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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Paths (05/17/04)

TITLE: Watch Out for Snakes
By Martha Currington


“Mama says I can go. It’s my turn.”

“You’re too little. You’re just five!” My seven year old sister taunts back.

“Come on Babe” Mama calls from the back porch. “Let’s go.”

Happily, I run out the back screen door, and follow Mama down the high steps.

She picks up the milk pail. Off we go to milk the cow.

We walk from the back yard, across a little dirt road, up a path to the cow lot. Mama unlatches the barn door, puts feed in a bucket. She tells me, “Babe, you put a handful at a time of this dry feed into Pat Jane’s feeding trough. This will keep her eating while I milk her. She’ll stand still until I’m finished.”

Pat Jane, our light brown jersey cow, is waiting by the fence. Mama puts a little feed in the trough first and then sits on a small stool she has placed beside Pat Jane.

“Now, Babe, you keep putting a handful of feed in to her and Mama will milk.”

I am having a good time. I’m getting to be with Mama and help her, without the other six kids around. I feel “special”.

The milk goes “squish, squish, squish” and hits in the milk pail. I lean over and watch Mama, but don’t think I can do that part.

The pail is almost full.

My stomach starts to hurt. “Mama, I need to go to the bathroom!”

“Well, stay on the path and go back to the house, but watch out for snakes.”

The path is clean, not grassy like other paths we use... I can do it by myself. It’s not that far.

I walk hurriedly down the path when all of a sudden a long black snake appears out of nowhere! Then it starts chasing me! I run and scream at the same time. I run as fast as I can.! I scream louder!

Mama comes running! She yells, “Stop and stomp your foot! It will turn and go another way!”

I always believe what Mama says, but this time my feet don’t. They keep running! The snake gets faster! So do my feet!

I keep running and screaming. The black snake keeps chasing me. And Mama keeps running behind the snake.

But I outrun the snake , and beat it to the back door steps! Up the ten steps I run! Now I’m safely inside , and I slam the back door shut.

Mama comes inside. “The snake left.” she says. “Are you o.k.?”

I nod my head “yes”.

I don’t know who is the most tired and out of breath. Me, that black snake, or my Mama!
But I do know one thing for sure. I don’t want to go help Mama at milking time anymore.

I’m not getting back on that path! No way...

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.(KJV)

Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington
word count: 500

Member Comments
Member Date
Norma OGrady05/24/04
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Oh how we need to use this on our path to heaven.
May Yeshua the Messiah bless you
Good story, kept my attention. It would have flowed a little easier if you told it in a non-passive voice.
L.M. Lee05/24/04
brought back lots of memories from my childhood farm life.
Leticia Caroccio05/25/04
Interesting. Good imagery of life on a farm. I was right there with you as you outran that snake. Nicely done.
Lynne Gaunt05/25/04
I enjoyed re-living this memory with you. You really kept my interest.
Jan Grupido05/25/04
Greeeeaaaattt MOMENTUM! I was almost out of breath myself by the time they reached the house. Loved your transition to truth. Glad I stopped to read it...title caught my eye first thing! thank you -
Marie B. Corso05/26/04
A great story. Have you thought of making it a children's book? It would be so good for that. I saw pictures the whole time I read. Good job!
Mary Elder-Criss05/26/04
We all need to be on the watch for snakes on our paths. Easier when we remember we have the power to make them turn aside. I was running right alongside of you. Agree this would make a good story for children..saw the pictures in my head. Blessings! Mary
Dian Moore05/26/04
Nice use of dialogue, and the story kept my interest. I grew up on a farm with billions of those darn snakes. I ran screaming a couple of times, myself. Wish I would have known to stomp my foot!
B Price05/26/04
I love this! It was so cute and kids would love this story as well.
It kept your interest, you felt yourself in this, and it made me laugh.
I don't blame you for running from that snake, I hate snakes.
Then I like how you wraped this up with a bible verse.
thanks for bringing back memories that My mother had told me about her farm life.
Melanie Kerr 05/27/04
Writing in the present tense works very well. Your use of short sentences reflects the thinking of a child. The story itself is lively with lots of action. Nice submission
Deborah Porter 05/29/04
Martha, this was a delightful little reading-stop for me in the middle of all the Paths entries. I enjoyed your story enormously. I can almost feel my legs shaking with Babes! With love, Deb
Bertie Patano05/29/04
Martha, on the way to our mail box a black snake lived in a gully covered with old pine tops. I loved to chunk rocks at him as I passed by. Dad said one day he would come after me. He did.Good thing our house was down hill. My feet took wings. I beat him home and never again bothered him. I loved your story. Bertie
Mary C Legg06/01/04
great story-- reminds me of the univesity lawns with blacksnake steaks all laying around from getting caught in the blades. blacksnakes never bothered me-- but them others that live in water--those copperheads and watermouths-- sorry bub, no foot stomping here--when necessary I do know how to mind my own business in critical times. really fine writing all the way through