Saturday, September 23, 2006

Alice Walker's "The Flowers"

It seemed to Myop as she skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse that the days had never been as beautiful as these. The air held a keenness that made her nose twitch. The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, made each day a golden surprise that caused excited little tremors to run up her jaws.
Myop carried a short, knobby stick. She struck out at random at chickens she liked, and worked out the beat of a song on the fence around the pigpen. She felt light and good in the warm sun. She was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of accompaniment,
Turning her back on the rusty boards of her family's sharecropper cabin, Myop walked along the fence till it ran into the stream made by the spring. Around the spring, where the family got drinking water, silver ferns and wildflowers grew. Along the shallow banks pigs rooted. Myop watched the tiny white bubbles disrupt the thin black scale of soil and the water that silently rose and slid away down the stream.
She had explored the woods behind the house many times. Often, in late autumn, her mother took her to gather nuts among the fallen leaves. Today she made her own path, bouncing this way and that way, vaguely keeping an eye out for snakes. She found, in addition to various common but pretty ferns and leaves, an armful of strange blue flowers with velvety ridges and a sweet suds bush full of the brown, fragrant buds.
By twelve o'clock, her arms laden with sprigs of her findings, she was a mile or more from home. She had often been as far before, but the strangeness of the land made it not as pleasant as her usual haunts. It seemed gloomy in the little cove in which she found herself. The air was damp, the silence close and deep.
Myop began to circle back to the house, back to the peacefulness of the morning. It was then she stepped smack into his eyes. Her heel became lodged in the broken ridge between brow and nose, and she reached down quickly, unafraid, to free herself. It was only when she saw his naked grin that she gave a little yelp of surprise.
He had been a tall man. From feet to neck covered a long space. His head lay beside him. When she pushed back the leaves and layers of earth and debris Myop saw that he'd had large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken, long fingers, and very big bones. All his clothes had rotted away except some threads of blue denim from his overalls. The buckles of the overall had turned green.
Myop gazed around the spot with interest. Very near where she'd stepped into the head was a wild pink rose. As she picked it to add to her bundle she noticed a raised mound, a ring, around the rose's root. It was the rotted remains of a noose, a bit of shredding plowline, now blending benignly into the soil. Around an overhanging limb of a great spreading oak clung another piece. Frayed, rotted, bleached, and frazzled--barely there--but spinning restlessly in the breeze. Myop laid down her flowers.
And the summer was over.

Poor Myop grew up a little too soon :)

Short stories can be so packed. Can you see the little red riding hood in Myop? Can you see the big bad wolf's teeth in the skeleton's teeth? I wonder if my Intro to Lit class can see all this.

Oh and that was my too-lazy-to-blog-but-wanna-blog post. Enjoy.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

loved it, her childhood was over, "the girl with the tune
Who sings in the daytime at noon" :)
Oh and that was my don't-wanna-comment-but-can't-resist comment. :)

White Wings said...

The class was so irritated with it when I introduced it for same course..
I pushed though and students started finding issues worth their time
Good luck and congratulations

love nature said...

oh u made me remember those days at english litterature ...

coquette said...

I'm too lazy to read your post, but since u were too lazy to post something original ..what the heck :P lool i never read it though, i miss uni shwaya...ok bas malait...ma 3indee salfa :P

Anonymous said...

*pulls coquette's hair out"
ana a7san menha i read it thrice! the second time was to find the red riding hood and third to find the wolf's teeth :P

tat de ta ta ta

coquette said...

oh! Akhaf sij in a class room! 9ar emkamash hnee! :P lool

Anonymous said...

*puts some raw jumbo shrimp in coquette's LV*

sektay 7ail, i came here first :P

Hanan said...

anon. Glad you couldn't resist. Don't resist more often :)

white wings. This and many short stories are a bit too complex for an Intro to Lit class, won't you say?

love nature. So you're an English lit too? Welcome to my blog.

coquette. Uni misses you too. Mmy fiction class needs a coquette.

anon. It's strange how I can sometimes tell an anon by just a few words. Why the mystery?

coquette and anon. Stop fighting or I'll report you to the principal.

coquette said...

hmm whose the anonymous chick? lol I know its not Dory cause Dory wouldn't read anything, let alone anything we post! lol bs its someone who knows im a fashionista for sure :P~

Anonymous said...

*holds a pair of high heels and waves it at coquette*
come here, come here :P


ooooooooh hanan shofeha plz :( ga3da tet7arash feny 7ail! >:(

love nature said...

ohh yeah 12 years back ...thnx

Girl Meets World said...

coquette ur such a biaaatch! FYI I know the story. Anonymous chick zain sawaity feeha kamsheeha testahal.