Here I shall post material that did not, generally for reasons of length, make it into the final version of Tell Me A Story In The Dark. Cuts had to be made. In another site chapter I will post “new material.” In this way many stories not found in the book (which, of course, you will buy) will be available.
Tell Me A Story In The Dark describes in detail the benefits stemming from bedtime stories and with the process of telling them — how to set up the room, how to create an effective “telling voice,” rules, etc. For now let me simply say: these tales aren’t meant to memorized and recited. Make them your own. Read them over a few times. Think about them. If you feel the need, write down a few significant plot elements — “story points,” the book calls them.
Then turn out the bedroom lights and create the ancient magic of storytelling. Your child will be happy.
The Mexican Polecat
You’ve never seen a Mexican Polecat. And you never will. Let me explain.
Everybody knows what a polecat is. Another word for skunk. Take it from me, you wanna stay away from them polecats. You get any a that skunk juice on you, you might as well move to the Klondike. Whew.
But a Mexican Polecat, now that’s a cat of a different color. Actually, it’s a cat of no colors at all. ‘Cause they blend in. Perfectly.
Mexican Polecats live on poles and trees. Stop signs, traffic semaphores, parking meters, school crossing signs, lighting poles, street signs, elms, ashes, crabapples, you name it.
But here’s the thing: you will never actually “see” a Mexican Polecat. They blend right in, even to the point of taking on background coloration. They’re brilliant in this regard. It’s their only talent. They’re quite dull otherwise.
You can’t touch a Mexican Polecat, not even accidentally, ’cause they’ll slither right up the tree, out of reach.
There’s only one time you can sorta see a Mexican Polecat, and that’s out of the corner of your eyes, in what they call your peripheral vision. You might notice a blur, but that’s it. So if you ever find yourself starting at a lamp post, going, Did I…? Was there a…? Well. There’s a good chance you’re looking at a Mexican Polecat.
I don’t know why they’re called Mexican Polecats. They’re unknown in Mexico.
The New York City Train Snake
Sometimes, if you ride the New York City subways, especially in the old parts of the system, you’ll pass a part of the subway that’s dark. Almost no light. Look carefully. You might see an old side tunnel. Boarded up. Maybe that tunnel is old and decrepit, maybe they got old equipment stored in there.
Or maybe there’s a train snake in there.
There’s something in the subway air, I think it’s that mildewy stuff you can smell. Train snakes thrive on it. They also like the water that seeps into the tunnels. You ever see a nice shiny puddle of tunnel water, and the next morning it’s gone? Probably a train snake.
Now, nobody knows why, but sometimes a train snake’ll get it into their minds to take a trip down the tracks. What it does is – and scientists are at a loss to completely explain this. They think it has to with air passing through skin cells. Anyway, what a train snakes does, is, it blows itself up, couple hundred times its normal size. Then it heads off down the tracks. I’ve seen a blowed up train snake a block long. I’ve seen a train snake that stretched all the way from one station to the next. They look solid, all scaly and wet, but if you touch one, and I wouldn’t recommend touching a blowed up train snake, it’d go, blllllllllllllllllllllll poof. And there won’t be nothing left.
‘Cept a very angry train snake mother.
What happens is your blowed up train snake shoots down the tracks. Fast, and quiet. They can zip right past and you’re not looking up you won’t even notice it. Faster, faster, faster, till it reaches the end of the line, then, bloooop, it disappears.
Nobody knows what happens to a deflated train snake. Maybe they go up to train snake heaven, like a helium balloon. Or maybe they become teensy weensy, itty bitty little train worms. I don’t know.
And I don’t wanna know.
There are two types of DidgereeDudgereeDoos: the Sonoran and the Southern Arizonian. Scientists can discern no difference between the two. They are the same identical animal. But they will have nothing to do with each other. They don’t talk, they don’t intersect, they don’t acknowledge each other’s existence. Why not? You’d have to ask a DidgereeDudgereeDoo and they won’t discuss the matter.
Fully extended, a DidgereeDudgereeDoo looks like a giant daddy long legs spider: six long thin double jointed legs, two long arms coming right out of the top of their hard carapace body (more on this in a moment), and a head with a sharp beak. Watch that beak. It can do a lot of damage. The head is double jointed. It twists around every which way and has two sets of eyes. DidgereeDudgereeDoos are known to have excellent vision and have been known to watch movies from a good mile away.
DidgereeDudgereeDoos adore movies. Sometimes they’ll crowd around a window, jockeying for position as the unsuspecting humans inside play their DVDs. The more sentimental, the better. A five hanky weeper is just what they like.
As soon as a DidgereeDudgereeDoo senses danger – they’re very shy – they pull their arms, legs and their head inside their body. And that hard carapace body looks for all the world like a rock, of which, as you know, the desert has four or five kazillion. Indeed, even trained biologists will often walk by a DidgereeDudgereeDoo unawares. And so, if you’re ever done any desert hiking, have you.
DidgereeDudgereeDoos love to race, and the love to dance. They get all six legs cranked up and they scamper this way and that, and they start clapping their hands really fast, and the speed edges up and up. If you’re ever out in the desert and you see dust devils whirling and whipping around what’re probably looking at is a DidgereeDudgereeDoo dance.