Tuesday, February 17, 2015

If I were a carpenter....

I wrote this for Two Shoes Tuesday where my chosen prompt word was Furniture.

Like his father before him, Gerald was a master carpenter. And his dear and devoted wife Maisy was blessed with a talent for producing the most intricate and delicate embroidery. For over sixty years they worked together in a little workshop at the bottom of their cottage garden producing pieces of furniture to order; Gerald would craft the timber, Maisey, fashion the upholstery.

There was probably not a house in the village that did not have one of their bespoke creations gracing a dining room, a lounge or conservatory, yet strangely they had never produced anything for their own cottage.

It was early last year that Gerald and Maisy admitted to themselves that their once nimble fingers and strong hands were weakening. It was time to end a lifetime of planing and stitching, but not until they had made something special for themselves.

Gerald worked all his waking hours fashioning two of his most elaborate pieces ever. The finest mahogany and palest oak adorned with satin wood inlays. Maisy sat by the wood burning stove, forming beautiful patterns with needle and thread on yards of exquisite ruby satin.

When their work was complete they stood hand in hand and admired their creations. They knew that when their work was complete life would hold nothing for them, and so it was they passed away peacefully within a few days of each other.


Two magnificent coffins, their final creations, stood side by side in the chapel. The entire village  turned out to bid them a fond farewell. Their only daughter Millicent stood between them and lifted a violin to her shoulder.  As she softly played, the choir sang Gerald and Mildred’s favourite song....

If I were a carpenter

And you were a lady

Would you marry me anyway?

Would you have my baby?


  1. Aw. What depth from a story that was prompted by the word furniture. Got me thinking, how important really is a person's background for us to consider them worthy of marrying? I say, very important. Then again, what borders to being too judgmental and conclusive? Hmmm.

    Good writing.

  2. My mouth is hanging open with the ending. I didn't want them to die. I wanted them to live a long happy life in retirement. I didn't see that coming. It was a lovely story, one that made me smile at the beginning and want to read on.

    1. Their retirement would not have been happy if they could no longer create beautiful things. So I think it was a happy ending - but then I am old and decrepit.

    2. Their retirement would not have been happy if they could no longer create beautiful things. So I think it was a happy ending - but then I am old and decrepit.

  3. Lucky them to be still be doing what they did in their hey-day. I struggle putting two fingers on the keyboard. A touching story Keith.

  4. How delighted I was to have you joining us for Two Shoes Tuesday today, Keith! This was such a lovely piece with a truly perfect ending. I can think of nothing more beautiful and personal than to create your final resting places with your own hands, together and for each other. If only all couples so devoted over a lifetime could leave this world together. Sometimes it works out that way and it always makes me smile when it does. I sense their love was so strong that their souls could not bear to be parted even for a little while. And now that song will be playing in my mind for days to come. :-)

  5. This is a beautiful story.

  6. A sweet story, Keith :)
    Well narrated!

  7. excellent...ehioyed this wondrful tale about two fine people. Your stories are always worth while and fun to read.

  8. Keith
    I went to your poetry blog and enjoyed your poetry. I write a few on Tumblr

    Would you give me permission to repost some of your poetry with full credit to you?

    I write on Oldgriz as GS Batty but use my given name SG Beatty for the poetry blog

    1. I would be honoured! I don't visit myself much and in places it's a bit of a mess but feel free to help yourself. In fact you've reminded me that I must go and do some housekeeping! I'll go looking for you on Tumblr very soon.

    2. thanks... enjoy your poetry and wanted others to see it.



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