When I was a child, I enjoyed stories. My mother would read books to me. She did this well up until I was 12 years old. We would read the Narnia books before bedtime. But my dad did something even more unique. He would make up stories on the spot and tell them to me. He has done this for as long as I can remember.
It started out with a collection of small animals that lived in fruit houses in the backyard. The first story was about a mouse that lived in an apple. I don’t remember all the other animals that assembled, but the collection of fruit friends increased greatly.
At a later time, which is also why I typed this post, my dad told me stories about Toby. Toby was a tiger friend who slept in a drawer. He had on sneakers, blue pants and a red cap. I recall many details about Toby. One of his pals was a donkey called Tabias. He also had a brother who wore red pants and a blue cap; so they could be kept apart.
One of the first stories about Toby that my dad told me was one my dad told me and my older brother. It was about meeting him. He took us to a magical realm where all our dreams seemed to come true and we partook in amazing activities together. There was also sand of very intriguing colors; purple and pink for instance. The story ended with us going to bed and waking up, wondering if it had been a dream or reality. We found out the answer when we left the home and found remains of colored sand.
I enjoyed all those stories. I used to have a notebook that I drew in about them. I would remember the stories and draw about the ones I had been told on the pages in the notebook. I remember I’ve drawn Toby in it too. Along with him, there was a bus full of other characters that came along on our adventures. There were various horses, the fruit animals and even a dolphin.
Sadly however, I no longer have this notebook nor most of the memories of the stories. I think it’s such a loss that I forgot them all. I would’ve loved to have written down all the stories for safe-keeping. Then I could’ve passed them on to my own children and the potential children of my brothers. In that way, the wonderful characters from the stories could have lived forever.
Instead, I am thinking of approaching my dad with a different proposal. Perhaps he’d like to come up with new stories about the old characters with me. I could help write them and we could draw pictures for it. We could create a book out of it. After all, I still have ‘writing a children’s book’ on my bucket list. What better way to cross off a bucket list goal through the help and support from a loved family member? So here’s to hoping some other child will some day be able to appreciate the wonderful adventures of Toby and all the other companions.