Day 302: The Stick and Rock Collector

The Stick and Rock Collector
Matt Zurbo


Toby had a problem,
Mum didn’t understand.
He was the best collector,
in this or any land.
(Kid, walking, one foot way out, carrying big pile of sticks and rocks he can barely see over.)

Every stick, big or small,
was a dinosaur bone to him.
Something to be worshipped.
A rare and precious thing!
(Holding up a stick, in his palm, examining it. As is a dinosaur.)

Every rock a dragon’s eye,
the lucky coin of a troll.
Some with magic power,
to capture a pirate’s soul.
(Kid holding a rock up to look at it in the light. A dragon is looking up, too. It has an eye patch.)

“I NEED them, Mum!” he would wail.
“Please, please, please, please!
Let me take them home!
I’m down on my knees!”
(Kid begging his Mum, horrified, as she drags him away from pile of rocks and sticks.)

Mum would say; “I love you, Toby,
oh, so very, very much!
But don’t you dare bring back,
any of that dirty stuff…”

“NONE!?” Toby would shriek,
as if he’d just been shot.
Then lawyers would be called,
to sort out this rowdy lot.
(Mum and kid arguing. Son has pirate lawyer. Mum had daughter with suit and tutu.)

Toby’s sister, Asha,
would defend her Mum.
“You can have just one rock,
the other option is NONE!” 

“Gah! ONE!? I can’t chose!”
Toby wailed and cried,
clutching the griffin feathers,
he’d gathered from up high!
(Kid reaching up for falling sticks, that come from the wings of a griffin. Mum is walking in front oh him, on the phone, not noticing.)

“An explorer’s pick,
a warlock’s key,
a whale’s tale,
petrified magic beans –
I HAVE to have them all!
Why are you so mean?”
(Kid walking left to right behind Mum, holding said rocks and sticks, complaining. Said characters are standing behind them, watching. The whale is swimming through the air. The beans are on a pedestal.)

“I can’t leave behind these jewels!
Why do you even ask?
This is all so cruel!
Do you have no heart!?”
(Kid surrounded by piles of rocks, mouth open in wailing, red-faced plea. A Royal family behind him.)

“The world will end without this!
I want it oh so bad!
There must be a way,
to bring it in my bag!”
(Kid dragging bag, tearing with the size of the huge rock in it. Three or four fat little gremlins are on the other end, pushing.)

Home was a real mess,
rocks and sticks everywhere!
Stacked in piles so high,
they reached into the air.
(Kid adding to pile one of several piles of rocks and sticks so high we can’t see their top. The odd dinosaur, swordsman, owl or two are about.)

Clogging up the sink,
also in the bed, 
if Toby kept this up,
Mum would go off her head!
(Kitchen full of rocks and sticks. Mum stressing out. Kid nonchalantly bring in another bagful.)

So Asha whispered to her,
a mighty, mighty plan;
a rock an stick museum,
for Mum’s little man.
(Girl whispering to Mum while boy builds another tower.)

“Okay, here are the rules!”
Mum laid down the law,
something Toby had never
have happen before.
(Mum reading long list of rules that go to floor. Kid, holding rocks and sticks, a bit dumbfounded.)

“If a stick is so amazing,
it has to have its story told –
with diagrams, and images,
of what makes it a thing of gold.”
(Toby, stressed, taking lots and lots of notes, as an ancient Egyptian is holding a stick, taking about it.)

Soon enough, Toby,
the rock and stick collector,
began to get quite fussy,
about what he was after.
(Toby at desk reading a book on lava roc. There is a small rock in a glass display on the desk, with paperwork, and a clustered notice board with pins and strings, leading to big rock images, meteors, a solar system model above him)

Documenting history,
with pinpoints and graphs,
people were entertained,
by his amazing ‘facts.’
(Toby, exhausted, sleeping/melting in small chair in front of stick, with history, on wall.)

The homework that was involved,
took away a bit of the gloss,
but taught Toby so many things,
about sticks and rocks!
(Mum and Asha in park, flying a small kite. Toby is there, too, studying a rock on the ground with a magnifying glass.)



The End

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