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FEBRUARY 2006

> GRANDFATHER'S STORY | g. david schwartz

1. One day a young boy and his grandfather sat on the front porch rocking and watching as the world went by.

2. Suddenly three large flies fluttered in the boy's face and scurried away.

3. The moon looked down on them with a sigh's smile.

4. "Pesky flies," the boy said to his grandfather.

5. "You think these are something I once heard of a fly which was so big that when it buzzed...

6. ... all of the towns people had to cover their ears or else they would go deaf."

7. "Oh, Grandpa!" the boy exclaimed, for he did not believe a word of his Grandpa's fantastic tales.

8. "But it is true," the older man told him.

9. "Was this fly a million miles high?"

10. "Not quite, but you can imagine the size of the frog who ate this fly ...

11. ... his tongue was very nearly across the ocean."

12. "Was the frog that ate the fly a million miles high?"

13. "Not quite ...

14. ... But you can imagine the size of the snake on the KUB desert who gobbled up the frog ...

15. ... One time the very same snake devoured one of the king's carnage while the king was on his way to a fancy dancing ball ...

16. ... This is the same snake who once drank the ocean dry. Why, the only reason the ocean has any water in it at all is because it rains somewhere else in the world every day."

17. The boy then asked, "Was the snake the one who swallowed the frog who swallowed the fly who was a million miles high?"

18. "Not quite ...

19. ... But you can imagine the size of the bird which consumed the snake ...

20. ... This bird was so huge that its head was always in a cloud ...

21. ... Even when he bent down to his knees, you curiously could not see his face, so high up in the air it was ...

22. ... Lucky for him the snake was crawling on a four-year journey across the mountains ...

23. ... The bird simply gobbled him up."

24. "Was the bird the one who ate the snake who gobbled the frog who ate the fly who flew a million miles high?"

25. "Not quite ...

26. ... But you can imagine the size of the elephant that sampled the bird ...

27. ... The elephant was so large that wherever he stood he could see the entire world ...

28. ... Why, everywhere the elephant stepped a new ocean was created, and they were so large that they were the size of his foot ...

29. ... And every time he lifted his massive foot the villagers became very terrified ...

30. ... They were horrified because his shadow engulfed and covered the entire world in darkness ...

31. ... When he died, the villagers cut up his bones and sawed them down into planks ...

32. ... They did this in order to rebuild the village where the elephant had walked around."

33. "Was the elephant which stomped the bird, which ate the snake which swallowed the frog which devoured the fly a million miles high?"

34. "Not quite ...

35. ... But you can imagine the size of the monster who pounced on the elephant ...

36. ... You can guess at the stature of the creature who attached himself to the elephant ...

37. ... You can speculate as to the bulk of the beast who razed the elephant."

38. "Grandfather," the boy asked, "was the monster who attached the elephant who sampled on the bird, who devoured the snake who consumed the frog who ate the fly a million miles high?"

39. "Not quite," said the grandfather with a gleam in his eye.

40. "He was normal size."

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

G. David Schwartz is the former President of Seedhouse, an online interfaith committee, and the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue, and coauthor, with Jacqueline Winston, of Parables In Black and White. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in Cincinnati, Schwartz's new book, Midrash and Working Out Of The Book is forthcoming.