Constant chaos, kids careening about the house.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Mousie OneFeather.

Pajamas.  Toothbrushing.

And she lived with her mother and father

Television still going while a big sister, with a later bedtime, finishes watching a show.

and her brothers and sisters

Another sister studies at the kitchen table, while a brother snacks on a bowl of cereal.

in a great big house they called the Wigwam.

Tucking the youngest child in bed.  Some nights, the mother reads stories.

Now to get to the Wigwam,

Other nights, the father lies down next to her, and draws on her back with a fingertip as he tells a brand new story.  Just for her.

they had to drive down a long and winding road

Each story is new. 

up and down the hills

These are one thing she never has to share.  One thing that didn’t belong to someone else before she was born.

and over the bridge — Bump, bump, bump!

The girl’s ribs serve as bumps for the story-family’s bridge.  It only makes it all the better that there have been two decades of children hearing these stories before.  The opening is by now ritual; each story is one of a kind.

One day, Mousie OneFeather went for a walk in the wide, wide world…

And gradually, the sounds of a crowded household fade from their awareness as parent and child find peace at day’s end.