CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

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We had a long car ride ahead of us and Nick wanted me to read to him. The only book I had was an adaptation of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. It was written for young readers and had lovely illustrations but was still a bit complicated for him. I had just bought it thinking that maybe we’d read it together in a few years. He wanted me to read it to him right then.

CHAPTER ONE: Marseilles

ME: “The sails of the Pharon shimmered in the winter sun as the ship came into Marseilles docks…”

NICK: Who’s that?

ME: Edmond Dantes.

NICK: Is he a good guy?

ME: Yes. He’s a good guy.

NICK: HE’S GONNA FIGHT THE BAD GUYS!

CHAPTER TWO: Conspiracy

ME: “Laughing, Edmond twirled Mercedes in his arms. He was so happy, in fact, that he failed to notice the jealous hatred in Fernand’s eyes.”

NICK: Is Fernand a bad guy?

ME: Yes. He wants Mercedes all to himself.

NICK: Edmond should punch him!

ME: Well Edmond doesn’t know Fernand is a bad guy yet. Fernand is going to try to send Edmond to jail.

NICK: WHAT???

ME: Yeah. Let’s keep reading…

NICK; But Edmond will tell everyone he’s a good guy and break out of prison and come back and THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER!

CHAPTER FIVE – Escape from Chateau D’If

NICK: Did the old man die?

ME: Yes. The tunnel caved in on him while he and Edmond were breaking out of jail.

NICK: Did a rock fall on his head?

ME: Yes.

NICK: I SEE BLOOD!

ME: And now Edmond is pretending to be dead so they’ll carry him out of jail.

NICK: AND THEN HE CAN GO BACK AND THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER!

ME: Eventually. But right now, everyone thinks that Edmond is a bad guy.

NICK: So you know what, daddy? He’s gonna wear a disguise so everyone thinks he’s someone else.

ME: How did you know that???

NICK: Yeah. So he has to put on his disguise.

ME: Seriously, how did you know that???

NICK: Read some more, dad.

CHAPTER TEN – The Roman Catacombs

NICK: Is this the other bad guy?

ME: Yes. This is Danglars.

NICK: Does the good guy have on his disguise?

ME: Yes. He’s disguised as the Count of Monte Cristo.

NICK: IS HE GONNA THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER?

ME: No. He’s putting him in jail and making him pay money for his food.

NICK: WHAT???

ME: Danglars put Edmond in jail, so now Edmond put Danglars in jail.

NICK: AND HE HAS TO PAY FOR FOOD?

ME: Yes.

NICK: WHY DOESN’T HE JUST THROW HIM IN THE WATER?

ME: I don’t know.

CHAPTER 12 – Duel in the Park

NICK: What’s a duel?

ME: Well…um…Edmond and Fernand’s son are going to shoot at each other.

NICK: WITH GUNS??

ME: They have pistols, yes.

NICK: Water pistols? That’s not bad, dad. Know what? You can’t kill anyone with a water pistol.

ME: These are real pistols. They’re old fashioned pistols.

NICK: Dad?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Are they gonna go shoot buffalo?

ME: Huh?

NICK: In the old days, people used to take pistols and shoot buffalo. And you know what? They would fight the buffalo and eat the buffalo.

ME: That’s not really what these guys are doing.

NICK: In the old days there would be a whole lot of buffalo. And they would shoot at them! And then they would eat them like hamburger!

ME: Well, Edmond has decided that he doesn’t want revenge anymore.

NICK: He’s not gonna throw him in the water???

ME: No.

NICK: Does he take off his disguise?

ME: Yes.

NICK: Do they ever fight with swords?

ME: Not in this version I guess.

NICK: Do you eat buffalo?

ME: Sometimes.

NICK: I’m hungry.

ME: Want me to keep reading?

NICK: Okay, I WANT THEM TO SHOOT EACH OTHER!

ME: Well, they’re not going to. Because Edmond has realized that he doesn’t want revenge anymore and doesn’t want to shoot anyone.

(pause)

NICK: Are we almost home?

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