martes, 15 de mayo de 2012

Frangelica the poet

My friend Rochelle Brener, an artist from Arizona died in 2008 but  as a tribute to this special friendship I like to show one of her last works. She didn't finsih this nice story. This would have been a beautiful book for kids. But, she is in our hearts. A part of that book is here. Hope you like it.




Frangelica was seven years old and Frangelica was a poet.  She had been making up little poems since the age of four.  Frangelica had  an annoying habit of making everything rhyme,however, and it was driving everyone in her family crazy. It was driving her teachers crazy. She was beginning to lose friends.  She started by doing it on purpose, and then it just seemed to happen all the time.  Everything came out in rhyme. The first time it happened, it was fun.
“I want to go to the zoo”, she said one day to her mother. “Do you want to go, too?”
Her mother laughed. “Oh, Frangelica! You made a rhyme!  Do you know what that is?”  Frangelica shook her head, her red ringlets bouncing.  “It is when two words sound very much like each other.  You said the words zoo and too, and they sound alike. Do you know any more words like that?”
“Zoo, too,” said Frangelica, entranced by the sound-alike words.  “Zoo, too. Zoo, too,” she repeated over and over and over as she skipped down the hallway to get her jacket.  “Zoo, too. Zoo, too,” until her mother felt like grinding her teeth together.
Instead, she just stopped in her tracks and looked at her daughter.
Frangelica stopped zoo, too-ing and said, “What do you call it?”
“Rhyming,” her mother replied. “What other words do you think would rhyme with zoo and too?”
Frangelica’s face broke out in a smile. “You made one, too, Mommy!”
“What?” Said her mother.
“You made a rhyme!” said Frangelica, excited by her discovery. “You can rhyme, too!”
             “And what rhyme did I make?” asked her mother.
“You said you,” said Frangelica. “You rhymes with zoo and too.  Zoo, too, you.  Zoo, too, you,” she repeated as she skipped out the front door to the car that was waiting in the driveway.
All the way to the zoo and back, Frangelica found words that rhymed. “Zoo, too, you, moo, boo, grew, new, goo, blue, phew!”  She found all sorts of rhyming words, and each time she found a new one, she would laugh and laugh.
That night, when she went to bed, she dreamed she heard all the rhyming sounds in the world being sung to her by angels and rock stars.  In the morning, she woke up bright and early, with a smile on her face.  She skipped into her parent’s bedroom to wake up her mother and father.  “Time to get up,” she sing-songed.  “I will feed the pup,” she said as she headed down the stairs.  Her father laughed to hear the rhyme.  Her mother had told him last night about the zoo-too experience.  She’ll grow out of it, her mother thought as she got ready for another day of rhyming games.
At breakfast, Frangelica’s brother Mark, who was eight, had already had enough.  “Mom, make her stop,” he whined as Frangelica sat on her knees on the chair in front of her bowl of cereal, spooning it in by the mouthful. all she is doing is making up rhymes. Some of the words aren’t even words, just sounds. She is a real pain!
             Frangelica looked up, her blue eyes perfectly round. A little milk dribbled down her chin as she chewed. It is fun to rhyme, she said to her brother.  Don’t you have time? 
Nooooo!” He screeched, running up the stairs to get dressed for school. Make her stop, mom.  Make her stop! She is just being dumb.
Dumb or not, Frangelica rhymed all day long.  And the next day, and the day after that, all the time she continued to rhyme.  Every sentence rhymed with the next one.  It was beginning to get annoying.
A few days later, Frangelica brought one of her preschool papers home for her mother to see. See? she said. I got an A.  This is good work.  What will you pay?
Her mother was surprised. Why should I pay you for getting an A?  You should always do your best work.  The A is your pay.
You did it, Mommy, you did it again!  Frangelica fairly chortled with glee.
What did I do? her mother asked.
You rhymed!  You rhymed!  You sound like a chime!
Frangelica’s mother rolled her eyes in exasperation.
Frangelica, you need to understand that there‘s a time for rhyme and a time to speak like everyone else.
But, Mommy, you do it, too. You just did it again you said a time for rhyme and you were talking like everyone else does.  Maybe some people are just posed to make rhymes all the time.  Maybe, I am one of those people.  I like sounds that are alike.  I am going to go ride my bike!  And with that, she skipped out of the house.
            Her mother made herself a soothing cup of tea and sat down in the window seat in the dining room with Frangelica’s paper, watching her daughter get on her bike and ride down the sidewalk.  I hope she will outgrow it soon, she thought, looking at the paper.  Next to the A was the title, Rhyming Words, followed by a list of twenty pairs of words that rhymed that her teacher had written down, obviously at Frangelica’s request.   There was also a note from the teacher that said Frangelica has a good imagination and learns quickly, but she needs to stop making rhymes.  Everything she says has a rhyme.  It is becoming annoying to her classmates, and to the teaching assistants, and to me as well.
             Humph, said Frangelica's mother. You'd think the teacher would appreciate Frangelica's creativity, if nothing else, she thought.

Rochelle Brener
Copyright 2006