It’s the day after the 2020 election here in the United States and as is par for the course with EVERYTHING this year, nobody has any clue what’s forthcoming. Surely nothing as trivial as a mighty flood or locust invasion. Come on. Be serious. We’re in the big leagues now.
I will say that it is a feat beyond measure for me to wrap my head around the fact that a large swath of the American population is at peace with having a narcissistic hate monger at the wheel of their bus.
Now, to be fair, I’ve been in the company of more than a few hateful bus drivers hell bent on getting up on two wheels right out of the stop while I’m walking back to my seat. The difference is, their busses aren’t metaphorical. And I sure as hell wouldn’t choose any of them to usher me through four years of public transportation… which, incidentally, is very much what this last presidency has felt like. Four interminable years of perpetually riding on public transportation.
Truth is, I don’t wish to further occupy my mind with such drivel. So today, I decided instead to engage my mind with more creative endeavors. As such, I’ve come up with some potential ideas for children’s stories. After all, those little rapscallions are our future.
Right now, three of those ideas are in the lead. So join me on this special journey through my imagination to escape the uncertainty of the election. You won’t need anything except maybe galoshes, some cash, and a some hanging chads. Just in case.
1. Blankets for Billy
Young Billy lives with his mother, father, and little sister, Casey. Billy has the perfect family. His father tucks him in every night and his mother reads him wonderful stories about beautiful falling leaves and canaries in trees. He even has the perfect relationship with Casey – whom he never teases by pulling her hair, telling her she was adopted, or making up false stories about their parents dying. The family’s love is all-consuming and abiding – despite the fact that they are terribly poor and live in a refrigerator box. In an alley. In Anchorage, Alaska. One day just before Christmas, a great big jolly man comes to the front door of the refrigerator box and gives each member of the family a brand new blanket. Billy and Casey, in their sweet innocence, are certain the man is Santa in street clothes. The man is actually a developer who wants to get rid of Billy’s family though. And when they all die one month later from smallpox (from the blankets), “street-clothes Santa” rejoices. The end.
(Note: If it isn’t apparent, there is a clear parallel in this story to how the colonists treated the Native Americans way back in the olden days. It’s obvious that this story could be tremendously valuable in teaching children about American history, capitalism, and viruses – as well as how truly interchangeable they all are.)
2. Why Plants Are Green
The basic premise is – “Because of chlorophyll. Duh.”
(Note: I admittedly haven’t fleshed this one out yet. It could be part of a more comprehensive scientific series for challenged learners. But I think we can all agree there’s something really promising here.)
3. The Golden Leaf
In this whimsical tale, a small and beautiful child – let’s make her an orphan – is taken with the beauty of one single golden leaf as it drifts from a tall branch to the earth. She watches it as it bobs and floats as if guided by the most gossamer thread. The leaf is a work of art – absolutely symmetrical and shimmering gold against the impossibly blue sky. The little girl waves at the leaf and smiles. It is perfect. And perfectly sharp and jagged; slashing the throat of a yellow canary perched on a branch and putting an abrupt end to its song. But this delights the little girl. She has not only gained a valuable weapon for safely maneuvering the dark halls of the orphanage, but will have something besides gruel for dinner. She rejoices. The end…
Yes, okay. These may be a tad dark. But hey, I tried.
Keep the hope, y’all.