You often lie back and dream. You tell me tales of exotic jungles, crazy animals, all sorts… But today you made up a story for me. You lay there itching (yes, you and your sister have the hand, foot and mouth disease and for the last couple of days I’ve been going mad, medicating you and making sure you don’t scratch yourself raw.)
So anyway.. there we were, you lying there with a bleeding knee (obviously I’d failed to save you from yourself…) and wanted me to tell you a story. I was too lazy to get up and find a book so I did what I frequently do. I made up a story.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy called… (and I looked at you expectantly for a name and you responded – Joy. To be expected because your favourite friend is Joy baby).. so yes, there was once a little boy called Joy who lived in a … jungle.
And from there onwards you and I played fill in the blanks.
So there was a baby called Joy who lived with his mama and his dada in the jungle. He rode lions, played with tigers, chased rabbits, splashed in the river and climbed trees.
One day another family came for a picnic to the jungle. They brought momos, chicken, juice, cheese and bananas (yes, you planned that menu, my son!) and had a nice time. Suddenly they caught sight of little Joy baby and wondered what a little boy was doing all alone in the jungle.
They looked around and didn’t see his family so they picked him up and took him home. They spoke English and the baby spoke Bengali so they didn’t understand each other. He kept saying – My mama and dada are in the jungle but they didn’t understand him.
They told the police that they’d found a lost baby in the jungle and then they took care of him. They bought him toys and took him to the park and to the rail museum and the zoo where he liked the animals, but ….
(and here I paused to see what you wanted…)
Back home in the jungle (you said) – his mama and dada were looking for him. They asked the elephant – did you see our baby? The elephant shook his trunk and said no. They asked the tiger… the tiger said no. They asked the lions, the deer… everyone. Then the toucan said – I saw him. I saw a family come and take him away and I followed them. I know where they live.
And so his mama and dada took the tiger with them and followed the toucan to the human home. And the tiger ate up the man’s legs and saved Joy baby and brought him home. Because even if you give him the nicest things he doesn’t want to stay with other people. He wants his mama and dada and his house.
I do wish the tiger hadn’t eaten up the man’s legs because they’d really meant no harm. But I think I was so thrilled at your story having a head, a tail and a body that I grinned through it. I am sure there will be many more stories, and maybe you will be a famous author someday. And if they interview you and want to know the first story you ever came up with – this is it.