photo by ldyck
A Fish on the Hayfield
I was raised on prairie sunshine. Our community highly valued work--chapped hands, dirty fingernails, sweat on the brow work. Farmer husbands tolled for years over rocked filled land in an unforgiving climate too hot in the summer--too cold in the winter. Farmer wives minded the house, tended the kids, took a part-time job in town and worked beside their men come haying season. Art was a hobby that few had time for. But one day my dad pointed out a local farmer--Ted Stone--and identified him as a writer. I cut Mr. Stone's articles out of our local newspaper. I read Hailstorms and Hoop Snakes*. And I dreamed. Maybe... Someday... Could I use the power of my imagination to add beauty to the world? But no, I knew I was just...
Years passed and this hayseed was blown far from the prairies. When I settled I found myself on a remote island. Strangely, it felt more like home than any place I'd ever been.
"You are an artist," the islanders told me.
"Who me? No, I just like to scribble," I whispered.
"You are a writer," they announced.
And I was a fish in water.
*Hailstorms and Hoop Snakes was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humor.
The story behind the writing and re-writing of
A Fish on the Hayfield...
In 2006, I published a chapbook of short stories--Maynely True. The last story of that collection is Coming Home. On February 4, 2020, I found that short story in my computer files while looking for something else. Well, I worked like mad re-writing it. No, really I did. Want to see the bruises, the nicks? And I'm proud to share the new story with you.