Thursday, March 25, 2021

Microstory 1589: The Bear Ate My Tail

My son came home crying after spending the weekend at his mother’s, but he wouldn’t tell me why.

He was never very clear about what happened to him there. He hated to talk about it, so I had to pry it out of him. “Mom, there was a bear,” he said. A bear? “Mom, it ripped me apart and ate my tail, and the bear was a monster!”

Something was different. My mind kept clicking back to the bear, and I realized my son had a horror story to tell. “Sylar?”

I tried to listen to him, but there was something in his tone of voice that told me he didn’t want to tell me. “The bear ate my tail off. It went down the throat and ripped through the skin. There’s nothing there anymore, Mom. It’s not my tail anymore. It’s no longer me. There’s nothing.”

I stared at him, wanting to believe him. But I knew better. I picked him up and held him. “But I just saw you that day. You’ve got your tail, baby. I saw it.”

He smiled at me and squeezed me. “Mom, don’t you believe me? It’s just a story that people tell so they can scare kids and get their money.” A kid shivering in the woods, not knowing what happened to him, unable to tell me anything about it? I wondered if his mother had made him write that story. That was the only reason a six-year-old boy would lie to his mom. He wasn’t telling the truth.

My ex-wife and I have a pretty decent relationship on the whole, but things get a little competitive when it comes to our son. It’s like she wants to throw me off my game, and make it hard for me to get him to be honest with me when it’s my time with him. We have a complicated schedule. I have him in my tree for the five weekdays, and then she gets him for the weekend, and then we do it again, except I hold onto him for that next weekend, and she ends up with the weekdays after that. I don’t know why we came up with that. Or ya know what, I think I do. This is just another way for her to control where he is, and what he does. As squirrels, we have to be really careful about how we raise our children, or we really will get eaten by bears. I guess she thought I would be scared he was telling the truth, and he truly was attacked by a bear. I have to get her back somehow, as petty as that sounds. Perhaps I’ll steal her winter nuts.

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