“When you want something, Mom, just ring the bell.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier if I just called for you? Ringing a bell seems a little Downton Abbey to me.”
“I don’t like being yelled at, remember, Mom? Remember when you used to read that poem to us?”
Don’t yell at me! Don’t yell at me!
I’ll crawl away and hide.
I’ll detonate to smithereens or shrivel up inside.
Feel free to thumb your nose at me,
Or wiggle all your toes at me,
Or even ring a bell at me,
but please, please please,
DON’T YELL AT ME!
“I can’t believe you remember that poem. Good grief, Henry, that was centuries ago that we read that. Besides, it’s a kids poem – a little kid being yelled at by an adult. That’s not the same thing as me calling down the stairs for a glass of water. I’m not ringing a bell. That’s crazy.”
“Suit yourself, Mom. No bell, no service. It’s my turn to do things my way. Here, why don’t I just put the bell up on this shelf. So you can see it from over there. Anything in the way, Mom? Do you want me to move your oxygen tank over so you can get a better view? There. That’s perfect.”
“Don’t Yell at Me,” by Jack Prelutsky, Something Big Has Happened Here, Greenwillow Books, New York, New York, 1990.
Written in response to a Write on Edge prompt: A bell is a cup until it is struck.