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When I was a kid, my parents read to me at bedtime from story books. It wasn't long until I could do my own reading, but my dad had a few stories he'd tell me out loud when we weren't near a book. One was "The Three Old Birds," about three old birds who lived in a garbage dump and enjoyed eating leftover spaghetti and other tasty refuse all day.

I can't remember the details any more, but I think the local government closed the dump and the birds were devastated, but then they learned there was a new garbage dump, and they moved there and were very happy, eating leftover spaghetti and other tasty refuse all day.

Years later, I learned that my dad had made that story up. I was taken aback. I didn't know that kind of thing went on. But I loved him and the story even more when I realized he'd made it just for me. When you mentioned learning that your beloved Dutch stories were by Washington Irving, it made me think of it.

-- Julie Peterson

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