I love stories. I think there’s a little bit of magic that happens when someone tells a story: you’re drawn into the world of the story and that brings a certain delight.

So I want to make a BIG PLUG for telling stories—any kind of stories—at dinner time. Yes, I said it: dinner time! Whether you’re having dinner with children or your partner, or just having coffee with a friend, it’s a great time to share a story—even if it’s just a story about something that happened that day.

I know this can be challenging for families. We’re all busy, and the TV and Ipad often pre-empt conversation. The late author, Larry McMurtry (who wrote Lonesome Dove) believed that the TV destroyed dinner time.

But I still think it’s important. Dinner time should be a celebration of the day, a chance to really talk to each other and share joy—and one of joy’s favorite tools is stories.

So to prime the pump, I’m going to tell you a story.

There was a dog exploring the woods, having a good time, investigating many things. But suddenly, he saw a leopard approaching with his mouth watering. And the dog thought, “Oh, my! What shall I do? Leopards love to eat dogs!”

The dog saw a little pile of bones nearby, so he ran over and stared at the bones with his back to the leopard. As the leopard approached, he said in a loud voice, “Boy, that was the best leopard I ever tasted!” Well, the leopard heard this and ran off!

Now there was a monkey up in the tree who saw all this, and he saw the leopard approaching his tree. He was afraid the leopard might climb up and eat him. So he went to the leopard and said, “Look, I know how much you love to eat dog, but I also know that dog has fooled you. So if you will promise not to eat me, I will prove this to you, and then you can have that delicious dog for lunch.”

The leopard agreed, the monkey climbed on his back, and they headed back toward the dog. The dog saw them coming and thought, “What in the world can I do now?” So as the leopard and monkey approached, the dog stared at the bones again and said in a loud voice, “I wonder what happened to that monkey—the one I asked to bring me another leopard!”

I suppose the story says something about the importance of “reading the situation” and thinking on your feet—but it’s also just fun. Share it with someone…and enjoy!

Geoffery Alan Moore