" .... and the fox ran away .", father puts a full stop to the story he made out of nothing .But the kid pulls his hand and demands him to tell what happened to the wise rabbit who taught the fox a lesson. "The rabbit went to his burrow" .Kid raises her head from bed and asks "if the fox returns....if there is another fox " , "No baby , the rabbit reached home safe.Now you sleep" father pats her back and the kid sleeps with her l'il right leg resting on father .
Next day she demands a song .Father sings the only few lines he ever know , night after night whenever the kid wishes.Father sings a lullaby that was written for a young prince.He explains the sights Bhima saw on his way to fetch Sougandhikam and another poem that the kid 'd learn in school after 5 years.Every time dad explains the meaning of each line and some times the kid helps him to complete a story. Kid never thought her father has a terrible sense of music.
Mother has a huge repository of stories but she rarely manages to finish her chores by kid's bedtime.Kid likes to hear the stories that the great grand mother once told to mother. "Bhishma was their grand father ..." , the kid imagined her grand father in a war field which is almost as big as their back yard .She wondered if Bhishma had taken his grand children to the rice fields to show the white cranes as her grand father does.She likes to rest her head on mother's hand and fell asleep.
She dreamed of uncle moon who had followed her all the way that evening in the sky .She had hidden herself inside the house to see if moon follows , to her wonder moon was looking for her right outside the window in the sky .She stopped peeping and shouted loudly ,"I'm here ."
Years went on , she read stories herself , told that to younger cousins and forgot many . But still father and mother stay awake to call the girl at bedtime and make sure their kid is all set to go to bed. Moon is no longer her uncle. The time machine never runs in reverse.
Pic courtesy :storytime