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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Muddy Innocence
By Elizabeth Baize


You see, it was a Saturday
And all was in a tizzy,
‘Cause Mama was a cleanin’ house
And listen, she was busy!

Our Granny was arrivin’
And was goin’ to stay a week.
When Mama heard this bit of news
She took off like a streak.

First with a broom, and then a mop
She scoured all the floors.
She dusted everything in sight
And even polished doors.

She said to me and Jimmy,
“Children, go and play outside.
I’m sure there’s something just out back
To keep you occupied.”

We wandered out into the field
In search of something fun,
And found the perfect thing to do
Beneath a summer sun!

I guess I have to stop and say
That Jimmy saw it first –
A wondrous patch of soft black mud, –
And soon we were immersed.

Deliciously it oozed and squished
Around my laughing toes.
I think they thought that this was IT
As far as comfort goes.

For oh, this mud was smooth and thick
Like icing on a cake.
To bad I couldn’t eat it;
But a mud pie I could make!

I stretched my fingers down to meet
The chocolate-colored matter
And gently placed it on the grass
So that it would not splatter.

This really was the cleanest mud
That I had ever seen.
But then again I’m no expert
On what they call “hygiene.”

While I was workin’ on my pie
My brother had the thought
To play the part of some great fish –
But join him I would not.

“It looked like he was tryin’ to swim
In melted Hershey kisses.
“Hey Jim,” I called, “You know that mud
Is not a home for fishes!”

C’mon,” he yelled, “it’s really fun!
You out to dive in too!”
“I’ll wade,” I answered back to him,
“But not just now, thank you.”

Just then we heard a motor’s purr
And then a car door slam.
“Oh, Jimmy, I am pretty sure
That that is prob’ly Gram!”

Forgotten was my perfect pie;
I raced Jim to the house.
I also did not waste a tear
For mud spots on my blouse.

Jim grabbed the doorknob with his hand
And yanked it ‘til it opened.
We sped across the shining tiles
That Mama had just whitened.

And there was Granny with a smile;
Her arms were opened wide.
We flew at her in unison –
Our Mama horrified.

Yes, Mama turned almost as white
As her own sparkling floor;
But then her face became as red
As the bright shirt she wore.

At first she stared at Jim and me;
Then at the muddy tracks
That zigzagged through our spotless home
Like ancient artifacts.

But when she saw our Granny’s dress
Our Mama finally spoke,
“Why children! What is going on?
This really is no joke!”

“And Mother,” she then turned to Gran,
“What can I say to do?
I’m so embarrassed, but I must
Do something with these two.”

Our Granny didn’t seem to mind;
She even hosed us down.
While Mama brought us some fresh clothes
That were not colored brown.

You know, I guess our Mama
Was embarrassed ‘cause of us.
But honest, we weren’t a tryin’
To be bad or cause a fuss.

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This article has been read 882 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/26/07
I loved this wonderful narrative poem. I could so feel with Mama.
Marilee Alvey07/26/07
Hurray for grandma! That's how I want to be. Thanks for reminding me of my special status: that of the unembarrassed. We grandmas have seen everything! Thanks for the delightfully fun poem!
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
Oh boy! Just when Mama needs her children to be at their best, they give her quite a surprise! A wonderfully, humorous poem.
Lynda Schultz 07/26/07
Great fun and so well done!
Melanie Kerr 07/27/07
could see that one coming a mile away! Great poem. Granny came across as a really loving lady prepared to see beyond the mud.
Joanne Sher 07/27/07
Delightful and fun - great word choice in so many places here.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/30/07
That's why God made Grandmas. They don't worry so much about things like a little mud. Very cute and wonderful rhyme and rhythm from a true master poet.
Loren T. Lowery07/30/07
The cadence and word choices were perfect...showing not only a great talent but a loving heart as well.
Linda Watson Owen07/30/07
Oh, how delightful! It could have come straight out of about every reader's childhood (and parenthood!) I would say. Such a sweet trip into a loving grandma's arms! Really well done!
Dianne Janak07/31/07
I loved this also. I am a new grandma and it is true that we see things in such a different perspective. Each stage goes by so quickly that we know we have to discover and relish the joys of each one. If only I knew then what I know now and I swore I would not be so trite as to ever say that.. but it is true.. THANKS for the story.. made my day..as I go off to help with triplet newborns!
Kristen Hester07/31/07
This is great. I am sad to say I am like the mom in this story and my kids are just like the ones in the story. My son often does "experiments" in his bathroom with mud, sticks, rocks, glitter, magic markers, etc. I often discover his creations 5 minutes before company arrives. Yikes. Great story!
Jan Ackerson 07/31/07
Great rural flavor in this narrative poem--I wish I could do this.
Sara Harricharan 08/01/07
Cute is the word that comes to mind! I liked the story and especially the title that hints of a neat story to come. Good job.
Catrina Bradley 08/01/07
Great rhymes and descriptions, I was smiling all they way through.
Jacquelyn Horne08/01/07
This tells a lot about grannies. Yes, they are the best. Fun read.
Pamela Kliewer08/01/07
I really like this... what a great way to share this story via a poem. :)
Helen Paynter08/01/07
Good fun (horrific story!)
I'd have left it with the children embracing the Grandmother and the mother's face, but that's just me. Now excuse me, I have to go and wipe some mud marks away...!
Betty Castleberry08/01/07
Very entertaining, and a great home-spun feel as well. Good work.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/01/07
Too fun! I love a good poem and this one definitely hit the mark. The ONLY thing I would consider changing is granny's reaction. I might end it with granny's face lit up and she broke out in a grin...and then something about her racing them to the mud and jumping in. That would have been the perfect ending, in my book. Then the mother would have something else to be embarrassed about. But personally, I think granny jumping in the mud would be a hoot!
Great job on the poem. A very fun and entertaining read.
George Parler 08/01/07
Now that was a fun read. I could almost feel the mud between my toes. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go wash my feet.

Thanks for sharing this.
Beth LaBuff 08/02/07
Elizabeth--this is so cute and so typical of childhood innocence. You have some wonderful rhyming lines (muddy tracks/artifacts, opened wide/horrified, ever seen/hygiene). I totally enjoyed the trip back to childhood and felt the embarrassment of the poor mother who worked so hard to clean the house. :)
Loren T. Lowery10/02/07
Was re-reading some past artilces and just realized I haven't seen any submissions from you lately. Hope you are continuing to write, I really enjoy your work.

Safe journey - Loren