The best stories--whether we pen them from our imaginations, or regale them with one another among friends, or share them at family gatherings (where the fresh insights of he young are as treasured as the recollections of the old)--the best stories are constructed of love and memory, both those newly made and sparkling as well as those long-aged like fine wine in oak casks.
The following is a forschbise, "a little taste" from the first page of an (as yet) unpublished literary short I wrote for a southern Maine synagogue fundraiser "A Storied Affair," to an audience of 160 people. [See blog post of April 5th]
Last year, Ruth had me submit a story to the first gala fundraiser and, to her surprise, I won (and she had to actually read and listen to one of my tales--ha!). Afterward, the exhausted organizers said they were not planning to do another. However, it seems once all the shekels were counted, they changed their minds. Ruth discovered this, yet again a week before the submission deadline. At her urging, I managed to crank out something appropriate.
...And, what the hey, my entry was again selected, and I was assigned to the honored (sacrificial?) position of "pre-dinner" reader--i.e. the hors d'oeuvre.
Yup, I had to keep a room of hungry Jews entertained while the chefs futzed in the kitchen with the lamb, salmon, and duck entrees, etc.
My beloved daughter videotaped my performance. All except, alas, for the first few opening lines which I include, for those with interest, below
Nu? Submitted for your amusement, the opening lines from My Pet, a story about boys and pets and family, about fear and cruelty and the Holocaust, and how (Baruch HaShem) love and memory and kindness ever abide from generation to generation.
...But you just get the one minute long ("sucker-them-in") cute part of the story. :)
Dogs are God's gift to boys. Dogs are ever eager to play. They always pick you first, and they never hog the ball. They’re first to greet you in the morning and the last to wish you goodnight. They never betray a secret. For them, your joy is like sucking down too many straws of powdered sugar: their paws stamp the earth as they jump back and forth and sideways and run in circles, their tails spinning like propellers...