Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jelly's Donut

You may be wondering about the kid's stories. Hopper, and now this one. I decided a few months ago that it was sort of stupid that I hadn't written Eryn any stories she could call her own, considering I had a Master's in writing. I hadn't given any thought to publishing any of them, and I have a Creative Commons license on the site, and no story will ever make it into a book without illustrations, and I'm a seriously bad artist, so I don't see any harm in putting them out here for anyone to read to their kid(s). Eryn's particularly fond of this one. That's a picture of her on National Donut Day. Note that the author of Arnie the Doughnut is in no way associated with, or gave blessing to, my story.

Jelly's Donut

When Jill was young, really just a baby, her favorite food in the whole world was a big jar of grape jelly. Her parents would feed her squashed peas, squashed carrots, and sometimes squashed squash, and like the good little girl that she was, she would eat every bite. But as soon as she was done, she would point at the refrigerator with a tiny finger and grunt, “elly, elly, elly…” Even before she could say “dessert”, she knew what dessert was and what she wanted for dessert.

Her parents would sigh and ask her if she wouldn’t rather have something else. Maybe an ookie, or a piece of ake. But Jill would just keep pointing at the refrigerator, insisting, “elly, elly, elly!” until they gave in.

Jill wanted grape jelly so much and so often that after a while her parents quit calling her “Jilly”, as some parents are wont to do with a little girl named Jill, and took to calling her “Jelly” instead.

Jelly’s mother and father thought she might outgrow her jelly phase. But over the years she only learned to love it more. When she was two, she discovered it was great on crackers. At three, she embraced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At four, she went back to eating it straight out of the jar.

Whenever Jelly’s father went to leave the recycling at the end of the driveway, he would watch for neighbors first, just so they couldn’t see him carrying a big bag full of empty jelly jars, each of them licked cleaner than if they’d been run through the dishwasher.

“This has got to stop!” said Jelly’s mom. “Jelly can’t start kindergarten eating nothing buy grape jelly. They don’t serve jars of jelly at the school cafeteria.”

“She doesn’t eat just jelly,” said Jelly’s dad. “She eats her vegetables and her fruits and her meats and dairy. She just likes to finish off with a spot of jelly.”

“A jar is not a spot!” exclaimed Jelly’s mom. “And they won’t have even that much at school. We need to find her another dessert.”

“I’ll try something new tomorrow,” said Jelly’s dad.

So the next day, Jelly’s father took her out for dinner. When dinner was over, a bunch of people came out in funny hats and sang her a birthday song, which confused Jelly, because it wasn’t even her birthday. But they left behind a huge bowl full of twenty-one scoops of ice cream in all the colors of the rainbow. Jelly carefully stuck one finger in a large scoop of chocolate, and then stuck the finger in her mouth. Then she made a face. And not a good face, like the kind you would normally see on a kid with a finger covered in chocolate ice cream, but a squinchy face, like a kid who just drank lemonade without any sugar.

Dad bought Jelly a jar of grape jelly at the supermarket on the way home.

“I’ll try,” sighed Jelly’s mom.

So the next day Jelly’s mom took Jelly out for dinner. But instead of going to a restaurant, they went to a bright store full of long, white dresses, which was attached to a bakery full of large white cakes, each cake topped with two little people.

“Isn’t she a bit young…” began the woman behind the counter.

“It’s arranged,” interrupted Jelly’s mother. “Just give her some cake.”

The woman gave Jelly a big slice of marbled cake, simply oozing white frosting in all manner of swirls and whorls. Jelly ran a finger through the frosting, leaving behind a little furrow. She popped the frosting in her mouth. Then spit it in her hand.

Mom bought Jelly a jar of grape jelly at the supermarket on the way home.

Jelly’s grandfather was visiting that night when Jelly and her mother came home and understood the seriousness of the situation. “I’ll try,” Jelly’s grandfather volunteered.

So the next day, Jelly’s grandfather took Jelly out for dinner. Later, he and Jelly came home. Jelly looked as happy as a clam, while grandpa quickly made excuses and headed up the stairs to the guest bedroom.

“I’m old,” he said. “And tired,” he added. “And I should be in bed,” he finished. Then he ran upstairs like a man much younger than 74.

Jelly’s parents sighed.

“So did you have a good dinner?” Jelly’s father asked.

“Yes I did,” replied Jelly.

“And did you clean your plate?” asked Jelly’s mother.

“Yes I did,” replied Jelly.

“And did you have dessert?” asked Jelly’s mother and father together.

Instead of replying, Jelly pulled a big white box out from behind her back and opened it. Inside were a dozen delicious looking donuts.

Jelly’s mother clapped her hands. Jelly’s father did a little danced and shed a few tears of happiness. Jelly handed them each a donut as they looked in the mood to celebrate. They all got very serious and touched their donuts together, as if to wish good cheer, good luck, and many more donuts in the future. All three of them took a big bite.

Jelly’s mother’s face fell.

Jelly’s father’s face teared up again, but not as happy as a moment ago.

Jelly’s face broke into a great, big grin. Through a mouth stuffed with donut she exclaimed, “Elly-filled!”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is how Winnie the Poo got started. He wrote stories for his 4 year old son. Keep it up. Dad Grandpa John