Saturday, 13 March 2010

62 - For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

So the title of this entry is thought by some to be the shortest story in the world. It was allegedly penned by Ernest Hemingway. So, can you really tell a story with just six words?

To consider "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" to be a story, I guess we look outside of the words and to the picture they conjure, right?

We think of a couple who were having a baby and bought some baby shoes in anticipation and then the wife had a miscarriage.

Or perhaps, in a slightly less harrowing interpretation, the baby was adopted just after birth because the husband left the wife and she couldn't cope on her own.

Or maybe it's a whole lot more banal than that and the couple decided they didn't like the baby shoes they'd just bought and couldn't return them because they'd lost the receipt.

Then again, perhaps on a drink-fuelled night, a student went to an all-night supermarket and bought some baby shoes for a laugh. When sober, he decided he wanted to salvage some money from his misadventure so put out an ad in the local paper.

Alternatively, maybe it's only a six word advert that simply doesn't qualify as a story.

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