Thursday, March 9, 2017

Week 3: Thurberesque Story and Word Cloud

Treasures Under The Bed
Mother does not keep treasures under the bed, for the space between the floor, which collects copious amounts of condensation when the room is heated to a barely comfortable temperature (the building engineer hired specifically to render the house livable may be asked further details), and the base of the bed is slight, although the gap has swallowed (temporarily) various sandals, other footwear, and… Temperance's "treasures" . They keep themselves there. Little Temperance's treasures must be regarded as objects hidden beyond the reach of their owner. Mass-produced hair baubles and inexpensive toddlers' trinkets boast little intrinsic value.
Prudence, the eldest of five siblings is a responsible sort who stores her shoes, clothes and other useful possessions in stiff plastic boxes under her bed, lined up in an order known only to her. Her treasures are not hidden, but rather concealed, removed from sight.
Opposite Prudence, Charity and Clarity share a bunk bed, with a trundle, unused, for three girls in one room is already a strain, especially on Prudence. Charity and Clarity share neither their sister's sense of responsibility nor her preference for order. Rubbish of an extraordinary variety collects under the bunk bed and as none is trapped in the trundle, but rather under it, Mother's tidying up is quite an onerous task. Mother resigned herself years ago to the fact that any attempt to insist that Charity and Clarity, or even one of them, retrieve even a small portion of the varied rubbish, would be futile. Neither did Mother convince either one to make use of the unused trundle for storing close at hand, but concealed, such things as younger sisters are wont to keep, whether in stiff plastic boxes or in the vacant trundle.
Clifford, their younger brother, the lone male, other than Father, who has been much too old for treasures under the bed since even before Prudence appeared, two weeks late (though a responsible girl she neither had nor has a proper sense of timing) keeps all manner of spare parts and necessary tools in the unused trundle under his bunk bed, which he had shared with his younger sister until she passed the age at which a sister, even a younger sister, shares a bunk bed with a brother, certainly an older brother. He was quite willing to avail himself of his vacant trundle for zealous storage of bits and bobs of wooden and mechanical items the owners of which had relinquished all claims. Mother did not share his enthusiasm for either the bits or the bobs and was on occasion confounded by Clifford's zealotry. Her pride in his whirring fans and functioning flashlights were all that prevented her from taking the broom and removing all traces of her offspring's cache of zealotry. Possibly her cache of bits and bobs of beads and sundries had some influence in this respect as well. She denied all tendencies of zealotry with such a zealousness that Father was fearful to remind her of them. He was not a meek fellow. However he preferred to avoid any reference to anything inedible smaller that a grain of rice, which precluded discussing all but ten, possibly fourteen, of Mother's beads.
The bottom bunk of Clifford's bunk bed granted Temperance her first escape from her infants' berth. Clifford graciously relinquished his claim and transferred to the top bunk when his younger sister matured enough to be freed from the confines of her crib.
After an unfortunate fall immediately upon mounting his bicycle en route to the festivities at the local pool which heralded the opening of the school year – Father bid him a good evening and as soon as his back was turned promptly heard a "thud" as his only male heir landed on the sidewalk – a tibial fracture necessitated a reversal of somnolent arrangements. (This inopportune event revealed a small crater in the boy's tibia, which the doctor – who had recently, assisted by his adept team, straightened Clarity's scoliosis – assured Father would be rectified by a bone graft if Clifford encountered another tibial mishap.)
Temperance matured further, as did Clifford. Consequently her departure from her brother's chamber became imminent. Prudence's planned departure from her childhood home to a newly-weds' apartment would supposedly release a bed in the elder girls' room. However she and her then betrothed canceled their nuptials – with no regard for the plight of her modest sibling.
Prudence, with the knowledge that she would currently remain at home, purchased additional stiff, plastic boxes. Charity and Clarity continue to attract all type and manner of rubbish. Clifford carefully maintains his hoard of tools and whatnots. Temperance, no longer a toddler, has ever more hair baubles.

Cats, and Clifford's Treasures
The original owner of the house had allocated the space now serving as a laundry room for a tabernacle. The family demanded a more ample hut and therefore roofed the cramped tabernacle and designated a front porch as a spacious venue in which to fulfill the commandment of a week's dwelling in a temporary domicile. The laundry room itself soon became a haven for feral cats, Mother's pet of choice. Mother is an unabashed Crazy Cat Lady who frequently hosts numerous felines of various sizes and ages, including newborn, in the laundry room, which is bitterly cold during the winter and inexorably hot during the summer due to its complete lack of insulation. When the tool cabinet situated in line with the machines which give the laundry room its purpose, had been in said room, kittens romped around, and in it. Clifford claimed the cabinet and availed himself of its contents, the tools and whatnots, not the kittens, for whom he had no use. Due to the presence of an almost perpetually inclement temperature and an almost continuous presence of furry beasts, Clifford entered and exited the laundry room as quickly as possible, leaving in his wake a trail of tools and whatnots. Mother tired of tidying up after Clifford, but recognized that the furry creatures hampered his attempts at maintaining order. She resourcefully placed the tool and whatnot cabinet opposite Clifford's bed, thereby limiting the unsightly trail to the confines of his room, which was rather advantageous for the boy, who had adopted more treasures than the trundle could accommodate.

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