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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Stories by Selina Appleby: Part 3 The Silver Thimble


The heat of the summer had made playing baseball in the playground impossible.

The field was so dry that the three baseball bags stood like clumps in a desert of blowing sand. Since there was no one to play with at the playground the only choice was the streets.

My mother, trying to find something for me to do, presented me with a tiny blue gift box containing a delicate, dimpled, silver thimble.

Her explanation was that I should learn to sew and this was a beginning. Now all that I needed was a needle and thread and the promise that I would be able to make wonderful things.

Well – I didn’t. I hated sewing. I hated sitting still and so I learned to hate that little silver thimble.

That thimble symbolized domesticity. It dictated passivity.

So I studied that thimble. I noted its every contour and curve and texture.

And when I had completed this examination, I opened the box, shrouded it with tissue paper and buried it.


Selina Appleby had a long and successful career as a researcher and story editor at CBC TV. She recently wrote a series of reflections which were compiled and published in her book entitled ‘Field of Empties’ which is available on Amazon. The material for this album of stories began in the thirties when she was a child living in downtown Toronto, just off Queen Street. She often climbed her garden fence to see the action at the corner saloon and on the surrounding streets, observing the daily struggles of the people in her community. Fifty years later Selina moved to another house just off of Queen Street, where she now looked out from her window at the tourist-drenched streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Forward by Hermine Steinberg, Writer’s Circle

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