Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stranger than fiction…….

The world is a dark place. Full of confusion and chaos, selfish envy and over indulgence. I think sometimes that the world today is the same ball of fire and gaseous nastiness that it was so long ago, "in the beginning". The lens shows a somewhat different picture, but much is the same. Thankfully,there are bright spots, and faith helps us see those and faith helps us build upon them. But this is a tale of murder and mahem, not sunny side of the streetness.

One nasty varmit that wreaks havoc on our world is crime. Humans hurting other humans, I speak of here. It’s a sad reality. Murder in particular. As much as I enjoy watching Law and Order and Third Watch, the reality is not pretty when it comes to that kind of human pain. Rarely are cases solved in 60 minutes – minus commercials.

Some murders are mysterious, complicated, and obscure. They go on forever; grow into "cold cases"...Others are clean cut in black and white; catching the culprit a relatively easy task.

Crime in the home is prevalent, but on a much lesser level in most cases. For example:

When my children were younger, one of the girls, then 3, appeared before me with sticky pink fingers and a lovely glaze of sugared red #20 gently coating her innocent face.
“Mommy, I want some juice” said the glazened babe.
I stopped what I was doing and looked down at her adorable pinkishness.
“So, have you been eating candy?” I asked.
“No.” came the reply.
“Are you SURE you haven’t ?” I tried again to offer her an opportunity to tell the truth. ( This was before I knew that threes don’t always do that when given the chance)
I gave over to her, the bottom of my tee shirt and she stuck to it quite well. We proceeded into her room. We stood at the door. I scanned the space. A cellophane wrapper caught my eye and I approached it. I bent down and looked the wrapper square in the , well square. “Did Mary eat you?” I asked, leaning over so that I could better hear the response.

I noticed that this candy wrapper was but one among many. Hiding behind the first were an additional 60 or so empty wrappers.

Mary peeled her fingers from my shirt and backed towards the door- the escape hatch.

I looked at her. “It says, yes, Mary. Did you eat it? Is this the one on your fingers or on your cheek? Or is this the one still stuck in your teeth?”

She stuck her fingers together- apart-together-apart and then her three year old tongue swept around her lips. With determination came,“Nope, Mommy.”

Oh, what to do with this lie in the bold face of truth! I did what any self-respecting mother of 4 would do. I said, “Don’t tell me, sister. Tell them” and I left her to work it out with the empty and restless candy wrappers.

On a larger, more serious scale, though, people tend to react the same. In the face of bad truths, they will lie. A murder occurs. Someone is bludgeoned to death. It is mentioned in the news so much that the general public becomes numb to the facts. Eventually, the culprit is found guilty- the facts come about clear and undeniable, and the murdering husband is sent to a cell where he can write about it.

Time passes.

The seasons change. The hot spot news stories lull, exciting happenings hit the vaca circuit, and the newspaper starts desperately reaching for stories of interest. A reporter comes across an attorney who has decided to bring up the (aforementioned) murder story again with a twist. The attorney has discovered that the poker did not, in fact, kill the woman, but that an owl killed her. Proof being a feather stuck in her cap- er, uh scalp. The talons of said owl match the scratches on the woman’s body. The owl had been seen flying by at dusk the night before….. the woman left on the stairs clutching a feather. An owl feather.

The story made me laugh. I set the reality of the event aside and laughed. Give me a break. This is a story that one of my children could create. Wait. This IS a story that one of my children could create.

I put on my detective hat, did some research, and found to my dismay, that this attorney in fact frequents the ice cream store that we, too, visit often. I asked the dipping crew at the store if they recognized the attorney’s face from the papers and they said, “Yes, why, he was in here a few weeks ago when you and the girls were, too. Don’t you remember? One of the girls was reading a story from an old journal to you all. Then a few days later you came by looking for it, don’t you remember?”

OMG. I DID recall that event, and the journal has still not surfaced. How interesting… very interesting..

The story my child was reading that night was about a little girl who was accused of taking her sister’s candy, and when asked to tell the truth about it, she said a pterodactyl had been napping under the bed and was hungry when it woke up and they, of course like cherry sours the best of all, and he sneaked into sister’s room and scraped a talon full of them and flew back into the other sister’s room and hid under the bed and ate them and then went back for more and left scrapes in the carpet that could have looked like someone trying to cut the carpet with scissors but it was really pterodactyl claw marks and the red stains were red drool from eating the candy and then he went back and got the rest and he left the wrappers because he was going to have them later for dessert because he liked the way they crunched in his beak and so the little girl found him and said, “I’m going to tell my mommy you ate sister’s candy” and he said,
“No, don’t because I will have to fly away and if I give you some to eat, then we can be friends,” and she said “well, okay” and they ate the candy together and that’s how she got red on her and on the door frame and under the bed and in the carpet.

The story had been dictated to an older sister by a very imaginative 3 year old who was growing cavities as she spoke.

I thought. Owl/ Pterodactyl…. Feather, owl talon marks/ beak, claw carpet marks, red drool. Do you see anything peculiar in these stories?

If I remember correctly, there is also a story in that same journal that involves not sleeping at naptime, and writing on the wall with crayon. I wonder how those stories will manifest in the local news

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BUT have you heard the one about the fearless grandmother of 2 said to be rescuing a sinking boat with nothing save a 5 gallon bucket and an oar?! GREAT retelling! I can just now picture the red drool which the fearsome dino left behind.