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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: A duck waddle walks
By dub W


“A duck waddle walks
Bunnies hop along the trail
The Lord loves them all”

Kim Brooks covered her work with her arm and pretended to be thinking.

Dr. Samuels walked toward her and tried to look at her paper. “Having trouble Miss Brooks?”

She glanced up at him. “Oh, no sir, just working out the beat.”

“May I look at your work?” He continued to look over her shoulder. Writing haikus had been the classroom assignment, and Kim knew that Dr. Samuels often frowned at students who tried to overtly demonstrate their Christianity in class.

Kim reluctantly raised her arm. “It needs work.”

Dr. Samuels knelt next to her desk. Kim figured it was difficult for him to see student’s work on the low desks.

“This is pretty good,” he said. “I really like the gentle portrayal, almost oriental in your approach.” He chuckled. “Your first line, the arrangement of the words really draws an image, yes, ‘a duck waddle walks.’”

Kim beamed. Her professor rarely complemented her, or for that matter, any of the creative writing students. However, her ego was soon tempered.

“You might look at the weight of the words in the second line, although you captured the beat, with true oriental writing, we must capture a mood. Think about it.” Dr. Samuels stood and moved to the next student.

Wow, he didn’t say anything about my last line Kim began trying combinations to capture the mood which her instructor had promoted. When class ended Kim gathered her books and started for the door.

“Miss Brooks, do you have a minute?”

Kim paused. “Yes, Dr. Samuels, I have a free period next. What do you need?”

“I thought maybe we should chat just a second.”

Kim took a deep breath. What did I do? It’s probably my research paper, I knew I should have added another cite. She put her books on a first row desk and sat when he motioned to her.

“Miss Brooks, uh Kim,” he sat on the edge of his desk. “I have been thinking about your haiku.”
Kim’s mind raced. “Yes, sir. I am working on it.”

“I know, I know, remember I saw that delightful first line. But, the other thing that interested me in your work was the last line.”

Oh, oh, here comes the anti Christian platitudes.

“You have delivered a worthwhile thought without overburdening the reader, now that takes talent.”


“I confused you. Let’s see if I can say this better. Let me ask you this, obviously you are somewhat of a religious person, a Christian?”

Kim gulped. What did they teach us in Sunday school, Oh Lord, give me the right words . “Yes.”

“Good. Then I can ask you. Do you think that the Lord beats people with a big stick?”

Before Kim could answer he continued.

“No, at least not since old testament times.” Dr. Samuels seemed to look into her eyes. “Kim, my perception, and it appears, your perception is that the Lord is warm, inviting, the embodiment of love.”

Kim looked up at her professor. She had never noticed his gentle brown eyes and soft creased features. “Sir?”

“Look at your last line. ‘The Lord loves them all.’ I hope that is what you meant, a more universal ‘all.’ And, the use of the pronoun ‘them’.”

“I really didn’t think…” Kim stammered.

“Of course not, you’re a student, but that too can be forgiven.” Dr. Samuels smiled. “To express your faith, without driving the sheep from the herd, is the art of the shepherd poet.”

A few class members entered the room. Kim started to get up.

“Fix the poem, if the second verse works, we will enter it in a collegiate poetry contest. But, more than that; I think I will use it as a fill piece in the departmental newsletter – of course with your permission.”

Kim nodded. “Uh, yes sir, thank you.”

“Finish it. Drop it by my office. We will go from there.”

A crowd of people burst into the room and Kim had to fight her way out. “Okay, Lord what do we do?”


Dr. Samuel’s walked in the door and held his hand up to still the class. With no introduction he read.

“A duck waddle walks
A gentle rain soothes the trail
The Lord loves them all”

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This article has been read 992 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 07/28/06
Haven't a clue about haiku - but liked the story; and the conversation between the professor and the student. God job.
Rachel Burkum07/28/06
I like the way you molded Dr. Samuels' thoughts about the lines - creative and true about the way people read things. Nice.
Rita Garcia08/01/06
WOW! Great dialogue, great flow and fantastic ending! Master story telling!
terri tiffany08/01/06
Very real! Loved the dialogue - I felt I was sitting there too. Nice way to share a message.
Kimberly Mitchell08/01/06
Kim sounds very much like me. She even shares my name. I'm telling the truth when I say this is one of my top picks this week. :)
Jan Ackerson 08/01/06
I'm a huge haiku fan--and I loved this entry. The revised version is indeed far suprerior to her first effort.
Joanne Sher 08/01/06
Truly enjoyed this - the dialogue was great, and the message well done. Thanks!