Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
TITLE: The Umbrella Staff
By Verna Cole Mitchell
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I had almost fallen asleep when there was a loud crash that came from the front of the house. Getting up quickly, I ran to the den, where I found my favorite lamp on the floor—the base in more pieces than I had thought it possible for a lamp to be. Beside the myriad of fragments stood the little roll of thunder himself with the crook of an unopened umbrella in his hand. He looked up at me with his dimpled smile, his blond curls all in a tangle, and innocence shining in his blue eyes so like his daddy’s.
After instructing him to stay clear of the broken lamp, I said, “Davy, I thought you were taking a nap. How did this happen?”
“It wasn’t my fault, Mommy. I was playing like I was Little David, the shepherd boy, and the that big ol' Giant Goliath jist jumped out at me. I had to proteck myself with my shepherd’s staff,” and he lifted his umbrella-staff high. Averting further disaster, I took it from his chubby hands.
Looking beyond the pieces of what had been just this morning a beautiful lamp, I saw a line of red magic marker, snaking across our new beige carpet. As calmly as I could manage, I asked, “Davy, are you going to try to tell me now that it was Goliath that made that red mark on the floor?”
“No, Mommy, I was pretending I was Moses and I needed a Red Sea, so I drawed one. I waved my staff over it”—here he pointed to the umbrella in my hand—“and the Israelbites walked acrost it on dry land.”
Praying for patience, I sat with Davy on the sofa and asked him if he knew what a lie was? He said, “Mommy, it’s not a lie when you’re just pretending.” After some further discussion of truth and lies, I told Davy he would have to stay in his room for time-out for a long time. With his head down, he said, “Do I hafta?” before trudging off. I began to clear the lamp pieces from the floor and worked on erasing the magic marker, which I had a feeling would linger with us for more than a few days.
It was a very long afternoon of “Mommy, can I come out of my room now?” I was especially glad to see my husband when he came through the door. After he kissed me, he took a good look at my face and asked, “What has our little monster done now?”
I gave him a rundown of Davy’s mayhem and was astonished to see a big grin form on his face. “Well, Honey, It’s true he’s costing us money, robbing us of our sense of peace, and testing our patience, but you have to admit our boy is going to be a grand Bible scholar.”
He could have been right, but I didn’t “hafta” admit it.
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