Pokemon Center Interlude 3: The Master and the Apprentice
No sooner had we gotten settled in the Santalune City Pokemon Center did Lita greet me with a question. [Is there a way we can see Brock tell stories without traveling to Kanto?]
I grinned--the picture Viola took apparently was on her mind. "I'll ask if there's a PC that can go online, okay?"
Nurse Joy was more than happy to direct me to the tech area of the Pokemon Center, where some other trainers were reading e-mail or checking their Pokebook pages. After finding a vacant one and logging on to MyTube (the volume was on low, so as not to disturb others), I typed "brock storytelling" into the search bar....
...and was floored by the immense amount of stories people had filmed Brock telling--in addition to stories direct from Brock's own MyTube channel, which had the screenname "PewterSong". I decided to start there, and started naming the different stories to the Pokemon. "The Miracle Boy?"
[Nah...] Rouge wasn't interested.
"Prince Tatters?" I suggested again.
[I've heard a variant or two of tat tale...] Erin noted. [In most versions, a princess is married to what appears to be a poor man, and every night, she complains about what she left behind, but after tree deys, she finds the poor man is reely a prince. In some versions, te princess has tree challenges te face to break the spell.]
[Interesting, but I'm not feeling cursed princes tonight.] Kitsune mused.
"The Magic Egg?" I tried. No answer from any of the Pokemon, so I tried the next one. "'The Dragon's Gifts'"?
[I wanna hear that one!] Rouge suggested.
Piqued, I clicked the video link, and Pokemon crowded around the PC as the Brock on the screen (who was apparently in a theater for this and a few more videos) began "Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a poor woman named Melina, who had six pretty daughters, all very beautiful and intelligent, and an only son named Jack, who wasn't exactly the brightest star in the sky."
The offscreen audience and the Pokemon giggled at this. "Hardly a day passed without his mother saying to him..." In his best mimic of a woman, Brock scolded "What are you doing, you useless creature? If you weren't too stupid to look after yourself, I would kick you out of the house and never let you see my face again."
[That was pretty good!] Lita was impressed at the impression.
"Every day Jack did some stupid thing or another, till at last Melina, who was at her wit's end, beat him till he was at least three different colors..." Brock explained as himself. "which so startled Jack that he took off running, and never stopped till it was dark and the stars were shining. He wandered on for some time, not knowing where to go, and at last he came to a cave, at the mouth of which sat a dragon, more awe inspiring than anything you can imagine."
[What kind of dragon was it?] Lita asked the screen, as if the image of Brock could hear her.
I just petted her as Brock described the dragon for the unseen audience. "He had a huge and sleek head, sparkling emerald eyes, a majestic snout, and a great gash of a mouth that held hundreds of razor sharp teeth. His scaly skin and huge wings rippled with power."
[So probably a Charizard...] Kitsune speculated.
"In short, he was simultaneously the most beautiful and horrifying object Jack had ever seen." Brock explained. "But Jack, who, with all his faults, was actually very brave, and a very well mannered boy, took off his hat, and said..."
In character as a boy, he spoke to an imagined dragon. "Good-day, sir; I hope you are well. Could you kindly tell me how far it is from here to a town?"
As himself, he narrated "When the dragon heard this question he burst out laughing, and as he liked the boy's polite manners he said to him..."
In a deeper version of himself, he asked "Will you enter my service?"
"Name your terms." he replied as Jack.
"If you serve me faithfully," he explained as the dragon, "I'll make sure you'll get enough wages to satisfy you."
[Wow!] Lita was amazed Brock could simultaneously perform both characters.
"So the bargain was struck, and Jack agreed to become the dragon's servant." Brock went on as himself. "He was very well treated, in every way, and he had little or no work to do, with the result that in a few days he became as fat as a Fletchinder, as round as a barrel, as red as a Corphish, and as proud as a Combusken."
Some giggles went up at the wry observation. "But, after two years, Jack got tired of this life, and longed desperately to visit his home again." Brock intoned, quieting the giggles of his offscreen audience. "The dragon, who could see into his heart and knew how unhappy he was, said to him one day..."
As the dragon again, he assured the audience. "My dear Jack, I know how much you long to see your mother and sisters again, and because I love you as the Leppa of my eye, I am willing to allow you to go home for a visit. Therefore, take this Ponyta, so that you won't have to go so far on foot; but see that you never sing 'Seios, higarima laisido' to her, or else--dragon magic like this is dangerous to a human like you."
[Spellsongs!] Kitsune gasped, starry eyed
Erin stifled a giggle at Kitsune's excitement. "Jack took the little Pokemon without as much as a thank you, and jumping on its back he rode away; but he had hardly gone two hundred yards when he dismounted and decided to see what the mysterious song did, if anything." Brock continued. "So he sang Seios, higarima laisido..."
This time, Rouge was excited. [What a beautiful voice!]
"No sooner had he sang the song than the Ponyta opened its mouth and poured forth rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and pearls, as big as Grepa Berries, if not bigger." Brock made a form in the air to give the off screen audience an idea of just how big the jewels were.
[Goodness! Imagine te wealth you'd get wit' a stone like tat!] Erin gasped in awe
"Jack gazed in amazement at the sight of such wealth, and joyfully filling a huge sack with the precious stones, he mounted the Ponyta again and rode on till he came to an inn. Here he got down, and going straight to the landlord, he said to him...." Brock assumed the role of Jack again. "My good man, I must ask you to stable this Ponyta for me. Be sure you give her plenty of oats and hay, but beware of singing the song 'Seios, higarima laisido...' to her, or I will not be responsible for what happens. Take this heavy sack, too, and put it somewhere secure for me."
[I have a bad feeling about this...] Lita wasn't sure if entrusting a magic item to a stranger was a good idea
"The landlord--who wasn't born yesterday..." Brock added as an aside, to some giggles. "on receiving this strange warning, and seeing the precious stones sparkling through the canvas of the sack, was most anxious to see what would happen if he sang the forbidden song. So he gave Jack an excellent dinner, with a bottle of fine old wine, and prepared a comfortable bed for him. As soon as he saw Jack close his eyes, he hurried to the stables and sang to the Ponyta Seios, higarima laisido... and the Pokemon as usual poured out zillions of precious stones."
[And ten he pulls te ol' switcheroo...] Erin grinned.
"When the landlord saw all these treasures, he longed to get possession of so valuable a Pokemon, and determined to steal the Ponyta from his foolish guest." Brock intoned, quieting the offscreen giggles. "As soon as it was light the next morning Jack woke up, and having rubbed his eyes and stretched himself about a hundred times he called the landlord and said to him..."
"Come here, my friend, and produce your bill, for short reckonings make long friends." he asked as Jack.
"When Jack had paid his account he went to the stables and took out his Ponyta, as he thought, and fastening a sack of gravel, which the landlord had substituted for his precious stones, on the creature's back, he set out for home." Brock went on as himself. "No sooner had he arrived there than he called out..."
"Mother, come quickly, and bring tablecloths and sheets with you, and spread them out on the ground, and you will soon see what wonderful treasures I have brought you." he giddly called to someone as Jack.
"His mother hurried into the house, and opening the linen chest where she kept her daughters' wedding outfits, she took out tablecloths and sheets made of the finest linen, and spread them flat and smooth on the ground." Brock went on as himself, complete with spreading pantomime tablecloths on the stage. "Jack placed the Ponyta on them, and sang Seios, higarima laisido......
Soft laughter went up at the awkward silence. "But this time, he met with no success, for the Ponyta took no more notice of the magic song than she would have done if a trumpet had blasted the loudest, highest, most out of tune note it could play in her ear!" Brock announced. Laughter went up at his observation. "Two, three, and four times did Jack sing Seios, higarima laisido... but all in vain, as he might as well been singing to a rock."
My laughter turned to horror as Brock described what happened next. "Disgusted and furious with the Pokemon, he seized a thick stick and began to beat it so hard that he nearly broke every bone in its body. The miserable Ponyta was so distracted at such treatment that, far from pouring out precious stones, it only tore and dirtied all the fine linen."
[Tat's nut very nice!] Erin was just as appalled as I was.
"Keep in mind Jack doesn't know the ol' switcheroo's been pulled on him yet." I assured Erin.
"When poor Melina saw her tablecloths and sheets being destroyed, and that instead of becoming rich she had only been made a fool of, she grabbed another stick and whacked Jack so unmercifully with it, that he fled before her, and never stopped till he reached the dragon's cave." Brock went on, quieting the uproarious laughter offscreen. "When his master saw the lad returning in such a sorry plight, he understood what had happened to him, and making no bones about the matter, he told Jack what a fool he had been to allow himself to be so imposed upon by the landlord, and to let a worthless Ponyta be palmed off on him instead of his magic Ponyta. Jack listened humbly to the dragon's words, and vowed solemnly that he would never act so foolishly again."
After a pause, Brock went on. "And so a year passed, and Jack was again overcome by homesickness, and felt a great longing to see his own family again. The dragon, although he was intimidating to look upon, had a very kind heart, and when he saw how restless and unhappy Jack was, he gave him permission to go home on a visit. The day Jack left, he gave him a beautiful tablecloth, and said...
As the dragon, he instructs an imagined person "Give this to your mother; but see that you don't lose it as you lost the Ponyta, and till you are safely in your own house beware of singing "Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..." to it. If you do, the misfortune will be on your own head, for I have given you fair warning this time."
We listened as Brock continued "Jack set out on his journey, but hardly had he got out of sight of the cave than he laid the tablecloth on the ground and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... In an instant the tablecloth unfolded itself and disclosed a whole mass of precious stones, food, and other treasures. When Jack saw this, he sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, and continued his journey. He came to the same inn again, and calling the landlord to him, he told him to put the tablecloth away carefully, and whatever he did not to sing "Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..." to it."
[Of course he's gonna steal this too.] Rouge predicted.
"The landlord, who was a regular rogue, answered..." Brock switched to a braggy older male voice. "Just leave it to me, I will look after it as if it were my own."
[NOT!!!] Lita jeered, to the Pokemon's giggles. I just shot them The Look--that calmed them down in a hurry.
"After he had given Jack plenty to eat and drink, and had provided him with a comfortable bed, he went straight to the tablecloth and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... It opened right then, and displayed such costly treasures that the landlord made up his mind on the spot to steal it." Brock confirmed Lita's and Rouge's predictions seconds later.
"When Jack awoke the next morning, the host handed him a tablecloth exactly like his own, and carrying it carefully over his arm, the foolish boy went straight to his mother's house, and said..." As Jack again, Brock announced "Now we shall be rich beyond our wildest dreams, and need never go about in rags again, or lack the best of food."
As himself, he continued "With these words he spread the tablecloth on the ground and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... But try as he might to sing the song, it was only a waste of breath, for nothing happened. When Jack saw this he turned to his mother and said..."
He grumbled as Jack "That old scoundrel of a landlord has done me once more; but he will live to repent it, for if I ever enter his inn again, I will make him suffer for the loss of my Ponyta and the other treasures he has robbed me of."
[We kin add 'mimicry' te his list of talents...] Erin was impressed with Brock's ability to do the voices of every character in his tale.
"Melina was in such a rage over her fresh disappointment that she could not restrain her impatience, and, turning on Jack, she abused him soundly, and told him to get out of her sight, for she would never acknowledge him as a son of hers again." Brock intoned. "The poor boy was very depressed by her words, and slunk back to his master like a Growlithe with his tail between his legs. When the dragon saw him, he guessed what had happened. He gave Jack a good scolding, and said..."
"I don't know what prevents me from smashing your head in, you useless ne'er-do-well!" he sighed angrily as the dragon. "You blurt everything out, and your long tongue never ceases wagging for a moment. If you had remained silent in the inn this misfortune would never have overtaken you, so you have only yourself to blame for your present suffering."
After a tense few seconds of silence, Brock continued as himself. "Jack listened to his master's words in silence, looking for all the world like a whipped Growlithe. When he had been three more years in the dragon's service he had another twinge of homesickness, and longed very much to see his mother and sisters again. So he asked for permission to go home on a visit, and it was granted to him. Before he set out on his journey the dragon presented him with a beautifully carved stick and said..."
"Take this stick as a remembrance of me; but beware of singing "Furiya, shuru shamato" to it, for if you do, I can only say I would not want to be you." he warned as the dragon.
"Don't be in the least alarmed, I'm not such a fool as you think, and know better than most people what two and two make." he confidently replied as Jack.
"I'm glad to hear that," he replied as the dragon, "but words are women, deeds are men. You have heard what I said, and forewarned is forearmed."
As himself, Brock went on "This time Jack thanked his master warmly for all his kindness, and started on his homeward journey in great spirits; but he had not gone half a mile when he sang Furiya, shuru shamato..." The words were hardly out of his mouth when the stick glowed blue and started firing arrows of ice with such lightning speed that he was almost a Jacksicle before he could sing the song again. But as soon as he sang the magic words, the stick's glow faded."
Kitsune stiffled a giggle as she pictured Jack as a Popsicle. "Although he had learned a lesson at some cost to himself, Jack was full of joy, for he saw a way now of avenging himself on the wicked landlord." Brock explained. "He arrived at the inn a third time, and was received in the most friendly and hospitable manner by his host. Jack greeted him cordially, and said..."
"My friend, will you kindly take care of this stick for me?" he requested as Jack. "But, whatever you do, don't sing 'Furiya, shuru shamato' to it. If you do, you will be sorry for it, and you won't expect any sympathy from me."
As himself, he went on "The landlord, thinking he was coming in for a third piece of good fortune, gave Jack an excellent supper; and after he had seen him comfortably to bed, he ran to the stick, and calling to his wife to come and see the fun, he lost no time in singing the song Furiya, shuru shamato..."
[Bad idea!] Rouge chirped.
"The moment he sang the stick glowed blue, and battered the landlord so unmercifully with ice that he and his wife ran screaming to Jack, and, waking him up, pleaded for mercy as they shivered with the cold." Brock continued over the laughter in the audience. "When Jack saw how successful his trick had been, he said..."
"I refuse to help you, unless you give me all that you have stolen from me, otherwise you will be frozen to death." he warned as Jack.
"Take back your property, only release me from this terrible stick and its spell!" he pleaded as the landlord.
"With these words he ordered the Ponyta, the tablecloth, and other treasures to be restored to their rightful owner. he assured the audience as himself. "As soon as Jack had recovered his belongings he sang Furiya, shuru shamato... again, and it stopped its spell right there."
He concluded. "Then he took his Ponyta and tablecloth and arrived safely at his home with them. This time the magic songs had the desired effect, and the Ponyta and tablecloth provided the family with treasures untold. Jack very soon married off his sister, made his mother rich for life, and they all lived happily ever after."
Applause went up, and Brock took a bow as the scene faded out, ending the video. "Okay, now it's Erin's turn to pick a video..." I told the Pokemon.
[I want te hear a tele of high adventure!] Erin requested.
"Adventure, huh..." A video titled "The Hunter and the Oni" got my attention, so I clicked it.
The scene came up on Brock in the theater again. "In the mountains of Kanto, it is said that the oni--or demons--of the mountains like to disguise themselves as babies to capture unsuspecting travelers." he explained. "In a certain village by Mt. Moon lived a hunter who was very brave. One day as he was coming home from a long day in the forest, he swore he heard a crying baby in the woods, but he knew well that the crying was a mountain oni on the prowl."
Erin swallowed hard at what she imagined would happen to whoever the oni captured, making a light blue aura appear around her. "He returned home, made a mask of Arceus--who all oni fear--, and returned the next day, where he found the mountain oni by a rock."
The Pokemon listened as Brock went on. "The mountain oni was startled by the masked hunter, and pleaded with him to spare it--as it believes the hunter was really Arceus--before fainting." Some giggles went up as Brock feigned fainting.
As he got up some seconds later, he continued "The hunter wasn't sure what to do with the fainted oni, and took it home. The oni came to on the way, and demanded that it be freed the whole way."
Erin's laughter was the loudest at this. "While he was busy saying his nightly prayers to Arceus, the oni escaped, and disguised itself as the Arceus statue." Brock explained. "But the hunter saw right through the disguise, and told the oni that if it played any more pranks, he would take it to the magistrate the next morning."
[Uh oh...] Lita giggled.
"The oni pleaded that it would behave, and proceeded to make dinner, serve the hunter seconds, and thirds, and fourths,..." Laughter went up at Brock's wry observation. "and massage his shoulders. Desperate to escape, the oni offered to sing a lullaby, which was actually an excuse to sing a sleep inducing spellsong..."
He then sang Gran zirtan vin fangan miti...
Kitsune tried oh-so-hard not to laugh in anticipation. "The oni didn't know that the hunter was holding the other end of her rope, and feeling it go slack was enough to break the sleep spell." Brock continued. "He asks her to clean the house, but the oni decided enough was enough, and escaped into the night, never to be seen again."
He concluded "They say that that night, the oni cleaned her own house for the first time in eons!"
Erin smiled as the video ended. [I culd listen to all tese teles for deys!]
"Well, I know some myself, so when we're not in range to use MyTube, I'll tell some anytime." I assured her as we logged off the PC for the night.