|Snicker. The blog is named after him.|
Sharing A Tiny Bedroom
by Valerie L. Egar
Inspired by a European folk tale.
Brian and Boris spent every summer at their grandparent's beach cottage. They swam in the ocean and idled away lazy afternoons fishing. They rode their bikes on quiet paths. Even when it rained, they had fun playing games on the porch.
Summer was perfect in every way, except for one thing -- they had to share a tiny bedroom. The space between their beds was so narrow, Brian stood on his bed to get dressed. Boris stored his baseball cards and books under his bed, but his basketball didn't fit. He slept with it next to his pillow.
Sharing a small room was very hard. Brian got mad when Boris put his sandy bathing suit on his pillow. "Eww! You got sand in my bed," he yelled.
Boris got mad at Brian when he sneaked a bag of clamshells under his bed, on top of his baseball cards. "I don't want your nasty shells on top of my stuff," said Boris.
One week in June, Uncle Maurice visited from Canada. Uncle Maurice was clever enough to make quarters magically appear from behind their ears and smart enough to explain the tides in a way they could understand. He showed them the best places to fish and helped them by eating their broccoli when Grandma wasn't looking.
One evening as they sat on the porch, Brian and Boris told Uncle Maurice their room was too small. Secretly, they hoped their uncle might convince Grandma to move them to the guest room that the grown-ups used. Better still, maybe Uncle Maurice would tell Grandma to let them camp on the beach.
Instead, Uncle Maurice said, "I have a solution."
The boys listened eagerly.
"Do you promise to do exactly what I say?"
Boris and Brian promised.
"Tomorrow, put your bikes in your room and keep them there when you aren't riding them."
Boris parked his bike between the beds and scrambled over it to go to sleep. Brian stood his bike on top of the bed. He slept on the tiny patch of mattress that remained.
The boys agreed that the room didn't feel bigger at all. They told Uncle Maurice his idea didn't work.
Uncle Maurice sipped his morning coffee and thought. "Today, take your fishing gear -- your rods and tackle boxes and put them in your room, too."
"That's not going to work," said Brian.
"You promised to do as I asked," said Uncle Maurice. "Trust me."
The boys put the fishing equipment in the room. They stood the rods in a corner. Because the tackle boxes didn't fit under their beds, they put them on top and had to scrunch themselves into pretzels to sleep.
Brian and Boris were tired at breakfast. They were starting to doubt that anything Uncle Maurice suggested was going to work.
"Better yet?" Uncle Maurice asked.
"No!" they shouted.
"Today, I'm going to help you carry Grandpa's canoe into your room. That will definitely make your room a lot better."
"No, it won't!" said Boris. "We'll have no place to sleep at all."
"Sleep in the canoe," said Uncle Maurice. "You can pretend you're floating on the water."
That night Brian and Boris lined the canoe with blankets. It was balanced between their beds and although it rocked a little when they tossed and turned, sleeping in it was no fun at all.
In the morning, they were grumpy. Their room was so cluttered, Boris couldn't find his baseball cards. One of Brian's sneakers fell behind his bed, but no matter what he did, he couldn't reach it.
When Uncle Maurice said he had another idea, the boys rolled their eyes. "You're going to like this one," he said. "Take the canoe, the fishing equipment, and the bikes out of your room and straighten up."
After Uncle Maurice helped them carry the canoe outside, they put the bikes and fishing gear back in the garage. They made their beds and straightened the room.
Brian and Boris looked around. The room seemed much larger than it had ever been, with more than enough room for both of them. In fact, it was perfect in every way.
Published in the Journal Tribune on June 7, 2015. Copyright 2015 by Valerie L. Egar. Cannot be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.