Contentions

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CHANGELING

Merriam-Webster gives these definitions:
Turncoat (archaic)
One child exchanged for another at birth, (usually a fairy child)
Imbecile
(archaic)
And I’m going to go with the first meaning, though it be rather archaic.

Illustration by ArtTower — Pixabay

No Changing Allowed!

Sister stamped her foot in fury. “Changeling! Turncoat! Traitor to the cause!”

“I’ve seen the light,” Brother responded. “It’s not an issue.”

“You were on my side before. Now you’re wimping out.”

“Having given the matter serious thought, I’ve realized that one choice is as good as the other.” Brother maintained his calm tone. “It’s no big deal.”

“Ha! If you’d been in Boston before the Tea Party, you’d probably have said ‘It’s no big deal. Let’s just pay the tax and not rock the boat’.

“It might have saved a war.”

“Heretic!” Sister punched his arm. “And this is a big deal!”

“Everybody raves about how great peace is. ‘NO MORE WAR,’ they say. But soon as they get passionate about some issue, they’re ready to take up arms. Like you now.”

“You must have been switched for my real brother at the hospital. If you were my true brother you’d see things like I do.”

Brother scowled. “Wow! Talk about over-reacting.”

“Somebody needs to remind you of what you said last month when this issue first came up. You’ve done a 180 switch.”

“All I said was, I think we should…”

“But you said just the opposite last month. You agreed with me then. Changeling. Traitor.”

Finally Dad spoke up. “Okay, you two. Rather than fighting about this – ”

“I’m not fighting about it,” Brother protested. “She is.”

“I’m not fighting, either! I’m just saying he can’t change his mind like this. Last month we decided we wanted to do Sea World. Now he’s saying let’s go to Yellowstone.”

Dad laid his hand on her shoulder. “Well, I’ll settle the matter. We’ll visit Yellowstone this summer and Sea World next year. End of the skirmish. And no sniping.”

“Who knows if I’ll even be alive next year? The whole world may lay in ashes!”

Dad frowned at her. “No Sniping. End of subject.”

A Great Book Free This Weekend

Today I’m sharing the love for a good book. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially World War II stories with a touch of romance, you’ll want to read Dan Walsh’s books. He’s done a lot of research on WW II, especially about the US involvement and German activity in the US. Dan has written several books with this setting as a back drop to an amazing tale.

This story starts out in the present, as a budding writer inherits his grandfather’s home and discovers a manuscript his grandfather left for him to find. As he reads his grandfather’s own history, he’s taken back to the early days of WWII and a subversive plot carried out by the Germans in the US.

Free today and tomorrow at your Amazon store.

The Mother Tongue

Here’s my response to this week’s Six Sentence Story, where our prompt word is HARMONY. You may need a dictionary to enjoy my quick tale. 🙂

Image by GirlieOnTheEdge

SPEAKING THE MOTHER TONGUE

“How is your sister making out at her new legal secretary job,” Kenzi asked her friend Pansy.

“Sad to say, the harmony in our home has been totally off since she started there,” Pansy replied. “Yesterday she said ‘You wore my best sweater again last night – and don’t try to obfuscate or prevaricate because I have credible witnesses to substantiate your culpability.’

“When I asked her what that meant in English she huffed and puffed and told me I’d need to ‘cultivate the thorough knowledge of a worthy dictionary’ if I want to get any sort of decent career.”

Three weeks later when Kenzi met her friend again, she could tell Pansy was in a much better mood.

Asked if things had improved at home, Pansy said, “Sis’s legal secretary position was terminated, so she got a job as sales clerk at Deandra’s Ladies’ Wear – and are we ever glad to have her speaking the mother tongue again!”

🙂

Image by astize — Pixabay

Funny — Or Cruel?

One day the Daily Prompt asked what tricks someone could play on me that would truly scare me. It shouldn’t be hard, as I’m a timid sort and easily frightened. (My reason for avoiding heart-stopping suspense and horror stories.) But what pleasure would it give someone to know they’d terrified me? Is that not cruelty?

My mind goes back to something my husband’s distant cousin, another Bob, told his teenage son one day. “If you’re going to pull a prank, use your brain. Don’t do something stupid that you’re going to be embarrassed about later. Do something you’ll be proud of. Something unique or spectacular.”

He explained that when he was in his teens a group of guys had gotten together one night and dismantled some piece of equipment — or an old car? — and carried it piece by piece up to the top of a prominent building. There they’d reassembled it so that in the morning everyone passing by could see this bizarre object sitting on the roof. Now that was a novelty people chuckled over for a good while after.

My husband remembers that when he was a boy an old wagon appeared, through similar circumstances, on top to the town hall in Craik, SK one Nov 1st. Seeing it there gave local folks a chuckle, but no one was terrified or injured.

Though I’m not a fan of tricks, I believe Cousin Bob had a point. Some young folks think it’s fun to destroy things. Why? Does some anger in their own heart seek an outlet in being nasty to others? Often they choose the most helpless as their victims, someone who can’t retaliate. They don’t want to risk someone bigger and stronger catching up with them and punishing them for their misdeeds.

One young man talked of how his uncle would tickle him and his brothers when they were boys — and keep on until they were in tears and screaming. Uncle called it fun; his nephews called it a kind of torture and avoided him whenever they could. “Funny” that humiliates or hurts someone or some creature is a very perverted humor.

“Teach The Children Well”

Since I’m going to be away from home today, I’ll re-post two short items from my DropBox. Hope you enjoy them.

Stubbornness Doesn’t Pay

Back in 1928 a family had taken a holiday on the Hebrides island of Lewis, in the north of Scotland. Dr MacLeod had brought his family back to the village where he’d been born and they’d visited around amongst various of his friends and relatives. As they were motoring home the children in the back seat got into a discussion that became rather heated. Son Iain, who felt himself in danger of losing the argument got rather huffy about it. After all, he was right! “If no one is going to agree with me, “ he declared, “I’ll get out right now and walk home.”

His words were designed to make the others give in; of course he had no intention of carrying them out. But his father decided the boy needed a lesson, so he stopped the car and silently opened the door. Iain had no choice but to get out and walk back to their village. It was a long, long walk and well after midnight when he finally arrived at his home, exhausted and thoroughly chilled. He found the door unlocked for him, but everyone was in bed and all the lights were out. Quietly he crept into his own bed, scolding himself for his foolish words and attitude.

His parents never mentioned the incident again, but Iain had plenty of time to consider on his long walk and decided that from now on he’d be stubborn only in issues of serious right and wrong, he’d give more consideration to the other fellow’s point of view and recognize that he could be wrong. This lesson stood him in good stead when in later years he became a politician.

(It wouldn’t be safe in the world we have today, but back then it must have been.)

Another Long Walk

A single mother in our community dealt with her son’s problem in a somewhat similar way when he was put off the school bus because he wasn’t “able” to sit still. The driver said he wouldn’t be allowed on the bus again until he could.

She could have made excuses for the boy, she could have said, “He’s ADHD and cant help himself.” But she rather told him the next morning, “Get your coat on; we’re walking to school.”

The two of them set off early and it took them several hours cover the miles to school. That night she was there again. “Are you ready to walk home or are you going to sit down and behave yourself on the bus?”

Yes, he was ready to apologize to the driver and sit still from now on.

This mom felt her son needed to learn respect for authority; when you’re told to sit down and behave yourself there are no excuses. She knew of another lad in that same school, knew that when he defied the authority of his teacher his father, a cop, took his part against the teacher and threatened her with legal action when she tried to rein in his son. That young man, as an adult, had issues with obeying authority and landed up in jail. She didn’t want that to happen to her son.