As a kind of holiday/new year greeting I would like to share an excerpt from my kids’ novel, The Tale of Hodgepodge.
Hodgepodge was a baby hippo, abandoned at birth in the jungle, then found and adopted by Moxie the elephant. When he grew up and realized he was a hippo, Hodgepodge decided to go back into the jungle and look for his birth mother with Krakatoa the parrot-poet as his guide.
The journey through the jungle was terrifying at times, especially because Hodgepodge was deathly afraid of all lizards. However, Krakatoa kept teaching Hodgepodge that if he would find his Wow in the now, he could face anything.
One day, the path was blocked by a huge, angry Komodo Dragon lizard. The Komodo attacked and there was a fierce fight which ended when Hodgepodge finally grabbed the big lizard by the tail, swung him around and around, and threw him off into the jungle. This is where we pick up the story:
Krakatoa fluttered down to join Hodgepodge. “Are you okay?”
Hodgepodge was breathing hard. “I didn’t run away.” He sounded surprised at himself.
“You certainly didn’t!” said Krakatoa. “You were amazing!”
“Krakatoa? This fighting thing. Is this another thing hippos do?”
“When necessary,” said Krakatoa. “When necessary.”
“I have never seen such a lizard. In his own way, he was very Wow-ish. I suppose I should thank him.”
“He helped me to finally get over my fear of lizards…I think.”
“Ah,” said Krakatoa as he hopped back on top of Hodgepodge’s head. “That’s good.”
As Hodgepodge walked away, he let out one more mighty roar that echoed through the jungle. Then he looked to the sky and yelled, “I AM HODGEPODGE, THE ONE-AND-ONLY-ME!”
Monkeys in the trees chattered and cheered.
Then he yelled, “I AM HODGEPODGE AND I AM GLAD TO BE ALIVE!”
The monkeys cheered again.
Finally he yelled, “I AM HODGEPODGE AND I AM A GOOD THING!”
“Well done, Hodgepodge,” said Krakatoa.
“I think I found my Wow in the now. Do you think I found my Wow in the now?”
Krakatoa bobbed his head up and down. “Definitely.”
Children remind us of the Wow in the now and reading stories with them is a great way to experience that. May the New Year bring many moments when you find your Wow in the now.