It was bedtime, and Mom was tucking Julie into bed. Julie snuggled into bed and felt rather sleepy. Mom smiled. “Julie, tell me a bedtime story,” she said.
“I’m too tired to think of a story,” Julie said.
“Please,” Mom said. “Pleeeeeease.”
“Okay,” Julie said. She yawned. “Once, there was a little monkey that climbed to the top of a jungle tree. The wind blew, and the monkey fell down. The end.”
“No it isn’t,” Mom said. “He landed on the back of a unicorn.”
“Did he? Okay,” Julie said. “Then they ran to the top of the tallest waterfall so they could see the waterfall rainbow. But they slipped on the wet rocks and fell. The end,” Julie said.
“Not yet,” Mom said. “They landed on the rainbow and walked along it to cloud land.”
“Cloud land?” Julie asked. “Hmmm. Okay. Cloud land was full of scary giants who like to pour water on the ground people and drop lightning bolts and hail and stuff. One of the giants stepped on the unicorn and monkey. The end.”
“Nope,” Mom said. “They fell through the cloud and landed on a different rainbow and were able to walk to the ground.”
Julie yawned again. “Really? Well, a vicious tribe of leprechauns defending their pot of gold instantly surrounded them. They poked them with sticks until they backed up and fell into a deep hole. The end.”
“That’s not the end yet,” Mom said. “They started slowing down the further they fell, until finally they landed in a hallway of doors in front of a white rabbit.”
“I didn’t expect that,” Julie said. “Let’s see. They asked the rabbit how to get home, and he pointed to one of the doors and ran away because he was late for something. They opened the door and fell into the ocean. The end.”
“No it’s not,” Mom said, “because they were saved by mermaids.”
“I should have guessed,” Julie said. “The mermaids decided they wanted to keep the unicorn and monkey as pets, so they took them to their underwater city. The end.”
“No,” said Mom. “Not yet. On the way to the underwater city, they were swallowed by a whale.”
“That sounds like an ending to me,” Julie said.
“No, the whale spat them out on shore,” Mom said.
“And I guess the mermaids hopped back in the water and swam away. So the unicorn and monkey were stuck on a deserted island forever. The end,” Julie said.
“Nope. They were stuck there until some pirates came to the island to bury some gold. Then they hid in the ship,” Mom said.
“And then the pirates found them and made them walk the plank,” Julie said. “The end.”
“But some fairies sprinkled them with pixie dust just in time and they flew to shore,” Mom said.
“And they were back in the jungle and went home to their families. The end,” Julie said.
“And they were best friends forever and ever. The end,” Mom said.
Julie yawned. “Is the story over now?”
“Yes, thanks for the story,” Mom said.
“Oh good. You’re welcome,” Julie said. She snuggled into her pillow. “I’m sleepy.”
“Julie, can I have a bedtime song?” Mom asked.
“Too sleepy,” Julie said.
“Please,” Mom said. “Pleeeeeeease.”
“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream,” Julie sang.
“Sing it again, Julie?” Mom asked.
“If you sing it first,” Julie said.
Mom sang the song. “Now it’s your turn,” she said. But Julie didn’t sing, because she was asleep. The end.