Talking with Kids About Boston: The Story Of &%^* and The "Thing"

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I wrote this story for my children. I wanted them to be able to have their questions answered without the added fear. Since my children are littler, I broke this story up for them but its bulk and the message was still the same.

Once upon a time there was a &%^* who lived in a town called Town that was not too far but not too near from us. He was angry and grumpy and stayed far away from everyone and everything most of his days. Nobody knew him. He stayed hidden away in a place that nobody saw. He kept away from other people on purpose. He had only one plan. He wanted everyone to be mad and grumpy just like him.

One day the &%^* had an idea. It was a really bad idea. It was an awful idea. The &%^* didn't share it with anyone because he didn't talk to anyone. He kept the idea to himself. He thought of the "thing" as part of a game, a very mean game. This was bad because his idea could make so many people very, very sad. Someone could have stopped the &%^* but since no one in the town knew of him, that couldn't happen.

So, the &%^* made a "thing." The "thing" was something that was small but dangerous. The &%^* thought that the thing would make him feel better. That the "thing" would make him feel important if he used it. He knew it was very bad but he didn't care. Something inside him made him think that it was okay to create the "thing" but it wasn't okay. It wasn't okay at all.

An important day came that all the townspeople gathered in the same place. People were playing and laughing and feeling happy as they all gathered in this one place. There were so many people around and the &%^* hid where no one could see him.

He placed the "thing" in a place where nobody would find it and then he went very far away. No one knows if he felt glad or sad. No one knew that the &%^* was even in the place where the townspeople gathered.

After the &%^* left, the "thing" began to change. It made noises and got bigger. It made bad smells and created big billows of smoke. Soon, people began to notice the "thing" and what it was doing. Some people got scared but went to protect other people who were coughing from the smoke and plugging their ears from the noise. Some of the fixer people in the town that helped when there were bad people or when there was a fire went to find the "thing" and try to get rid of it.

By the time they found it, it was only a piece of "nothing." No one knew why it was there in the first place. Nobody thought that it was the &%^* that put it there.

People got very, very sick from the noises. People got very, very hurt from the smoke. Other people were helping the sick and hurt by taking them to the place that makes hurt and sick go away. Some people were more hurt than other people. Everyone, though, was helping each other, trying to fix the sick and hurt and find out why the "thing" was there in the first place.

Some people got really mad and want to blame other people, which was not the way to make things right at all. Some people wanted to investigate to try to discover clues to figure out why the "thing" was there. Most of all, people wanted to help other people and find a way to keep the "thing" from ever coming back again. People wanted answers but they couldn't find any fast enough. The townspeople felt mad, sad, angry and very, very grumpy. It looked like the &%^* was winning his game.

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