Angus MacLeod is a storyteller at heart.
He recalls with great flourish the constant questions his children would throw his way. Like why there wasn’t any snow out one particular winter, or why peanut butter is the colour it is.
“You know what? I’m a father and my kids when they were very young would come to me with questions. For instance, the 1985, final game in the World Cup, they’re in to extra time…Suddenly Germany is awarded a penalty kick inside the box,” said MacLeod to listeners at the Kitimat Seniors Centre last week. “Right as they’re about to take that kick, my son is tugging on my shirt sleeve. He says ‘Dad, how come we’ve got no purple peanut butter?’
“Well, I don’t know who won the 1985 World Cup, but if you read the book you can read all about purple peanut butter.”
That book is called The Wee Folk, a collection of tales of fairies, elves and all kinds of other beings.
MacLeod said he began to write these stories down as he went, which were essentially spur of the moment tales.
Like for instance Ralph the Snowflake Elf.
“Where that started, we were coming up to Christmas 1982 and there was no snow at all anywhere in Kitimat. My two-year-old daughter was really worried because with no snow there would be no Santa Claus,” he said. I got up in the morning, I think it might have been December 23 or 24, and before I left for work I cut a snowflake out of a piece of paper and I left it at her place at the table in the kitchen and left a note.”
That note would be from “Ralph”, regarding the snow.
“That day we were blessed with three feet of snow in Kitimat, and my daughter was convinced it was Ralph the Snowflake Elf that brought the snow,” said MacLeod.
When he got home from work, he was bombarded was questions from his family about this Ralph person.
“I had no idea. All I done is leave her a note. So that started the stories.”
Now he and his family are excited to see the stories in print. The collection was even illustrated, by an artist named Jessy Rensink, who they were fortuitously connected to and who did the work pro-bono to build her own profile.
MacLeod said he may have more stories in him to tell — some of them more advanced than children’s stories — but he’ll wait to see how well he does with this current book.
He said if writing was all he needed to do it would be easy, but preparing a book for print takes a lot more effort. He said to do it again he’d be tempted to go for a plain, black and white book just to make his life easier. Of course it wouldn’t look as nice or fun.
His book is being sold at the Kitimat Museum & Archives, and online at Amazon.ca.