Baiting the Field, a short story by Ann Robinson

My mom recently shared a short story our family friend, Ann Robinson wrote. Published by Knee-Jerk, this short story epitomizes life in the South for me. It has a touch of magic realism and features the opaque core of Southern sentimentality.

Lots of folks who read this will probably be confused and possibly a bit disgusted. Maybe that’s fair. But this story reflects realities of Southern Arkansas life through a lens that puts these experiences into the setting that I remember: hazy, hot, sometimes tense, and a sense that something might be around the corner that you didn’t expect, hiding in the snowball bushes.

You should read it. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

I sat in a lounge chair in Martha’s backyard in Keo, Arkansas and shot fifteen doves. I loved it. Also, I can’t see very well. One of the birds was a wooden owl attached to Martha’s roof to scare woodpeckers away.


Petunias and crepe myrtle gave color to a well-kept lawn. I went up the porch steps and suddenly felt strange. The sky was turning a mottled gray, no longer a clear sun but a turnip-colored globe.

And those aren’t even the good parts.


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