My Chocolate Brother
©2001 Stuart B Baum
Illustration by Zoë Baum
Ages: 4 and up
It was right after lunchtime and Dad was so busy chasing down baby that he made a mistake. One that Mom would never make. He told both of us, "If you eat any more chocolate, you'll turn into chocolate." Not bright, Dad. Mom would have simply taken the chocolate away.
My little brother didn't realize what Dad meant was no more chocolate. But what can you expect from a five-year old? When you get to my age, you can tell better what parents mean when they say confusing things, but five-year old boys hear only what they want to hear. Or so Mom says.
So my little brother did just what Dad didn't want him to. He took another chocolate bar, a big one, from the snack bin, opened it and took a huge bite. I figured he'd get into trouble, but I never figured he'd turn into chocolate.
Which is what he did. I know it was chocolate, because I took a little bite from his ear. Just to make sure.
"Dad?!" I hollered. "Dad?"
Dad yelled back, from somewhere upstairs, "I'm changing baby, can you please deal with whatever it is yourself?"
He was always having me deal with stuff myself, since I was the oldest. Like cleaning up spills. Or making sure my little brother has both his shoes and socks on. Or making Ritz peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwiches for lunch and pouring glasses of milk. But I had never had to deal with a chocolate little brother before.
I looked at my brother. He was completely chocolate, even his clothes. And he wasn't moving. He had this huge smile on his face and a half-eaten chocolate bar in one of his hands. I wondered if he was really made out of chocolate.
I sort of knocked on him gently, to see if he was hollow inside like those cheap Easter Bunnies. He wasn't. He was solid chocolate. If he were an Easter bunny, he'd be the biggest one we had ever gotten.
I wondered how he tasted. That's when I had the little nibble I mentioned earlier. From his ear. Just a tiny bite. He tasted just like chocolate. Good chocolate. If I hadn't had tons of chocolate already, I would probably have eaten more. But I did snap off some of his shirtsleeve and put it in the refrigerator, to save some for later, and to make sure it didn't melt.
Melt! My little brother is going to melt! I knew I had to do something fast, but what?
I ran to the bottom of the stairs and called up, "Dad?!"
He said back, sort of tired sounding and testy, "Can't you please take care of it yourself?" He was obviously having some trouble with baby. Maybe she ran off without a diaper or wouldn't let him put on her shirt. She does that.
Well, if I had to handle this by myself, I would. Here's what I did...
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