Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2004 09 Claes


Wapato is lying in the living room wedged between the sofa and the coffee table. Finn is sitting on Wapato’s back. Finn flops over and lays on top of the dog, one arm around Wapato’s neck. Finn’s head is wedged between the sofa and the dog. In that position he falls fast asleep and remains there until Barbara rescues the long-suffering dog and carries the sleeping Finn into his bed.


Claes likes to push around Finn’s high chair in the kitchen and climb up on it. He pushes it over to the refrigerator and climbs up to look at all the pictures, points at the ones of himself and says “baby,” pries loose the magnets and throws them on the floor. Sometimes he pushes the chair to the middle of the floor, climbs up and stands on it. As a variation he pushes it over to the kitchen sink, climbs into the sink, turns on the water and is standing there looking out the window when Barbara discovers him.


One day as the boys are playing in the sandbox, Barbara goes into the kitchen on a quick errand. A block away, a train whistles as it approaches. Finn walks down to the garage to watch it go by. Claes, left in the sandbox by himself, decides to explore. He climbs out and crawls toward the kitchen. He passes the kitchen, crawls out to the road, up across the rough gravel to Bill and Diana’s house next door, and into their parking lot.

When the train has passed, Finn returns to the sandbox, and goes searching for Claes. He hears Claes talking, follows the sound up to the neighbors, and finds Claes investigating Bill’s trailer. Finn scoops Claes up, holds him tight under the arms, and lugs him back down under loud protest. As the boys round the corner to the drive way, Barbara comes out of the kitchen to check on them.


Finn is building a machine on the living room rug. It consists of sticks, a rubber band, a cork, and scissors.

“What’s it for?” Barbara asks.

“It’s for taking out the bad bones from the carpet,” Finn answers.

Written by Brigitta

Here are some thoughts …

Do I need more background to anchor these vignettes?

Is it a good idea to write in the present tense?

Should I invent dialogue if I don’t quite remember how it went?

Do I need to tell the boys’ ages? Readers are limited to family.

Do I need to define who the various people in the stories are.

Does there need to be a moral in the story?


  1. Testing comment window. Birgitta

  2. Jann, what "select profile" entry should I use? Anonymous is a bit too Deep-Throat-cover-up-ish for me. Birgitta