A Bedtime Story for People of All Ages:
The Tale of the Texas Bull Called Iraq
and the Cow Called Econ – Chapter 1
By Bernard Levy
(“Chapter 1 was originally published Feb 18, 2003, just weeks before President Bush, fighting an economy in recession on the homefront and terrorism on the worldfront, ordered the war against Iraq. The FCP will publish the entire “A Bedtime Story” one chapter at a time.)
Daddy: "Tonight, I'm going to read you one of Mommy and Daddy's favorite
Daughter: "'The Rooster in the Green Slippers'?"
Daddy: "No, something new. 'The Tale of the Texas Bull and Cow.'" The book had pop-ups, and Daddy positioned the book so that Daughter could see them. "Once upon a time, there was a famous ranch in Texas owned by George Bramble. And on this ranch, George had a bull named Iraq and a cow named Econ..."
Daughter: "E-I-E-I Oh?"
Daddy: "No, this is Bramble’s ranch. Anyway, Iraq was bad, and Econ was very good but sick.
"Iraq was a handsome animal, but Rancher Bramble knew that he had a violent temper and could be explosive because he had broken down the gate and attacked a cow a year ago. Since then, he had been kept in a fenced pasture, and Rancher Bramble hoped he would become tame as time passed. After a year, he still wasn't sure. The fence was very strong, and Iraq couldn't get out.
" 'What to do? What to do?' " thought Rancher Bramble. “Oh, Iraq could be a big help and mate with Econ, but Rancher Bramble wasn't sure."
Daughter: "What's 'mate' mean, Daddy?"
Daddy: "Hmm…it means to get along peacefully with other animals, like Econ.
"Econ was Rancher Bramble’s favorite cow, and she was sick. Rancher Bramble tried everything to get her well. He called in two doctors but they confused him. One said to feed her lots of food and keep her penned. The other said to give her less food and let her roam the pasture to get well.
"Rancher Bramble was very worried. 'What to do? What to do?' He then got an idea." A pop-up showed Rancher Bramble with a light bulb in a bubble over his head.
Daughter: "What's the bulb over Rancher Bramble's head mean?"
Daddy: "That means that Rancher Bramble had a great idea to get Econ well. See, it was to get Iraq and Econ together; maybe Econ was lonely. But, he first had to tame Iraq.
"Rancher Bramble's idea also included making himself a hero. He wanted to impress his daddy, George Bramble, Sr."
Daughter: "Daddy, like when I bring home good grades and you and Mommy hug and kiss me?"
Daddy: "Exactly. Rancher Bramble's idea was to tame Iraq by riding him. Rancher Bramble did not take either doctors' advice about Econ but left her alone until he could get his plan working.
"And so, early one morning, just after the rooster crowed..."
Daughter: "Daddy, did the rooster wear green slippers?"
Daddy: "Yes, he did. Rancher Bramble went out to the corral. Two ranch hands, Don and Dick, lassoed Iraq and got him close to the fence so Rancher Bramble could get on his back."
Daughter: "Daddy, wasn't that dangerous to do?"
Daddy: "Yes. It was dangerous. With Don and Dick holding the ropes tightly against the fence; Rancher Bramble got on Iraq's back and grabbed his horns. Then, Don and Dick let Iraq loose.
"Such a commotion took place. Rancher Bramble held on to Iraq's horns for dear life as Iraq bucked, skipped, hopped, jumped and turned every way. And..." Daddy turned the page and discovered that he'd only brought home the first volume of the story. He couldn't finish the story. Daughter was going to be disappointed. What to do?
Daddy: "Sweetie, the ending to the story is still in the library. We'll finish this story tomorrow. But, look what I have!"
Daughter: "Daddy, 'The Rooster in the Green Slippers'?"
Daddy: "Almost, sweetheart, I have a new one, 'Finny Dorsal, the Talking Fish.' "
Daughter smiled with approval as Daddy began to read the story about the talking fish. We'll have to stay tuned for the ending of George Bramble's wild ride on the horns of Iraq and await the outcome of when and how Econ recovers from her illness.
(To be continued.)