Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and has become a moveable feast of word or picture or music prompts to encourage us to write stories, poems, or whatever strikes our fancy.
This month, the prompts are being provided by River at her blog, Drifting Through Life.
(Today's words and picture called out to me for a retelling of an old tale.)
This week's words/prompts are:
and this image:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who lived in a small cottage with his grandson.
He owned a plot of land on which he grew vegetables and had a little orchard. It provided enough for him and the boy, and leftovers to sell at the market so they could buy what they couldn't grow or make themselves.
During the day, they worked on their land. In the evenings, they sat in front of the fire and told stories, or dreamed, or just sat quietly together.
They owned a DONKEY named Hiney. She was seldom stubborn and was very good pulling the plow. She would also come with them on market days, as they lived a ways OUTSIDE the town, carrying the goods to sell at the market, and then carrying home the purchases.
The old man and his grandson would have been most happy to have things simply go along like this forever, but we all know that change happens whether we like it or not. What had been a tiny village in the years when the old man was young and first married had grown, and grown, and was now a fair sized place. Many neighbors had moved to the town for better work, or had moved further into the countryside so they could grow more crops on more land. New neighbors had moved in.
Still, the old man and his grandson didn't think much of it, and kept on doing what they'd been doing for several years.
One market day, as was their custom, they put the bridle on Hiney and loaded her up with her blanket and baskets and things to sell at the market. They followed their usual path to the town, which was now more of a road than it had been in previous years. As they walked past a house where one of the newer neighbors had moved in, the man who lived there happened to be coming out of the house.
Greeting him with a cheery, "Hello!" the neighbor greeted them back, and then he asked, "Tell me, you have such a strong little animal there, why does it only carry your goods? Why not let the young one ride, also, it must be a tiring walk all the way to town."
"That might be a good idea," the grandfather thought, so he stopped and helped his grandson get up on Hiney.
Soon they passed another neighbor's house, only this time it was the woman of the house who came out. Calling a cheery, "Hello!" they were surprised to hear her say, "Land sakes, look at this! The young one rides and the old one walks! How shameful that is! Why, I've a mind to go grab my SPATULA and give the young one a lesson in respecting his elders!"
The old man and his grandson looked at each other, and the grandson slid off of Hiney and helped his grandfather get up to ride.
As they continued down the road, the STARS in their courses seemed bent on making this a most unusual trip to the market. The next neighbor they met, after their attempt at a cheery greeting, said, "Why in the world are you making that poor beast carry both your goods and you in this SCORCHING heat? How would you like to be the one doing so much work? I think the two of you should carry the animal for a bit, see how hard it is!"
The old man and his grandson had never expected their use of Hiney to become such a BATTLEGROUND with the new neighbors, but the old man slid off and the two of them, grunting and straining, picked up a rather shocked Hiney and tried to carry on.
Soon they came to the BRIDGE over the creek. Now, this bridge was old. It had started out as a narrow footbridge, and it had been widened as the town grew, and the town elders were supposed to have seen to having railings put on, but with one thing and another there was always a more important project for the money in the town coffers, with the result that the bridge had old, slick parts and newer, sometimes even slicker places, and everyone who had to cross it was very wary and careful (and the town elders never had to cross it as they lived in town) but even that didn't always help.
Of course, trying to balance a donkey they were carrying made the old man and his grandson a bit less than careful and down they slid, with the result that Hiney ended up in the water and they had to RESCUE her. They managed to get her, and her bridle, and her blanket, and her market baskets, but the goods went downstream never to be seen again, so they went home weary and sad and wet.
They learned, though, that if you try to please everyone, you are in danger of losing your Hiney!
Armilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Mars)
Bettara-Ichi -- Ebisu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan (Pickle Market Fair, enjoy the pickled radishes, a specialty; through tomorrow)
Constitution Day -- Niue
Dita e Lumturimit te Nene Terezes -- Albania (Mother Teresa Day)
Evaluate Your Life Day -- a day to make sure your life is heading where you want, and course correct if it isn't; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays
Greasy Spoon Day -- internet generated, a day to go revel in the love of your favorite greasy spoon diner
Hagfish Day -- a day to celebrate the uniqueness and necessity of even the ugliest of sea creatures, like the hagfish
National Seafood Bisque Day
National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day -- US
Samora Machel Day -- Mozambique
Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar
St. Frideswide's Day (Patron of Oxford and the University of Oxford)
St. Rene Goupil's Day (Patron of anesthetists, anesthesiologists)
Yabusame Festival -- Koyama, Japan (horseback archery, samurai costumes and dragons, oh, my!)
Jason Reitman, 1977
Ty Pennington, 1965
Evander Holyfield, 1962
Jeannie C. Riley, 1945
John Lithgow, 1945
Patricia Ireland, 1945
Simon Ward, 1941
Michael Gambon, 1940
Peter Max, 1937
Robert Reed, 1932
John Le Carre, 1931
Jack Anderson, 1922
Auguste Lumiere, 1862
Annie S. Peck, 1850
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, 1748
Thomas Browne, 1605 (O.S. date)
"The Rothschilds"(Musical), 1970
"The Miracle Worker"(Play), 1959
"I Remember Mama"(Play), 1944
"Pomp and Circumstance Marches"(Elgar Op. 39), 1901
"Tannhauser und der Sangerkrieg auf Wartburg/Tannhauser and the Singers' Contest at Wartburg"(Wagner opera), 1845
Today in History:
Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus and his Roman legions defeat Hannibal Barca and the invading Carthagian army, BC202
King Gauseric and his Vandals take the city of Carthage, 439
The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Treaty of Thorn, 1466
Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology, 1512
The first general court is held in Boston, 1630
Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2PM, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1781
Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree, 1849
The first 4 blacks are elected to the US House of Representatives, 1870
The USPS first used an automobile to collect and deliver mail, 1914
Streptomycin, the first antibiotic which could treat tuberculosis, is isolated at Rutgers University, 1943
Black Monday - the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points, 1987
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity, 2005
Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb, 2005
Naheed Nenshi becomes the first Muslim in Canada to be elected mayor, in Calgary, 2010
Pope Francis beatifies Pope Paul VI, who was known for changes in the Catholic Church that came out of Vatican II, 2014
The New Zealand Labour Party forms a coalition government led by Jacinda Adern (37), the youngest NZ leader in 161 years, 2017
Peru announces a newly rediscovered geoglyph outline in the Nazca Desert, a 37m outline of a cat, probably completed between 500BC-200AD, 2021