what's the title/who's the author?
March 5, 2008 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Short-story filter: contemporary American story with a scene of a baby boy whose father cruelly dangles a pocketwatch just out of reach so as to get the boy used to disappointment.

I read this story within the past decade but back a few years. I believe the author was female but I'm sure the narrator was, she was the older sister of the baby in the scene & the story opens with that scene.

I most likely read it in an anthology/collection like "best american," "story," or maybe the New Yorker.
posted by headnsouth to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That sounds like Ray Bradbury's "The Small Assassin," which I think you can find in a collection by the same name.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:42 AM on March 5, 2008

I can't find much to corroborate that, but this page about an adaptation of the story has this to say:
[I]n the story, the closing line is foreshadowed by David Leiber dangling his watch over the crib and saying "See baby, something bright, something pretty.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:47 AM on March 5, 2008

Response by poster: No, it's definitely not that --- nothing supernatural at all, just your typical messed-up adult looking back on her earliest memory of her abusive father & unhappy childhood. I wish I could remember more about the body of the story, but the opening scene was so compelling I've lost the rest of it.
posted by headnsouth at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2008

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