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Chili and Canaries

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Secad MS, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. This is a story I wrote for my Women in Literature class. The assignment was to write something with symbolism in it. I bet it is fairly apparent. :p In your post, I encourage you to guess the meanings of the symbols.

    Chili and Canaries​
    “Ay! Quiet!” Phyllis exclaimed, rattling the canary cage with the wooden spoon when the bird’s excessive singing started to irritate her.

    She was cooking white turkey chili for her husband’s dinner meeting later tonight, and she had to cook it perfectly or her husband would be irritated. This dinner could lead to a promotion that would greatly increase their income, meaning she wouldn’t have to perform the menial tasks of cooking and cleaning anymore. She might even be allowed to work outside the home, as their only child was fourteen and could certainly handle herself home alone for a few hours after school. But no, Collin insisted that having a stay-at-home mother would be good for their child. She agreed with that at first, but it was ridiculous at this age.

    Now that she thought of it, her daughter was the one who suggested getting a bird, she thought, glancing right at the cage in the kitchen. As the chili simmered, she pushed the tossing spoon and fork under her arm, grabbing the bowl off the counter to toss the spinach and lettuce in it from the refrigerator before she shredded and mixed the rest of the ingredients for the Caesar salad. Vick said that a bird would be a good way to bring some life into the home, with both song and the presence of a non-human being.

    “Mm. What she really wanted was a pet that could talk.” Phyllis mumbled, shredding the romaine heads. “Thank goodness we got her to settle for a canary.”

    Almost right on cue, the yellow canary flew off its perch on to the bars of the cage, rattling them in an irritating manner.

    “Yes, yes, Elton, you want out. Not now. We haven’t clipped you yet.” The apron-wearing housewife responded dismissively. “Besides, you really don’t want droppings around here before your daddy comes home for the important dinner, don’t you?”

    “Mo-om!” Vicky called from the computer room from the hall. “Stop harassing him! It’s not his fault he needs to run around a bit.”

    “Vicky, just go play your computer games.” She replied. “Oh, yes, don’t forget that you have to avoid the dining room for tonight. It’s an adults-only business dinner.”

    That quieted the interaction. Now to the dressing. Since Collin wanted nothing already pre-made, Phyllis was mixing mayonnaise and spices into a rather thick dressing. She really needed to thin that down. Well, why? Everything else was also prepared to some degree. She got the mayonnaise from the supermarket along with the plastic containers of spice. It would be really simple to just grab the creamy Caesar from the fridge door and say she made it.

    “Sure, let’s do that.” Phyllis said to herself, dumping the gloppy mixture into the sink. “I’ll put some orange peel or whatever on top to make it seem extra special.”

    The canary chirped in response.

    “Certainly.”

    Another chirp.

    “He’ll never notice.”

    Chirp.

    A pause.

    “Why am I having a conversation with a silly canary? All you know is your cage, and maybe a pet store.” Phyllis snorted.

    The canary twittered into a short song, perhaps as a mocking gesture, she thought.

    “Here. Have some lettuce.” Phyllis poked a piece of spinach through the bars of Elton’s cage to encourage him to be quiet.
     

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