The tiny violin that went canoeing.

Well, I think it’s time to share another quick little prompt story. Like a lot of the writing that I’ve shared here, this came from the Hamilton Writer’s meeting at Chester’s Beers of the World, in early May.

Nobody had prepared any prompts ahead of time, so I actually used my iphone to get a few random writing prompts for everybody, and I think that they worked out pretty well. The prompts were:

A sleeping bag, an old record player, and a poem.
A tiny violin that went canoeing.

Here’s what I came up with based on that.


“I wish we could have brought the turntable,” Emily muttered as she looked over the clearing and the cozy tent that they’d managed to set up.

“Shall I compare my love to a vintage record?” John said. “The depths of my heart are scratchier and less bored…”

“Spare me the poetry,” she grumbled. “It’s just a good night for music, and I’d prefer something that doesn’t come out of that portable radio. They never play anything good on the FM band out here, anyway.”

“We could sing,” he offered, looking through the duffel anyway.

“I sing a quarter note flat, and you sing a quarter note sharp,” she pointed out. “We don’t make beautiful music together, at least not that way.”

“What the hell – why is this still in the bag?” he exclaimed, bringing a little black case out of the long duffel.

“Umm… well, I thought that was your manly shaving kit or something.”

“Who puts manly shaving gear in a minature violin case?”

“I dunno, somebody who wants to pretend to be a very short gangster? What is it? It was in the case already, from that trip you took to the convention in the city I assumed.”

“Yeah, because I wanted to show off my minature violin at the convention – it’s a nice icebreaker. But for a canoeing and camping trip… what if the strings got broken? What if water got inside the case?”

“Is anything else in your duffel damp?”

“Well… no, I guess not.” He actually went and checked with his hand again. “Dry as a bone, I have to admit.”

“Well, then check on the strings, and if the’re intact, serenade me.” Emily kicked off her boots and snuggled her feet into the sleeping bag. “Does it come with a minature bow as well?”

“Actually yeah.” John unsnapped the case, produced violin and bow, and checked. The strings were all intact but very badly out of tune, and a couple minute’s work was enough to fix that, “What shall I play, milady?”

“Do you know any Bach?”

John stared at her for a very long time in response to that question, and put the base of the violin under his chin. It was short enough that he had to keep his elbow crooked at a sharp angle in order to hold his fingers on the neck of the instrument properly. There was a moment of silence, and then the strains of ‘Pop goes the weasel,’ and Emily’s accompanying laughter, rang out through the nearby forest.

The end.


So, what do you think?


3 Responses to The tiny violin that went canoeing.

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    As a violinist I can appreciate this tale. Actually I used to have a portable turntable that I used to take camping. It was kind of weird bringing it and some LP records, but we didn’t have Ipods, cassette players, or anything small like that then.
    Clever use of the prompts.

    Tossing It Out


  2. Ciara Knight says:

    My son just started violin lessons. It’s been amazing. Great job with the prompts. 🙂


  3. I think it’s funny! Pop goes the weasel. Classic! Amazing what you can create with a prompt. Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: