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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Much Ado about Nothing (not about the play) (07/28/11)

TITLE: Food, Snacks, and Belly Rubs
By Kathy Stevens


Wonderful smells come wafting from the kitchen while Mom is preparing lunch. The aroma of her famous stew permeates the whole house. The neighbor, Mabel, stands over her shoulder watching while she dispenses the latest gossip.

“. . . and I said to her, ‘Bernice, all that dog wants is food, snacks and belly-rubs.’ She’s always dressing that poor little thing up in all kinds of outfits. You’d think it was a doll and not a living animal. I feel so sorry for it. I told her, “I sure wouldn’t do such a thing. I give my dog food, snacks and belly-rubs. That’s all she wants. I was just shocked at the last dress she put on it. The poor thing couldn’t even walk without stepping on the edges. I was just mortified. I sure wouldn’t abuse my little dog that way. Oh my, look at the time. Well, I’ve got to go now, see you later.”

“Goodbye, Mabel, it was good to . . . talk to you.”

Hearing the door shut, Jenny sneaks into the kitchen hoping to avoid detection by Mabel.

She whispers, “Mom, what was that all about?”

“Oh . . . it was much ado about nothing.”


“Well, you know Mabel. She never has much to say about anything and a lot to say about everything.”

“All I heard was something about food, snacks and belly-rubs. I think she also has an ‘I’ disease.”

“Her eyes? I didn’t see anything wrong with her eyes.”

“Didn’t you hear her talk about how ‘I’ would do or wouldn’t do everything? I call that an ‘I’ disease when people are focused on themselves.”

Mom chuckles, “Oh, I thought you were talking about her vision.”

“Well, it kind of is about her vision – her inner vision. Whenever I hear a lot of what ‘I’ would do or wouldn’t do, I call it much ado about nothing, too. Those people usually don’t have a lot to say – at least not a lot that would change anything in the world. I think some people just like to hear the sound of their own voice.”

Jenny stands silent for a moment deep in thought. Then slowly sweeping her toes across the cool tiles in the floor, she says, “I think words count, don’t you Mom? I love to listen when you and Dad talk about things. You always have such wisdom. I listen to every word. I take it in and then when I need to, I to put it into practice. My friends think I’m really smart when I repeat it to them.”

“Why, thank you sweetheart, I’m so glad to know that you listen and apply it. Parents seldom know about these things if we’re not told.”

“Yep, I’m really a lucky kid. You and Dad taught me a bunch of good things – much ado about plenty.”

Mom quickly dries her hands in her apron and gives Jenny her biggest hug. “Yes, and for a bonus, you can have food, snacks and a belly-rub any time you want it.”

“And I get to pick out my own little dresses?”

Mom is about to double over laughing. She says, “You sure can. Oh! Help me with this dish. I’m laughing so hard, I’m about to drop it.”

“I’m not sure I’ll be much help right now, the giggles have got me, too, but I’ll save you.” After saving the precious dish, Jenny throws her arms around her mother. “I love you, Mom. You’re much ado about plenty – plenty of love.”

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This article has been read 388 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon08/05/11
I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I had to chuckle at what the little girl said about the neighbor. I disease. Bless you for such an inspiring story.
Rachel Stone08/05/11
A fun glimpse into a mother's kitchen...nice job.
Virgil Youngblood 08/06/11
A great "catchy" title and a story that did not disappoint. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/10/11
I like this. All of the characters were great.

Try to challenge yourself more by writing about the topic without using the name of the topic in you story. Your story line is strong and fit the topic, but I seldom hear anyone say "much ado about nothing" these days. Using a more modern phrase would make the dialog more believable.

Having said that, it really was an enjoyable read with a great message and a nice bit of humor too.
Nancy Sullivan 08/13/11
"Food, snacks and belly rubs." That keeps my two little dogs happy ---and they tolerate the scarves around their necks. Your story flows very well and has warm fuzzies throughout. Nice job.