Friday, February 22, 2008

Entry #19

Do Trees Sleep?
by Ello

Tommy stared out the window at the bare limbs of the dogwood tree in the backyard.

“Mom, do trees sleep?” he asked his Mom who was busy preparing dinner.

“Yes, they sleep during the winter. That’s why their branches are bare. They’re hibernating. And in the spring, they wake up in all their glory.”

“Oh yeah! I know about hibernating. Like bears. They eat lots and lots of food and get really fat and sleep all winter long. And their body eats the food they already eated in their fat bellies while they’re sleeping.”

“Er, um, something like that.”

Tommy sat at the kitchen table. He grabbed an apple and began to munch.

“Um, Mom?”


“Do bears poop while they sleep?”

Mom paused in mid slice. “Uh, no. I don’t think so.”

“But then, where does the poop go?”

“I think they just hold it in until they wake up.”

“But won’t that give the bear a tummy ache?”

“I don’t know…”

“Cause when I gotta go poop and I try to hold it in, my tummy hurts real bad. I wouldn’t be able to sleep.”

“Seriously, I’m not sure…”

“AND they must have the biggest, stinkiest poops in the whole world after months and months of not pooping! That’s really gross!” Tommy howled with laughter as he warmed to his topic.

“OK, enough! I don’t want to hear another word about poop!” Mom was exasperated.

Silence again for several minutes.



“Do bears fart while they hibernate?”


Anonymous said...

This one made me smile. I raised two boys and that's exactly how their minds work. thanks for the laughter.

Vesper said...

Tommy = Angus? :-)
Excellent, Ello! Very funny!

Anonymous said...

Really nice - perfectly believable. Thanks for the giggle!

Beth said...

Ello, any time you write about children (your own on the blog) and here, I just love it. Love the humor!

Blogless Troll said...

Pitch perfect! Great job, ello!

DBA Lehane said...

Very amusing and so believable!

paisley said...

ya just never know with a kid do ya?????

24crayons said...

This was so cute!

rel said...

OMG you have to realize that I'm, writing this after many minutes of floor rolling laughter. My wife says that this is a true story, which to my mind makes it all the better.
i will retell this story again and again.

Gone said...

Yes, amusing, all the best elements of those "where the hell are we going with this" conversations with kids. Believable whether true or not.

Chris Eldin said...

You write humor very well. Your pacing is spot on!!
Nice job!!!

pattinase (abbott) said...

This made for a nice change of pace amongst all the sad tales.

Missy said...

I am so glad I missed this one late last night - I would have woke everyone. How old is this kid? I think he lives in my house! This was so much fun, and artfully done.

r2 said...

This was a hoot. Like every person who's had a son, I said, "That's my child!". Very believable. Extremely funny.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for your comments! I am so pleased that you all liked it! In this piece, Tommy is actually all 3 of my children in a conversation that occurred last year, actually, but which I have a hard time forgetting. For the story, it was easier to make one child out of three and make him a boy! I changed up the sequence and the timing of the dialogue from what was really said so that it read better and tighter for a short story. I'm just glad it worked!

thanks again everyone!

Sarah Hina said...

Ello, as always, you slay me.

This was such great, authentic dialogue. You nailed it, my friend. And of course, my own kids are asking me why I'm laughing so hard.

I told them it was about poop. They understood. ;)

Unknown said...

Oh that was priceless! Brilliant and very realistic dialogue and interaction! ;-)

SzélsőFa said...

I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off so elegantly. This 'poop thing' is becoming an emblematic topic of yours, Ello.
But come on, it's inevitable. And fun.
*still laughing!*

Anonymous said...

I never thought about the first bear poop after hibernation, but now I have my next research project. Very good dialog and very funny. Nice job Ello!

PJD said...

Rings true. Totally. As a dad of two young boys, I understand. Especially the legalistic ending where they adhere to the stated regulations but manage to engage in the same discourse. Four smiles out of four.

Anonymous said...

That was hilarious! I have four daughters, and this conversation could have just as easily happened here. The question is, "Do trees poop?"

Bernita said...

Ello, this is sweet!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Wow! More comments! Thanks so much for enjoying my piece. Since my 3 are all girls, this is definitely a conversation that occurs irregardless of having sons or daughter.

And do trees poop is another great questions! I will have to perculate on that one!

Hoodie said...

Right on. As a mom of four year old, I can tell you you nailed it.

Thanks for adding some well-written humor to the competition.

Precie said...

So very true to life! Thanks for such a wonderfully funny approach! The dialogue is perfect!

raine said...

I love this kid, lol.
Very nice!

JaneyV said...

Having 2 sons and a daughter this conversation is a familiar one. Bodily functions and 3-year-olds go hand in (normally) unwashed hand.

Thank you for making me laugh. Great piece!

wrath999 said...

You captured the inquisitive nature of children beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have to tell this story - we were at the zoo the morning before I read this. In the bathrooms, they have a woman reciting all kinds of poop facts (truly.) And she talked about how bears don't poop when they're hibernating.

So to read this story was FABulous. I kept wondering if Ello was in the bathroom at that zoo that morning! *grin*

Once again, though, it wouldn't have been as effective if it had been written poorly. Great dialogue.

Unknown said...

sweet story!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Actually, bears eat a bunch of material to plug up the system. When they wake up, they pass the "plug." Great dialog! The characterization shined through. High marks!

Aine said...

LOL! Your sense of comedic timing is impeccable! The pacing is great, the dialogue is very realistic, and the ending is satisfying. Great job!