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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Grandparents are a Menace
By William Stevenson


Grandparents are a Menace!

How often have you felt like telling your parents to butt out you are bringing up your children. You havenít: you must be a saint.

Some parents were trying to teach their young one a very basic part of life and I came across the young fledgling struggling. I gave (him/her? I wasnít sure which) some very basic comforts and left the young one to be comfortable just as any grandparent would.

When I returned the cruel parents had removed the young child from the comforts and told him to get on with the lesson. I once again rectified the situation mumbling under my breath about the stupidity of this young one who did not know when he was well off.

In my next absence he moved further from the comfort I had provided and I was angry that he showed no appreciation whatsoever but with compassion for the young I made him more comfortable and showed that the drink and snacks he may need were right at hand. I then left the scene for a little longer.

This time when I came back he was nowhere to be seen, on rounding the corner of the house I spotted him with his parents who were trying to teach him to fly. You may have guessed it; he was a baby noisy miner and I wasnít his real grandparent, just behaving as if I was. His real mum and dad had shown infinite patience with my ignorance but now had, had enough. They were moving him out of my sphere of influence.

I watched from a distance as they first forced him to fly up onto the lower branches of the shrubs by continually taking him back down and the finally he was flapping more easily into the higher branches of the trees. Soon he could fly better than Dumbo.

Sure, I wasnít related but I had acted as if I was and as if I had a responsibility for him. As grandparents we are more sympathetic with the young and tend not to realise when we are interfering. As a great grandfather I think I am learning to give the parents room because of their responsibilities. One thing I have learned is that every grandchild is different and each of them has something special to love. I had enough trouble bringing up my own five boys and even told my father to butt out on occasions. What makes me think I can do it better? I will not leave out the most important thing for anyone though. I pray for each one everyday because I firmly believe that I am a follower of Jesus because of the only grandparent I ever knew.

Granny Venter was a descendant of the French Huguenots who came to South Africa and a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission. She could not speak English, only High Dutch, and none of us boys could speak Dutch. When she came to visit she was not allowed to speak to us four boys because of her faith but she prayed for each of us. The rest of my grandparents died before I was born and what little I know is what I have been told.

One thing is sure though, Iíll fly away to Glory because of Granny Venter.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/10/08
I wish I could've read more of this, it is very interesting, the shifting Points of View and the last line that hints at more. At first, I wasn't sure what you were talking about, but I had to laugh when I learned that the 'young one' was a baby bird! What a great twist! ^_^
Jan Ackerson 04/10/08
I really like the illustration of the baby bird (but did you mean mynah instead of miner?). I did think, though, the this may have needed a bit more focus; I felt it jumped around a bit.

Love your last sentence about flying away to Glory.
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson04/11/08
The 'noisy miner' is a very different bird to the 'mynah'.
Joshua Janoski04/12/08
At first I didn't understand where this was going, and then I realized that it was a baby bird you were talking about. Clever idea!

The ending regarding your own grandmother felt kind of tacked on to me. I would have liked to hear additional details about her life and seen those details integrated into the story more.

A good piece. I appreciate you sharing it.