“‘Bless us,’ I thought, ‘the world must be hungry.'”–Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek Cookery
I spent seven years in the 1990s binge-cashiering at a farm stand on a 30-acre farm in Naples, Florida. While strings of cashiers came and went, during the intervals I often worked nine days straight. I loved my job and the customers. Some became enduring friends and plenty produced sundry stories for my amusement. I wrote down the stories and saved them. Now, as spring thoughts poke through of gardens and rows of strawberries, corn, tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, peppers, eggplant, squashes and melons, I offer you samples of my stories. For your binge-reading pleasure, I am gathering these stories into a book called Funny Farm Stories. I hope their flavors delight you. –Carolina Gringo, as told to Samantha Mozart.
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... a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.Thomas Wolfe
The Blue Sultana
You forget me,” he said. “Am I not your steward?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. “I can but imagine.”
Dusk embraced us now, at the window here in the blog cupola. The Blue Deer lifted its head, sniffed the air, and then walked off into the woods. I pulled the window shut, picked up my purple and white iris the Phantom had picked for me and we headed down the winding staircase, I behind the Phantom. In case I stumbled I hoped he would catch me. If I went first I feared he would push me. I didn’t want to flatten my iris.
When we reached the foot of the stairs, I thanked him again. We parted there. I lifted the iris to my nose. The stem had a nutmeggy smell, like his hand.
“What is your name?” I called after him.
“Moriarty,” he called back. -- S.M.
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