i wrote a story recently about having cake with giants. i had first written about my adventures with the giants several years ago and had remembered it again more recently. i loved imagining being with tall giants who could touch the sky and they were funny and didn't mind being silly. i talked about my mother and how she had made hundreds of dresses and had used hundreds of spools of thread. i said i would bring my spool collection to show the giants the next time we were together. someone thought i should write a story about that, so i decided i would. of course, this is all imagined, but that is a wonderful thing to do, isn't it?
My Mother made Hundreds of Dresses
my mother loved to sew. she said there was something about the fabric that delighted her and made her feel like she was in a warm nest. she could close her eyes and feel safe. i knew what she meant. sometimes, i would see a small piece of cloth, white and old with wear and quite a sad, forlorn look about it and i would feel sorry for it, so i would hold it and say that i am it's friend. then i would look for one of my dolls to wrap the cloth around and then the doll would feel safe, too.
my mother sewed nearly all day. she made dresses and blankets, handkerchiefs and pillow covers. she would embroider tiny pink flowers on everything and then iron each piece of cloth so that it was perfectly beautiful. but most of all, she loved making dresses. she didn't like using patterns so she made the dresses by thinking of them first and then they just seemed to come about magically to be perfectly wonderful. sometimes, i would sit in the corner of her sewing room and watch her sew. i loved to listen to the whirring of the sewing machine. it made me close my eyes, the sound was so soft. it was like a quiet story someone was telling me. my mother would become so engrossed in her sewing, she would forget i was there, but i was alright.
each time she sewed a dress, she used 3 spools of thread. usually white, yellow and pink. she always gave me the spools when the thread was gone. they were wooden spools and they seemed quite empty and lonely without any thread to hold, so i kept them and soon i had a collection of wonderful spools. my spool collection.
one afternoon, i suddenly remembered the giants. i would often find them and we would have cake. i hadn't seen though them in such a long time! i decided i would try to find them again and i would bring my spool collection to show them. my mother was sewing another dress, a pale green one this time. she was so busy, she didn't notice me, so i waved to her and said i was going to find the giants. i hoped she wouldn't mind if i took some of her cake to share with them. somehow, i think she knew i was going to have cake with the giants and show them my spool collection, so i wasn't worried.
out the door i went, certain that the giants wouldn't be far away. i sang my silly songs and serious songs, too, when all of a sudden i heard a familiar noise. it was the sound of snoring. i didn't know anyone who would sleep outside and snore, except for the giants, so i knew i had already found them. they were so happy to see me and we began talking as if we had just visited yesterday.
there were new giants now....Pellegron, Somi, Taleson and another giant who didn't have his name yet. i wondered for him that he wasn't named and hoped he could find his name soon. maybe he would like the name Sonsi or Malto. i wasn't sure if i should worry him about his name though. he would find it sometime. names aren't so very important if you're happy anyway and he was, so he would be fine until then. later, he thought about the name Sonsi and said that was his name. i was glad i could help him find his name.
i showed all of the giants my spool collection. they thought it was wonderfully odd and funny. some of the spools were little, others had notches in them to hold the thread. Pellegron asked why my mother made so many dresses. i told him that I thought it was because she wished she had lots of children to dress. he wondered if she could make him a coat. sometimes he grew so cold at night and he didn't have a coat. i knew my mother would love to make a coat for Pellegron, so we all gathered up the spools and our cake and walked to my house in the woods. Taleson carried me on his shoulder so i could see the clouds better and the birds in the trees. it was wondrous and magical. i remembered how wonderful it was to be so high in the air. i had missed traveling that way.
"mother! the giants are here!" i called to her. there she was, sitting at her sewing machine, the quiet whirring sound seemed to wrap around her like a magical and comforting cloth. the giants grew very quiet. i had never seen them so reverent. my mother turned to see us and a look of great surprise and wonder came over her face. "I've never seen a giant", she said slowly, "and you have brought five of them!" we all laughed because it seemed like nothing to us. she came over to meet all of the giants and shook their fluffy hands. i saw my mother look like a child again, a little girl of five. she couldn't stop smiling and her eyes twinkled. i was so glad that she liked my friends.
we all sat on the grass and had more cake but soon it started to rain. my mother told the giants to come into the house and she would make them each a coat. Pellegron was so excited! "how did you know that i needed a coat?" my mother just knew those kinds of things. so she sewed a coat for all of the giants and she used 40 spools of thread. the thread whirred off of the spools as quickly as could be and each time, my mother gave me the spool. the giants faces showed such delight and surprise as my spool collection grew even larger and as i counted them, i decided to put them in a suitcase so i could carry them. one of the giants named Dolka asked if she could carry the suitcase for a while and of course, i said yes. she marched around the big sewing room, swinging the spool suitcase back and forth. i think she thought she was carrying something very important and she was; it was my spool collection!
one day, when the giants had come to visit my mother and i, there was a knock at the door. Pellegron reached over to open it and there stood a woman wearing a beautiful blue dress with white flowers and a velvet hat with feathers. she had come to talk to my mother about her sewing. the princess in the forest had heard of my mother's dresses and how beautiful they were. she longed to have such a beautiful dress. my mother was so happy to make a dress for the princess of the forest. her eyes twinkled again.
more spools of thread, more suitcases. Dolka became even more diligent about marching around the room with the suitcases. i think she wanted to be a traveler but she was too young to go out on her own, so she would just have to imagine going to the far away places that her mother would read to her about in the fairy tales. my mother said one day they would all go to those places. i was surprised she said that. how did she know?
that night, my mother sat at her sewing machine but she didn't sew. she sat quietly looking out the window for a long time. i sat in the corner and waited. finally, she took out a beautiful cloth that was the softest cloth i had ever seen. it was white and had tiny gold flowers and beads on it. my mother worked very quietly at her sewing machine; each stitch seemed even more deliberate than before. the sewing machine whirred even more quietly. it was as if my mother didn't want to wake up the birds or the beetles, the raccoons or the sheep. she worked very quietly. her sewing machine seemed to be talking, as if it were telling a story and i think it was. the princess in the forest was waiting for spring to come again. she sang her beautiful songs and made up stories to tell the children in the village but she needed a beautiful dress. my mother was making that dress for her. it would be the most beautiful dress she had ever made, I was sure.
soon, i fell asleep. i slept for such a long time. when i awoke, there was the beautiful white dress my mother had made for the princess. the giants came in to see it, too. everyone marveled at the softness of it and each tiny bead and flower that my mother had sewn on by hand. it WAS the most beautiful dress my mother had ever made! she had fallen asleep and her sewing machine was asleep, too.
the next morning, the princess came to our house. she had long beautiful hair and bright eyes. the dress made her so happy. now she could sing her songs and tell stories to the children. my mother was very happy, too. her eyes twinkled and even her hair twinkled.
so, we all had cake and the giants carried the princess back to her castle in the forest. she loved riding on Pellegron's shoulder. the birds flew around her for they knew her and her pretty songs and stories. they knew she was the princess.
my spool collection had grown so much, i wasn't sure what to do with all of it now. Taleson said to give some of the spools to the children in the village so i did. afterall, i couldn't carry all of those spools myself and i certainly didn't have enough suitcases for all of them. the children made games with the spools and they had the most fun ever. so my spool collection had become a magical game for the children of the village and i was glad of that. now, i collect velvet cloth. my mother sews with velvet now. she gives me little snippets left over from her dresses. she makes hundreds of dresses and uses hundreds of pieces of velvet (and hundreds of spools of thread). but one day, i told her i thought it would be nice if she grew a garden! she thought for a moment and then said she would, tomorrow and the next day, she did. she put her sewing machine away and her fabrics and even her spools of thread and started planting a garden. the giants help me with my garden and my mother's garden, too. my mother has fun growing flowers now, not sewing them. now, i'm not saving spools but watching flowers grow. the birds are happy we are outside, too, instead of inside and sometimes, all the animals in the forest come out to watch us grow our flowers. it's wondrous and magical and the giants especially love to help us plant giant sunflowers, so our garden is like a dress full of colors. maybe we won't plant hundreds of flowers but there will be a lot. and the wind and the rain will enjoy them, too. it will be a beautiful garden and the children in the village can help us, too.
by debbie schramer, may 2016