Each night when I put my daughter to bed she asks me to tell her a story. It always follows the same format with her asking me to tell her about a time when I was a little something. It can be anything. She could ask me about when I was a snowball, a kangaroo, a doughnut or a cloud. Basically whatever thing she is currently thinking about would be in the story. I used to have to pretend to actually be the thing that she suggested. Nowadays she just wants me to tell a story about whatever she thinks up - but it must start the same way that the old stories used to. Lately she came up with the idea that I was a little cave. She loves this story. She likes the way that you think you know what is happening all the way through and then at the end there's a twist. For whatever reason she squeals and laughs so hard at the last line that it makes calming down to go to sleep seem a million miles away. I did try adding another line to the end but she told me flat out that it's better this way. Anyhoo - here goes...
Daughter: Daddy - tell me a story about when you were a little cave.
Me: Once upon a time there was a little cave named Daddy...
...and one day a little girl named Evelyn was out one day walking and it started to rain. She looked around for somewhere to stay dry and found a cave near her house that she hadn't seen before. So she went into the cave to stay dry. It was small and warm in the cave and there was a fire lit inside it. The light from the fire meant that Evelyn could see around her - but it was still dark toward the back of the cave. She wasn't sure if anyone else was in the cave so she thought it best to check.
A moment later she heard the reply, "Hello?" The voice didn't sound scary at all. More like someone checking to see if anyone else was in the cave. "Oh!" thought Evelyn. "There is someone else in here!" "My name is Evelyn" she said. The voice replied, "My name is Evelyn." Well what do you know - they, had the same name! So she thought about what else to say to show that she wasn't scary either. Then she said out loud, "My favorite color is purple!" And the voice replied, "My favorite color is purple!" Evelyn thought for a moment. Then she said, "I like to play Jump On Daddy!" And the voice replied, "I like to play Jump On Daddy!" Quickly Evelyn added, "I have a dog named Weston." Then the voice said, "I have a dog named Weston." Now there's a coincidence!
Evelyn was excited - a new friend! A moment later - whilst feeling hungry - Evelyn told her new friend, "I like hot dogs." Her friend replied, "I like hot dogs." Wow - another thing in common! They like the same foods, like the same games, they both had a dog named Weston and they both had the same favorite color! What were the chances of that!? "I think we're going to be good friends!" said Evelyn. The voice said the same thing, which made Evelyn smile.
A little while later Evelyn's friend from school (we'll call her Judy) arrived at the cave. She had been out walking too and had looked around for somewhere to stay dry too. "Hi, Evelyn!" said Judy. "What are you doing in here all alone?" Evelyn grinned and said, "Oh, I'm not alone - I'm here with my friend Evelyn." Judy looked around the little cave and couldn't see anyone else. She scrunched up her face and said, "I don't see anyone else?" So Evelyn explained all about how her new friend had the same name, had the same favorite color, liked to play the same games, had a dog named Weston and liked to eat hot dogs.
Judy chuckled and said, "Don't be silly. That's not a new friend - that's an echo!" Evelyn didn't know what an echo was. "An echo is when you say something out loud and your voice bounces back to you a second later," said Judy. "Look - I'll show you." Judy thought for a second and then said out loud, "My favorite color is pink!"
Then a moment later the voice replied, "Mine isn't. My favorite color is purple."