Headless John

(Years ago the family would meet on Sunday evenings to tell a story, or share some art or creation. It was a wonderful idea that we should have continued. It did last a few weeks and the following story is one that I told, and retold, much to groans of the kids.)

There was once a family that dreamed of having a child, most especially a boy child. But oh, there were family that warned them about screaming nights and crying that made no sense. They would never survive the onslaught because of their delicate nerves, better to be childless, than to be sleep deprived!

But the couple would not listen. They wished for chubby little fingers grasping little blocks and plush animal toys.
Their friends would say that they could grow broke feed an extra mouth. Boys even ate more than girls. And then there is all that teething nonsense, drooling and chewed ng on the furniture like dogs. “What for?”, said the family, later on you grow broke for providing braces and retainers. The animals will just find them, chew them up, and you will end up paying for them three times. 

But the couple would not listen. They wished for chubby little legs that would stumble, all over the wooden floors, sounding just like a joyous drumbeat.

Their family and friends would say that they were in for a rough ride as soon as the boy started arguing and whining for this thing or that. Even worse when the Boy found his own spirit and began arguing with them, using the words of his friends to make his points. That will surely cause you to think this whole thing over.

But the couple would not listen. Indeed, it wasn’t long before they found out that they were with child. Through tests they discovered that it was to be a boy, and they were thrilled. Unfortunately the tests were necessary because the doctors suspected something was wrong. The couple decided to have the baby boy in any case, regardless of the problem.

The pregnancy went as smoothly as any pregnancy. There were good days, and there were nauseous days. The months and weeks went by in a flash. The birth day was finally here, and the couple anxiously awaited their baby boy.

The birth was much easier than expected, in fact it took less than a minute to work the shoulders through, and everything else slipped out effortlessly. The only problem for John, (they had named the baby John), was that the head… well, the real problem was that he had no head, just smooth skin from shoulder to shoulder with just a little bump for a neck. 

They were a little concerned because Headless John, (later their nickname for him), did not cry at birth. The doctors were somewhat surprised that he was breathing well and had great color, so they carefully wrapped the baby and gave them to the proud parents.

Headless John was a wonderful baby, he slept through the night right away. There were no late night crying jags, or complaining whines. And he stayed well within the growth charts, except he was a little short. BECAUSE HE HAD NO HEAD.

He didn’t appeared to have any eating allergies, and the couple experienced no colic what-so-ever. As a little boy they experienced no financial difficulties concerning his feeding. In fact, he ate very little. BECAUSE HE HAD NO HEAD.

Headless John continued to grow and caused his parents great joy, with his chubby little fingers carrying plush toys, and his chubby little legs drumming out a running tune as he sped through the house. His parents soon learned that he could run as fast as he wanted without getting hurt. BECAUSE HE HAD NO HEAD.

As the baby boy grew into a little boy they discovered a number of surprising truths. They were very rarely late for T-Ball practice, because his baseball hat was never lost. The team was thrilled with Headless John because of his hitting and catching prowess, and the fact that they were short on batting helmets. He didn’t need a helmet BECAUSE HE HAD NO HEAD.

As Headless John grew into a young teen, he had the best relationship with his parents. He listened very respectfully, he rarely spoke a negative word, and while he did have his own thoughts and opinions, he always followed the house rules, and respected the guidelines set by his parents. Headless John was popular in school, with many friends, including girls. But his parents were never worried that he would end up going beyond holding hands. BECAUSE HE HAD NO HEAD.

All this time the parents were steadfast in supporting Headless John, helping him with his homework, enrolling him in mime classes. He was even on the championship football team as the best running back in the state, saving the school money because they didn’t have to buy a helmet. His parents knew all along that all they had to do was love and support him through school until he graduated, and then college would changed everything. 


(The challenge in the re telling is to invent new reasons to celebrate)