Rita Bullwinkel

Row Sower

There was a man who went out into a field of rice, who was going to sit in the very center of the field but saw two crows fly overhead and thought better. Instead he walked to the furthest corner from where he was currently standing. He stood at that corner and kneeled down and picked up a growing grain and said, “You there! How would you like to be cooked?”

And the rice replied, “Any way you like, dear sir. But before you cook me I should tell you about the farmer. She isn’t very good at sowing the rows. She is much better at sewing dresses. Her daughter was in the school play and wore the bright blue dress. I am sure you would recognize it if you saw it. The thing is, I think the farmer likes sewing dresses much more than she likes sowing rows. Is there any way you could arrange for her a change in occupation?”

“Absolutely not,” said the man, “and shame on you for speaking so brazenly. The farmer will sow rows till her arms fall off and then I will make her sow them with her legs.”

And with that the man crushed the grain of rice between his fingertips and put the remaining mush in a secret compartment on the bottom of his shoe so that the rice’s wretched soul would have to walk the earth broken and mashed for the rest of infinity.

Rita Bullwinkel's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in NOONThe Fanzine, HTML Giant, The Brooklyn Rail, Heavy Feather ReviewPaper DartsTwo Serious Ladies and the book Gigantic Worlds: An Anthology of Science Flash Fiction.

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