Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
TITLE: The Sibling Experience
By Scarlett Farr
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Sitting in our big story-telling chair, we travel together, back to my childhood whenever I remember a new tale or she wants to revisit an old tale. My daughter loves animals so I always have to tell the story of one summer day when my two younger brothers and I discovered a pet my dad had rescued for a nearby farm. An orphaned day-old black angus calf immediately became our favorite past-time as we bottle-fed him, taught him to drink from a bucket, and eventually learned to ride him “bareback”.
One of my most vivid memories and an example of pure sibling silliness was when we spent our summer vacation lying on a blanket in the backyard cawing at the shiny black crows in the cornfield next door and taking turns translating what the crows’ return caws meant. A more daring past-time was lying perfectly still in the yard when we spotted an occasional buzzard. We became as still as three giggling kids can possibly be, trying our best to make the buzzard think we were the treat it was looking for just so we could jump up and scare it at the last minute. Although it never worked, we still delighted in pondering how the poor buzzard would react to our trickery.
Her eyes grow as big as saucers each time I tell about the day a runaway log truck left the highway, jumped the ditch and barreled through our yard straight toward us and our pretend cave in the hedgerow. I dramatically recount my bravery of throwing one brother over my shoulder while screaming for the other to stay close behind as we ran at breakneck speed to the house.
Ever the horse-lover, my daughter begs to hear about my sister’s bad-tempered shetland pony. She won it at a fair and loved that pony from the second she saw it at the drawing booth. She named it Miracle because she had been praying for a horse for years. Every afternoon after school she would saddle Miracle up and put my two brothers on her and lead them round and round the yard. Unbeknownst to me my turn to ride always came just before feeding time. Miracle knew what time it was and no sooner had I mounted up and taken the reins, a dinner bell rang in that pony’s head. Off she would run with me holding on and screaming at the top of my lungs. After what seemed minutes of riding the wild bronc (but was really only seconds) I would land on the ground, dazed as I watched the back end of Miracle heading for the feed trough and my sister laughing hysterically that I had fallen for the trick once again.
No, my daughter will not ever have stories of her own to tell, but maybe a second-hand sibling experience isn’t so bad. I find myself smiling when one of my siblings comes to visit and the inevitable happens. My daughter shepherds them to the big story-telling chair, repeating the now familiar words, “Can you tell me about the time. . . . “ and off she goes again into her own version of a sibling experience.
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