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A Risk: Blog publishing

OK regular readers, something for you. I just finished in the previous post talking about allowing creative writing students to use blogs to "publish" their work and I have previously posted a couple of essays (see Incarnational Theatre and Wish for Eden posts) and now I'll put up a story of mine. The first children's story I wrote ( I have another one for my daughter and I'm working on one for my son); I've sent this out to publishers a few times and the fact that I'm posting it here should tell you what its fate was. The risk, I suppose, is plagiarism--I can handle the comments that tell me the story blows--it doesn't because what would you know anyway. Here in the ether known as cyberspace people will have access to it and, who knows, may want to snip a taste for their own story about body parts. All right, enough blather--and if you happen to be a publisher of fine children's books, please, let's do lunch.

Now, A big I Am Not Hamlet welcome for: A Toe Story

A Toe Story
Scot F. Martin

Toes are very cantankerous members of our bodies; after all they, with our feet, are stood on for a significant portion of their lives, and sometimes heavy objects get dropped on them. They are crammed together with other toes that they don’t always like, wrapped up in suffocating socks, and shoved into smelly shoes that cause toes to sweat an awful lot. In the shower or bath toes don’t receive a good washing like hair and faces, or hands and fingers. No wonder toes murmur and complain.

This is the story of one toe that revolted. Tired of bearing the weight of his owner, with few words of appreciation, disgusted at the amount of lint collecting under his nail, and furious with his immediate neighbors, he was ashamed of his toeness. The distinction of being a great toe or even a little toe was not his; no, this toe was a middle toe on a left foot. “Hey, why don’t you two move over a bit, give a toe some room,” he snarled at his immediate left and right neighbors as he was settling in for the night.
The two toes huffed and muttered, “Who does he think he is? The great toe?” Soon all the toes, right and left, forgot about the middle toe’s complaints and joined the rest of the body in sleep.

The middle toe couldn’t sleep; he kept thinking how insensitive his sibling digits were. After several hours of silent fuming, the toe struggled and popped off his foot and crawled away.
“You can’t do that!” the other toes insisted.
“Pah,” he cried, “Try and stop me.”
“Where are you going? You can’t be a toe without a foot, that’s unheard of.”
“Anywhere but here,” he said as he continued his crawl toward the edge of the bed. The other toes murmured amongst themselves for a moment or two and realized that the middle toe was right. They were still connected to their foot and lacked any means to stop the renegade toe.
“Fine!” they shouted in their tiny toe voices, then they curled up and shunned him.

So the disconnected toe made his way to the edge of the bed, slid down between the blanket and the sheets, and inched his way to the door. He turned back to see if his companions were watching, but realized they were buried under the covers. Finally he crawled under the door and was free! This took quite a while as you might imagine for a toe without a foot is a slow and pathetic creature. Night felt sleepy as day came creeping into the sky and the little middle toe found himself in dire need of a rest.

Sighing, he reminisced how much easier traveling was on foot. Then the little toe remembered his previous cramped life and exclaimed, “Why, I’m glad to be rid of the lot of them; all smelly and pokey with their raggedy nails. What good were they? None, absolutely none!” He inched along some more, stubbing himself a couple of times on smaller rocks. When the toe found he couldn’t crawl anymore due to exhaustion he inched his way into the curve between a large, speckled rock and the ground and fell toelong to sleep.

He awoke shivering under the cold shine of space light. Night had arisen once more and his two little hairs were not enough to keep him warm. “O Great Body-Maker,” he shouted, moving away from the rock, with his tiny toe voice, for toes have very small vocal cords, “Why must I suffer as a lowly, smelly toe? Why am I always under foot, tramped and trodden on? Why not a thumb, an elbow, or better yet, an ear. Yes, that would be grand, to be an ear, for I would be on top of the body. My nearest neighbors just a nose and a mouth, and I’d only have to share the head with one other ear. And she would be clear over on the other side of my face. No more cramped days on a crowded foot with misshapen cousins with corns. Yes, Great Body-Maker,” his shrill voice picked up again, “I wish to be an ear!”

For a long while the toe could only feel the chill night air blow his two little hairs to his left side. “O Great Designer, aren’t you listening? Don’t you even care?” From above or perhaps within, suddenly, a voice said, “Yes, I did hear and I certainly do care.”
“Well then,” replied the toe to the voice, “Why am I a toe? A middle toe at that.” The disconnected toe was quite cranky and cold by this time. “I’m not even a Big toe. Why can’t I be an ear instead? That would be glorious don’t you think?”

“No, I don’t, Toe. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were in the right spot on the right, er, rather, the left foot. Now that you’ve left that foot is unable to function as well as it should. It won’t run as fast as it should. It can’t shell peanuts as dexterously anymore. And, quite frankly, it will look a little silly in sandals without you, don’t you think.”

“Pfffhh. I don’t need that foot or those other toes. You’ve made a mistake and caused us all woes. Make me an ear; that’s my destiny. I’ll be happier and so will my body.” The toe waited a moment for a response. “Oh please, please, please, pleeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzze!” The toe whined until the sun came up which was quite a long time.

The sun was just over the horizon when the toe, who was hoarse from whining, thought he heard “Very well, but you were meant to be a toe.” His whole body, which was, of course, a toe, began tingling. “Why what a strange sensation. It’s almost as if someone were standing on me for a very long time the wrong way...yet not quite,” the toe murmured. Strange! New! Different! Something was happening.

The astonished toe heard strange noises. Buzzes, burps, chirps, and croaks—one doesn’t get to hear too much inside a shoe, but now—whizzes, crunches, clomps, and fizzes. Why, he was hearing things clearly and superbly—could it be? The toe tried to crawl up on top of the stone that he slept next to, but he found he could only rock himself. But what a noise he made as he tried to shift—it couldn’t be—but it was true—The Creator-King had transformed the toe into an ear. A glorious ear!

Oh wonder of wonders! No longer would the toe be on the bottom of a body, having to share a foot with four other smelly, noisy neighbors. From now on, he’d be on top, of a head, of course. His dreams of glory ceased as he heard a distant shriek and experienced a strange sensation, something was clutching him. The toe, who was now an ear, heard the wind increase and felt as if he were rising. Some creature, a bird probably, had grabbed the ear and was flying away with him.
Oh, this is horrible, the ear thought. He tried to struggle out of the flying creature’s grasp but to no avail. Ears can’t squirm, and only a few can wiggle; if only he were still a toe he could escape. The ear heard another screech in the distance, which became louder, felt quite a bit of shaking and feathers brushing him, when whatever was holding him let go and he spun faster and faster falling back to earth.
Suddenly, the ear could only hear a muffled rumbling and he was tossing and turning and quite cold. He had fallen into some water!
Good thing I’m not a nose, he thought, I could drown. Round and round the ear moved, as the current carried him along. He stopped moving when he bumped a rock and was turned right side up. It didn’t matter that the water was draining out of the ear because he couldn’t hear anything anyway. The ear’s vascular system was pumping so loudly now that he barely heard the sniffling as it increased. Then he felt the sensation of a soft nudge pushing and turning him over.

“Why, that feels just like a....” That was his last thought as a hungry coyote, that just happened to find a delectable disembodied ear lying on a creek’s shore, gobbled him up.


Solo said…
LOL! I enjoyed your story especially the end. I guess a moral to the story is: be content with how God made you and where He placed you in the body. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Scot said…
I was thinking of 1 Corinthians 12 when I wrote this, but thanks.

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