Mom, tell us a story!
You’ve heard that or said that. You know what it means. It means tell us something to make us imagine, take us somewhere we’ve never been or to some mysterious place we want to visit again. Whatever it means, when the command, “Tell us a story!” is issued, there’s nothing to do but tell a story.
I told many such tales, and the favorite was short and sweet. There were no versions, no secrets, no scary characters. The background never changed, and the outcome was certain. Still, the demand to “tell us a story” still echoes whenever my kids get together and the memory trail is chosen.
I think of memories as things like the Thanksgiving one of my kids made mashed potatoes for dinner. It was the first attempt at contributing to The Meal, and it was conducted with utmost seriousness. Pride beamed from one little face as the bowl was presented before dinner for Nana’s taste test. What’s in these mashed potatoes?! Just potatoes and butter and milk and salt and pepper and flour! FLOUR? What cook doesn’t use flour to thicken a runny batch of mashed potatoes, hmm? They were served with LOTS of gravy.
And beach soup. Presented with pride, a gift from the budding young cook, still in the pan. Oh yum, YOU first. No, Mom, YOU FIRST, it’s for YOU. Well, tell me what’s in there, then we’ll decide if it needs to be cooked more. Mom! It’s beach soup! You can see what’s in it – rocks and seaweed and sticks. We couldn’t find a jellyfish but we found China Caps and put them in. Oh, well, that explains it. Those China Caps need to be cooked before we can eat them. Shall we put it on the stove, and I’ll call you when it’s ready? Some time later, the potato-version of beach soup was placed on the table. All ingredients had cooked down to a very, very tasty beach soup. Yum.
‘Tis the season to come up with new stories. How about a Christmas tree hung upside down from the rafters? Maybe a game of pluck-pluck-goose? Maybe the old stand-by will do:
……. Once upon a time there was a box of rocks.
The End …….