You know how siblings like to really give each other a grief unlike no other, well having three younger brothers, I was no different. Between me and Brother 3, there is a 10 year gap. He was an easy target for the ribbing of his older siblings. While I could go back generations and tell a tale of my ancestors, this “family history” is probably one that still makes everyone in our immediate family cry with laughter.
When Brother 3 was about four or five years old, he asked us why he had blonde hair and we, his older brothers and sister, had brown hair. Without a missing a beat, Brother 1 told him that it was because he was a frogface. The three of us (Brothers 1 and 2 and myself) then continued to weave a tale of lies that, to this day, still can make any one of us cease to be upset. The story went as follows:
There once was a family of Frogfaces. They were like people but they had frog faces. They had three children who were perfectly alike, complete with bug eyes and wide mouths. They ate flies and lived on the shores near the lake where they enjoyed a lazy frogface life.
One day, their lives were changed, when they had a fourth child. This child was nothing like the other three. This child was a frogface but did not have the same features as the other members of his family. He looked more human. The Frogfaces were horrified that such a child was theirs. They didn’t know what to do.
They watched the families who came to the lake to swim. Day in and day out, families would come and swim and the Frogfaces would watch how happy they all seemed. Then they realized that their newest son looked like them and could probably pass off as one of them. That is when the Frogfaces decided to choose a family to give their child too.
After weeks of watching they selected a family, our family. They showed up at our door with the frogface baby and our parents felt sorry for it so they took it in and raised it as their own. And that is how we came to have a frogface for a brother.
Well, little did we realize, being wicked and cruel older siblings, that Brother 3 would believe every single word of it. It probably didn’t help that we kept reminding him that he was a frogface time and time again.
What we also didn’t realize is the number of people he would tell this to. He told his pre-school teacher. He told family friends. But the worst, was our parish priest. He was a close family friend and would often come to dinner at our house. At one of these dinners, Brother 3 announced that he wasn’t really one of us and continued to recount the entire Frogface saga.
During the retelling of this grand story, because I have to admit, I was quite proud of myself and my brothers for concocting such an elaborate story, a small part of me began to feel twinges of guilt. It also didn’t help that the three masterminds who came up with the story were getting sideways glances not only from our parents and their friends, but also our priest. Oh Catholic guilt…
Needless to say, they broke the enchantment we had placed on our youngest brother and told him that he was in fact a human and very much our real brother.
Every now and again, though, we all feel the urge to remind him that once upon a time, a distraught mother and father frogface begged us to take in their poor ugly frogface baby…
This post is part of the June NaBloPoMo. This month’s theme is “Roots.” Today’s prompt was “Tell us a story from your family history.”