Storyteller’s Corner

Jojo’s Journey

A winter story to share written by Steve Boatright, Ingeenium’s resident storyteller.

SMALLER HANDS

Have you met Jojo? Maybe you have or maybe you will but here is her story.

One day Jojo asked a question. She asked her Grandad “Why doesn’t it snow at Christmas like it used to? It is always snowy on Christmas cards but I’ve never seen snow at Christmas”

“Well” said her Grandad “well…. I don’t rightly know so we shall have to ask. Let’s ask a Robin, with their sharp eyes, nothing escapes them.” And Jojo said, just as you or I would, “But Robins can’t speak, Grandad, they are birds! And anyway where can we find a Robin?”

And Grandad replied with a twinkle in his eye,

“Well, first we need to dig in the garden, for Robins are always there when you dig and then…Late at night when the sky is clear and the moon is full but the dark is deep, when your eyes are closed and you think you sleep, then you shall hear the Robin speak.”

Later that night when the sky was clear and the moon was full but the dark was deep Jojo and her Grandad began to dig in the garden. And soon a robin came to watch them dig, stood just a few steps away, watching and watching. And by and by Jojo began to feel sleepy, so she closed her eyes and she thought of sleep and just then the robin began to speak.

“Jojo” he said “ you want to know why there is no Christmas snow. I cannot say but I have heard that of all the birds the seagulls might know.”

So Jojo looked at Grandad and Grandad looked at Jojo then they set off to find the seagulls. Together they walked ten thousand thousand steps and slept a hundred hundred sleeps until they found themselves at the seaside where the seagulls live.

“What do we do now?” asked Jojo and her Grandad replied with a twinkle in his eye:

“ First we need some fish and chips, for seagulls love fish and chips and then…Late at night when the sky is clear and the moon is full but the dark is deep, when your eyes are closed and you think you sleep, then you shall hear the seagull speak.”

Later that night when the sky was clear and the moon was full but the dark was deep Jojo and her Grandad sat by the sea with their fish and chips. And soon a seagull came to watch them eat, stood just a few steps away, watching and watching. And by and by Jojo began to feel sleepy, so she closed her eyes and she thought of sleep and just then the seagull began to speak.

““Jojo” she said “ you want to know why there is no Christmas snow. I cannot say but I have heard that in the north the reindeer may know.”

So Jojo looked at Grandad and Grandad looked at Jojo then they set off to find the reindeer. Together they walked ten thousand thousand steps and slept a hundred hundred sleeps until they found themselves at the cold green forest where the reindeer live.

“What do we do now?” asked Jojo and her Grandad replied with a twinkle in his eye:

“First we need some reindeer moss, for reindeer love to eat reindeer moss and then…Late at night when the sky is clear and the moon is full but the dark is deep, when your eyes are closed and you think you sleep, then you shall hear the reindeer speak.”

Later that night when the sky was clear and the moon was full but the dark was deep Jojo and her Grandad sat in the cold dark green forest with a pile of reindeer moss in front of them. And soon a reindeer came and began to eat, just a few steps away, all the while watching and watching. And by and by Jojo began to feel sleepy, so she closed her eyes and she thought of sleep and just then the reindeer began to speak.

““Jojo” she said “you want to know why there is no Christmas snow. I cannot say but I have heard that of all the animals the white foxes may know.”

So Jojo looked at Grandad and Grandad looked at Jojo then they set off to find the white foxes. Together they walked ten thousand thousand steps and slept a hundred hundred sleeps until they found themselves on the snowy icy grass where the where the white foxes live.

“What do we do now?” asked Jojo and her Grandad said:

“First we need some chicken, for all foxes love to eat chicken and then…Late at night when the sky is clear and the moon is full but the dark is deep, when your eyes are closed and you think you sleep, then you shall hear the white fox speak.”

Later that night when the sky was clear and the moon was full but the dark was deep Jojo and her Grandad stood in the snowy icy grass with some chicken in front of them. And soon a white fox came and began to eat, just a few steps away, all the while watching and watching. And by and by Jojo began to feel sleepy, so she closed her eyes and she thought of sleep and just then the white fox began to speak.

“Jojo” she said “ you want to know why there is no Christmas snow. I cannot say but the Ice Giants know.”

So Jojo looked at Grandad and Grandad looked at Jojo then they set off to find the Ice Giants. Together they walked ten thousand thousand steps and slept a hundred hundred sleeps until they found themselves looking up at the freezing snowy mountains in the far far north where the Ice Giants live.

“What do we do now?” asked Jojo and her Grandad said:

“ First we need a gift, for Ice Giants will need a gift and then…Late at night when the sky is clear and the moon is full but the dark is deep, when your eyes are closed and you think you sleep, then you shall hear the Ice Giants speak.”

So Jojo and her Grandad gathered all the twigs and branches that they could find and chopped and cut and wove and sewed to make a doll present for the Ice Giants.

Then later that night when the sky was clear and the moon was full but the dark was deep Jojo and her Grandad stood in the deep mountain snow with their gift of wood and twigs made into a doll in front of them. And soon Ice Giants came and took their gift and stood just a few steps away, so tall and cold and wide and wild but all the while watching and watching. And Jo jo and her Grandad couldn’t help but feel a little bit afraid but by and by Jojo began to feel sleepy, so she closed her eyes and she thought of sleep and just then the Ice Giants began to speak.

“Jojo” they said “ you want to know why there is no Christmas snow. Hear it now and hear it true, tell all you see and their friends as well; it is just too hot. When it is cold we grow and grow and when we grow we will visit with our frost and ice and snow.”

And the Ice Giants breathed, and their breath was snow, and Jojo heard them say “We have magic, simple magic, deep magic, magic as old life itself, here it is : Give back what you take, eat what you grow, make friends with wild, plant trees, and now you must go…..”

As they said that their snowy breath wrapped around Jojo and her Grandad and it began to spin faster and faster, faster and faster until Jojo and her Grandad didn’t know which way was up and which way was down and they spun and spun thorough the freezing air until, suddenly as sudden they were back at home.

Then Jojo looked at Grandad and Grandad looked at Jojo and they set off to spread the magic of the Ice Giants. Together they have walked ten thousand million steps and have slept a hundred thousand sleeps and they give their magic message to all who they meet:

Give back what you take, eat what you grow, make friends with the wild, plant trees.

Will you spread it too?

(A note from the author: One day I may make this into a book but until then please feel free to adapt, modify, add, subtract and make it suitable for you. Any illustrations would be great as well! Please send your pictures to info@ingeenium.org.uk to have them included on the website. Steve)