Friday Fictioneers – Subject and Object

Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

Ki warbles. Ki croaks at the edge of a pool, green-shaded by ki’s overhang. Kin everywhere.

The warbling hopping on the earthing seeking seedlings under the shading.

Old menning stroking beardings, separating once and for all “this is the subject, and this the object”.

Now I am he, and all you kin are its.

I gather them, name them. I have dominion. The oak falls to my axe.

Where now are kin?


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

This piece is an experiment. It uses the suggestion of Robin Kimmerer that the division of pronouns into personal (he/she) and impersonal (it) in English reflects a worldview of dominion rather than stewardship of nature. She

65 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Subject and Object

  1. Fantastic exercise. Very effective, too (and the conclusion you make in your notes feel quite accurate I think). The concept is very clear in the way we use he/she when we refer to pets that are part of our family. It makes closer to us, matter more… On the other hand, “it” can be food, “it” can be a beast, “it” isn’t kin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this.

    First, using frogs (one of the most rapidly dwindling species on earth, as a result of man’s clutching and grasping) as your canary in the coalmine.

    Second, the music of all the “ings,” tinkling in a croaking froggy language, giving everything at the beginning of this prose-poem a froggy perspective.

    Third, the overlay of grammar, the human construct of subject/object rather than kinship. The harmlessness of two old men talking by the pondside, morphing into an “us vs them” threat.

    Your environmental message is powerful, but living in the US I could not help but read politics into it–not only “man on nature” acts of indifference and demands for submission, but also “man on man.” When this pond is surely big enough for all of us to live as kin. 🐸

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well I’m not sure what this means, but it came across as strangely compelling, I felt I had to read it, to me it felt like listening to a piece of music, the rhythm was infectious.
    How very strange! I could read a number of times and not understand fully but like it. To me it felt a bit like the end of 2001 a space odyssey, which I love but leaves me puzzled every time!!

    Liked by 1 person

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