Parenting & Other Life Stories


The Penis Chronicles presents, “Merry-go-round”

One of my favourite summer activities growing up was having a campfire with ghost stories. I liked listening but more often than not I was the storyteller and I loved getting my younger cousins scared out of their minds. Anyway, camping in August this year I said to my boys “let’s each take a turn telling ghost stories.”

The 6 year old opened the floor and the 9 year old followed all to the crackling back drop of the fire pit. I should note that my husband isn’t much of a storyteller and he certainly hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation or the stories so he was started when the boys called him out as the next teller. We brought him up to speed and he told a 4 second story that basically said “once upon a time there were kids in the forest thrown from a merry-go-round into the water. The end.” I noted that there was some missing elements but certainly potential. So, I abandon the story I had been planning to tell and picked up the thread of his. I turned to my husband and said, “I remember that.” This of course drew the response I was hoping for and 2 little voices on my opposite said asked eagerly, “What?”

The merry-go-round was and still is buried in the forest. It was rusty and over grown. However, growing up we all knew it was there, maybe not the exact location but a general

Photograph by Shari Marshall ©

idea. Anyway, a group of kids had been in the forest trying to find the merry-go-round. They found it and were messing around. Something bad happened, something real bad, and 2 of the kids died. They didn’t know they were dead so they haunted the merry-go-round. Every year new groups of kids would try and find the merry-go-round and every year kids disappeared. Every once in a while someone would escape and make it back to town to tell.

They say if you got onto the merry-go-round the 2 kids haunting it wouldn’t let you off! They would spin and spin the merry-go-round making it go unnaturally fast. Nobody is quite sure what happened after that because nobody came back to tell after they got on the merry-go-round and if any of the kids were watching those that got stuck on the merry-go-round they ran off before the spinning stopped.

Well, my boys were lost in the story and started asking questions. Each question they asked the more I would build the story. Every once in a while I would pause and ask my husband to clarify some point of the story in an attempt to try and lend truth to my fictional tale. They loved it and wanted more. The youngest was a bit scared so I had to keep the story PG (parental guidance) but it was a lot of fun.

I waited a few hours and had to tell them that it wasn’t real. I only broke the illusion because they were stuck on it and I wanted them to sleep. I can see this will be a lot of fun in the years to come when I don’t need to worry about a 6 year old wanting to sleep in my bed!

By Shari Marshall – 2019

The Penis Chronicles is a weekly platform for sharing childcare stories, advice & etcetera. Raising children is an adventure! And please, I know the title says “penis chronicles”, but stories about raising girls are very much welcome. Please post and share your link and/or your comments in the comments section below.

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