Three Short Stories for a Winter's Eve

MY GRANDFATHER'S DINOSAUR
HOW FLOWERS TAUGHT THE TWO-LEGGED COWS TO KNOW HER NAME

DOG-BOY'S LONG NIGHT MOON

 

"It is with great joy that I offer here three of my favorite short stories, all of which were inspired by some real event in my daily life. These fun and imaginative tales originally appeared in my 2004 publication “Stories for the Teacher’s Room.” Although written with “tweens and teens” in mind, these three stories turned out to be particularly liked among parents and other not-so-young readers. All three stories have a common theme: how people (and some two-legged cows) learn in meaningful contexts.

My Grandfather’s Dinosaur came from observing my friend Alvin use his excavator to pull dead trees and stumps on my property in the North Woods of Heath, Massachusetts. He left the huge machine at my house for a week. I called it “Alvin’s Dinosaur.” One day, watching Alvin skillfully operate his dinosaur, it struck me how the machine almost looked alive. 
I thought about how a young child would see this and how an old woman might remember it in their “personal realities.” 

 

How Flowers Taught the Two-Legged Cows To KNow Her Name came to me after encountering a real cow with the number 81 on her ear tag.
I wondered, "What’s her cow name, her Bovine name?" I was sure it was not Eighty One. How could she make the two-legged-cows (aka farmers) use her real name! It’s amazing what a cow (and kids) can do when really motivated!

 

Dog Boy’s Long Night Moon came from a night outside sitting by the fire as a full October moon lit the landscape. My wife Patricia made the comment, “They call it the ‘Long Night Moon’.” I had not heard the phrase before and I liked it. So, with nothing more than a title in mind, a story emerged about the intimate relationship of mentor and protégé, teacher and student. Both groups, in my experience, tend to focus on “teaching.” Teachers ask “What do I want you to know,” and students ask, “When are you going to teach me.” This story suggests that sometimes, “It's not about the teaching.”

 

So, please light up the fire, pull up a chair, and sit back and enjoy these sometimes silly and sometimes insightful "Stories for a Winters’ Eve."

 

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