The Monster at the End of This Book

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Twice now, my reading of this book has reduced Hiram to tears.

It starts out harmlessly enough. Hiram picks “Monster at the End of This Book” from his stack and asks me to read it to him. I start to read and Hiram starts laughing and mischievously turning the pages against Grover’s wishes.

And then. Somewhere between Grover tying the pages together with rope and Grover building a large brick wall in front of the next page, something happens. Hiram turns sad. He starts to whimper. He gives in to Grover and refuses to turn even one more page.

We never get to the monster at the end of the book.

We never find out that it’s just lovable, furry old Grover.

The first time this happened, I wondered if I had started deviating from the text a bit too much. I wondered if maybe by personalizing it with Hiram’s own name, it started to feel a bit too much like he was breaking the rules. I also talked to Brad about it, since I know he and Hiram always had a good time reading the book together.

Brad said he personalizes the book too and even tried it out with Hiram again the next day. The two of them got through from beginning to end without any trouble.

Even so, the next time I read it to Hiram, I was very careful to keep things light. I didn’t use his name. I laughed a bunch. Easy, breezy, silly little book.

Nope.

Grover: 2. Hiram: 0.

At this point, I started trying too hard. I was determined to get to the end of that dang book. Even if it meant turning the pages myself.

So there I sat. Turning the pages after just having told myself not to do it. Surprising myself at my own strength. Realizing, in the end, that I had been unnecessarily scared all along. The whole time Hiram stood there with tears in his eyes, looking at me like I was the crazy person I am.

I am going to go hide that book. Right now.

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