Page 30 - HEF Pen & Ink 2023
P. 30

“Never Grow Up”, Taylor Swift
Ellie liked to yell when she was younger. In fact, my brothers and I called her Yellie Ellie.
I speculated for many years upon why she yelled so much. Did she like being loud? Did she think she got more attention when she yelled? Had she heard someone else yelling and wanted to copy them?
She would get in trouble for yelling. Parents, teachers, her siblings, we all told her she was being too loud. She needed to quiet down, or she would need to spend some time on her own.
The explanation I finally settled upon was that she was just trying to be heard. My brothers and I had already found a rhythm of coming up with ideas of what to build, what to play, and what to do together every day by the time she was born. She was shorter than us, less articulate than us. She talked, but we didn’t always listen. So she got louder.
Now I know, and when my brothers and I start getting too excited and ignoring her, I try to swing back and include her as much as I can. She is as smart and creative as any of us, and now we have to make up for lost time we spent without her input.
“Ellie, a problem: you’re taller than me when you stand on that stool.” “Yeah.”
“So I’m not the tall sister anymore!”
“You are the small and I am the tall, but today, you are the tall and I am the small.” “No, no, you are always the tall!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am always the small.”
“Even if you grow up and you’re taller than me?”
“I’ll still be the small. I’ll always be your small, Selah.”
My sister has lots of characters that she likes to become.
I believe the original (the OG, as my brothers would say) was called Captain Kwazii, formed from a joke about mixing up two of the characters of Octonauts, a show she liked about marine biology. Captain Kwazii was a pirate cat who didn’t always think before doing something but was given the power and responsibility of a captain. Ellie played him well.
Next was Alive Teddy: the companion of the classic young, sweet orphan girl with an evil caretaker who stole all her stuffed animals except a teddy bear, who ended up being alive. When Alive Teddy was trying to trick the adults, she put her tiny hands on either side of her face, her thumbs pressing against her cheeks like the surprise at the end of a game of peek-a-boo.
Dancy the Robot was a scientific creation who could dance, but only with robotic motions. At first, she just had whatever personality traits didn’t fit into Captain Kwazii or Alive Teddy, but eventually, she grew into her own character with a love of dance and a heart for helping others.
Squiggle is my personal favorite. Meant to be an alien lizard, she hails from Squiggle Town, where her ten older brothers and sisters are very mean to her. Fortunately, Squiggle learned nothing from the older people in her life, because the signa- ture piece of her personality is that she is nice, no matter what anyone does. In fact, the way to tell if the “real Squiggle” is visiting is to tell her that she is no longer your friend. If she just smiles and gives you a hug, she is most certainly the real Squiggle, and you can apologize and say you will be her friend forever.
Super Worm is the most recent addition to Ellie’s characters. His song, personally invented by my sister, sums up the most important parts of his personality:
“I eat omelets and dirt
For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!”
Otherwise, Super Worm must protect the world from his twin brother, the aptly-named Evil Worm, who may not be as cruel as he appears, as seen in his relationship with Trap Robot.
The Ellian (Ellie + alien) actually has a homemade costume: green pipe cleaners twisted into little Ellian ears, and two unraveled paper towel rolls patterned with smelly marker, one for her arm and one for her leg. She crosses her eyes and

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