An Aunt Truly tale: The seamstress

by | May 16, 2020 | Aunt Truly's Tales, Fiction, Short story, Storytelling, The Kiminee Dream | 0 comments

The structure of this new tale is based on “The Tailor,” a story I’ve heard here and there for years, and one I used to tell when I did live storytelling regularly. I created “The Seamstress,” my own variation on this tale, for the May 3, 2020, virtual book launch party for my debut novel, The Kiminee Dream.

It was fun to tell, rather than read, a story once again even though I told it on Zoom, not in person. We’re all adapting the best we can to the current pandemic. “The Seamstress” is not in the novel, but it is one I imagine Aunt Truly would have told. It will likely be included in the book of tales I’m working on as a little companion book for The Kiminee Dream. I’m thinking of including ten tales. It’ll be for folks who like the world created in the novel and want to extend the experience a bit. It’ll also be for folks who just enjoy storytelling. You won’t have to be familiar with the novel to dig into Aunt Truly’s tales

The Seamstress
By Laura McHale Holland

Kaskaskia, a tiny town in Illinois, was once a thriving metropolis—the largest in the region in the 18th centure. It was ideally situated for trade on the banks of the Mississippi and surrounded by rich agricultural land, so people were drawn to it from all over. 

Sadly, a young widow in Kaskaskia was at the end of her wits, for like Old Mother Hubbard, she had no food in her cupboard. She feared her children would starve. But then she remembered her neighbors had always complimented her skills as a seamstress. Some had even begged her to make clothing for them. So she hung out her shingle and began taking orders. 

Soon word spread of the charming yet practical clothes she made, and orders flowed in. Her clients didn’t pay particularly well, but she was able to support her children, so she was happy. But then her own coat became threadbare, and she couldn’t afford to buy material for a new one. 

She was concerned about this until she realized, if she set aside scraps from her many orders, she’d eventually have enough to make her coat. And so she did. She made a long coat that reached her ankles. It was magnificent, and she was pleased. She loved that coat and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it was entirely worn out—altogether useless. But then she examined it and saw she had just enough material to make a jacket.

So she did. Hers was a spiffy jacket, and she was delighted. She loved that jacket and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it was completely worn out—altogether useless. But then she took scrutinized it and realized she had just enough material to make an apron.

So she did. Hers was an appealing apron, and she was tickled. She loved that apron and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it fully worn out—altogether useless. But then she assessed that apron and realized she had just enough material to make a scarf.

So she did. Hers was a scrumptious scarf, and she was glad. She loved that scarf and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it was totally worn out—altogether useless. But then she inspected it and realized she had just enough material to make a headband.

So she did. Hers was a handsome headband, and she was thrilled. She loved that headband and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it was absolutely worn out—altogether useless. But then she took the headband apart and realized she had just enough material to make a button.

So she did. Hers was a beautiful button, and she was merry. She loved that button, sewed it on her cape, and wore it, wore it, wore it and wore it until it was downright worn out—altogether useless. But then she took a good, long look and realized she had just enough to make a story.

And the story has never worn out.

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Influenced by folklore and magical realism, The Kiminee Dream is a lyrical story with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. If you like depth as well as whimsy, arresting twists, and details that rouse your senses, you’ll love what is both an eloquent exploration of acceptance and a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.

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