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Pope Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Today is the sixth day of Christmas--halfway finished. I'm realizing this year that 10 presents or so, for each child, is quite a bit, even if many were inexpensive. We're going to have to retool this a bit--work out our celebration with fear and trembling (not just trembling at the amount of money spent).

Today's feast is brought to you by Pope Sylvester I. I didn't realize there was a Sylvester II, much less the first one. Supposedly he's the inspiration for "Father Time" (S 1st, that is). Anyway, whenever I hear the name Sylvester, beyond the association with the cartoon cat with a saliva problem, I think of William Steig's endearing book, the only one of his I ever read as a child, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. The story has nothing to do with popes or even Christmas. All I can think of is poor Sylvester transformed into a rock, causing his parent's unimaginable heartache, and Sylvester's loneliness through a year(?) sitting in a meadow, conscious, unable to do anything but be.

If you've never read the story I think you, even as an adult, should. In fact, why don't you do that sometime this week before Christmas ends next Sunday. Read it to your children if you have some. Let me know what you think.


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