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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: So What Did Darwin Put In That Coffee Anyway?
By James Brown


The screen door banged shut. “Hey mom! Guess what I learned in school today.”

Danny’s mom straightened up from putting Chocolate Chip cookie dough into the oven. “I don’t know, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”

“Well mom, now that I’ve reached fourth grade I’m learning real important stuff.”

“Like what?”

“You remember when we went to the zoo last month and saw the monkeys. I learned today that they are our ancestors. We e…evo…”


“Yeah, that’s it. We evolved from monkeys, but I guess you already knew that, huh?”

“Danny, since you’ve grown into such a big boy, I think it’s time you had your first cup of coffee.”

“You mean it, mom?”

“Sure do kiddo. In fact the water is hot enough right now.”

She pulled two cups down from the cupboard, put a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee into each and filled them with hot water.

“Before I give you this, you have to understand something, okay?”

“Sure mom.”

“You’re going to learn to drink it black, no sugar.”

“Like you?”

“Yes, like me. I didn’t always drink it that way though. I used to put in four spoons of sugar and a lot of milk. Do you know who got me to drink it black?”


“Right. On our first date the waiter brought us coffee. I reached for the sugar bowl when your father stopped me…” She wiped a tear from her eye. “I still remember his exact words – If you drink 30 cups of black coffee in a row, you’ll never add sugar or cream again.”

“I miss daddy.”

She reached over and took his hand. “So do I Danny. I don’t know why God took him so soon.” She took a deep breath and smiled. “Back to the story – I accepted his challenge and took my first sip… now I want you to take yours.”

He reached for his cup and brought it to his mouth. “Yuck! That’s terrible.”

“That’s the same reaction I had and your father laughed at me just like I laughed at you now.”

“How can you drink this stuff?”

“Well, it took 30 cups to do it. Guess when I drank that 30th cup?”


“On our honeymoon… and I’ve been drinking it black ever since.”

Danny smiled, but his smile reversed to a frown. “That’s a good story mom, but what’s that got to do with ev…evo… monkeys?”

“Let me answer with another story. A long, long time ago, 20 billion years to be exact, a tiny speck of dust floated in an empty sea. Somehow that speck exploded and formed the stars and planets. One of those planets was covered with ‘goo’. Lightning struck that ‘goo’ and it emerged as a tiny single celled organism. Over time, it grew and multiplied until it became a fish. When it came near land, it wanted to get out of the water, so it grew legs and hopped onto land – the first frog. Tired of hopping all the time, it changed again, this time growing arms and legs and fur – our ancestor the monkey. After that, his brain grew, he lost some of the fur and became a man.”

“You got it wrong mommy. The princess kisses the frog and he turns into a handsome prince, not a monkey.”

She rubbed his head. “Yes, that’s nothing but a fairy tale, a silly story. It’s also a lie. That is what your teacher is telling you. The first time you hear it, you laugh because it’s funny. After a number of times, it isn’t funny anymore –it sounds appealing. Finally, you reach the point where you believe it – just like I drank 30 cups of black coffee and can’t drink it any other way now.”

“You mean my teacher lied today?”

“She wouldn’t agree. She’s simply telling you the same silly story she’s heard repeatedly. She believes it is true and wants you to believe it too.”

“So what is the truth?”

“The Bible tells us that God created the world in six days … now take another sip of your coffee.”

Danny does and makes another face.

“You’ll get used to the taste and actually grow to like it. When you do, let it remind you that if you aren’t careful, you’ll grow to like the lie of evolution.”

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This article has been read 299 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/25/11
Interesting way of "teaching the truth" - especially to a vulnerable sponge such as the child's mind. Nice job...God Bless~
stanley Bednarz08/25/11
I read this one first, because your title took me by storm. A hook for a title. Excellent. But then, you didn't disappoint in the body of the writ. I loved how you used the coffee as a vehicle in the story, and the imagery it gave us with the boy trying to swallow the bitter reality. Yes, if we continue to sip from the pseudo science of evolution, we in fact will get accustomed to the taste. Well done mystery writer.
Leslie Schonfeld08/25/11
Well done! I enjoyed it.
Noel Mitaxa 08/26/11
Clever parallel story here - and I'm with the skeptical monkey at the zoo. "Evolution? Nah, can't be true. You can't tell me I'm my keeper's brother!!"
Good fun stuff.
Leola Ogle 08/27/11
Great story-good analogy! Loved it from beginning to end! Uh...but I hate coffee...to this day! Maybe I should try the 30 cup thing!lol God bless!
Juliette Chamberlain-Bond08/28/11
The subtle irony in the story
helps the reader to appreciate the context in which the story is told.
I wish more parents would immediatly repudiate the lie of evolution before the child's mind had absorbed it.

Your analagy is superb.
Glynis Becker08/28/11
Great job! I too love that analogy and think it's a really clever take on the topic.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/07/11
This is a fun story and it made me chuckle and appreciate Mom's approach.

Remember to capitalize Mom and Daddy when they are being used as a name.

Congratulations for ranking 6th in level 3!