Pamela Goldberg

October 30, 2003

Post #1670 – 20031030

As a young child in the mid-to-late 1950s I had a book that I recently recalled. I don’t remember the name or author but I do remember the salient content of the story. It is an woman who has somehow acquired a bone. At night when she tries to go to sleep, a voice calls out, “Give me back my bone!” At first quietly. She responds by moving the bone to a better “hiding” spot. As the night (or nights) go by, the voice grows increasingly louder, always with the same and only command, “Give me back my bone!” Each time, the old woman grows more and more frightened and each time she tries to hide the bone more and more securely. She also tries to lock her bedroom more and more securely, moving a number of items to block the doorway, finally pushing her heavy bureau in front of it. It is in the bureau, by the way, where she has hidden the bone. Finally, she can bear it no more when the voice screams out “GIVE ME BACK MY BONE!” Bone weary and frightened beyond belief, the old woman bolts up in bed and shouts back at the top of her lungs “TAKE IT!” And so ends the tale.

Do you know this book? Its title? The author’s name? Whether it is still in print and available? I would love to know.

Thank you for your time. I enjoy hearing you on NPR and look forward to you and Bob E. reading aloud together.

Daniel replies:

Not a clue. And that's Scott S. I read with.