The Sour Tortilla

First, there was the story by Badgerdog writer Michael, from Metz Elementary. About a tortilla. Who was sour. Who just wants to enjoy his life.

And then, there was Amy Butcher’s recording of “The Sour Tortilla,” which brings to life the voice, the lightness, the hopes of Michael’s tortilla, and that place where discarded things don’t ever have to be lonely: the dumpster.

The Sour Tortilla

People didn’t want to eat the sour tortilla because he is sour.

Now he’s lost in the desert. A buzzard is on his trail, and he doesn’t want to get eaten, so he runs. He used to be at a restaurant. But he was rotten, so they threw him in a dump in the middle of the desert.

He doesn’t want to be eaten by the buzzard—he wants to enjoy his life by being a sour tortilla in the dump with all the other lonely, sour tortillas from the restaurant. He won’t be lonely anymore. They’ll play with the toys people have thrown out.

Michael, Metz Elementary School


Amy Butcher is a recent graduate of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa and will join Colgate University this fall as the 2012–2013 Olive B. O’Connor fellow. She’s the managing editor for Defunct Magazine ( and her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, the Colorado Review, Brevity, and Hobart, among others.

Michael was in Ms. Heimsath’s fourth grade classroom at Metz Elementary. The entire class participated in a year-long Badgerdog workshop lead by Cara Zimmer, which lead to the publication of the students’ poems and stories in our annual print anthology for elementary writers, Rise.

Badgerdog runs workshops in schools and in the community. To learn more about us, check out our website, or to contact us about in school programs or having your young writer join our Creative Writing Summer Camp, contact Cecily Sailer at cecily.sailer (at) or (512) 538-1305, ext. 102. If you are a writer or artist and would like to participate in this series of responses to Austin’s youngest authors, contact Jess Stoner at jessica.wigent (at)

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