SL 050103 AN APPLE A DAY – John Frederick

Every girl in America has been warned to never take a bite out of a shiny red apple offered by a seemingly innocent old lady. Unless of course you’re the kind of girl who would like to sleep in a glass coffin on the off chance that Prince Charming might come riding by and take a fancy to someone considerably older than himself and known to keep company with seven obnoxious, dust-covered dwarves.

Why then do so many pretty young things flush with newly surging estrogens pause before this sweet-shop’s open window.  Their giggling ceases as they let their eyes drift longingly from object to object: the glass jar of molasses candies, the gingerbread pony, peanuts overflowing their cardboard box, the round cake doughnuts like Grandma used to make before she died of too many wrinkles and nasty breathe.  They don’t even miss the cookie that has fallen between the blue box and the green window frame. “Lodging” “Good Board” What do those words mean?

Their eyes are careful to avoid the apple on the top shelf but slip back and away from the very bright one on the bottom shelf.  What would it feel like to just take one bite? Would it be better than that kiss Sammy gave Leah behind the wall at choir practice or when Mike handed  Brigette the new sheet music and his hand accidentally passed upon her chest?  After all none of them has a jealous step-mother or even ruby lips so maybe . . . . No! It isn’t worth the risk. 

But there at the back of the top shelf is a yellow apple.  Golden Delicious my mother calls them. ” Yes, we’ll take that one.  Could you cut it please?  Into five pieces so we can each have a slice.  A bit sour, don’t you think? ”

Perhaps next time….

“The Poor Man’s Store” painted by John Frederick Peto in 1885
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA