Whistler’s mother

If Wanda hadn’t been in the back seat with the bub she’d have been killed, too. While she waited to be cut from the wreck she cried out, ‘baby, baby, baby.’

No one could say for sure if the crash was the cause. But as he grew her son spoke little. He had something better than words. He whistled sweeter than a songbird. Any song he’d heard, at the supermarket or on the radio, he’d soon be whistling in pure high notes that hung in the air.

The whole town came to know the whistler boy. Wanda did everything she could for him. And whenever she started crying he’d comfort her by crawling next to her and whistling.

Years and decades passed that way. He grew taller than her. Still when they went out he whistled and the townspeople smiled.

Wanda took a bad turn. She told him to get the phone for her. But he wouldn’t. He cuddled her and whistled, instead, as her heart spluttered. She thought of how he’d get by without her and how his big clumsy hands were the only ones she’d been held by in all the years since a boy who’d been too young to want to be his father lost control on a gravel road.

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)


2 thoughts on “Whistler’s mother

  1. his father lost control on a gravel road
    ——Is this an unintented tail or an intended implication that the crash had caused by the father’s wrong driving?

  2. My interest here is with the single moment, years ago, when Wanda’s life changed in many ways, including her capacity to seek and form relationships beyond the needs of her son. Though it’s a common enough situation I hope it’s still a story worth writing.

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