CCC23: Papa Painted the Walls

pink cottage

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #23

Papa painted the walls
He painted them pretty pink.
He went to the slaughter-house.
begged a bucket,
mixed it with lime-wash
and thickly slapped it
Pretty, that pink.

Yeah, but how many died for that bucket of blood?
So? They were foreigners all.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge 23

The traditional cottage in Norfolk and Suffolk was painted in shades of pink, produced by adding ox-blood to lime-wash. And so began my poem.

Until recent years, Norfolk villagers refered to any newcomer not Norfolk-bred as a foreigner. A ‘foreigner’ could live in a village 50 years and still be considered foreign. This attitude probably dates to the Dark Ages, when Norfolk and Suffolk (then considered an homogenous whole) was set apart from the rest of Britain by water (the Fens) and dense woodlands that stretched far to south. In those days, intruders were usually bent on theft or conquest, and therefore were feared and fought. And so arises my final line.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in Crimson's Creative Challenge, History, Poems (Some Silly) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to CCC23: Papa Painted the Walls

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Wonderfully written and informative piece.. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen Goldie says:

    Ah! The darker side of Pink. Perhaps a day or two to think. Gives a whole new meaning to “Pretty IN Pink.” I’m feeling a tad foreign. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful poem and thanks for sharing the history! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    A slightly gruesome tale, using human blood rather than ox-blood to paint it pink!
    Well done and man… who’d a thunk to use blood to colour paint? Nuts.

    Most interesting, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael says:

    We use the term ‘local’ here to describe someone who was born in the town. Everyone else is considered ‘not local’ no matter how long they have lived there. Its a curious piece of history isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice looking place but who knows what history, a clue perhaps at


  7. Wow – that paint story got dark REAL quick! Still, a very interesting background info for the story.


  8. Ennle Madresan says:

    This is so good, and I appreciate your added notes of history, Crispina–as some of us are “foreigners” and wouldn’t necessarily get the meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. EntangledDesigns says:

    I love, love, love it. More so because to me it read like a sarcastic take on the tribalistic mindset societies tend to have toward immigrants or tourists. You didn’t mean it that way, perhaps. But it definitely touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: “Hope Not…” in response to Crimson’s Creative Challenge: CCC 23 Apr.18, 2019 “Papa Painted The Walls” – Jen Goldie – A little this, a little that, some real and some imaginings.

  11. Gruesome! πŸ˜‰
    I like this dark take!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow…dark and gruesome. I enjoyed how you combined the different bits of history. I wonder, was the blood added to the lime wash only for the colour or did it start out for any other reason, do you know? Such as to ward away bad luck or something…?

    Liked by 1 person

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