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Bitter Harvest

"Oh Mum, for God's sake," moaned Katie from the doorway, "we were just asked to bring a contribution, not feed the five thousand."

Susan placed a red gingham tea towel over the basket bulging with freshly baked poppy-seeded bread plaits, home made marmalade, piles of gleaming apples, and gently curving pristine yellow bananas. She stepped back to admire her efforts as her mind drifted to a scene thirty years earlier when, wracked with embarrassment and nerves, she'd confronted her own mother about a singular lack of enthusiasm for the church harvest festival.

"For Christ's sake, Susan," her mother had said, idly flicking ash onto a grubby dressing gown, heavily stained with the previous night's inaccurate consumption of red wine, "if they're needy, they're needy, and beggars shouldn't be choosers."

Susan handed the basket to Katie.

"No daughter of mine," she though grimly, "is going to rock up at the harvest festival carrying a can of peas and a half a packet of cornflakes."

Story by:

Sandra Crook

30 October 2012

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