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11th December
posted by amber

Picky Eater

Two women were preparing a meal while they watched their young children play.

“My Iris is such a good eater,” one mother said. “Yesterday after she’d finished nursing, she toddled over and stole a bit of meat from her father. I gave her a piece of her own, and she ate the whole thing.”

The other mother replied, “I wish my Jojo was a good eater. My milk is drying up, but he still won’t start eating solid food. Even if I mash berries for him, he makes a terrible face and spits it all out. And he’s so small and thin.”

“Don’t worry. I’m sure by next summer, he’ll be eating everything you give him. He’s just too young right now.”

“No, he’s the same age as your Iris. They were both born three springs ago.”

“Oh, you’re right. Well, some children are picky. I remember my brother fussing if there was the least bit of ash in his meat. My mother used to have to brush his portions clean. I don’t think he got over that until he was hunting for himself.”

“At least he survived. I’m not sure Jojo will last the winter. We have so much food now, I need to fatten him up. And I suspect my milk is drying up because I’ll be having another baby in the spring.”

The other woman placed a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder. “Don’t give up yet. The grandmother in the next village keeps a supply of dried blue flower root. That’s what kept my cousin alive after she drank bad water and was so sick.”

“Blue flower root. I haven’t had that since I was a girl. I remember how sweet it tastes.”

“Children love sweet things. You add that to Jojo’s berries and his meat, I guarantee that he’ll start eating.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

This tale came about after a discussion with some friends about small children’s eating habits. We wondered if primitive mothers had to deal with the same thing, and we were pretty sure that they did.

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