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Misunderstandings started life as an untitled tanka, written for a 2007 poetry competition in Writers News. It didn't get anywhere. It was then revamped as a 139-word short story, now with its final title, for the SlingInk Short Shorts competition in 2008. It wasn't placed. It was then hacked to 50 words and temporarily re-titled The Misunderstood Gift for the same year's Charnwood Arts MiniWords Competition. It duly clocked up a third and final failure.


The 139-word version of Misunderstandings was then trimmed back to exactly 100 words, and in this form was published by Tuesday Shorts in November 2008.


Here's the original tanka:

As a token of
his love, he gave her a small
white mouse, called Benji.

Gratefully, she received the
gift, and fed it to her snake.

Which pretty much contains the essence of the story.