Anatomy of a Storyteller: The Cave

            The fall went by rather quickly.  The family saw two newly released movies, The Alamo and El Cid, both in Spanish with subtitles.  Mom signed the boys up for Judo lessons.  It was probably the most exotic thing she could think of, though it might have been more appropriate in Japan.  Sister Carol got Flamenco lessons, which at least made sense.  Otherwise, it was regular business for Glen, going to school and coming home again. 

            Glen supposedly had school at home as well.  Mom brought the books they would have had back in the village.  She and Dad spent time with Tom who wrote some papers and the like.  For Glen they just said go read your book.  No surprise he was not motivated to do that.

            It was about mid-winter when Mom and Dad went off on a trip to Morocco and left the children home.  They had engaged a woman, Rosario, who cooked and cleaned for a very reasonable price, and by mid-winter they had little qualms about leaving the children with her for a week.

            Rosario was a wonder.  She spoke virtually no English, but by then Spanish school immersion had the boys well along on the Spanish basics.  Even so, communication was rough sometimes, especially when it came to traditions and customs that were so different from one side of the Atlantic to the other.  Keep in mind, there was no internet, no Google translations, no television to speak of.  Paco was the only kid in the neighborhood who had a little black and white TV, and the boys did get to see the Lone Ranger once or twice, in Spanish of course.

            When it came to things like Halloween, Rosario just incomprehensibly giggled the whole time.  Three children dressed in costumes went from door to door, covered all five doors in the house because, of course, none of their Spanish neighbors had any idea about the holiday.  Rosario ran around the inside of the house and got to the doors to open them and hear the children shout “Trick or treat.”  She gave little treats in each bag and giggled off to the next door.

            By the time Mom and Dad went away on their jaunt across the Mediterranean, brother Tom and Glen were once again anticipating boredom.  In truth, brother Tom was not inclined to sleep well that week, so he enlisted his little brother in a game.  When night came and the lights went out, the boys got their flashlights and went exploring.  The bed covers became the entrance to a cave and they each crawled under, in their own beds, to see what they could find. 

            Mostly, brother Tom read under the covers, at least for as long as he thought Glen was still awake.  Glen fell asleep head at the wrong end a couple of times, but one night, the night they went to bed early in anticipation of their parent’s return, Glen had a very different experience.

            He touched a pebble first, then a rock, and then he slid head first in the dark down a steep incline.  Fortunately, he held on to his flashlight and there was also some light that filtered into his cavern through cracks in the cave wall.  He had no idea where he was, except this was a cave, a real cave.  This was ages before Glen discovered Lewis’ classic Narnia books, but if you ever read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you should have some idea of how he felt and how this happened.

            When he stood to look around, he felt taller and older than before.  It was not an illusion.  He was thirty-something, though he was not sure how that was possible unless it was some kind of college or seminary nightmare.  With that thought, he considered going back the way he came, but then the light got him.  He knew the inside of a cave should be utterly dark.  Where was the light coming from?  He wondered and began to search.

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