Monday, March 2, 2015

Head Pigs

What does every storyteller want?  Here's one possible answer: an audience that fully commits to a story.  But such a person is hard to find!  Unless you have a singularly captive audience, that is.

Some backstory: my daughter decided to dress up as the Horned King for Halloween.  The Horned King is the primary villain in The Book of Three, the first book in the Chronicles of Prydain.  In the beginning of the book, he kidnaps Hen Wen, the oracular pig.  Naturally, I insisted my daughter carry a stuffed pig around on Halloween.

That night, with my daughter stuffed full of candy and goodwill, I tossed the pig onto the bed.  It started jumping up and down frantically.

"What's its problem," my daughter asked, a little grumpily (her sugar high had long since crested and turned into a sugar crush).

"Hm," I said, studying the pig I was wildly flailing around with my right hand.  "I'm not entirely sure, but I think it's worried that it'll be put back into, you know."

"I don't know.  The what?"

I whispered the next two words.  "The Box."

The Box is a large cardboard box that resides in my daughter's closet.  It is filled to the brim with toys that she has outgrown.  The pig had come from there.

My daughter rolled her eyes.  "Okay, fine," she said, and opened her arms.  "Come here pig, you can sleep with me."

The pig continued to flail around in my hand.  "That's strange" I said, puzzled.  "It's still scared."

"Why?  What does it want?"

I cocked my head and brought the pig up to my ear.  "It... hm...  Really?  But...  Okay.  Okay."  Then I turned back to my daughter.  "It wants to sleep on top of your head."

My daughter stared at me, eyes narrowed.  Then she said a single word, one that I hear often: "Seriously?"


And that is why for the past four months, my daughter has been sleeping like this.

Did I think my idea would work?  Well, honestly... yes.  My daughter has a long tradition of buying into the stories I create for her, and so I thought that maybe for a night or two...  But for four months?  To the point where my daughter places the pig on her head herself before falling asleep?  Nope, I didn't expect that!  And no, I'm not ashamed.  I'm damn proud of myself!

There's a lot of reasons why it would be hard for me not to love my daughter, and I can't deny that one of them is: she definitely buys into my stories.

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