Monday, November 10, 2008

Priscilla Piper

“Dear Santa,” a small hand carefully wrote on lined notebook paper. “I don’t want any presents this year. I don’t want any dolls, I don’t want any stuffed animals, and I certainly don’t want any dresses. All I want Santa, is a new name.”

After pausing to check her work, the small hand continued to scribble. “You see Santa, my name is nice and everything, but I get made fun of for it. I think I get made fun of because it’s so different. Even my dumb baby sister, Danielle, has a normal name. If I had a normal name, something like Diane or Anne, no one could make fun of me.”

“So, Santa,” she wrote, “All I want for Christmas is a new name. I’ve been very good this year. I didn’t punch Bobby the Pig when he smeared peanut butter in my hair, and I didn’t get (too) mad at my baby sister when she tore up my favorite book. I think I deserve a new name for all that. Thanks Santa. Love, Priscilla Piper.”

Priscilla Piper looked over her letter carefully, then shoved it into an envelope. She walked out to the front of her house and dropped the envelope into the mailbox. Nodding in satisfaction, she trotted back into the house and stared at the calendar. A whole week until Christmas. This was going to be a long wait.

By just looking at her, you would have thought Priscilla Piper was an ordinary child. She had brown hair that reached her shoulders and brown eyes. She had precisely five freckles on her nose, and one on her cheek. Her mother had worried that Priscilla would fade into the background, so she had named her “Priscilla Petunia Piper.”

“It’s such a lovely name,” her mother had gushed. “You will always be noticed with that name! You’ll be a star!”

“You didn’t name Danielle a weird name!” Priscilla retorted. “She’s named normally.”

“That’s because you’re the star, baby,” her mom would say, kissing her and squeezing her tight as she squirmed. She never pointed out her husband had demanded Danielle be named after his grandmother. But Priscilla knew it anyway.

Priscilla didn’t want to be a star, and she certainly didn’t want to be noticed. She just wanted to be ordinary.

The next night, Priscilla woke up to a large thump in the living room. She sleepily strode out in her pajamas, rubbing her eyes. When she walked into the living room, she stared in shock.

“Santa?” she whispered incredulously. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, Priscilla, I got your letter,” Santa said, his blue eyes twinkling in the glow of the firelight. “And I must say, I’m a bit concerned.”

Priscilla bit her lip and rubbed her socked foot on the floor. “Ok, so I may have shot rubber bands and Bobby the Pig when he smeared peanut butter in my hair,” she admitted. “But I never punched him.”

Santa laughed, a great belly laugh that made the ornaments on the tree twinkle and swirl. “No dear, not that. I’m concerned that you want to change your name.”

“Santa, my name gets me made fun of,” Priscilla protested. “I just want to be ordinary.”

“I’m not sure you do,” Santa began, squatting down on the ottoman in front of the fireplace. “Most people spend their entire lives trying to be different and trying to be noticed. You’ve been Priscilla for eight years. I’m worried you’ll miss a lot of things once you go back to an ordinary name.”

“Well, I’d still be me,” Priscilla protested, beginning to feel a bit nervous. “It’s just a name after all. I’m not the problem. My name is.”

“Names are very important,” Santa said. “They’re part of our identity. They’re part of what makes us who we are.”

“Well then, why do women change their names when they get married?” Priscilla countered. “Then they would lose their identity.”

“That’s true, in a way,” Santa said. “But it’s not their first name. First names are very different. It’s your calling card, your label. There’s a difference between having a different name and just having a nickname. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather try a nickname?”

“No,” Priscilla said, ignoring the tiny twitch in her stomach. “I’m sure.”

“Ok,” Santa said resolutely. “I’m not entirely convinced. I’ll give you until Christmas Eve to make up your mind. Then, all you have to do is put a letter in your stocking telling me what you want. After Christmas Eve, your name will stay the same forever.”

“Forever?” Priscilla gulped. She hadn’t quite thought about forever. She was thinking until high school perhaps. Surely high school was much better than fourth grade.

“Forever,” Santa said.

Priscilla squenched up her face and thought. “You’re not going to do one of those things where you have an angel show me what my life would be like as Diane, are you?” she asked. “Like in that movie? Or one of those things where I change my name and it’s like I was never Priscilla at all, and everything is different?”

“No,” Santa gave another belly laugh. “It doesn’t work that way. Just introduce yourself as Diane, if that’s the name you want, and see what happens.”

“Oh,” Priscilla said. She looked thoughtful as she fingered her sleeve. “Thank you Santa.”

Santa winked at her. “I’ll see you on Christmas Eve,” he grinned. “Make sure you make a decision by then!” And with a wink, he was gone.

To be continued....

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! Tomorrow, we have an ode to the most dreaded type of all parties and a new edition of "Twirl" coming up! Also, chicken pot pie and a new Miss Pickles are on their way! Did you read yesterday's Kitchen Magic? Well, what are you waiting for?!?

18 comments:

Theresa said...

Can't wait to see what Pricilla Piper decides to do.

Marjie said...

OK, so now I've read Kitchen Magic. And now you've started another story, too! You're just trying to confuse us, aren't you? We love the confusion!

Ingrid said...

I like it! Thanks for the heads up on Twirl.

Also, are you a reader? I am...HUGE!!! In the past 5 days I read the first two books and half of the third book in the Twilight series. Love 'em!

Anyway, as always I enjoy popping over here to read your blog!
~ingrid

Emma Sanders said...

This is wonderful, Duckie! I'll have to remember to read this one to my niece next time I see her. I love this! Can't wait to see what she decides to do.

Lucy said...

Oooooh Priscilla, what will it be????

Mary Ann said...

You really should write a book and get published, you have quite a talent for it. I wonder if I would have wanted to change my name if I were a Priscilla? There is something to think about...

Maria said...

You are super talented!

Marjie said...

Actually, I did change my name. I couldn't stand the name I was given, nor the person for whom I was named, and I'm much happier for the change.

Bunny said...

I wanted to change my name too when I was little! This is so cute!!

nikkicrumpet said...

What a cute story...soooooo what happens???

jenjen said...

Wonderful story Duckie! I also wanted to change my name not because it was different but because it was the same as everyone elses my age. So I can relate! Can't wait to see what happens next!

Grammy Staffy said...

You are so creative!!!! What a talent you have.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
I always enjoy hearing from you.

Have a great week.

Cathy said...

Oooh, the suspense! I can't wait for the next installment! I laughed out loud at the part about how surely high school must be better than fourth grade!

Pam said...

I wonder what she'll decide to do...I hope she keeps Priscilla.

Lorraine E said...

NOoooooo! I want to know what happens :P You really can write any genre can't you! :)

Marie said...

Ohhhh....Duckie, you have left me hanging!!! You're a genius at that you naughty girl! You keep us all in suspence so very well. You are an incredible talent my sweet friend. INCREDIBLE!

mumzie said...

What a talent you have!!
Stopping by from SITS...have an awesome day =)

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