2258. Story Homework

Nina was stuck. Her teacher had set homework and it was to write a one-page story about anything. Nina couldn’t think of anything. It would have been a lot easier if the teacher had been more specific. If the teacher had said “Write a story about elephants” at least there would be a starting point.

Or the teacher could have said “Write a story about your favourite aunt” or “Write a story about a family picnic”. But no! The teacher had said to write about anything. Nina’s mind went blank. Did she have writer’s block?

The school day dawned. Nina hadn’t written a word. She was getting desperate. The school bus would leave in about half an hour. Nina sat at the kitchen table and began to write:

Once upon a time my favourite aunt, Matilda, gathered her family around and announced they were all going on a picnic. Such excitement! Off they went to the park. While they were there sitting on rugs and enjoying their lettuce and cucumber sandwiches three elephants escaped from a nearby circus…

On and on Nina’s story went. Such tragedy! Such passion! Such spectacle! Nina finished just in time to catch the bus.

“Dear me,” said the teacher. “I asked for a one-page story and you have written seven. You must learn to have fewer ideas.”

24 thoughts on “2258. Story Homework

  1. Keith Edgar Channing

    I recall, at my grammar school aged 11 in 1961, being tasked to write a 400-word story on “Ours is not to reason why…” I started and became engrossed. Adding the words The End rounded the word count to exactly 4,000. The teacher wrote the word VERBIAGE across the front page, followed by a large, red F. That was the extent of my creative writing until I took a short course in 2013 – more than half a century later.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      It’s amazing how a teacher can destroy something in one stroke. When I was at university I got a D plus plus for an essay – to which a friend said “They could at least have given you a C minus minus” !

      Liked by 2 people


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