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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Abby Diamond's Timeless Adventures Part 2

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

Abby Diamond is meeting up with famous authors of all time. Part 1 ended with Abby having met Beatrix Potter and now Hans Christian Anderson.

“What is the date now?” I asked.

“Why Abby, you are from the future. It is 1844 and a pleasant day indeed in Denmark. Abby, what is it you’re wearing? I like it, really,” Hans stated.

“They are sparkling blue jeans and my favorite pair,” I added cheerfully.

“Hans,” I began, “how do you tell stories?” I asked.

“Well, I create stories and my dad encourages me to use puppets so as to entertain children. I simply love to tell stories and to sing,” he said enthusiastically.

“Tell me a story now,” I begged.

“Well, okay. Here’s one of my favorites but I am afraid I do not have my puppets here with me, so I shall do my best to make it super entertaining.”

Hans began spinning a tale about a duck that was ugly and big unlike the other beautiful ducks in his family. Everywhere the Ugly Duckling went people made fun of him. However, Hans sums up that the Ugly Duckling grows into a beautiful swan.

“Hans, that is the most beautiful story ever! I love it!” I cried. “Where did you get the idea?”

“I’m afraid it is a reflection of my own life, Abby. I have always been such an outcast and not considered very attractive because of my large nose and tall gangly body,” Hans stated.

“Well, don’t be embarrassed around me,” I continued, “I think what I see is the best and the most handsome boy ever,” I beamed.

“How nice of you to say that, Abby. Thank you,” Hans said.

“Guess what, Hans? You know that I am from the future, right? Well, I know for a fact that the Ugly Duckling is about to become a beautiful swan. You will be one of the most famous storytellers of all time. You will keep getting more and more famous because of the way you tell the most beautiful stories. You will write many like: The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, of course, Little Mermaid, Little Match Girl, Red Shoes, Emperor’s New Suit, Tinder-Box and many other classic tales,” I stated proudly.

“You know what, Abby? Suffering is good for us because it only makes the happy times even happier. You have made my day, and because of you, I will continue my writing even though I keep getting rejected. Abby, we must hurry. We have three minutes to get back to the library,” Hans yelled.

Hans and I flew back to the spot where we met, held hands while I repeated the words from his mouth, “And the matches gave a brilliant light,” I screamed with delight.

I once again felt myself floating and boom I landed right in the biography section landing on the floor right next to Jaxson and Glen. Yep from royalty to the dump is where I successfully landed.

“Hey, you crazy girl! Where did you come from? Hey can I’s borrow some money? I ain’t got no money to get a hamburger after I return this stinking book after my dumb-dumb book report for Mrs….”

I tuned out before I became depressed listening to Jaxson go on and on and on and on….

Chapter Eight- “The Sting”

After I recovered from landing literally right on Jaxson after my lovely trip to Denmark where I met the famous, Hans Christian Anderson, I was forced to return to the real world. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and life; however, I have never felt so alive than when I spend time with an author who is so full of life and stories.

“Abby, you coming over today?” Neils asked after school. “Or you going to the nerdy library and read your boring books.”

“Neils, what is it with your attitude about books and authors? I hope to be an author one day and what are you going to say about me- that I am boring and dull?”

“I wouldn’t say that about you, Abby. At least I wouldn’t say it to your face,” Neils giggled.

“Oh, really, Missy,” I laughed. Neils and I began laughing and wrestling when Alison and Andrea walked up.

“Abby, Neils! You, two, are filthy and have leaves all in your hair!” Alison yelled. Alison tried really hard to not be a superstar like her mother, however, fate kept telling her differently.

“Yeah, you nutty girls,” Andrea chimed in teasingly. “Let’s go see a good movie. What about that cool movie where there are mean girls that attend a high school and the goofiest boy in school wins her love,” Andrea beamed.

“Hmmmm,” I said. “That sounds like a future love story for Neils and Jaxson,” I laughed and began to run wildly forgetting my cane and the fact that I was blind. Oomph! I landed in the bushes and the bees were not so happy with me. I got stung four times before my gang could pull me out of there.

The next day after my mom doctored me all up and bought me some ice cream for my bad misfortune, the gang came over to check on me.

“You really look swollen around your eyes,” Alison said innocently.

“Well, Alison that is what happens when bees are swarming your face,” Neils said bluntly.

“Guys, I am ready to go and see a movie- any movie,” I said. “I am ready to get out of this house and soon.”

“Can you wear a mask over your face before we go out?” Neils teased.

“Neils, has anyone ever told you when enough is enough?” I asked jokingly. She was pondering this question, so I answered it myself.

That night we all went to see a movie. We let Andrea pick which movie she wanted to see. The movie was really historical and good, but it scared me to think that there really was such a horrible time in history and that the story was true.

The movie was about one of the most evil men in history, Adolph Hitler. He punished and killed many people simply because they were Jewish. The movie, although very sad, taught the truth behind this evil dictator from Germany.

After the movie was over, we could not stop talking about the injustice in history. “WWII was a war that we joined after our soldiers were bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii,” Andrea taught. “Franklin Roosevelt, the president at the time, declared war and we fought against Germany, Japan and the others who joined in with the madman, Hitler.”

“Andrea, you know so much. So what happened to the Jewish people that were taken to the concentration camps?” I asked sincerely.

“Most of them died, but there were some who escaped death but not starvation and sadness.”

After the movie, we walked to a new restaurant called Sadie’s that was right down the street.

“Ohhh, I love their hamburgers with that oozy sauce and steak fries,” Neils began salivating.

“Say no more,” I said. “I’m starving!”

We walked into the cool new diner and it was amazing. It was designed like an old coffee shop from the 1950’s. Andrea said that Elvis posters and other famous people from this era were all over the walls. She also said it was painted red, black and white and that the waitresses and waiters were on roller skates. I could hear the rolling sounds but was not really sure what was going on.

After we ate and ate and ate, it was time to go home.

“Bye, Bumble Bee face,” Neils teased.

“Bye, future wife of Jaxson,” I scored.

I was lying in my room thinking about the sadness of the most horrific time in history when my black phone rang softly.

“Hello,” I answered knowing good and well who was going to be on the other end of the phone.

“Abby, so good to hear your voice. How was your trip to Denmark to meet the greatest storyteller ever?” Young Caroline asked.

“Awesome, Caroline. What is going on in the background? I hear the television but cannot hear what it is saying?” I asked.

“This cool group, “The Rolling Stones”, are singing a new song called, “Brown Sugar”. Caroline began singing.

“Isn’t that song really old and the singers like really really old now?” I asked.

“Well, Abby, I am speaking from 1971 and you are seeing things from 2011, so we are seeing and hearing different things.”

“Watch out, Mother,” Caroline yelled.

“Abby, my mom just fell. Can you hold on?”

“Sure Caroline, but she’s okay although she will have a scar on her left knee from falling in the glass that she broke.”

“Wow, Abby! Our conversations are blowing me away,” Caroline laughed.

“Tomorrow you will meet another author. Go back to the regular spot in the library at 3:30 and repeat three times, “The Diary of a Young Girl”, gotta run.” And then the phone simply hung up.

Chapter Nine- “Diary of a Young Girl”

Once again I could not wait to run to the library and stand in the corner for another great adventure with an amazing author. Unfortunately, Mrs. Trammell did not know what great fate awaited me.

“Abby, I need you to stay after school today, and organize our next student council meeting,” Mrs. Trammell said.

“Mrs. Trammell can we please do the planning tomorrow? I have something really important to do today after school,” I pleaded.

“Well, okay. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Thanks so much, Mrs. T,” I beamed and raced to run out the door. I grabbed the handle on the door and tugged. Nothing happened. I tugged again.

“Mrs. Trammell, help me. The door is stuck.” I yelled.

“Oh, no, Abby, it isn’t stuck, it’s locked by Mr. Massey.

I wanted to faint. I was about to miss out on meeting one of the greatest authors of all time, but thanks to our custodian, Mr. Massey, Mrs. Trammell and I were about to have a slumber party inside the classroom. Just Mrs. T, our class pet, a rabbit named Albatross (meaning trouble) and me.

Just when I was about to give up all hope, the door opened, and for once I thought Mr. Massey’s voice was the sweetest one on the entire planet.

“Sorry I didn’t know you, two, were still in here,” Mr. Massey apologized.

“No problem, Mr. Massey,” I beamed and ran over and gave him a big hug.

By the time I made it to the library, I had one minute to say the magic words, “Diary of a Young Girl, Diary of a Young Girl, Diary of a Young Girl”, and just like that I found myself in Amsterdam standing beside one of my heroes, the great Anne Frank.

“Hello, what is your name?” Anne asked me. “No offense, but you are wearing the strangest clothes I have ever seen. Are you blind?”

“Hi Anne. I am dressed differently because I am from the future, and yes, I am blind. However, being blind does not stop me from having a great life. I read Braille, use technology, print and everything else others do- just in a different way,” I smiled.

“Printer machine?” Anne asked.

I told Anne all about computers, printers and the cool technology that we have now. She was so excited and kept saying, “Oh, my!”

Anne and I were standing on the sidewalk in Amsterdam carrying on like two long lost best friends.

“Abby, I would love to take you to the movies, but the Nazis will not allow Jewish people to attend. We cannot ride any type of transportation and must attend a school with only Jewish children. My sister, Margot, and I are very close, so we stick together, but Abby, I am scared of what is about to come,” Anne stated.

I could not tell her about how she, her sister and mother would not last through the war (WWII). I could only explain how important it would be to write in a journal.

“Anne, don’t you like to write?” I asked. “I mean, I want to be a writer one day, and I thought you may want to be one also,” I said.

“Yes, Abby. I love to write and one day I want to be a journalist or a famous author.”

“Where is your diary?” I asked Anne. I knew from reading that she had an orange and red checked autographed book where she recorded the most incredible facts and sadness from the war.

“I don’t have one, but tomorrow is my birthday, and I hope to get one,” Anne said happily. I reached into my pocket, and to my surprise, I had a twenty dollar bill which would buy much back in the early 40’s.

As luck would have it, Anne and I were walking down the street. She was describing the items in the window when we were walking down the street.

“Oh, Abby! I must tell my father that I see the diary I want. I mean it isn’t exactly a diary but an autograph book decorated in orange and red checks. It is amazing,” Anne giggled.

“I love writing, too, Anne, so I completely understand. Anne, would you mind taking me into the shop, so I can feel of the diary?”

“Yes, Abby, come inside and I will guide your hands,” Anne said happily.

Anne and I walked inside the shop, and she guided my hands across what will become the most famous diary in history.

I grabbed the autograph book and listened to the store- owner talk to someone standing beside him.

“Sir, may I purchase this?” I asked.

“No, Abby! You are way too kind. My papa will buy it for me, but I appreciate it so much,” Anne said sweetly.

“Here’s my money, Sir. We must have that particular diary.”

“Wow, what is a young girl doing with so much money?” he asked.

“Well, my family does have money,” I said without lying. “I love to share my wealth with others.”

“What a fine girl you are indeed. Just like Anne here, you will have a wonderful future,” the store -owner said.

I wanted to cry when I handed him the money and he placed the diary into Anne’s hands. I could not believe that I was about to be a huge part of history.

“Come on, Abby, let’s write in my diary. I want you to write the first line in it,” Anne smiled.

As Anne was talking I began to feel dizzy, and when I woke up, Anne, her entire family that included: her papa, mother and sister, were all crowded in a rather small room with three other families.

“Anne, where are we?” I asked.

“We had to go into hiding because we are Jewish. Otherwise, we would be sent to a really bad place and possibly killed by the Nazis. Come on, and I’ll show you around. We are actually living above my father’s shop.” Anne took me through the small surroundings. The first floor had the toilet and two small adjacent bathrooms. The next floor was a larger room with a smaller room beside it. As Anne was walking me around I felt a small ladder.

“Where does this lead to?” I asked.

“It goes up into the attic,” Anne whispered.

Anne told me earlier that during the day the families had to sleep and be very quiet, but at night, since no one was downstairs in the store, they were free to move around.

Anne read to me everything that she had written in the diary so far.

“Anne, who is Peter?” I asked.

“Well, Peter is now my boyfriend, although at one time I could not stand him,” Anne laughed.

I met Peter on the way up to the attic and really liked him. I could see that the two had fallen for each other or they were both really lonely for companionship.

“How do the people downstairs know that this apartment does not exist?” I whispered.

“There’s a bookshelf that keeps our secret,” Anne explained.

“Read me more of your diary,” I begged. However, we were interrupted by a loud noise downstairs.

“Oh, no, Abby,” Anne cried. “We’ve been caught. Here take my diary and hide it when we are gone. I’ll come back for it. The Nazis cannot see you because you are from the future. Thank you, Friend.”

I wanted to cry because I knew Anne would not return but her father would, so I had to take and hide the diary that my famous author friend and I shared.

Anne ran over to me, held my hands and said, “Abby, to get back to the future, I want you to say one of my quotes that I made up. Just stay, “Think of all the beauty that still surrounds you, and you will be happy.” She squeezed my hands and once again I felt myself land hard inside the library.

“Girl, you are one crazy broad! Every time I look up you is falling from the ceiling.” Yep, it was good ‘ol Jaxson jarring me back into current time.

Chapter Ten- “Into the Future”

After I landed in the library, I walked home with Jaxson. I was thinking about Anne and all of the famous authors I had met on this journey. How they had many obstacles to overcome and did so with so much grace. I was surprised to learn that they had encountered rejection with their writings. Jaxson- simple-minded as he was made me feel comfort as he was walking beside me. He was munching on chips, and I was eating my apple.

“Jaxson, I am so thankful that we live in America. I mean we have so much freedom as well as opportunity. I guess I am feeling so patriotic today,” I said philosophically.

“Yeah, Abby, I know what you mean. Can I have your apple if you ain’t eating it?”

“Sure and wow you think really deep about things, don’t you, Jaxson.” He ignored me, took my apple and munched all the way home.

When I got home Laura came over.

“Wow! Abby, I had so much fun learning about authors in Mrs. Trammell’s room and spending time with you and the authors in the library. Wasn’t that fun to pretend that you were actually there with Beatrix, Hans and Anne? I enjoyed my time with Jane Austen, Mark Twain and the others. I know that we are going to ace this project.”

“Me, too, Laura. I got so into it that I actually felt like I was there,” I grinned.

Laura left after lunch and I was listening to my screen reader read a new article on Anne Frank. The article said,

New evidence from the Diary of Anne Frank shows that Anne must have entertained another friend inside the hideout. It was recently discovered where inside the back cover of Anne’s diary she had written, “Thank you, Abby. I will never forget you.”

The article went on to say that no one knew who Abby really was, but I knew. I wanted to yell out that it is me, Abby Diamond, Girl Detective.

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