-Stop playing Minecraft, Golden Boy. Come on, I’m going to tell you a story. “The Sugar Cube Goaty-Goat” (boz boz-e ghandi).
The Golden Boy’s eyes widened and he shrieked “No! I hate that fucking story!”
I was confused. My mother used to tell us this story every single night- all of us, every night. I used to tell it pretty frequently to the Princess and the Golden Boy, when they were younger and less articulate- complete with acting and songs. “It is I, your mother, the Sugar Cube Goaty-Goat at the door. Open the door!” and “It is I, the Sugar Cube Goaty-Goat who threw a fistful of dirt in your stew. Who will fight with me?” It is a sweet ancient Persian fairy tale about a single mom who fights a wolf to death and cuts open his belly with her incredibly sharp hooves and horns to to rescue her three stupid, undigestable children. What is wrong with that?
But the Golden Boy is hiding under the quilts and babbling about cut bellies and swallowed goats, refusing to listen. I am determined to keep Persian culture and folklore alive and so I offer another story: “OK Golden boy, how about the old lady who escaped from the wild animals by rolling downhill in a pumpkin through the woods? The rolling pumpkin-lady? you remember that one, don’t you? First, the fox wanted to eat her, then the wolf, then the bear…” No. The Golden Boy definitely does not wish to hear that one either, another staple of Persian fairy tales. As far as these western-raised kids are concerned, pumpkins are to be changed into magic coaches by fairy godmothers, not to be used as a means of escape from bloodthirsty wild animals.
I will not give up. “Oh- I just remembered another one: the little mouse whose tail got caught on a nail as he was leaving his house- his tail tore off, and the mouse had to run to the tailor to ask him to sew it back on… ” The Golden Boy screams for relief from horrible Persian fairy tales, and rushes back to fighting nice safe zombies and wolves in his laptop. I re-assess my childhood stories.