Recipe for Home


Three tree stumps, wood going soft

Plentiful growth of moss over nearby outcrop of rock

Violets, primroses and wood anemones in bloom

A stream would be helpful but is not essential


Special utensils needed

Plastic bucket from beach set

Sharp finger nails

Doll’s saucepans, cups, plates etc.

Considerable imagination



If a stream is available, use it for handwashing. If not, wipe hands on clean looking moss.

Assess tree stumps. One tree stump will serve as cooker, another as work surface and the lowest one as picnic table. Decide which.

Find flowers that can be eaten. Pick a selection, taking care to check for insect life. Place in bucket.

Collect wood pulp by gouging out with finger nails and put a generous portion in a doll’s saucepan.

Fill a different saucepan with water.

Pretend to heat pans on pretend stove.

When it seems done, set out the wood pulp on a plate. Arrange flowers to decorate.

Taste the wood pulp as if tasting hot porridge. Say, ‘Yum.’ Sit comfortably on your seat of moss. Put plate down on picnic table.

Raise your cup of water as a toast. Choose what to give thanks for.

Continue to make use of considerable imagination. This is your home now. Try to smile.


About the Author:

Anne Summerfield has had short stories published online (InkTears and Spelk), in literary magazines like Shooter and Mslexia, in anthologies (Virago and Serpent’s Tail) and broadcasted on BBC Radio 4. There are also flash fictions and poems published in various places but no novel has made it out of the bottom drawer yet (though the opening of one was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize). She tweets infrequently as @summerwriter