The Art Site

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Little Girl

The twenty-six week rubber baby lay snuggled into the soft cotton sheet on the table at the A+P Show (Agricultural and Prolife Show for the uninitiated). One thumb was in his mouth, the other hand was lying comfortably round his stomach. A little girl stood by the stall, gazing at the babies. I left my strings of baby blue and baby pink balloons with my friend Lillian and moved over to where the babies were sleeping. Carefully, (so as not to wake them) I lifted up the twenty-six week baby.
"Would you like to hold the baby?" I asked the little girl. "This baby's twenty-six weeks. That's what you looked like when you were that young, in your mummy's tummy, and you were quite heavy too. Do you want to hold it?"
The little girl's face was very serious as she nodded and held out her hands to take the baby. As always, I relinquished the baby with a slight feeling of loss, which was always made up for by the look on these kids' faces. The little girl's eyes opened a little wider as she reached for the baby.
Playing with Barbie dolls is one thing, but holding a little twenty-six week baby is a different experience completely.
Gently, the little girl cradled the baby in her arms and looked down at it. As always, I was amazed at the expression on the little girl's face as she held the baby in her arms.
Even teenagers with the slightly worldly and "cool" look would take these babies and cradle them and look down at them with faces that melted into smiles and tenderness.

This little girl was no exception. She handled the baby like it was a little butterfly, and she cradled it and rocked it like you do when you want the baby to go to sleep.
She must have been only six, but as with just about every little girl who'd come to the stall in the last few days, she had a strong maternal instinct.

"300 Dollars that's the price of living what?
Mommy I don't like this clinic

"I love life
I love my mother for giving me life
We all need to appreciate life
A strong woman that had to make a sacrifice"

Can I Live

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Snip Part 3

Arabella slid down the golden banister on the stairway, landed on her feet and walked sedately into the sunlit breakfast room. At the incredibly long breakfast table, her four melancholic brothers were eating porridge and french toast, and her four sisters (beautiful as the day) were drinking gray breakfast supplement in tall, fluted glasses. The Queen, of course was eating bread and honey, and the King, who didn't bother with unimportant things like food, was counting his money. The four princesses were bickering over whether or not they should attend Sleeping Beauty's sleep over, and the four princes were gravely disputing whether or not the earth was flat. Three princes said that the earth was flat, but the other prince (marginally more intelligent than the rest) said that there were mountains on it.

Arabella stood in the doorway and cast a slightly scornful eye on this pleasant family scene. No one noticed her, so she went over to her seat and sat down. No one even looked up. Arabella coughed into her hand to try and attract some attention, but the rest of her family were too occupied in debating and eating to notice. When you have cut your long, golden hair off, dyed it a deep black, and are wearing the gardener's son's clothes, you expect that you will make quite a statement. Arabella expected it. She decided to join in her sister's debate, and thus, draw attention to her de-princessified state. Before she could do that, the Queen, who had been gazing dreamily out the window at the far off blue mountains, returned in spirit to butter another piece of bread, and as she took a bite she noticed a strange looking person with extremely black hair, sitting at the other end of the table. She turned to the king, alarmed. "Henry!" She half - shrieked. "Who is that person sitting at the end of the table?" A scowl creased the King's forehead and without looking up, he muttered: " Quiet, I'm trying to count. 3,589, 3,590, 3,591..." The Queen pushed back her chair and hastily walked over to where this intruder sat. Before she'd got halfway, she recognised her daughter. Her eyes dilated and with one arm melodramatically outstretched, she screamed, "Ara - bella! WHAT have you done?" All eyes turned to the strange looking person who looked like a boy and also, remarkably like a girl, and everyone gasped. Arabella folded her arms, leaned back in her chair and grinned. This was the reaction she'd wanted.

Two hours later she was sitting on her bed, locked in her bedroom. She had been sent there by royal decree and the other members of the family were holding a conference in the Counting Room.

In the Counting Room.
"This is RE-DIC-ulous!" the King exclaimed emphatically, and ate another piece of Turkish Delight. He was enjoying himself immensely.
"How will she EVER find a husband now?" sobbed the Queen, weeping bitterly into her soggy lace handkerchief. And using italics as much as her handkerchief.
"There was always something - different - about Arabella." observed one of the princes in a hushed tone.
"Oh yes, she was never one of us. " the most beautiful (and haughty) princess said, watching the king imbibe Turkish Delight with a little disgust.
"But I always thought Arabella was such a nice girl!" exclaimed the most stupid of the princesses, Grace.
"Nice! My goodness, she used to climb trees, fight the gardener's son and write stories! Do you call that nice?" The most dreamily handsome of the princes queried.
The pretty, stupid princess was thoughtful.
"Well, no, but she was a lot of fun."
"Tomboys are just a lot of trouble." the chauvinistic prince said.
"Quite right." The King said, through a mouthful of Turkish Delight.
The Queen borrowed another hankerchief from one of the princes and moaned despairingly into it.

In her bedroom, Arabella was busy planning her escape.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Snip Part 2 ;)

All that remained of this de-princessifying business was to dye her hair, steal some suitable clothes from her brothers, shock her family and run away. The running away part would, of course, happen later on in the witching hour of the night. All that Arabella was unsure of was whether or not to leave a note on the royal pincushion before she ran away. That was what every princess before her had done in the same perilous position as herself, and Arabella felt the need to conform.

In an ancient, top secret medicine cupboard in the Queen Mother's room was a bottle of black hair dye. The Queen Mother's hair was unusually black for an 87 year old lady. Tiptoeing through her Grandma's room, Arabella spied the cupboard. Cautiously, she unlocked the door and quietly, she pulled out the large black bottle and slunk out of the room. In fact, there was no need to keep the noise down. Even if you sploshed a bucket of water on the Queen Mother she wouldn't have woken up in the middle of a deep sleep.
At the bathroom sink, Arabella read the instructions on the bottle. It took a long time. There were so many instructions on the bottle that Arabella decided not to take any notice of them. She wet her hair and poured the entire contents of the bottle over the tangled mess. The hair dye smelled disgusting, something like burnt porridge and burnt toast mixed together. After waiting for what seemed like forever, Arabella rinsed her hair and flicked it dry like a dog. It felt incredibly strange not to have a heavy weight of hair on her head. She surveyed the result in the Mirror.

Even though she'd cut her hair in a rough boy's haircut and dyed it black, the fact remained that Arabella was pretty. Ok, so she wasn't as beautiful as she was at the start of the de-princessifying business, but she wouldn't pass as a boy yet. It's those blasted long black eyelashes, the wide blue eyes and princess-pink lips that do it. Arabella thought angrily. Well anyway, I'll ask the Mirror who's the prettiest now. It better not be me. Arabella scrunched up her face and glared into the Mirror. "So who's the prettiest now?" she asked. "You are no longer the most beautiful princess in the land! Your sister Cynthia is prettier than you!" The Mirror jeered. Arabella grinned triumphantly and did a triple cartwheel on the carpet.

Monday, November 03, 2008


this story is my attempt at nanowrimo... I definitely won't write 50,000 words this month, but I may (possibly) get a readable story at the end of November. :)

Arabella Rosemarie Nicolette Gardenia Petunia Angelica Fink woke up one morning and decided she was sick and tired of being a princess. As she snuggled into the soft blankets of her diamond encrusted bed, she thought bitterly about her unfortunate life. It had all gone wrong from the start, Arabella reflected. In the first place, one of the royal seamstresses had made her christening gown too small so when it came time for the royal baby to be dressed for the christening, the dress refused to button. Instead of the exquisite pearl - embroidered christening gown, Arabella had to wear Queen Mother's old white blouse which looked ridiculous on her. All that could be seen of the royal baby was her chubby hands, poking out of the sleeves. Arabella knew it looked ridiculous and started to cry at the top of her lungs, to the horror of all the royal family and all the distinguished guests.

After the christening service it was time for the fairies to present their gifts to the princess. Unfortunately, these fairies were rather dim - witted and as they had already bestowed on all seven of Arabella's brothers and sister gifts like beauty, grace, courage, cleverness and boring things like that, they couldn't think of anything else to give the last princess. All the guests waited and gossiped and fought, and all the royal family were tearing their hair out and slapping the Royal Councillor and biting each other's noses, but not one of the eleven fairies showed up.
The queen wept onto the king's epaulets and blew her nose into her lacy handkerchief, and the king started to get annoyed. Pounding his golden cane onto the floor he proclaimed a $1,000 reward to anyone who could report the whereabouts of the fairies.
As everyone knows, fairies are very good at making themselves invisible. No one saw the fairies again until everyone had forgotten about the whole issue.

Arabella, however, had not escaped getting the hereditary good looks from her family. All her four sisters were tall and slim and beautiful as the day and all her three brothers were tall, dark and melancholic. In fact, they were everything that princes and princesses should be.

Arabella paused in the middle of these thoughts, and throwing the blankets on to the floor, she jumped out of bed and walked sedately over to the huge mirror on the wall. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, tell me, who's the prettiest of us all?" queried Arabella. "You are of course, silly." Quoth the mirror. Arabella grinned wickedly. Twisting her hair into a big knot, she grabbed a pair of scissors and hacked off her hair, way up high. The heavy braid of hair fell to the floor with a thump. Arabella looked into the mirror and was almost shocked by what she saw. Instead of a royal princess, she looked almost like the gardener's son. But, she had always detested the gardener's son. His too - long blond hair made him look like a wimp and the fact that his arms were as thin as carrots didn't help his image. Arabella frowned viciously into the mirror and grabbed the scissors again. Snip, snip, snip. Chunks of hair fell to the ground and now, Arabella had a crew cut. A glimpse in the mirror satisfied her. It was a job well done.
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