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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: The Back Forty
By Tessy Fuller


We sat beside each other on the wooden chairs of the dining room table. We had just finished an early breakfast with dad before he headed off to work. I conjured up my ninja power and made a quick jab at my brother’s leg dangling beside mine. He responded with a quick punch to my leg. “Are you two listening to me?” dad asked sternly. We both quickly nodded, muttering our “Uh-Huhs.” “I expect all the chores to be done when I get home” dad concluded as he pushed back his chair.

“Last one to dad’s truck is a rotten egg” I yelled as I flung open the door, the hinges screaming their dislike. I glanced over my pillow tussled hair to see my brother just a few strides behind me. Just as I began to gloat at my victory, my monkey toes were suddenly threw off balance as I leapt from soft green grass to chunky rocks of gravel. I found myself sprawled across the driveway grimacing in pain as my newly torn flesh throbbed its existence. I rolled over expecting to see a face of sympathy staring down at me. Instead my little brother leaped like a deer across my mangled body. He quickly touched the side of dad’s truck and turned to look at me, his sandy brown hair hanging in his eyes. “I win!” he boasted proudly. “You’re the rotten egg, and boy do you stink.” He ran back to the house giggling in delight as I made my way to my feet.

As dad’s truck rumbled its good-bye we began to prepare for our day of adventure. It was spring and the bluebells were just beginning to bloom in the back forty. The sun filtered through the window as we promised mom that we would be back to do our chores before dad returned. I slopped together two peanut butter sandwiches and threw an apple into a Wal-mart bag. Lee grabbed the discarded butter knife off the table and began to lick it, drool running down his chin. “You are so disgusting.” I told him, rolling my eyes in his direction. “Are you going to be able to keep up this time?” I asked. “Are you going to be able to stay on your feet?” he shot back at me, pin-pointing his look directly at my skinned elbow. “Whatever, let’s go.” I replied.

We headed to the back forty, stopping inside the fence quickly to say “Hello” to Bessy our cow. Lee ran ahead of me, his pigeon toed feet dancing through the long grass swaying in the breeze. I trailed on behind him thinking about how much I loved weekends and how I couldn’t wait for summer. Summer was a time when weekends never ended. “Look what I found!” Lee hollered his voice echoing from under the rickety bridge. I had almost caught up with him but I knew by the tone of his voice that he was up to no good. I could see his Osh Kosh overalls laid across the mismatched planks; his head was dangling close to the water. I peered down at his hand, which he brought up slowly, an ornery grin breaking out across his chubby cheeks. “Get away from me!” I warned. “You know I hate those things.” I took off running alongside the creek just far enough down to where I could jump over it. I took a flying leap just before two little muddy hands attached two little pinchers to my backside.

After a good chase, Lee returned Mr. Crawdad back to his home and we continued on our journey. There was so much waiting for us. Fallen trees that would materialize before our eyes into giant ships, their sails like giant marshmallows would puff up as the wind carried us to new lands. There was a bank full of sand, where we would build intricately designed castles, laced with acorns, flowers, pebbles, and whatever else we could scavenger up. Sometimes we would even work together and build a moat complete with a perfect sized piece of tree bark for a drawbridge. Today we were especially excited to return to our sanctuary of imagination. The day before we had a met a new friend. Along several branches on the bow of our ship, a spider had made its home. We had named her Orlando. At least I thought it was a girl, Lee wanted it to be a boy.


My brother and I have many fond memories from our times in the back forty. When we would cross that fence, suddenly he wasn’t just my dweeby little brother anymore. We became comrades. It was a place that put no limits on our imaginations, only limits on our time. It always seemed sooner rather then later we would hear dad’s truck rumbling towards home. We would hightail it back, knowing how much trouble we were in.

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This article has been read 551 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 05/08/08
Wonderful descriptions! You and your brother must have had a great childhood together.
This is full of great imagery.
Debbie Wistrom05/09/08
Ah yes! What a time. Can't we turn it back, even for a day..........?

Even the part about throwing lunch together brings back so many memories.

Your tree/boat paragraph is outstanding.

Keep up the good words!
Marlene Austin05/14/08
Great imaginations shown through great descriptions. :)
Lyn Churchyard05/15/08
Great story of childhood memories. Your tone was beautifully conversational and easy to read.
I don't know if it was just my computer, but there were some very strange symbols appearing on the page: The Euro sign, Trade Mark symbol and others. The following is an example.
“Whatever, let’s go.” I replied.
If no one else can see it, I must be going crazy.
That aside, your story is woven beautifully and your shared memories are a delight. Well done.