short story – Part 1

This is a fiction post. Several ideas in the story came from my sister, the original Book Girl. 
The title and content comes from a writing contest I recently entered. 
Tune in Thursday for Part 2. 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library
“Take your tiger costume off and let’s get your jacket on,” I told Ashton, my four-year-old.
“I’m going to wear my tiger costume to the library,” he stated.
“No, you’re not.”
“I need to wear it. I’m a tiger.”
“Take it off now,” I ordered.
“But, Mom, why can’t I wear it?”
“No one wears costumes on just an ordinary day. It’s not Halloween,” I explained.
“Please?”
“Come here, I’ll help you get it off. Then we need to get your shoes on.” After a bit more protesting, Ashton finally gave up on the idea of being a tiger. We got ourselves ready and out the door in 15 minutes. I timed it. (It has taken longer.)
We were greeted by a burst of sunshine as we stepped outside. With just a hit of coolness in the spring morning air, it was perfect for the five-block walk to the bus stop. I thought it was perfect, anyway.
“It’s too far to walk. Why can’t we just take our car?” Ashton whined.
“It’s not much farther now.” I said, pushing the stroller with our one-year-old inside as Ashton tagged along behind. “Let’s keep moving so we don’t miss the bus. We don’t want to be late for story time. Besides, you like taking the bus, don’t you?”
            “Yeah,” Ashton sighed, “But I’m tired. And you’re walking too fast.” This from the same boy who runs from room to room at home, bouncing around for twenty minutes at a time. Tired? I didn’t really think so. Dramatic? Without fail.
“Well, we’re taking the bus because it’s more energy-efficient. We’re thinking about selling mommy’s car, so this week we’re doing an experiment to see what it would be like to have no car while Daddy’s at work. Besides, it’s spring now. It feels good to be out for a walk, doesn’t it?”
“We can’t sell your car,” he said. I wasn’t sure I wanted to either, but economically the idea made sense.
“Hey, look at those geese flying there,” I pointed up toward them in an effort to change the subject. “What sound are they making?”
“They are honking. Honk, honk!”
“The geese are returning ‘cause it’s spring. Conner hears them too. He’s looking up to see if he can see where the sound is coming from.” We played “What Sound Does the Animal Make” the rest of the way to the bus stop. Several people had congregated there, which meant the bus was due any minute.
“Hey, what’s that clown doing over there?” Ashton pointed across the street.
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