Polish Your Apples

Polish Your Apples

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s note* My feedback on this story has been invaluable, and I want to thank you all for your suggestions. This rewrite was inspired from comments made by my friend Tovah, and my wish is it will show the process and results of a hopefully good rewrite, and also remind us that our apples can always stand to be polished. The original piece is first and the rewritten and polished piece follows. As always, thanks you for reading.

L.F.Young

Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the great waterfall, there lived a little girl. Now this was no ordinary girl. No this little girl had the promise of greatness in her eye, and in the way she held her back switch straight as she scattered the seed for the chickens. Her father was the sole money earner in their small household. He was a tree cutter for the Lord in these parts. He was paid a good wage, but he worked very hard, from the sun’s rise until the moon was over the edge of the valley.

One day just as the sun was settling to the tops of the distant hills, a young boy came running up to the mother, and in a rush of breathlessness he announced the shock, the news that would change their lives forever. A tree base had split unexpectedly as the old fir tumbled to the forest floor, and the father had died after it kicked back and drove him into the ether. For days they struggled in their grief.

****

When we had cried all our tears and discussed all our fears, we decided that we might be able to make enough money to survive, but  now we had to both go to work. We hatched our plan over the last of the tea. My mother had increased the size of our garden plot, and as she said one day, with four extra rows, and one less mouth to feed we can sell the rest of the vegetables. And that is what we did. We made a box cart and sold our fruits and vegetables at the market in the village. That was my job, to gather apples and berries, and wild spices and seeds. The largest quantity of which were the apples, but they didn’t sell very well at all. One afternoon when the market traffic was slowing down my mother came over to my spot. You have a lot of apples left, she had said to me, and then she picked one up, and looked closely at it.

It was no different than the rest. She then lifted the folds of her dress and rubbed the apple until it was positively shining, and then she placed it back in the basket of apples at my feet. The beautiful fruit stood out from the rest, and as if on cue a woman who was passing by reached into the basket and snatched the glossy apple from the rest, and deposited a coin in the hat beside my leg. She even commented about the beautiful looking fruit.

You have to polish your apples, my mother told me. Make everything you bring to the market shine before you sell it to our neighbors, she had said to me. That day, by close of market there were no apples left in my basket, and we had tea in our cupboard, and flour in our bin, and very happy neighbors.

 

Polish Your Apples

L.F.Young

 

Once upon a time, in a kingdom by the great waterfall, there lived a small family. In their simple home were a mother, a father and their precious daughter. The little girl had the promise of greatness in her eye and in the way she held her back switch straight as she scattered the seed for the chickens, one of her many chores. Her father was the sole money earner in their small household; a tree cutter for the lord in those parts. He was paid a good wage and worked hard, from the sun’s rise until the moon peeked over the valley’s edge.

One day just as the sun was settling to the tops of the distant hills, a young boy came running up to the mother and in a rush of breathlessness he announced the shocking news that would change their lives forever. A tree base had split unexpectedly and as the old fir tumbled to the forest floor it kicked back and the father, knocked out of his shoes by the impact, died instantly. For days mother and daughter struggled in their grief.

 

When they had cried all their tears and discussed all their fears, it was concluded they had to make enough money to survive and that meant they both had to go to work. Plans were hatched over the last of the tea. Mother increased the size of the garden, and she mentioned the reason one day while weeding their precious plot of land.

“With four extra rows, and one less mouth to feed we can sell the rest of the vegetables in the market.”

And that is what they did. They made a box cart from wood scraps and discarded wheels and sold fruits and vegetables at the market in the village. The daughter’s job was to gather apples and berries, wild spices and seeds. The largest quantity of which were the apples, but they didn’t sell very well at all. One afternoon when the market traffic was slowing the mother went over to where her daughter was selling her goods.

“You have a lot of apples left daughter. Why are they not selling?” she reached into the basket that was slung over her daughter’s slender arm and picked out a large dull red orb and looked closely at it.

It was no different than the rest. She then lifted the folds of her dress and rubbed the apple until it was shining, and then she placed it back in the basket on her daughter’s arm. The beautiful fruit stood out from the rest, and as if on cue a woman who was passing by reached into the basket and snatched the glossy apple from the rest, depositing a coin in the little girl’s hand. She even commented about the beautiful looking fruit.

You have to polish your apples the mother told the girl. “Make everything you bring to the market shine before you sell it to our neighbors.” she advised.

By close of market that day not one apple remained in the basket and the mother and daughter had tea in their cupboard, flour in their bin, and very happy neighbors.

 

Dear reader

When we write our poems and our short stories and yes, even our Blog posts, I believe we need to remember we are bringing a product to our readers and we should present the best we have to offer. I try to polish my apples before I publish to the internet. Sometimes there are mistakes, a blemish on the apple. I would welcome suggestions if you notice a misspelled word or something sideways. If it’s sideways and meant to be that way I’ll leave it, but if it’s a mistake I can fix, and shine my apples some more, please do tell me.

As always, thank you for reading. Without you, there is no me.

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19 thoughts on “Polish Your Apples

    • Oh yes please Darlene. It’s so easy to miss a mistake, especially with stupid English words like You’re and your…very easy, so a heads up is appreciated. thanks for stopping in and reading.

  1. I think if people stopped to polish the apples of what came out of their mouths we’d have a lot less bad fruit. Not sure if that came out right, but I know what I mean, lol. Great story with a wonderful message.

  2. Would have liked more descriptions of girl, mother father and brother…..age, coloring, thin, chubby, tall/short, etc. Had trouble visualizing how her father died. Did his body fly into the ether or did his soul? Too many “ands”. “My mother told me”, ……then “she had said to me” is a bit redundant. Point of view changes (“Once upon a time there lived a little girl”, …….then “deposited a coin in a hat beside my leg”) Is the girl speaking about herself throughout the story. Be more economical with your words. Example from the sun’s rise until the moon was over the edge of the valley….could be expressed “from sunrise til the moon rose over the valley’s edge”. I love the point of this story, but technically speaking, it could be improved. Good luck as you continue your writer’s journey.

    • Thank you, Tovah for taking the time to stop by, and for your wise words and suggestions. This was an attempt at micro fiction, in this case under 1000 words (614 word count), in Fairy tales. That being said, lots of folks have said they would like a longer story with more detail. I agree there is a problem as I tried an introduction at the beginning with a narrator, and then switched POV to the girl telling the story, and I think that is the confusion. You are right, that year old piece could stand some polish.

      • Dear Lockie….thank you for your gracious response. You set aside my fears that maybe I was overly critical and thought you might not like my input. But you are a pro and took it for what it was, constructive criticism. All the best to you in the re-writes. ….Tovah

    • So nice of you to drop by, Lorraine. I appreciate your comments, and yes, editing can be fun and not so fun all at the same time. I often worry about changing the tone of a piece. In this case this story needed a lot of work I just didn’t see the first time.

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