Aside

CW15 – The Boy Who Loved To Cook

This week’s prompt is to imitate the story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I must confess that on reading this story I have been sickened.  This writing style has always bothered me greatly. It is told in a very blank style, much like D. H. Lawrence’s The Rocking Horse Winner which is written in the style of a bright and cheerful children’s story while what is actually being told is extremely disturbing. This is written very bluntly and yet so gently that it is masking the horror of what is unfolding. It contrasts selflessness with selfishness. The selflessness is one of a twisted love. True love does not spoil, but it gives or holds back at particular moments to keep the loved one from damage. The tree in this story is also wholly placing it’s identity in the child. So not only is the child completely selfish, but the tree is not innocent as some perceive it. I have attempted to write something in a similar style but different enough that it does not disturb.

There was a boy who loved to cook.

When he was old enough, he went away to school.

Something about living on his own excited him.

While he was often busy studying

Some nights he’d have time to cook.

One day he planned to have a dinner.

He went and invited his best friends.

He told his roommates

And the people that were closest to him

Meanwhile he went out to buy food.

He bought only the best.

He took it to his kitchen and began to prepare.

He spent several hours.

He loved to cook,

And especially because it was for his friends

He worked very hard.

At last he found all of the food cooked.

He set the table

And laid everything perfectly ready.

He wiped the sweat from his forehead

And washed his hands.

He was ready to call everyone to dinner.

But none of his friends came.

One of them said he had to study.

Another had planned to spend time with someone else instead.

Not one of his friends would come.

He went back inside down cast.

He had prepared food for many,

He could not simply eat it alone.

Why would his friends leave him?

Why would his friends scorn his labor?

As he sat gazing at the ready food

An idea occurred to him.

He ran out into the hall.

There were other students in the rooms around him.

He called out to them and invited them to come.

“I have made a wonderful dinner that no one has come to!

The food is getting cold! Please, come!”

He invited total strangers to his room.

He sat down with them and ate.

His friends may have left him

But the feast was still eaten.

They enjoyed it even more

Than his friends might have,

Had they accepted his invitation.

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Aside

CW4 – Why Brer Hound Dog T’ain’t get ‘long wif Brer Squirrel

“Uncle Remus, why does Brother Dog always rush off after Brother Squirrel?” the little boy asked, cocking his head as he watched the dog race off to bark up a tree.

 

“Well, das one long tale,” Uncle Remus replied, thoughtfully stroking his chin. “Brer Hound Dog ain’t get along wit Brer Squirrel since de day dat dey was bawn.” Uncle Remus sat down and picked up an unfinished basket, which he resumed work on.

 

“Did Brother Hound Dog have any luck at catching Brother Squirrel?” the little boy asked, hoping for a story.”

 

“Well now, Brer Hound Dog wuz de mightiest ‘o dogs. De Massa put ‘im above all de udder dogs. He e’en let ‘im in da house. Dat made Brer Hound Dog a mighty proud dog. Now Brer Squirrel always like to play tricks on Brer Hound Dog. When Brer Hound Dog wuz gwine threw de forest Brer Squirrel throw nuts down at ‘em.

 

“This made Brer Hound Dog mighty angry. He puffed hisse’f up and sez to Brer Squirrel, sezee, ‘You mind how you treat ‘spectubble folks!’

 

“But Brer Squirrel, he jus’ laugh and scamper’d to anudda tree.

 

“ ‘Now Imma larn you how to spect me!’ Brer Hound Dog ran to de nex’ tree.

 

“But Brer Squirrel jus’ laugh agin’ an run away.

 

“Now this went on fo’ sum time. Brer Hound Dog jus’ got madda and madda. He told Brer Squirrel he’d larn ‘im, but he n’er did. Dat made Brer Hound Dog mighty upset with hisse’f. So he devised ter make a plan. Brer Squirrel was allas jumpin one tree to de nex’ tree. Brer Hound Dog new o’ one tree in de middle o’ de yard. Ef he could git Brer Squirrel up dat tree, he ain’t have no where to go! So Brer Hound Dog, he thought, and thought. How wuld he git ‘im over der?

 

“Brer Squirrel wer mighty fond o’ acerns. Sposen Brer Hound Dog culd get a bunch er nuts and get im gwine to de tree? So das jes wut Brer Hound Dog decided to do. He gatha’d a bunch o’ acerns around de tree, leadin’ from de woods, to de middle o’ de yard.

Den he went to de house and he lay low.

 

“Befo’ long Brer Squirrel come along. He sez to hisse’f ‘These a mighty fine nuts,’ sezee. ‘I shud git these and bring ‘im ‘ome to my chilluns. So Brer Squirrel set about gatherin’ the acerns.

 

“All this while Brer Hound Dog, he lay low a watchin from de shadows by de house. He smiled to hisse’f, as it seemed his plan wuz a goin well.

 

“Brer Squirrel gather’d and gather’d till his paws wuz full o’ nuts. Then he scamper’d off to de forest, jes a chatterin happy to hisse’f.

 

“Brer Hound Dog lay low. Brer Squirrel hadn’t got all de nuts yet, and he wuld show return befo’ long. And bimeby here come Brer Squirrel fer anudda load o’ nuts. He jes chitter-chatta to hisse’f all happy like, and Brer Hound Dog, he lay low. Brer Squirrel came a closa, and closa to de tree. Den Brer Hound Dog jes a sa’ntered fort, a keepin’ to de shadows of de house. Den he let out and run fer Brer Squirrel, jes a barkin’ up a storm. Brer Squirrel jump up an ran fer de tree.

 

“ ‘Jes how you doin this mawnin’, Brer Hound Dog?’ he ask, all cheerful like from safe inna branches.

 

“Brer Hound Dog stood proudly under de tree. ‘I’s mighty fine this mawnin’!’ he sez, ‘What ‘bout you, Brer Squirrel?’ sezee. He trew back his head an laugh a little.

 

“ ‘I’s mighty fine mese’f! I got a mighty good load o’ nuts fer my chilluns’ Brer Squirrel chattered away, pretendin not to notice his fix. ‘What ‘ave you dun fer yer family dis mawnin’ Brer Hound Dog?’

 

“ ‘Oh, dis an dat, y’know.’ Brer Hound Dog replied. ‘You got yese’f in a fix you haz.’

 

“ ‘Oh I ain’t in no trouble, Brer Hound Dog! I ain’t in no trouble!’ Brer Squirrel jes laugh.

 

“ ‘I knew I’d larn you a lessin you wuldn’t ferget!’ Brer Hound Dog continu’d.

 

“ ‘Jes you wait,’ Brer Squirrel laugh’ agin. He scamper’d hitha and thitha about de branches o’ de tree.

 

“ ‘I speck you ain’t gwine to yer family agin wi’ dose nuts today.’ Brer Hound Dog pranced beneath de tree all high in mighty.

 

“ ‘Now don’t say nothin’ cruel like, Brer Hound Dog! Don’t be a trouble! Dey needs food jes like me!” Brer Squirrel begin to run back and forth on one old tree branch.

 

“Brer Hound Dog sat beneath de tree branch and waited. ‘You gots to come down some day!’

 

“ ‘An I’ll be a down, befo’ you can blink yo’ eyeballs!” Brer Squirrel said as de tree gave a loud crack. De branch he’d a been runnin’ on wuz as rotten az culd be and it gave way and hit Brer Hound Dog smack inne head wif Brer Squirrel on top o’ it. Wif Brer Hound Dog out cold onna ground, Brer Squirrel ran off into de woods, jus chitter-chatterin away, wif his arms chuck full o’ nuts.”