A daily 1-minute thought.

Lijit Search

Girls of Tender Age: Patricia Eckert

Excerpted from Girls of Tender Age by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, copyright 2006. Published by Simon and Schuster Audio, 2006, and used by permission.

Read by Patricia Eckert: "As a lifelong vegetarian who once tanned the hide of my beloved sled dog, Nooky, I can appreciate dichotomy." Patricia is a writer living on the edge of Spenard. Her trilogy of theatre monologues for Out North Theatre is called Born Vegetarian, Scared Silly, Forbidden Jewelry. She performed them to mild acclaim with one "hilarious" thrown in by a generous critic. She has kept her day job with state government.

In her memoir, Girls of Tender Age, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith describes catching eels as a child, how violent it was:

Her grandfather grabs the eel "and swings [it] with all his might into the jetty.... You have to do this or the twisting, twining eel will get all wound up and tangled in your line. If it's a small eel, I get to smash its head against the jetty.

When I am an adult, I will decide to carry on the time-honored eeling tradition. Out on the beach, I explain to my two children how we must first hook the sandworms. I hold up a black hook. The children look from the hook to the white box from the bait store with the sandworms all snoozing quietly amid the pile of shredded seaweed. My son seizes the box and he and his sister run down to the water's edge and set the worms free.

What the hell am I thinking?"