shirley temple three

Posted: January 13th, 2013 | No Comments »

a story that stayed with me.  thomas pierce’s “shirley temple three.”

On the computer it said prehistoric mammoths ate grasses, fruits, twigs, berries, and nuts. In the pantry Mawmaw has a tub of mixed nuts. She pours some cashews and almonds and pecans into a metal bowl and takes it outside, to where the mammoth has stuck its trunk through one of the squares of the metal gate. The trunk recoils when she places the bowl in front of it. It doesn’t seem very interested in the nuts.

“Take it or leave it,” Mawmaw says and goes back in to slip into her faded red nightgown and swallow one of her pills. She sleeps hard until midnight, when a car in the driveway wakes her up. She’s not in bed but at her desk, half her toenails painted dark red, the computer printing a ninety-page document about the dangers of lead-based paint. Her pills can have that effect sometimes.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.