When I was little, I used to play April Fool’s Day pranks on my family. They would range from the little “Mom, come quick!! There’s a huge spider in the baththub!” to more elaborate jokes as I got older. I would then hear the same damn story from my mom every year. She was such a kill joy.
“Vickie, did you ever hear the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?”
And then she would proceed to tell me, every freaking year, the story about how a stupid shepherd boy cried “Wolf” too many times and when a wolf really did appear, no one would believe him. And the wolf ate up the whole flock of sheep. I only had one question for my mom….every year.
“Why didn’t the wolf eat the boy?”
That’s when I would get sent to my room. I cry foul, though. I thought that was a very good question. Okay. Say a little shepherd boy is sitting against a tree, watching sheep. Up creeps a wolf. Shouldn’t the wolf attack the kid first? And this was my reasoning. Sheep have a lot of fur and if the wolf would try to eat it, there would be a lot of fur in its mouth. But, eating a boy would be easy. No fur, just right to the body. I knew that when I was young. But, then again, maybe wolves don’t think humans are tasty. I really didn’t know. Or care. I was just pulling an April Fool’s joke, dammit.
My mom would also question me about the moral of the story. I didn’t know what a “moral” was when I was very young. I did hear the word a lot at the stupid private school I went to. Sister Maria at the Sacred Heart of Mary Mary Quite Contrary Academy was always using that word. I didn’t ask her what it meant either. If it was a vocabulary word, I would have taken the time to know its meaning. But, right now, I was just trying to get my mom off of her butt to come look at a fake spider on April Fool’s Day.
“So, Vickie, what is the moral of the story?” Oh great. Here we go again. I’m was in fourth grade by now, and still had no idea.
Stare…..Stare……shrugs shoulders…………”It’s about a boy who takes care of sheep.”
“But, what is the moral of the story?”
Shit. I don’t know. “I don’t know what that means.” Finally, I said it.
“You don’t know what a “moral” is?” My mom’s eyes got big behind her big glasses. “I have asked you every year and you are just now telling me you don’t know what a “moral” is? A “moral” is when there is a lesson to be learned from the story. A goodness or a badness.”
Goodness or badness? Um okay. Like watching those stupid clay people, Davey and Goliath on Sunday mornings when we didn’t go to church.
“So, Vickie, what is the moral of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?” She was like a damn teacher. All she needed was a ruler to crack me across my knuckles.
“That children shouldn’t watch sheep.”
“Go to your room!!”
Now, you have to understand that I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer by no means. But, children really had no business watching sheep. They should be in school, learning what the hell a “moral” was. And, I might add that I watched Road Runner and knew that kids NEVER watched sheep. Sam the sheepdog did.
I finally wised up and decided to just concentrate on my siblings or my father on future April Fool’s Day. I was tired of hearing the damn boy crying wolf story to last me a lifetime.
Until this past week. I have a liar in my fourth grade class. He lies about everything and I catch him every time. A known liar knows another liar when she sees one.
But, I brought out my mom’s arsenal…big sigh.
“Ralph, (not his real name. Protecting the real kid from his stupidity) did you ever hear the story about The Boy Who Cried Wolf?”
Shit. I have become my mother.
Looks like the joke is on me.