Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

First Came the Russians

This first photo is of a free vacation souvenir. We like to bring home shells, sand and endangered plants from the places we visit. Not really. We do like to bring home shells and sand, but not endangered plants. Because we would be in really big trouble at the airport and the plants wouldn't grow here anyway.

And I wanted to post it because I was playing famous magazine photographer and liked it.


In this jar you will see mussel shells, of which there are millions attached to every rock and piling and jetty and anything else that the tide covers. There are also white cockle and clam shells that are common on sandy beaches. In the forest we found the tiny little pine cone looking seed pods and some very dry, straw-like pale green moss. When I first saw the moss in the forest I thought it was that excelsior stuff that used to be used for packing material. There's also some tiny bits of real Alaskan sand in there too!

Everywhere we went in Alaska were stores selling hand painted items from Russia. As you recall from your world history class (!) Russia colonised Alaska before the Americans made it up there. Cause really it's just a hop, skip and a jump for them, barring a few polar bears, ice floes and angry sea otters.

So I had to have me some Matrioshka dolls. You know--those hand painted nesting dolls?
The choices were overwhelming. There were sets with lots of dolls, sets that were delicately embellished with real gold. Sets that told a story. Signed-by-the-artist sets. Ugly sets. Expensive and cheap sets.

Since I'm kinda an eclectic collector whose tastes change with the wind, I decided expensive, extravagant sets were not the way to go. But inexpensive was also leaning towards the ugly side. And I really wanted a set that told a story.

So, after much wringing of hands and consulting of wallet and wandering to and fro between shops, I chose this relatively inexpensive, but nicely painted little family. They tell the story of "The Giant Turnip."

See the Turnip in the old man's hands?

One day, an old man planted a turnip and it grew and grew until it was enormous--so enormous in fact that when he tried to pull the turnip up, he couldn't get it out of the ground. So he had to call on his wife (the old woman), who called on her grandaughter, who called on the dog, who called on the cat. And there they were, all lined up, pulling for all they were worth to get that turnip out of the ground. (you do realize that I'm summarizing here, right?)

Then the cat called the mouse over to help (crazy mouse, you'd think he wouldn't trust the cat). But. The mouse took hold of the cat, who took hold of the dog, who took hold of..... clear up to the old man and they pulled and they pulled and they pulled until finally, with the help of the tiny mouse, the turnip came free from the ground.

And flew through the air and landed on the cow and killed her and they had no milk for the winter.

Ok. Not really.

And then the giant turnip was rotten and theyhad no food for the winter.

Just kidding.

Not that ending either.

The lesson is that there is value in even the smallest and least among us.

So there.

Isn't that tiny, teensy little mouse cute?

And I'll quit posting Alaska stories.


Until I think of something else......


Andi said...

Cute story! Cute dolls. I like the cow ending best. :)

The Source said...

I remember that story...it was in a book of fairy tales and fables that I had as a child. Now I'm going to have to go up in the attic and dig for the book. :)

Enjoyed your post.

The Source said...

I remember that story...it was in a book of fairy tales and fables that I had as a child. Now I'm going to have to go up in the attic and dig for the book. :)

Enjoyed your post.

Becky said...

We shopped and shopped for the grandkids and Emily's favorite souvenir is the piece of granite Greg picked up at the Mendenhall Glacier. Love you nesting dolls, by the way.

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16: