A Baby’s Five Favorite Literary Works

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

“And why are children born to such men as you?” –Anna Pavlona

I say this to my dad whenever he tells me something I don’t like to hear, like “Hey, stop putting non-food items in your mouth” or whatever.

2. The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S. Eliot

“This is the dead land / This is cactus land”

I quoted this T.S. Eliot poem when my parents moved me from the lush, rolling hills of Iowa all the way down to New Mexico, a dry and desolate…dare I say it: wasteland.

3. The Bible

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

In other words, I’m heavenly.

4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

“O bliss!  O poop-poop!  O my!  O my!” –Toad

For some reason, poop always makes me laugh.  I just love scatological humor.

5. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

“Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf…”

Probably my favorite insult ever.  I use it in the nursery or when I see a bratty kid in the supermercado.

Lucas Shepherd is a first-year MFA Fiction student at the University of New Mexico.