Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Sad Tale of Wań-tu and Cań-du

Image - Dover Clip Art

Wań-tu and Cań-du were born on the same day; not identical twins, but very much like each other.  Wań-tu grew quite rapidly while Cań-du took quite a bit longer to (as I've heard it said) "grow into her potential." However, in a few years Cań-du was, in her own way, as accomplished as her sister. Wań-tu, who was quite intelligent, was described as ‘Miss Heart and Brains’; Cań-du, more physically developed, was referred to as ‘The Strong One.’

During the first several decades of their lives, Wań-tu and Cań-du worked together with never a quarrel between them. Whatever activity Wań-tu could imagine, Cań-du would help her do it. They were a very successful team, and both of them were happy.

Then one warm Spring-like day -- a day quite like yesterday, in fact -- Wań-tu said, “The front yard looks very messy. In places, it is covered several inches deep with leaves that have fallen from our trees or have drifted into our yard on the wind.  Let’s get the blower, blow the leaves into piles, then rake them into bags. The yard will look so much better.”

Rather petutantly, Cań-du said, “I’m tired. My back is stiff. We're too old for this. The leaves will eventually rot or blow away. Why can't you just leave well enough alone?“

Wań-tu responded, “Our neighbors’ yards are neat and tidy. They have been raked and cleaned. Do you want them to think that we have become so old that we no longer care about the appearance of our home?”

Cań-du, who recently had become somewhat argumentative, said, “All right, all ready! You’ve shamed me into it. I’ll work for a while, but when I say ‘quit,’ I mean it.”

And so Wań-tu and Cań-du worked as one for almost two hours. They cleaned  the side yard, the flower beds, the walks and the driveway, using the air from the blower to push the leaves into big piles under the maple tree in the front yard.

Suddenly Cań-du, who was panting a bit, whose brow was sweaty and whose arms, knees, and back were aching, said, “That’s it! I’ve had all I can stand and I can’t stands no more.” (Lest the reader think that Cań-du doesn’t know how to speak properly, she was quoting Popeye, the Sailorman.)

Wań-tu said, “Don't stop now! We need just a few minutes more. Well, perhaps another half hour to forty-five minutes. We can do it!”

Stubbornly, Cań-du turned off the blowing machine, coiled the electric cord and carried both to the storage shed, leaving Wań-tu gnashing her teeth over an uncompleted task.

Cań-du just said, "Tomorrow is also a day."

~ The End


Tracy said...

WOW! the elements taken and pertained to my own life...often I 'WANT to' but the 'can-do part just gets in the in point; I WANT to run again, but Can't because my knees and back will not allow it!
thanks you for an inspiring post...very thought provoking!

rhymeswithplague said...

There must be some kind of lesson in there somewhere.

Pat - Arkansas said...

RWP: Probably not. That's why it's a sad tale.

Hilary said...

What a creative way to say that you know your limits. And you do a fine Popeye imitation. ;)

George said...

I love your story. I'm surprised that you know Wań-tu and Cań-du as well as I do. I must confess that "I yam whats I yam!"

Arkansas Patti said...

Love the story. My wan-tu and can-du constantly fight. Age has made my can-du a bit cranky also.

Pearl said...

:-) Nicely done (that is to say, told well!)


Reader Wil said...

Beautiful Pat! Are all Pats and Pattis from Arkansas such good writers?