Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, April 22, 2019


Openers:  White-robed and dusky-faced, the ayah hurried with trembling footsteps along the narrow path that threaded tortuously the tangled underbrush of that arid thicket.  Her feet and ankles were bare to the knee, and the fine gray dust that covered them deep with its clinging powder bore witness eloquently to the distance she had already carried her precious burden -- a pretty, sleeping, two-year-old baby.  It was not her own, but a white man's daughter; and the white man was a great English sahib.  At every rustle of the bushes in the jungle by her side, the woman shrank back with terrible earnestness -- shrank, and pressed the sleeping baby tight to her bosom; for tigers lurked among the tangled brake, and the cobra might at any moment cross her path with his deadly hood erect and hissing.  But still she hurried along, alone and breathless, one solitary Hindu figure, tall and graceful in her snowy robes, with the unconscious white child strained against her breast, and her heart leaping wildly a at every step the bangles clanked together on her brown ankles.  The fierce hot sun poured down upon her head mercilessly from above, and the little green lizards darted away with lithe and sinuous motion at the fall of her naked dusky foot upon the staring grey line of the path behind them.

-- Kalee's Shrine by Grant Allen and May Cotes (1886) [Note that some editions do not credit May Cotes as co-author.  Cotes was a young woman who came up with the story's plot.  She contacted author and folklorist Andrew Lang, who suggested she collaborate with Grant Allen, a popular writer of the time.  The actual contribution Cotes made to the book -- beyond the original idea -- is unknown.]

Chick-fil-A:  This Youtube video showed up yesterday on the wonderful Bits & Pieces blog. *  I had to share:

*  The blog name is oh-so similar to this regular Monday blog post.  Pure coincidence.  I took the title from an old newspaper column I used to write in the early Seventies.   I'm sure you'll find the Bits & Pieces blog, begun in 2002, far more entertaining than my Monday posts.  Besides, I have never been to St. Louis.


Cassie Bernall
Steve Curnow
Corey DePooter
Kelly Fleming
Matt Kechter
Daniel Mauser
Daniel Rohrbough
Rachel Scott
Isaiah Shoels
John Tomlin
Lauren Townsend
Kyle Velasquez

The Teacher:

Coach Dave Sanders

The Shooters:

Eric Harris
Dylan Klebold

Fifteen names.  Fifteen dead people.  Thirteen victims, fifteen if you consider the shooters to also be victims and, perhaps, they should be.  Columbine High School, April 20, 1999.  This list does not count the other victims:  the wounded, family, friends, schoolmates, educators, workmates, responders, and more...people left with physical or mental anguish.  Since that day two decades ago there have been many more senseless tragedies with lasting consequences.  Two former Parkland high school students recently committed suicide, as did the father of one of the young victim at Sandy Hook Elementary.

We can be a better country than this.  

When will we learn?

Four Years and One Day Earlier:  April 19, 1995, the day of the Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  168 dead...171, if you count the unborn children as some are likely to do.  168 persons, too many to list by name here, snuffed out in a single act of terror -- the worst this country had seen until September 11, 2001.

Remember these victim also.

On a Happier Note:  Today is the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day and the third anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement to fight global warming.  Despite the braying and delaying of the current administration, most people are recognizing their duties as stewards of the Earth.  that's a good -- and hopeful -- sign.

Florida Man:  Our favorite internet meme has been a busy beaver lately.  Here are some of the headlines:
  • Florida man commits murder over imaginary girlfriend
  • Florida man gropes technician who was fingerprinting him for disorderly conduct charge
  • Florida man pretended to be an officer, then tried to pull over an undercover cop
  • Florida man foils police speed trap by putting up a handmade sign warning drivers*
  • Florida man arrested for wrestling a fake alligator at a shopping mall
  • Naked Florida man wanted for burglarizing concession stand
  • Police:  Florida man thought he was stealing drugs, not laxatives
  • Florida man misspells school on crosswalk**
  • Huge alligator captured by 80-year old Florida Man:  "That thing tugged me all over"
  • Florida woman (Florida great-grandma) fends off 300-pound burglar with baseball bat
  • Florida man charged over threats to Democrats that mentioned Ilhan Omar
  • Florida man charged in racist threats to against Cory Booker and Rashida Talib
  • Florida man busted for singing dirty song to neighbor
  • Florida man accused of trying to set American flag on fire at Miami Beach church
  • Florida man fights the police with a cucumber up his ass***
* The cops thanked him
*** Say what?

Today's Poem:
Sea Turtle

There's a wide green map 
on Sea Turtle's back.
Currents?  She knows
their flows, never slows,
needn't stop for directions
wherever she goes,
flapping her elegant
paddle-shaped toes.

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