Iowa Writes

Once Upon a Table: The Tale of the Life of a Spoon

Once upon a time there lived a spoon. It is to be made sure that the reader note that this spoon did indeed live once upon a time. He lived how most spoons lived and found his life no more interesting than you and I would, for what is there possibly to live for in the life of a spoon? The other spoons were equally discontented with their life as this spoon (the spoon who lived once upon a time), and frankly for all spoons then and now life is of the dull and monotonous sort.

The spoon who lived made his home with many other spoons crammed tight in the kitchen drawer of a farm house made of old pine wood with peeling white paint. All he had ever known was the drawer, the table, a mouth or two, and the various foods or liquids with which he was dipped in. This was also all the other spoons had ever known, and the drawer too had little knowledge of anything else from the spoons themselves and a few hands which pull on it from time to time. The spoon (whom has been said to have lived once upon a time) and the drawer were friends as much as any kitchenware may be, though their friendship consisted largely of long drawn out creaks and metallic sighs. As simple as that friendship was, the drawer and the spoon were quite content with it, as there was little else for them in their drab and monotonous lives.

Now there came a day when the spoon was laid out on the table for supper and met a dish. He and the dish fell quite in love and he said to her: "I am going to run away with you, and you will be my wife, and we shall be happy." The dish agreed and they planned to flee the table at the first chance they got. Halfway through the family's evening meal that chance came when the farmers son bumped the side of the dish (upon which the spoon was resting) and sent both of them crashing to the floor. The spoon fell and was unharmed, but the dish smashed into a thousand pieces and he was left alone.

Later that night as the spoon lay weeping, smashed between his fellow spoonsÉhe asked the drawer why he would never be free to love and leave the kitchen where they were both imprisoned.

"I am sorry for your loss," replied the drawer, moaning with sympathy. "But in a life such as that of a wooden drawer or a lonely spoon, we cannot hope for more than the next glimpse of light so that even in our misery, we can insignificantly make someone else's life a little easier."

The spoon lay all night and thought of this in the cold dark interior of the drawer, in-between the rows and rows of other spoons—all dreaming of the morning sun and mushy bowls of milk-drenched cereal, and just as the sun was rising he thought to himself: "If all I may ever be is a spoon, at least I shall do that best...even if I must try to rise above it and fail one thousand times."

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Meredith Glasson-Darling writes: "I grew up in West Branch, Iowa, out in the countryside between two cornfields and started writing to pass the time on road trips up to see my grandparents in Cherokee, Iowa. I currently am a sophmore at the University of Iowa majoring in Russian and International Studies."

This page was first displayed
on August 20, 2006

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