Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Little people be-little.

    Little people are small.

    Small people do not want to be big, they do not want even to be medium, they have no desire or aim or dream to expand or enlarge or broaden their world. Their mode, their default, their work----at work, at home, in community----, is to feel big by making others feel small. You can see this in the faces of small people: if they have belittled you, they feel grand. A man can be made to feel he is standing tall by seeing his brother, his comrade, his son, his father, his workmate, his neighbour, his wife, shrink.

    The default face of the small person is a smirk. A smirk, a snark, a snide, a snub. The aim, upon greeting, is not warmth of humour or fun or sincerity, the aim is disarming you. Words are formulated and weaponized and your inability to see the joke pointed out to you as further shrinkage.

    Small people, little people, love that smirk, that frozenness, feed on being paralysed, hum the hivemind, the groupthink, nourish their tinytude on tiny tunes of narrow hate squeaks, and oil their bodies with putdowns. At night, small people stroke their dried dessicated dreams, and hate that yours have water, air, loft, flight.

    There are two main things I have found about small people:

    Look at their eyes when they smile. Look in person, and look at photos of them. Cover their smiley-smiley happy-happy lips. As Charles Darwin first pointed out in studying human expression, a smile which does not include the eyes is a smile of fear and hate. Little peoples' smiles do not include their eyes when they smile.

    Secondly, the truly insidious power of small people----because they do have power, be sure of it----is to make you judge yourself and your life, your community, your art, your travels, your hopes and prayers and desires, in their terms. Even if you fight their smallness, even if you can name their belittling, even if you can point out their lack of eyes in their smiling, you can find that you are spending an inordinate amount of time talking about them, analysing them, gossiping about them, tweeting, twittering, tattle-tale-ing. You can find that they have inserted themselves into your brain, come into your blood, they are circulating through you, disemboweling you, scooping out your balance, tipping you over, and that is their power.

    They have made you feel big and important by putting down a flea.

    My Dad Al used to say, Throw out the garbage.

    Harder than it seems.

    Throw out the people who would belittle you.

    Not an easy task.

    But we are up to it.

    The dross, the insidious, the drag, see it, name it, use it artist, fight it writer, toss it out.

    Make art of it. Show it.

    Drag it to the light.

    (Photo by Susan, in the neighbourhood, back of a main local shopping street.)
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.