From Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul


We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can.

Will Rogers

Long before life took over and complicated things, I was once a princess and my daddy was definitely the handsomest man in my four-year-old world. I especially liked the way he winked and his sense of fun. Sometimes, however, it got us both into a spot of trouble.

One unusually warm fall afternoon, we were out for a ride, just Daddy and me. In the days before air conditioning, seat belts and car seats, I sat alone in the back enjoying the breeze that swept through the car’s open windows. At the same time, I found myself mesmerized by a mysterious glass jug sitting next to me. Fascinated by the reddish glow that sparkled in the sun, my fingers lightly played over the glass container, feeling the heat that seemed to come from inside it.

“Daddy, what’s this?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.

“Moonshine.” He winked at me in the rearview mirror.

“Moonshine?” I repeated the word trying to comprehend what he meant exactly.

“Just for you,” he added with a grin.

Moonshine, I thought to myself as I carefully looked over the amazing jar. It certainly looks like something that came from far away. Suddenly, it all made perfect sense. My daddy had gone up to the sky and caught some shine right from the moon. He put it in this jug and brought it back to Earth for me. I bet no other daddy had ever done that before! I was one lucky little girl.

Totally awestruck, I clutched the gallon jug, amazed by the magical substance inside. It seemed to glow even brighter, glistening in the afternoon sun. Just wait until everyone sees this! My very own moonshine in my very own glass jug!

Wrapped up in my imagination, I absently felt the car come to a stop. Looking up and through the windshield, I could see a red light dangling above us on a thick wire. I let my jug go long enough to climb onto my knees and peer out the open window on the passenger side.

Two policemen sat next to us in their patrol car, also with their windows rolled down. As we all waited for the red light to turn green, I couldn’t contain my excitement for another second, so I hollered out to them: “My daddy’s got moonshine in the back seat!”

They both turned to look at me, and then they looked at each other. The driver peered at my daddy. “Pull the car over, sir.” He wasn’t smiling.

“But officer . . . ,“ my daddy tried.

“Just pull the car over, sir—now.”

The two policemen parked directly behind us and asked my daddy and me to get out of the car. They then proceeded to search it, front seat, back seat and trunk. They even opened the hood.

“See, Daddy,” I was hopping from one foot to the other, “the policemen want to see the moonshine, too!”

My daddy didn’t say a word. He just closed his eyes and shook his head as we stood there waiting.

Finally, one of the officers held up my glass jug. “Sir, what’s in here?”

“Just what the label says,” Daddy sighed. “It’s apple cider. Open it and have a taste if you want.”

“But your daughter said . . . “

“I know. I told her it was moonshine,” my dad admitted sheepishly. “She has no idea what that is.”

Their serious faces suddenly turned into smiles and then peals of laughter followed. “Here you go, little lady.” One of the officers held the door for me and helped me climb back into the car.

His partner handed over the glass bottle with a grin. “Take good care of your moonshine, Honey.”

As we all drove away, I tightly held on to my bottle of moonshine. After all, it wasn’t every princess whose daddy took a trip to the moon.

Debra Ann Pawlak

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