Baby’s First Exquisite Corpse

by Diya Chaudhuri

My dad, Jhulan, texted me a picture of this exquisite corpse we wrote together when I was six or seven.

Translation of his insane handwriting:

Detective Tom

Tom is a cat. He is a pig. He loves to eat fish, milk, honey, and mouse. Tom’s owner was a little girl and a little boy named Jill and Jhulan. One day when nobody was at home late at night, Tom heard a suspicious noise. The door opened an in came a man with a gun. Tom knew how to read telephone dial. He dialed 911. Police heard the loud meow and figured out something was wrong. Now the police was so mad that they had to go to the house. The man with the gun tried to run but police caught him. The police thanks Tom and gave him a medal.

From here on out, every time my mom says “just switch from poems to novels” because “that’s where all the money is” (OK MOM), I’m just going to pull up this story and hiss “deep-seated issues with character development and narrative arc,” then slither off into the tall grass.

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