16 December 2016

Published December 14, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Realistic Fiction with a side of History

Word Count: 100

CONTRA-BUN

            Mary watched the snow blanket the ground and opened her book. “Good reading weather.”

            “Whatcha reading?” Laura pointed over Mary’s shoulder at a picture of a spider on an intricate web. “Neat drawing.”

            “Charlotte’s Web.” Mary showed her the cover. “‘Pictures by Garth Williams.’”

            “Controversial artist,” said Charlie, their older brother, stretching out on the sofa. “The White Citizens Council in Alabama had his book The Rabbits’ Wedding banned from their library in 1958.”

            “Yeah, right.” Mary frowned. “For what?  Excessive cuteness?”

            “Interracial marriage.” Charlie’s lips twisted into a wry smile. “One bunny was white and the other was black.”

.

.

the-rabbits-wedding

Although I was unaware of this controversial book growing up, I loved Garth Williams’ illustrations in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. His work had a huge influence on my own work. 

little-house-in-the-big-woods

charlottes-web

117 comments on “16 December 2016

  • Great story Rochelle. It would be nice to think society has moved on but I fear that it is merely a veneer in too many cases. It’s like sectarianism in this part of the world – on one hand you have a generation who grew up in times of peace and on the other hand you have a well of bitterness bubbling away beneath the surface

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Siobhán,

      Fourteen years ago I was in Selma, Alabama where Martin Luther King Jr led a famous march. The undercurrents of bigotry were still strong into the 21st century. I couldn’t wait to leave. At any rate, I’m glad you liked my story. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m part African-American, but grew up in a white environment(long story). Anyway, black people have been saying for years that not much has changed, and that it’s only a veneer. Someone I know told that one man told his daughter that he’d rather have her violated by a white biker gang than marry a black man(this was around 2002).

      I do think after the 60’s people fell asleep.

      Like

      • Dear Kevin,

        What a horrid thing for a man to tell his daughter. I can see where somethings haven’t changed. I have a friend and former coworker who’s half African American and Half Polynesian. She said she was never enough for either side. Sigh. I hope you’ve fared better in your life, sir.

        Thank you for all of your comments.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Liked by 1 person

      • These days I’m trying to stay out of political discussions. However, I will say that people are prejudiced against many people and beliefs other than by race and that racism exists on both sides of the spectrum, despite the efforts of the media these days to change it to mean only white people disliking black people. I think that, in the spirit of the season, I’ll just leave it there. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • I agree: after all, many people don’t like Hispanics, Muslims, LGBT, atheists, and antisemitism is in the media more (at least in certain social media circles).

          That’s the reason I think it’s helpful to use broader terms than “racism”: to stress other forms of bigotry are not OK, even if there is no prejudice against black people involved.

          Like

          • I think most people don’t care one way or another about those labels, their feelings are determined by how the other person acts. It’s all to easy to say that if I disagree with someone belief about something, that I’m prejudiced/bigoted/hate them. I can disagree with them without hating them.

            Racism, or other label-ism, aren’t just confined to the groups of people the media in particular likes to portray as racist or label-ist. It comes from all groups towards all sorts of others groups. To dismiss any disagreement as an -ism, takes away all possibility of discussion or common ground in addition to often being a complete misrepresentation of the reason/s for the disagreement.

            Liked by 2 people

  • I love Garth Williams. He gave me the childhood I always wanted and never had. Ditto Robert McCloskey. I shared these books with my own children, too. EB White was a wonderfully thoughtful man (especially considering the crowd he hung with, more known for drunken insults than kindness). Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J Hardy,

      As I mentioned above, Garth Williams influenced my artwork from an early age. To this day, if I see any of the Little House books with someone else’s illustrations, they aren’t the real thing. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I hate the ide of banning books. There are so few that actually deserve it. I read that To Kill a Mockingbird was recently banned (though soon after unbanned again). So we can all read Mein Kampf but not Mockingbird? Ridiculous situation.
    Brilliant take on the banned books idea, Rochelle – wonderful way to highlight how stupid it is and humour is always the best way to do it. Great stuff

    Liked by 1 person

      • I find the idea of banning anything troublesome – without access to Mein Kampf, we can’t judge clearly what a disturbed, hating and hateful man Hitler was (if there can be any doubt, which sadly there is in some quarters). As we draw further away from the war we need to be able to read these things at the souce, rather than filtered through thinkers and historians so we can see the twisted thinking behind genocide. Sorry for taking the conversation in such a dark direction. All best wishes, Rochelle

        Like

          • And I absolutely don’t blame you, Rochelle. How we all wish he had never existed in the first place, that he had been less charismatic (for he must have been to have fooled a whole nation for so long). As you so rightly show us in your own work, the past must always be remembered so we can at least try to avoid falling for similar, poisonous lies again. If only.

            Like

  • It wasn’t too long ago when we as a nation were terribly ignorant. Oh wait, we still are, but at least we’re improving little by little. There’s lots more to work on. I pointed out to my wife that a few decades ago it would’ve been illegal for she and I to marry. She was appalled, and rightly so. At least now my daughter can read The Rabbits Wedding without having to hide. Great story, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      It’s appalling to me that two people in love in America would be breaking the law by following their heart. At least we’ve moved beyond that. (At least I’d like to think we have.) The Rabbits’ Wedding, according to the author/illustrator had nothing to do with race. Your comments make me smile for more reasons than one. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jennifer,

      I was more than a little annoyed when I read about Mr. Garth’s book aimed at four year olds was banned. Therefore I had to write about it. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS Happy to see you here.:D

      Like

  • Dear Veronica Propeil,
    I assume you’ll soon be doing a TV infomercial of the new Ronco Rabbit Roaster (say that three times real fast). As an author, there are bound to be some advantages to having a book banned. Once something becomes forbidden people can’t leave it alone. It’s sort of like the “wet paint” sign–everyone has to touch the paint–just to make sure.

    The comments on my site this week are amazing (and hilarious). Who would have thought mentioning that little, dried-up Scot would have caused such an uproar? HA!

    Off to do more chores,
    Henry

    Like

    • Dear Henry,

      Nothing like mentioning the little Scot to get a firestorm started. I fear for me wee curls though. I must come back and see. Don’t work too hard on those chores…and watch your back. 😉
      Infomercials are wonderful tools. When I have insomnia nothing snaps these brown eyes shut faster.

      Thank you and Shalom,

      Veronica Popeil

      Like

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Primero … let me say that I almost spit out my drink – yes, wine – when I read Rgayer’s comment. HILARIOUS !!!
    Like a few others, I did not know about the controversy. My, My how weird to think that just a few years ago we were in that mindset. Yet, I think we haven’t come that far. Sooo … many issues still left to fix. Who will do it??? And, will it be in out lifetime? Too many questions 🙄 Definitely, a story that has a great deal to say and discuss. You’re great at thought provoking our minds to THINK … Thank you for that. Charlotte’s Web – the movie – a tear jerker.
    Hope you enjoy my entry. I will be away for a while. I need to take a brain break. I want to write some stories for a memoir I am always writing. And, I’m going on a Christmas cruise. My apologies to the fellow Fictioneers if I do not read as many as I’d like. Packing and fun awaits ….
    Gracias, mi amiga por su apollo. Usted ha sida una maravilla conocer. Estoy alegre!!!
    Espero que el ano nuevo le traiga mucha alegría 😀, dinero 💲y amor ❤️
    Happy Chanukah to you and your family …
    Abrazos,😍
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      I will miss you while you’re gone. But you know where you can find me. 😉 I think you have a lot to write about and I look forward to reading your memoirs. The cruise sounds wonderful, something we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance.

      I’ve always found it odd that one race deems itself above another. No entiendo.

      What would be do without Russell? I hope we never find out.

      Gracias for all of the well wishing.

      Abrazos, besos y paz mi hermana. ❤

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Good grief. I don’t know whether to laugh or facepalm… doing both, actually. A very cute story with a poignant message. What got to me is that the White Council had its own library. Sigh. And about racism… we get soaked in it from childhood without always realizing it. I’ve always loved Grimms’ fairytales. But until recently I wasn’t aware how antisemitic some of them were.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi,

      Now you got me. I didn’t know that Grimms’ fairy tales were antisemitic. 😯

      It is appalling that the white council would have its own library, isn’t it? I wish we could all see each other as just plain human. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • I looked into the English edition I found on gutenberg.org… there jew is translated as miser. A few years ago I did an online course about fantasy and science fiction and we began with grimms’ tales, complete, unabriged edition. I’ll have to find it, because that one was translated correctly. One story is the jew/ miser in the bush, another the good deal. Apart from that, stereotypes. It wasn’t the magical reading experience I was used to. I’ve since realized blatant racism in some more old children’s classics. You just read it without much reflection, love the adventure and don’t realize what else is in there.

        Like

  • At first I though it was a book about Hugh Hefner’s weddings…..Those wascally wabbits and the trouble they bring. Really interesting story I liked it. Garth Williams may have denied any ulterior motives but the way things were then surely he knew the implications 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    It beggars belief that they could have banned such a sweet and innocent book. It shows that there are some definite improvements in our society on some fronts, although there are also those who would like us to take some backward steps.

    For instance, I know that in the UK there are schools and libraries that have banned Enid Blyton’s novels because apparently they’re elitist, racist, xenophobic, and sexist. I can’t say that reading her adventure stories as a child, turned me into any of those things, or that I even noticed they contained them. They were just jolly good adventures. Full stop.

    There’s an expression in the UK, which you might have in the US, too. It’s when you tell someone who’s being pathetic, ridiculous, picky, or opinionated to “get a life”.

    Anyway, I loved your story, as per usual. …And see how it got me going!

    All best wishes
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah

      I’m not familiar with Enid Blyton but I think I’d like to be. “Get a life” is used a lot here in the States, too. I’m glad you liked my story. It seemed to have gotten a few going this week. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh my, what a PERFECT piece! It is hilarious, but used that hilarity to point out the ridiculousness of bigotry in a way that a full frontal statement or essay could never have done. Love it.

    (By the way, I meant to ask about the “Friday Fictioneers” time schedule, since it doesn’t run from Friday to Friday — but from Wednesday to Wednesday. Is there a reason for that? Back when I started, I looked for it on Friday, but then realized that by the next Tuesday, that week’s challenge was at an end, so I didn’t have a week to work on it if I started on Friday. I guess I’m confused. Have I missed a change-over somewhere?)

    Also – Merry Christmas to you and yours in case I don’t get a chance to say so again before the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      If we could all just see each other as God’s precious creations the world would be a better place.

      As for the Friday Fictioneers’ ‘time schedule.’ When I first joined in April 2012 the idea was that the prompt was posted on Wednesday, giving each of us a couple of days to mull things over and post on Friday. I’m not sure exactly when, but it was before I took the helm, people started posting on Wednesday and Thursday. I thought of changing the name to something like Wednesday Writers, but it was already a popular blog challenge. The prompt always goes up on Wednesday and the link closes on Tuesday at 18:55 CST. That’s 6:55 PM for the non military. 😉 I hope that clarifies.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It’s too bad you never get any feedback on your stories, Rochelle… 😉
    As usual, you take a little bit of history and make it a most interesting lesson, mixed in with wonderful story-telling!
    I heart all your stories, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Yes, I was a little down this week about the lack of response. 😉 Not true. I’m so grateful for the feedback I get. This story was too delicious to pass up. Mr. Williams was one of my favorite illustrators growing up and his work still has a lot of influence on my own. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one illustrator for the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

      Thank you for hearting my stories.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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