Vera and the Ice Horse

Reading and writing stories is an amazing experience. Experiencing what a kid does when continuing a story idea is often quite surprising.


The natural symbology that emerges is revealing, not only of the individual, but also of humanity. That's what the psychologist Carl Jung was talking about with his idea of archetypes. These universal images built into the biology of all people. For instance, notice the transformations that my nine-year-old Russian student Vera put into the end of this little story that we created by alternating turns writing.

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Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a horse that could walk on water.
Her name was Vera, and she was 5 years old.
One day, Vera decided to walk across the river, to get to the other side.
But, on this day for some reason, she dove into the water and saw an octopus!
Vera had never been under the water before, and wasn't sure how she had gotten there.
She was afraid of the octopus, and ran back to the shore.
On shore she saw a beaver named Bob. "Hey Bob, have you ever encountered an octopus in the river?"
"No. Why do you appear to be carved from ice?" said Bob, with a look of fear in his eyes.
"What are you talking about Bob?!" said Vera with curiosity.
"I mean," said Bob with a look of surprise written across his face, "that as the sun starts to rise this morning, and it gets hotter, then you'll start to melt."
"I know who did it - Snow Queen!" exclaimed Vera.
"Or Elsa made it!?! said Bob, and gave a little laugh.
"It is getting colder!" said Bob, and he dove into the river.
"Or," Vera said to herself as she stood alone on the bank of the river, "maybe..."
Vera closed her eyes, with a look of supreme concentration on her face, mixed with serenity, and little pieces of ice sprouted from her back. They grew, and grew, until they were a full set of wings.
And then Vera saw Elsa. She was beautiful, a little piece of her dress was on the ground.
"Hello my horse!"
"My name is Vera!" said Vera.
"Your name is Wind." said Elsa. She mounted the horses back, Wind began to run, and just as she reached the edge of the river the octopus leapt out, changed into an ice eagle, and flew alongside them.
Elsa and Vera Wind flew into the sky!

- - - - - - -

A magic five-year-old forgoes her magic to enter a new environment, encounters a monster, is warned by a stranger, grows wings, encounters a witch that claims her, the monster transforms into an ice eagle, and they fly away together. It's a wild story, and you can find just about as much symbolism in there as you want.

The full extent of where ideas come from will always be a mystery. It's a mystery that amazes me.

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