Legends
Narrative

I Once Knew A Little Boy Who…

So I don’t know if this counts, but my mom when we were younger always told us these stories about a little boy she once knew whenever she didn’t want us to do something.

Like she would say things like “I once knew a little boy who lied to his parents and then he peed the bed.”

Or “I once knew a boy who snuck food from the table and didn’t finish meal and…” I don’t remember that one.

We were never allowed to go on trampolines because Mom ‘once knew a boy who jumped on a trampoline and he broke his neck and died.”

Oh and we couldn’t have keychains! Because she once knew a boy who had so many keychains on his backpack that the school bus door closed on it and he fell off and was dragged to death. Or maybe he got run over. So we weren’t allowed to have keychains on our backpack.

WHY DO YOU THINK SHE TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS BOY?

To get us from doing it, whatever she wanted us to do.

DID SHE SAY SHE ONCE KNEW A GIRL WHEN SHE TALKED TO YOUR SISTER?

Nope. It was always a little boy. I guess Samantha (his younger sister) wasn’t as threatened.

DID YOU LISTEN TO HER?

I don’t know (laughs). I know we didn’t have any keychains.

She just made up this kid, never gave a name or anything.

context of the performance:

In a one on one conversation, while we were studying together, the informant explained this family legend, which now he and his siblings find humorous.

thoughts on the performance:

It was really funny to watch how funny the informant found the examples his mom used to say about the little boy she once knew, especially the key chain one, which seems pretty arbitrary and definitely escalated quickly.  It’s also funny how, as kids, they just accepted this boy without specificity as truth, especially when he died or was injured in most of the stories.

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