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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Humble Pie
By Amy Kuncaitis


Daniel ran his hand over the solid oak door then, brushed his hand over the gold nameplate which encased the name of his eldest brother: Mr. John Walsh, Owner.

Daniel sighed, “I know, I know someday, right?”

Sensing his brother’s discouragement, John put his hand on his brother’s shoulder lending empathy to how Daniel was feeling.

“Yup, someday ‘lil bro, your name will be that door”. John pointed down the hall to the one office door without a gold nameplate on it.

Daniel rolled his eyes at his brother’s attempt at encouragement.

The pair continued down the prestigious, four door hallway. Each door led to elaborate offices which were exclusive to the owners of the company. Three of these offices were occupied, each by Daniel’s brothers. Then, there was the final door at the end of the ‘owner’s hallway’ (as it was referred to by the employees). Daniel knew that door was reserved for a gold toned plate engraved with his name followed by the title he longed to be known as: owner. His schooling was now complete; all he had left was another year or so of the necessary hands on work experience, he then would be ready to move into the ‘owner’s hallway’.

Daniel made his way around the corner and down the small, narrow hallway, where the employee offices were. Daniel ran his hand over his hollow office door then let out a sigh as he turned the cheap, silver plated handle; he couldn’t help once again notice there was no nameplate on his door. Daniel felt resentful as he was reminded that even though he was one of the brothers, he was not yet an owner. He felt like a ‘Joe nobody’. Even if he was seven years younger, he deserved to be with his brothers in the ‘owner’s hallway’. The more he thought about this, the more it began to fester inside until Daniel couldn’t take it anymore.

Fuming, Daniel stewed as he walked down ‘his’ hallway, turned a sharp corner, stomped down the ‘owner’s hallway’, and flung open the door to his oldest brother’s office.

“This is crazy! I shouldn’t have to do this anymore!”

Daniel slammed a pile of papers on his brother’s large, mahogany desk and flopped down in one of the two plush, black leather chairs trying to be very dramatic in his approach. He then crossed his arms, turned his body away from his brother and toward the large picture window that filled the wall adjacent to his brother’s desk (and produced a million dollar view-of course!) and began to sulk. John tried to hold back his grin as he watched his brother vent his frustration.

“You know Dan; I have been right where you are. I do know what it is like to feel like you are on the bottom of the totem pole. You know, all us brothers have had to work down ‘the other hall’. I know it is hard being the last remaining brother in ‘that hall’ but your time is coming, you just gotta hang in there a little while longer. Remember, a slice of humble pie does us all some good once in a while.”

“A slice? Try all you can eat buffet!” Daniel was now trying to hide a slight grin but still wanted to be upset.

“Listen Dan, there’s a lot to be said about having worked down ‘the other hall’. Our employees will respect you so much more as the owner and their boss when they know you have done the very job they are doing. They will know you have worked your way to the top in this company by just that- hard work, not just by having the right last name. That is what Dad always taught us. I know he is looking down from heaven right now, so proud of you for working your way up in the company and not just being an owner by association. Now, get back to your office and keep going lil’ bro.”

“Alright, I’m going.” Daniel sheepishly picked up the stack of papers he had earlier thrown on his brother’s desk and headed for the door. With one foot out the door, Daniel turned around and peeked his head back in the door,

“Hey, you got time for lunch with your little brother today? We can eat in my office; I’ll be serving…humble pie.”

John chuckled, “A little humble pie does everyone some good now and then Dan, I’ll be there!”

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany01/25/08
Very nice writing!! Good sentence structure and good ending!
Couple of suggestions - your POV shifted from each character - you might want to stay in the head of only one...and when you have quotations like this:

"My name is Bob," he said.

the comma is always inside the quotation marks whether single of double.

Hope this helps! You write well for a beginner!!:)
Yvonne Blake 01/28/08
Right on topic! I like your title.
Good descriptions and dialogue.
Good job...keep writing.
LauraLee Shaw01/29/08
Very realistic story line, and your message is SO true...though, this kind of pie is not on my diet plan. ;)
Beth LaBuff 01/30/08
I totally agree. Every employer should first be an employee. Great writing. I like your creativity.
James Dixon01/30/08
“Hey, you got time for lunch with your little brother today? We can eat in my office; I’ll be serving…humble pie.”

I loved the use of humour to show how the little brother had learnt his lesson.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/30/08
Great story, an enjoyable read.
Temple Miller01/30/08
Terrific story employing the proverb. Good job.
Dee Yoder 01/30/08
You nailed the topic and characterizations. Good job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/30/08
Your story is very interesting. Doesn't humble pie taste terrible?
Beckie Stewart01/30/08
This was very good. I liked it a lot.
Sara Harricharan 01/30/08
What a unique twist on 'humble pie'. It sure puts a new meaning to the phrase. I liked the realistic office setting, my only note was that Daneil seemed to have a very quick turnaround, it was good, and ended the story in time, but with the intesity of the emotions I saw building up in him, the end was a little 'smooth' where he just walks out, all humbled and invites his older bro to lunch. Otherwise, pretty good writing! ^_^