Thursday, March 22, 2012

Choose Maja's Own Adventure

Every night I try to take my oldest daughter, Maja, to bed and tell her stories before she falls asleep. Early on, I established The Ongoing Adventures of David the Gnome as the, well, ongoing serial story. David's done everything a gnome should do, including taking a break from the action by telling his wife the story of the Princess Gnome.

David's first adventure back from his vacation is the focus of last night's post. The Mouse Family came by David's house looking for help. It seemed that monsters had overrun their house, and they needed someone to tell them all to go away. David accepted the challenged, called on his friend Kenny the Gnome for help, grabbed some rope, and away they went.


The first question I asked Maja tonight was "What will the gnomes do to get the monsters out?"Her response, "They'll use rope to tie them up and drag them out."

The gnome duo wandered the halls and came upon a door that they could hear strange voices behind it.

"What do the gnomes do, Maja?"

"Kenny knocks on the door."

The room falls quiet

"David opens the door"

And two chair goblins, whose whole mission in life is to steal people's chairs, were in a room accumulating the house's... you guessed it, chairs. Working quickly the gnomes grabbed a rope and ran in opposite directions, tieing up the chair goblins and dragging them outside. The chair goblins departed with a grumble.

As they walked back in, they heard little footsteps. Behind them was a small mouse with big cloak and tiny sword."I'm Zeke, the Baby Mouse. I want to help."After a few questions towards to the little mouse, Maja blurted out, "Kenny the Gnome will let him help!" End of discussion.

Zeke's adventure could have been short, as they looked into a pantry, didn't poke around for monsters, and they almost found Zeke eaten by a big hairy spider lurking within. Per Maja's instruction, the gnomes grabbed a bucket and put it over top of the spider. They quickly chucked it out the door.Most of the other rooms were empty, put near the end they found a man sleeping on a bed. Again, Maja thought it best that the gnomes tie the man up and drag him outside. Of course, before the two tiny gnomes could try this, the man woke up and started screaming for help. Little Zeke the Baby Mouse could see someone running down the hall, so the three hid. The new man freed the first one and they left without a quarrel.

After a lunch of cupcakes the trio had brought with them (again, per Maja), they got to the last room to be searched, and inside was yet another door. It opened to a courtyard. Now Maja does not know what a courtyard is, so I tried to explain a room with no roof and a tree. Behind the tree lurked the Big.... Bad.... Wolf.... and he was hungry for gnomes.

"Maja, what are the guys going to do against the Big Bad Wolf?"

"Zeke is going to throw him out the window!"

Quickly David the Gnome and Kenny the Gnome scaled the tree to safety, the Wolf licking his lips as he circled underneathed. Then, the Wolf felt a tiny pinprick as Zeke stabbed him with tiny sword. A chase unsued and the Wolf soon saw the mouse outside the front door and charged him. Zeke, being incredibly small, snuck him around the door hinge and using all his might, flung himself against the door to make it slowly close, just in the nick of time. The Wolf was locked outside and the Gnomes had completed their quest. The Big Bad Wolf grumbled something and staggered away, trying to figure out how such a tiny mouse could defeat him.

The trio were heroes, the Mouse Family had their home back, and Zeke was welcome to galavant with the David the Gnome anytime, so long as he had his mother's permission.

I told this story like a Choose your own Adventure book, with Maja calling many of the shots. She decided many of the characters actions, choose left or right (this way or that way) and was extremely involved in the story. Truth be told, the handsome and dashing trio were actually sent to a kidified version of Dungeons & Dragons module B9: Castle Caldwell. I took out the killer bugs, blood sucking stirges, and crazed clerics of chaos with a talking statue (I put in an annoying talking clock, she doesn't know what a statue is anyway.) Outside of a combat reminiscent of "Touche Pussycat" from Tom and Jerry, she solved all the encounters with non-violent methods. I don't want her to be a bloodthirsty powergamer at age 3. She's got all the time for that when she's a teenager.

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