“Mommy, want to hear a story?”
The mother opened her eyes and smiled weakly. She could barely see her daughter even though she was right beside her hospital bed, but her voice was enough to comfort her. “Where’s your daddy?”
“He went for coffee. Want to hear a story?”
The little girl opened her picture book and explored her imagination.
“There was a little dog that liked pizza. One day he ate a BIG pizza all by himself. Then his tummy hurted and his momma gave him medicine. When he was good he ate pizza again, but this time his tummy didn’t hurt because he ate a little.
“One day . . . his friend crocodile visited him to play. They played hide-and-seek and then watched Cinderella. It was the dog’s favorite movie. But the crocodile wanted to see Snow White, so they fighted and the crocodile winned and they watched Snow White. Then they ate pizza and BOTH their tummies hurt because they ate too much. They had medicine and they were good again.
“Then . . . the dog wanted to play house. But the crocodile wanted to play office. They fighted and the dog winned, so they played house and . . . “
The mother could barely hear her daughter’s voice. Her sight was failing, too, and she felt a pressure in her chest.
” . . . and the crocodile ate ice cream and his tummy hurt. He wanted to ask the dog for medicine but he was sleeping, and so was the mom, and he didn’t know where the medicine was . . . “
Machines that stood beside the bed began to beep loudly. The little girl stopped her story and shook her mother’s arm.
“Mom? Mom? Mommy?”
by Ralph Serr