Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stream Story

The last thing the Monkey hears before bed every night is a story. Usually it is improvised by the Monkey Mama. But tonight she is being fĂȘted by playgroup moms, so it was my turn to come up with a story.

Our stories often have quite a bit of verisimilitude. For instance, a popular one is "The Baby Story," which goes into considerable depth in depicting a home birth. (We are relying heavily on The Baby Story quite a bit to orient the Monkey during the upcoming birth of Baby August.)

Here was tonight's story, essentially a recapitulation of our trip to Spring Park in Takoma Park today:

"Once upon a time, there was a little boy named [Monkey]. He went on a drive with his mommy and his daddy to a playground. There were stairs to climb up, and slides to slide down. There were tunnels to crawl through, wheels to spin, see-saws to ride, and little boys and girls everywhere.

"After a while, [Monkey] noticed something out of the corner of his eye: a rocky stream running through the edge of the playground. The stream carried water from the top of the park to the bottom. He wondered to himself, 'Where does the water come from?'

"He called his daddy over to go exploring. They climbed up a hill, over some stairs, along a path, by some benches, under some trees, and through some bushes...until they came to a little well. The well was behind a low brick wall set into the hillside. It was full of cool, clear water that seemed to come from nowhere! In fact, the water was coming up from under the ground, because this was a natural spring.

"His daddy helped him climb over the low wall. The well was just big enough to wade around in. At first, the cold water felt tingly on his feet. But it was a warm, sunny day and the water actually felt very nice.

"While wading in the well, he noticed a small pipe leading out through the low wall. It was just big enough to fit his hand. He felt water running down through the pipe. 'Where does this lead?' he wondered.

"His daddy helped him back out over the wall, and down a path, until they saw a small pile of granite at the mouth of a seep of water. That must be where the water comes out! There were sandy parts of the seep, green parts of the seep, and plants growing all around it. In one corner of the seep, they saw a square drain with water falling down all four sides. It made a cheerful noise. But where did it lead?

"At an angle to the path, the stream reemerged in a rocky stream bed that rambled across the hillside. The footing was a little unsteady because of the large, rocky cobbles. But holding his daddy's hand, [The Monkey] was able to follow the course of the stream. He pushed some rocks out of the stream, and pulled other rocks in. Some of them made a splash in the shallow running water. The bigger the better!

"They turned a corner with the stream, and then another corner, until they heard the sound of falling water. They came to a square drain grate, where the stream spread out and descended through some holes. [The Monkey] squatted by the grate, and his eyes followed the water until he couldn't see anymore.

"They watched like this for a while. And even though cool water ran through their shoes, they felt the sun warming them up. Looking over his shoulder, [the Monkey] spotted his mamma -- who was sitting on a bench near the playground, never that far away at all -- and waved her over. Then mamma, daddy, and [the Monkey] got in their car and drove away."

I told him the story, and he asked to hear it again. Then he asked to hear it a third time, but instead we just listened to each other breathe until he fell asleep. After the air conditioning compressor hummed loudly for a while, I made a stealthy exit, went downstairs, and made myself some dinner.

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