Saturday, December 29, 2007

They Peeked

A young couple were thinking about having a second child. Their daughter was four and, not wanting to startle her, they thought to let the girl know what they were thinking about. Sensitive to how children could react to change they were curious about their daughter’s reaction. Though they didn’t know what to expect they were themselves surprised when their daughter nodded thoughtfully at the news and said, “Oh, that’s very interesting.” They were a bit puzzled at this but felt that they had done what was right. A year later they gave birth to a boy. Bringing him home where his sister would meet him for the first time, they recalled her strange reaction a year earlier. They brought their son in the house and laid him in a crib. His sister looked at him and then at her parents and said, “I would like to be alone with my brother for a while?” This was an odd thing for a five-year-old to ask and it worried them a bit. But they loved their daughter and were sure that whatever she wanted could hardly be dangerous. They agreed and, leaving the two children alone, left the room. But they peeked. They saw their daughter drag a chair over beside the crib. She climbed onto the chair and, leaning into the crib and over her brother, they heard her whisper, “Tell me about God. I’m beginning to forget.”
I learned the above story almost 20 years ago from a friend in California. She told it to me as something she had heard had happened to some friends. As delighted as i was by the tale i was skeptical that it had actually "happened". It had the telltale feel of an urban legend, despite how benign it was (urban legends tend to be rather more violent or gruesome). I thought if it was an urban legend it was only a matter of time before i heard it once again. And, sure enough, i did hear it again - ten years later. I've since heard in one or two more times. Nor does it matter to me whether these types of tales about about something that "happened" or not - the truths they carry are no less important.

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