Ed and Wilbur

One of my sister's horses. This was just after she rescued it and it was heavily in foal at the time.

“You certainly look relaxed, Ed”

“Oh yeah, I am.  I’ve gotta thank someone for leaving that gate open. Was that you? I owe you one. I didn’t know the neighbours were growing weed in their backyard.”

“I think most yards have weeds. Some more than others…”

“No, not weeds, Wilbur. I thought I’d died and gone to horse heaven. I sort of floated back here from the Addison place.”

“Well, you look as if you’re about to fall over.”

“Nope, feeling great! Are there any more oats? Or apples? How about carrots? Maybe you could mix up some warm mash. Boy, its really bright here by the door. Think I’ll go stand in the corner, my knees area little wobbly. What’s that sound? Do you hear buzzing?”

“I don’t hear anything. Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

“Fine. I’m fine. Just close the door will you. I’m just going to close my eyes for a bit.”

“I’d better have a look at that gate latch.”

Ingrates

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

“Are you laughing at me?”

I stared at the two of them in shock. They were mocking me! All I’ve wanted was to care for and admire them. They’ve been given pride of place at the very centre of my little greenhouse, Lord and Lady over all they surveyed. Just below their perch sits the ribbon won at last week’s fair.

I’ve never been so successful with my gardening efforts and I can’t resist spending time with them each evening. I’ve taken dozens of photographs and a lovely collage hangs above the fireplace.

Which was really very fortunate, I thought, as I brought out my shears. ©

——–

Posted in Mondays Finish The Story

Thanks to Barbara W. Beacham for this week’s Prompt

To Whom It May Concern

Dear PC,

As you know, I committed the other week to posting something each day. This was to be an exercise in discipline. I was having no trouble coming up with ideas but just as soon as I opened my mouth to tell the world that writer’s block is hokum, “I just sit down and free type”, things have dried up.

I’m here to tell you that I’m getting a little tired of waiting for you to pull your weight. I don’t ask for much. A few words about loons or a joke about a fire. Perhaps a short poem or a ditty about a little red sweater. Just about anything will do, really. Just help me get started. And don’t speak to me about the prompts. Sometimes they work and sometimes I stare at them as if they’re written in Greek.

This letter is intended as a warning that should you continue to block my efforts, I will go out, purchase a new laptop and consign you to the closet. Beware, once in, never out! There are still jackets in there from the 80’s!

I can tell you one thing, this is definitely not my fault. I’ve always been able to bullshit about any topic for a couple of minutes or a couple of hundred words. So, as you are the only other entity involved…

…huh. Look at that, a couple of hundred words. ©

——–

The Ornament

Pewter dragon ornament

I stepped into the living room to see my five year old grandson standing before the end table, hands clasped behind his back. He was examining, from a safe distance, a forbidding looking 6 inch pewter dragon.

“Do you know what that is? I asked him. It was Jackie’s first time in my house. I had not seen him since before his first birthday.

He nodded, “A dragon. He’s scary.” He looked up at me, his face solemn.

“Do you think so? Not all dragons are scary. What about Puff and Elliott?”

The boy turned and smiled at me. “I like Elliott, he’s funny.” He turned back to tentatively touch a finger to its wing. “Where did you get it?”

“On one of my trips to China.”

“What’s China?”

I started to tell him but he quickly lost patience and I realized that I needed some grandpa practice.

“Can I hold it?”

I reached over and placed it in the crook of his arm. “Don’t drop it on your toes,” I warned.

“It’s not too heavy,” he assured me, fingers carefully testing its fangs and horns. He crouched to walk it across the carpet. “Can I play with it?”

“Well, it’s not really a toy. We should put it back.” I reached down and picked it up. His face was disappointed as he looked about the barren room, not a toy in sight.

I needed to save the day. “Have you ever heard the song Puff the Magic Dragon?”

Jackie brightened and looked up at me. “No, but you could maybe sing it to me.” ©

________

This post was submitted to Sunday Photo Fiction.

Trout

While we were posted to Marville, France by the RCAF, my father introduced our family to camping. It was an exotic adventure to sleep for the first time under canvas, walk to the communal wash house each morning and to cook our meals outdoors. Over the years, camping would become the norm at vacation time, especially when we were overseas.

This time was special to me for an unusual reason. My father took me fishing. I had fished with him before. There was a family cottage and we had dropped our lines off the dock and from my Grandfather’s boat. Here, we had no boat so we cast our lines from shore. The owner kept the lake stocked with trout so it wasn’t long before we had our dinner hanging from the stringer. Dad showed me how to improve my cast and we chatted and shared fishing stories with other fishermen nearby. We had a good time and got along well.

Back at the camp site, Dad started a fire and then cleaned and prepared the trout. He added a little butter and salt and pepper and sealed the fillets in tin foil. Once the fire was ready he stepped over and tossed the package into the coals. I don’t recall the other parts of that meal. The aroma that arose from that foil after it was pulled from the fire has stayed with me ever since. For years, I proclaimed that trout dinner to have been the best I had ever had.

I don’t remember how the rest of that vacation went but that had been a good day. We didn’t always have successful holidays because family life stays the same whatever the setting. I do know that it’s one of my best memories of time spent with my father. ©

——–

Yard Art

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The neighbours were not happy about my choice of yard art.

But when I stepped out on the verandah and took a gander down the block, I wasn’t happy about their choices, either.

My art is at least as nice as Mr. Santos’s Horse Shoe Armadillo or the Rossi’s plastic Shrine to the Virgin! Just yesterday, Barry Kingman propped his wheelbarrow up beside the front steps. He’d painted the bowl with a four colour image of his late dog, Casper! To top it all, the Palmer yard has a flock of pink flamingos!

There was only one thing for it. Taking some left over party crepe paper and my daughter’s crayons, I hung a winner’s ribbon from my buffalo’s horn. The Rossi’s won second prize, in respect for the Virgin. The armadillo won third and I draped Casper’s wheelbarrow in black and a participant’s ribbon.

I set fire to the flamingos. ©

——–

This is posted to Mondays Finish The Story

The Letter

 

It’s been raining and it’s still a little windy. On the path in the park a gust picks up a few leaves and a piece of paper and tosses them against my feet. I bend to pick up the paper and throw it in the nearby litter bin and see that it’s an envelope with a single word, “Marty” across its middle. Inside is a single page of foolscap. It reads:

Dear Son,

How are you? I hope you like the new apartment and your new school. Have you made some new friends? What do you do for fun in your new neighbourhood? It’s too bad that you can’t play hockey this year. Its just so expensive now that your Mom has to pay the bills by herself.

I’m sorry that I’ve caused you both so much trouble and I’ll do my best to make it up to you when I get home. Your Mom said that she told you where I am and that I won’t be home for quite a long time. I did a bad thing and now I have to take my punishment. I’ll try to explain it to you when I see you.

I think of you every day and I wish that I could be there with you. Be a good boy and listen to your Mom and Mrs. Benson. Work hard at school and do your homework. Do you get homework this year? Do you think you could write me a letter and tell me how you’re doing?

I miss you and I love you,

Dad

I look again at the envelope. No last name, no address. I wonder if the boy had thrown it away in anger or merely dropped it while playing. What if the letter had been dropped by his mother before he’d seen it? I look around but don’t see anyone who might be looking for it. Suddenly it seems important that Marty get this letter back. I fold it carefully, slide it back into the envelope and place it in my inside pocket. I’ll start by leaving a note on the apartment bulletin board as well as the one in the supermarket. I hope that works. I’d rather not go door to door. ©

——–