Friday, July 16, 2010

Lucy's favorite bedtime story

Over time, Lucy's begun to reject the poems and lullabies I used to use to help her go to sleep. "No!" she says. I'm sure it means "no--don't say that--I know you're trying to make me go to sleep."

But I learned a trick from my friend Julie. She used to tell her girls the stories of their days. For some reason, Lucy will accept that. "Do you want mama to tell you a story?" "Yes."

There are favorites. "The seagulls in Bar Harbor." "Swimming in the river." "The bead in the poop." But there's one I've told over and over, so many times that it's developed a rhythm, a repetitive style, a way it must be told. It's "The Mouse in the House."

Once upon a time,
the children were playing in the studio
and they started to call
"Lise, Lise! Come quick!
There's a mouse in the house!"
So I went to see.
"Where?" I asked.
"Under the table," they said.
So I looked under the table, and sure enough, there was a mouse!
A cute grey mouse, with a long long tail.
It was scared.
It scampered away.
It ran under the steps,
behind the suitcases,
behind the blocks,
and behind the baskets.
We tried to catch it.
We tried to put a basket over it.
And we thought we caught it.
But when we lifted the basket,
no mouse.
Where did it go?
We didn't know.
We looked all around, but
no mouse.
So the children got flashlights
to help them look.
They looked under the tables, but
no mouse.
They looked under the chairs, but
no mouse.
They looked under the couch, but
no mouse.
They looked under the stove, but
no mouse.
But there was a hole, the size of a mouse.
Could the mouse be there?
We didn't know.
Maybe if we cleaned the house,
we'd find the mouse.
So we cleaned and cleaned, but
no mouse.
Then it was time to eat lunch.
So we sat at the tables,
and we started to eat,
when all of a sudden,
Audree said
"Lise, look!"
And I looked,
and there, in the studio,
was the mouse.
It ran across the floor,
and behind the baskets,
and it jump, jump, jumped
up onto the blocks
and ran behind the block shelf
and into the corner.
And we trapped it there.
And caught it
in a bucket
with a magnifying lens for a lid.
And we put it in a cage,
with some leaves, so it could hide,
and some cheese, so it could eat,
and a lid, so Eliot wouldn't get in.
We looked at the mouse.
And it was so cute,
with a pointy grey face,
and black, beady eyes,
and big, round ears,
and a long tail,
and cute, pink feet.
We watched that mouse all day.
And at the end of the day,
we let the mouse go.
But not in the house,
oh no, oh no.
Bye, bye mouse.
Not in the house!


Julie said...

Great story! I think it would make a great book for Lucy! Maybe illustrated by all the Free To Be kiddo's:)

Lise said...

That's just what I was thinking. Great minds... :-)