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What We're Reading Now

Shortcuts Encouraged

1 October 2019

Rachel recalled childhood retellings of The Three Little Pigs and was glad to remember that shortcuts sometimes lead to delightful memories of their own.

Tags: balance, picture books, rachel read

Growing up, bedtime stories were a big deal. There were always books around, but something about being tucked in and reading together was particularly special, especially when my father would "do the voices" and bring the characters to life off the page.

While bedtime stories themselves were a near-nightly ritual, not all evenings were conducive to a lengthy tale. Although I don't recall exactly how the tradition started, our family's love affair with The Three Little Pigs likely began with a night that simply didn't have time for a book. Not to be cheated of a story, an assortment of retellings of the classic tale of the piglets and the straw and the sticks and the bricks and the big bad wolf emerged. Sometimes, it was probably done in 60 seconds flat. Other times, it was a more elaborate affair, complete with detailed backstories (and names) for each of the pigs and sound effects (the "ba ba boms") heralding the wolf's approach. And often, it led to variations like "The Three Little Pigs and the Washing Machine." (Sure, Mama Pig's washing machine can handle dirty clothes, but can it also stand up to oil paint and cement?)

This week finds me in Singapore, and although I thought about it before packing, my chosen book for October didn't make its way into my suitcase. For a while, I considered buying a digital copy or trying to find a local children's book here. That proved to be harder than it sounds. Then I decided that a shortcut would do.

Don't worry — I'm not planning to build my house out of straw for the long haul. But, on occasion, a shortcut can bring ease and speed and new sights to see, and then we can choose what to do the next time. For today, I'm imagining the best pigs ever.

.  .  .  .  .  .

My word for September was try, a word that often gets a bad rap but that worked well for me last month. My word for October is belief — in ourselves, in possibility, in the goodness of others. (And, for those who like Halloween, in the spooky things that go "Boo!" in the night.)


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