Tall Tales

Deaf Ears

She dug her fingers into the damp earth scooping out one soily mass after another.  The small red and yellow beach-bucket sat helplessly as she stuffed it to the brim.  Once full, she grabbed the handle with her grimy, little hands and tottered towards the back door where an innocuous-looking tap awaited her.  She turned the tap and let the water flow into the bucket.  Her face brightened as the dirt became swampy, squishy mud, oozing over the rim.  She was ready.  As the gentle spring sun caressed her auburn locks she began her special project.  With tablespoon in hand she clumsily scooped the sloshy mud into the non-stick cavities of the cupcake tin, mixing in blades of grass that she had cut herself, decorating the tops with leaves and twigs.  Once her masterpiece was finished she took it to the oven (dog kennel) to bake.  At that moment she heard the car door, daddy was home!

Daddy stood on the bottom step, with arms crossed, his dark eyebrows knitted into a frown.  She ran to him and grabbed his legs, hugging him, calling out “Daddy!  Daddy, up!”  But the storm clouds had arrived, darkness had settled and it began to rain.  Daddy was angry.  She had dirtied his good pants.  The new pavers were covered in mud and mummy’s cupcake tin was dirty, not to mentioned her special OshKosh B’gosh ensemble that nanna had bought her for Christmas!

“Look what you’ve done!” yelled Daddy.

She tried to explain, “I’m making a cake f…” but daddy couldn’t hear.

“Don’t speak back to me you little good-for-nothing!  All you ever do is leave a mess wherever you go!  Get inside so your mother can clean you up!”

She quickly ran up the stairs and flew through the back door.  Simple tears stung her chestnut eyes, travelling down her cheeks.  She wanted to explain but he could not hear her.  She had wanted it to be special…

 In the background could be heard a faint rumbling, daddy murmuring, “Now I’ll have to clean this darn mess…”  Daddy spent the rest of that spring afternoon cleaning the pavers, murmuring and rumbling to  himself.  Once he finished he ate his dinner and went to bed.  He did not have the energy for conversation.  That night mummy put me to bed.

During the night daddy woke up.  He could not sleep.  He walked into the kitchen to get a cold drink of water.  As he opened the fridge door, the light shone on the bench revealing a small plate.  “I am a little hungry,” thought daddy, “I wonder what it is?”  As he took a closer look he saw a small, brown cupcake-looking thing with a dry leaf sticking out of its top.  On the bench, next to the plate, was a note:

Happy birthday Daddy
Happy birthday Daddy


Written for Quotespiration Challenge – Week 2 in response to the quote:

“I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them. But they answered: “Frighten? Why should anyone by frightened by a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly.” – from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 The challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction in 1000 words or less.  If you’d like to join in just follow the following link!


6 thoughts on “Deaf Ears

  1. This is awesome! I know the punch he probably felt in his stomach because I’ve felt it too. So many times I’ve reacted to the result of my kids’ actions without seeing the heart behind it.

  2. Thanks so much for participating Eleni! I think you got the miscommunication and difference in perspective that can happen between adults and children just right. I don’t have children but I feel this way with my dogs all the time. Especially when they get mud on my bed becasue they think it’s so comfy to lay there!

    1. I really enjoyed writing for the prompt, though it took me a while to get there (I read and re-read the prompt every day hoping that something would come! Finally the penny dropped!) I had a similar experience with my dog. Once it rushed through the back door when no one was looking. Being a rainy day it left muddy pawprints all over the place. My mum yelled at it… I tried to explain to her that, unlike us, the poor animal had no concept of ‘keeping the house clean’ 😉

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