Yesterday I asked Jane to run upstairs to my room and get a book off my bedside table. "It’s called As I Lay Dying," I said.
Rose let out a shriek. "Nooooo! No!"
"What’s wrong?" I asked. "You don’t want Jane to get it? Did you want to?"
"NO, Mommy! I don’t want you to read that book at ALL! That’s a terrible book!"
"Oh, honey, it’s a beautiful book, really," I reassured her. "Does the title scare you?"
Rose glowered. Fear makes her fierce. "I. Don’t. Like. It."
By this time, Jane had returned with my book. Beanie rushed to my side and studied the cover, which shows (not surprisingly) a drawing of a coffin in the back of a wagon.
"Mommy!" Bean shrieked. "Don’t read this! I don’t want you to lay dying!"
"Sweetheart," I said, wondering where all the melodrama was coming from, and then remembering that they’re my children. "This book doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’m just reading it."
"Well, I don’t like it."
I pointed out that reading How to Eat Fried Worms didn’t make Rose actually EAT any worms, fried or otherwise.
"I would NEVER!" Rose shuddered.
Beanie considered this a moment.
"I wish you would," she said, forgetting all about my nightmarish taste in literature. "It would be very interesting to watch."
Betsy-Tacy News and More
Dump Truck Huck
From the Archives: A Child’s Delight