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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: Story Weavin'
By Ruth Neilson


Tibby’s strong, brown, wrinkled hands held the thin needle with great determination. In her silent manner, she counted out six small beads and ran the needle through them. She then placed the beads onto her loom, running the thread through them once underneath the strung loom, then back through, securing the beads onto the threads into a pattern. She continued the pattern, preparing for her granddaughter’s baptism. Despite the pain of her arthritic joints, she continued with the work, so her granddaughter would be reminded of why she was doing what she was doing.

She sang softly, squinting in the darkening room. With a sigh, she leaned over and clicked on the lamp—this needed to be completed tonight. She had not expected her grandbabies to be over.

“Grandmamma, I wanna hear a story.” Bobby piped up, looking from his precariously tilting tower.
“Yeah, me too, Grandmamma...” His little sister, Annie echoed, her dark eyes never leaving her coloring book.

Tibby smiled softly as she weaved, pulling the two different colors of blue together and mingling the colors of the earth and creation. This was a new pattern—one that had come to her in a dream, but it still told the same story.

“You want to hear a story...well, c’mere, you two, I gotta git this done for your cousin...” Tibby stated, and then grinned as her two grandbabies scrambled to their feet and clambered onto one of the chairs at her table. Bobby bumped Annie off the chair, giving her a triumphant look. Annie grunted and surrendered the chair to her older brother, waiting a moment before she stuck her tongue out at her brother.

Annie whimpered for moment before Tibby took control of the situation again. Tibby clucked her tongue, motioned the little girl to come over, and settle in her grandmamma’s lap as Tibby continued to string the beads together.

“Once, a long time ago, there was a very brave warrior....” Tibby began as she continued to weave the beads together. Slowly, the story emerged. This is the way that she had been taught the stories—seated on her grandmamma’s lap as she worked at her loom.

“Yes Bobby?”
“Why is Becky gettin’ dunked at church?”

Tibby laughed, finally putting the needle down. “Becky is gittin’ baptized.”

“I know that, but why?” Bobby pushed, as he wrinkled his nose and fingered some of the stray beads.
Tibby smiled, and resumed in her work. This was the only way to teach her family. “Becky’s gittin’ baptized cause she’s followin’ what Jesus did while He was here. ‘member the stories bout Jesus dyin’ nd then comin’ back to life for us?”

Both of the children nodded. “You told us dat story at Easter.” Annie chirped from her nestled spot on Tibby’s lap.
“That’s right, Annie-mine.” Tibby said, her wrinkled hands were in motion again with the needle.

“What Becky is doin’ is followin’ what Jesus did. He went down to see his cousin, who was baptizing people down in the river Jordan. When his cousin saw Jesus, he said tha’ Jesus was the son God. When Jesus went back ta heaven, he said tha’ we needed to go ta all the world, teaching people bout Jesus nd baptizing them when they became Christians.”

There was a pause and then Annie giggled. “Grandmamma, I like your stories...you’s
a good teacher.”

Bobby nodded seriously and Tibby smiled. She might be old, but her stories wouldn’t die with her. Annie’s small hand had found a lock of Tibby’s silver-gray hair and she tugged on the lock as she yawned softly.

“Okay, small ones, off to bed with the both of ya.”

Surprisingly, neither of her grandbabies complained. Annie uncurled herself from Tibby’s lap and crawled off. Tibby herself got up and helped the children prepare for bed. Bobby claimed the top bunk by scrambling up the ladder before Tibby could say anything. She tucked in her grandbabies and smiled as she listened to their prayers.

“Dear God,” Annie prayed, “Thank you for my grandmamma nd her stories. Did they really happen? Amen.”

Tibby turned off the light, closed the door to a crack, and settled down at her table again. This time, she began to pray softly.

“God, I just ask that you will let these stories sink into their souls. Let me teach them these stories.” She whispered as she began to weave again.

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This article has been read 861 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 11/02/06
Wow. This is great. I could picture everything perfectly, and you did a great job with the dialogue. I believe you are missing a word in the 8th paragraph from the bottom. It should read "Son of God," I believe. Other than that very minor error, this story is perfect in every way. Keep up the good work.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/04/06
A beautifully told story, and with the exception of a couple of missing words...I'd say a very well spun story, and written well. An enjoyable and endearing read.
Jan Ackerson 11/05/06
Love the title--it perfectly fits with this charming rural story.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/06/06
What a sweet story. Wonderful description, smooth dialogue and vivid imagery. Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 11/06/06
Just lovely! I love your description, especially in the first paragraph.
Betty Castleberry11/06/06
This is a very good, easy read. I love the "homey-ness" of it.
Your descriptions are wonderful. Nice job.
Sara Harricharan 11/06/06
Very good dialouge, I like the 'accents' and Tibby sounds like a wonderful grandmother. Great job!
Val Clark11/07/06
Sweet story, characters and the way the interacted, very believable and a good sense of place. yeggy
Donna Haug11/08/06
This was so cute. Loved your title. One little thing I noticed - when Tibby was telling the story, she picked up the needle to work again - when she finished the story the grandbaby crawled off her lap. ;) I liked how you showed what the children were doing before the story without actually saying it.
Allison Egley 11/09/06
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Way to go Ruth! 5th in Advanced and 9th in EC! Woohoo! Now, what did I tell you about the story you least expected to win being the one that everyone else likes? ;)
Julie Arduini03/29/07
What a great teacher! Good way to use topic. Enjoyed the dialogue.