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Reality Storytelling


My daughter has an insatiable appetite for stories. In her perfect world, I’d tell stories non-stop from morning to night. 

But I put my foot down. A  mother is not an entertainment center. And this mother’s creative skills are limited.

However, I usually accomodate her with a few tales peppered throughout the day. Though even that feels like a stretch, sometimes.

The stories are variations on a few basic themes. The current one is the “Oh no I almost got caught by a – lion, alligator, bear, or whatever – but I escaped in the nick of time,” theme.  Recently the stories have been about sheep and rabbits who narrowly escape the lion’s teeth.

But my daughter has now started asking more of those difficult questions. For example, she worries about the lion. Where does he get his dinner? If he did not eat that sheep or rabbit, what does he eat? For a while, the lion ran off to another meadow and the story ended there. But lately, I’ve had to tell the awful truth: the lion does eventually catch a sheep, rabbit, squirrel or whatever, and the lion does eat it.

My daughter was stunned. He does? Does he eat a mommy sheep? a baby sheep? (god forbid)

It appears to be least upsetting to her if the lion eats an elderly daddy sheep.

I thought my daughter would stop asking for stories like this, now that the plot lines were so ‘realistic’, but she still wants them. And now she wants to know what part of the squirrel, sheep, chipmunk, does the lion eat first. And is the squirrel, sheep, chipmunk, dead? If so, how did it die?

I want out of these gruesome tales.  Can anyone help me make a graceful exit?

{ 1 } Comments

  1. sue | January 9, 2006 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, when I hit this, I simply said, the lion can’t very well go to the market and buy his dinner, can he ? ( here you have to wait for the answer) And he has to eat, or else he ( she) will die. They don’t do it to be nasty or cruel and I am sure if they had a Piggly-Wiggly to go to they would much rather do that. Wouldn’t you ? ( wait again)

    ( I suppose they eat the tastiest parts first, wouldn’t you ?)

    As to gruesome details, I always feign ignorance. Why, I haven’t a clue, I’ve never seen a lion eat have you ? ( Have you ?)

    But then, I have grown very lazy as I have grown older. I simply *make* them accept the logic of a situation, and it works.

    Having said that, you might already be in over your head.