No Harm Done

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In Which Braden Learns to Judge a Book By its Cover.

At Braden's regular bedtime, I found him reading. As usual, I started making the customary attention-getting noises and gestures indicating that it was time for him to put the book away and go to bed. He looked up and begged me to let him finish. It was really "interesting" (code for, "I'm not sure how to describe it, but 'interesting' is a safe word to go with.") and he wanted to finish it.

I flipped the cover over to see what it was and discovered that he was halfway through a children's adaptation of "Hamlet."

Me: "Um, Braden, I'm willing to let you finish that book, but I want you to know that it does not have a happy ending."
Him: "It doesn't?"
Me: "No. It doesn't even come close to having a happy ending. Not even a glimmer. If you're concerned about sleeping tonight, you may want to put that book down and come back to it tomorrow morning."
Him: "No. I think it'll be okay. It's not so sad right now."


15 minutes later he finds me in the kitchen.

Him: "Every major character is dead. 10 people. 10 people are dead."
Me: "Really? That many? Who's left?"
Him: "Pretty much just Horatio."
Me: "Lucky guy."
Him: "Yorick was dead before the book started, but I counted him anyway because he was still a casualty. Why did you let me read that book? Why didn't you stop me?"
Me: "I tried. You wanted to read it. It was 'interesting.' "
Him: "But I had no idea people would die."

At this point in the conversation I walk over to his chair, grab the book, and pointedly show him the cover. "You didn't know people were going to die? Look at the cover. It has a picture of a guy holding a skull in one hand and a knife in the other. Did that not tip you off even a little?"

Braden: "Oh."

So now he's in bed, listening to a Chronicles of Narnia CD and trying to think happy thoughts as he goes to sleep. As much as I feel for him having read a tragedy just before bedtime, he has learned some key things:

1. Listen to your Mama. She is almost always right.
2. If a book has something horrible *on* it, there's probably something horrible *in* it.
3. Not all stories are light and amusing. Not all stories are adventurous. Some are dark and unsettling.


At 12:09 AM , Blogger Dy said...

Ohhhh, bless his heart. It's amazing to me how stories, particularly the great ones, can really touch a child. James was furious with Pinocchio when he thought he'd killed the Blue Fairy (I know, not the same caliber at Hamlet, but he's still young, *grin*). I sure hope those lessons stick, especially that first one! Wouldn't that be a hoot! LOL.


At 2:22 PM , Blogger PB&J said...

Hi Hillary! I'm afraid that I won't be able to make TRPC services during my trip to Kansas. Bummer! I'm planning on visiting the G's, though.

I tried to comment on your possible mouse problem. I guess it didn't take, so here goes again... I have a friend at WU who also had a mouse problem. His little friends resided in the kitchen cabinents! Kevin and his brother decided to become "mouse slayers". One guy would prepare the pellet gun and the other would attend the cabinent door. The mice were rid through a series of open/close and shooting sequences. Hearing Kevin tell the story is hillarious! Just thought I would share. ;)

All you need is some camo and a bb gun and your set! You've already got the kids to corner the mice.

At 1:18 AM , Blogger Dy said...

ROFLOL!! Oh, my, that's a great story! Zorak and I did something similar - a rodent safari once, when a little field mouse got too brazen for me to ignore any longer (once you begin cutting diagonally across the floor, you're too comfortable, kwim?) We had the bb rifle and the bb pistol... we had the coffee table on its side for cover... eventually, we were laughing too hard to be of much good and in the end he had to stun it by lobbing a maglite at it. (Which worked quite well, btw, although I like to think it was fatigued by that point by our fine marksmanship.)

At 5:12 PM , Blogger Hillary said...

Dy, LOL! You and Zorak are my heroes! After reading your list of wall surprises, I'm sure a mouse is small potatoes.

Maybe you should consider leaving any snakes in the control the rodents!

Hillary :)

At 8:26 AM , Blogger Jess said...

ROFL@all of you. And to think I'm just going the lazy route of throwing poison in the attic. Don't ANY of you tell my DH about the bb thing, he has too much fun with that as it is. ;-)

Hillary, I had to chuckle at your sons discovery of the cover having to do with the content. The things we take for granted that we know eh?


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