Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Gift Eater



Then there was the Christmas Eve when all our presents got eaten.
I was twelve years old. We had been out for the evening at the village church and had hurried home to tear apart the parcels that waited under the tree.
When we stepped into the living room the air was suspiciously strawberry-sweet. The carpet was littered with the pitiful remains of wrapping paper and chewed rainbow pieces. All the gifts, plastic or paper, were in tatters: even the books had been nibbled at.
The fairy that sat atop the tree was old, far older than I, and a cherished part of our decorating tradition. But during the evening, for reasons quite unknown, she had made her way to the base of the tree- perhaps to scold the culprit- and was subsequently eaten. Her time as Chief Decoration was at a sad end. Mater was furious.
We knew exactly where to find the the gift eater.
He cowered in misery under a chair, scraps of shiny tinsel in his long white hair and waxy clots of perfumed soap wedged between his teeth. The anguished demeanour of the dog suggested he had learned that the fruit soaps were more soap, less fruit, and not suitable for canine consumption. He learned his lesson, and was soon forgiven and encouraged to emerge from his lonely hiding place: he never again poked his nose under the Christmas tree or ate another bar of soap.


4 comments:

ArtSparker said...

Thurberesque.

Paul Merrill said...

Just love the way you tell little stories like this.

And your looking to childhood is a good thing - most blogs focus on the present.

The Texican said...

Hi The. Another great short short. I like the photo for illustration too. Pappy

TheElementary said...

ArtSparker, I looked for Thurber's short story 'The Black Magic of Barney Haller' and couldn't find it after you reminded me of it. I'll keep looking!

Paul, thank you- I find that looking back does provide a lot of new ideas for writing. Most people have adventures in childhood without really knowing it. The present, for the most part, is fleeting, and its content is for the moment, but what we remember of our childhoods must be worth something if we kept it that long! I think so anyway.

Texican, I'm glad to hear you liked it. I need the moral support :)

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