Friday, April 3, 2009

The Sausage and the Stool

One morning long ago, I came downstairs dressed in my uniform ready for school when I smelled something wonderful: sausage. My mother had cooked up a batch and was about to set a plate of them onto the table. Eager, I propped myself up at the table. Fork in hand, ready to pounce.

"Now, now. Only two per person so we have some left for tomorrow," my mother lightheartedly - however seriously - warned me. Doing the calculation in my head, I deemed there to be more than enough sausages on the plate for everyone to have at least three, if not more. Why on Earth was my mother saving sausages? What good could come from not eating them right away?

When it was my turn, I took the two biggest sausage links that I could find and scarfed them down. Of course we had had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast that morning too. But it wasn't enough. Those sausages - so plump, so juicy - were the crowning jewel!

Eyes growling along with my stomach, I watched as my brothers carelessly toyed with their portions. One even let a whole sausage link fall to the floor! Unfortunately, my mother cleared away their plates before I could attempt a steal-n-save of the remaining treat.

"Time to clean up, gotta leave for school soon," she said as she picked up the dish of leftover sausages and set it high up on the kitchen counter.

"Mom, can I please have one more? Just one?"

"No, because one will turn into two and before you know it we won't have any left! Now get your book bag and meet me out in the garage."

Defeated, I did as I was told. Grabbing my book bag and coat, I pushed my arms through the sleeves just as another waft of sausage aroma swept over me. Just one more, I thought to myself. What harm could one little sausage do?

Knowing everyone was elsewhere in the house getting ready, I walked over to the kitchen counter and reached. And reached. On tippy toes I could see them. However the dish was way out of reach. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw something: a stool.

A small yellow stool just left of the refrigerator. Quickly, I dropped my book bag and grabbed the stool. Second grade may have not gotten me much height, but in smarts it had! Plopping the stool down in front of my soon-to-be treasure, I paused only for a moment to ensure I was alone.

Licking my lips, I stepped up onto the stool. Boy, was I tall now! And, more importantly, I could really see them!

Leaning into the counter I was almost there.

On tip toes, my fingers glanced the side of the dish.

Just a bit more...

I leaned and tip toed until I could touch one...



With a sudden slip of foot on stool, I came crashing down onto the floor and landed on my wrist. I screamed. I cried. My mother ran into the room, soothed me and set me in the dining room with my wrist on ice. I watched as my mother paced back and forth, calling the doctor to find out what to do, every-so-often checking on me to see if I was ok.

And as much as she was not ok, I was. Yes, yes, I was in pain. This was the second time I broke my wrist in two years' time. But the pain had greatly diminished with my smile.


Because my loving and all knowing mother knew exactly what would make me happy and keep me calm: a nice plate of sausages...all to myself.