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Every Saturday afternoon in the park, the ritual begins anew. The children encircle him, leaning on elbows or hugging knees, an orderly scattering much like a cluster of ancient standing stones. He’s aged, his skin the color of old parchment, with gnarled hands that quiver as he speaks, an unkempt beard somewhere between the color of car exhaust and dirty dishwater, and eyes that sparkle in the craggy hollows of his wind leathered face. The smell of cheap pipe tobacco and dog kibble clings to his wrinkled overcoat and baggy drawstring pants and the parks resident pigeons and crows seek out the breadcrumbs that fill his pockets.

He starts each story the same way, tapping out the bowl of his briarwood pipe only to refill it, and then sending lazy rings of smoke skyward to the continued delight of the assembled children. The ritual thus begun, he begins to speak into the unnatural hush of this gathering of ensorcelled children.

“Once upon a time…”

Smile if you're stupid,
laugh if you understand.

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The following comments are for "Uncle Aesop"
by Bartleby

I love the ending
I think this story is great. the imagery is beautiful, though not attaractive. It's a beautiful shade of grey, essentially. Your ending really catches the reader offguard, and it really leaves you wondering what just happened, but then you read it a second time and the beauty truly strikes you.

( Posted by: the Co.konspirator [Member] On: July 7, 2002 )

an exercise in description
It's an excellent exercise in descriptive writing. You use the connotations of words well to say a lot more than you literally say.

( Posted by: Seanspacey [Member] On: July 8, 2002 )

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story time
Very descriptive writing, while still leaving enough blanks for readers to build their own picture of ol' Uncle Aesop. But I have to agree with Jessica about the story.
What story is the old man telling? :)

( Posted by: Apathy's tears [Member] On: July 8, 2002 )

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