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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Brown (11/26/09)

TITLE: Archies New Home
By Lisa Keck


One day Clover Gingerroot was out walking in the open fields of his woodland property. He and his wife Ginger had a lovely home on the lake and the spot he was walking now was on the edge of his property and quite remote. The view was spectacular as the sun began to set. “Hello Clover,” his friend Archie greeted him as he sat himself down on a nearby rock.

“Why Archie, you are a long way from home. Are you alone?”

“Yes, I’ve decided it’ll be better to be alone and I’ve chosen this most beautiful spot to make my home; that is if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind but you must let me help you.” Archie agreed and Clover went home. Rushing to the kitchen where he knew he’d find Ginger making dinner he asked her, “Dear where is the gingerbread house kit we got for Christmas last year?”

“In the closet where I keep the white elephant gifts, why?”

“Archie needs it.”

“Archie, why?” Ginger asked as Clover pulled the box out of the closet.

“He’s moving to the edge of our property. He’ll need a home.” Clover said pulling out the contents of the box and inspecting them. “Jelly beans. These will never do for a roof. Do we have any coffee beans?”

“Yes of course,” Ginger replied getting a bag of beans out of the cupboard, “but why is Archie moving?”

“He’s decided to embrace his recluse identity and live alone. Oh dear the icing is hard as a brick.”

“I can make more but I’m out of eggs and vanilla.”

“He won’t need the vanilla. It’ll be outside and we’ll have to stain and weatherproof it anyway. Don’t worry about the icing. I’ve got some gorilla glue in my toolbox and some walnut stain and varnish. I’ll just take the instructions, the graham crackers and the cardboard base over to where he’s camping out tomorrow.”

“He’s camping out there tonight. Isn’t he going to be cold?”

“Dear you forget that in California, winter is just a word. He’ll be fine.”

The next day Glover set out bright and early with a sack lunch that Ginger packed for him and Archie. Between the 2 of them they finally figured out the directions which came in Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and English. “It’s quite masculine looking, not like the picture on the box. Thank you my friend.” Archie said when they were all finished and the final brown coffee bean had been glued in place.

Clover helped him stain and varnish the house. They strolled over to the lake and went fishing while the first coat dried. And then again while the second and third coats dried. In all they put on 7 coats of exterior grade varnish rendering the little house weatherproof. Too bad their fishing efforts were not equally successful.

After they finished the house Archie asked to be left alone. Clover respected his wishes and did not visit. He would extend a friendly wave as he drove by the property on the way into town. One day he was coming home from the mall where he’d bought his father-in-law a vintage Derby hat for Christmas when he noticed smoke coming from Archie’s place and called the fire department.

The fire department made quick work of putting out the fire. Later, on OCN Scott Brown of the Orange County fire Authority reported on what happened. “Apparently the homeowner was roasting chestnuts and an ember flew out of the chimney and landed on the cardboard base of the home. He escaped unharmed and the red-cross has provided a hotel room for him for the night.” The next day Home Depot and Michaels craft store got together and donated the necessary materials to rebuild.

And that is how a gingerbread family and a brown recluse spider came to be neighbors in unincorporated Santa Ana.

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This article has been read 411 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke12/03/09
Pretty cute--and clever-- use of the topic.

I'm not positive about the rule for numbers-- are they supposed to be spelled out? (i.e.:seven instead of 7?)

I like the little extra information included-- like Clover purchasing his father-in-law a derby hat for Christmas. Fun stuff!
Anita van der Elst12/03/09
For a story about an arachnid, absolutely adorable! Can see it illustrated for a children's book. I'm glad Archie accepted his reclusive nature and that Clover respected it.

Other than several missing commas, very nicely written too! Good job!
Mildred Sheldon12/04/09
What an adorable story. You have a vivid imagination and I enjoyed this immensely. Thank you and keep writing.
Carol Penhorwood 12/12/09
Oh, I agree, this should definitely be illustrated for a children's book!!!!!!!!!! Great job!!