The Clawhammer and the Casket

There once was a casket that was nailed shut. It was filled with some cobwebs but that doesn’t matter. The casket was made of plywood and nailed in very hastily manner, almost as if it was afraid of something. Not that there was anything to be afraid of.

And tho the casket was nailed shut with nails all along the edges, the truth was there was a clawhammer waiting just out of sight, patiently waiting to get its turn to not only pry the nails out, but to nail it shut it again.

“Dear casket,” said the clawhammer, ever so sweetly.

“Who is that?” the casket asked timidly.

“Why who else would it be but the same clawhammer that was used to nail you shut.”

“I thought you had left already,” the casket said.

“And if I did but came back?” asked the clawhammer, doing its best to sound confident.

“Then why did you nail me shut in the first place?”

“Because that’s what I’m good for.”

At this the casket felt a little more secure, knowing the clawhammer was honest. And tho the casket was a little timid, it felt safe with the clawhammer, even tho it knew what was coming.

“Dear casket,” said the clawhammer, even more gently.

“Yes, clawhammer,” replied the casket.

“If I were to pry those nails loose, the very same ones I nailed shut, would you be upset?”

“Only if you were to pry them loose without asking.”

“But I just asked.”

“Then you have your answer.”

The clawhammer sat in the dark thought for a moment, a little confused by the response. An hour went by in silence as the clawhammer tried to think thru the response, only to be finally startled by the casket.

“Hey clawhammer,” said the casket.

“Yes casket.”

“I think my nails are ready to be pried loose.”

At this the clawhammer thought for a few more moments, now itself afraid of what is was bound to do.

“And if I’m a little too rough?” asked the clawhammer.

“Well then, maybe you shouldn’t nail me shut in the first place,” replied the casket.

At this the clawhammer felt a pang of sadness, recognizing the folly of its own existence, and yet relieved that the casket wasn’t mad at it. Another hour went by. Finally the silence was interrupted again.

“Hey clawhammer,” said the casket, now more confident.

“Yes,” the clawhammer replied.

“I think I’m ready to be pried open. But please be gentle. My wood is fragile.”

The clawhammer felt even more insecure by the moment, and dared not to move an inch. As the moments ticked by, the casket felt her own pang of sadness, recognizing now that she was the one making the clawhammer nervous. The moment lasted but briefly, only to be interrupted by a sense of relief at the clawhammer’s own insecurity.

“Hey clawhammer,” said the casket.

“Yes casket.”

“I may be made of plywood, by I can handle a hammer that isn’t afraid to be gentle.”

At this the clawhammer felt relief, knowing it was made of steel and tho hard like a rod heavy enough to pry the nails loose without jerking the wood. The clawhammer moved closer to the casket, ready to begin.

“Hey casket,” said the clawhammer.

“Yes clawhammer,” the casket replied.

“I think I’m ready to begin.”

“I knew you would be.”

And so the nails came loose, one by one, with the clawhammer being gentle as could be, only now aware it never wanted to nail the casket shut again. And so when it was done the clawhammer whispered this time, if only to keep the casket calm after the tumultuous event.

“Hey casket,” said the clawhammer.

“Yes clawhammer.”

“I never want to nail you shut again.”

The casket felt a wave of relief and joy and whispered ever gently back:

“Just between you and I, clawhammer, I actually enjoyed being pried loose. Don’t feel bad if it happens again.”

Again the clawhammer sat in silence, only for a few moments.

“Hey clawhammer,” the casket interrupted.

“Yes casket.”

“That was a joke.”

At this both laughed, and the clawhammer bowed to the casket.

“I think my work is done then,” said the clawhammer.

“Thank you then,” said the casket.

And both were silent for an hour.


About Michael Medlen

My name is Michael and during my free time I avoid having a day job. Strangely enough, this gives me the freedom to run this blog. I write just about anything that can be considered art. I also occasionally post articles that may or may not be relevant to the theme of this site. You’ve been warned.
This entry was posted in Fables and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Clawhammer and the Casket

  1. I like the theme: Everything has a purpose.

    Some minor edits for you: need comma after “cobwebs”, spelling error: recgonizing, “The truth [is] the casket.”, should be “[but] I can handle

    I wrote a fable (900 words) called The Greedy Goose that Laid Golden Eggs. If you would like to read it, I’m open to any feedback:


  2. Thanks for the tips. I’ll look at your work!

    Liked by 1 person

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