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Can Someone Help Me Out with This? : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

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Noizchild
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Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby Noizchild » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:07 am

Lately, I remembered this short story that I read back in sixth grade. The premise goes like this:

There is this dinner party in I believe in this house in India. There is a snake in the house and a competition between the sexes of who doesn't panic when they learn about said snake. An Englishman (I think he's English, I can't fully remember) is the one who notices the maids whispering about the snake. In the end, it seems that the men won because they don't scream or get scared. However, the Englishman turns to the lady of house and asks how she knew about the snake. She smiles and says, "Because, I felt it crawl across my foot."

Has anyone read this story? If so, can you tell me the title of it? It's driving me nuts.
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"

TerryRodgers
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:35 am


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Noizchild
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby Noizchild » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:06 pm

Just looked it up. You're right, thank you.
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"

SangitaSingh
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby SangitaSingh » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:51 am

Nice story. :)
Well. here's the story:

The country is India. A large dinner party is being given in an up-country station by a colonial official and his wife. The guests are army officers and government attaches and their wives, and an American naturalist.

At one side of the long table a spirited discussion springs up between a young girl and a colonel. The girl insists women have long outgrown the jumping-on-a-chair-at-the-sight-of-a-mouse era, that they are not as fluttery as their grandmothers. The colonel says they are, explaining women haven't the actual nerve control of men. The other men at the table agree with him.

"A woman's unfailing reaction in any crisis, " the colonel says, "is to scream. And while a man may feel like it, yet he has that ounce more of control than a woman has. And that last ounce is what counts. "

The American scientist does not join in the argument but sits and watches the faces of the other guests. As he looks, he sees a strange expression come over the face of the hostess. She is staring straight ahead, the muscles of her face contracting slightly. With a small gesture she summons the native boy standing behind her chair. She whispers to him. The boy's eyes widen: he turns quickly and leaves the room. No one else sees this, nor the boy when he puts a bowl of milk on the verandah outside the glass doors.

The American comes to with a start. In India, milk in a bowl means only one thing. It is bait for a snake. He realizes there is a cobra in the room.

He looks up at the rafters-the likeliest place - and sees they are bare. Three corners of the room, which he can see by shifting only slightly, are empty. In the fourth corner a group of servants stand, waiting until the next course can be served. The American realizes there is only one place left - under the table.

His first impulse is to jump back and warn the others. But he knows the commotion will frighten the cobra and it will strike. He speaks quickly, the quality of his voice so arresting that it sobers everyone.

"I want to know just what control everyone at this table has. I will count three hundred - that's five minutes - and not one of you is to move a single muscle. The persons who move will forfeit 50 rupees. Now! Ready!"

The 20 people sit like stone images while he counts. He is saying ". . . two hundred and eighty . . ." when, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the cobra emerge and make for the bowl of milk. Four or five screams ring out as he jumps to slam shut the verandah doors.

"You certainly were right, Colonel!" the host says. "A man has just shown us an example of real control."

"Just a minute," the American says, turning to his hostess, "there's one thing I'd like to know. Mrs. Wynnes, how did you know that cobra was in the room?"

A faint smile lights up the woman's face as she replies. "Because it was lying across my foot."

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Noizchild
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby Noizchild » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:22 am

I asked because I had a dream one night similar to the story.
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"

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MookyMcD
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:33 am


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robjvargas
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby robjvargas » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:04 pm

Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

It's still under construction, but come take a look.

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MookyMcD
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:10 pm

And thus, an industry is born.
Image

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Noizchild
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Re: Can Someone Help Me Out with This?

Postby Noizchild » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:41 am

I can tell you about it if you PM me.
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"


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