Tell us a story!

Back in the good old days, when the earth was flat!

Daddy! Daddy! Tell us a story!

Its after dinner. Devotions have been done. Dishes are happening. And the younger children want to hear a story.

“All right! What do you want to hear a story about?” “Tell us a story of when you were a little boy.” “OK, but when was that?” The response was well rehearsed “Back in the good old days, when the earth was flat!”

And so I’d start telling the story. After a while I’d notice that the sound of dishes happening had stopped and the dish washers were standing in the doorway listening to the story too. It was just like that. Everybody would enjoy it. And even later, when grandchildren came along they loved the stories too!

I have been telling stories to my kids for many years. At first when my oldest, Jess and Chris were kids. Both Trudi and I would read stories to them. And stories stay with children all their lives long. Chris is now thirty two years old and he now has his own copy of Scuffy the Tugboat that he reads to his daughter Ruth! We are on to our third set of The Chronicles of Narnia and that’s nearly worn out! And the number of times I have read that delightful book ‘The Voyage of the Vagabond’ by Richard Thruelsen and each time they loved it!

But it is the stories of my childhood that they love the most. Each of the children loved those stories. Stories of the house in Kelmscott that my Dad built. Stories of the cow and the calf. Stories of the bushfires. Stories of hurricane lamp adventures to the outside dunny in the dead of the night. Stories of that exciting drive through the cyclone. Stories of my grandmother’s visit from Holland in the 60s. Stories of long pushbike rides as kids to the beach twenty miles away.

Kids love stories, and stories that give them a heritage, a place in the scheme of things they love even more. This is my story, a picture of my place in the scheme of things. Much of it has been told to my children as they grew up. Some of it will be new to them. And for the older ones some of it will have happened since they left home to set up homes and families for themselves.

This is my story …

© Willem Schultink