Thursday, September 3, 2009


My eldest sister Fran was a great story teller. She would regale the family with stories of events that had happened, and she also told great jokes. Her son Jack (one of my nephews) picked up the knack. He was telling us one time how, when at work, he and some of his work buddies would brown bag it, sit on the loading dock, and swap jokes. And when Jack told one, especially if it was a bit on the risque side, he would be asked, "Where did you hear that one?" Jack would often reply, "Oh, my mother told me that one." And his buddies would be amazed that a mother, of all people, would tell such stories.

My mother, on the other hand, was a very quiet woman. Her father had brought her to the States from Russia in the late 1890's or early 1900's, when she was only 7 or 8 years old, and she never did get a proper education. Not that she wasn't intelligent -- she certainly was, and she had both a proper sense of right and wrong, and a practical sense of what to do in a difficult situation.

Well, one day, Jack told us, he told a joke to his buddies, and they asked, "Where did you hear that one?" Said Jack, "Oh, my grandmother told me that one!" That pretty much floored them.

So what was this joke that my very sedate mother told?

There were two squirrels up in a tree making love, when suddenly the little boy squirrel slipped and fell to the ground. The little girl squirrel came running down the tree, and hollering, "Are you okay? Are you okay?" "Yeah, I'm all right," said the little boy squirrel, as he dusted himself off, "but making love in the trees is for the birds!"


Now I have no idea where my mother heard that -- I don't think we asked -- but I never heard her tell another.

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