A monster sleeps under my bed
And nobody seems to care.
He snores when I try to sleep
So I know that he lives there.

Dad’s told me all about monsters
And I know they’re scared of light.
So I asked Mom for a lamp
And I leave it on all night.

I was sure the light would scare him
And last night I got proof.
I heard him tell his daddy,
That a boy lives on his roof.

Do all kids have a Monster under their bed or in their closet? I don’t think our children did but we had ‘Billy the Benjo Bear’. ‘Benjo’ is a Japanese word. The rough translation is restroom. I will not give you the literal translation. (The Japanese are very descriptive in their names for things.) It all started when we lived in Japan; our Japanese toilet, one of their newer flush kinds, would produce a bear like growl from time to time. Our kids weren’t really scared of it but they enjoyed the game of running wide-eyed to each other with the news that Billy had just growled.

For a period of time, our son Jon never failed to ask for protection against the ‘Red-Handed-Man’ during his night time prayers. It was a family mystery until he got old enough to explain that he had heard on TV that they had caught a bad man red-handed.

Our children were never terrified of the dark after saying their prayers together before going to bed. They were encouraged to pray about anything that was of concern to them and were not taught the old ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ litany. We always took their prayers seriously. We never made fun of them, even when our oldest son took the time to list every kid and every pet in the entire neighborhood. In Monster I explored the possibility that young monsters might also have monsters of their own.


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