‘Shot of Short’ #44: Ma Perkins Comes to Stay by Ray Bradbury

Title: Ma Perkins Comes to Stay by Ray Bradbury
Date Read: 07 August 2009
Available Online?: YES (as one of the stories posted by Harper Perennial on their website Fifty-Two Stories, which promises a new (or classic) short story from their collection, posted every week throughout 2009).
Briefly: Joe Tiller returns home one evening to find a middle-aged plump woman shelling peas in the middle of apartment. “I’m Ma Perkins,” she declares. And so begins a bizarre yet engaging tale in which Joe tries to resolve the problem of this strange and unwelcome (to him) ‘visitor’.
Afterthoughts: Regardless of the fact that I had to go and find out who, in ‘radioland’ history, Ma Perkins is (sorry my American cousins), it didn’t detract too much from what turned out to be a remarkably imaginative and fairly memorable story from Bradbury. Aside from reminding me of a cross between The Twilight Zone and an a Hal Roach short comedy, I’m aware that this story is probably more allegorical than first impressions would suggest. .
Notable Quote: “He dropped the rosebuds on the floor and did not stoop to retrieve them. He only stared and continued to stare at Ma, who was seated in that chair that did not rock, rocking.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my 100 Shots of Short reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).