My daughter Christine sent a care package to her sister in the Navy and asked my to write a short story that would inspire Carol to have courage and stay focus during the coming year when she will be going to school to be a Flight Engineer. We are all very proud of my daughter Carol, this little story reflects the way she always comes out on top of a situation even when she seems to be at a little disadvantage.
With sad puppy eyes, Little Carol looked up to her big sister, Christine and asked in a pleading tone, “Would you read me a bed time story?” For her part, big sister Christine was not one to cuddle her younger siblings less they take advantage of that kind demeanor and crumble all the hard work she’d done to establish herself as their leader. . . and their protector. “Fine!” she thought as she remembered that being a protector also demanded from her to be kind and approachable, and indeed, she was working very hard on the later. In truth, she didn’t want to admit that she’d been a little glad when their sister, Cathy had given Carol the ultimate in harsh punishments and there was no music to be played in the room at bedtime.
Cathy, although younger than Christine, was the disciplinarian of the three and when she thought Carol was acting up, out went the music; only that on that day, Christine had provoked Carol . . . as usual, as far as Carol was concerned, but now that Cathy had intervened, small pangs of guilt were nagging at her to correct the situation. Without admitting any fault, Christine determined, though a little reluctantly, to make up a story for Carol that would give her courage and determination so she could overcome any challenge she may encountered in life; not that Christine wanted her sister to be an amazingly resilient person, but maybe next time Cathy punished her, Carol would be able to sleep without music and she, fearless leader that she was, would not have to sit down and read bedtime stories.
And so it was that Christine began:
“This the tale of The Little Puppy Who Wanted to Climb a Mountain but Was too Little to Match Such an Ambitious Challenge, or for short, Puppy Steps Make the Journey Easier to Get to. . . no, wait Climb a Mountain Like a Boss: Puppy Steps . . .
It’s still too long!” she said exasperated.
“Christineeeee, forget the title just tell me the storyyyy” Carol said pleading once more.
“The title is important” Christine stated with determination, but Carol didn’t think that it matter much, it was easy, and so she said rapidly, “Puppy Steps, Like a Boss”
“Yes, that is good!”
“So, what happens?” Carol was eager for the story and did not want to wait much longer.
“Well, there was once a little, a cute little puppy named. . . Gibbins.”
“Noooo, she can’t be Gibbins, that’s a boy’s name”
“How do you know it’s a boy, I’m the one telling the story”
“Yes, but I already know what it is about”
“How . . .?”
“I know because you said it all in the original title, silly. Just tell me the story! I already know that the puppy’s name is Carol, like me. She wants to climb a mountain but she is so little that she thinks she’s going to fail. However, her big sister thinks . . . no, her big sister (a lion, because she was adopted) wants to teach her a step by step way on how to do things that seemed difficult and so she made up a technique to figure out how to approach each challenge with puppy steps. This way, although they are puppy steps, they would give her the advantage of mastering every little detail of the challenge and therefore it would make her seem like a boss to all the non believers . . . . SHUN THE NONBELIEVERS! . . . “Carol shouted the sibling’s mantra and heard the words echoed from the mouth of her brother and sisters that were already in bed in their rooms across the hall.
“Shun! . . . “
“SHUN! . . . “
“shunnnnnn!. . . “
Christine was taken a little aback, that was exactly what the story was about, only that it wasn’t a lion sister who helped Gibbins, it was a bunny. Does this mean that Carol saw her as a lion? Were her stories that predictable? It had been a spontaneous story, but even so, it had taken Christine all of her imagination to come up with the skeleton of the story and Carol just blurted it out in not so many words just like that! “How does she do that?” She thought a little annoyed. Everything seemed so easy for Carol. She was a natural at everything she tried and when things got a little rough, Carol could always count on the gods of Cosmic Fate to move the universe around and comply with Carol’s needs . . . “ wait, so this means that Carol didn’t need me to tell her a story . . .” Christine thought and suddenly realized that her little sister just wanted her company. Endeared by this realization, Christine picked up the mantra right on cue and shouted out,
“SHUN THE NON BELIEVERS!”
Carol’s face lit up with a smile as her sister joined in the racket of newly activated children in the middle of the night and together they went out to receive from their parents, a jolt of energetic chidings that prompted all the Morgan kids to huddle together in one room and fortify their bunkers in a game of friendly banters and pillow fighting with mom and dad.
Puppy steps, Carol.
When things get tough, go back to basics and advance one puppy step at a time.
Upon reading this last remark, Carol frowns raising an eyebrow and thinks,
“Lions don’t do puppy steps. Is that how she sees me? as a puppy? and not a Lion? Now, what on earth gave her that idea? When things get tough, other people better start taking puppy steps because they will surely hear me roar!”
By margarita Morgan
September 2, 2014