Monk’s Pepper

I perhaps should have listed this story under “A” for “Awkward…” 

Monk’s Pepper

“What’s so special about it?” Ginny said to the peddler standing outside her opened kitchen window. “What’s so special about this pepper that it warrants three-times the cost?”

The peddler leaned towards her. “My dear lady, this pepper was carefully cultivated by blind monks high up in the mountains. They’ve abstained from speech and worldly possessions, their one goal in life being the upbringing of these rare pepper trees. I have it on good authority that the trees are fed only the purest of rainwater that has been steeped in moonlight. And the berries themselves are lovingly hand-picked and sent here on the wings of castrated doves.”

“Castrated doves? Who on earth castrates doves?”

“Never mind that. What matters is what this pepper can do for your cooking. Have you ever had a soufflé that wouldn’t rise or an aspic that wouldn’t set? Well, those days are behind you once you purchase an envelope of this Amazing Monk’s Pepper!”

“What does pepper have to do with aspic setting?”

“My dear lady, what else? Magic, that’s what!” He threw a fistful of glitter in the air.

Ginny waved the glitter away from her face, frowning as the sparkling motes settled on her newly washed floor. “Magic? Will magic help me clean up this mess?”

“My fine lady, magic will let you accomplish things beyond your dreams!”

“I don’t need anything beyond my dreams. I just need a sensible man to do the fixing-up around here and not muss up my floor.”

“Well then, imagine if you will the droves of sensible men that will flock to your door once your delightful cooking is spiced with my Amazing Monk’s Pepper!” The peddler flashed her a bright smile and shook a small paper envelope, the contents of which rattled inside.

Ginny frowned again. “If you’re any indication of the sensible men headed my way, I’d best do without. My floors couldn’t take the punishment. Good day.” She tried closing the window, but the peddler put his hand against it and kept it open.

Ginny tightened her jaw and put her weight against the window, but the peddler did the same and so they stood there, both pushing against the pane of glass with neither one accomplishing anything at all. Then, slowly, Ginny made headway and the window started to shut.

The peddler, growing red in the face, tried slipping the envelope through the narrowing crack, but then the window slammed shut and he was left standing there, his body slightly distorted through the thick and cloudy glass. He lingered a moment, and Ginny glared at him. Then, clearing his throat, he finally moved on.



  1. Castrated doves??!! LOL How would one manage that? You show him Ginny!
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  2. Loved this story! And I’m with Tasha – the castrated doves thing is awesome. 🙂

  3. Castrated doves? Why not unladen swallows?… XD I like it! She seems like smart woman…

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

    • Sara C. Snider

      Haha! I actually thought about that. The pepper doesn’t have a husk, though, by which it can be gripped. 😉

  4. My favorite part: Throwing the glitter in the air…such a charlatan!

    • Sara C. Snider

      I was snickering to myself while writing it. He gets an A for effort!

  5. I love this one. It has some great humour. Yesterday’s monk-pepper peddlers are today’s telemarketers.

    • Sara C. Snider

      So true, yet without the glitter, which makes them far less interesting. 😉

  6. Ha ha! Mind blown and boggled. Clever Ginny, poor doves … I thought maybe the pepper did have husks since it rattled? Thanks Sara, a smile on my dial for the day 🙂

    • Sara C. Snider

      Maybe about the husks, but not the grippable kind (don’t take it from me). 😉 Yay, glad to make you smile! 😀 Thank you.

  7. He spins a good yarn, that peddler, but Ginny has her head screwed on right 🙂
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles
    Wittegen Press

    • Sara C. Snider

      I think he blew it as soon as he threw the glitter. There was no recovering from that. 😉

  8. hmm- now I want another story where she succumbed and then what next??
    Glittered peppers?

    • Sara C. Snider

      You know, I actually planned that she would buy it, and then something interesting/magical/crazy would happen. But she wouldn’t go for it. I felt kind of like the peddler, just standing there going, “Well, now what?” 😉

  9. Michelle Morrison

    I like this one a lot. Ginny’s a strong character. Haha, I didn’t really realize doves had the anatomy to allow castration. 😉

    • Sara C. Snider

      Haha! You know, I have no idea either. Glad you liked it, Michelle. 😀

  10. Sunni Morris

    That was a cute story. Where did you come up with the idea to castrate doves? Can that even be done? Salesmen are all the same, saying anything to sell their products. I’m glad Ginny wouldn’t have it.


    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Sunni! I have no idea where most of my ideas come from–some weird, dark part of me, I imagine. 😉 Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!

  11. I wouldn’t buy it either, because I’m a little prejudiced. I like my food grade products cultivated by people with sight.

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