When my daughter was quite young, I came across this wonderful little book entitled, The Little Brute Family by Russell Hoban. We kept this book over the years. I’ve referred to this story in my workshops based on happiness and kindness for grade schoolers.
If you are unfamiliar with this book, here is a synopsis. In a dark and shadowy part of the woods lived a little family of Brutes. There was Mama and Papa Brute, Brother and Sister Brute and Baby Brute. Mama and Papa Brute snarled and growled, Brother and Sister Brute fought and kicked each other and Baby Brute howled. They ate sticks and stones for their meals. No one ever said, “Thank you” or “How lovely or “How delicious,”” because it wasn’t. Papa would go out each day to gather more sticks and stones. Brother and Sister fought all their way to school. Mama stayed home and thumped the furniture and yelled at the Baby. That’s how they lived.
One day Baby Brute was out walking in the woods when a little wandering lost good feeling floated over him. It felt so good that he caught it, put it in his pocket and brought it home. The good feeling popped out of Baby Brute’s pocket and hovered over the table. Suddenly they were saying, “Thank you and how delightful.” When Papa went to gather food, he brought home berries and salad greens. Everyone said, “How delicious,” because it was.
That little wandering lost good feeling no longer wandered, but stayed with the Brutes. At the end of the story the little Brute family changed their name to Nice.
What does this have to do with me? Glad you asked. Full disclosure, I have been feeling depressed, irritable and my sense of humor ran away from home. I haven’t even enjoyed my recent morning walks. You could have called me Cousin Brute. Then a few days ago something changed. I don’t even know what brought about the change, but I felt like my true self again. When I went out for my walk this morning I felt something deep inside. It was like that little lost good feeling. I began to smile for no reason. Even chuckle to myself. My sense of humor had found it’s way back to me. I am no longer Cousin Brute. Am I Cousin Nice? Pretty much. Color me grateful.
Comments are welcomed.