Daily prompt: My kingdom for a horse? or even a pumpkin…

Daily Prompt
Barter System
If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

Once upon a time I might have survived on bartering. I mean, all those useful housewifely skills you pick up when your kids insist on eating and your husband whistles tunelessly when there’s dust on the mantelpiece.

These days? I’d be cactus.

I am far, far too selfish to do for other people those things I avoid doing for myself wherever possible (or sometimes impossible but what the hell, fasting is all the rage). I have no tradeable skills, no intention of acquiring them anytime soon, and late ran out a long time ago.

I am old, my friends, old – give or take depending on the mood of the day. In earlier times, I would by now be sitting in my rocking chair under the roof of one of my children, making life hell for them, their spouses and their offspring – provided they hadn’t managed to pop me in the madhouse – and demanding they swap the cat for my favourite icecream.

But as things stand, what have I got to offer? Mind you, since that’s a question I’ve been asking myself in one form or another most of my life (and I’m sure I’m not alone), I know for a fact that answers are pretty thin on the ground. My sister insists that reeling off doggerel verse to order is a skill not given to all, but even if it were true (which I doubt), where’s the value in that? It’s a rare butcher who’d give you a pound of sausages for a limerick or two.

There once was a starving old bat
Who had nothing to barter. She sat
And concocted a verse,
But the butcher was terse
And unmoved. And for her, that was that.


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15 Responses to Daily prompt: My kingdom for a horse? or even a pumpkin…

  1. Beth says:

    Your sister is absolutely correct, Helen. And I love that limerick.

  2. I’ve had jobs that proved that even the most skilled professional can fail at writing; unable to impart knowledge in a way that makes sense. Your sister was right. It is a talent, well worthy of sausages and many other things. ☺ Van

  3. Once, I might have traded my body. Now, I don’t even think it would be worth stripping for parts 🙂

  4. elainecanham says:

    You may be as old as the hills,
    But you still have great wisdom and skills;
    So show us the way;
    To meet problems today,
    And the butcher will waive all his bills!

  5. You’d be cactus. That made me laugh out loud. See you did have something to give in trade! Humor rocks. Following. Looking forward to more of your words.

  6. Aunt Beulah says:

    Your limerick is as fine as any I’ve read since I was first exposed, many years ago, to the young lady of Niger who smiled as she rode on a tiger.

  7. bkpyett says:

    Loved your limerick Helen!

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