Fiction logo

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies, It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes

by Pamella Richards 2 months ago in Short Story · updated 2 months ago

This famous Poem by Hilaire Belloc has always been a favourite poem for children on the dangers of telling lies

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

To be a great fiction writer is to tell lies, great lies, believable lies, lies that well…make one gasp….and stretch one's eyes! 

It's a real skill and some writers manage it better than others.

The friends who appear in your stories, you may not know them too well to begin with, but as you start to describe their characters, as you build their features and personalities with your words, you can really fall in love with some of them.

As a writer, if you use your friends as characters and change their names, they will probably guess and there's the danger they could become quite offended. I know some of Ernest Hemingway's friends felt like this after being featured in his stories.

The alternative, and the one benefit of being a writer that I love, is to live a full life. To enjoy the sweetness of life, but also taste the bitterness, feel the pain, to get caught in a terrible thunderstorm, and write about it, or to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.

To make each day a new chapter, or at least a new page, to me is the most wonderful thing about writing. To find something you really enjoy, whether it's horses, or dogs, long walks across the moors or maybe cars, travel, movies, you have the chance to enjoy all those things a second time when you write about them.

We have the chance to embellish our lives that makes it more attractive and enrich our days. To create the friends we wished we had, the wise counselor who could make sense of the madness - or laugh with us about the irony! 

And who knows, those works of fiction may become fact and fill your life with sheer joy.

Some people have a natural 'poker face' and it's difficult to read them. If we try, we can find some truly amazing people with great depth beneath that calm exterior.

Marcel Proust, in the Novel 'Time Regained'

"Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth."

Falling into a web of deceit

By freestocks on Unsplash

Then there's the flip side. The ugly side of lies, the people that sabotage your agenda, destroy your relationships, your career, and even your spirit.

Some are so devious and clever, they may tell you an acquaintance tells lies, perhaps telling you some salacious stories and at the end add 'but if you ask him, he will deny it because he's a liar'. There may be no truth in the stories, but it will make you question the integrity of that person. Many people have been deceived in this process. Not only is it cruel, but it's also damaging to the other person who may be totally innocent.

The problem with this modus operandi, is that the person who is being deceived may be better informed than the trouble maker.

There is a saying, 'that a lie never lives to grow old'. That may well be true because the truth comes out in the most unlikely circumstances.

As it was with Matilda in the famous poem who telephoned the fire brigade one day when she was tired of play.

There was no hesitation in the men getting to Matilda's house and telling those along the way, that Matilda's House was Burning Down. Her aunt was none too pleased and even had to pay the men to go away.

But life is capricious!

As happened when Matilda's aunt went to the theatre one evening, without Matilda, and a real fire started:

You should have heard Matilda Scream and Bawl, And throw the window up and call  -  Every time she shouted, 'Fire!' They only answered, 'Little Liar!' And therefore when her Aunt returned, Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

And therefore when her Aunt returned, Matilda, and the House, were Burned ….THE END

Acknowledgement to: https://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/matilda

Short Story

Pamella Richards

Beekeeper and lover of the countryside. Writer, Gardener and Astrologer

Read next: A Box of Trouble

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.