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"Tell us the story again," one begged. The others immediately chimed assent, and the chorus of "Yes" and "Please" arose.

"Are you sure?" I responded.

When the affirmative choir swelled again, I assented to their importuning. "It all began," I started, "a very long time ago, before I or my father or his father or even his father's father were born. It begins, as all good stories do, once upon a time."


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