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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Media (in any form) (11/11/10)

TITLE: The Boogie Man in the Box
By Fern Brown


The Boogie Man in the Box

Four-year-old Connie saw her daddy’s truck stop in front of their home with the old, fake-brick siding. He and Uncle Tom, both laughing, slammed the beat-up truck doors and hustled to the bed of the jalopy. Daddy climbed in, gave the big box a hefty push, then jumped down and both men grabbed their end of the box.

Connie ran to ask Mommy, “What’s in the big box?”

Henry chased Johnny past her, and shouted, “It’s the Boogie Man!”

Johnny stopped long enough to say, “And he’s going to eat you alive!”

Mommy comforted the little girl’s fears and shushed Connie’s big brothers with a long, stern look. “No more of that kind of talk and I mean it.”

Connie peeked around the door while the men unloaded the box. “Mommy, it looks like it’s just another box,” she whispered.

“You are an observant little girl. It is a box and it has pictures and voices. I’ve heard about them, but when World War II started, the talk died down for a while. Since the war ended a few years ago everyone wants a television of their own.”

“A what?” That was a new, strange word to Connie.

“A television. But you can call it a TV if you want to, Sweetie.”

By the sound of his voice, the youngsters knew Daddy’s surprise would make them very happy. He stood in front of the television as the children plopped onto the couch.

“Are you ready,” his laughing eyes and straight, white teeth lit up his handsome face.

He turned a little round button and a picture popped up. They watched as people moved around all over the place, talking and laughing with each other. “This is just a commercial,” Daddy explained, as he sat down and pulled Connie into his lap. “The movie will play in a minute.”

Suddenly Connie heard whooping and hollering, as she never heard before. Men with painted faces were riding horses, chasing other men who were shooting guns. One man, wearing a cowboy hat, rode straight towards Connie with a gun in his hand and aimed it right at her. She buried her head in her daddy’s firm chest and cried. “I don’t like this, Daddy. I’m afraid. Is that man going to shoot me? I didn’t do anything to make him mad. Is he the Boogie Man?” Her fears mounted with each new statement.

Daddy’s reassuring words didn’t comfort his little girl at all. Mother hugged Connie and carried her away from the disturbing commotion.

“Little Punkin,” Mother explained, holding her snuggly, caressing her arms. “There is no Boogie Man. It looked like the men were hurting each other, but it is all make-believe.” Mommy’s soft voice and hugs consoled Connie a little bit.

“But Mommy, I thought he was going to shoot me. He aimed the gun right at me.”

“I’m sorry you are afraid, Sweetie. Even if things are pretend, they can be scary, can’t they? But we have to remember that God is always with us even when we are afraid. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from what scares us, and do things that take away the fear. Let’s read a book, shall we?”

As Mommy tucked her little girl into bed that night, Connie’s innocent eyes looked directly into hers, “Mama, I know there is a Boogie Man. He goes around trying to scare people, so they forget to trust Jesus. I don’t want to watch TV anymore.”

“How discerning,” Mother thought. Aloud she said, “Little Punkin, I believe you are right. There is a Boogie Man, and God calls him the devil. He tries to fill our minds with bad thoughts to keep us from knowing God cares for us. I’m sure there are good things on television, but we need to guard our minds and hearts for Jesus and not allow Satan to put his wicked thoughts into our heads. You are a very wise little girl. You taught your own mother a valuable lesson tonight.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon11/20/10
What an engrossing story. Never thought about the TV as being a boogie man in the box, but it can be. Loved what the little girl said about the TV.
Jan Ackerson 11/20/10
Great title, and a sweet story with lots of nostalgia.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/21/10
This is a sweet little story. I like the idea of a children's story set in the 50s. I also like the precocious little Connie, she reminds just a tad of my favorite character Wrigley. Nice writing. Often when adults write for kids they have the adult be the problem solver; I liked how you had Connie resolve the conflict with just a little help from Mother. Great job!
Brenda Rice 11/22/10
Boogie Man in the Box, is still a real good description of television. I enjoyed your story and it brought back memories.