Uncle Harold's Farm
Uncle Harold's Farm
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Nostalgic short stories from an earlier time, childhood adventures.

Thursday, July 17, 2003
Testing template edit...

posted by Daniel 4:36 PM
. . .
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Please see the drawing above for the layout of Uncle Harold's Farm.

posted by Daniel 5:32 AM
. . .
Davy and The Magic Dragon

Not long ago in a town called Roscoe, lived a boy named Davy was seven years old and was in first grade.
Davy wasn’t happy, it seemed like trouble just followed him everywhere. He tried to stay out of trouble, but it just seemed to happen.
One cold day in February, as Davy's mom’s car pulled up to the school, Davy rubbed his eyes. What was that! No, it couldn’t be! Davy took off his glasses and cleaned them. Believe it or not, it was a giant dragon. The dragon had breath of fire and was pure green, except for a little pink around his neck.
As Davy walked toward the school, the dragon spoke to him. “Hi, I’m Poof the Magic Dragon. What’s your name? Can I go to school with you?” “Hi, I’m Davy. I don’t think that they will let a dragon into my school.”
“it’ll be ok. I’m Poof the Magic Dragon.” “We’ll see. said Davy.” While walking to class, Poof skipped and giggled all the way. He had Davy laughing by the time they got to the class room.
Davy looked around, but no one seemed to notice that he had brought a magic dragon into school with him. Poof was so excited that he blew fire across the ceiling of the class room.
“Stop, stop, “ said Davy. “We don’t blow imaginary fire in the school. We sit and do our school work.” So Poof and Davy sat and did work all morning long, not getting into any trouble at all.
When the school bell rang, Poof jumped and raced in circles around the class room. Davy laughed and said, “That’s just the lunch bell. let’s go and eat.” “Oh,” said Poof, “that’s great, I’m really hungry.” So off they went to, skipping and laughing to the lunch room.
Davy couldn’t help but laugh, he had never seen anyone eat as much as this imaginary dragon did. Poof just couldn’t get enough Tater Tots and Catsup. The bell rang again. Poof gave Davy a questioning look. “Time to go out and play.” said Davy. So off they went, running out the door to recess.
Davy and Poof ran and flew all over the play ground. All that the other kid’s could see was Davy running and jumping. Davy was running so fast and jumping so high, that when the bell rang, the other kids asked him if they could play with him tomorrow?
Davy and Poof were so happy that they went back into the class room and sat down. They worked all afternoon. They worked so hard that they forgot all about getting into trouble.
At the end of the day, the teacher told Davy that she had never seen such a good worker. As he was putting on his coat to go home, Davy gave Poof the high five. “We really did good at school today,” said Davy.
Davy and Poof flew down the hall, doing flips and skips and giggling all the way. At the door, Davy said “Come on to my house and we’ll will have fun together all night.”
“No,” said Poof. “I stay at school. But I’m your imaginary friend. If you need me tomorrow, I’ll be here to work and play with you.” As the car pulled away from the school, Davy turned around and looked for Poof. But Davy couldn’t see him any more.
Even though Davy couldn’t see Poof the Magic Dragon any more, he was very happy. He’d had such a good day that he couldn’t wait to get back to school tomorrow. He wanted to work and play with his new best friend, Poof the Magic Dragon.

By: Davy Anonymous




posted by Daniel 5:19 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM
By: Larry Owen
28 February, 1995
Legs for Terry:

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and we were all doing things that we enjoyed outside. Uncle Harold was working on the pump in the greenhouse, Aunt Leona was picking black berries across the creek, mom and Auntie Ian were out with the small garden tractor and trailer looking for tree root tangles to put under the bird feeder post, I was stacking fire wood in the shed and Larry A and Lana were playing down by the irrigation pond.
As Larry A and Lana came over the knoll between the garden and the pond, they heard a frog start to croak. Actually it was Ruppert. Ruppert is the oldest frog in the area of the farm. He is a bull frog and he wasn’t just croaking. He is the local crier. Now for those of you that don’t know what a crier is, he is a person, or in this case a frog that is responsible for spreading the local news by crying it out in a loud voice. He was saying “The human children are down by the pond, every one keep an eye on them so they don’t get hurt or hurt anyone else”. Now of course the children, not understanding animal language, just heard it as croaking.
Larry A said to Lana, “Let’s see if we can catch some frogs”. “Ok!” said Lana and sat down to take off her shoes. Larry A was ahead of her and finished taking his shoes off first. As soon as he had them off he started walking along the soggy edge of the pond, looking for frogs.
When Ruppert started signaling the animals that Larry A and Lana were on their way to the pond, Amy and Andrew, the twin deer fawns were behind the pond at the creek, getting a drink. They decided that it would be great fun to spy on the human children and learn what they were like. When they saw them taking off their shoes, Andrew said to Amy “Oh my! Their feet come apart. I wonder if it hurts?”. “I don’t know”, whispered Amy, “but I’m glad that my hoofs don’t come off, I’m sure I would lose them”. Andrew chuckled at that.
Meanwhile, Larry A and Lana were splashing around looking for frogs and having a great time. The frogs didn’t think it was so much fun. Larry A almost stepped on George. George had t jump into the pond and swim for his life, down to the bottom of the pond. About that time, Lana spotted Terry. Of course not knowing much about frogs, she thought that he was a fish. “Hay Larry! Look at the little fish.” She said. “I didn’t know that any fish lived in the pond.” “Wow! I didn’t either.” He said as he came running up. “Look! He’s got legs on his back end instead of fins.” “Yeah he does. I’ve never seen anything like it. Lets go ask Uncle Harold if he has a net so we can catch him.”
The kids came running up to Uncle Harold all excited, and blurted out “We saw a fish with legs Uncle Harold!”. “Tell me a little bit more about this fish.” said Uncle Harold. So Larry A and Lana gave him a detailed account of their sighting of Terry. When they were thru, Uncle Harold was smiling. He said, “I don’t think that’s a fish at all.”. “What do you mean it’s not a fish!” exclaimed Larry A. “Yeah!” said Lana. “It sure is! It’s got a tail and everything.”. “I know! I know!” said Uncle Harold. “However there’s another animal that looks just like a fish.” “Looks just like a fish?” said Larry A. “I don’t get it.” said Lana. “Nothing else looks like a fish.” “Yes something else does look like a fish.” said Uncle Harold. “A baby frog does. They are called Tadpoles or Polliwogs.” he said. “And it looks like you’ve found one.”
“Well do you have a fish net so we can try to catch him?” asked Lama. “No I don’t have a fish net, but I do have a Butterfly net.” said Uncle Harold. “It’s in the grainery.” So Lana and Larry A took off running for the grainery and Uncle Harold went back to work on the pump.
Larry A got to the grainery first. He flung the door open and went thru. While he was waiting for his eyes to become accustomed to the dim light in the grainery, Lana came running in. Soon they were both rummaging thru the things in the grainery, looking for the Butterfly net. It wasn’t long before Lana found it. “Here it is!” she said. “Now we can catch that thing. “What was it Uncle Harold called it? A Polliwog? Oh, it doesn’t make any difference, let’s go catch him.” So off they ran to the pond, all excited about trying to catch Terry the Tadpole.
As soon as they took off, Herman the Bluejay, flew off ahead of them to let Ruppert know what was happening, so he could warn all the frogs and tadpoles that the kids were coming. “There coming! There coming! And they have a net to catch Terry with!” shouted Herman. So Ruppert started crying out the news, so all the animals could hear it and be prepared.
Larry A and Lana got to the pond about the same time and Lana went straight to the spot where she had seen Terry before. “He’s not here any more.” she said. “Well look around.” Said Larry A, “He’s got to be in there somewhere.”. So they started searching the pond for him. It wasn’t long before they spotted Terry swimming at the east end of the pond. “Here he is!” shouted Larry A. Lana came running with the net. “Where is he?” she asked. As soon as she spotted Terry, she reached down with the net and had him, just like that.
While Lana was showing Terry to Larry A, Andrew, who was still hiding in the tall grass by the creek, said to Amy, “We have to do something, or poor Terry is done for.”. No sooner had he said that and he was up and running straight at Larry A and Lana, Amy right on his tail. Both Larry A and Lana jumped back and fell on their backs in the water, while Andrew and Amy went splashing across the pond and out of sight. Meanwhile, Terry went flying thru the air and landed back in the water.
When Larry A got up, he looked at Lana and said “What happened?”. “We scared some deer.” said Lana. “I Guess we lost the Tadpole.” Said Larry A in a discouraged voice. He was looking down at his soaking wet pants when he exclaimed “Look in my pants cuff!”. Sure enough, it was Terry. When Larry A had swung his foot around to get up, Terry had gotten caught in his pants cuff. They quickly transferred Terry to the net and took off to find Uncle Harold.
When they found Uncle Harold, he was putting his tools back in the barn. He took one look at them and said, “What happened to You? Your soaking wet!”. The kids had almost forgotten that they were all wet in their excitement. “Well we scared some deer and the deer scared us at the same time and, well we both fell in the pond.” said Lana. “But we got the tadpole!” “What should we do with him?” she asked.
Uncle Harold picked up a bucket and handed it to Larry A. “Fill it with pond water and put the Terry in it for now.” he told Larry A. “Then both of you go get some clean clothes on.” he said. “While your doing that, I’ll see what I can scare up for a little better home for your tadpole.” Larry A took off running for the pond with Terry and the bucket and Lana headed for the house to change.
Uncle Harold found an old wash tub in the barn and picked out a large rock from down by the creek. He put the rock in the tub to one side and set the tub up by the door of the house. The kids were just coming back out as he finished. “Take your bucket and gently pour the water and your tadpole into this tub.” he told Larry A. When Larry A had finished that, Uncle Harold told the kids to both take buckets and fill the tub to about one inch below the top of the rock with pond water. He also told them to bring a couple of sticks that had fallen into the pond back with them.
When the kids returned and had filled the tub, Uncle Harold took the larger of the sticks that they had brought back with them, and placed it in the tub so that one end rested on the bottom and one end rested on the edge of the tub. “There, he said, now when your tadpole turns into a frog he can get out.” “Until then you can keep him and watch how he develops.”
“What will we feed him? Asked Lana. “I hadn’t thought of that.” said Uncle Harold. “Well I guess if it was up to me I would try fish food.” “There’s some in the old kitchen left from when we took care of Aunt Julie’s fish last time they went on vacation.” “I’ll go get it!” said Lana and took off running for the old kitchen.
That afternoon we had to go back home for the work week. When we came back the next weekend, the first thing Lana and Larry A did was run over to look at Terry. By then Terry had grown all of his legs and his tail had started to get shorter. “Wow he doesn’t look like the same tadpole at all anymore.” said Larry A. “Yeah! It won’t be long before he’s a frog now will it Uncle Harold?” asked Lana. “No it won’t. said Uncle Harold. He should start turning green soon too.”
“Oh!” said Lana, “There’s a caterpillar crawling up the side of the tub.” Un-be-known to the humans, Fuzzy the caterpillar, had been checking on Terry regularly. All the animals were happy to know that Terry was doing very well, even though he was lonesome. “He sure is cute.” said Larry A. They both watched as Fuzzy crawled around the top of the tub and down the other side and of into the grass. “Whoa! That was close.” said Fuzzy to himself. ”I thought sure that those kids would capture me too.”
The kids went off playing, the next day when they came back, they could see a noticeable difference in Terry. “He sure is growing fast.” Lana told Uncle Harold. “Yes he is.” said Uncle Harold. “He has to grow fast because he only has the summer to grow in.” replied Uncle Harold.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t think he will be here when you come back next time. Your mom said that you wouldn’t be up next week. And in two weeks I think he will be all turned into a frog.”
After hearing that, Lana said “Well if he’s going to be gone anyway, why don’t we just turn him loose now?” “Yeah!” said Larry A. So each of them took one of the handles of the tub and they started off down to the irrigation pond.
Meanwhile, Fuzzy had told Tina the Chickadee that the kids were by the tub and that Terry was still ok when he had been there. So Tina stopped to take a look just as the kids were leaving for the pond. Off she flew to the pond. “The human children are coming.” she shouted to Ruppert. “And they have the tub with Terry in it with them.” she said. So Ruppert cried out the news and all the animals knew long before the kids got there that they were coming.
When they got to the pond Larry A and Lana carefully took the stick and the rock out of the tub. As gently as they could they poured the water and Terry back into the pond. “It sure was interesting seeing how tadpoles change.” said Lana. “Yeah!” said Larry A. “Maybe next time we come he will croak a song for us.” he laughed. “I hope so.” said Lana. “I wouldn’t want him to miss out on anything just because we watched him grow.” “Me neither.” said Larry A. And they walked away happier for the experience. All the animals were happy that Terry wasn’t hurt too. And Ruppert croaked out the good news so all the farm could hear.


posted by Daniel 5:17 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM

By: Larry Owen
28 April, 1997

The Jittery Toe
It was summer and a fine day. Larry A and Lana were playing out by the doll house. Uncle Harold had made a toilet seat swing for them and they were taking turns swinging on it. For those of you who have never seen a toilet seat swing. It’s made from an oval or round piece of wood like the ones cut from the seat of an old fashioned outdoor toilet. The piece of wood has a hole in the center of it. A rope is passed thru the hole and a knot tied in the rope. The other end of the rope is tied around a tree limb or something else tall enough and strong enough to hold the weight of the kids that will be using it. “Wha la!” a toilet seat swing.
It was Lana’s turn to swing and Larry A was getting bored waiting for his turn. “I’m going to look around.” said Larry A. “Wha’cha gonna do?” asked Lana. “Oh, just look around.” said Larry A. At that, he headed off up around the green house.
As soon as he was around the corner, he sat down and took off his shoes. He had waited till he was out of Lana’s sight, because he didn’t want to be ribbed about being a “Hill Billy” for going without his shoes. Even though Lana liked to rib him about it, there was nothing, that Larry A liked more then going bare foot. When he had finished, he started walking along the edge of the woods towards the road with his shoes in his hand, hanging over his shoulder.
He soon came to one of Auntie Ian’s flower beds. This particular flower bed had round wooden slabs, cut from a tree trunk. They formed a path of stepping blocks thru the flower bed. Larry A decided to walk down the path and look at the flowers. He was about half of the way down the path, when he spotted Fuzzy the Caterpillar crawling up the edge of a flower leaf. He stopped and quietly knelt down to watch. “Nosy kid!” said Fuzzy. “What’s he think I am , a side show?”
At the same time, Jitters the Bumble Bee was flitting around the flower bed, collecting pollen from the flowers. When he saw Larry A’s bare feet, he said to himself, “Those sure are weird looking things.” and landed to take a closer look.
When Jitters started walking around on Larry A’s toe, it tickled and Larry A looked down to see what was it was. When he saw Jitters on his toe, he froze. Probably, it was the best thing he could have done. When Fuzzy saw what had happened, he chuckled and said “give him a shot for me Jitters.”
Horatiao, a beautiful monarch butterfly was also in the flower bed collecting nectar from the flowers. “Don’t you dare!” he said. “He hasn’t done a thing to you. Jitters.” Just then Long John the Grass Hopper, took a giant leap half the way across the flower bed and laughed. “Five will get’cha ten he nails him.” he said. Horatiao piped up and said, “If you do, I’ll sic Slick the Swallow on you and he’ll have you for lunch.” “Oh ok!” said Jitters and flew off.
“Phew!” said Larry A and started running for the house. He hadn’t taken three steps, when he ran into Auntie Ian. He had been looking over his shoulder, instead of where he was going. ”Where are you going in such a hurry?” she asked. “A bee landed on my toe. A big bumble bee. And I’m getting out of here before he comes back and stings me!” he stammered. “Just a minute, he didn’t sting you yet did he?” asked Auntie Ian. “No! But he might!” blurted Larry A. “I don’t think so.” answered Auntie Ian.
“Chances are that bee was just collecting pollen. Bees collect pollen from the flowers for food. Honey bees use the pollen to make honey from. Without bees most flowers would die out. It’s the bees who spread the pollen that fertilizes flowers. As they go from flower to flower, the pollen sticks to their furry body. Then when they go inside the next flower to get some more pollen, some of the pollen on their body rubs on the new flower that they are in. This fertilizes the new flower and it can grow seeds or new blossoms whichever it needs.” “Gee! I didn’t know that.” said Larry A. “We need bees, so don’t be scared of them. Just respect them and leave them alone. If you do, they will leave you alone.” said Auntie Ian.
“Come with me.” she said, and took Larry A to the bed of Day Lilies growing by the roadside. It was full of bees collecting pollen. “These are Honey Bees” she said. After they had watched for a while, she took Larry A to the far side of the garden, at the edge of the woods and showed him the bee hives. They took a good look at an empty one. Auntie Ian showed Larry A the racks that the bees use to make their honey comb in. Then she took him to the old kitchen in the back of the house and showed him some honey comb in a large glass jar.
“Wow! That’s interesting.” he said. “I didn’t know that bees made honey. I thought that it was made in factories from sugar and flavorings.” “No.” said Auntie Ian. “Bees do the whole job. We just steal a bit of their honey for our hot cakes.” “I know that I will think of that bee on my toe every time I have pancakes again.” Said Larry A. “Tell me Auntie Ian, how do you get the honey from the bees without getting stung?” “That’s a whole nuther story.” she answered.
Just then, Lana came in and asked “What’cha doing?” “Well after I left you at the swing.” Larry A said and started the whole story all over again.


posted by Daniel 5:17 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM

By: Larry Owen
02 May, 1997

Slick N The Barn
It was in the evening. The kids had been playing croquet and were taking up the hoops in preparation to putting the game away. I’m Dad. I had been in the basement, putting air in the water tank for Aunt Leona. I had just finished the job and come out of the basement. The sun was almost down and the bugs had started to come out for the night.
The winds had gotten calm, as they often do in the evening. All of the barn swallows were out dipping and diving thru the sky, catching bugs to eat. Uncle Emil and I sat down at the picnic table to watch them for a while. They were beautiful and graceful.
Slick, a young male swallow, was among them. He was darting and diving with the best of them. He even enjoyed a race with his friends to see who could be the first to catch a particular bug. Slick was just full of the joy of life, as he should have been.
As the sun went down, Uncle Emil, said, “I’m going to put the garden tractor away.” and hopped on the tractor. He took off for the barn with the small trailer full of garden tools following behind, and I went on in the house. I, needed to clean up after working on the water tank.
While Uncle Emil was putting the tractor and trailer in the barn, most of the swallows, went into the haymow of the barn, to roost for the night. But Slick thought he would be smart and swoop thru the barn door to see if he couldn’t find another way into the haymow. As soon as he got thru the door, he saw Uncle Emil, and decided that he better stay out of sight. So Slick made a quick twist and landed on the main beam of the barn. There he held very still until Uncle Emil had left.
By the time Uncle Emil left, it was almost pitch black in the barn, as Uncle Emil had turned out the light. Try as he might, Slick couldn’t find a way up into the haymow. He thought to himself, “I’ve really done it now. I’m done for, for sure.” Finally Slick managed to find his way to a window ledge, where a tiny bit of light was still coming into the barn.
About the same time, I was finishing cleaning up. Everyone else had already sat down, and they were watching TV. I was just about to join them, when I remembered that I had left the kids wagon with the small compressor in it, sitting beside the outside basement door. I figured that I had better go and put it away before I sat down, just in case it decided to rain during the night. So I quick got up and headed out the door.
When I got to the barn, I parked the wagon in it’s corner and stored the small air compressor on it’s shelf. I was just putting the pliers and screw driver in the tool box, when I spotted Slick sitting on the window ledge.
“I wonder what your doing in here?” I said to him. Slick chirruped and just looked at me. I think he was scared to death. He was trapped, and he had no idea what I might try to do to him. I thought for a moment and said, “We better get you out of here. If we don’t, you will either starve to death or our cat Sticky, will have you for lunch.”
I thought about it a bit, but I just couldn’t think of a way to catch Slick without injuring his wings or something. So I decided to try to get Slick to sit on my finger like tame birds do.
When I put my finger up to Slick, He flew across to the main beam. I could see that he was very tired though. All of his antics earlier had worn him right out. So I started talking softly to him, assuring him, that I meant him no harm, but wanted to help him.
This time, he let me get a lot closer before he flew back across to the window again. I decided to keep trying. the third time that I tried, he let me touch his breast feathers, before he flew again. On the fourth try, Slick stepped onto my finger as I touched his breast and slid my finger down toward his feet.
Very slowly, I brought Slick into the light. With my other hand, I gently stroked his breast. All the while I kept talking softly to him. I could see that he was breathing very hard from all of his exertions. So I turned and sat on the stool by the work bench. “Tired, aren’t you?” I asked. “Well, we can just take a little breather, ok. There’s no need to be afraid. As soon as you’ve rested a bit, I’m going to let you out of here. Then you can go upstairs the way that your supposed to.”
Slick kept watching me, but he relaxed a bit, and soon his breathing slowed to a normal pace. “Well, what say, that we let you out of here, and I go back to the house?” I asked. Slick didn’t make a sound. He just cocked his head and looked at me, as if to say, “Your the boss.”
I flipped on the yard light to give Slick some light to see by, and opened the barn door. As I stepped out into the night, the moon was just coming up, and I heard a whippoorwill singing his song. “Whip-poor-will. Whip-poor-will.” It was Willie. He was sitting in the dark, in a place where he could see everything, but couldn’t be seen himself.
“Ha!” said Willie to himself. “Slick has gone and gotten himself caught. And by one of those humans, who can’t even fly too. I’ve got one on him, don’t I just.” Willie liked to spy on his friends, and know secrets about them.
Slick sat on my finger for a moment after we walked out the door. Then I said, “Well, it’s off with you, and have a good night.” At that , Slick flew up into the air. He climbed and dived and flew around for a minute, as if celebrating his freedom. Then he flew into the haymow for the night.
I smiled to myself, and walked to the house. “What took you so long?” Lana asked. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “Did you think that I had flown the coup?” “No, I just wondered where you were for so long.” Lana answered. “Oh, I just had to put the birds to bed.” I said. Lana chuckled at that and went back to watching TV with the rest of the family.
I decided that my little episode with Slick would be a secret, just between Slick and I. And un-be-known to me Willie too.


posted by Daniel 5:16 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM

By: Larry Owen
29 April, 1997

Sneaky Gets Stuck
It was a hot summer morning. Larry A and Lana had been riding their bikes with Scott from across the road. They had just come back and were sitting on the front porch of the older part of the farm house. Nobody ever uses that door, but the big oak tree was still giving shade there, so it was a cool place to sit.
Buffy, Lana’s dog let out a bark of greeting and the kids looked up to see who was coming. “It’s Satchmo!” said Lana. Satchmo is a neighborhood dog. He’s a basset hound and he doesn’t belong to anyone. He just wanders from house to house in the neighborhood and plays with the kids wherever he’s at. All the parents know him and know that he is good to all the kids, so he gets fed wherever he goes.
“Lets tie some cans to his tail and watch him run for it.” said Scott. “No you won’t, you meany!” Exclaimed Lana. “He’s a good dog and your not going to hurt him. Not while I’m around anyway.” “Ok! Ok!” moaned Scott.
They were all surprised when Satchmo marched right up to Larry A and started pulling on his pants leg. “Quit it!” squawked Larry A. “Your going to tear my Pants.” Satchmo let go and started to walk away, looking back over his shoulder at the kids. He had only taken a few steps when he came back and started pulling at Larry A’s pants leg again.
“I think he wants us to go with him.” said Lana. At that, Satchmo let go, let out a woof and started off again. The kids followed. As soon as Satchmo saw that kids were coming, he took off down the side of the road. He was soon way ahead of the kids. When Satchmo realized that the kids were falling behind, he stopped and waited for them to catch up.
When Satchmo got past the last flower bed, he didn’t continue down the edge of the road. He turned and headed into the woods, going kind of north and east. He kept looking over his shoulder to make sure that the kids still had him in sight.
Just as Satchmo was coming around a bush, Waldo the Rabbit jumped out and started to run. Satchmo kept right on going, just as if Waldo hadn’t even been there. “What’s wrong with you?” asked Waldo. “Where are you going in such a hurry that you don’t even have time for a good chase after an old friend?” “I’ve got business today, and it’s important. I can’t take time for a chase right now. But I’ll sure give you a run for your money later.” Answered Satchmo.
The kids were just as surprised as Waldo. Chasing Rabbits was Satchmo’s favorite thing. “Wow! I’ve never seen Satchmo like this. He always wants to chase rabbits.” said Larry A. “Yeah!” said Lana. “Whatever he’s up to must be really important to him.”
Just then Satchmo came to a small game trail and turned down it. It wasn’t long before they heard a “chittering” noise. The next thing they knew, they had come to the creek bank and were really surprised by what they saw. Sneaky the Raccoon was there with his hind foot caught in a steel trap. The trap had a chain attached to it and that was attached to a steel stake in the ground.
As soon as Sneaky saw them, he ran to the end of his chain and pulled as hard as he could trying to get away. He started chattering loudly. “Don’t be scared.” said Satchmo. “I brought them to help you.” “Are you crazy, there probably the ones who set the trap to begin with!” chattered Sneaky.
“Hay! Lets take his chain and pull him under the water and drown him.” said Scott. “Then we can take him home for supper.” “Oh, Go chase a skunk!” said Lana. “We don’t hurt animals around here. Uncle Harold says that animals and people will live in peace in heaven, and were going to live in peace with them here.” “Aw, Ok! I just wanted to have some fun.” said Scott. “Well that’s not our idea of fun.” Answered Larry A.
“How are we ever going to get him out of that trap, with him so scared?” asked Lana. “I don’t know.” answered Larry A. “How about if I go get Uncle Harold? You guys wait here for me and see if you can calm him down a little.”
“See, I told yea. said Satchmo. “These kids won’t hurt you. Except maybe that weird one.” (meaning Scott). “Ok! Ok!” cried Sneaky. “But it hurts something awful. I think it’s going to chew my leg right off.” “Well stop pulling and it won’t hurt so much.” answered Satchmo. “Ok, but don’t let those kids come any closer.” chattered Sneaky.
It wasn’t long before Larry A was back with Uncle Harold. Uncle Harold took one look and said, “It’s those poachers again. They know that I don’t allow hunting or trapping on my land, and still they do it. If I ever catch them, I’ll turn them in to the game warden.”
“How are we going to get him out of that thing?” asked Lana. “Well let me think about it a minute.” said Uncle Harold, as he stepped closer to Sneaky. It was then that the kids noticed that Uncle Harold had something in his hand. Quicker then a wink, Uncle Harold flipped a small cloth sac over Sneaky’s head. While Sneaky was still confused, he pulled some tough laces that were fastened to the sac behind Sneaky’s front legs, under his belly and over his back. Quickly he tied the laces together.
“There!” he said as he stepped back. “Lets let him calm down for a minute.” Sneaky looked very sad sitting there pulling on the chain and crying with a sac over his head. Even Scott didn’t have anything smart to say. Soon Sneaky realized that he couldn’t get out, and just sort of gave up and lay still on the ground. It was a pathetic sight to see.
The kids had been so busy watching Uncle Harold that they hadn’t noticed that Larry A had some things in his hands. Uncle Harold had given him a gunny sac, some clothesline rope and a small tin box. Uncle Harold took the gunny sac and tied the rope around each end of it. Then he pulled up the stake that was attached to the traps chain. He picked up Sneaky and laid him in the middle of the sac and quickly lifted the sac off the ground by the rope, before Sneaky could start to run off. He then hung sneaky from a tree limb, sac and all.
Sneaky struggled for a few moments, but he was in another kind of trap. A much gentler trap, but still a trap. He looked funny and sad at the same time, hung with a sac over his head and a trap on his foot. Uncle Harold gently removed the steel trap from Sneaky’s foot. Then he took the tin box and opened it. It turned out that it was a first aid kit.
The kids and Satchmo watched as Uncle Harold put salve on Sneaky’s foot then wound it with gauze and adhesive tape to form a bandage. All the while, Satchmo was soothing Sneaky in animal talk. It just sounded like soft whining to the kids and Uncle Harold.
When he had finished, Uncle Harold stepped back and said, “There, that should do. I don’t know how long it will stay on though. He’s sure to chew it off. Now we can let him go. I’m sorry that people have done this to him, but that’s the best I can do to repay him for his trouble.
Then Uncle Harold took the sac down from the tree and laid it on the ground. Quickly he untied the strings holding the sac over Sneaky’s head and pulled the sac off. Sneaky seemed to sense what was going on and he held still for the whole process.
When the sac came off his head, Sneaky looked at Uncle Harold and the kids and chattered as if to say thanks. Then he turned and carefully walked away without any signs of fear.
Satchmo let out a bark and headed off down the game trail back towards the road. “Well I guess we can go too.” said Uncle Harold. “I’ll hang this trap up with my collection. I’ve got several of them the same way. Some of the animals haven’t been so lucky as Sneaky. Please don’t any of you kids ever use these steel traps on animals.” All of the kids agreed, even Scott, they could never do that to a living thing.


posted by Daniel 5:15 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM
By: Larry Owen
14 February, 1995
A meeting with Prissilla:

This was one of those rare weekends when both Danny and Lori were able to come with us to Uncle Harold’s farm. It was a beautiful Saturday, late in the morning, and Prissilla the skunk decided to leave her babies resting and go foraging for some food by herself for a change. She liked to go hunting for food across the road from the farm. While she was looking for food she ran into her children’s father, Cologne. “Hi Prissilla” he said, “how are the kids? “Huh”, she said. “What do you care? You haven’t been around to see them much lately”. “Aw I’ve been busy, you know I like to spend time with them, but I like to spend time with you better”. “Oh Co’lie, your such a sweet talker”. They walked and talked a while, then Prissilla decided she had better get back to her babies.
About the same time we were just finishing one of Aunt Leona’s wonderful dinners, that she prepares for after church on Saturday’s. Danny got up and headed for the old living room to read a book and the rest of us went into the new living room to sit a while after eating. we had no more then sat down when Buffy decided he wanted to go outside. Lori got up to let him out. When she opened the door to let him out , she said “Oh! Look at the pretty cat.” and she took off running with Buffy, trying to catch it. When we heard Lori we all got up to take a look. Larry A. was next to reach the door and took off after Lori and Buffy. About that time Uncle Harold and I reached the door. “Oh no!” said Uncle Harold, “That’s a skunk”. As he took off running after them he yelled over his shoulder “You guy’s stay here”. About that time Buffy, Lori and Larry A. reached Prissilla. Buffy started barking at Prissilla, so Prissilla put her beautiful tail up in the air and turned around and started stomping the ground. She said, “If you know what’s good for you dog you’ll hi-tail it on out of here”. About that time Uncle Harold got there and got between the kids and Prissilla. “Get back in the house; now!” he said as he turned to get Buffy. Uncle Harold is normally such a gentile person that the kids obeyed him immediately. Then Uncle Harold got between Buffy and Prissilla and chased Buffy back to the house.
“Humph” said Prissilla “that’s more like it” and turned and strutted on across the lawn toward the barn like a royal queen. “Dog’s and Humans!” said Prissilla to herself. “ A gal can’t even walk across the yard without that little white ball of fluff barking in your face. It’s a good thing that human named Harold has a head on his shoulders, or I’d a had to spray that mutt and those kids. then there would have been trouble you can just bet. I’ll be glad to get back to my babies and home again, that’s for sure.”
After Uncle Harold came back into the house, he apologized for being so gruff with the kids. “Skunks can be very dangerous” he explained. “If they spray you in the eyes, it can blind you. Or if they bite you, you can get rabies. You children should never bother Prissilla. She lives under the shed behind the barn with her babies and we never bother her. We give Prissilla the run of the yard, and she never bothers us at all.” “What do you mean “spray you” Lori asked? How can a cat spray you?” she asked. “Well!” said Uncle Harold, “That is not a cat, it’s a skunk. You can tell skunks by their color. Skunks are always black with a white belly and white stripes running all the way down their back and tail. No other animal has this type of stripes, even cats. The other difference between skunks and cats, is that skunks can spray an attacker with a very smelly mist, when they think that attacker is going to hurt them. You can tell that they are getting ready to spray you when they turn around, lift their tail and start to stomp their feet. If you had been sprayed, the very least that would have happened is that we would have had to burn your clothes.” “Oh no cried Lori, this is my best outfit, I wore it for church. I sure won’t bother Prissilla again.”
“Well how about if I take you kids for a trailer ride, and I can show you where Prissilla lives on the way.” said Uncle Emil. “Oh that would be great!” shouted all the kids at once. So Uncle Emil went to the barn, hitched up the trailer and loaded up all the kids. He took them down around the barn and showed them Prissila and her babies under the shed, then took them for a long ride across the creek bridge and thru the pines. they all had a great time.
“So you too had better learn the difference between a cat and a skunk. If you ever see a skunk, don’t be afraid, but don’t bother that skunk either. Skunk’s won’t bother humans unless the human does something to make the skunk think he is going to be hurt. Well I have to go for now. Come back and visit us on the farm sometime.”


posted by Daniel 5:14 AM
. . .
UNCLE HAROLD’S FARM
By: Larry Owen
30 January, 1995
Getting to know the farm:

Uncle Harold’s farm is located in central Wisconsin. Uncle Harold and Aunt Leona bought the farm from Uncle Harold’s brother Uncle Emil when Uncle Harold retired from his job as a hospital administrator. Uncle Emil lives on the farm with them. Auntie Ian also lives with them on the farm. Auntie Ian isn’t really a relative. Auntie an honorary title given to her in respect of her age and status as Aunt Leona’s best friend.
The farm has 120 acres of land and is about half woods and half farm land. the woods are partly evergreen trees and part hardwood trees. The farm land is rented to other farmers in the area as Uncle Harold and Aunt Leona are retired. A small creek twists it’s way from the east side of the farm to the west side of the farm. The Pines and the back forty are located across the creek from the house. A grove of beautiful hardwood trees is west of the home grounds and runs from the road all the way to the back side of the farm. the west forty is along the road on the west end of the farm. The home grounds are on the road that runs along the south edge of the farm also. They are roughly in the center of that side of the farm.
The farms home grounds include several buildings. The house has ten rooms and was remodeled when Uncle Harold and Aunt Leona moved in. A two car garage sits behind the house and to the east. The machine shed sits directly behind the house, it is made of cement blocks with a roof of silver sheet metal and is big enough to hold several farm machines. The grainery is to the west of the machine shed and is about the size of the garage. It was built up high off the ground so that the grain would stay dry and small animals would stay out. It has a small porch on the front. Now days, it isn’t used for storing grain, it is used to store outdoor games and sporting equipment. A small wood shed sits between the machine shed and the grainery. The barn is to the west of the house and is quite a ways away from the house. This leaves a nice bit of yard in between the house and the barn. The barn isn’t red like most barns, but has gray siding with a silver sheet metal roof. Just east of the garage is the green house. It is a small building, with two small rooms. The upper half of it’s sides are glass and the roof is translucent fiberglas. Under the greenhouse is a root cellar for storing potatoes and other vegetables at a cool temperature. The last building on the farm is the play house behind the garage. It is small, about the size of a large closet. It has pink siding and a green roof with windows on each end and the door is in the front side. It is only tall enough for kids, parents have to stay out.
The yards of the home grounds are big, about the size of two football fields put side by side. The creek is the boundary of the grounds on the back side. A nice little bridge crosses the creek. A grove of hardwoods form the west boundary. woods also form the east boundary and the road is along the front side of the yard. All around the home grounds are beautiful flower beds. The flower beds give the farm a park like look. Auntie Ian plants the flower beds and does most of their tending. Just west of the barn is a large garden with a tall fence around it. Between the garden fence and the creek is a pond. The pond is used as a water supply to irrigate the garden in the summer. It is also the home of Ruppert the Frog, Terry the Tadpole and many other frogs. The grounds also have a few large oak trees, some small pine trees and one huge white pine tree on them. The huge pine tree is just west and slightly behind the house and is a favorite place for many of the small wild animals that live on the farm to stop and visit. It is also the largest living thing on the farm.
Across the road from the farm is Tony’s house. Tony is a business man from Chicago and only comes to his place on weekends. Tony is quite well off, and has many expensive things. His favorite toy is his blue jeep. Tony has a son Scott. Scott is a “Dennis the Menace” type, with blond hair and blue eyes and a sneaky look about him. You can always expect trouble when Scott’s around. Scott has brothers and sisters, but they are all grown up and don’t come to the farm very often.
Down the road to the west a couple of miles is Uncle Roy and Aunt Julie’s place. they have a tree plantation, and raise Christmas trees. Their land is also a wildlife refuge. Uncle Roy’s house is different then any house I have ever seen. It has a large pine tree growing right in the middle of the living room. The trees trunk goes right thru the roof. His house also has an arboretum in it. The whole south wall is glass and has no floor in it, except for a curved cement walk thru it. It has flowers and green plants planted all over the ground in it. In the center of the arboretum is a cast iron fireplace. The effect is very beautiful. Uncle Roy and Aunt Julie have two boys, but they are all grown up too.
Down the road to the east and around the corner about a quarter of a mile is Mr. Gear=s farm. Mr. Gear >s farm is very big and he has many animals living on his farm. Mr. Gear is a very pleasant man and a good neighbor. He very much enjoys folks stopping to visit as his children are grown up and he is alone now. Mr. Gear=s farm is a working farm so he doesn’t have much time to raise flowers and such. He does however like to stop over and admire Auntie Ian’s flowers and chew the fat for a bit now and then.
Me, I’m Uncle Harold’s grand nephew, or he’s my great uncle, whichever way you want to look at it. I live in a medium sized city in southern Wisconsin. I like to bring my family to the farm for weekends. I have four children, two boys and two girls. The two older children, Danny and Lori are by a previous marriage. My two younger children Larry A and Lana belong to my current wife. My children range in age from Danny at fourteen years old, to Lana at seven years old. Larry A and Lana come to the farm with us all the time, but Danny and Lori only come to the farm once in a while. All of us love to help do things on the farm and just visit too. The kids all have bikes in the machine shed to ride when they come up. They love to stop and visit the animals at Mr. Gear=s farm when they are out riding their bikes.
On a typical day on the farm you could find Uncle Emil mowing the lawn on his garden tractor. Uncle Harold and Aunt Leona could be found working on the vegetable garden and Auntie Ian could be found in one of her flower beds. When were at the farm the kids would likely be helping in the garden in the morning. In the afternoon They could be found playing around the yard, swimming in the creek or biking. Often Scott from across the street will come over to play with the kids. They like to take turns riding his ATV. It’s a three wheeler with the big fat tires. It goes very fast, but is hard to steer. Some times Uncle Emil likes to take the kids for a ride in the garden trailer behind his tractor. they go across the creek bridge, down along the back forty and thru the pines. They make a game of who can spot the most animals and wild flowers, especially Lady Slippers as they are very rare and only found occasionally in the pines on the farm. Maybe I can take you, on a story visit to the farm sometime.


posted by Daniel 5:13 AM
. . .
24 Jun 2002
Larry O. Stafford
1264 Central Avenue
Beloit, WI. 53511
Prospective Publishers

Dear Sir’s;
Enclosed you will find copies of six short stories (#2 thru #7) for children. These stories are meant to be a series of stories taking place on a farm in Wisconsin. If you require any format changes or particular fonts, I will try to accommodate your needs

Also you will find a copy of “Dean and the Magic Dragon” listed as “8 poof”. This is a story that my seven year old son came up with. My wife and I put it on paper in our words.

If you are interested in publishing any of these stories, please contact me at the above address or one of the following telephone numbers.

(608) 362-2287 home / evenings
(608) 365-7743 work / days

Sincerely,

Larry O. Stafford



posted by Daniel 5:12 AM
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