||October 4, 2006
Barnes & Noble.com
Clams in Cups: Legends of the Heart
Clams in Cups is a unique collection of short stories that inspire hope and delve into the experiences that touch our hearts as we journey through life.
Every event in our lives is a cup that holds a different clam; an experience that touches our hearts. Like clams, we create barriers to protect ourselves from sadness, yet these barriers are like brittle shells that often can be easily broken. At times, we are anchored by doubt or circumstance, but we can consciously make choices to move along life's path. Every direction we take makes us who we are and changes the course of our lives. These stories are legends of the heart borne out of treasured moments in life; some with acceptance of what life sends our way and others with hope for what can happen when we believe without doubt.
CLAMS IN CUPS
The menu read “Clams in Cups…….$2.50”. I was instantly taken back to a strange time in my life. Strange, yet comforting. For some reason, I felt safe there and nowhere else. The camp, with its porch and all the windows. The rope net that hung against the wall. The air that smelled of sea, if only a pond. The water-ragged Irish Setter biting into the dead hornpouts on the shore and shaking them until their gills waved at us like hands. Behind him, the giant St. Bernard followed with sagging eyes, his mouth hanging in silence. But, what I most remembered were the clams in cups.
My sister and I scooped up the freshwater clams on the shoreline near our wooden dock. We placed them in a paper sack and ran up the slanted stairs with no railing and over the railroad tracks to the porch. We’d line up paper cups filled with water on the window sills and place a clam in each one. Every once in a while we checked on them, but didn’t know why. By the end of the weekend, the water was cloudy and smelled of rotting fish. The poor clams had stuck their feet out only to find that they couldn’t go anywhere. When we were ready to go back home to our cold, familiar lives, the poor creatures had left for clam heaven. We were killers of the clams and felt no remorse. They were just shells with gooey flesh that mysteriously poked out as if to say hello. Hello and goodbye.
For the winter, we left behind the feathered swans and lost pacifiers. The mice took over until we returned. For the swan’s, we felt remorse. When springtime came, we found them naked, huddled in a corner of an old playpen, their feathers the bounty of the winter mice. Now, we embraced them with guilt. Still, in their featherless state, they reigned with silent dignity over all the other toys. For us, they were the calm before the storm. The swans were there for us to cling to even after being ravaged by the winter mice, and would witness the summer’s events to which we would be exposed. If they could survive the winter, we could make it through what was to come for us.
Review by Writer's Digest (November 2007)
"The general premise of D.C. Legendre's collection of short stories in the book Clams in Cups is timely, with nostalgia being the overriding theme. With today's sense of unrest and turmoil throughout the world, this book is a breath of fresh air, bringing hope for the future while reflecting on the past. Legendre quickly immerses the reader in the world created by skilled writing, sophisticated phrases, and reflective scenes."
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