Little Brother

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(Photo: Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash)

 

When he grew up, he was going to be like his big brother.

Tall. Proud. Sturdy. Up to the task.

For now, he had to comfort himself with the benefits of smaller stature.

Getting into nooks and crannies, fitting where his brother could not bend or fold to reach.

When he grew up, he was going to be like his brother.

Heavily bristled. Proudly mustached.

Meanwhile, Brush put his still-short-bristles to good use through many chores.

This way, once grown, he could graduate to being a Broom.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Brush in 87 words

 

The Creek Don’t Rise

 

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“Tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise!” Mama smacked the rug one last time, stepped back to admire her handiwork, nodded to herself, and shouldered the beater.

“But Mama,” Marlee whined, “everyone else is going!”

I watched the exchange from the safety of a leafy fork on the big tree. If Mama didn’t see me, she could not call on me for chores.

Mama stopped. “Everyone?”

Marlee straightened. Hopeful and suspicious.

“Every. Single. Person?”

Marlee’s shoulders dropped.

“Thought so.” Mama’s dress swirled prettily as she turned toward the cabin, and for a moment I could see the lass she’d been before Bobby and I and Marlee came and brought with us gray hairs and wrinkles.

“But …”

“But nothing. The creek is swelled with rain and more may be coming. No swimming. And,” she added, “You come down from that tree. I need help with the washing.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Keeper of the Chandeliers

 

As chores went, this was her favorite.

Granted, she made sure to keep her face flat and convey just enough tremulousness to allow it to be seen as challenging. Her superiors liked giving her challenges that needed overcoming. Especially when those could be served along with mundane duties.

She wasn’t supposed to have any, so she hid her preference. Yet inside her she rejoiced every time she was assigned the task. She was expected to approach every detail with utmost diligence, no matter the dexterity required. And at any height. Even on a rickety ladder.

Others trembled doing this, too, but hers was with pleasure, not fear. It felt like flying. She took her time, and the results were pleasing enough to be noticed. Or perhaps it was the added bonus of not having candle-wax drip onto one’s head mid-prayer.

Because before long she was made Keeper of the Chandeliers.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson Creative Challenge

 

 

 

Monkeying Around

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Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

When chores call

Not all heed

Timeless work,

Patience’s creed.

Restless fingers

Supersede

Newer vistas

To be keyed.

 

For Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

 

On the matter of chores …

 

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It’s a Speech & Language session, and as a way to make sentences involving action words and pronouns, we’re discussing chores. I ask Charlie, age five, what kind of chores he does at home; the things he does to help out.

“I no got chore!” Charlie states, proud.

“You don’t have any chores?” I ask, correcting grammar as I go.

“No!”

“Don’t you pick up your toys?” I prod, explaining. “That’s a chore.”

Shakes his head.

“Why not?” Many kids today don’t have as many chores as they can actually successfully master, but most are at least asked to pick up after themselves, to put their dirty laundry in the hamper, or their dishes in the sink. In Charlie’s case, I know for a fact that his mom and I had a discussion about adding routines and responsibilities, and that she told me she had initiated some chores with him, one being picking up his toys. So I’m a bit flummoxed about his response. I take a longer look at him–is that a little twinkle in his eye I see? I wait.

“Because I no do good,” he says after a pause. Yep, definitely a smirk. There’s a story there.

“What do you mean?” I ask, keeping my face neutral, though internally I’m already chuckling. Charlie’s a pip. Angel-faced and flaxen-haired he is indeed a good boy, but it would not do to underestimate his little mind’s cunning. Whatever this is, I know it’s going to be fun.

He grins. “Mommy say I clean up room I get stars,” he begins, looking at me intently to make sure I’m going to ‘go all adult’ on him or something and critic him; or worse–tattle to his mom.

“Okay … so your mommy said that you had to clean up your room, and that if you did so you would get stars,” I repeat what he said, both to give him a model of better language and to make sure that I understood him–his grammar leaves many holes in sentences and makes his speech less intelligible than should be at his age. It is why I’m seeing him in therapy. I keep my face smiling gently, not promising anything but hoping to still encourage him to spill the beans.

“I everyday put all stuff under bed,” he states victoriously.

“You put all the stuff under your bed instead of back where it belongs?” I prompt, grateful for years of perfecting the occasionally necessary poker-face.

Bigger grin now. This was no error. This was planned. “Shoes and shirt and toy and book and sister pajama and pacifiers she throwed (sic) on floor …” he pauses for emphasis, “and mommy no find thing no more and mommy say I no clean up good. No more have to.”

I can’t help but laugh. Charlie 1: Mamma 0.

Told you he’s an imp.

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