Stories concerning Children
(Click on the title of the work to read it)

Everything:  A short story by Ingabold Bachmann about a father's growing sense of the importance of his child and of the loss of that child. Here is a quotation from the story:

I began to look at everything in relation to the child. My hands, for instance, which would some day touch and hold it, our third-floor apartment, the Kandlgasse, the VII District, the ways that one could take criss-cross through the town right down to the Prater Meadows, and finally the whole world, with all that’s in it, which I would explain to the child





Renoir's "Mother and Children"




The Ransom of Red Chief  by O"Henry. A short comedy of the kidnapping of a little boy who turns out to be more than his captives can handle. A quote from the story:

Yes, sir, that boy seemed to be having the time of his life. The fun of camping out in a cave had made him forget that he was a captive himself. He immediately christened me Snake-eye, the Spy, and announced that, when his braves returned from the warpath, I was to be broiled at the stake at the rising of the sun.






A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. A short tale about a boy's Christmas eve spent at a relative's house:

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder.



The Rocking Horse Winner  by D. H. Lawrence centers around a young boy and his mother and the boy's wild rides on his rocking horse. An excerpt:

And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time though nobody said it aloud. They heard it at Christmas, when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery. Behind the shining modern rocking-horse, behind the smart doll's house, a voice would start whispering: "There must be more money! There must be more money!" And the children would stop playing, to listen for a moment. They would look into each other's eyes, to see if they had all heard. And each one saw in the eyes of the other two that they too had heard. "There must be more money! There must be more money!"



The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams

 This short story, by an author who was himself a doctor, is about a physicians visit to a home an an attempt to examine a little girl who is afraid of him and furiously resists having her throat examined.

I had to smile to myself. After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were contemptible to me. In the ensuing struggle they grew more and more abject, crushed, exhausted while she surely rose to magnificent heights of insane fury of effort bred of her terror of me.


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