Friday Fictioneers–Elezegeraffe

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Animals, Family, Friday Fictioneers, Gifts, Health
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As someone once said…oh, wait!  I said this.

Take heart, all ye brave Fictioneers
For Wednesday is finally here.
Look at the prompt.
Create what you want.
Work through the blood, sweat and tears.

One week I’m sure that I heard,
“One hundred words? That’s absurd!
I can’t tell my story
In all of its glory
With that few,” some authors averred.

Now that the deadline is near
Even tho’ that story’s so dear
If you wield the scalpel
Relief will be palpable
And your writing all that much more clear.

EL, this picture is so you!  😉

copyright el appleby

copyright el appleby


What do you give someone who might shortly need nothing?

Poking around a dusty antique store, we serendipitously unearthed the perfect cancer-fighting gift, a gift that was us.

First came Jessica, always nosy, Christmas-present-ferreter-outer extraordinaire,
Nigel, giraffe-tall and gangly,
Mom, “a real tigress” as Dad fondly called her, and
me, an adopted polyglot of colors.

We smuggled the Elezegeraffe into Dad’s hospital room, aided and abetted by willing nurses.  Today “E” resides in our side yard, reminder of a time of joy and laughter.

To this day, we remain convinced that the ensuing hilarity was the beginning of Dad’s healing.


Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Charlie Chaplin

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers.  And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.
Bill Cosby

According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to:

  • Boost the immune system and circulatory system
  • Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Ease digestion/soothes stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help to:

  • Improve overall attitude
  • Reduce stress/tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Strengthen social bonds and relationships
  • Produce a general sense of well-being
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

  1. Dear Janet,

    Methinks perhaps I should berate you for sneaking in two pieces this week. However, the verse and story are both so good I guess I’ll let it slide…this time. 😉

    I love it that we both wrote father stories. My dad would’ve loved that whimsical little creature in the picture. And no one made laugh the way he could.

    As Ed Wynn sang in “Mary Poppins”…”I love to laugh, loud and long and clear. I love to laugh. It’s getting worse every year.

    Thank you for an enjoyable, educational read.



    • Aaaww, I used the verse before and you didn’t say anything. 🙂 It just seemed appropriate, so thanks for not lashing me with a wet noodle!

      My dad used to tell us stories while we were in bed and sometimes he’d scratch our backs, too. Not sure what he’d make of this critter, but those were good time. And yes, laughter is good. The Bible says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.” And you don’t have to have health care to get the benefits.


  2. Great poem, great story, and great lessons. I can’t say they grate on me. Or, that woodn’t be funny, wood it? I think I’ll just splinter out of here. Have a grate day. Ha

  3. That’s a great story, and a good argument for me writing more light-hearted stories. 🙂

    • David, I’m glad you liked the story and hopefully it brought a smile to your lips and heart. I debated whether to have the father die and the family’s left with the sculpture, but decided to go with the healing power of laughter and joy.


  4. Brilliant post! I’m with Charlie Chaplin – that’s always the best medecine.

    • Merci, Easy! So glad you liked it. I know you bring lots of laughter into the lives of your mom and dad, so much that they’ll probably live forever. 😉


  5. Wow, a great take! My dad is fighting cancer and infection right now and Mom’s so freakin’ paranoid about germs that she won’t even let us bring in Father’s Day cards. It doesn’t matter as they’ve already said that the infection is killing him anyway. I’m going to sneak the cards in when Mom is away… going to take some stalking to do it, though.

    • I can only imagine how afraid your mom is about losing your dad, so she’s probably fighting in all the ways she can. Maybe you could disinfect the card and perhaps please both of you. Or make a big hand-made card that he could see from the doorway. It’s an untenable position for all of you!


      • I’ll get the cards to him. With the nocardio infection destroying his brain, my years of medical experience says it won’t be much longer anyway. He might as well have the joy that the cards will bring him.

  6. Enjoyed it all. Love how “E” represented everyone so well!

  7. Penny L Howe says:

    Janet, Perfectly wonderful, every single word! Thank you, an excellent opening poem, a great FF piece, and a wise reminder about the healthy and wonder of laughter! 🙂

  8. Hannah says:

    I enjoyed the optimistic tone of the story!

  9. Linda Vernon says:

    I loved your beginning poem. It was the perfect appetizer for your uplifting story. How nice this was to read! 😀

  10. stress kills / laughter heals
    very good story to highlight the point that medical doctors don’t heal the spirit
    Fantasy Has Teeth

  11. 40again says:

    See what you mean about you having an E and me having an H
    Great story, SO glad you didn’t have him die. Laughter is the best medicine -Ok it’s a cliche but nevertheless very true.
    Liked your intro poem too; seems we were tuned into the same wavelength for a time…

    • Dee, there was a series of weeks when I was having fun doing intros that I hoped were fun and unusual. This is one of those recycled. Just felt right with the story. So glad you enjoyed both story and poem.


  12. zookyworld says:

    A wonderful post that combines (like the animal) different pieces, of poetry, prose, and quotes. I really liked how you incorporated different characters’ personalities with the different parts of the animal. I also really liked the reminders of the power of laughter. Thanks for spreading this!

  13. tedstrutz says:

    This is a wonderful post, Janet! That means it is full of wonder, starting with the fantabulous ditty at the top. All those things be real… and I’m sure ‘E’ would help any dad.

  14. Jan Brown says:

    A beautiful and uplifting story! Also, I’m digging the introductory poem. Good job!

  15. Shainbird says:

    Sentimentally beautiful! I’ve burned many calories laughing! 🙂

  16. Very well-told and inspiring story. And I love the name for the creature!

    • Hey, Perry, nice of you to stop by. I’m thrilled you liked the story and the name. I went through a lot of choices before picking this one and there are a lot of other cute ones out there this week, too.


  17. nightlake says:

    Elezegeraffe for healing. Perfect. and an enjoyable poem as well

  18. elappleby says:

    Hi Janet
    I love this story – it’s perfect 🙂
    The real ‘E’ is 3ft tall (I’m not sure the photo shows that), and makes me smile every day – definitely therapeutic.

    • I’m glad I earned the EL Seal of Approval for my story on your cute “E”. I couldn’t tell anything about height from the picture but it makes smuggling “E” in a bit easier. I also got a smile from him/her. Thanks for the enjoyable prompt.


  19. Trudy says:

    Lovely story with a lovely sentiment.

  20. Sandra says:

    Beautiful (and original) take on the prompt Janet. Loved it.

  21. vb holmes says:

    Like the way you used “the beast” to describe the family–very clever. Am enjoying your poetry as well.

  22. elmowrites says:

    Nice story, I’m glad you decided to end it happily. Maybe the lion tail is the father – the King of their family of beasts!

  23. Shreyank says:

    the poem amazing, the picture i agree is so El, smile if you can’t run a mile ! enjoyed this 🙂

  24. Shreyank says:

    and yeah.. i never imagined it to be 3ft tall !

  25. yarnspinnerr says:

    Wah! what a lovely take 🙂

  26. erinleary says:

    Great poem, lovely story. I liked the twist at the end – dad made it!! Very uplifting and reassuring. I am now going to practice active laughing. My immune system needs a boost. 🙂

  27. wmqcolby says:

    Hey, that’s NICE, Janet!!! Very realistically told … even if the pic itself doesn’t quite lend itself to “reality” (what a concept!). Good take on the prompt!!!!

  28. rgayer55 says:

    I loved the story. It really touched my heart.
    Also, thanks for posting the quotes and the list of benefits attributed to laughter. One of the reasons I decided to focus on writing humor was to make people smile. It’s very rewarding for both parties. 🙂

    • That’s true, Russ, but you also have a God-given talent for it. And as the Bible says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.” It’s medicine that not only good for one person but for everyone around. I’m happy you liked not only the story but the rest as well.


  29. Loved this thoughtful prose.

  30. denmother says:

    A really good feeling story, janet. Very nice.

  31. neenslewy says:

    A great flash – loved this description;
    an adopted polyglot of colors.

    • Thanks. I’d say I love flashing, but that might get the wrong sort of comments. 🙂 I love flash fiction. Better, but not as edgy. Glad you enjoyed the story. It was fun to get back to a happy ending after some weeks of unhappy ones.


  32. Humour as healer. Great.

  33. unspywriter says:

    I’m loving seeing the name of the creature everyone has invented. Yours is the best so far! And a sweet story, too.

    Here’s mine:

  34. Absolutely wonderful, Janet. Great that ‘E’ was on hand to start Dad’s ‘ealing. 🙂
    Thanks for the pronunciation tip!

    • I thought I’d best include the tip for easier reading and because I liked the way it sounded. I’m that today, a dreary, rainy Friday here in Cleveland, might be a good day to dig out some humorous books and have a read. One of my favorites of the non-fiction ones is “Anguished English” by Richard Lederer, which I think the Fictioneers as a group would enjoy. And speaking of enjoy, have a great Friday.


  35. Loved the poem and the story both. I trust the soft toy was well fumigated and washed before being smuggled into the cancer ward (found in a dusty antique store after all), but I’m sure it would have helped.

    Amazing – but true – stories of cancer survival come to me surprisingly often. The singer-songriter whose concert I photographed on Wednesday, Ann-Louise Anttila, has recently been declared cancer-free after several years of uncertainty. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this link —

    • Great news about Ann-Louise! My husband, who writes here sometimes, is currently cancer-free as well.

      Glad you liked the story and poem. I’m sure they took care for making “E” appropriately clean before smuggling him in. 🙂


  36. Joe Owens says:

    Janet we have been busy with Vacation Bible School this week and have many opportunities to regale in the laughter of large groups of children. While an adult laughing can be great medicine, hearing the combined laughter of children is such a powerful antidote to so many troubles.

  37. Nice, Janet. This has a lot of heart! I imagine laughter could be the beginning of healing. It’s good for the soul.

  38. Wonderful! I love the way you tie the different family members to the toy – and I especially like the ending.

    Not to mention your bonus poem at the beginning! You’re outdoing yourself, Janet.

    • Awww, Sharon, nice of you to say so, but I cribbed the poem from a FF intro I did some months ago when I was on my intro kick. Glad you liked both poem and story.


  39. petrujviljoen says:

    Poem and tail, I mean tale, good for the heart and mind. I often do laughter therapy. It really works.

    • It does work and it makes life more enjoyable besides. I think everyone should try to find something to laugh about (not at) every day. 🙂 Thanks for the Saturday visit and I’m pleased you liked the poem and tail/tale.


  40. A story to give me a big smile 😉

  41. Carrie says:

    Loved it 🙂

  42. rheath40 says:

    This is incredible. I liked it instantly. Good story.

  43. kz says:

    beautifully written and a very touching story. they found the perfect present 🙂

  44. Sarah Ann says:

    Laughter is therapy. Another wonderful touching tale of love and hope. I really enjoyed where the prompt took you. I hope ‘E’ is well-cared for in that side yard.

    • I know he is and always ready to provide some healing if needed. I’m always happy when someone enjoys my writing. 🙂

      Have a great Monday.


      • Sarah Ann says:

        You too. I will try harder to read your FF story before Monday next week.

      • It doesn’t matter when you ready it, Sarah. People are busy and I understand that. I’m glad you had time to read it, like and comment. 🙂 Life always takes priority, although sometimes my blog seems to take over life a bit too much.

      • Sarah Ann says:

        Hmm, I concur with that last sentence. And when the blog takes over, the rows can start (well, here they might anyway). 😉