The Most Epic Facebook Post Ever

Several years ago I posted a single phrase on Facebook. “Once upon a time…” who could have ever known that over the course of three days, with the help of six people, that we would end up with Gabe, The Adventurer. Special thanks to Richelle Robbins, now Richelle Lee, for her contributions and for several amazing years of getting to be reading buddies with her kindergarten class. I’d love to see similar “pass the pen” stories between writing groups in the classroom, maybe I’ll have to give it a try this year.

Gabe, the Adventurer

David Horan Once upon a time…

Richelle Robbins In a land far, far away there lived…

David Horan a quaint little man in a quaint little village…

Dennis R Sorensen Of the Hobbits…

David Horan In this same village…

Dennis R Sorensen The quaint little man had  a best friend named Ji

Richelle Robbins Now it just so happened that the quaint little man’s friend named Ji was actually a…

David Horan Genie, who had been avoiding paying up on wishes…

Richelle Robbins One of people who Ji owed three wishes was the quaint little man, whose name we will now reveal to be…

David Horan Gabe. Gabe lived alone in a little hut, his life had been rather uneventful until that fateful day that he went on a journey to…

Richelle Robbins Tinbuktu (not to be confused with Timbuktu). Now the remarkable thing about Tinbuktu was that everything in the land was made out of tin. In fact, one day while exploring this tinny place, Gabe found a tin lamp right in the middle of…

David Horan a giant lake that was rumored to harbor the terrifying Tarasque, he had decided to search for the Tarasque because…

Richelle Robbins in the quaint little village of the hobbits he had never encountered anything even remotely scary in his entire life. Just once, Gabe wanted to know what it was like to feel utterly terrified! (There might have been some additional motivation considering that the stinger at the end of the Tarasque’s tail was rumored to have magical powers which would…

David Horan make you live forever. Nobody knew why Gabe would want to live forever. Seeing as his life was rather mundane, at least, until his journey began. The first obstacle he met on his journey was…

Richelle Robbins the very insistent Farmer Brown, or FB for short. FB was desperate for anyone who would help him on his farm, and he was determined that he needed a stallion!

David Horan Gabe told Farmer Brown that once he made it to Tinbuktu he would have all the time in the world to help him find a stallion. Unfortunately, FB wasn’t called insistent for no reason. He demanded that something be done and done this instant! Gabe made a run for it! Farmer Brown, without a stallion, could not catch him. As he was running away he yelled back and said, I promise I will help you when I can. Gabe would later regret leaving so quickly because he met his second obstacle…

Richelle Robbins A large bridge loomed up in front of him. It was guarded by an evil troll! Cowering in front of the bridge were three billy goats–the Gruff brothers. They had been attempting (unsuccessfully) to cross the bridge for weeks. If only Gabe had a stallion with which he could out-run the ugly troll! Unfortunately, it was too late to go back and help FB so now Gabe’s only option was to…

David Horan tell the Gruff Brothers that he was on a journey to Tinbuktu, where everything was made out of tin. Gabe told the Gruff Brothers that they could travel with him if they made it across. Goats love tin, and with this new found motivation they came up with a plan to get past the evil troll. Their plan was simple, but ingenious. It was to…

Matthew Melville Fart.

David Horan With all the, commotion, the troll did not know what to do. He knew it was his one and only purpose in life to guard that bridge. Yet the terror of it all was just too much, even for the vilest troll. The terrified troll trotted toward the trees. Gabe and the Gruff Brothers continued down the path toward Tinbuktu, and ultimately to the lair of the Tarasque. Unbeknownst to them the last obstacle, their greatest yet, was just around the river-bend.

Richelle Robbins As those of you who are well-versed in the story of Pocahontas know, just around the river-bend happened to be a giant, talking willow tree–Grandmother Willow to be precise. After Pocahontas went back to England, Grandmother Willow was so lonesome that she became very bitter and took a vendetta out against all humans. The whomping willow in Harry Potter looked like an innocent, fluffy kitten when compared to Grandmother Willow’s fury!!!

David Horan Gabe would never be able to reach the Tarasque unless he could get past Grandmother Willow. The Gruff Brothers decided no amount of tin was worth fighting such a losing battle, so they left. Gabe began to cry, he had come so far! Then he heard someone else crying. As he looked around he saw a tin man. After applying a little oil he discovered that this man did not have a heart. Perfect. Gabe asked him if he would take his axe and kill Grandmother Willow. The Tin Man gladly agreed and chopped her to pieces. After, Gabe asked him if he knew anything about the Tarasque. The Tin Man told him that this river emptied into a lake where there had been many reports of its sighting. He gave him one word of advice before he continued…

Brian Lee The one word of advice the Tin Man gave was “Unless”…

David Horan Unless, unless what, asked Gabe. But the tin man had begun to rust again. Gabe checked the oil can and it had a few drops left. He hoped it would be enough to get just a little bit more information…

Richelle Robbins ‎”Unless you save a few drops of oil, you’ll never be able to unchain the boat you need to ferry down the river and to the middle of the lake because it too has rusted over with time!” Drat! The oil can was empty! Fortunately for Gabe…

David Horan his one and only hobby, his entire life, had been devoted to the art of lock-picking. It didn’t matter if it was old, new, rusted, slippery, you name it he could pick it. Gabe forged on, he found the rusty rowboat and continued down the river until he could finally see the legendary lake. The lake wasn’t all he saw…

Richelle Robbins In the middle of the lake was an island. In the middle of the island was a tree, and hanging from the middle of the tree was a giant…PINATA shaped like a…

Beverly Hellewell Heart. If he broke it what would he find? He found a stick and began to swing it. Out of the pinata fell a …

Richelle Robbins lamp made out of tin! Now, what could he possibly do with a tin lamp?

David Horan As he was pondering the possibilities, he decided to wipe some of the dirt off of the lamp. As he rubbed the lamp a genie appeared. Speaking to Gabe he said, “Hi my name is Ji, I will grant you three wishes, although I don’t promise you will get them as quickly as you would like.” Wow, 3 wishes, thought Gabe. As a man who had never ventured far from home, or been very adventurous, he had never thought about what he would wish for. It took him a while to really think, after a minute he said that his first wish was…

Richelle Robbins naturally for the ability to defeat the Tarasque (after all, that was the initial purpose for his quest in the very beginning). Ji gave him a ball and said “this is all you will need to complete your task.” Gabe was rather confused. Only getting a ball when he could have wished for anything seemed rather dumb. “But what good will this do?” he questioned. “Sometimes the answers to our wishes come in unexpected ways!” Ji replied. Feeling more unsettled than reassured, Gabe set out after the Tarasque…armed with only a ball!

David Horan Gabe got back in the boat and rowed to shore. As he rowed he sung this song: “When I was just a little lad, I saw the knights in armor clad, dreaming of adventures I sat alone, in the small village I called my home, now the adventurer is me, what should I do with these wishes 3?” As he was concluding the first verse the Tarasque came flying down, mesmerized by the tune. It seemed as though he would not need the ball at all. But, with the Tarasque so tranquil, how would he get it to sting him granting him the power to live forever?…

Richelle Robbins ‎”Well,” he said to himself, “Ji must have given me this ball for a reason.” He held it up for the Tarasque to see who suddenly started wagging his tail with the stinger at the end. “Curious,” he thought. Gabe was reminded of his own childhood dog. “This may seem crazy, but why not?” With that, he threw the ball with all his might, hurtling it across the sky!

David Horan The Tarasque flew after it and quickly retrieved it, this game of fetch continued on for several minutes. As fun as this was, it wasn’t getting him any closer to his goal. Finally, Gabe decided he wasn’t going to throw the ball back. This made the Tarasque extremely angry and within seconds Gabe had been stung. The feeling did not feel much like a renewal of life and energy. It felt more like…

Richelle Robbins his lungs were stuck in an iron (or tin) vice. He found himself gasping for air. Looking up, the sun seemed to be dimming. Suddenly he realized that the force of the Tarasque’s sting had knocked him into the lake!

David Horan As he sunk lower and lower he struggled for breath, and somehow, he received it. He felt as if there were hundreds of worms crawling under his skin. For a brief moment, there was an intense pain coming from his legs. He had been turned into a mermaid, or more accurately, a merman. Several mermaids began to swim toward him. A particularly beautiful one told him that the stories of the Tarasque granting eternal life were indeed true, but that it came at a price. He would remain a merman for the rest of eternity. Gabe was devastated, until he remembered…

Richelle Robbins he still had two wishes left! Rubbing the lamp, Ji appeared again with an air tank strapped to his back. Gabe told him his second wish was to be human again, but Ji reminded Gabe that he wasn’t very prompt when it came to granting wishes. “Well, is there anything we can do to speed up the process?” Gabe asked in desperation. “Well, I might grant your wish sooner if….

David Horan No, you wouldn’t want to do that.” sighed Ji. “No I would do anything!” replied Gabe, “I have everything I need, this adventure was my life long dream, and boy has it been an adventure. I don’t need anything else. I’ll tell you what, if you make me human right now and don’t make me stay a merman for the rest of eternity, I will let you have my final wish for yourself.” Ji was in shock, nobody had ever thought about him before. Ji responded, “You are a great man, I have met many travelers, knights, kings, and many of the greatest adventurers. But you are the greatest. I wish I had met you sooner.” Sparks began to fly around them, “Wait!” screamed the genie, that wasn’t my wish! Suddenly they were both in the hobbit village. There they remained friends for many years, where they seemed to have been friends for a very long time, but there was still one thing left undone…

Richelle Robbins One day Ji and Gabe were talking. “You realize,” Ji said, “that you actually still have one more wish. You gave me your third wish, and I wished that I had known you sooner. That took us back to the beginning before you ever went after the Tarasque. It also took us back before you had a chance to use your second wish. You’ve been a good friend for many years. What would you like for your one last wish?”

David Horan I just wish that people would realize that it isn’t a crazy adventure that makes a person happy, but the friendships that you make along the way. Without each other, this adventure would never have been possible. Because I was brave enough to venture outside of myself and this town, even just for a moment, Farmer Brown got that stallion we found later that year. I couldn’t have passed the bridge without the Gruff brothers. The tin man made it possible to get past Grandmother Willow and I helped keep him oiled. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it past the Tarasque and you wouldn’t have been freed. I didn’t need wishes or eternal life, I just needed a friend. So that is my only wish, that anyone who reads this adventure will appreciate what truly matters in life and gives it meaning, friendship. We all need each other on this crazy adventure we call life.

Richelle Robbins And they all lived happily ever after!

THE END!!!

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