“Who in the world could that be?” Samantha wondered aloud, her face scrunched. She and John had been in the middle of complimenting their daughter, Violet, on the remarkable improvement in her attitude and behavior. She’d gone from a sullen, silent teen hiding away in her room to a delightful kid who practically begged for work to do around the house, particularly yard work, in a matter of weeks. Just that weekend alone she’d pulled all the weeds, helped cut the grass, swept the porches and even cleaned the gutters. John and Samantha had decided she deserved a raise in her allowance.  Their unexpected visitor had interrupted before they could tell her the good news.

Samantha followed John to the door. “Can we help you?” John asked the short, red-faced man on their porch.

“Yes! Teach that daughter of yours some manners! My son tells me she’s been looking in our windows…”

“Now, hang on a second!” John yelled back.

As the men continued to argue, Samantha thought about the family who’d just moved in next door. The handsome son who was about Violet’s age, maybe a year or two older. How Violet’s interest in yard-work had coincided with their arrival.

She heard the familiar sound of Violet’s angry footfalls on the steps, culminating with the loud slam of her bedroom door. It appeared things were back to normal. Samantha sighed. It was nice while it lasted.

For Sunday Photo Fiction


Hakuna Matata


“Hey there!  Minor disaster over here.  The baby is getting a rash and I was wondering what brand of diapers you think I should use?”

“Hmmm…well, my sister uses cloth diapers and loves them, no rashes.”

“Really???  That’s awesome.  But doesn’t all the washing get annoying…”

“Not sure.  I’ve never heard her complain.”

“What does she use for formula?  Sammy has so many allergies.”

“She breastfeeds exclusively, I think.”

“Oh, I’d love to do that for Sammy, but my milk never came in.  I worked with that lactation consultant in the hospital till I was practically raw…”


What is that smell?!  Oh, Sammy!  I just changed you!   Could you hold for a moment?”

Before the person on the line could protest, the phone was put down.  Hakuna Matata, the famous song the meerkat and the warthog sing to Simba in The Lion King, could be heard the background as little Sammy’s diaper was quickly changed, his mother narrating the entire operation in graphic detail.

“Okay, I’m back.  That was a nasty one…soooooooooooo where were we?  Breastfeeding!   Could you recommend a good lactation consultant?”

“I can’t ma’am, and I have to clear the line.  911 is for emergencies only.”


For Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

Read more about nuisance 911 calls here.