Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"The time has come, the Walrus said,
to talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings.
And why the sea is burning hot
and whether pigs have wings"

The Walrus and The Carpenter
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll (1871)

"If pigs had wings, they'd bump into people."

Molly looked up from the sink, her hands red from the hot water and soap. Her apron was damp from the cleaning up; as much as she loved cooking big meals, she hated washing up. Especially after a meal as disastrous as this one had been.

"Why do you say that, Lovey?"

"Because pigs are fat, and I don't think they'd be able to get high off of the ground, so they'd bump into people."

"Maybe they could squeal to let people know they were coming, so people could get out of the way."


Alice's voice was dreamy and far away. She put the book down and walked over to her mother.

"Why did Daddy get so mad at dinner? I think having a new baby in the house will be fun."

Molly turned off the water and started to dry her hands and the counter with a towel. Steven had been incensed when she told him the news; he'd thrown a dish of macaroni and cheese across the room. He'd been unemployed for almost a year now; his benefits were starting to run out. Molly was supporting them on her salary; she was traveling a lot, spending too much time away from her family. She could feel Steven shutting her out, angry with her for taking his role of provider away from him. She was starting to look forward to being away from him. He'd stormed out of the house, jumping in his truck and pulling away, the back tires skidding as he drove off. She shrugged her shoulders, trying to hide her tears from her daughter.

"Well, I guess he's worried, cause he's not working, and money's tight. He's afraid he won't be able to take care of us."

Alice wrapped her arms around her mother's waist and pressed her ear against Molly's belly.

"Is it awake" she whispered.

Molly let her hand gently caress Alice's hair as she began to sway her hips back and forth.

"No, I think it's asleep."

"Is it a boy or a girl?"

Molly took a deep breath in.

"Don't know. Too early to tell."

A buzzing sound came from the pocket of Molly's jeans. She reached around and pulled her cell phone out; there was a text from Steven. She flipped it open, beginning to shake as she read the message. Tears began to splash upon Alice's head. The little girl hugged her mother tighter.

"It's ok, Mommy, don't cry. Is the text from Daddy? What did he say?"

Molly's eyes blurred as the tears began to stream from her eyes. There was just one word searing into her soul:



  1. Ouch! Now why would he ask that?

  2. Sheilagh lee said:oh nasty man whose? What a terrible question.Poor woman working hard helping her family and this is the thanks she gets who needs him?

  3. Expertly done VL..that tea party certainly made the hatter mad..I hope this little Alice carries on hugging her mummy..loving her little brother/sister..and doesn't fall down the rabbit hole..Jae

  4. Ooooh. One word says so much. Cool story.

  5. This is a beautifully written tender story of unequals. She is strong and he is weak. There is probably one pig in the story that will take flight as he is unable to provide and lashes out at the person he should care for the more. A really great tale.

  6. Interesting take on the story friends,how everyone thinks he's the bad guy. I should have made it clearer that she's been spending time away from the family, away from his affection, but not neccessarily away from someone's affection, hence his anquished question at the end.

  7. So well written, I really didn't expect the ending and it was just brilliant. I thought it was clear that he was the one feeling scared and worried. 'WHOSE?' said it all. It was filled will pain, not accusation...brilliantly done!