Category Archives: Stories / Historier

Some of my stories and similar.
Noen av mine historier og lignende.

The Turtles

The Turtles

Av Johnny Danielsen

Norwegian version here / Norsk versjon her.

Once upon a time there was this very special kind of turtles. They were giants, with huge, flat shields. The shields were so big and flat that soil gathered on top of it, and usually with the years, plants started growing. Even trees. Small gardens were what the turtles were carrying around on their backs. But there were a huge variation on what were growing in these gardens. Some had almost nothing growing, others could have a lot. Some had shield gardens with a lot of fruit, while others could only offer leaves, grass and other veggies.

Once two turtles met each other. One of them had a somewhat sparse grown shield garden. The leaves on its small trees were more yellowish or grayish green, than they were green. The shield garden on the other turtle, on the other hand, was so big that the turtle’s shield was totally covered in the rich, thick foliage. The leaves were strongly green, and an abundance of berries, fruits and flowering flowers were everywhere in the shield garden.

The first turtle was surprised to see such an incredibly garden, and wondered how it could be. He thought that since the two turtles lived in the same area, the two gardens should have been pretty much similar? Usually such turtles do not eat the growth of other turtles, nor their own. But the smell of the flowers and mature fruit awakened such a hunger in the first turtle, that he just had to ask the other. “Sorry, but could I get to taste some of the fruit growing on your back? It smells so nice!”

“Off course you can!” the other answered, and put his broad side towards the first, so he could just pick and choose. The first reached its head towards a particularly tempting apple. It tasted sweet and good, it was like fresh nectar. The first apple was quickly followed by others, but then he saw some plums and had to taste them as well. Then some cherries and the greatest blue berries he had ever seen. He had never tasted such fruit! Finally, his curiosity got the best of him. “How is it that there is so much tasty fruit growing in your shield garden? After all, we live in the same area; shouldn’t we have quite similar shield gardens?”

The other watched the first thoughtfully. “I believe it is because I’m always outside…”
“Outside? Aren’t everyone outside?” the first looked surprised at the other.
“Yes,” the other answered. “But you seek shelter when the sun is too strong… or when it starts raining. You find yourself a cave or find cover elsewhere.”
“But that is because it isn’t very comfortable to get completely wet by rain, or to be baked in the sun!” The first exclaimed. The other smiled. “It is true that it’s not always so nice, especially it could be hard in the beginning.” He reached out his head towards the first’s shield garden and bit of a leaf. The face he made made it clear it was a bit bitter. Then he looked at the first turtle, “Once, my shield garden was quite similar to yours, but with the time, it became this fertile.” He shook himself gently, so his whole garden rustled. “Today it gives me both shadow against the sun, and it keeps me both dry and warm when it rains.”

The first turtle reached out for a tempting plum and enjoyed its taste. “Taste great too! But how do the sun and the rain help you get such a garden?” The other smiled again, and stretched itself out after an apple from its own shield garden. “Well. When you seek cover for the rain, your shield garden never gets the water it needs, and the plants growing on you need water. They will also need water in order to withstand the heat of the sun at noon. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek places with a lot of rain when it rains. Then the plants will hold up a lot better when it is warm.”

The first nodded “Yes, I can see that. But why do you want to stay out when it is hot? Wouldn’t even the plants do better if not exposed to the strongest heat and sun?”

“You’re no fool, I hear!” the other answered. “There are times that the heat get so strong that I do seek cover. But the plants grow at the best when they get the heat they need, and the sunlight make the fruit both larger and sweeter. That’s why it is a good idea to seek good, nice warm places when it is sun and you got enough water.
“Hmm…” The first had just reached out for another sweet and juicy apple. “You may have a point there. But it sounds both a bit too cold and a bit too warm, what you are talking about. How did you start?”

The other went over to a small stream nearby. “Not only plants need water.” he said, and drank of the fresh water. “It started actually a day when I met another turtle. He had the most fantastic shield garden I ever have seen. Flowers and fruits everywhere, and he let me taste.” He licked himself around his mouth. “Never have I tasted such fruit. Just as you, I wonder how that could be, and he shared the same idea I just shared with you: To stay outside.” He laughed a bit “I guess I really had a dream about being able to eat myself full every day on fruit from my own shield garden. Anyway I started following this other turtle I met, hoping to learn how to get such a garden myself. But in fact I was disappointed. It didn’t take long time before the plants I had in my own shield garden started withering.”

The first looked at the other dismayed. “Withering? Why?”
“Look at the mountains, do the same plants grow on the whole hill side?” the other smiled.
The first turned its head towards the mountains, “Well… no, the tops are bare, farther down grass and scrubs, and on the slopes, trees are growing in varying layers. But what does this have to do with this?”
The other shook his shield, “Look at your shield garden, then on mine. Do you see many of the same plants?” The first nodded. “Off course, there are… uhm…” He studied the two shield gardens closer. “Hmm… no, actually none. Why do you think that is so?”
“For the same reasons the plants in the hills grows in different layers. The layers come from different temperatures, but you will also see that where there is much water, other plants grow than where it is dry. I guess you are able to see the difference between a march and a forested top, don’t you?” He winked jokingly to the first.

The first laughed “Yes, off course I do! But what does that have to do with your shield garden withering?”
“Well, what happened”, the other said. “Was that when I started following my new friend, it was like if I moved from a forested top down into a marsh… or from the top of a mountain down to the bottom of a valley. And the plants that grew in my shield garden couldn’t survive, so they withered away, but little by little, new plants started growing. I actually believe some seeds to my new shield garden came from my new friend. A that time little were growing still, and that was when the cold of the rain was at the worst. And the heat of the sun almost cooked me in my own shell… But the plants were growing in good, wet soil, and after some decades, my shield garden was nice and fertile. Not by far close to how it is like now, off course. I needed quite a few more years before I got this far.”

The first turtle smiled. “So your dream came true then? Each day you are eating yourself full from your own shield garden?”
The other shook his head. “It may have been my dream, but the time with my friend taught me something new. I didn’t see him eat from his own garden very often. Usually he ate the same stuff that most turtles do.”
The first was surprised “But why that? He could have eaten of the best food that has ever existed!”
“That was what I meant too. But what I saw him doing, was that he shared of his fruits to everyone he met – both turtles and others.”
The first was even more baffled. “Shared with others? Why?”

“Well,” the other turtle answered. “One day I asked him about it. He asked me how many turtles I had met that had a shield garden similar to his. Have you seen many?” He looked at the first questioningly.
The first shook his head: “You’re one with the most fertile shield garden I have ever seen. Not even one has come anywhere close to yours!”
“That was the same answer I had, and the old answered that’s why.”
“That is why?”
“I said that too. “That’s why” he answered. ‘Because there are way too few turtles that get a chance to taste such fruits. That’s why I travel around to share of my fruit to everyone who wants some.'” The eyes of the other went blank. “That is when I lost a dream… and got a new one. I followed him some more months and learned more, before I left him to share of my fruits with others. That’s why.” He smiled to the first. “Do you want some more fruit?”



Av Johnny Danielsen

Engelsk versjon her. / English version here.

Det var en gang en helt spesiell type skillpadder. De var store, med brede flate skjold. Skjoldene var så flate og store at det samlet seg jord oppe på skjoldet, og med årene begynte det som oftest å gro opp planter av alle slag. Til og med trær. Det vokste rett og slett små hager oppe på skilpadderyggene. Men det var ofte stor variasjon på hva vokste oppe på skjoldene. Noen hadde nesten ingenting som vokste, andre kunne ha mye. Noen hadde skjoldhager med mye frukt, andre kunne bare by på blader, gress og annet grøntfor.

En gang møtte to skilpadder hverandre. Den hos den ene var skjoldhagen litt glisten, og mange av bladene på de små trærne var mer gul eller grågrønne de var grønne. Hos den andre skilpadden derimot, hadde skjoldhagen vokst seg så stor og frodig at det var ikke mulig å se noe av skjoldet. Bladene var kraftig grønne, og det var både bær, frukter og blomstrende blomster overalt i skjoldhagen.

Den første skilpadden ble litt forbløffet over å se en slik frodig hage, og lurte på hvordan det kunne ha seg. Han mente at siden de to levde i det samme området, burde jo hagene ha sett ganske like ut? Nå bruker skilpaddene sjeldent å spise fra hverandres skjoldhager, eller sin egen for den saks skyld. Men duften av blomster og moden frukt, vekte en slik hunger i den første skilpadden, at han til slutt spurte den andre “Unnskyld, men tror du at jeg kunne få smake litt av den frukten som vokser på ryggen din? Det lukter så godt!”

“Klart du kan få det!” svarte den andre, og stilte bredsiden til, slik at den første kunne velge og vrake.
Den første strakte hodet ut mot et eple som hang fristende på en gren. Det smakte søtt og godt, det var som frisk nektar. Det første eplet ble raskt fulgt av andre, men så la han merke til noen plommer, og måtte smake på dem også. Deretter kom noen kirsebær, og noen av de største blåbærene han hadde sett. Han hadde aldri smakt slik frukt! Til slutt ble nysgjerrigheten for stor. “Hvordan kan det ha seg at det vokser så mye godt frukt i skjoldhagen din? Vi lever jo i det samme området, burde vi ikke ha ganske like skjoldhager?”

Den andre så på ettertenksom på den første. “Jeg tror det er fordi jeg alltid er ute…”
“Ute? Er vi ikke alle ute?”, den første så forundret på den andre.
“Jo,” svarte den andre. “Men dere søker ly når solen skinner for sterkt… eller når det begynner å regne. Dere finner en hule eller skjuler dere andre steder.”
“Men det er jo fordi det ikke er trivelig å bli styrtvåt av regnet, eller å bli stekt av solen!” utbrøt den første.
Den andre smilte. “Det er nok ikke alltid så behagelig, spesielt kunne det være vanskelig i begynnelsen.” Han strakte hodet ut mot skjoldhagen til den første og bet av et blad. Grimasen han gjorde, røpte at bladet nok var en smule bittert. Så så han på den første skilpadden “En gang, var skjoldhagen min ganske lik din, men med tiden ble den så frodig.” Han ristet forsiktig på seg, slik at hele skjoldhagen hans raslet. “I dag gir den meg både skygge mot solen, og den holder meg både tørr og varm når det regner.”

Den første skilpadden strakte seg ut mot en fristende plomme og nøt den. “Smaker godt også! Men hvordan hjelper solen og regnet deg til å få en slik hage?” Den andre smilte igjen, og strakte seg selv og bet av et eple fra sin egen skjoldhage. “Jo du skjønner. Når du søker ly fra regnet, så rekker skjoldhagen din aldri å bli skikkelig vannet, og plantene som vokser på deg trenger vann. De trenger også vann til å stå i mot solen midt på dagen, og derfor er det lurt å finne steder med mye regn når det regner. Da holder plantene ut mye lengre når det er varmt.”
Den første nikket “Jo, jeg kan se det. Men hvorfor vil du være ute når det er varmt? Burde ikke plantene også ha bedre av å ikke bli utsatt for den sterkeste varmen og sola?”
“Du er ikke dum, du!” svarte den andre. “Det er ganger hvor det blir såpass varmt at jeg søker skygge. Men plantene vokser best når de får den varmen de trenger, og sollyset gjør frukten både større og søtere. Derfor er det lurt å finne gode, varme steder når det er sol og du har nok vann.”
“Mmm…” Den første hadde nettopp tatt seg enda et søtt og saftig eple. “Du har kanskje noe i det du sier. Men det høres både litt for kalt og litt for varmt, det du snakker om. Hvordan var det du begynte?”

Den andre ruslet bort til en liten bekk i nærheten. “Ikke bare planter trenger vann.” sa han, og drakk av det friske vannet. “Det begynte faktisk en dag da jeg møtte en annen skilpadde. Han hadde den mest fantastiske skjoldhagen jeg noen gang har sett. Blomster og frukt over alt, og han lot meg få smake.” Han slikket seg rundt munnen. “Aldri har jeg smakt slik frukt. Jeg lurte som deg på hvordan det kunne ha seg, og han delte den samme ideen med meg som jeg har delt med deg: å være ute.” Han lo litt “Jeg tror vel jeg egentlig hadde en drøm om å kunne spise meg mett hver dag på frukten av min egen skjoldhage. Men jeg begynte i alle fall å følge denne skilpadden jeg møtte, i håp om å lære å få en lignende hage selv. Men faktum var at jeg ble skuffet. Det tok ikke lang tid før plantene jeg hadde i skjoldhagen min begynte å visne.”

Den første så forskrekket på den andre. “Visne? Hvorfor det?”
“Se på fjellene, vokser de samme plantene på hele fjellsiden?” den andre smilte.
Den første snudde hodet mot fjellene, “Vel… nei, der er bart på toppene, gress og lyng lengre nede, og i liene vokser det trærne i ulike lag. Men hva har det med saken å gjøre?”
Den andre ristet på skjoldet sitt, “Se på din skjoldhage, og så min. Ser du mange av de samme plantene?”
Den første nikket “Klart det. Det er jo… uhm…” Han begynte å studer to to skjoldhagene nærmere. “Hmm… nei, faktisk ingen. Hvorfor det tror du?”
“Av samme grunn som at plantene vokser i ulike lag. Lagene skyldes ulike temperaturer, men du vil også se at der det er mye vann, vokser andre planter enn der det er tørt. Du ser da forskjell på ei myr og en skogkolle, gjør du ikke?” Han blinket skøyeraktig til den første.

Den første flirte “Jo, jeg gjør da det! Men hva har det med at skjoldhagen din begynte å visne å gjøre?”

“Jo, det som skjedde”, sa den andre. “Var at da jeg begynte å følge min nye venn, så var der som om jeg flyttet meg fra en skogkolle til ei myr… eller fra høyfjellet til lavlandet. Og de plantene som vokste i skjoldhagen min kunne ikke lengre overleve, så de visnet. Men litt etter litt begynte nye planter å gro. Jeg tror faktisk at det kanskje var noen frø som kom fra min nye venn. Men på den tiden var det lite som vokste enda, og det var da kulden i regnet var verst, og varmen på soldagene stekte meg nesten i mitt eget skall. Men plantene vokste i god, våt jord, og etter noen tiår begynte skjoldhagen å bli fin og frodig. Ikke på langt nær slik den er nå, selvsagt. Jeg trengte en god del flere år før jeg kom så langt.”

Den første skilpadden smilte. “Så drømmen din gikk i oppfyllelse da? Hver dag så spiser du deg mett av din egen skjoldhage?”
Den andre ristet på hodet. “Det var nok drømmen min. Men tiden med min gamle venn lærte meg noe nytt. Det var sjeldent jeg så ham spise av sin egen skjoldhage. Han spiste som regel det samme som de fleste skilpadder gjør.”
Den første var forundret “Men hvorfor det? Han kunne jo ha spist den aller beste maten som finnes!”
“Det var det jeg også mente. Men det jeg så ham gjøre, var at han delte av frukten fra skjoldhagen sin til alle han møtte. Både skilpadder og andre.”
Den første var endra mer forundret. “Delte med andre? Hvorfor det?”

“Jo,” svarte den andre skilpadden. “En dag spurte jeg ham om det. Han spurte meg om hvor mange skillpadder jeg hadde møtt som hadde hatt en slik skjoldhage som ham? Har du sett mange?” Han så spørrende på den første.
Den første ristet på hodet: “Du er den med den frodigste skjoldhagen jeg har sett, ingen andre har kommet i nærheten engang!”
“Det var det samme svaret jeg hadde, og den gamle svarte at det var derfor.”
“Det sa jeg også. ‘Derfor’ sa han. ‘Fordi det er alt for få skilpadder som får smake slike frukter. Derfor drar jeg rundt og deler av min frukt til alle som vil ha.'” Øynene til den andre ble blanke. “Det var da jeg mistet en drøm… og fikk en ny drøm. Jeg fulgte ham noen måneder til og lærte mer, før jeg forlot ham for å dele av min frukt med andre. Derfor.” Han smilte til den første. “Vil du ha litt mer frukt?”

The lamb in the darkness

This is a story I wrote out on a sheet of paper during a prayer night we had with Quest here in Trondheim last year.

Before this, this concept had been revolving around in my head, even today it appears in my thoughts at times. I really wish I had the tools, knowledge and time required to be able to make small animated movie out of it. Had I been better at drawing lions and lambs, I probably would have drawn some scenes from this a long time ago (although I did attempt to make a painting of this scene at CSM last year.)

The lamb in the darkness

There is a lamb in the darkness. Far away from its flock, far away from its mother. In the darkness it have wandered, stumbling, hitting unseen things, falling and tripping.

Now a barb wire has ensnared him. Trying to get loose, the lamb managed to break its own leg. The lamb is desperate, crying (well bahing) for help. But who in this darkness can help him?

There is a shepherd, looking, searching for the lost lamb. The lamb is crying, but does it know it can shout for help from the shepherd? The lamb shouts.

The shepherd hears a sound in the darkness. A familiar sound. A very welcome sound. A sound not heard for way too long a time. The shepherd runs towards the lamb.

The lamb lies there in the darkness. Lonely. Crying. Hopeless. Then he sees a light in the darkness. Coming closer. Growing. The lamb is frightened; it does not know what this is. An enemy?

The shepherd is running. The lamb first sees him as a shining lion. Great, terrible and awesome: a lion of light. Then he sees the shepherd, THE SHEPHERD!

The shepherd arrive the lamb, but see… the lamb is no lamb, but a wounded man. The Shepherd, Christ, seem to be shining, and a shining hand reaches out towards the man. And as he touches it, it is as if some speckles of lights shoot out.

Other lambs, bright as snow, shining. They too are men. Some of them pray for the lost lamb, others tell and teach him about the shepherd. As they pray, the lost lamb is healed, the barb wire falls off.

The lost lamb starts shining. Brighter and brighter. The blood on its wool, from injuries and scratches, fades away. It is as bright as the other lambs. It joins them, and the speckles of shining lambs join the shepherd flock, following their shepherd.

Towards the next lost lamb. Where is he? Where is she?

The end? Nope, the story goes on and on until Jesus’ return.