Stories True and Fiction

My first grader has learned about fiction. Somehow her teacher introduced the idea and it stuck. Some stories are imaginary and NOT TRUE. Some are true.

It had a bigger impact than I would have thought.

I was reading to her from a chapter book, the story of Dr. Dolittle. We were well into a conversation between the doctor and his animals, and she interrupted to declare: “This is not true. This story is fiction.”

What could I say?  “Do you want to stop reading it?

“This is not true.”

“You are right. But let’s see what happens next.”

Some stories are fiction. Some are true. Then there are the stories that are neither and both.

I’ve been listening to some lectures about King Arthur. Some historical sources have stories that are somewhat inconclusive. This proffessor says that everyone asks her: “Is the story of King Arthur true?”

She likes to quote Churchill “Even better and more besides!”

That’s what stories are. True stories, Fiction and all of it. The Adventures of each and everyone.

Veronica and I were playing at writing stories this week. I asked her to tell me a story, and I would write it for her. We wrote one, and it was great fun. I asked her to tell me another.

“Come on! Tell me The Adventures of Veronica.”

As excited as she’d been, she squirmed. “Mommy…”


“Well…You know this whole life I’ve been alive? Those are the adventures of Veronica.”

No kidding.

Just like that.Her life…Our life…those are the adventures. Truth is the best story, even better than fiction. What we do, in all the ways and means that we do it, that’s the best story. And it’s all true.

Even better and more besides.