plzzz someone tell me the summary of should wizard hit the mommy!!!

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- John Updike

The story telling saga

Jo, a four-year-old girl, is accustomed to hearing stories from her father, Jack, every evening and for Saturday naps. Although the initial purpose of this session was to make her sleep, it is getting diluted with every passing day.

Jack has customized a basic story structure for his daughter. By merely introducing a different character with a new problem in this structure, he creates a new story every time. The first name of the protagonist is always Roger but with a different second name. Roger consults a wise owl for a solution to his problem who in turn directs him to a wizard. The wizard solved the problem through his magic spell and demands his fee. The wizard then guides Roger to the place where this money can be found. Finally, a happy Roger plays games with other children and goes back home to his mommy before his father returns from Boston via train.

A new story: 'Roger - the skunk'

This Saturday afternoon, as per the custom, Jack begins his story. Jo is happy to have a skunk as the main character for the days story. This story is about the lonely Roger Skunk. His problem is his foul body odour because of which other small animals avoid playing with him. To solve this problem, he goes to the wise owl who directs him to the wizard.

Jos involvement with the story

Jo is fast growing up and has started asserting her choices too. She has started questioning the credibility of things told in the story like magic spells, death, God, etc.

As Jo gets deeply involved in the story, she periodically interrupts the story telling process with her inquisitiveness. She hungers for the new elements which are to be introduced within the familiar structure of the story. Her body-language, her facial expressions and her questions show the extent of her involvement with the story. Jack too likes it when, at any stage, he realises his daughter's restlessness, resulting from her inability to predict a new development in the story.

Roger Skunk meets the wizard

Back in the story of Roger Skunk, the wizard uses his magic and relieves him of his foul odour. Now, Roger Skunk smells of roses. The wizard charges him seven pennies. However, the skunk has only four pennies with him. So, he is directed to a place where he will find the remaining three pennies. He finds the pennies easily enough and gives them to the wizard. Roger Skunk is now elated. Other children happily welcome him and they play lots of games together.

Mommy Skunk resents the new smell!

But on reaching home, the happy Roger Skunk has a new problem. His mommy dislikes the new smell. She did not want him to smell any different than other skunks. He tries to reason it out with his mommy but with no success. Mommy Skunk takes Roger back to the wizard to undo the spell.She hits the wizard over his head for making her son smell like roses.Now, Roger Skunk again smells foul, but not for his Mommy and Daddy.

Jo's problem with the ending of the story

In Jo's perspective, smelling bad and not being able to play with other children of the same age is unjustified. So, she takes the task of defending Roger Skunk on herself. She expresses her dissatisfaction with the ending of the story as it took a path she didn't like. Now she wants her father to include a part in the story where Roger Skunk argues with his mother and lets her know the reason for his new smell. She asks Jack if the Mommy was hit back by the wizard. She feels pity for Roger Skunk and finds it difficult to accept what she considers is wrong.

Jo wants her father to retell the story the next day with a new ending where the mommy was hit back with the magic wand and her arms chopped forcely by the wizard.

Jacks dilemma

However, Jack refuses to change the way he ended the story. According to him, it is not ethical to let the wizard hit mommy. After all, parents only do what is right for their kids. He tries to explain to Jo that the little skunk loved his mother, and the mother in turn knew what was right for him. Jo, however, refuses to understand and remains unconvinced. But, the force with which Jo had asked him to change the ending of the story leaves him in a dilemma.

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