Probing questions…

The probe is a delicate dance.  You cannot probe forcefully – it becomes an assault.  To coax  a response that transcends defenses, you must tread carefully.  Gingerly.  Respectfully. Lead  without alarm.

The art of proceeding gingerly is overshadowed by splashier and nosier displays,  temporarily shoving subtlety into the back seat.

A subtle questioning, however, will build a narrative.  The line of breadcrumbs is almost visible.  There is satisfaction in a clever dialogue of questions and answers.  We crave that insight.

We love well-written dialogue on screen and in written word.  The secrets revealed through subtle probing are the payoff.  The gentle dance that underscores the greater commotion is key to pulling the story together.

A fine thread.

 

via Daily Prompt:  Gingerly

photo “Conversation” by tzejen

Miss Almira Gulch

Miss Almira Gulch terrified this child when she came screaming down the Kansas landscape on her bicycle, little Toto trapped in her basket.  The Wizard of Oz delivered us a wonderful villain.Actress Margaret Hamilton barged onto the flat, sepia farm with such ferocity that she seemed to suck the very air out of the place.

While Auntie Em would take the brunt of Gulch’s vitriol, it was Uncle Henry who punctuated her visit when he shut the gate, hitting Gulch on the backside as she went through.

If there was an Oscar for best performance by a gate…surely Henry and Em’s gate would have taken the prize that year!

A search re Hamilton this morning revealed she had been a kindergarten teacher. Imagine what lively books she brought to life for her little students!

Wikipedia quotes Hamilton speaking about her personal appearances before children:

“Almost always they want me to laugh like the Witch. And sometimes when I go to schools, if we’re in an auditorium, I’ll do it. And there’s always a funny reaction, like ‘Ye gods, they wish they hadn’t asked.’ They’re scared. They’re really scared for a second. Even adolescents. I guess for a minute they get the feeling they got when they watched the picture. They like to hear it but they ‘don’t’ like to hear it. And then they go, ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh…!’ The picture made a terrible impression of some kind on them, sometimes a ghastly impression, but most of them got over it, I guess…because when I talk like the Witch, and when I laugh, there is a hesitation and then they clap. They’re clapping at hearing the sound again.”

 

Photo posted by Insomnia Cured Here on Flikr.

Via Daily Prompt:  gate

Girl Whacks Ball

Tetherball was a lifesaver in my childhood.  It filled lonely spots on the playground with a zen-like calmness when played alone.

Sometimes boys made it a ‘cage-fight-to-the death’ during recesses at Hoover Elementary.  tetherball

I was one of the tougher girl players, but not the best. The physics of tetherball were right up my alley. I didn’t need to be a fast runner, but strength and timing were still key.

Funny how a thin pole, a string and a dangling object can keep a cat endlessly entertained.

How much more so an independent little girl!

Via Daily Prompt:  Tether

Photo 9/365 by Alexis Nyal

 

 

“He has a lot of pluck…”

courageous readiness to fight or continue against odds :  dogged resolution

via Pluck | Definition of Pluck by Merriam-Webster

I like this use of pluck.  Sounds so feisty! I think of a small, wiry fellow in a rigid hat as he strides down the street itching for a fight. Turn-of-the-century maybe, watch fob dangling.

Upon first reading the daily prompt today I immediately thought of eyebrows.  Then chickens. Not that the two belong together, although chickens plucking eyebrows would be rather funny.  🙂