Close Your Eyes

Text: “There once was a little boy named H. He stayed up late every night and made his mother very angry by not going to bed on time. But one night, he wanted to try and keep his eyes open until morning, without getting a lick of sleep. But on that very morning, his eyes were shriveled up like raisins and he could no longer see. When his mother came in, she screamed. She told him, “Close your eyes forever.” After that, the boy never saw anything out of his eyes again. And you want to know why? Because your eyes need to be closed for a few hours while you sleep, in order for them to reset. Keeping them open for a long period of time and blinking to comfort them only goes so far. They need to be closed for hours in order to keep your eyes healthy.” – Informant’s mother

Context: This scary little tale was told to the informant when his mom would get mad at him for staying up too late. She used a tale in order to get him to go to sleep and used the scare tactic to make him want to sleep. As a 7 year old, this story scared him enough to stop staying up so late. The informant laughed when telling this tale because it is so stupid and probably made up by his mom. However, it worked.

Analysis: When I was little, my parents would tell me that if I don’t go to sleep, my nightmares will happen in real life in order to get me to go to sleep. Similar to this tale, they were both tactics used to improve our lives. Sleep is one of the most important things for a human and yet, a growing child. It teaches us a lesson that will help in the long run and actually made us both go to sleep. Although my version was more of a myth type and the informant’s was more of a tale, they both made us follow the rules set by our parents.