The Sow's Ear

She sat in the back of auditorium, gnawing her nails to the quick as she watched her classmates take the stage and try out for the 5th grade Spring Concert.  She thought she could sing, but just thinking about auditioning, she could hear her father laugh. 

She knew she was worthless.  He’d told her often enough: hands like a truck driver; legs like a piano stool; and a face you would pay to haunt a house.

Sighing, she wished again she could be a part of it all.  But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

This was written for Velvet Verbosity's 100-Word Challenge, where the prompt of the week is "worthless." Thanks to LouCeel for providing a home for the challenge here.


  1. One thing I have never been able to understand is how parents who profess to love their children can, at the same time, be so emotionally abusive. It is just beyond me.

    Lovely and well written, as always, Patti. BTW - your cartoonist is very good.

  2. yeah, maybe me and her dad ought to have a little talk...maybe motivate him a bit...smiles.

  3. Lou: Glad you like the 100 word and The Gaping Void. I love how Hugh so often hits on a real truth. (BTW, I'll be over hanging out with some really cool people at Piper's tomorrow.)

    Brian: I've seen your picture. I know how motivating you could be. Smiles back at you.

  4. So sad that a parent would actually limit their children's belief in themselves.

    I also, can be a great motivator!

  5. My grandchildren are visiting for the month. They're daily reminders of the power of positive reinforcement. They take it all in!
    I like this piece, Patti.

  6. That one cuts to the core, Patti. Wonderful imagery and use of words, but a heartbreaking tale.

  7. And how many of us haven't been told we were worthless. My grandmother told me something when I was young, like six. She told me I was special. Eveerything good in my life springs from that belief.

  8. The children's rhyme was wrong, words can hurt you. Sadly so many children live with this kind of abuse.

  9. Jeeeez, how many writing prompts are out there?
    Thanks for stopping by Patti....G

    Sorry...Great Story..:-)

  10. Thanks for visiting, my friends. It is sad how often parents plant the seeds of insecurity in their children. We can't fly a plane, drive a car, or get married without a license. But anyone can have children, qualified or not.

  11. your creativity is amazing....


    an award for 55 players.

  12. This is just heart wrenching and I wonder how many tiny spirits struggle to fly under the weight or an adult's crushing words. Especially, an adult who should have been their biggest fan, supporter, and encourager.


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.