Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Youth is a 1952 science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. You can read it online here or here. It begins,
HERE was a spatter of pebbles against the window and the youngster stirred in his sleep. Another, and he was awake.

He sat up stiffly in bed. Seconds passed while he interpreted his strange surroundings. He wasn't in his own home, of course. This was out in the country. It was colder than it should be and there was green at the window.


The call was a hoarse, urgent whisper, and the youngster bounded to the open window.

Slim wasn't his real name, but the new friend he had met the day before had needed only one look at his slight figure to say, "You're Slim." He added, "I'm Red."

Red wasn't his real name, either, but its appropriateness was obvious. They were friends instantly with the quick unquestioning friendship of young ones not yet quite in adolescence, before even the first stains of adulthood began to make their appearance.

Slim cried, "Hi, Red!" and waved cheerfully, still blinking the sleep out of himself.

Red kept to his croaking whisper, "Quiet! You want to wake somebody?"

Slim noticed all at once that the sun scarcely topped the low hills in the east, that the shadows were long and soft, and that the grass was wet.

Slim said, more softly, "What's the matter?"

Red only waved for him to come out.

Slim dressed quickly, gladly confining his morning wash to the momentary sprinkle of a little lukewarm water. He let the air dry the exposed portions of his body as he ran out, while bare skin grew wet against the dewy grass.

Red said, "You've got to be quiet. If Mom wakes up or Dad or your Dad or even any of the hands then it'll be 'Come on in or you'll catch your death of cold.'"

He mimicked voice and tone faithfully, so that Slim laughed and thought that there had never been so funny a fellow as Red.

Slim said, eagerly, "Do you come out here every day like this, Red? Real early? It's like the whole world is just yours, isn't it, Red? No one else around and all like that." He felt proud at being allowed entrance into this private world.

Red stared at him sidelong. He said carelessly, "I've been up for hours. Didn't you hear it last night?"

"Hear what?"


"Was there a thunderstorm?" Slim never slept through a thunderstorm.

"I guess not. But there was thunder. I heard it, and then I went to the window and it wasn't raining. It was all stars and the sky was just getting sort of almost gray. You know what I mean?"

Slim had never seen it so, but he nodded.

"So I just thought I'd go out," said Red.

They walked along the grassy side of the concrete road that split the panorama right down the middle all the way down to where it vanished among the hills. It was so old that Red's father couldn't tell Red when it had been built. It didn't have a crack or a rough spot in it.

Red said, "Can you keep a secret?"

"Sure, Red. What kind of a secret?"

"Just a secret. Maybe I'll tell you and maybe I won't. I don't know yet." Red broke a long, supple stem from a fern they passed, methodically stripped it of its leaflets and swung what was left whip-fashion. For a moment, he was on a wild charger, which reared and champed under his iron control. Then he got tired, tossed the whip aside and stowed the charger away in a corner of his imagination for future use.

He said, "There'll be a circus around."

Slim said, "That's no secret. I knew that. My Dad told me even before we came here—"

"That's not the secret. Fine secret! Ever see a circus?"

"Oh, sure. You bet."

"Like it?"

"Say, there isn't anything I like better."

Red was watching out of the corner of his eyes again. "Ever think you would like to be with a circus? I mean, for good?"

Slim considered, "I guess not. I think I'll be an astronomer like my Dad. I think he wants me to be."

"Huh! Astronomer!" said Red.

Slim felt the doors of the new, private world closing on him and astronomy became a thing of dead stars and black, empty space.

He said, placatingly, "A circus would be more fun."

"You're just saying that."

"No, I'm not. I mean it."

Red grew argumentative. "Suppose you had a chance to join the circus right now. What would you do?"


"See!" Red affected scornful laughter.

Slim was stung. "I'd join up."

"Go on."

"Try me."

Red whirled at him, strange and intense. "You meant that? You want to go in with me?"

"What do you mean?" Slim stepped back a bit, surprised by the unexpected challenge.

"I got something that can get us into the circus. Maybe someday we can even have a circus of our own. We could be the biggest circus-fellows in the world. That's if you want to go in with me. Otherwise—Well, I guess I can do it on my own. I just thought: Let's give good old Slim a chance."

The world was strange and glamorous, and Slim said, "Sure thing, Red. I'm in! What is it, huh, Red? Tell me what it is."

"Figure it out. What's the most important thing in circuses?"

Slim thought desperately. He wanted to give the right answer. Finally, he said, "Acrobats?"

"Holy Smokes! I wouldn't go five steps to look at acrobats."

"I don't know then."

"Animals, that's what! What's the best side-show? Where are the biggest crowds? Even in the main rings the best acts are animal acts." There was no doubt in Red's voice.

"Do you think so?"

"Everyone thinks so. You ask anyone. Anyway, I found animals this morning. Two of them."

"And you've got them?"

"Sure. That's the secret. Are you telling?"
You can listen to the Librivox recording here.



Beverages (I'm linking this to the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering):

Black and White:


Black Background:

Let's Party:


Thread (I sewed the ribbon to the card with thread. I like some cards better than others, and I don't like this one at all. I'll probably take these butterflies off at some point and do something else with them.):

Tissue Paper:


Random (not from a prompt):


  1. I'm not familiar (via Mr Man's sci fi knowledge) of this Isaac Asimov story. I agree with Lady Bird's quote - flowers & hope ... gardening teaches us so much.

  2. I always enjoy seeing your ATC's on Tuesday. The one with the pie makes me hungry, especially since there is some of my strawberry pie in the fridge. Willpower is what I need. ANyhow, hope the week has been good to you and happy T day. Hugs-Erika

  3. Anonymous8:32 AM

    I really like "Beverages" and the Memphis Trolley!
    --A Pal

  4. I have never read this Asimov story, but love his work.

    Your ATCs are fabulous. This week I can't really pick a favorite, because I like so MANY of them. You are really going to town with all of them, too. One thing is for sure. You've had a lot of practice making ATCs before the big 6th anniversary next week.

    Thanks for sharing the start of the Asimov tale and your incredible ATCs with us for T this Tuesday, dear friend.

  5. Asimov is always worth reading. Nice ATCs. Happy T Day. Valerie

  6. I love popping in her on T day! You always share such interesting and fascinating art, stories, videos and such. And your ATCs are so varied and a real pleasure to see. Well done! happy T day!

  7. Fabulous! Your ATCs are amazing, the collage elements look wonderful and I love the tea, flower and Memphis trolley designs 😁. Wishing you a very Happy T Tuesday! Hugs, Jo x

  8. Great ATCS. I'm drawn to the first three because I'm struggling to use a neutral palette (like Susi often does). I love the very last one too.

    Happy T-day! Eileen xx

  9. I've saved the link to that story, so I can read it later. (I have a few to read on my list now.) Once again, you've created a nice assortment of ATCs. I like the words on them, too. I wish my creativity flowed as well as yours does each week. Happy T-Day!

  10. That story was more captivating than I expected. I'm not generally a sci-fi book person. I might have to give it a bit more of a try. I think Mr. G might have that one in e-book.
    You've been busy with the ATCs...how fun!
    Happy T day!

  11. Another intriguing story. Love the ATCs. The Lady Bird Johnson quote is very uplifting, but I love the bird with a crown. Create yourself. Yup, fit for a Little Princess. Happy T Day

  12. awesome and interesting post, as always. i like to see your ongoing addiction to atcs... it´s a virus, isn´t it;) ♥

  13. Love the ATCs. Happy bealted T-Day!