(scroll down for audio portion)


It Began With My Bedtime Stories & Songs For My Children


My gift To My Children

led to

Their Gift To Their Children

led to

Their Children’s Gift To Their Children 

may lead to

Their Children’s Gift To Their Children?

(time will tell)



...there was a beginning. -- When was that?


         It began sixty-four years ago, my bedtime stories and songs, for my first-born child who was then one year old. It continued on with both my first and second born sons. Bedtime became a special time, a bonding time. I would sit at their bedsides and tell, mostly made-up, stories and sing songs. I was not a great singer but that didn’t matter to them. I made up for lack of singing talent by being an innovative storyteller. What mattered most was my being there almost every night until they grew too grownup for such stuff.


         When I remarried I was thrilled to father three children (two sons and a daughter). When they were each old enough I would sit at their bedsides at the appointed bedtime and sing songs and tell stories. Their mother would usually begin the bedtime ritual by reading to them from their favorite books. It was a continuation of a bonding like no other.


         There came a time when my first two sons grew up, married and had children of their own, my grandchildren. That is when my gift to my kids, when they were children, became their gift to their children.... those bedtime songs and stories. Most were much the same songs and original stories I told them in those early days, perhaps a little altered and augmented with new stories and songs and having the addition of guitar accompaniment.


         And, there came a later time when my grandchildren grew up and married and I became a great grandfather. I believe the stories and the songs, with guitar accompaniment are just beginning.


         I don’t know most of you (about a thousand) who go to my facebook page or directly to my website (awritersghosts.com). I wish I did. I don’t know much about you and so I talk to an imaginary you. In my mind you are many religions, black and white, all ages, male and female, young and never, ever old in mind or in spirit... and—(most important) with a sense of humor. When I talk about your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, I also talk about those of you who are unmarried and married without kids and your relationships with your brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and your closest and dearest friends. The gift of stories and songs can be yours to give whether or not you have children of your own.


         Of course no one is immortal but while I will not be around I can almost hear my grownup great grandchildren singing to their children:


If I had a nickel I’d tell you what I’d do

              I’d buy myself some candy and give it all to you

‘Cause that’d how much I love you baby 

      ‘Cause that’s how much I love you       


Will they be asking, “What’s a nickel?”


         What greater gift than that can I leave to all those children yet to come who will not know me but may still be listening to versions of my songs and stories. They would continue to be very much a part of me and I believe my spirit will live on through them.


Bob Flicker



a post script


I thought I would include, as an example, an original, children’s bedtime story that came to me. Now and then I will give you a heads-up when I do another. If you like this one, use it and look for part 2. Better yet, create your own.


(For my audio version... click here.)


The Parrot That Did Not Make A Sound

part 1


 Bob Flicker

         It happened, so they tell me, with a little girl in a place not very far from here. She never, ever spoke. Not one, bless-ed word. Strange as it may seem on the very day and hour she was born—what was that you said? I didn’t tell you her name? How careless of me. Her name was Lenesta. As I was about to say, on the very day and hour she was born a baby parrot with an orange beak poked her way out of her eggshell in a nest at the very top of a tall tree, in a jungle far away. Her brother and sister had already pecked their way out of their shells and were nosily squawking and tumbling about the nest. The strange thing was that the baby parrot with the orange beak did not make a sound, not even a peep.


         Now you may think that all parrots are born talkers. No, no, they are born squawkers. They don’t learn to talk until they are taught to talk. That means that parrots that fly around in the jungle never speak—just squawk. It is only after they are captured and brought to a pet store—what’s that? I know it’s sad but that is what happens to some parrots. May I continue? When parrots are brought to a pet store they are sold to people who then teach them to speak.


         That is what happened to our parrot with the orange beak. She was sold to a little old man who tried to teach the parrot with the orange beak to say, “Good morning and good night.” But the parrot with the orange beak did not make a sound. So, the little old man returned the parrot with the orange beak to the pet store.


         The owner of the pet store could not sell a parrot that didn’t make a sound and so he decided to give it to the little girl who did not speak. She lived with her father and mother in a house next to his own.


         I must tell you about the strangest thing that happened to the parrot with the orange beak that did not make a sound and to Lenesta, the little girl who did not speak. Lenesta’s mother would sing to Lenesta every night at bedtime and she would fall off to sleep. Now, the parrot with the orange beak would sit in her open cage, on a table next to Lenesta and listen to the singing.


         One night Lenesta’s mother had a sore throat and could not sing her daughter to sleep. Poor Lenesta, she just could not fall asleep without her mother singing to her. She tossed and turned but sleep did not come. The parrot with the orange beak that did not make a sound sat in her open cage on a table next to Lenesta’s bed and watched her toss and turn without being able to sleep.


         Something, almost like magic, happened. The parrot with the orange beak that did not make a sound began to sing the same bedtime songs that Lenesta’s mother sang to her and Lenesta fell sound asleep.


         I suppose that should be the end of my story but it isn’t.


         The next morning, after breakfast, when Lenesta was playing alone in her room the parrot with the orange beak flew out of her open cage and settled next to Lenesta and began to sing her mother’s goodnight songs.


         Do you know what happened next? Well, I will tell you. Lenesta, the little girl who did not speak, began to sing along with the parrot with the orange beak. After that, Lenesta and the parrot with the orange beak sang and sang and sang together but still they both did not speak.


         Did Lenesta ever speak? Did the parrot with the orange beak ever speak? Well, we will just have to wait and perhaps—just perhaps we may find out another time. In the mean time Lenesta and the parrot with the orange beak continued to sing together.


The End...for now




         I will, in coming weeks, prepare ideas* for those of you who would like to create your very own goodnight stories, which I might add, can be used for other occasions as well. You might not need these guidelines but still may find them helpful in the creating of your very own, original bedtime stories that can be passed down to future generations.


Bob Flicker


         *You should know, there is much more than... Once Upon A Time


 © robert 2014