Mo's Manic Monday - Friend

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2007 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to another Manic Monday with Morgen. Don't forget to visit MM HQ at It's A Blog Eat Blog World. Today's theme is Friend.

Around 15 years ago, a friend of mine was going through a rough divorce. He had two young children, a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy, and they were having trouble adjusting. He wasn't getting to see the kids very often, and things were bitter between him and the ex.

I wanted to do something to help, and this story idea came to me. The characters are based on my friend's kids and the things they liked. It's hard to think that those two kids are grown up now.

I lost track of this friend when I moved to southern California, and then here to Washington. I got this story out not too long ago and shared it with the Soul Patrol gang.

Here's the first chapter of my children's story, A Quest for Special Friends.

Once upon a time, there lived a Beautiful Princess named Tonya, who lived in a Pink Castle high atop Cheesy Eesy Mountain in Yesumay Land.

Princess Tonya was the prettiest girl in all of Yesumay Land. Her hair was golden like sunshine, and her eyes were blue as robin’s eggs. She was sweet as a gumdrop, and she loved everyone and everything. Most especially, she loved her very best friend, Kesra the Gnome.

In the land of Yesumay, life was fair and easy, and every person had his or her own Special Friend to talk to and play with. Princess Tonya and Kesra the Gnome played together and ate meals together, and hosted the best parties together. Kesra the Gnome listened when Princess Tonya was sad, and always made her feel better about things. Kesra the Gnome was never cross and rarely frightened or upset, and she had a special knack for making Princess Tonya feel better instantly.

All in all, there were no better Friends than the Beautiful Princess Tonya and Kesra the Gnome.

Princess Tonya lived with Kesra the Gnome in the Pink Castle on Cheesy Eesy Mountain for a reason. The room they shared was on the third floor of the castle, and Princess Tonya’s window looked out across the whole of Yesumay Land. In the mornings, when Princess Tonya awoke, the first thing she did was go to the window and Smile upon the land. That was why she lived on Cheesy Eesy Mountain. Princess Tonya was so beautiful, that the rest of Yesumay Land could not bring itself to wake up until she had Smiled upon it.

With Princess Tonya’s sunshine Smile, the birds began to sing. The path that led from the Pink Castle down Cheesy Eesy Mountain was lined with poppies and daffodils, and these flowers waited for Princess Tonya to Smile out of the window before they blossomed. The little furry critters would stay in their burrows until Princess Tonya graced them with her Smile. The nasty nighttime creepy crawlers would continue to slither about until the Smile was cast. The sun refused to rise and shine until Princess Tonya awoke and Smiled.

So long as the Beautiful Princess in the Pink Castle was happy and Smiling, the land of Yesumay was bright and cheerful.

One day, there came a great commotion in Yesumay Land. A giant mackerel fish had somehow found its way into the Cheesy Eesy River, and was nibbling its way through the Great Macaroni Forest at the base of Cheesy Eesy Mountain. This terrible tragedy made Princess Tonya unhappy, and she found it difficult to find her Beautiful Smile in the mornings. The sun now came up later and less bright, and the nasty nighttime creepy crawlers got nastier and creepier, and the little furry critters were afraid to leave their burrows.

It was generally considered throughout Yesumay Land that the best food of all was macaroni and cheese. The river that flowed around Cheesy Eesy Mountain ran thick and smooth with a tasty, tangy cheese sauce. After the monthly harvest of the Great Macaroni Forest, mounds of noodles were combined with buckets of cheese sauce to make the most delicious macaroni and cheese dinners. The Beautiful Princess Tonya served the finest macaroni and cheese in all of Yesumay Land, since the river ran round and round her mountain, and the Great Macaroni Forest was cultivated practically in her front yard.

Everyone in Yesumay Land knew that the best dinners were to be had at the Pink Castle, and Princess Tonya loved to share. Banquets were held at least once a week, and all the people in the land brought their Special Friends to eat at the Princess’ table.

The horrible mackerel fish now threatened to ruin the macaroni crop. This upset Princess Tonya, and with each day she became more and more unhappy. She had tried to talk to the mackerel fish and coax it farther downstream, but it had scoffed and blown a big cheesy bubble at her, making her cry.

Princess Tonya sobbed and sobbed, and her face scrunched up and her eyes streamed tears. All the little furry creatures spooked and raced for cover. The nasty nighttime creepy crawlers started to slither about. Then, the sun ducked behind a dark cloud and it began to rain.

Princess Tonya cried for days on end. The mackerel fish munched the macaroni, the rain fell, and no one knew what to do.

Just when the despair had reached its most desperate, who should appear but the Great Magician Himself, Mr. Fixit Toolman, Erik the Wonderful.

“Well, well, well,” exclaimed the Great Magician Himself, when he saw the mackerel fish. “You don’t belong here at all, no sir no sir.”

The Great Magician Himself surveyed the destruction wrought by the mackerel fish. He inspected the Cheesy Eesy River, noting that all the rain had thinned the delicious cheese sauce. With a sad shake of his head, he said, “This is awful, it is, just awful.”

Erik the Wonderful patted about his overalls, searching his pockets. At last, he discovered what it was that he sought, and drew forth his trusty socket wrench. “I know just what the problem is, I do, and I know just how to fix it!”

The Great Magician Himself ran up the path toward the Pink Castle, ignoring the slithering of the nasty nighttime creepy crawlers as he went. When he reached the castle door, he switched his socket wrench to his left hand and pulled out a screwdriver with the other hand. Instead of knocking, he unscrewed the door’s hinges and pushed the door flat onto its inside back side.

“I’ll fix that later, I will,” he promised.

He rushed inside and went straight to the kitchen, where the poor maids sat wringing their hands and wondering what to do about the mackerel fish. They were down to their last pot full of macaroni and cheese, which was boiling over on the stove because they were too distraught to watch it. The one pot alone wasn’t nearly enough for a banquet, and if the poor maids ignored the cooking and ruined the last pot full, there would be nothing for the people of Yesumay Land to enjoy.

“We’ll all starve!” cried several poor maids.

“We’ll all drown if the Princess doesn’t stop crying!” exclaimed several others.

“Oh, what are we to do?” despaired the rest.

The Great Magician Himself charged right into the kitchen, startling all of the poor maids so that they wept and carried on that much harder. Erik the Wonderful was undaunted.

“I know just what the trouble is, I do, and if you’ll all stop that terrible racket and tend to your macaroni pot, I’ll fix everything. I’m ashamed of you all for not calling me sooner!”

He tsk-tsked at the sobbing poor maids, and shook his finger at them.

The Beautiful Princess Tonya came into the kitchen, dabbing her eyes and sniffling. Her nose was raw and red, and her eyes were puffy and swollen from all the crying. She saw the Great Magician Himself, and the hint of a Smile showed on her pretty face. The room lightened as the sun tried to respond, but it would take more than a hint of Princess Tonya’s lovely Smile to undo all the damage.

“Can you really make that mackerel fish go away?” asked the Princess. “That nasty old thing makes me so unhappy that I can’t seem to stop crying, and since I can’t stop crying it won’t stop raining, and that makes me even more unhappy, and it’s ruining the crops and my party is ruined. . .oh, I just think I’m going to cry again and now it will just rain harder!”

The Beautiful Princess Tonya did start to cry, and the room darkened once more. A huge boom sounded as the rain beat against the roof of the Pink Castle, and lightening sparkled and snapped. This sad state of affairs, and Princess Tonya’s woeful tale, affected the Great Magician Himself. His lower lip began to quiver, and he almost joined the hullabaloo of sobbing Princess and wailing poor maids.

All seemed lost.

The Great Magician Himself raised his hands to rub his eyes, and nearly knocked himself silly with his socket wrench, still grasped firmly in his left hand. He remembered why he had come to the pink caste. He gave Princess Tonya a reassuring hug, and told her, “Don’t worry! I’m here to fix it, I am!”

Erik the Wonderful hurried over to the machine corner and rummaged about until he located the proper machine. Sure enough, it was missing some parts. The Great Magician Himself searched his pockets and found the parts he needed, put them in the spots they attached to, and tightened down the fasteners with his trusty socket wrench. He frowned, made some adjustments, frowned again, and made some more adjustments.

Finally satisfied, the Great Magician Himself turned and turned and turned around until he saw a wall socket. He carried the repaired machine over and plugged it in. He pressed down on the brand new lever he had just installed, and the satisfying whirr noises it made startled all the poor maids and Princess Tonya. They stopped crying.

“Now,” announced the Great Magician Himself. “I’ve fixed your can opener. Find some tuna fish cans, and we’ll get rid of that rotten mackerel fish quicker than you can say macaroni and cheese!”

Everyone knew that tuna fish hated mackerel fish. If given half an opportunity, a school of tuna fish would run a mackerel fish right out of a place. Tuna fish stay in their cans for the most part, since they don’t particularly like the sunlight, but on special occasions they leave their cans to party in the Cheesy Eesy River. Their special brand of spice adds extra special flavor to the cheese sauce, for those extra special banquets.

One can of tuna fish would ordinarily have been enough to run the mackerel fish out of the river at the first sign of trouble, but the can opener had been broken for weeks. Once the mackerel fish had arrived, Princess Tonya had plunged into unhappiness before anyone remembered about the can opener.

The poor maids opened four cans of tuna fish, just to be safe. The Great Magician Himself and Princess Tonya hurried down Cheesy Eesy Mountain, each carrying two cans. They dumped the tuna fish into the river, and right away the tuna fish recognized the problem. They swam and swam and swam, and finally found the rotten mackerel fish nibbling on a fresh stalk of macaroni. The mackerel fish, seeing all the tuna fish, decided it would be best if it found a new patch of macaroni, and took off at a quick backstroke downstream. A few tuna fish chased after, to make sure the mackerel fish kept on its new course.

The Beautiful Princess Tonya was sure the mackerel fish was gone for good. And she Smiled. The sun came back out from behind the cloud, and the rain stopped. All the dark clouds fled, and fluffy white clouds drifted across patches of blue sky. The nasty nighttime creepy crawlers slithered back under rocks. The little furry critters came out to frolic. The poor maids ceased their sobbing, and commenced preparations for a huge feast of macaroni and cheese for all the people of Yesumay Land.

There was still one last suspicion Erik the Wonderful must tell Princess Tonya, and he was afraid to do it. He knew she would be unhappy to hear it, but he knew that if he kept the news from her just to spare her feelings, she would be even more upset and unhappy when she heard it later. Erik the Wonderful took the Princess into the private Have-To-Keep-A-Secret room. Princess Tonya closed the door, and Erik the Wonderful took a deep breath.

“When I fixed the can opener, I guessed that someone had taken the missing parts deliberately.”

Princess Tonya frowned around her Beautiful Smile. “But, who would do such a dreadful thing? Everyone knows how important the tuna fish are to Yesumay Land. Why, without them, just look at the disaster than can strike. I can’t think of a single person who could be responsible.”

“Yes, you can,” argued the Great Magician Himself, wagging his finger at the Princess’ stubborn denial. “You know very well who is capable of something so dastardly, you do. You just don’t want to say it out loud.”

“You’re right, of course.” This time Princess Tonya’s frown chased the Smile from her pretty face, and the room darkened.

Yes, the Beautiful Princess knew the culprit. She had refused to believe that it could be so because she didn’t want it to be so. She knew of only one person in all the land who could be so cruel and nasty. She had hoped that they had heard the last of him. They hadn’t been threatened by him for so long. It seemed that he was back.

“It’s the Evil Sourpuss, Mr. Blotchy,” announced the Princess with a shiver. She made a yucky face and thunder cracked in the distance.

“Yes,” nodded the Great Magician Himself gravely. “And he must be stopped, once and for all.”

Princess Tonya pursed her lips and stomped her foot with decisiveness. “I must call my bravest and most trusted Knight to drive Mr. Blotchy out of Yesumay Land once and for all. I need Sir Michael the Gallant!”

The summons went out within moments of the Princess’ declaration. Word spread like a runny nose all across Yesumay Land. Within hours, everyone who lived within shouting distance of another person knew that Sir Michael was needed at the Pink Castle. The only trouble was that Sir Michael wasn’t listening. He was alone in his Blue Castle, clear across the vastness of Yesumay Land, and he had his own problems.


  1. Gattina says:

    A very beautiful story !

  1. Turnbaby says:

    *clapping hands* I am so glad you decided to share this!!!

    Smooch--- my friend

  1. I love the macaroni and cheese forest!!! This is terrific and what a marvelous thing to do for a friend! You're a pretty special fellow...

  1. Lizza says:

    What an enjoyable read, Trav. It's a wonderful children's story...I'd love to read the next chapter.

    Oh, and I want a Cheesy Eesy river of my own! That would be so yummy.

  1. very good travis, happy mm

  1. Wow, what a wonderful tribute to your friends! :)

    Great story, as always Trav.

    Have a great MM.

  1. Gail says:

    This was beautiful.

    I think that you would be found in the dictionary under the word friend...

    You truly are one of a kind...

  1. Matt-Man says:

    In a word, very well done. Okay that's three words but you get the point. Cheers Trav...

  1. you are a wonderful friend trav! plus you like cake!

    smiles, bee

  1. Travis says:

    Gattina: Thanks for dropping by.

    Turn: It seemed appropriate.

    Gracie: Everybody should have access to a mac & cheese forest!

    Lizza: Thanks - I may post a little more.

    Sarge: Thank you Sir.

    CWM: Every kid should have their own fairy tale where they can be the hero.

    Gail: Awww shucks darlin.

    Matt: It's not Inky & Lois, but it is suitable for children. LOL.

    Bee: Now CAKE is what's missing from this story!

  1. Mags says:

    I love this-what could be better than a story with a macaroni and cheese forest?


    Happy MM my friend!

  1. A very beautiful story.

    I am so very proud to say that you are my friend... and hottie ;-)


  1. Sanni says:

    Aaaaah, I truely enjoyed this. Can you imagine to write... M-O-R-E?

    So now... please take Pam, Mr Tucker and your rocking butt to hop over to my tiny birthday BBQ, my friend =)

  1. Bond says:


    Excellent my friend...

  1. Comedy + says:

    But I want to know the rest of the story. I agree that macaroni and cheese is an essential food group. Love the stuff. I want to know why Sir Michael has his own problems. Okay, I can wait! Excellent post my friend. :)

  1. wolfbaby says:

    To cute!!! are you going to post the rest?

  1. julie says:

    Thank you for bringing this story out for all to enjoy my dear friend.


  1. Coolness. Now I seem to be
    craving mac & cheese, though :-)

  1. Travis says:

    Mags: Well, I think the only thing better than a mac & cheese forest would be a CAKE forest!

    Dix: Smooches darlin!

    Sanni: This one is actually finished, so I could probably post a little more. But I'm thinking about sending it out, so I don't want to post too much.

    V: It is worth a giggle or two.

    Comedy: Maybe a little more soon!

    Wolfbaby: I might.

    Julie: You are most welcome baby!

    Jeff: Oh me too!