Living

This is a House of Stories

Uncle Gerry brought tiny tomatoes to the birthday barbecue. He’s been very well brought up, my mother would say.  He never comes to a meal without an offering.  I didn’t need anything in particular this time, so he surprised us.  When he drew them out of his tote, like Santa plucking toys from his bag, he didn’t give them to me, to put in a salad or set out as crudites.  He presented them to the kids, drawing them close with one arm in to a conspiratorial huddle, and asking them if they believe in The Little People. 

 
“You mean like gnomes, or like real dwarves?” asked the skeptical teen.  “The tiny people,” said the uncle of Norwegian extraction, “like the faery or the nisse.”
 
At this point, both kids, the skeptic and the dreamer, stated firmly, “Yes.”
 
Then he told how he gathered the cherry tomatoes from his garden, where he regularly witnesses acts of magic and wonder.  The tomatoes are tiny—half an inch in diameter for the big ones, and most a little smaller.  They look like fairy fruits. 
 
The kids started munching, but reverently, plucking the stems gently and looking appreciatively at each fruit before popping them in their mouths like a giant pops pumpkins. 


While they were happily chomping, Uncle Gerry put that arm around me and said, “I knew I couldn’t come in to this house without a story.”