POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
The Birth of a Muse
By Nandy Ekle
Once upon a time a little girl played with a thing called a glass thermometer. This was not a toy and she knew better to play with it because it could break and get glass everywhere. When she didn’t feel good her mother would put it under her tongue or in her armpit to see of she was sick. So if she broke it, her mother would have no way of knowing if she or her brother got sick.
But it was a very interesting thing. It was a glass tube with a bulb on the end that went in her mouth. The bulb had a bunch of silver stuff in it that would go up in the tube after it stayed in her mouth for a while. Her mom had shown her what it looked like and she thought it was pretty.
So on this day, her mother was busy cooking supper and her brother was asleep. She couldn’t think of anything at all to do so she just walked around the house looking at the ceiling in a mirror, pretending the ceiling was the floor and trying to walk from one room to the next without bumping into anything. As she walked by the open bathroom door she thought she saw the sparkle of something shiny. She turned on the light, proud that she was finally big enough to reach it by herself.
There on the counter was the glass thermometer. The little girl picked it up and tried to see if any of the silver stuff was up in the tube. It wasn’t, so she put it in her mouth, under her tongue just like her mother always made her do. She stood there for about two hours, then took it out of her mouth and checked to see if the silver had moved any. It hadn’t. So she did the next thing her mother always did, she started shaking it to make sure all the silver stuff was in the bulb.
And that’s when it happened. The thermometer flew out of her hand and hit the floor.
“Oh no,” she said. She knelt down on the floor carefully so she wouldn’t get stuck in and began picking up all the little pieces of glass. After dropping the shards in the trash can she noticed little silver balls on the floor. The looked like the silver beads on her mother’s favorite necklace. She knew she hadn’t played with Mom’s necklace, but she wanted to pick up the beads so Mom could fix her necklace.
She tried to pick one up but it rolled away. She tried again and the little ball split into two balls. She could see the little balls, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not put her finger on one.
Years later, after she grew up and discovered how fun it was to write stories, she realized that the little silver balls she could never quite pick up that day so long ago, each one was a new muse.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.