When you wish upon a chicken bone

A couple of Sundays ago we smoked a whole chicken. After all the meat was cut off, I showed Buster and Big Man the wishbone. I explained that if two people tugged at the wishbone, the person who got the bigger piece when it broke could make a wish. Buster was lukewarm to this chicken bone voodoo, but Big Man was intrigued.

Big Man wanted to give the wishbone a good yank right then, but I insisted we wait a day until it dried out. I put it behind the sink to dry and Big Man only asked three more times that night if it were ready to break.

The next morning, before school, he asked me again. He came home from school asking about the wishbone. It was dry by then so I let him pull it with me. Using all the structural physics he has learned up to Kindergarten, he deftly twisted his end upward so the greater stress applied to my side. My end broke, leaving him in possession of the larger part, and the right to a wish.

Winner! Winner! A day after the chicken dinner!

“I wish for a tower of candy!” he announced without hesitation.

I had hardly disposed of my losing sliver of bone before he began asking when his candy would appear.

“I don’t know,” I told him. “That’s the thing about wishes; sometimes they come true and sometimes they don’t.”

He furrowed his brow. “What good is a wish if it doesn’t come true?”

“If all wishes came true, you could have everything you ever wanted,” replied the man without a handy tower of candy. “And we know that isn’t the way it goes, don’t we?”

Reluctantly, “Yes.”

“We’ll just have to see if this wish comes true. But you have to be patient. Even wishes that come true can take a long time.”

He inquired about his tower of candy for a few days, then moved on to other concerns. I almost forgot about too, once he quit reminding me every 20 minutes.

At the store, some days later, I recalled the wish. For about $5 and a few pieces of tape, a modest tower of candy was assembled and left where he would find it.

Not quite the Swiss Colony tower of chocolate, but for the price of a broken chicken bone, not bad.

I expected him to be disappointed at its size. I imagined him envisioning a tower taller than himself. He said not a single word of complaint. He was happy to have the candy, but he was thrilled that his wish had come true.

It wasn’t about candy; it was about magic.

I made sure to remind him that although this wish came true, it doesn’t happen all the time. Soon enough he will be wishing for a car, and I can’t patch that together with tape.

Seeing his wish come true was a precious moment, but it didn’t stop us from switching to smoked pork ribs. We need to steer clear of animals with wishbones before I’m overcome by wishes.

12 comments on “When you wish upon a chicken bone

  1. Kenneth T. says:

    I have heard that if one were to take three dry pork bones and throw them in a campfire, during a full moon
    …oh, nevermind

  2. floatinggold says:

    These stories are always so adorable and funny. I, too, thought that he envisioned a tower taller than himself. But then, I realized that he didn’t ask for a “mountain”. Now THAT would have been more difficult.
    Kudos to him for being a great sport.

  3. AmyRose🌹 says:

    As usual, Scott, you tell another tale that is so very endearing. A huge smile came over me as I saw this tower of candy. What a great Dad you are! I remember well those dry wishbones. Come to think of it, I don’t think any of my wishes came true. Yet speaking of remembering, I’m not sure if I even do remember what those wishes were. Thank you for wrapping my heart with a glow. I just love reading your stories.

    • Thank you so much, Amy. It’s probably a good thing all wishbone wishes don’t come true. If they did, there would probably be no more chickens left in the world – unless the winner of the last wishbone were insightful enough to wish for a bunch more chickens.
      Chickens or not, keep on wishing.

  4. CrankyPants says:

    So precious. Did the other two become interested after they saw what their brother’s wish bone experience brought him?

  5. I love that he asked for a whole tower of candy. It’s good to set your sights high!

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