Monday, November 17, 2008

Priscilla Piper 2

To read the first part of this story, go here.

The next morning, Priscilla wondered if it had all been a dream. She decided to try calling herself Diane and see if Santa was right. She walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

“Priscilla, come get your plate,” her mother said, gesturing to the counter with a spatula. “Breakfast is ready.”

“My name is now Diane,” Priscilla said, the words sounding strange in her mouth. “Diane Piper.”

Her mother looked at her for a minute, than shrugged. “Ok Diane, come get your plate.”

Glowing over her first victory, Priscilla went and sat down at the table. Her father came in and grabbed his coffee cup. “Good morning, Priscilla. What are you up to today?”

“My name is Diane, Daddy,” Priscilla said. Priscilla’s father looked at her mother. “Ok,” he said, drinking his coffee. “What are you doing today, Diane?”

“I have to go down to the school,” she said through a mouthful of eggs. “Miss Andrews is telling us what roles we get in the spring play. And I’ll probably stop by the toy shop with my friend Mary Anne.”

“Have fun then,” her father said, kissing her mother, than her. He headed off to work, whistling happily.

A few hours later, Priscilla’s mother dove her to school and dropped her off. “I’ll pick you up in two hours,” she said. “Don’t go to the toy shop without me. That’s a busy street, and I don’t want you crossing it.”

Priscilla nodded and said good bye to her mother. She skipped to the auditorium, where her whole class was gathered.

“Hello, Priscilla!” her friend Mary Anne greeted her. “My name isn’t Priscilla anymore, it’s Diane,” Priscilla informed her.

“Oh,” her friend said. “Why?”

“It’s just my name now,” Priscilla said.

“Priscilla Piper?” her teacher called. Priscilla hurried to the front of the stage and informed her teacher that her name was now Diane. “Ok,” her teacher said. “Sit down and we’ll get started.”

Miss Andrews explained that they would be going through the play real quick, then she would assign parts.

“Diane?” she called. Priscilla stood up, and so did Diane Reynolds, another little girl in her class.

“You have to sit down,” Diane said.

“No, I’m Diane too,” Priscilla said. Diane Reynolds rolled her eyes and sighed. “Which Diane?” Diane called.

“Diane Reyonds,” Miss Andrews called. “Come up to the stage please.”

Smirking, Diane flounced up to the stage.

“I’ve never had the same name as anyone before,” Priscilla said to Mary Anne. “That’s confusing.”

“Just wait until you get more than two Dianes,” Mary Anne said ominously. “Then you have to do everything by your last name. It’s annoying.”

Priscilla frowned and looked down at her hands. She was starting to wonder if this was such a good idea.

Soon, the entire class was onstage. Well, the entire class except Priscilla. She timidly raised her hand. “Miss Andrews, where do you want me to go?”

Miss Andrews turned around and looked at her clipboard. “Oh, I’m sorry Diane. I completely forgot about you. You just blended in to your chair back there! Just stand in the back over there next to Bobby.”

“But Miss Andrews, I’m always in the front,” Priscilla said. “I’m supposed to sing, remember?”

“Diane, I’m sorry,” Miss Andrews said gently. “I just don’t think you have the stage presence to be in front. We need to have someone unique in front. You’re a wonderful singer, but let’s try the back, ok?”

Her eyes stinging, she took her place next to Bobby the Pig. She had never been passed over before. She had always been first, always been in the front of any play, and had always been one of Miss Andrew’s favorites. Teachers always adored her. What was happening?

As Miss Andrews continued to give instructions, Priscilla continued to get angry. She decided to taunt Bobby the Pig. Surely he would treat her the same.

“Bobby the Pig, Bobby the Pig,” she taunted. “You’re so fat, you couldn’t even fit in anything except a trailer.”

Bobby didn’t respond, and kept playing with his yo-yo.

“You’re so fat,” Priscilla continued, “That when you walk, the Earth shakes. You’re an earthquake waiting to happen, Bobby the Pig.”

Bobby still didn’t respond. Angry, Priscilla flicked him on the arm. His heavy eyes finally turned and looked towards her. “Oh, it’s you,” he said. He turned back around and kept playing with his yo-yo.

“What?” Priscilla said, shocked. “Aren’t you going to rub peanut butter in my hair? Aren’t you going to call me Priscilla the Priss?”

“Nope,” Bobby said, not taking his eyes off his yo-yo. “You’re just not any fun to make fun of anymore. Sorry.”

Priscilla felt numb. She couldn’t wait to get home. The next few days were torture. Store clerksdidn’t remember her, and they didn’t coo over her and tell her how cute she was. Mr. Jones at the ice cream shop forgot to give her a free scoop of peppermint ice cream, and Miss Andrews assigned her a boring part in the back of the play. Her father forgot to kiss her when he left for work, and the neighbor kids didn’t invite her to play in the snow. Even her own mother forgot to pick her up from the library! She said it was because of the new baby, but Priscilla didn’t believe her. She was just forgettable. No one cared about her at all.

Priscilla was depressed. On Christmas Eve, she hardly ate all day. She just slumped on the couch, picking at her hands. What did it matter if she did anything? No one noticed her. No one cared. She could have disappeared into the air, just turned into a wisp of nothingness, and no one would care. Tears flowing from her eyes, she grabbed a pencil and began to write.

“Dear Santa,” she scrawled. “You were right. This isn’t fun at all. No one knows who I am, and I don’t even know who I am anymore. All I want for Christmas is my name back. Please, Santa. I don’t want any toys, I don’t want any dresses. All I want for Christmas is to be me again.” As a few teardrops hit the paper, she signed her name at the bottom in large letters. “Love, PRISCILLA Piper.” Shoving the letter into an envelope, she shoved the letter into her stocking and curled up on the couch. Before she knew it, she was asleep.

Late into the night, she was woken up to a large thump. She threw her blanket off and ran into the living room. There stood Santa with a large red sack. Priscilla glanced at her stocking and raised an eyebrow. Her letter was gone.

“Priscilla, dear,” Santa grinned. “So you didn’t like being Diane much at all, did you?”

“It was horrible,” Priscilla began, tears welling up in her eyes. “No one noticed me! I didn’t get made fun of, but I was forgotten! I didn’t get a good part in the play, I didn’t get free ice cream, I didn’t get invited outside and my own mother forgot me. Did you hear that? My own mother forgot me!” Priscilla clamped a hand over her mouth when she realized she was shouting.

Eyes twinkling, Santa placed a hand on her shoulder and looked down at her. “I don’t think you were forgotten because your name was different.”

Priscilla stared at him. “What?” she said. “Why else would they forget me?”

“Because it wasn’t just your name that changed,” Santa said. “You changed. Normally, you’re a very cheerful, outgoing girl. When you were Diane, you were very quiet and reclusive. You didn’t make yourself stand out. The more people didn’t pay attention to you, the quieter you got. You were causing yourself to fade away.”

Rubbing her head, Priscilla looked up at him. “So I caused myself to disappear?”

“Yup,” Santa said. “Take a look.”

He reached into his sack and pulled out a clear glass ornament. When Priscilla took it into her hands, it felt warm. She looked into it, and her eyes got big. She could see herself in class and at home, laughing and talking. Priscilla saw how she talked to people, how her brown hair would shine and her cheeks would turn bright pink. Instead of ordinary and boring, she even looked….pretty and smart. Then, the ball changed, and Priscilla saw herself at the auditorium. She saw her sad expression, and how she just stared down and played with her sleeves. She saw people trying to talk to her, and herself just ignoring them. Her body language was slumped over, and she looked like a tiny mouse trying to curl up in the counter. She was a completely different person.

“Wow,” Priscilla breathed. “I can’t believe it was that different.”

Santa nodded, smiling. “A name makes a big difference,” he said. “So what is it going to be? Are you Priscilla, or are you Diane?”

Priscilla straightened up as tall as she could and looked haughtily at Santa. “I am Priscilla Petunia Piper,” she said. “And don’t you forget it!”

Santa laughed a great belly laugh and patted her on the head. He finished filling her stockings and laying out presents, and ate a few cookies. Smiling, he winked at her. “Merry Christmas,” Priscilla Piper.”

“Merry Christmas, Santa,” Priscilla said, smiling back.

The next morning, after the gifts had been opened, Priscilla sat down at her desk and began to write her last letter.

“Dear Santa,” her small hand printed carefully. “Thank you for teaching me a great lesson this Christmas. Even though I didn’t want any toys, dresses or stuffed animals, you gave me the greatest gift of all: me. And I like that better than anything. So, please forgive me if I punch Bobby the Pig or snap at my sister. I’m being the best I can. Thank you, Santa Claus. Love, Priscilla Petunia Piper.”

Priscilla glanced over her work, then smiled as she got an idea. Her small hand carefully scrawled a few letters in the small space at the bottom of the page. “P.S.”, she wrote, “Next year, can I go visit you at the North Pole? I think I would be a good elf. I wouldn’t want any toys, dresses or anything. Please? Let me know. Love, Priscilla Piper.”

Carefully folding her letter, Priscilla slid the letter into the mailbox. The next morning, she was delighted to see a rolled up paper sticking out of her stocking. Before her mother could see it, she climbed on the fireplace and pulled it out. Her small fingers carefully unrolled the paper.

“Dear Priscilla Petunia Piper,

I’ll think about it.

Love, Santa.”

Did you read the second part of Kitchen Magic on Sunday? Well, go read! Tomorrow we have a delightful post and holiday giveaway. Also, we have a new edition of "Twirl" coming up, a tasty recipe and a fun tale! Stay tuned!


Katherine Aucoin said...

You have beeen a busy Duckie. I'm trying to get caught up - you have a lot planned. I'm thinking maybe I need to go to the North Pole too.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Awww...this reminds me of when I used to work at a day camp and the kids would adopt new names and personas. I remember one day one wanted to be called Rachel. It was flattering, but it sure confused everyone!

Emma Sanders said...

A very cute and heartwarming Christmas story! :))

Pam said...

What a sweet story. I am looking forward to more Christmas stories - my kids love it when I read them your posts.

I have an award for you.

Cathy said...

What a great story -- and an important message! I'm going to print this one to read to the kids!

Ingrid said...

Growing up I wasn't particularly fond of my name. Not too many Ingrids. Too often people forgot it and called me something else. I have since gotten over it and answer to anything close. The funniest thing is as an adult most people expect a tall blonde when they hear the name Ingrid so they are always surprise to see a little brunette when I show up!

jenjen said...

What a wonderful story Duckie! I am going to read it to my kids. Thanks for another wonderful tale. I hope you had a great weekend!

Marjie said...

When my little world is so busy I can't even come to Duckie's pond and be amused, things are just not good. Sweet ending to this story!

nikkicrumpet said...

What a delightful story. Must be so fun to be able to write like that!

Theresa said...

Such a heart warming story!!

Heather said...

so cute :) glad she decided to like her name again! i think priscilla is way better :) and i certainly hope she gets to go to the north pole! it's always been a life long dream of mine ;)

Lorraine E said...

That's so sweet! I always wanted a different name growing up so I can relate :)

noble pig said...

My kids loved this, I read them every word.

Bunny said...

That was sweet Duckie, I really liked it!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

ahh..wonderful as always dear! You really steel my attention from all the rest when I read your stories!
Perfect , have a nice day dear!

Marie said...

Duckie, Duckie, Duckie. You are amazing girl. I loved this. Did you know that your blog is not only the first one I look at every morning but one of the very few that I read every word on. ABSOLUTELY! You are such a talented young woman and have such promise ahead of you. I am so glad that we are friends and that I discovered your page. I can't even remember how now? but it was a lucky day for me. You have kept me thoroughly entertained ever since and I adore you!

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