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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Goodbye Podunk! Hello City!
By Sharon Henderson


Brady hung up the phone and let out a whoop! “Glory! Yes! Good-bye Watson Machinery. Good-bye Podunk, USA!”

Mary rushed in to check on all the excitement. “Brady, what in the world is going on? You sound like girl who just found a real diamond in a Cracker-Jack box. Do tell what’s got you all excited…”

“Mary, baby, we are on our way out – of – here! We are moving out of this small rent house …out of this rinky-dink town ...out of bargain shopping at the discount superstore store.”

Mary tilted her head slightly and squinted her eyes “Oh yeah? How’s that going to happen?”

“I have two, count them, two potential job offers in the city. Both pay more than I could ever imagine earning here. Both have a signing bonus big enough to put a down payment on a house. And both have the level of responsibility I have worked all these years to attain. Watson may not see what they have but, baby, the people in the city sure see it. Wahoo!” He picked up Mary and swung her around the room.

He continued, “I’m giving my two week notice on Monday. We’ll take this weekend and next weekend to pack up our stuff. Then the next weekend we will move to the city. We’ll put our things in storage and stay in a nice hotel until the signing bonus comes in. Just think, very soon you will have your very own, fancy-schmancy house.”

“Honey, don’t you think you should wait until you accept an offer before you quit Watson?”

“Baby! I have got these jobs in the bag. It will be my choice which one I take. I just want to be ready to start as soon as the offer comes in. Don’t worry my love…you won’t go one minute without all the things you deserve.”

Two weeks later, they found a nice place to stay in the city. They put all their worldly possession in a self-storage unit. And they waited for Brady's cell phone to ring.

Six months later, after work, Brady walked the two blocks back to the converted roadside hotel they now called their apartment. He smelled like the French fries and burgers he had been cooking. His feet hurt from standing all day. When he had worked at Watson, his back always hurt from sitting but at least he had made a respectable living.

He checked the work schedule that Mary had placed on the refrigerator. Rats! She was working a double shift at the discount store. Guess I’ll have to warm up my own pork ‘n beans. Oh, how I miss coming home to the aroma of Mary’s home cooking!

Two solid second interviews with two great companies. Who would have ever guessed that neither one would make me an offer? I was so confident that I didn’t give any consideration to what Watson had offered me for so many years. I let that go and why? To chase a dream…and what do I have to show for it? Nothing! No new job, no signing bonus, and no prospect for getting back in my field of expertise.

He hated to admit it, but he knew it was true. He should have listened to Mary and held on to Watson until he had the offer for one of the other jobs. Why did I let go of the certain for a dream? Why?

He sat there shaking his head so long that he fell asleep with his head on the kitchen table. Pork ‘n beans would have to wait for another night.

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This article has been read 756 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beckie Stewart01/17/08
Very sad that indeed people actually make these kind of choices and lose so much.
Joanne Sher 01/18/08
Great depiction of the topic, and what a change! A lesson worth learning. Watch your exclamation points. I like your last line - sums it all up, doesn't it? Keep writing.
LauraLee Shaw01/20/08
I love your catchy title, and your message was right on topic.
Sally Hanan01/21/08
This is good because you've got the hang of writing on topic, your grammar is good, and you can tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end. Now that you have all that, it's time to work on showing, not telling, e.g. instead of saying his feet hurt, say something like, he collapsed on the kitchen chair, pulled off his socks, and gingerly began to massage the soles of his feet.
Sara Harricharan 01/21/08
This is good. I like the energy in the beginning where he's so excited and is absolutely sure that everything's going to work out just like that. I just wish there was a little more transition between his having everything and then nothing. Otherwise, this was pretty good. ^_^
Sheri Gordon01/22/08
This is a great illustration of the topic. The frenzied pace at the beginning was perfect -- I could picture the conversation taking place.

I would have liked a little more "present tense" story when the job offers didn't happen -- just to keep the story flowing in present time rather than telling after the fact.

Your writing is very enjoyable to read, and your storyline fit the topic perfectly. Good job.
Dianne Janak01/22/08
Great on topic piece here that was interesting and real... can just see it happening... sad but great illustration of the proverb.!
Hanne Moon 01/22/08
Very good showing his excitement through the dialogue. A little more transition from beginning to end, but still this piece was very well done! Keep up the good work! (I like exclamation marks too! LOL)
Holly Westefeld01/22/08
I agree with the others about the good energy and pace.
Just remember that this can't be used again if they put up a "don't count your chickens before they hatch" topic. *grin*
Tim Pickl01/23/08
I can almost smell the beans cooking...this is a wonderful story, right on topic. It reads like a skit
Karen Wilber01/23/08
Nice foreshadowing - "potential job offers". Ya' know that can't turn out well. ;-)
I like the last two sentences as a way to show how tired he was.
Beth LaBuff 01/23/08
I lived near a "town" called Podunk Center. :) Great story for this topic, sad...but great writing.
Debbie Wistrom01/24/08
Congratulations, so right on topic and so sad, keep up the good words.
Sara Harricharan 01/24/08
Sheri Gordon01/24/08
Congratulations Sharon. Very good job with the topic. Woo Hoo.
LauraLee Shaw01/24/08
Congratulations on 3rd place! It is a terrific piece!