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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: The Day Gone Went Fishing
By Elizabeth Burton


It was a mighty fine morning, it was, with all the birds just chittering and singing to the Lord. Not a cloud in the sky. Even my ol’ bones felt good and spry in all that warm, breezy air!

Gone wasn’t the kinda horse you locked up. Now that he wasn’t. Fact is, that’s how he got his name in the first place, by bein’ gone every time you tried. He was so smart he could open any gate or door you put in front of him. Why, many’s the time I came into the kitchen just to find him standing half in, half out the door. Reminding me of his breakfast, I reckon, like he thought I’d forget!

But that morning wasn’t one of those times. I got up and looked out the window to find him all sprawled flat out in the yard, taking a snooze in the sun. He looked right peaceful thataway, so much so you could almost forget what an imp he was. Almost, but not quite. Anything you wanted to keep him out of you had to put away somewhere out of his sight, cause if he saw it, he wanted to know what it was.

That morning, Earl had left his fishing pole out on the back porch. I wasn’t too worried, seein’ as Gone was off in dreamland, but I shoulda known better than to think he wouldn’t notice something new like that. While I got busy fixin’ breakfast, Gone must’ve finished his nap and gotten bored; like any kid, he doesn’t cotten to being bored and looks to amuse hisself.

Well, like I said, Earl’s pole was on the porch. I never liked that fish smell, so I never let him keep them things in the house. Makes what happened my fault, least in part, I suppose, but Earl never laid a word of blame on me, bless his heart. 50 years of marriage and hardly a cross word, I tell you. But Earl had always been a tad forgetful, especially about puttin’ things away.

Now all that’s well and good if you don’t have any kids of the two or four-legged variety to get into things, but we do. The two-legged ones have done left and had kids of their own, but we’ve still got Gone. And he can get into enough for five two-leggeds. We quarrel about him some, but truth is, he’s company for us. After all these years, you run out of things to say unless you’ve got something to make news.

With that pole on the porch and Gone out in the yard, it was just a matter a’ time before the two found each other. While Earl was eating his pancakes, I looked out and there went Gone, pole in his mouth, trotting down the field with Earl’s prize toy.

Earl and me both ran off after him, trying to get there before he tore the whole thing plum up. But when we found him, we didn’t take it away. We didn’t even let him know we were watching. Because Lord knows that horse was a better person than both of us that day.

You see, there’s a family right down the road that don’t have nothin’ really. A widower man, too young to take care of all those boys by hisself; doesn’t know how to be a mother to them. Earl and me, we’d fretted ourselves about them, but didn’t know anything to do. But Gone did. He went right over to their trailer house, in their yard, and trotted up to the oldest boy (he’s 10, maybe) and dropped that pole smack dab at his feet.

And you shoulda seen the look on that boy’s face, like Christmas and a bunch of birthdays came all at once. With a “Dad, Dad, look what I found!” off he went, so’s you’d think it was an everyday thing for a horse to trot up with a fishing pole! And you could hear all the other boys oohing and aahing over it, too, and asking their dad if he’d teach ‘em to fish. I ask you, would you’ve been able to break those boys’ hearts?

Gone came home mighty pleased with hisself. Earl and me came home mighty humbled. All our frettin, and Gone just went out and did what he saw needed doing. He just went fishin’ for the Lord.

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This article has been read 728 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie02/09/07
Creative, well-written story. I especially like the explanation about how Gone got his name.
Michelle Burkhardt02/10/07
A sweet story. I liked when the boys acted like a horse drops a fish at their feet everyday. Nice job.
Jan Ackerson 02/11/07
I love this! Great voice, and such an original story! The only (teensy) thing I'd suggest is to give us a clue to your narrator's identity earlier. We're five paragraphs in before we're sure of her gender, age, etc. I was assuming the narrator was male first, so I had a moment of cognitive dissonance.

This is just precious, witty and full of great imagery. And Gone is an unforgettable character in his own right.
Joanney Uthe02/11/07
What an awesome, fun story. I really enjoyed the take on the topic.
Joanne Malley02/11/07
This is such a down-to-earth, "feel good" story. A pleasure to read. Blessings, Jo
Sheri Gordon02/11/07
Very original, and so fun to read. Nice lesson too.
Jacquelyn Horne02/12/07
Delightful! Good writing. Good story. Keep it up.
Sara Harricharan 02/12/07
LOL! This was so funny to read. Very entertaining and creative, I loved the descriptions and the story! Wonderful stuff, Gone sounds like a unique horse. I liked the feel of this piece particularly. Great job!
Bonnie Way02/12/07
Great story! I really like your narrator's voice - you capture this very well. Good humor, great descriptions, and I like the little tidbits of necessary information tucked into the story without dragging it down.
This is precious. I could see the whole scene. Good job. Keep writing. God bless. Janie
Patty Wysong02/13/07
I loved the voice in this!! It was a fun read and had a good lesson. The descriptions were just right.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/15/07
Mighty pleasin' story, if'n you ask me. Loved it! Such a delight from the nifty Title to the last line! (my only question being...do horses really lie down to rest? thought they always stood) Anyways...Super Job, and very well written!