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New Year - Same Start? {Introducing Declan & Ellie}

I could write the "Looking back at 2020" blog.

I could write the "What's new in 2021" blog.

You probably would not even mind or maybe you have already been reading article after article about how to "renew" or "begin again" or "The New You in The New Year" posts. I feel it may be overdone. I feel "eh" about all that. I don't want to feel "eh" and I don't want YOU to either! Let's go in an entirely different direction. What do you think?


Once upon a time, there was a monstrous monster. The ogre, which was one way to describe him as he was not actually an ogre, was not particularly ugly or gross in any way. He just had a monstrous air about him. His name was Declan. Declan was not overly large but seemed to take up a large amount of space. People tended to give him a wide berth, which probably had more to do with his attitude than his size. His hair was matte black, kept well but with no shine. His eyes were dull, possibly blue, but it was hard to tell. Not particularly tall, nor short. Not particularly muscular, nor skinny. Declan was just slightly less than ordinary but not ugly to look at.

On any given day, Declan seemed like an ordinary man living everyday life with very little strife. His mood was never quite happy. He had no patience, and although he was known to be kind in an off sort of way, he wasn't known for being warm or fuzzy. He really wasn't noticed at all. The reality of Declan was he was a thief of sparkles!

Somehow in the little traveling he did when he was out and about, the small glimmers of light from those around him would leave those people and attach themselves to Declan. These sparkles of hope and happiness you would assume when Declan absorbed them would make him happier. They did not. Declan would move about the world in his less than happy state every day, stealing happiness from all around him. Not just people but even animals and things! He and everyone were unaware of it because Declan did not spend much time amongst people, animals, and things. Luckily, for all the world. Could you imagine what a catastrophe it would be if he spent hours upon hours just sucking the sparkles of life out of everyone and everything throughout the world? Declan lived in his sparkle extinguishing world, unaware and miserable. Until one day, a little girl walked by him.

Ellie was the magical age of seven. She saw the world in all its beauty! Every sparkle and shine on every person, animal, or thing. Ellie saw the good in the rain and the beauty in the cracks in the walls. She saw piles of garbage in the alley and could tell you wonderous stories of where it had been and how it ended there as it was meant to do. Ellie would giggle at things that most people disregarded as mundane. Her giggle was infectious and made even the worst mood better. If Declan could be described as an ogre, Ellie was a pixie. If Declan was the absorber of sparkles and light, Ellie was the producer.

On this average day, Ellie was walking with her parents. As she did most days, she looked at the world through her magical eyes, seeing everything as though it was her first time. (And being seven, many of her views were firsts.) Ellie was tiny even for her age but lit up a room as though she were the most giant person in it. Her eyes sparkled green with small copper speckles, and her hair was a curly fun mess that, despite her mother's best attempts, could not be controlled.

When Declan walked by her, he didn't pay any particular attention to her as was his way. She, however, could not take her eyes off him. She was befuddled and disturbed. She inhaled quickly, held her breath, and stopped in her tracks, pulling her mother's arm as she stopped so abruptly.

"What?" Ellie's mother jostled by the sudden lack of movement, "Ellie? What are you doing?"

"Momma, that man there is so very sad. He has lost his happy. We have to help him." Ellie said rather loudly and pointed right at Declan, and although she was frightened, she knew he was more sad than mean, and her heart started to hurt for him.

Ellie's mom quickly pushed Ellie's pointing hand down, embarrassed her daughter was making a scene. She looked at Declan, who finally noticed the little girl and looked straight at her and her mother. Ellie felt her sparkles being pulled from her. She let out a frightened chirp, let go of her mother's hand, and backed away quickly.

"ELLIE!" Ellie's mother ran after her but not before looking right at Declan and apologizing. "I don't know what's gotten into her. I'm so sorry. Have a nice day."

Declan watched only for a moment as the woman ran after her child. He turned and lumbered on towards home, not really giving what just transpired the thought it deserved.


Oh my!

Who or what has stolen Declan's happy?

And will he ever get it back?

Will Ellie recover from the fear Declan has placed in her?

And how will Ellie's parents react to Ellie's outburst?

What questions do you have?

Send me your questions and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any part of the interactions between Declan, the ogre, and Ellie, the pixie -

Coming to you the first week of every month throughout 2021!

~Love Lots; Smile Often, MommaHattie #LLSO

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