For the Deal Me In story reading challenge, we choose what connection we want between playing cards and stories, and draw random cards to choose stories to read. For me, the clubs mean Chekhov.
“Who Was To Blame?”
by Anton Chekhov
TL;DR: Uncle Pyotr Demyanitch.
Here’s why I’ve come to love Chekhov. He describes this uncle thusly: “…a lean, bilious collegiate councillor, exceedingly like a stale smoked fish with a stick through it….” OMG! I’m cackling with laughter, here!
Okay, so the uncle decides the cook’s kitten should grow up to be a mouser. Although the kitten has the instincts for it, the uncle insists on teaching the kitten by exposing it to a trapped mouse and shouting at it. He shouts, he kicks, he hits, he does everything a reasonable person would expect to put the kitten off mice, and he’s convinced he’s doing everything to encourage it to go for the mouse. The result, of course, is that the kitten grows up to be utterly terrified of mice.
As the narrator puts it, “Fate had destined him to be the terror of cellars, store-rooms and cornbins, and had it not been for education….”
And that’s why I can’t play the piano, in spite of years of lessons. Yes, Miss Stella, I’m looking at you.
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: A character wants to learn something, but can’t, or tries to teach someone something, but can’t.