We’re gathered around the breakfast table when Clive sets down his cup and asks, “Mama, you tell me a stowwy ’bout Ephraim looses his hair? I love dat stowwy.”
I can’t recall ever telling a story with that particular plotline, but since he has asked so sincerely, I set my coffee aside and begin:
“Once upon a time, Ephraim had a full head of hair. But one day, when he was playing outside, he sneezed. And all of his hair fell out! [The boys giggle] And all of the birds outside came to get his hair to use in their nests…”
Ephraim interrupts, here. “But suddenly–Ephraim ATE one of the baby birdies!” Clive cackles, and Anselm laughs because everyone else is laughing. Ephraim continues, “And he ate one of the mommy birds, too!”
I sit for a second in stunned silence, because that is certainly not the ending I had in mind for either the sweet little nest-building birdies or my now-bald Story Son; I’m unsure how to continue, though I feel like the turn of events surely must be addressed.
Fortunately, Jeremy came to my rescue. “Well, son,” he says nonchalantly, “Did you cook the birds first?”