Yesterday I was trying to get some work done, but I could barely concentrate because the duo’s stomachs were growling so loud.
“Go upstairs and fix yourselves some lunch,” I said. I stayed in the office, checking to make sure that I had all the proper medical forms, waivers, and birth certificates for Finn’s baseball team. We leave for Cooperstown Friday for a week of baseball.
Soon the aroma of tuna wafted down the stairs. I went upstairs to investigate, and it was a damn good thing I did, too.
Drew had opened a can, chopped it in a bowl, and added capers, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and some thyme he had cut from my garden. I sampled it at his insistence, and it was really lovely, especially if you slathered it on a cracker instead of eating it straight from the spoon.
Porter thought he could improve upon the recipe, and did the same thing but added a handful of uncooked rice, a cup of water, and microwaved it for two minutes. It emerged crunchy and fishy smelling. He wanted me to taste his concoction also, but I haven’t been the mother of three boys without learning to set limits.
Although the boys can all read well, Porter still wants to be read to at night sometimes. Last night he found my Uncle Remus stories, and he begged Bill to read one.
Porter mulled over the contents aloud, and soon Drew joined us so that all four of us were squashed into our bed.
“How about “Brer Possum Plays Possum?”
“No, I want to hear “Brer Fox An De Stolen Goobers,” Drew argued.
Finally they settled on a classic, “De Tar-Baby,” and Bill began to read:
One day, Brer Fox and Brer Bear wuz sittin’ round in de woods, talkkin about dre way Brer Rabbit wuz always cuttin’ up capers an actin’ so fresh.
“Brer Rabbit’s gettin’ too bossy,” say Brer Bear.
“Brer rabbit don’t mind his own bizness,” say Brer Fox.
“Brer Rabbit talk too biggity,” say Brer Bear.
“I don’t like de way Brer Rabbit go prancin lippity clippity down de–“
“Wait, go back,” Porter said.
And then the questions began.
“Why did Brer Rabbit have capers? And why was he cutting them?”
“Yeah, I use capers all the time, but if you try to cut them they just squash. Mom told me you’re supposed to leave them whole,” Drew said.
“Brer Rabbit shouldn’t cut up capers. That’s not the way to use them,” Porter said.
Bill and I didn’t bother responding. We figured we’ve raised some white bread kids who are too far gone.
Drew and Porter enjoyed the rest of “De Tar-Baby,” though, once they got over their dismay at Brer Rabbit’s culinary ineptitude.
One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Get Off Your Donkey
Walt Disney’s Uncle Remus Stories, Golden Press (1973).