Greg, my son-in-law, was born with a condition known as ... get ready ... a Left, Below the Elbow, Congenital Amputation ... (phew!) which left him with one arm slightly underdeveloped and only half the normal length with "nubbins" for fingers on that arm. With an abundance of energy and pluck, Greg has grown into a delightful young man, husband and father and constantly amazes me with his creativity and sparkle in moving through life, ignoring his physical difference and rising to any challenge as if it were routine fare. Greg plays the piano, and uses any keyboard device with speed, accuracy and ease and would put to shame anyone who had the advantage of ten fingers and the manual dexterity of Van Cliburn. He loves all aspects of the restaurant business and orchestrates culinary masterpieces both at home and at work, hoping one day soon of opening his own restaurant with all the skills he has learned.
My grandson, Seamus, of course, realizes that Dad has one arm that Dad calls his "stump," but in everyday routine, he is no different than any other loving father of a bright and active 4-1/2 year old son. So in tribute to these special individuals, I wrote a story of "Little Gregory - the Snow Urchin" and created the doll that is featured in the story.
Briefly, Snow Urchins are tiny creatures who live in the mountain country in caves and caverns and search the woodlands in winter for sick or injured animals, who they nuture, feed and bring back to health with their special healing powers. They are rarely seen by human beings except children and the young-at-heart. Little Gregory is a special Snow Urchin who has one whole arm and one half arm which he lovingly calls his "stump." The younger Snow Urchins tease him and sometimes slip out on routine rescue missions, leaving Little Gregory behind. Gregory didn't cry but went deep into the caves to his workshop and practiced diligently on learning how to whittle and carve. He finally taught himself to be a master carver.
As fate would have it, a fierce and greedy fur trapper named Dirty Jack came to the woodlands seeking new territory in which to trap wild animals and kill them for their beautiful fur. Dirty Jack wanted to become rich by selling as many beautiful and unusual fur pelts as he could find. As the adventure moves on, one of the Snow Urchins named Peter is captured by Dirty Jack who now knows he will certainly gain more riches by displaying this incredible strange creature in the circus and the public all over the world. The Snow Urchins band together to decide on how to rescue Peter and rid the woodlands of Dirty Jack.
Little Gregory steps forward with a solution. What is it? ... Tune in here at my blog on Christmas Eve for the full revelation of the story of Little Gregory ....
|Polly, Greg and Seamus|