Good Gravy

Posted on November 2nd, 2014 in Stories




Cowboy Dan liked a little extra with his dinner,

A little something for his brisket and his biscuits.

“What good is chicken fry without gravy?” he’d cry,

“Why, that’s like cake without icing! I might as well eat dirt and die!”



There was only one problem.

You see, for Cowboy Dan, gravy was everything

And anything.

There was gravy for biscuits,

Gravy for cornbread and beans,

Gravy for chicken fried steak, roast and another gravy for brisket.




Red gravy for spaghetti,

Cream cheese gravy for cake,

Mayo gravy for hamburgers,

Alfredo gravy for noodles,

White gravy for sausage, skillet gravy for turkey,

Every good gravy-loving cowboy is a little quirky.


Ranch dressing gravy on tomatoes,

Extra buttercream gravy on cookies,

And whipped gravy on pie.

Red gravy for enchiladas, brown gravy on beef tips,

Every good cowboy knows the difference.


If a dish doesn’t require gravy,

Cowboy Dan will be sure to oblige,

Meringue gravy on coconut cream pie,

Gravy on rice, gravy on chips,

A proper cowboy eats gravy, not sour cream dip.


No matter what’s on Cowboy Dan’s plate,

He’ll never really get a taste, but that’s all right.

As long as he’s got a bowl of gravy,

Every dish will be mighty tasty.


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Posted on October 28th, 2014 in Stories



In disgust,

The creepy and the crawly,

The weird and the ungodly,

And even the scary and terrifying,

Gathered together Halloween Night,

Praying it would be a trick-or-treater free sight.


“No one wants any decent spells,” the witch grumbled,

“All they want is love and money,

Looking good and getting skinny.

If it weren’t so sad, it might be funny.”


“At least you don’t sit all day,” the jack o’ lantern cried,

“Fearing you’ll get carved up or made into a pie.

Ol’ Bob got bought and painted to look like a princess—

Pigtails made of yarn and rhinestones glued to his head!”


“Oh blah blah blah,” the ghost mimicked,

“I’m a pumpkin and I’m so persecuted.

Kids today aren’t scared of anything!

Walking through walls, moving stuff across the ceiling—

I set fire to curtains the other day and they just giggled—

GIGGLED! If I were a poltergeist, they’d be screaming.”


“At least you don’t have a movie franchise,” the vampire groused.

“A bunch of teenagers wearing glitter mooning around,

Fighting with werewolves like a bunch of clowns.

Getting girls has never been easier,

But instead of just their blood, they want forever!”


The black cat licked her black paw. “It could be worse,” she mused,

“You could all be running the streets in cheap costumes,

begging for candy for bratty children,

just to put them to bed and be called a villain.”


The creatures looked at each other and shuddered,

For the cat was right.

Perhaps it was the perfect Halloween night.

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Harvest Moon Festival

Posted on October 26th, 2014 in Stories

Under the Harvest Moon


Saturday night, the whole town was at the Harvest Moon Fest,

It was free, after all, and you couldn’t do better than that.

The City held it in the historic visitor’s center,

Really known as the Wal-Mart parking lot,

So you could stroll in and get some batteries, duck tape and a six-pack,

Before conquering the Moon Bounce and buying a hand painted gun rack.


Well, my editor sent me to take photos,

And it’s amazing what the camera sees,

Like Darth Vader flirting with Nefertiti.

The Fire Department’s oogling the Park and Rec girls again,

So you best hope no one knocks over their Jack O Lantern tonight,

Looks like our boys are otherwise occupied.


Turn the corner and there’s the newlyweds making out,

A Kleenex Box chasing a Pizza Slice with pigtails.

The psychic just told a little girl she was going to grow up and have seven children,

While being an astronaut, curing cancer and winning Miss America Christian.

If she offers up some ocean front property,

I’m going to call over the belly dancers,

And get their slithery friend to help squeeze the truth out of her.

Man, won’t that make for a great picture!


Grandma’s pitching a fit in the face painting line,

Wrinkled butterfly wings across her nose wasn’t what she had in mind.

Guess she and the grandkid won’t be twins after all,

But there’s always the henna tattoos,

If the preacher doesn’t leave the Lutheran Church booth.


The Celtic dancers are starting up,

Clogs don’t really work on grass, but they’re smiling,

You got to give them props for trying.

The professor is having a conniption

Because the mentalist guessed his birthday on a magical Post it,

Better get a close up of the enchanted dice while I’m at it.


Someone tugs on my dress,

And what do I see,

But three little princesses grinning up at me.

“Excuse me, ma’am, can you take our picture?  We’d like to be in the paper.”

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Mitzi Matterhorn was not afraid of scientists, either

Posted on October 21st, 2014 in Stories


Part one here. 


While Priscilla the pug chatted with a butterfly (one might interpret her snapping jaws as trying to eat the butterfly, but really, it was an animated conversation), Mitzie paced back and forth on the scientist’s porch.  On the stroke of two, she rapped on the wood.  The door flung open.  If possible, the scientists’ hair was even wilder.  A laptop was tapped under one arm and a cat squirmed under the other.  Mitzie raised her eyebrow.  ”What are you doing?”


“Ordering Mr. Boots some boots.  His paws get cold.” Herr Vempkauff’s eyebrows crowded together like fuzzy caterpillars huddling for warmth.  ”What are you doing?”


She scowled and pointed to the folded clippings clenched in his fingers.  ”Are you ordering boots with the coupons I gave you?”


“No.”  Herr Vempkauff’s cheeks reddened.  He was a terrible liar.  Mitzie waited until he sputtered, all the air blustering out of his cheeks in one puff.  ”Fine!  I’ll order Mr. Boots’ boots later– even though a cold front is coming and he won’t be able to roam outdoors in comfort, thanks to your impatience.”


“A cold front means an influx of spiders, and Priscilla hates spiders,” Mitzie informed him, sweeping inside with Priscilla, who was perhaps the only pug who did not hate spiders.  She gazed inside the messy living room, where papers were stacked on top of papers and books on top of books.  In fact, a stack of books made up the wobbly coffee table, the stiff looking chairs and filled several cardboard boxes that pressed together, served as a couch.  She squinted toward the kitchen and shuddered.  The only thing Mitzie hated more than spiders was messes, and this house was making her skin crawl more than a tarantula.  ”Shall we get started?” she asked Herr Vempkauff, delicately perching on one stack of books that was high enough to serve as a stool.


“No need.”  He patted his lab coat pockets until he located a small vial.  With a flourish, he presented it to her.  ”Here you are.  Three drops in a bucket is all you need.  It’s Spider Hiroshima– it’ll take them all out.”


Mitzie crinkled her nose.  ”Is it pug proof?”




“Is it Mr. Boots proof?”


“Oh, heavens no!”  Herr Vempkauff was so horrified he scooped up his cat and pressed his cheek to the feline’s whiskers.


“Then I suppose you better get back to work,” Mitzie drawled, smoothing her skirts.  ”And I’d like it to smell good, if you don’t mind.  Vanilla or honeysuckle, something of that nature.”


“You want it to smell good?” Herr Vempkauff repeated.  His caterpillar brows were about to vibrate off his creased forehead.


“Of course!  I despise spiders!  If I’ll be splashing this about, I want it to smell lovely.  It must be pug safe, human safe and butterfly safe.”  At Herr Vempkauff’s puzzled look, Mitzie explained, “Priscilla loves butterflies.”


“Of course.”  Herr Vempkauff shook his head.  Grumbling under his breath, he started downstairs toward his lab.  ”Why do you hate spiders so much anyway?”


Mitzie drew in a deep breath.  ”That’s a long story.”  Before Herr Vempkauff could protest, she began.  ”It all started when I was three…”


To be continued, Invisible Friends!

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Good night deer

Posted on October 19th, 2014 in Stories

In the big, big house,

Far, far from town,

The old man has put up the horses,

Even the deer have cut their losses.


Inside, Mama’s wiping down the counters,

The little ones are curled up in their beds.

Even the dogs have given up sniffing,

In favor of some old comfy rug dreaming.


The old man comes in for his bedtime bath,

Mama shuts off the lights and whispers,

“All right, ya’ll.  Time to say good night,

And don’t let the bed bugs bite.”


Good night, old man with bubbles in his beard.

Good night, Mama in her stained apron.

Good night, chattering little birds.


Good night dreaming dogs,

Good night snoring hogs,

Good night whispering kids—

That’s right, Mama can always hear this.


Good night horses,

Good night goats,

Don’t eat until you choke.

But most of all, good night deer,

Good night stars,

Good night wherever you are.









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