Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Come Meet Fisher - A Boy Just Waiting For His Transformation... By Caroline S. Fairless in The Dance of the Caterpillars!

In the mid 80's, a young child whose name is James Fisher Ford--Fisher to his family and friends--refuses to sever his deep knowing of the mystical nature of the universe. He insists that he be an intrinsic participant in an ongoing song of the spheres. It seems at first that Fisher must pay too great a price for his choices, in terms of his relationships with family and friends. Yet even as he himself is transformed--and the work is deep and difficult--so does he become a catalyst for the transformation of others.

The Dance of the Caterpillars:

In a Time Before Texting

By Caroline S. Fairless

This is a fascinating book. It is the first I've ever seen for children, outside of fairy tales, that emphasizes the need for imagination, creativity--freedom--in each of our lives. The book itself is colorfully illustrated with primarily pictures of Fisher and his family similar to the front cover...

Fisher had always loved to play, to dream, to be outside, walking or just sitting... He would spend all of his time outside if he were allowed. And even at night, he held on to his friend and continued to talk to him until they both fell asleep... It was quite understandable to me why the author had decided to publish her first story and just add a sub-title. It is very clear and should be  for everybody, that the electronic age has greatly changed the lives of children, as they sit playing games on machines, computers, rather than using their own imagination to create the world they wanted to be in through their imaginations.

Actually, at this time in this generation, a child could be facing the same issues as Fisher was, but they could just be hiding behind that electronic device rather than allow a natural transformation to occur. Natural Transformation? Why, by that I mean, when the Caterpillars Dance! 

"Fisher!" she said. "Mama's crying again. And they were talking about
you. I heard them. You been bad, Fisher?
Could be. More time than not I'm, in trouble. And sometimes I don't know
a thing about it. When they surprise me with trouble, I don't even have a
chance to make my story sound good. They're asking questions while I'm
trying to figure out how much they know, and what it is they know
something about.
It was the last day of summer. Of course, Fisher had totally ignored that school would be starting again! He heard his Dad downstairs so wanted to spend a little time with him. Dad didn't live with them anymore and he could hear his mother crying; it seemed she always cried when Dad came now...

"You tell him, please?
I can't do it. I just can't."
"I have to tell him?"
"Yes, you tell him. It's your
idea. And you'd better tell
him tomorrow. You want
Fisher to go..."
I sucked in my breath so I
couldn't hear the rest of
what she said. You want?
Fisher to go? Go where?
I was in trouble so big they
were sending me away?
He was trying to figure out how to get out of bed without waking his sister in the bottom bunk bed...
But she had already sat up and was whispering that Mom was crying again. She went on to say that they had mentioned his name. Of course, she immediately asked if Fisher had been bad! Like she never was!!!
"Fisher!" Mrs. Bennett called
down the aisle and I jerked up
"Yes m'am?"
"Save your laughing for recess.
Now take this chalk to the
board and add up those

Fisher could hear laughter from
the back of the room, but he could
also see the grass outside the window
calling to him.
Fisher fisted his hand and shouted
"Don't talk to me now."
But, of course, the teacher didn't
hear the grass calling and thought
he had raised his fist at her...

Instead of being close together like they used to be, Dad and Mom both had their arms crossed and were on opposite ends of the room... If they kept talking about him, he wanted to see if he could hear what was being said!
I tried to sleep, All curled up in a ball in the corner, wrapped around my pillow like I might never see it again. I wondered what my Daddy meant. Where was I going? I couldn't get it out of my mind. Not school either.
School just let go and didnm't even stop to breathe before it chased away the summer. School plopped in my shadow like a squat toad waiting to hop on my back when I was lying in the park flicking bottle caps and watching the butterflies. A warty old toad, blinking its eyes and gulping flies too fat to move. That's school all right.

He tried to connect with the other kids in school, but nothing he tried would work. After lunch, all he could think about was what his Dad and Mom were talking about. Finally he knew he needed out! Running down the hall and after a short hide under a bus, he ran out into the fields. But by the time he'd gotten home, his teacher had called and his mother was waiting!

And later he heard his mother and father talking about packing his clothes! He saw luggage carried out to Dad's car! He wished he could remember what his mother had said, but he had been so scared and confused... He tried to talk to the grass, the birds, even the next-door neighbor who came out when he heard Fisher smashing his apples against a wall... But it was only later... 

Once his mom had found a strange kind of caterpillar on our door... Now Fisher was out in the woods, walking, thinking and he saw one just like it only orange... Unfortunately he was so busy looking that he wrecked on his bike. His head hurt!

Then he thought he hard somebody ask, "What do we do about Fisher?  And the caterpillars kept coming! Hundreds and hundreds! Soon Fisher was covered!


Has your child had the chance to grow and understand what his new life, at school, at home, or at play might be? This book allows the family to see the respective points of view when some change is planned... It says so much, but in many ways, doesn't say what really is going on... Isn't that the way life is lots of time? This is a wonderful way to help teach as well as learn how your children might feel when the parents are planning a change that needs to occur...

Highly recommended,


      Ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1989, Caroline Fairless has served several congregations, and founded – with her husband Jim Sims – The Center for Children at Worship, a non-profit whose focus is the full inclusion of children in the life of faith communities. She is the author of Hambone, a book for children; Children at Worship ~ Congregations in Bloom;Confessions of a Fake Priest; and The Space Between Church & Not-Church.

Filling in for Fisher's family is
the Bill Sangston family...

No comments:

Post a Comment