Friday, March 17, 2006


Not so very long ago

Kathleen's parents bought a brand new house and they all moved there. Kathleen had her own room with green walls - her favorite color - and on the walls she hung pictures of rainbows and unicorns and a lot of paper shamrocks. It was a nice room except that every night she heard music and little feet tippy-tapping on the roof as if little people were dancing up there. She could hardly sleep or paint more pictures of rainbows or do her homework. Kathleen went to her mother and said, "I think there are little people dancing on the roof. What can I do?"

Kathleen's mother replied, "Do your homework in the dining room, dear," and continued looking through her seed catalogue.

Kathleen went to her father and said, "There must be little people tippy-tapping on the roof, and I can't sleep." Her father answered, "If you tell your mother about it I'll buy you an ice cream cone tomorrow." He smiled and opened his newspaper to the sports section.

So Kathleen visited her dog, who was lying on the couch like he owned it, and she said to him, "You're my best friend. What will you do about the tippy-tapping on the roof?"

The dog lifted his head and growled, "I can't very well go on the roof on account of some tippy-tapping. Scratch my tummy for a while and wake me up if you see something worth barking at."

Kathleen even told her teacher about the tippy-tapping, but the teacher just asked her to write the story down and hand it in on Monday for extra credit.

Kathleen didn't know what to do about the tippy-tapping on the roof. She was even getting bags beneath her eyes for lack of sleep, which is not good for young girls who need all the sleep they can get. Finally, she told her grandmother, who looked like a little person might look, only a little larger. "Nanny," she said, for that was her grandmother's name, "I'm sure there are little people tippy-tapping on the roof and I can't sleep or make pictures of rainbows for all the noise."

"I know what to do," Nanny said. "Meet me outside your house at ten tonight, but tell your mother and father we're counting the stars in the sky and they won't mind you staying up past your bedtime. "

That night Kathleen and Nanny stood outside the house, and indeed, there were little people dancing on the roof. There were little men and little women and little musicians playing little fiddles and little drums. There were little dogs and little cats up there. All of them were dancing around and around in little circles. They were having a grand time, and the moon was shining so brightly that you couldn't see the stars if you wanted to count them.

"Hey, you little people up there," shouted Nanny.

One of the little people, a tiny lady, peeked over the edge of the roof and said, "Oh, it's you again. Well, what do you want?"

Nanny put her hands on her hips and said, "Why don't you dance somewhere else instead of bothering my grand-daughter with your shenanigans?"

"Well, we have to dance on the roof," replied the tiny lady. "Our favorite tree was here but they cut it down to build this house and now we have nowhere else to go. So there!"

"What will it take to make you go away?" asked Nanny.

"Come on up here" the tiny lady replied, "and dance with us and we'll think about it."

"Oh no," said Nanny. "You know very well I tried that once before with little people, fell off a roof and broke my arm. What if we planted another tree, a special tree for you? Would that satisfy you pests?"

"It's a deal," said the tiny woman. "Trees are much better for dancing than roofs."

The next day Kathleen's mother and father agreed it would be nice to have another tree, so Nanny helped Kathleen plant a small, lovely one, and sure enough, the little people danced in it. Any time Kathleen wanted to see them all she had to do was open her window and look out.

Now Kathleen is more grown up. Each Saint Patrick's Day she and her dog visit a bigger tree next to the house where she lived as a younger girl, and they watch little people dancing tippy-tapping high in the branches. I was walking by there myself last March 17, it was quite a sight.

© Bob Rixon

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Your story made me smile. Thank you.
been a while since I visited, as always I read in awe & appreciation.....
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