Writings by Dale C. Clarke

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Mufu-mufus
By Dale C Clarke

 

 
      She closed the book with a hollow pop, and tucked me in, carefully fluffing the pillow, then pulling the sheets up under my chin.  All snug, “like a bug in a rug”.
    “Mommy, why do I have nightmares?”
    “Because you're tired or because of something you ate Boy-boy.”
    “What if I have one tonight?”
    “You always wake up don’t you?  And no matter what it was that was scaring you is gone, isn’t it?”
    “Yes , but what if I don’t wake up?”
    “You will.  The Mufu-mufus take care of that.”
    “Mommy, tell me about the Mufu-mufus, please? You promised you would.”
    She scooted down on the side of the bed and sighed, hugging the book under her chin.   “Yes I did, didn't I? Ok baby boy.” Her tongue roved her cheek like a foot under a blanket.
    She began, “Once, a very very long time ago, when boys and girls dreamed bad dreams they kept on dreaming and dreaming all night long.  The tigers or lions or other monsters kept chasing them throughout the night. In the morning they woke up tired and weak.  Because they didn’t get enough sleep they got sick a lot and didn’t grow up to be big and strong adults.”
    “But mommy you and daddy are big and strong. Didn’t you have bad dreams?”
    “Well yes we did but a great wizard fixed everything before we were born.  The wizards name was Fladnag.  He was the grandest wizard who ever existed.  He had silky flowing white robes that shined like a star, and long flowing white hair and beard.  He was the most powerful wizard in the country.  Fladnag was the wizard for a King who was loved by all the people.”
    “Did the King ask the wizard to help the children, mommy?”
    “The King never had to ask Fladnag to do things.  He was a wizard, after all, and he knew everything the King wanted before the King knew he wanted it.. The King had a little son who he loved very much.  The little Prince woke up every morning tired and weak.  Too weak to play with his toys, too tired to ride his pony, too sleepy to concentrate on his lessons in school.”
    “The Prince went to school?”
    “All boys and girls go to school to learn things and to meet other boys and girls and make friends.  Fladnag sensed the King was worried and knew he needed find out how to help the Prince.  First Fladnag had to find out what was causing the Prince to be tired.  He went in to see the Prince while he was drawing pictures for his art teacher.  The prince was drawing ugly huge monsters that looked like bears with six arms and long claws like knives and evil red eyes.”
    “Where did he see them, mommy?  Did those kind of monsters live in in the King’s country?”
    “No sweetheart, they were awful bad dream monsters – and guess what? Fladnag remembered them from bad dreams he had had as a little boy.  The wizard went through all the pictures the Prince had drawn and found lots of things he remembered.  He told the art teacher to look and she remembered too.  It seemed all the people had the same kind of dreams when they were little.  Fladnag thought, “This won’t do. I must fix this for the King!”
    “How did he fix it mommy?”
    “Well he thought and thought.  Bad dreams were inside children’s heads. They happened at night.  Someone needed to be in room with them at night to wake them to end the bad dreams.  Strangers in the room would frighten the children as badly as the dreams.  Fladnag’s eyes glistened, his smile widened, he snapped his fingers – he had it!  Off to his tower he went.  All night long there were sounds and flashes of light and strange smells coming from the tower windows.  Just before morning there was a big flash that lighted up the whole country and then there was silence.”
    “What was he doing in the tower?”
    “Making Mufu-mufus!”
    “What’s a Mufu-mufu mommy?”
    “They are just like people but they look like squirrels.  That is so they don’t scare kids when they are spotted around the neighborhood.  Fladnag made them with magic in the tower that night.  He gave them the power to hear a bad dream in the neighborhood and to pinpoint the child that was having it and enter the dream.  They can then wake up the boy or girl.”
    “Where do they live?”
    “In trees just like squirrels.  The balls of leaves you see in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees – that is where they live in a Mufu house.  The inside of the leaf balls are much much bigger than the outside.  When Mufu-mufus are inside the Mufu house they have all the things people have. Kitchens, bathrooms, pianos, TVs, some even have swimming pools.  When the Mufu-mufus are in their house, they wear clothes like people do, when they are outside you can’t tell them from squirrels.”
    “The wizard made the Mufus for the King. Is he still alive?”
    “No Boy-boy.  The King and the Prince left us long long ago.  Fladnag is still alive though.  Wizards live forever because of their magic.”
    “Where does their magic come from?”
    “God.  God gives the wizards their magic.  Fladnag is like an angel.  We don’t see angels but they are there. We don’t see angels, we don’t see wizards, and we don’t see Mufu-mufus except as squirrels.
    Mommy got up. “Now you go to sleep and dream nice dreams.  If you have a bad dream, the Mufu-mufus will wake you up.”  She stopped at the door with her hand on the light. “Say thank you and go back to sleep.  You are safe in your bed with Fladnag’s little wonders watching over you.”
    “Night night mommy. I love you.  Night night Mufu-mufus…..”
    As she closed the door she added, “Night night Boy-boy.”     
     
 


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