Our First Story
Upon request by me, one of my family members wrote an onion story − simply whipped it out in a few minutes, called it "Onion Story" and left it at that. I tweaked the wording (no surprise to her), and now its official title is "Winks".
I turned my attention from washing vegetables purchased at the market that morning to focus on my young son, Toby, whose brown eyes were lit up and big as saucers. My eyes dropped to the object of his delight, cradled in his small hands.
"It's a giant purple sweetie, Mummy! May I eat it now, Mummy? Please!"
I chuckled. A resplendent purple edible − logical conclusion − candy!
In the interest of expanding our palates, that morning I had decided against purchasing my usual, Vidalia, in favor of a more exotic variety. In short, Toby was holding an onion.
"It's an onion, love."
Toby cocked his head, looked at me, then back at the purple onion. This onion was somewhat small and completely devoid of roots. I could see the gears rolling in Toby’s head. Onions are yellow; candies are purple.
"It doesn't look like an onion, Mummy." Toby gingerly set the onion on the kitchen table and scampered away; I returned to washing carrots. Toby was soon back, carrying with him proof that the object lying on the table was really a grape-flavored treat. He inspected the onion carefully against a small box that housed his marbles − a box decorated with lollipop images of various colors.
"This poor lollipop lost its stick," Toby announced. I laughed as I tousled his brown hair with my partially wet hand. Toby’s sweet tooth included a special fondness for reds and purples.
"Toby, it's truly an onion." Toby stared dubiously at the onion. Presently, the arrival of the postman distracted him, and after that, the marbles that he had dumped out of his lollipop box.
The subject did not come up again until Toby's daddy came home from work. Loosening his tie as he appeared in the kitchen doorway, Paul first greeted me, and then proceeded to delight Toby by whisking him off his feet. Paul, with Toby on his shoulders as was common, went hunting. They hunted bears (of the teddy variety)…for all of thirty seconds before Toby remembered Mummy was holding out on him.
"Daddy, may I have a sweetie?"
"I don't know, sport. Isn't it almost time for dinner?" Paul hefted Toby off his shoulders and Toby immediately went to the table. He looked. Nothing of interest. His eyes immediately turned my way.
"Where is it?" Trying to keep a straight face, I obligingly opened the refrigerator. Toby squealed with delight, grabbed the treasure and presented it to his dad. Paul looked incredulously at me and then back at the onion.
"Toby, what do you think this is?” Paul inquired of his son as he winked at me.
Toby smiled beguilingly. “A sweetie,” he responded brightly…hopefully.
“Mommy did not choose candy this time, son. This is an onion, only not the kind she usually buys.”
Mr. Toby, by all appearances, remained totally unconvinced. Noting that, Paul proceeded to peel the outer layer. He held the onion out for Toby to smell.
"See? Onion!” But Toby did not see…exactly, anyhow. Toby knew onions were nearly yellow.
Observing, and always up for a practical joke, Paul decided to teach our little son a lesson.
"Go ahead; have a bite if you want." I threw Paul a worried glance and made haste to pour a glass of milk!
Toby wasted no time. He opened wide and took a greedy bite of his sweetie. Paul and I watched with more than a little interest as Toby’s face began to register the fact that he was not eating something sweet-only, but rather sweet-yet-hot onion, vegetable! To our surprise, he kept chewing. Oh, his expressions as he chewed!
After swallowing the last of that greedy bite, Toby gladly, and wordlessly, accepted the milk. He drank, took a small breath, then drank what remained in the glass. Looking at us, he declared, "That sweetie was BROKEN and we need to call the comp'ny and have them FIX it." And then our Toby blinked – his best imitation of a wink!