Our son was two years old, so his grandparents gave Dan this storybook for Christmas. I began to remember some favorite stories from when I was little–“The Snowshoe Rabbits,” “The Goat Who Played Santa Claus,” “The Secret Ride.”
One story took me back to First Grade.
We sat on the floor around the teacher while she read a story to us. Afterwards we were invited to stand in front of the class and share or recite something. I raised my hand. The teacher called on me.
I couldn’t get up. My legs had gone to sleep.
When I finally could stand, I recited “Oh, the wonderful bits that folks drop as they go. . . .” which ends with the punch line “Oh, just before Christmas it’s NICE to be mice!”
Mom and given Gloria and me the book in the 1950s. That childhood copy has been loved hard. The cover is long gone, and it’s held together with electrical tape.
The last story in the book is “The Christmas Tree Lamb,” although it’s missing from the copy from my childhood.
When Dan was little I made a felt lamb for our tree, complete with bell, because of this darling story.
We always hung it “up near the top, right under the shining star,” just like in the book, except that our star is made a felt, just like the lamb.
Time to pass these treasures onto granddaughter Kate.
The only thing better than an heirloom is an heirloom with a story.