For a couple of months now, bedtime has featured stories. Most of the stories I tell are dull affairs, little more than morality tales about sharing toys, being nice, and minding your parents; “Crabapple and the Tallest Building” is one of my better efforts.1 This storytelling has been a one-way affair, but one we’ve all had fun with. Saturday night that changed. That night, after dinner, Gabriel for the first time began telling stories to us. All the usual suspects were there: our cats Jane, Bingley, and Crabapple; our former dog Newton and his pal Steve the Snake; Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail; HyVee, fire extinguishers, and trains; and much more besides. If you’re at all curious what that was like, here is a fifteen-minute recording from that storytelling (and song) session.
This went on for at least a half hour. “I’m not through telling!” he would exclaim, over and over again, until finally he was.
1 Other stories I’m proud of include “The Digger Who Dug to the Center of the Earth,” “The Boy Who Walked to the Moon,” “The Three Kittens Gruff” (which brought the kittens Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail into the repertoire), “Crabapple Goes Down the Drain,” and “The Alligator Who Came for Dinner.”