Selling Seashells, by Prof. Shyla Shakespeare

Lorraine’s Prompt:  So, tale weavers, your assignment this week: take a nursery/Mother Goose rhyme, tongue twister or song, and give it a new spin. Modernize it, analyze it, hypo-theoreticalize it, satirize it, serialize it, fantasize it . . . then weave a tale around it.  My choice:  “She sells seashells by the seashore…”

Hi—I’m the one who sells seashells by the seashore…

The other girl got all the media buzz, but only because she

Resembles a K-dashian.  Real heroines are rarely glamorous.

We’re too busy making a living, making a statement—strong or

Subtle; in case we become role models for generations—

Not this year’s fashion face in runway shows, pop music videos.

I used to take some flack from fools who thought selling seashells

By the seashore was as dumb as peddling ice to Eskimos—

Well, “sales” is a fine art.

You have to persuade potential buyers that each shell is

Not merely unique, exquisite to look at—it tells its own story.

As you hold it in your hand, turning it this way ‘n that

In the glittering sunlight, you imbue every whorl,

Chamber, scalloped ridge with meaning and emotion.

You mix a little history and oceanography with myth

And magic…and dollops of romantic imagination.

Spin a tale, weave the yarn, talk about epic figures—

Whether they actually existed or not.

My personal standby that nearly always works, is to

Get misty-eyed and tell about my handsome father—

The sailor who’s never come home from the sea—and my

Mermaid princess mother who died giving birth to me.

It’s my loyal love and longing that have pinned me to this

Spot on the sandy shore—summer, winter, spring and fall—

Selling seashells to keep pizza on the table till Papa returns…

Most tourists can’t resist—they’ll buy a bucket or two. 

Hey, it paid my college tuition at Smith—

I got my Masters in English Lit, and a B.A. in Psychology.

Do you like this one—it would make a dandy candy dish, no?

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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10 thoughts on “Selling Seashells, by Prof. Shyla Shakespeare

  1. I love this! When I was in college, my teacher had to rewrite nursery rhymes for an exercise, but we never had to write about them. That is very interesting indeed. And I love what you did with the seller of seashells.


  2. Wonderful selling seashells. Love the sales pitch! Now I understand the rhyme much better, lol. Reads like you had fun with this. I’m glad — that was the idea. Create smiles for yourself and other readers.


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