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kids

There was a childhood game we played on our front lawn at the farm, on warm sunny afternoons when a sufficient number of cousins showed up to join us. It was better than Simon Says, Hide and Seek,  Red Light or Mother May I, although we gave all of those a thorough going over too.

If this game had a name, I don’t remember what it was.  Everyone played a role, and the ‘play’ had a predictable plot that hardly varied.  And yet we repeated it over and over.  There was a parent (usually a mother), a wicked old witch, and the rest of the cast were the children.

The mother gave each of her children a name, based on some previously agreed upon category, the most popular being ‘fruits’.  These names were not shared with the witch, so Blueberry, Banana, Lemon and Purple Grape had to keep their identities to themselves.

After making the following little speech –

“I’m going down town to smoke my pipe and I won’t be back until Saturday night – DON’T LET THE OLD WITCH IN!” –

the mother would saunter off to the sidelines leaving her children home alone (on the front veranda) to fend for themselves.

Enter the old witch center stage, respectfully knocking on the door and asking to come in.  Well of course the children say no because they are good little children who always do what mother says.  Then the witch explains to them that she is making a pie and needs to borrow some fruit.  Do you have any apples, she might ask.  She continues to guess until she hits on the name of one of the children, and then off that child must go (across the lawn to the snowball bush beside the lily pond) to where the wicked witch resides.  Here the witch changes the child’s name to a category of her own choosing – birds, for instance, and Blueberry might become Sea Gull in the blink of an old witch’s eye.

Mother saunters home, noticing immediately that one of her children is missing.  The kids are afraid to tell her the truth and make up various stories as to where their sibling might be, but eventually they have to admit that the old witch got her.

Mother and children don’t learn much from this, and keep repeating the same mistakes of going down town and answering the door until all the children have been kidnapped by the witch and all their names have been changed.

Now it’s the mother’s job to march across the lawn to the snowball bush to confront the witch with her crime.  The witch tells her that the only way to get her children back is by guessing their new names. There are no fruits here, only birds.  If mom looks ready to give up, the kids or the witch can give her hints. Maybe the witch is having second thoughts about all these kids cluttering up her living space and making all that noise.

One by one the children are released and returned to the front veranda, renamed as farm animals this time, and on the game goes until all of them begin to suffer from identity crisis issues and start asking – “hey, wait, who am I again??”

Why did we love this game so much?  Why was the mother so negligent, and the witch considered wicked?  She was just taking abandoned children to a safe place after all and never harmed them.  Unless naming someone Watermelon can be considered a horrible thing.

I know there are many variations of this game, although the pipe smoking rhyme seems to be the one thing that doesn’t change.  Did you ever play this?  Or was there another childhood game that you loved and will never forget?

Cin’s Feb Challenge/Witchy Rambles

A List of Beautiful Broken Things

IMG_0203
Found on Facebook. On somebody’s Facebook Page. Shared by other Facebook Pages. My news feed is too long and crazy to search for it again.

A shopping list (noun) is a list of items needed to be purchased by a shopper, a grocery list is the most popular type of shopping list– including items that need to be procured on the next visit to the grocery store.

Kintsukuroi is a Japanese noun meaning “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Hard to believe the queen of lists missed the shopping list prompt for the promptless.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of lists floating around in my life.  Just maybe it was all those other things floating around with them that I’m too lazy to grab hold of and run with.

So, two prompts in one – Voila! – a list-y poem about breaks.  No, I can’t explain how I came up with that exactly.  But that’s the beauty of poetry – the inspiration for it rarely makes sense. And I’m going with the part of the prompt that said to make up my own.

I have plagiarized and hopefully improved upon my own work from a previous poem.  I won’t link to it, because it sucked even worse than this one.  But I’m having fun!  And that’s all that really matters, right?  Don’t be critical, you could break my heart.

broken vase
broken vase (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

Things That Break

When dawn breaks,

Morning has broken.

Night falls, but it never breaks.

Give a guy a break and break it to him gently.

Then take a coffee break.

Go ahead and break a leg, break a horse,

Break the connection, break a code.

Break away and break bad habits.

But don’t step on a crack and break your mothers back.

Don’t break in and don’t break out.

Don’t break mirrors, don’t break your neck.

I’ve broken up, I’ve broken down.

Broken hearts, broken promises,

And the silences that must be broken

Before we break apart .

Break a record, break a rule,

But never break a spirit or anybody’s bones.

Precious things get broken.

When you add up all the shattered bits of china

What are the broken pieces worth?

It’s impossible to say.

Might as well try to break it down

For every sorry fragment

Of a broken dream.

Broken Dreams
Broken Dreams (Photo credit: jumpinjimmyjava)

Related links:

the matticus kingdom – and what a story it is

Mahabore’s Mumblings – A real hero

The D / A Dialogues – Broken

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up

There was a little girl

Who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good

She was very good indeed.

When she was bad, she was horrid.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

From Rarasaur and Prompts for the Promptless – Season 2 Episode 1:  The Alter Ego

The Alter Ego, in Latin, literally means “Second I” or “Second Self”.  It can refer to an opposite side to the personality within someone, or a counterpart like a trusted friend.

cheer challengedMy alter ego is such a bitch.  Angry, judgemental, sarcastic.  My exact polar opposite, really.  I am an angel of light, and she is a demon from hell.  For the sake of clarity let’s call her Cheer Challenged, or CC for short. You know, so that nobody gets confused and mixes us up.  Because she is not the real me.  I’m surprised you would think such a thing.

Most of the time I try to keep her bottled and caged, locked in a closet or stuffed under the bed,  because frankly she can be a pain in the ass to have around.  I have learned to keep her sedated and soothed with meditation and deep breathing, and by letting her know point-blank that nobody likes her scowly face and pissy attitude. She rants and complains, stamps her feet, rolls her eyes and sighs excessively.  She can hold a grudge for a very long time.  She is full of angst and ennui.  She is exhausting.

So why do I let CC stick around?  Why are there days when we face the world together, joined at the hip? Why do I apologize for her, time after time, feeling remorseful and guilty after little Miss Mad has been out to play?  A sane person would gag her with duct tape and drop her off a bridge.

Well here’s the thing.  I rather admire how her stubbornness makes her strong.  I want to agree with her when she announces that the world is full of idiots.  (Because holy crap, if that’s true, we fit right in.)  When she tries to curse and the swear words get all muddled and jumbled up and don’t make sense, it makes me laugh.  Her snit fits are usually brief, and always funny.  I think she is pretty smart, and insightful, and talented.  Sometimes her jokes are witty, sometimes they’re unkind, mostly they’re just plain hilarious.

CC will never let me nominate myself for sainthood.  We’re both too smart to think that could ever happen.  CC has mellowed and become less volatile over the years, but I think she will always be around, helping me see both sides of things, making sure I don’t take myself too seriously.

The truth is, there are times when I quite  like my dark side.  I embrace my inner bitch alter ego because she is interesting, a little crazy, and very human .

I’m okay, warts and all.  Just one of this earths idiots, trying to be very very good and a little less horrid every day.

Stupid Contests

Would you ever participate in a food eating contest? What kind? How much do you think you could eat?

Well this is one of the weirdest prompts ever. The only reason I’m answering it at all is because it will be my 198th answer and I would like to see “You’ve written 198 answers” under the “Your stats” heading. Then, for all you math impaired people out there, what that means is that I will have two more answers to go to reach the magic number of 200 answers written. One hundred was a mind-blowing accomplishment, so I expect double that to be doubly so. I’ve always suspected that I could blather away ad nauseam on any number of topics, and I think 200 posts is certainly proof positive that I was right about that, if nothing else.

And here’s another ‘stat’. Approximately one out of every 7 questions has actually been worth answering. That means I have made 28.1429 posts which have been vaguely interesting and worth reading since my relationship with Plinky began. You could go back and read them all and figure out which ones they are if you want. I can’t seem to drum up the motivation to do it.

So, let’s discuss this hypothetical contest. What kind, they want to know. Are there really different categories of competitive food eating? Like speed eating, the eating disorder challenge, the cheesecake tournament, the dog eat dog match of the century? And how much do I think I could eat? Oh, I don’t know. My weight in frozen yogurt maybe? I guess I could say any bizarre amount of anything since it’s supposed to be what I ‘think’ and therefore there can be no wrong answers.

But let’s be serious for a moment. The terms and conditions under which I would participate in a food eating contest are as follows:

1. I have not had any solid food for a week and I am starving. To death. To the point where dead bugs are starting to look tasty.

2. The prize for winning is a bazillion dollars and a dream home in the Galapagos.

3. The prize for participating is a million dollars and a beach front villa in Lemery Batangas.

4. The food is not hot dogs.

5. The event is not televised and my real identity is never revealed.

So, I guess what THAT means is – the answer is no.

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