. Sidewalks would be replaced by jungle. Even the language was different there. She would have to be a brave, rather grown-up girl in a hurry! Knowing this, she asked Mommy “Will I have to go to school tomorrow?”
Mommy laughed. “No, Little Lindsay. It’s time to start packing because we leave on the morrow.”
“What’s a morrow?” Little Lindsay asked.
“An archaic word for tomorrow. But it’s elegant, don’t you think?”
“Can I have some ar-cake? What is ar-cake anyway?”
Mommy took the next 91 seconds to explain how “morrow” came to be “tomorrow” and that “archaic” was an old word hardly used anymore—not an old cake—then ushered Little Lindsay into her room to help pack her clothes, books and toy friends so they’d be ready to leave early in the morning. Little Lindsay wondered why Mommy used ar-cakey words all of a sudden but didn’t ask why. Mommy sung a happy tune and that was very important to Little Lindsay. She noticed Daddy standing by the door but he wasn’t doing anything—he just stood there watching his two girls with a great big smile on his face.
In his mind, Daddy was thinking one thing: Pura Vita-Veedaville here we come! “I’m so happy,” he said, “I could eat a bruschetta.”
The next morning, Little Lindsay stood near Mommy and Daddy’s bed fully dressed in her pink Princess/Ballerina outfit with the sparkly tiara that had two, long antennae—each sporting a pink, fuzzy… thing unknown to this Narrator. She tapped Mommy on the shoulder with her star-shaped and predominantly ineffective but still fun Magic Wand while repeating, “Is it time to go yet?” until Mommy mumbled herself awake and slipped sleepily toward the coffee maker. Little Lindsay waited patiently until the first sip passed Mommy’s lips, whereupon she could now speak.
“Yes, Little Lindsay. It’s time to leave Las Lolitas. Are you ready for the biggest adventure of your life?” Mommy asked.
Pushing aside tears and a slight case of melancholy about leaving her friends, Little Lindsay was nonetheless aware of the fact that she was going to learn new things, see new places and meet all kinds of new monkeys and butterflies she had only seen on the pages of her book friends. An excitement grew so large in her tummy that she could hardly eat two pieces of french toast for breakfast. She was as ready as she could be.
No one knows for certain the exact instant Little Lindsay’s legs began to grow large. There is much discussion between leg Experts from all over the world as to what, exactly, caused Little Lindsay’s legs to extend to what is approximated at five-thousand two-hundred and eighty feet high. Rather than risk being accused of a knee-jerk reaction to that which was a mystery to an otherwise (moderately) respected body of leg specialists, they could only commit to referring to Little Lindsay’s condition as a “mile case of extended legs.” To give it a more scientific name, they agreed, would require sticking their professional necks out. They would have to go out on a limb, as it were. For the moment, at least, some Experts agree that Little Lindsay’s legs started enlarging the moment she jumped from the plane.
“I didn’t know we had to jump from a plane,” Little Lindsay said to both Mommy and Daddy.
Mommy adjusted her parachute. “Neither did I, Daddy,” she said, looking intently at him.
Daddy cleared his throat and said in a brave voice, “Everyone jumps from a plane when they move to the jungle. That’s just common sense. Besides, we saved a lot of money.”
“So that’s what the airline meant by ‘No frills, but plenty of thrills.’” Mommy didn’t sound pleased.
“Are we common?” Little Lindsay asked her parents.
“Actually, no,” Daddy replied.
“Then how would I know common sense?”
Daddy considered her seriously, almost. “Like anything, Little Lindsay, you have to learn it.”
“Will I learn common sense in the jungle?”
“Yes, Little Lindsay. Now will you please jump out of the plane?”
Little Lindsay mustered her courage, pulled her goggles over her eyes, leapt from the plane without looking down and said in a very loud voice what can only be transcribed as “YA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A…!” for the ensuing nine seconds.
Some Experts decided that it was during those precise nine seconds while free-falling in the air when Little Lindsay first began to become Long-legged Little Lindsay—and that it was the direct result of having a hugely sincere and deep desire to grow legs that were roughly five-thousand two-hundred and eighty feet long. (Conclusions drawn by Experts are not necessarily the opinion of the Narrator but in this case they are. Back to the tale…)
Little Lindsay hurtled through the sky at a death-defying speed with her hair standing straight up. She wore the same face as when she went on a roller-coaster at Six Flags amusement park, just after it went over the steepest part, but this ride was much longer. And it wasn’t really a ride because she jumped from a plane. She tumbled and turned and twisted and flailed as she fell. Plunging in panic, she passed a pretty parrot who paused at her predicament and said, “Little Lindsay! Little Lindsay! Pull the ripcord! Pull the ripcord! It’ll open your parachute! Open your parachute!”
Little Lindsay struggled to find the string at her chest and yanked it, which opened the parachute and slowed her descent to an easy glide. The wind stopped pounding against her ears and all was silent as she flew through the air with the greatest unease. The pretty parrot soared next to her, making sure Little Lindsay was steady. “Thank you pretty parrot, but how did you know my name?”
The pretty parrot cocked its head as if that was a dumb question and said, “Every form has a name, Little Lindsay. It’s written above the sky for anyone to see. I can’t swim, but I think it’s written below the bottom of the sea, too. My name is Mister Swift. How do you do? How do you do?”
“Not very well, Mister Swift. I’m scared! What shall I do?”
“Hmm, yes, I see. Let me think for a moment. Let’s see, um…. I have a modest proposal. You can make your legs grow longer!”
“I don’t know, Mister Swift. Is that even possible?”
Mister Swift did a somersault in the air, followed by a triple toe-loop and a flying butt-rest. Coming to rest next to Little Lindsay in thin air, his wings behind his head and little legs crossed as if sitting in an easy chair, he winked at her and said, “Oh yes, Little Lindsay. Oh yes. You can do anything and know everything if you believe you can. But you must believe. You must believe.” With a tilt of his wing in salute, he veered off to the west.
“I can’t!” Little Lindsay called after him.
“There is no ‘can’t,’ Little Lindsay,” his voice growing fainter as he flew faster and further afar, “Only Do. Do.” The breeze stopped and all was silent. Even the air held its breath. In the faintest way possible she heard, or at least thought she heard, one final thing Mister Swift had to say, “Pay attention to your intention, Little Lindsay.”
Little Lindsay looked toward land. Although hers was an easy glide, it was beginning to make her dizzy, then woozy. The breezes blew her to and fro, then fro and to, then here and there, there and here and even hither and yon. And back again. It’s making the Narrator sick right now, in fact. Her mind filled with thoughts of “Do. Do,” Little Lindsay tried with all her human might, as well as her potential might, to Believe. And, some hold to be true, may have succeeded.
Copyright © 2013 Mitchell Geller