Trying out my technique on the boy again:
Me: “Tell me something happy that happened to you at school today.”
Boy (completely serious): “Ummm, being a Zen Buddhist.”
Me (trying to keep the smile out of my voice): “How do you be a Zen Buddhist?”
*As a side note, I highly recommend all the Jon Muth books. “Zen Shorts” is a good place to start. Great stories that introduce Zen principles and approaches to life problems in a way that kids understand, all illustrated with beautiful watercolor paintings.