Two Final ‘Jennie Stories’ This Summer

The lazy days of summer will be ending soon, and I’ll be back to writing my reflections.  I feel like a farmer who is holding back his cows, but is still dishing out the ice cream they made.  I hope you enjoy the last of the ice cream.

The Spider Story

It happened like this… when I was first married we lived in Virginia, which is pretty far south.  The farther south you go, the bigger the bugs are.  Bugs are so much bigger in Virginia than in Massachusetts.  One evening after dinner I brought the dishes into the kitchen, and in the middle of the kitchen floor was the biggest spider I have ever seen.  We’re talking gigantic.  The spider was not moving at all.  I didn’t know what to do, so I yelled for my husband, “Steve!”  He came running into the kitchen, but when he saw the spider he froze.  I mean he totally froze.  He couldn’t even speak.  I asked him to do something, but he just stared at the spider and never moved.  The Spider didn’t move either.  I had to do something, so I opened the cabinet under the sink and got the can of Raid.  At this point in the story the children have no idea what Raid is, or why it would be under the sink.  I was so scared.  The spider still wasn’t moving.  I sprayed the Raid on the spider…. and instantly hundreds of baby spiders burst forth.  They were everywhere.  So, I used my feet and stomped all over the kitchen floor, getting the spiders.  Whew!  To this day, my husband is still frozen by spiders.

The Halloween Story

It happened like this… when I was a little girl, children went trick-or-treating all by themselves.  There were no parents trick-or-treating.  I was eight and my sister was six.  We were so excited!  I dressed up as Raggedy Ann and my sister dressed up as a scarecrow.  We had our bags ready to collect candy.  Then my Mother said, “Jennie, don’t forget to go trick-or-treating at Mrs.Crotty’s.”  Mrs. Crotty!  She was old and mean.  She never smiled.  Her house was always dark.  Even the bricks on her house were dark.  And, the bushes and trees grew all over.  I did not want to go trick-or-treating at Mrs. Crotty’s.  I didn’t say anything and my sister and I headed off all over the neighborhood.  We had so much fun and stayed out until it was very dark.  When we got home we spread our candy out.  I gave my sister the Tootsie Roll Pops and she gave me the Reese’s peanut butter cups.  We were having a great time.  Then my Mother said, “Jennie, did you go trick-or-treating at Mrs. Crotty’s house?”  I looked down and didn’t say anything.  She said, “Take your sister and go, now.”  I took my sister’s hand and we walked to the house.  By now, trick-or-treat was over, and there were no lights on at any house.  Of course Mrs. Crotty’s house was the scariest of all.  We walked up to her dark porch.  I was squeezing my sister’s hand so hard.  I told her to knock, but she said, “No, Mother told you do it.”  So, I swallowed hard, knocked on the door with my heart pounding, and then there was a creak of the door.  Just as we were ready to run away the lights came on, and Mrs. Crotty was there.  She was smiling!  She went to the kitchen and brought both of us a huge popcorn ball, warm and covered with caramel and butter.  She wasn’t even scary!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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