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8 Words or Less Poem
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 Category:  Humor Non-Fiction
  Posted: December 12, 2020      Views: 61
Prologue 1 2 3 4 

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BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

She is a top ranked author at the #69 position.

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #8 spot on the rankings.

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #56 spot on this years rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #10 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 2 of the book Rooted in Dixie
A couple's first and only child arrives.
"The New Arrival" by BethShelby

After four years of marriage, Lucille, who was destined to be my mom, began to believe that she might never become a mother. When she brought up the subject, my future dad always found a reason to talk about something else. He had been an only child, and never having been around children, he wasn’t sure that he ever wanted to be around one. Maybe he thought it would mean less attention for him.
When they got married, a friend who ran a drug store gave him a case of condoms as a gag gift, but my dad took the gift seriously. He didn’t think they could afford a child, and he wished that Lucille would quit bringing it up.
Lucille was the baby of an enormous family, and being alone all day felt strange. In spite of all the work involved with running a home, growing vegetables, and dealing with chickens and cows, she was lonely when Glover spent long hours working in town. It looked as if there would never be more than the two of them.
Nevertheless, something went wrong, or maybe in her case, something went right. One day, before Lucille realized she was pregnant, she was looking out her kitchen window and saw, what must have been a vision of a little girl playing in the sand beneath the china berry tree. She knew immediately that the child’s name was Beth, and that her prayers would be answered. Shortly after that, Glover had to get used to the idea that, ready or not, I was on the way.
It sounds almost Biblical, doesn’t it? "The promised child--seen in a vision." No wonder, they handled me like I would break.
When I arrived, Dad changed his mind about not wanting a child. He felt like he’d accomplished something astounding. Unless you are an only child, you might not understand the attention that a new addition gets from their doting parents.
Everyone always says, while wearing that I know how that goes look, “Oh, so you’re an only child. I’ll bet you were spoiled.”

I hang my head, feeling like I need to apologize for being who I am, but it isn’t my fault. I didn’t plan it, and I would have gladly traded all that attention for a sibling or two, if I’d had a choice.  

Not only was I the only child, I was also the only grandchild, and I got even more attention from that source. And Dad ‘s unmarried aunt was pretty fascinated with me, as well.
My mother and dad seemed to think they had produced something exceptional, and they wanted to show me off at every opportunity. I basked in the attention and did my best to entertain when called upon to do so. They trained me the way someone would train a pet monkey. Before I could even talk, my dad had me braying like a donkey, barking like a dog, mooing like a cow, and doing all sorts of things to make a complete fool out of myself. Of course at that stage, I assumed these were skills that needed to be perfected if I was to get on in this strange world into which I had so recently become a part. Everyone laughed and thought it was cute so, I hammed it up. These days, you can just buy a toy that will make all those noises.
My mother had visions of me becoming a vocalist. She tried teaching me songs like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ and ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb', but apparently, I had no talent in this direction. I’m sure this was a big disappointment for her. By the time I was three, Mom realized I would probably never make it in the music field. I remember hearing her sadly remark that “Beth can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”  I couldn’t imagine why one would want to carry a tune in a bucket, but after studying my sand pail for a while, I concluded that she was probably right.
At that point, Mother began teaching me nursery rhymes to recite for any captive audience that happened to visit. I didn’t disappoint her this time. At least, I was blessed with a quick memory, and I could parrot these little verses quite easily. She decided these were beneath my talent so we went to longer and more difficult pieces from poets like Longfellow and Tennyson. This went well for a while, until I began to tire of all the recitations, and I realized the praises slowed down after the first fifteen minutes of my performance, and the people, who were obliged to listen, began to have a glazed look in their eyes.
Lest you think I got twenty-four-hour attention, let me assure you, that was not the case. My parents had their hands full making enough money to keep us afloat. Mom planted a garden and tended it. She milked cows and slaughtered chickens. She cooked, canned, planted flowers, mowed the lawn, washed, ironed, and scrubbed floors much of every day. I followed her around like a well-trained puppy, waiting to be fed and changed.
One day after I was sporting big girl panties, I had an accident. Mom was working in the garden, too busy to attend my needs. I announced my plight and was told to take off my wet clothes and wait till she finished what she was doing. I was an obedient child, so I stripped everything off and left my clothes piled in the middle of the living room floor.
Knowing this was going to take a while, I climbed onto the feather bed, sandwiched myself between the pillows, pulled the spread neatly back over my head, and fell sound asleep.
When Mom came from the garden and saw all of  my clothes in a pile in the middle of the floor, she totally forgot my potty accident and assumed the worst. The whole neighborhood was called in to search for the kidnapped child. After many hours, someone snatched the covers off the bed to find a nude baby still sleeping.
Again I was the center of attention, and this time, I had no idea what I’d done to earn all those kisses.

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