Something Illegal - Judy Albietz

This afternoon my 2 ½ year old grandson announced, Bubbe, come on … time to take a nap. Read some books.” So, for the next half hour, we read about robots, penguins and trucks. He helped me turn the pages. He filled in some of the words since he remembered the story from last time. Then he wanted us to sing some of the Beatles and Peter, Paul and Mary songs we sang this morning while he ate his oatmeal. He finally settled on his personal favorite, Puff the Magic Dragon. He has most of the words memorized, particularly the part about painted wings and giant rings making way for other toys. His parents told me they aren’t wild about his learning this song. It truly is from a generation they don’t understand. They said they think the song is about pot. They’ve got it all wrong. It’s about a dragon and the little boy who was his friend and how the boy grew up and how the dragon missed his friend so much that he had no choice but to sadly slip into his cave. “Bubbe, what happened to the magic dragon?”

I started to tell him that the dragon was still there, in the cave, waiting for his friend to come back and play with him. But then I saw he’d fallen asleep. He had his bear tucked under his chest and he was hanging onto my little finger. I was glad I could wait for another day to answer his question at least with a partial truth.