Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

"Come on, Sweetie, keep up."

"Because you're walking too slowly. We need to get to the library before it closes."

"I know you're looking for rocks. You don't need any more."

"Because we've only gone two blocks and you've got five rocks."

"We have four blocks to go, and I don't want you picking up every rock you find."

"Because there's a gravel driveway on the next block, and I'm afraid of what you'll do."

"Not even if they're pretty. You think every rock is pretty."

"I know a lot of them are pretty, but we've got 10 more rocks at home."

"You just don't need anymore. That makes 15 rocks, and you don't know what to do with them."

"No, you can't display them on the dining room table."

"No, you can't display them on my workbench either."

"How about the neighbors' yard?"

"I haven't forgotten your stick collection. Trust me, I can't forget about those."

"Because I keep tripping on them in the garage."

"No, you can't bring them into the house."

"Because they're sticks. You can't bring sticks in the house."

"We could store them in the fire pit."

"For kindling to start a fire."

"Okay, I won't use your stick collection to start a fire."

"Fine, I won't use them in the fire at all."

"But you really don't need that many sticks. Actually, you don't need any sticks."

"Because, Sweetie, they're sticks. They're just lying around on the ground. They're as common as, well, rocks."

"No, don't keep looking for rocks."

"Stop changing the subject. What are you going to do with a bunch of sticks?"

"No, I'm not going to make a baby bed out of them. You don't need another baby bed. You got a nice baby bed for Christmas two years ago."

"Penny did not outgrow that bed."

"Because she's a doll. She won't get any bigger."

"Don't make that face. She hasn't grown in the four years you've had her."

"No, I won't make a bassinet either."

"For one thing, I don't know how."

"Are you sure Penny wouldn't like a nice campfire instead? We could toast marshmallows and have a rock throwing contest. We could see how many rocks we can throw in the neighbors' yard. I'll bet I can get 15 in their yard."

"All right, we won't throw your rocks in the neighbors' yard. Maybe we could release them into the wild instead."

"In the woods near the park."

"Think about it. They'd get lots of fresh air and have wide open places to play."

"With other rocks."

"Just because you've never seen them play doesn't mean they don't."

"Tell you what, why don't you look for dandelions instead?"

"Just keep looking. You can keep as many as you find."

"Aren't there any sticking out of the snow?"

"Okay, that was a mean trick. There are no dandelions in March."

"Because I was hoping to distract you from looking for rocks."

"That wasn't a lie, that was a trick. There's a difference."

"For one thing, it's not lying if I do it."

"The dandelions start growing around May. When they come, you can collect as many as you want, as long as you pick them out of our yard. No limits."

"Trust me, you'll have a lot."

"No, you won't be able to bring them in the house."

"How about you keep them in the fire pit. We'll build a nice platform out of the stick collection. When you find enough, we'll have a Viking funeral for them."

"That's when they would put a dead Viking on a boat, set it on fire, and push it out to sea. Only we would do it without the water."

"Right, or the Viking."

"But Sweetie, we need to do something with all those sticks."

"No, you can't plant them in the yard."

"Because I'll mow over them."

"I've got an idea. When we get to the library, we'll get a book about rocks."

"Because it's better than having a box full of rocks."

"Because it doesn't hurt when I accidentally step on your books in the middle of the night.

"Because you don't put your rocks away. Actually , you don't put your books away either."

"Why don't you collect something that doesn't take up as much space."

"No, you can't collect bugs."

"You can't collect snakes either."

"Because they're icky and creepy and I'm afr-- hey, there's a good looking rock, why don't you get that one?"

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