Childhood: Bedtime…Jimba’s Story

Story Introduction | Transcript | Annotated | 89-4286-BB-18-Z-18

I was finishing his story. He was sprawled on my lap and I was too exhausted to breathe. So I had failed to reconstruct the story and get rid of the sad ending as I was always required to do. So the old hunting dog was killed by the cougar she’d set out to track and the tears spilled over my face as I realized this.

He, Jimba, had leaped off my lap and was yelling to high heaven while tears rained down his face. “Read him out of it, Mom! Read him out of it! You KNOW better than to let them end like THAT and break both of our hearts that way.”

“But the writer claims that’s how it ended, son,” said I defensively, KNOWING there was no defence for such stupidity as I had displayed.

“What does the writer know about it?” screeched Jimba. “He wrote what he wanted to believe. Never in this world would you have written it like that, now would you?”

Contrite, I confessed, “Ah… no! The dog would have returned at daybreak with never a mark to mar his lovely coat, and his gait would have been as jaunty as in the richness of his puppyhood.”

“Go on, Go on…” gasped Jimba, with a firm grip on my jugular vein.. now I can see him alive and well, bouncing over the top of that hill back of his house…” His voice faded out on little gasps of exultation while I mentally cursed every writer who had ever written a story that ended wrong…and kept the dog running there in the dawn light bursting butterflies with his fresh little nose as they sipped the nectar out of the buttercups. That was a long time ago, although it seems as new as yesterday.