Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bedtime Story

What happens when you are a dad or mom with a toddler whose quest for bedtime or other stories never ceases and calls for you to think up tales of outlandishness beyond utterance? See below on a very abridged version of how I spent this afternoon.

Vijai: A long time ago in a land far, far away...

Emma: Wass hith name?

Vijai: There's no name here, Emma. It's a land, just like Aurora, where we live.

Emma: Yes, but appa... what he do?

Vijai: No, no, no, no... Just like Aurora there was this land where there were people, houses, cars, children...

Emma: Wass hith name?

Vijai: The land was called the land of Oom, like this is the land of Aurora.

Emma: What he do?

Vijai: In the land of Oom there were people just like us, houses , cars, trees, gardens. But the land of Oom was a land of silence.

Emma: Silence?

Vijai: Yes, it means the land was quiet. There was no sound.

Emma: Oh-oh

Vijai: When people talked no sound came out, when children kicked a ball there was no sound, where they cried no sound came, the birds sang but noone heard the song. It was a land of complete silence. One day, a man from Aurora...

Emma: Wass hith name?

Vijai: Jabberwocky. His name was Jabberwocky.

Emma: He was a bigggg strongggg man!!

Vijai: Yes, he was a very big man from Aurora.

Emma: Whad he do?

Vijai: He got into his car and started driving. He drove and drove and drove (here Vijai checks if Emma is anywhere close to sleeping, but her eyes are wide open). He kept driving and after a long time where did he reach?

Emma: Aurora?

Vijai: Oom. He reached the land of Oom.

Emma: Ohhh! Wad he do?

Vijai: When was driving he could hear the birds, but in Oom the brids were silent. His car didn't make any sound. All he could hear was silence. So he went into a house and rang the bell (Emma didn't ask if that made a noise, infant minds are not skeptical enough). A lady opened the door and asked, 'Who are you?' but no sound came. Jabberwocky understood this from her lips and said, 'Jabberywocky'- no sound came but she could understand him and asked him what he wanted. Jabberwocky did not understand so he took a piece of paper and wrote, 'Why is there no sound here?' The lady wrote, 'It's a long story'. Jabberywocky said, 'How long?' The lady wrote, 'How long do you have'? Jabberwocky said, '2 days'. The lady wrote' Okey Dokey. Once upon a time there was a crocodile'

Emma: Ohhh! A big crocodile!

Vijai: A big crocodile. He ate a lot of food.

Emma: Wad he ate?

Vijai: He ate rats, worms, houses, pianos and grew very big. He was always hungry. So he came to Oom and wanted to eat the people. ut the people asked him not to eat them. So the crocodile said, I will eat up all of your sound. That's why there is no sound here.

Emma: I will thtop the crocodile!!

Vijai: That is what Jabberwocky said. He said, this is a job for Jabberwocky! He waved a stick like Moe in 'The Lone Stranger' (a Veggietales story, to the uninitiated) and 'Hi, ho sliver-away!!' But no sound came. He asked the woman, where is this crocodile now? The woman said, in our zoo. So Jabberwocky went to the zoo and the crocodile was sleeping, he opened the crocodile's mouth, pulled out all the sound and then tied up his mouth with sticky tape. And the land of Oom got its sound. The crocodile woke up and asked Jabberwocky if he could take the sticky tape off and Jabberwocky made him promise that he will never eat anyone's sound or anyone again. The crocodile promised him this and went away into the jungle where he couldn't disturb anyone.

Emma: OK, now I tell you a thtory. A butterfly thtory.

Vijai: OK, but after that we sleep. No more talking after that.

Emma: Onth upon a time there wath a purple butterfly.

Vijai: ZZZZZ....

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