Sunday, 19 September 2021

Conflict resolution

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn't always need to be bad or unhappy - it can be constructive; we can learn and grow through conflict. This week in our writing roopu (group) we took on the challenge of writing about conflict but to make it easier we focussed first on a conflict between two animals and then followed that up with people. We were asked to write a short story that incorporated some level of conflict and also how it was resolved. Like positive conflict it was challenging but rewarding!


Lost in her own world, Rubi rounded the corner and climbed the first step. She heard a low growl. Startled, she looked up and there was Bobbi, huddled up against Rubi’s cat door. Rubi’s hackles rose and she swished her tail angrily. Bobbie had no business sitting there! It was her door, Rubi’s door, and Bobbie did not belong. Rubi expressed her displeasure with a rumbling growl. Bobbie continued to sit there, her way of escape blocked by an angry Rubi. So, Bobbie just held her ground.

Bobbie was hungry and she knew from past experience that Rubi would complain but that she would not come any closer. Just to be sure she emitted a low growl and swiped a warning paw in Rubi’s direction. Rubi did not back away, but she didn’t come any closer either. Both cats gave a low growl and then began to complain loudly. It was a standoff!

The ruckus attracted the attention of the house’s occupant. Time to feed Bobbie. As she opened the door Bobbie made a mad dash to hide in the garden. A human, even one that fed her, was much scarier than Rubi any day. Rubi gave her a parting swipe and then trotted inside through the open door straight to her bed. With Rubi gone, Bobbie came a little closer. She was so hungry. The scary human put some food out for her and then disappeared, closing the door behind her. Now Bobbie felt safe. Time for a meal.



Jane looked up from her computer as her flatmate blundered in through the front door. She had a fast approaching deadline for her assignment and she needed quiet to concentrate so she could finish it on time. Sally continued to blunder through the room, kicking off her shoes and dropping her bag onto the floor with a thud. She collapsed onto the sofa and muttered, “Phew, what a day I have had. I must tell you all about it.”

Jane felt herself cringe. Once Sally got going there was no stopping her. Maybe distraction would work. “You sound as if a soak in a hot bath is just what the doctor would order. Then we can talk.”

Sally loved a long soak. This should give her time and the quiet she needed to finish on before the deadline. She was so close. But Sally wasn’t interested. She had too much to tell.

Jane tried again. “Why don’t you make us a cup of coffee.”

This time Sally trekked off to the kitchen and Jane tried to refocus on her task. It wasn’t easy with Sally crashing about in the kitchen. The noise was really very disconcerting. But she had to get this done. Even so, she did not want to upset Sally by seeming to brush her off when she so obviously needed to talk. Sally was a good friend and ever so sensitive. And she seemed pretty upset already.

How was she going to handle this? Maybe distraction was not the best way. Maybe she needed to be clear about her own situation. She had to get this done before she cooked dinner and time was ticking away.

Sally brought her coffee to her and then plonked herself down on the sofa. Jane took a deep breath,

“Sally I have an important assignment which I must email in before 8pm tonight. I am not quite finished but I can see that you really need to talk. If we talk now do you think you could cook tea tonight to allow me to get it finished? Everything is prepared and ready to go.”

Sally looked up from her coffee:

“Oh Jane, I am so sorry that I am disturbing you. I just don’t know what to do with myself until I get this off my chest. Of course I can cook dinner.”

Sally smiled. “And I will do my best to cook really quietly.”

Jane and Sally settled in for their talk.


Today we feature one of our regular writers who has diligently written up the poems she has developed at the Artsenta Writer's Group ove...