Language Lesson

 

muddy shoes

Ray ran into the house from the backyard to find his aunt standing just inside the door. “Do you mind me?” his aunt scolded.

Ray was confused by the question and the way it was asked. “What do you mean?”

She repeated her question, clearly angry at her nine-year-old nephew.

Ray stood frozen, trying to decide how to answer a question he didn’t understand. He’d heard people use the word “mind,” but never the way his aunt had used it. His mother might ask him if he would mind doing this or that for her. His father would say that his mother constantly changed her mind.

Ray finally interpreted his aunt’s question about whether he minded her to mean, “Do I bother you?”

“No, I don’t mind you at all!” Ray was proud of himself for figuring out what she meant by her question, but he still didn’t know why she asked it. So he posed that question to her. “Why do you want to know if I mind you?”

Exasperated his aunt said, “I told you to not soil your clothes before we left for church. But look at you! You’ve got mud all over your pants cuffs and your shoes are crusted with mud.”

Ray looked down and saw that his pants and shoes were, indeed, quite soiled. Then he realized that when she asked, “Do you mind me?” she meant “Do you listen to me?”

This was how a nine-year-old boy first discovered how nuanced the English language can be.


This post is for today’s one-word prompt, “soil.”

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40 thoughts on “Language Lesson

  1. Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 9:53 am

    OK Ray, a question, how do you comment on LittleFears site. I wrote a post mimicking her and wanted to ask her, if he/she is not offended by it. But my comments keep disappearing..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Good question. Some bloggers moderate comments, especially when someone comments for the first time, and must approve them before they show up on their posts. You may see a message after you submit your comment that tells you your comment is being moderated. Depending upon the blogger’s schedule and when they view your comment, it can take a while before it actually shows up.

      Or maybe it’s just that she was offended by your comment and deleted it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 10:08 am

        No, my comments are disappearing like your farting..

        Liked by 2 people

          • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 10:11 am

            Hmm.. I should just delete this post before I hear the hear the world sue..

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 11:17 am

              Nah. You know what they say: imitation is the finest form of flattery.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 11:18 am

              Hey are you seriously saying it or just pulling my leg..

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 11:52 am

              What in the earth does that mean?

              Liked by 1 person

        • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 9:29 pm

          I’ve had this happen too – more with blogger sites. (not wordpress) the ones where you have to add your name/e-mail to respond. It will disappear. Sometimes, I forgot to put in my wordpress web address so it disappears into space.

          Like

          • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 9:34 pm

            Yeah, I hear you.. I thought at least the moderation awaiting message will be displayed but no.. Disappeared..

            Like

            • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 9:55 pm

              I have experienced that before

              Like

  2. Kijo July 18, 2017 / 11:47 am

    “Ray stood frozen, trying to decide how to answer a question he didn’t understand. He’d heard people use the word “mind,” but never the way his aunt had used it. His mother might ask him if he would mind doing this or that for her. His father would say that his mother constantly changed her mind.”

    The birth of a philosopher.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 11:51 am

      And a serial farter( Noun. One who farts regularly)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kijo July 18, 2017 / 11:53 am

        Farting and philosophy go hand and hand– hopefully not literally IN HAND though, maybe the post-docs.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 11:56 am

          That is an unpleasant scenery
          Thank you for ruining my dinner..

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kijo July 18, 2017 / 11:58 am

            You’re welcome. Philosophy doesn’t go well with dinner anyway. Maybe drinks, but not dinner.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 12:01 pm

              I don’t drink. Hmm.. Not ever since Socrates died from it. And he wasn’t even a regular.. (pun intended)

              Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 12:16 pm

            Some heavy duty philosphical thought going on here. Or is it just passing gas?

            Liked by 3 people

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 12:18 pm

              First tell me the meaning of Yes in your earlier comment you serial farter

              Liked by 2 people

            • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 12:21 pm

              Actually I’m a cereal farter. Too many bran flakes, I’m afraid.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 12:23 pm

              Stop eating from your son’s bowl of flakes..

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 1:47 pm

              Cannibal, Cannibal..

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 2:45 pm

              Flakes are wheat..

              Like

            • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 2:51 pm

              Arent cannibals, by definition, carnivores?

              Like

            • Sight11 July 18, 2017 / 2:55 pm

              I am defeated Sensei.. You are Darth Vader.. Now to train young Skywalker.. Train him I must..
              Force not.. Powerful Enough..
              Learn must.. He..
              To Fart.. His Father like..

              Liked by 2 people

  3. Kijo July 18, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I don’t think those are church socks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kijo July 18, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      Oops, sorry, that thought just came out of my hands.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      I forgot what the post was about – must have been gassed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. newepicauthor July 18, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Bodily functions seem to be a source of fascination here today and most people have little control over when this happens although there are others who can command their rear ends to discharge gas as often as they desire. Speaking about philosophers, Pythagoras thought that iy was a bad idea to eat beans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      Was it Pythagoras who said, “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you fart!”?

      Like

      • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 9:33 pm

        I know they are not fruit – legumes….but beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 9:33 pm

          WAIT!!! Legumes rhymes with FUMES. There’s a connection there.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango July 18, 2017 / 10:11 pm

            Also with “blooms.” So maybe the flumes from legumes smell like blooms. Or not!

            Like

            • Sandi July 18, 2017 / 10:15 pm

              I’m pretty certain your wife would say it’s NOT like smelling roses.

              Liked by 1 person

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