Chapter 1 of 3 – You each have a lot of personal power. The words you say are extremely powerful and have the power to harm or the power to heal or somewhere in between. This is illustrated in the story called “Frogs and newts or gold coins.” It is adapted from a Grimm’s fairy tale that you will hear told as part of this story. Please sit back and enjoy “Frogs and newts or gold coins.”
Chapter 1: Derrick and Tonya wreak havoc in the house
Twelve-year-old Derrick yelled at his sister, Tonya, as loudly as he could, “You stinking brat! How dare you come into my room without permission!”
Eleven-year-old Tonya yelled back, “I’m not a brat. You are!” Then she started chanting, “You’re a brat! You’re a brat! You’re a big fat bully brat.”
Realizing that she had unconsciously come up with a sort of poem, she took great pleasure in chanting it again. “You’re a brat! You’re a brat! You’re a big fat bully brat.”
Derrick was incensed. He was a bit sensitive about his weight and didn’t want to be referred to as fat. He began to chase down his younger sister. Tonya ran away as fast as she could. She practically tumbled down the stairs in her haste to get away from him. They ran first into the living room and then into the kitchen.
There was Grandma Jenkins placing a cookie tray with cookie dough on it into the oven to bake. She closed the oven door softly, turned around, and shook her head in wonderment. Then she looked under the table and chairs in a quite obvious manner. Derrick and Tonya stopped what they were doing to stare at Grandma Jenkins.
Tonya asked, “What are you looking for, Grandma?”
Grandma Jenkins said, “I be looking for those frogs and newts that must be coming out of your mouth.”
Derrick asked, “What are you talking about? There are no frogs or newts coming out of my mouth.”
“Mine either,” Tonya affirmed.
Grandma looked unconvinced. She asked: “Do you have a dry, chalky kind of taste in your mouth right now?”
After a bout of screaming, yelling, and running, they both had to admit that their mouths were tasting kind of dry and chalky.
Grandma Jenkins said, “That’s just what I thought. One or more of those frogs or newts must have escaped out of your mouth without you noticing. It’s too bad you chose to have those nasty-tasting things keeping company in your mouth and belly when you could have had gold coins coming out of your mouth instead.”
Neither Derrick nor Tonya knew what to think. This was very strange talk coming out of their grandmother’s mouth. Frogs? Newts? Gold coins? They didn’t have a clue what she meant.
Tonya was the first to ask, “Grandma Jenkins, I don’t get what you are talking about. I know I’ve never had a frog or newt coming out of my mouth or living in my belly. You’re just talking crazy.”
Just then the oven bell rang. Grandma Jenkins turned around, took the cookie tray out of the oven, and placed the pan of piping-hot chocolate chip cookies on the counter.
Grandma Jenkins went to the refrigerator, poured three glasses of ice-cold milk, and placed those on the kitchen table. Next, she scooped several cookies onto a large plate and put that in the middle of the table. “Just you sit yourself down, have some milk and cookies, and Grandma will tell you all about those two girls that went a-visiting the three little gnomes.”
Derrick finally was catching on. He said, “Ah, Grandma. You’re just talking about those Grimm’s Fairy Tales, aren’t you? None of those stories are real. They’re every one of them made up.”
Grandma Jenkins said, “Don’t you be so sure of yourself, young Derrick. I’ve seen those frogs and newts coming out of your very mouth on any number of occasions. Every time you get that bad tarnished penny taste in your mouth, you can be sure you let fly another one of those words that cause those amphibians to come popping right out. You may not be able to see them, but you sure can taste them and see the aftereffects piling up around you.”
Tonya was quite curious now. She said, “Grandma, please explain yourself better. You have me totally confused.”
Grandma Jenkins said, “All right, child. I will tell you the story about the two girls and the three gnomes. Now to start off, let me remind you that you personally know quite a few women, including your aunt, who have been stepmoms who are the kindest, most loving of women. But those Grimm’s brothers never once met that kind of woman. Their stories are always full of mean-spirited stepmothers. Perhaps that was the style a long time ago. Today, we know differently.
- Click here to read Chapter 2 of 3 – Frogs and newts or gold coins
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