Saturday, February 23, 2013


My parents didn't read to me. They didn't read my homework with me. They didn't read the recipe directions to me as they made dinner. They didn't read the newspaper aloud after dinner. They certainly didn't read me bedtime stories.

Because of that, my earliest experience of someone reading to me was in school. I know my early teachers must have read to me, but I don't remember them. I do vividly recall a story read aloud by a substitute teacher though.

This woman told us she was going to read a poem to us and that we could draw a picture based on what we heard afterwards. She read "Hungry Mungry" by Shel Silverstein. I closed my eyes as she read about the poor hungry kid. As the story went on, that kid turned into a big fuzzy monster in my mind. It was, in fact, a monster I had seen before. The sense of de ja vu was so strong, it twisted my stomach.

When the teacher finished reading, she passed out the long manila paper popular back then and crayons. She offered one of those little chunky notebooks with the kaleidoscope covers that were hugely popular in the early 90s as a prize for the best picture. I drew my version of Mungry until the sick feeling in my stomach went away. My Mungry ate the world in one big gulp. Though he wasn't describe in the poem, my little 9 year old self knew what Mungry looked like as he ate the Earth because I had dreamed about drawing him before.

I won the substitute teacher's contest that day. I honestly wasn't trying but it was one of those times that I just knew I was right (about Mungry's looks).

 This is a very poor recreation of my picture of Hungry Mungry as he ate the world. I drew it as close to memory as possible. I know, from some of my surviving artwork from that age, that my "action" always happened on the left side of the paper, my right side always ended up smaller than the other, and I splayed the feet in every single drawing. I tried to remember that as I drew this.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS


Arts in the Family said...

Wow. Such a vivid memory. Childhood is full of those. I guess it may be of the way we saw the world at such a young age.

Dee said...

It is one of my earliest memories. I have a lot of dark spaces where I don't recall anything with detail, but this particular day, this short 20 minute span of time, has been etched in my brain for decades. :)