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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 8: Takano 15
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 188
Tommy settled on a T-shirt and shorts with her flip-flops, and once dressed found her way to the living room where Tammy was still playing with a set of wooden blocks. “That looks like fun,” Tommy said. “Can I play, too?”
Scrunching her face for a moment as if trying to decide, Tammy suddenly said, rather decisively, “Yes,” and Tommy settled on the floor beside her.
“So, are we trying to build something?” she asked.
“A castle! That’s a good idea. How can I help?”
“You can build a tower,” Tammy said, and Tommy realized that the child had been trying to stack several blocks to make a tall tower, only to have them fall over repeatedly.
“O.K., let me see if I can figure out how to make a tower.” She gathered a number of blocks, and started with some larger rectangles to build a base, gradually getting smaller, then a thin cylinder standing on top of these, and a small triangle as a topper. “How does that look?” she asked.
Tammy seemed to study it, then said, “That’s good,” in a simple way. “Now we have to put a building around it,” and she started bringing rectangular blocks over to it.
“Let me build the part around the tower,” Tommy said. “I’m not sure I won’t knock it over, but I’m going to try.” She took several of the blocks, and set them alongside her tower, making it the corner of the building. Between them, soon they had a wall surrounding an open space, with the tower as one of the corners, and a small opening Tammy said was the door.
“Now,” Tommy said, “we need a wall around the castle, with a gate. We’ll put the gate here,” she said, and grabbing two cylinders and a piece that was cut like the top of an arch she set up the gate. She also saw a piece that looked to be cut out from the bottom of the arch-shaped block, and put that on top. “There,” she said. “Is that good for a gate?”
Again the child scrutinized it, then nodded and began using the remaining blocks to build a ring around their castle.
“So, now what do we do?” Tommy asked.
“Mommy!” the girl called, “Come see our castle!”
Mrs. Billings had been hustling about doing various chores, sweeping the kitchen, doing more laundry, starting dinner, washing dishes—but she took a moment to look through the doorway. “That’s very good, dear,” she said.
“Tommy helped me.”
“Oh,” Tommy said, “but it was her idea. I just helped a little.”
“Well, it’s very good,” the mother repeated.
“Yes,” Tommy said, “you did very well, Tammy. So what now?”
The girl again scrunched her face in thought, then picking up two dolls and offering one to Tommy, “Now,” she said, “the giants come and knock it down.” She then proceeded to use the doll something like a club to knock over the walls.
This, Tommy thought, was completely unexpected; but she could play, too, and she knocked down part of the wall and part of the castle, standing the doll upright so it would look like it kicked the walls down with its feet. Soon they had a pile of blocks scattered on the floor around them, and Tammy was laughing. “That was fun,” she said. “Let’s do it again.”
With nothing else to do, Tommy helped Tammy build another castle, and so they spent their afternoon building stacks of blocks and knocking them down, much to the delight of one four-year-old girl who seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she had almost been killed earlier that day.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #355: Versers Resettling. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: