The Holly Book

The Holly Book

"Go to your room and read!" Charles' father said to him.

His father was usually pretty fair, but was also strict. Charles knew that when his father said to do something he needed to do as he was told. Being six years old, there was not a lot of books Charles could read by himself. He also didn't have any books in his room. In order to read, Charles went looking for a book.

His mom usually liked to read in the living room so he checked there first. In a basket beside the sofa, there were several magazines. Charles started combing through them one-by-one. There was a magazine with flowers in a basket sitting on a table. They were pretty, but Charles wasn't really interested in reading about flowers.

The next magazine had a picture of a woman in a long dress in a field. Charles didn't know what the magazine was about, but it wasn't interesting to him. He went through a few others. Some had a picture of a family on the front, some just kids, some had pictures of animals. The one with a dog on the front looked like something Charles would read. He sat in the middle of the floor and started flipping through the magazine. The magazine was all about dogs. Every page had pictures of different dogs. Charles assumed the words were about dogs also, but he didn't really want to try to read them all.

He looked at the dogs carefully. He noticed the big ones always had their tongues sticking out of their mouths. The little dogs were usually lying down or running. Why do little dogs either rest or run and big dogs always have their tongues out? Charles got even more curious when he saw a few dogs with sweaters on. Are those dogs cold?

Charles decided the world of dogs was too confusing, so he went to another magazine. It was the last one in the stack and had planets on the cover. Charles had learned a little about planets, but he still didn't know how they got up in the sky. Maybe this magazine will tell me.

As Charles sifted through the pages, he saw many words he didn't recognize and the pictures didn't tell him anything about how the planets got into the sky. He put the magazine on the floor and started checking around for books that he might like. His father wanted him to read because he was outside trying to fix the car. Charles knew that when he father was working on the car, not to bother him. He was always angry while he was doing that.

Charles went to his parent's room. Maybe they had a book he could read. He looked in the nightstand drawer. There was a big yellow book in there. He pulled it out and started looking through it. There weren't many pictures. It looked like a bunch of names and numbers. Charles put it away and started looking for other books. He found a book in the other night stand that looked like it was all in his mom's handwriting. Charles couldn't read his mom's handwriting at all. It looked like a completely different language.

Under that book was a black book with a worn cover. There were two words on the cover. The first one looked like Holly, which Charles remembered seeing at Christmas time. Maybe it is a Christmas book!

Charles opened it and starting looking through the pages. There were a couple of drawings in the book, but mostly just words. There were a lot of handwritten notes and underlined sentences. Charles didn't know why, but he read a few of them. One said something about "adultery" which Charles didn't know, but he knew what an adult was. Another sentence talked about someone washing someone's feet. He saw another passage about being put to death.

Charles put that book away too. He read enough to know it was not something he would understand. It didn't seem like there was anything about Christmas in it and would not tell him how the planets got in the sky. Instead, he got out the other book with all of his mom's writing. He turned to a blank page and found a pen in the drawer. He drew a picture of him, his mom, his dad, and a dog, which he didn't have, but he wanted. He felt like he wanted a small dog because the big dogs he felt would slobber all over because their tongues were always out.


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