You call that a tree?

Some of our politicians in Little Rock have expressed concern over Arkansas’ public image.  They believe that many outside our fair state have the perception that we are a bunch of barefoot, buck-tooth (singular), inbred hillbillies with no ambition.

My answer to that is – GOOD!  If it keeps ‘em from moving here, I’m all for it. The ones that do come make no attempt to fit into the culture. They refuse to wear overalls and won’t let their daughters marry until after the eighth grade. No wonder we’re next to last in education (thank you, Mississippi).

If you are new to Friday Flash Fictions, don’t let me scare you away. The source of keen insight and the facilitator of this exercise in brain surgery is the renowned Dr. Ophelia Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs.

From Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyright- Indira
From Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyright- Indira

Alexandria inspected and rearranged the table settings for the twelfth time. She checked the pot roast, her father’s favorite dish, slow-basting in the oven. Tonight, she would introduce her parents to Luke and announce their wedding plans.

Father often boasted of family ties to the old world. A rich ancestry filled with war heroes, business tycoons, inventors, and medical pioneers. The roots of their family tree ran deep, its branches heavy laden with generations of noble individuals who’d contributed greatly to society.

What would they think of Luke, whose family tree was a two-limb pole with a few deformed twigs?



Let's add another branch, baby.
Let’s add another branch, baby.



33 Comments on “You call that a tree?

  1. Dear Rustles-With-Leaves,
    So what you’re saying is that Luke’s family tree don’t fork? Wait til he takes Alexandria home to meet his Sister/Mother. ;). Love your take on the prompt. You’re one of a kind.
    Dr. Ophelia


  2. We laugh large when we laugh at ourselves. Old world indeed. Not that I can actually prove it, but I’ve been told that in on family (related somehow) of twenty children that the eldest brother married the youngest sister…they didn’t add any new branches.

    Thanks for the forward and aft laughs.


  3. The offspring of this graft of old stock and new young sap should produce some strong, hybrid growth 🙂


  4. I seek your story out each week, Russell, and I’m rarely disappointed. Another good one this week, even just the intro is enough to bring a smile!


  5. Only two branches on Luke’s tree? Now, that’s inbred! Has Alexandria really thought about this? (Of course not. How could she, with Young Love in the air??)

    I like the imagery you use to contrast the two families!


  6. Yeah, it definitely needs another branch!

    Emjoyed the story, and really enjoyed your spiffy intro. You can really make us laugh!


  7. To answer the question, Alexandria’s father will have to be restrained from beating Luke with a branch from his family tree for having the audacity to propose to his daughter. It might be safer if Alexandria & Luke eloped and moved to his home state, Mississippi, right?


  8. Poor Alexandria. Let’s hope the sizzling romance with Luke fizzles out before daddy checks the Ancestry website and learns about the 2-limb pole and deformed twigs.


  9. Hah! Nice one Russell. I don’t suppose Luke’s family will be too pleased about the budding relationship either…


  10. I don’t want to even imagine the convoluted family trees some people must have; the kind that make the song “I”m My Own Grandpa” look relatively normal.


  11. Russell, I have always sought to fit into Arkansas culture. I’ve spent my life longing to marry my cousin if only I had one with four legs to marry. Luke sounds like my kind of guy; it only I had a four legged or sufficiently inbred cousin so he could marry into my family. I’m still looking and hoping ….


  12. Inbred hillbillies? Like that’s supposed to be a bad thing …?

    I agree with Ophelia AND her comments. Hilarious! You are one of my “go-to” authors.


      • My uncle lived in Arkansas in the base of the mountains near the state/national park, and all I can remember is that he would wear a pistol when riding his lawn mower as he cut the grass.


  13. A fun take on the photo prompt… I like how detailed you describe the rich ancestry with tycoons, etc., and then give us the short kicker about Luke’s family. But, hey, he quickly won over Alexandria, so I bet they’ve got a charm to them!


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