Grandfather John Tells a Story

It was hard for Peggy Sue to sit still very long at a time. There were many things to look at and lots of things she wanted to do. Peggy Sue was five years old and almost grown up, at least that’s what she thought.

When she went to the store with Mother, Peggy Sue wanted to choose the things they bought. If they were at a grocery store she wanted to buy candy, cookies, icy-pops, potato chips and cheese curls. If she didn’t get her way she would fuss and whine and sometimes she would make a bad scene and the other people would look at her with an ugly frown on their faces and shake their heads. Peggy Sue didn’t care how much she embarrassed her mother or anyone else; she wanted her way.

Soon, when her mother needed to shop she left Peggy Sue at home with her Grandfather. Mother knew Peggy Sue would cry and howl like a spoilt child, but she had to learn not to think only of herself.

One day when Peggy Sue was left with Grandfather, she got tired of pouting and crying and picked up her favorite teddy bear. She went over to her grandfather and asked, “Grandfather John, will you tell me a story?”

“I’d love to tell you a story, but there is one thing that I always ask my listeners to do when I tell stories.”

“What’s that,” she asked looking puzzled.

“They must sit still and listen to the end.  It is important for the listener to respect the storyteller and sit still and listen. If someone doesn’t hear the story all the way to the end, then it’s not the whole story and I never tell half stories.”

“I can sit still and listen all the way to the end of your story Grandfather,” Peggy Sue assured him. “I am a good listener.”

Grandfather smiled and said, “Okay, I’ll see if you’re a good listener or not.” He placed his hand on his chin and thought for a few minutes. “Ah! Yes, I know just the story. You’ll like this story because it’s about a teddy bear named Peggy Sue.”

“Yes, yes, I like that story!” Peggy Sue laughed and clapped her hands.

“Once upon a time there lived three teddy bears in a beautiful home. There was a mamma teddy bear and a papa teddy bear and a little girl teddy bear named Peggy Sue. Now Peggy Sue was loved so much that she began to think that she was the only important one in the family.  She never stopped to think about what Mama Bear or Papa Bear wanted to do or where they might want to go. She only thought about herself and what she wanted to do. If a day was planned for a family outing, Peggy Sue insisted they go to the zoo or the park. It didn’t matter what anyone else wanted to do, the little teddy fussed and whined until her family gave in to her. It was the same no matter where they went. She didn’t think of anyone but herself.

Pretty soon Mama Bear was so sick of Peggy Sue whining and crying she decided she would have to leave her at home and do the shopping alone. It was embarrassing when the little teddy bear would make a bad scene. You see, the little teddy bear was growing up and yet she still wanted to act like a baby. She cried and fussed and had a fit of temper when she didn’t get her way.  When she was a baby and everyone held her and did things for her that was normal, because she was a baby and didn’t know how to talk. She would fuss and cry to let her parents know she was uncomfortable.

But pretty soon Peggy Sue learned to talk and walk and do things for herself. I think the little teddy bear may have felt that she wasn’t getting enough attention because now she could wait on herself. She could dress herself and even tie her own shoes. She missed being held and babied and fussed over so she began to demand attention by making everyone miserable until they gave her their full attention. Pretty soon the little bear realized her plan wasn’t working. Instead of getting more attention by being bad, she was left at home.

One day while Peggy Sue was home; she began to think about the bad way she’d been acting. She wanted to tell her mother she was sorry for the things she’d done.  She waited for Mama Bear’s return home and she ran to meet her and told her she was sorry for acting the way she had and she promised to remember that others had feelings and not to think of only herself. Mama Bear gave the little bear a big bear hug and told her she was growing into a big, little bear. Then Grandfather said, “the end!”

Peggy Sue sat very still after Grandfather finished the story. She hugged her teddy bear up close to her and looked at her grandfather. ” Grandfather, there wasn’t ever a little teddy bear named Peggy Sue. That story was about me. I think that little bear was not very nice. I’m glad she decided to think of other people’s feelings. Do you think Mother would like Peggy Sue bear?  I don’t think she would. That little bear was spoiled and not grown up at all. I’m going to be grown up and not like that spoiled little bear any longer.”

Grandfather hugged Peggy Sue. “I know you’re growing up because you were a good listener. I’m sure Mother will be happy to hear that you’ve decided to be a big grown up girl and not a fussy cry baby any more.”

Just then they heard a car pull into the driveway. Peggy Sue ran to the door to meet her mother. She had something she wanted to tell her.