Daily Journal Prompt #224

Photo by Robert Doisneau

August 18, 2012: Here’s what the papers said:

One Reply to “Daily Journal Prompt #224”

  1. Ok, mom was weird. All our growing up years she was weird. It’s just that when we was kids we didn’t have nothing to measure her weirdness by. Like she sometimes would go out back to talk to the bees, just to tell ‘em as how we had someone new in the house. Mom said that the bees would be uneasy if they wasn’t told. And she’d talk to ‘em soft as nearly singing and that was so as they wouldn’t fret nor look to sting. That all seemed natural enough and sensible.

    And she read the newspaper most everyday, and nothing so strange in that, ‘cept she read it to the cows in the barn and her voice dancing over the words, and she said as the cows needed to know what was what in the world, though she read the good news same as she read the bad, cos their wasn’t no reason to upset ‘em before milking, which there wasn’t.

    And she took our chickens for walks, one at a time. She had a special leash made. Sewed the leather collar herself, a collar small enough for fairy-dogs or horses. And she’d call ‘em chickens to her and they’d come clucking, thinking they was going to be fed, and she’d offer ‘em her open plam and they was so stupid they thought there was feed there even when they could see there wasn’t. And quicker as blinking, mom’d slip the collar over Pritsky’s neck or Dubonnet’s or Sinny’s, and she’d say as how she was just going for a walk. Mom reckoned as how a good walk made for eggs with yellower yokes.

    Kids in the street would point and whisper behind their hands and sometimes they’d laugh, even though their moms scolded ‘em if they did. And at school they was without their moms and so there was no need for whispers or their hands held in front of their mouths. And that’s when I first thought maybe mom was weird, like they said.

    ‘Lost her marbles,’ Lindy said, and she made a gesture with her finger lifted up to the side of her head and turning circles in the air. ‘Daft as a brush or a fiddlestick.’

    I still don’t understand why we say it’s marbles someone has lost when they are not right in the head, or why a brush can be daft when it does everything it’s designed to do, and a fiddlestick the same. But gradually I understood that my mom was not right.

    Mom got to hear and she just shrugged and she said there wasn’t no such thing as ordinary or normal. All there was, she said, was different. We was all different and learning to live with that was what was really important. That made sense when she said it, but it didn’t stop ‘em laughing and saying how I must be weird, too. And they looked for the weird in me and mom always said as if you look hard enough you’ll find whatever it is you want to find and so they found I was weird or they said I was.

    I’m older now – wiser they say – and I got kids of my own and their grandma is asleep in the churchyard these past three years. And I tell stories of what she was so they won;t forget her, stories of bees listening to her telling ’em who was visiting, and cows hearing the daily news, and chickens going for walks same as everyone else walks dogs. And my kids just laugh and they think I am making fun, which I never would do. And I reckon if I tell ‘em stories over and over, that one day they’ll hear the fondness in my voice when I tell ‘em, and maybe then they’ll understand like I came to.

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