Two weeks ago last Thursday, my grand niece Laney was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. In the past two weeks she has battled infection and low blood counts and has endured multiple spinal taps and bone biopsies.
After just going through a very similar experience battling my multiple myeloma my heart bleeds for her and her family. Battling cancer is scary and painful. It is a great challenge to any adult, how very hard it must be on children and their families.
Cancer tests faith, family, and future. It is a nondiscriminatory. It can happen to anyone at any age. Laney is only two. Some types can be prevented by lifestyle and diet changes. Sometimes we are just genetically pre-disposed to it. Most of the time, especially with blood cancers like leukemia and multiple myeloma it is just bad luck.
What cancer isn’t is a punishment from God. God created the world perfect. It was never his will that any of us should get sick, suffer or die. He placed that decision in mankind’s hands and we chose poorly. I am certain that God weeps for all children who endure illness and their families.
The story “Laney the Brave” was originally “Carina the Brave” and was one of the children’s stories that I wrote for my daughter Aurora when she was younger than Laney and her mother was battling thyroid cancer. Her brother was eight and he would have remembered me if my cancer treatment had not been successful. Aurora was just 14 months old when I was diagnosed. I wrote her a set of books about strong little girls that always included a soft morale message from a mother who loved her and her brother very much. I wanted her to know me through these stories, if I wasn’t there in person. These books were my legacy to a young daughter from a young mother afflicted with cancer.
This story is about a mean old ogre who steals children and turns them into pet fish. He has quite his own way, until he tries to steal Laney’s brother. The young girl leads by example, conquers her fear and the ogre and saves the day.
The names in the story have been personalized for Laney.
May God be with all of the brave little Laney’s of this world, and their families, who battle against serious illness and especially cancer.
Laney the Brave
By Patricia K. Turgeon
All rights reserved
Patricia Turgeon Designs
Laney the Brave
Once upon a time and long long ago,
in a grand kingdom with emerald green hills,
surrounded by a bright-sapphire blue sea,
in a lovely white field stone cottage,
covered with a thickly-thatched roof of golden straw
—lived a horrible old ogre.
Ogres are troublesome just let me explain.
An ogre living in your kingdom is a real pain.
For ogres are bad, it’s sad to report,
stealing children is their favorite sport.
They take them back home and then with a wish,
the children are turned into an ogre’s pet fish.
In the ogre’s cottage in small jars they swim,
away from their parents and living with him.
The ogre that lived in the cottage by the sea,
was as mean, as any old ogre could be.
This ogre was a very lumpy-grumpy old sot,
with grayish-green skin and a heart like a dot.
His nose was wide and curled at the end,
the knees were straight, but his back had a bend.
His belly was loose and dragged when he moved,
he had no teeth, they’d all been removed.
One day this ogre, whose name was Clyde,
saddled up his sow and went for a ride.
He rode over green hills, thorough valleys deep,
to find the king’s castle where royal children sleep.
Andrew was king of the Hays Clan,
he loved his family and protected their land.
Queen Nicole was beautiful—a vision to behold,
Laney, whose name means light, was just two years old.
Prince Mason was the king’s youngest son,
it was for the prince that Clyde the ogre had come.
In the night, in the mist when dreams fill each head,
Clyde crept into the castle and lifted Mason from his bed.
The ogre took the boy and thought it was fun,
he didn’t think it wrong, because ogres are dumb.
There he stood with the prince in his arms,
but as he turned his pleasure became alarm.
The ogre, grinned and said with a slurp,
“What are you going to do, you little girly twerp!”
“Do you think you can stop me? The prince in my hands!”
“I’ll ransom him for gold and rule your whole land.”
“And, the rest of the kingdom’s children, I’ll turn into fish pets.”
“All the parents will cry, I’ll have no regrets.”
Laney lifted her sword and said once more,
“Put the prince down, and leave through the door.”
Clyde put the prince down, then said with a sneer,
“I, afraid of you, no, it’s me you should fear.”
He stalked Laney though out the small room,
Telling her scary lies and plotting her doom.
When he jumped, she was ready and in a flash,
her shield went up and her sword went—slash.
Laney was determined to fight the ogre to the last,
but before she could touch him, he blew-up with a blast.
For, it is courage that makes fear go away.
Laney’s love for her brother was what saved the day.
The ogre couldn’t scare her and fear was his only power.
Where he had stood before, there was now—a small yellow flower.
The strong little flower grows each and every year.
Dandelions remind children there are no ogres to fear.
Hearing the fight, the king, queen, Prince Logan and Princess Chloe rushed in,
Together Clan Hayes stood and watched Laney battle and win.
“Laney,” the queen asked, “Are you and Mason, alright?”
“Yes, your majesty, but, it’s tiring fighting ogres all night.”
The king hugged Laney tightly to his chest,
“With you as our daughter we will always be blest.
As they stood there together, a loud cheer echoed through their land.
For the curse had ended and lost children returned hand in hand.
The ogre’s reign of terror, at last was through,
because Laney of Clan Hays had known what to do.
She didn’t cower and shiver with fright in the night,
Laney took action, stood strong and did what was right.
No parent a child from an ogre ever again need save,
because of the love and courage of Laney the Brave.