“Did not.” Josh grabbed at his brother’s shirt as Jacob danced out of reach.
“Boys!” Granny’s voice demanded instant obedience. “Sit down and stop fighting. I’m too old to deal with the shenanigans of two young boys. I did enough of that when your daddy was little.”
“Granny, tell us a story about when Daddy was a boy.” Jacob smiled sweetly up at her as he snuggled in beside her on the sofa.
“Oh, tell us about the stick Granny,” Josh winked at Jacob as he sat down on Granny’s other side.
“Ah, yes. The stick.” Granny’s voice changed into story-telling mode as she settled back and put an arm around each grandson.
“When your Uncle Phillip, we called him Pip then, was about five-years-old, your daddy was almost four and your Auntie Julie was an itty-bitty two-year-old.
“One afternoon, I’d had a terrible time getting Julie down for her afternoon nap. When she finally fell asleep, I realised it was time to get Pip from kindergarten. I wasn’t going to wake Julie up, and your daddy, Danny, was playing quietly with his Lego blocks, so I decided to dash around the corner to get Pip. I knew I wouldn’t be gone more than five minutes, so I thought it would be okay.
“Now, your daddy was always fascinated by fire. While I was gone, he decided he’d try poking matches in the gas heater to make them burn. He dragged a kitchen chair all the way over to the high shelf, climbed up on it, and got the matches down. Then he decided Julie might like to play too, so he went and woke her up. I arrived home to find the two of them giggling away, surrounded by a pile of half burnt matches.
“I was so angry, that I grabbed Danny by the collar and told him to run on outside and find a stick for me to smack him with.
“I put Julie back in bed and when I came out there was Danny, holding a teeny, tiny twig, about three inches long. I was getting angrier by the minute so I turned him around, quick marched him to the door and told him to find me a BIG stick.
“When Danny finally returned, he was dragging a log. It was so big I was surprised he could even move it. By this time I was fuming, smoke pouring out my ears and all.
“I marched him to the door again. This time I gave specific instructions about the size of stick I wanted, and I left him in no doubt that he’d better get it right this time.
“He was gone for so long, I thought about sending out a search party. I’d had time to calm down by the time he returned with what looked like a perfect stick. I decided that, even though I may have over re-acted, he still needed to be punished so I turned him over my knee and raised that stick.
“I don’t know if he knew before hand, or if it was just a stroke of luck for him, but when that stick hit Danny’s bottom it disintegrated into a thousand pieces. It was rotten through and through. Well, I did the only thing I could. I burst into gales of laughter, and Danny missed out on his punishment that day.”
Granny chuckled as she relived the memory.
“Your daddy sure did give me a challenge. You boys are pretty good really.” Granny hugged them closer. “Let’s go get some choc-chip cookies for my favourite grandson’s.”
As they followed Granny to the kitchen, Josh and Jacob exchanged thumbs up signals.
“Works every time,” Jacob whispered.
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