Early fiction: A fable

While we’re on the wayback machine, I thought I’d share something I just found in the process of packing the house. A fable I wrote when I was 14 or 15. There are some other short stories in this folder, but this one makes me laugh. I have no memory of writing it.

Once upon a time there was a small squirrel who was convinced that the world was round. Daily he went leaping through the forest proclaiming, “The world is round like an acorn!”

And all the other animals would shout and hit him over the head, “The world is flat like your head!”

Then the little squirrel would wait till the next day when he would do it again.

One day, he didn’t come by and the other animals became worried and looked for him, but he was nowhere to be found. Since they had a large supply of things to throw at him, they began to wish that he would return. After a time, they appointed a new squirrel to proclaim that the world was round and the business went on as usual.

Moral: Even an unwished for habit may be called upon to return.

The earliest thing I remember writing was in kindergarten (I think). I wrote and illustrated a story for Mom as a Mother’s Day present. All I remember was the dutch iris that turned into a space ship. I thought it was cool because each part of the iris represented a different part of the ship. No idea at all what the plot (if any) was.

How about you? What’s the earliest piece of fiction you have?

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18 Responses

  1. T. L. Morganfield

    I don’t have any of my early writing. I tend to get rid of stuff that I have no intensions of coming back to. But I do remember quite a bit about what I used to write, mostly dog stories and rabbit stories, inspired by my favorite books. I went through a period of writing movie novelizations, mostly for Disney flicks, and illustrating them (there was a time when I was rather handy with a pencil and had dreams of becoming a Disney animator rather than a writer.). I vaguely recall writing magazines when I was in sixth grade: “The Magazine of Cute and Fuzzy Dinosaurs” and others like that. I also wrote an 8th Narnia book and I remember getting to read it to a fourth grade class because they were reading the real books in class. The only thing I remember of that is a picture I drew for it, of Aslan chained and hanging from a wall.

  2. Chris Azure

    Sadly I don’t have anything from beyond 15 years ago (coinciding with when I started writing on computer, it would seem). A lot of my early stuff took the form of comics, many of which starred a chocolate bar that came to life and went on his own adventures. He even had a Chinese martial artist cousin (also a chocolate bar)… I really wish I still had those.

  3. Aliette de Bodard

    I love the squirrel story: it’s very cute and funny πŸ™‚
    My first piece of writing…I think I was eight or ten. Let’s just say I’ve moved on since then, although if I look hard enough I could probably find it at my parents’ house. I think it was the Emperor of the Galaxy or someone like that searching for his missing daughter while activists wanted him to fail and look like an idiot. And it had cat people. *shudder*

  4. Aliette de Bodard

    Hum, I have no idea. Maybe the same thing that makes cat stories so numerous (witness the number of places who won’t touch cat stories).
    I’d got over the cat thing by the time I started my first novel. Er, check that–now that I think about it, I merely replaced the cat people by the griffin-people (ie felines with wings πŸ˜‰ )

  5. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Tell ya what, someday I’ll trade you the first chapter of my first novel for the first chapter of yours. We can see which one had more egregious cat-people, and I’m betting it’s mine.

  6. Chris Azure

    I managed to more or less avoid the cat people thing. Though curiously, I did find this old snippet in my archive directory:

    “Oh, I don’t turn into a cat much anymore,” she explained. “It was starting to cause all sorts of unnecessary trouble.”

  7. Julie Wright

    the first story I remember writing and thinking, “Hey! I’m pretty good at this.” was in fourth grade, it had aliens, but no cat people. The one story I have from seventh grade that still exists in some physical form is humiliating beyond belief. I keep it to make sure i never forget that everyone has to start somewhere. Your squirrel story was great fun!

  8. Chris Azure

    It was in a file all by itself, so I guess I had an idea and wrote that down so I’d remember.

    Didn’t work. I have no idea where I was going with that πŸ˜‰

  9. Julie Wright

    I keep a file called book notes on my computer with little one line thoughts. I’ve used some in my books but there are a lot of orphans there that will never find homes. πŸ™‚

  10. Aliette de Bodard

    Tell ya what, someday IÒ€ℒll trade you the first chapter of my first novel for the first chapter of yours. We can see which one had more egregious cat-people, and IÒ€ℒm betting itÒ€ℒs mine.

    Hum, you’ve won the bet, most probably because the griffin doesn’t appear until fairly late in the narrative. And now that I think about it, it was never really explained why he seemed to be the only one of his kind present. I wasn’t very good at inventing credible species back then…