Nonfiction Winning Entries

1st Place

  

IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES

by Robert B. Robeson

                       

                        "The Lord is my shepherd...Yea, though I walk through the

                         valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou

                         art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou

                        preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies..."   [1]

 

From July 1969-July 1970, I was a helicopter, medical evacuation pilot with the 236th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in Da Nang, South Vietnam. My combat tour began on a danger, destruction, and death note. By the time it ended, seven of my UH-1H helicopters had been shot up by enemy fire and I'd been shot down twice while helping to evacuate over 2,500 patients from both sides of the action. It seemed that David, his 23rd Psalm and I had similar experiences.

As a captain and unit operations officer--and six months later being promoted to unit commander--I was rudely introduced to combat flying while stationed at our field site at Landing Zone Baldy, 25 miles south of Da Nang, from August 20-22. Our crew had two "Huey" helicopters shot up in less than 24 hours while evacuating 150 wounded American infantrymen, on 42 missions, in our unarmed aircraft. Our medic was wounded in his throat by AK-47 rifle fire on that final flight. His larynx was destroyed, two of our three radios were shot out, and our bird was thoroughly "hosed-down" by enemy fire.

At the Baldy battalion aid station, I held our medic's legs while a doctor performed a tracheotomy without anesthetic because his wound had swollen so fast he was suffocating. He lived but he had to endure over twelve subsequent surgeries before an Army doctor gave him back a voice. It wasn't the one we were all familiar with.

As the second son of a Protestant minister, my brother--who later became a missionary to Nicaragua and Costa Rica--and I were raised in church and were taught that all of our days are in God's hands. When I became a combat volunteer at 26, I also became a witness to devastating diseases, dismemberments, and deaths on a daily basis in Vietnam. During those moments when I felt alone, I knew I really wasn't alone because God had promised to stand beside His children no matter what was occurring in their lives. Still, medevac flying became a continuous test of my Christian faith.

My dreams of becoming a pilot and Army officer, from age six, had finally become reality. Yet nothing in those dreams as a kid involved growing up and spending time in a war zone. And they certainly didn't include being consistently shot at by people I'd never met.

Flying a helicopter into shooting situations--both day and night in all weather, terrain, and combat conditions--is like putting a mouse in the ring with an elephant. Sooner or later, that mouse is going to get stepped on no matter how quick or agile it thinks it is. Perhaps that's why our medevac losses to hostile fire were 3.3 times that of all other forms of helicopter missions in that war.

Merely the process of getting the wounded aboard our aircraft made medevac flying appear like some bizarre form of Russian roulette. It could raise the curtain on a show every bit as intriguing and entertaining as the civil punishment of "being stoned" must have been in Biblical times.

A tumultuous mission on September 13, 1969, two days before my 27th birthday, continues to replay in my mind to this day. In the first three days of that week our crew had already flown over 31 hours, which included over 12 night hours, evacuating dead and wounded. Our energy and mental alertness were already stretched thin in this battle chaos and oppressive heat. About mid-morning on the 13th, another urgent "insecure" mission was called in. The ground troops were under intense enemy fire and four infantrymen had been seriously wounded.

We arrived and discovered that the ground troops had run out of smoke grenades to mark their position. So we decided to low-level over the heavy firefight and drop our own grenades. It took two "hairy" passes just above the tree line before our crew chief hit their location. While our two helicopter gunships provided suppressive fire, we dropped out of the sky like a bag of dirty clothes down a laundry chute.

When we quickly lifted off with our patients, enemy fire opened up on us from two sides. From that split-second of time, for the next minute or so, everything seemed to occur in super-slow motion.

"My God, we're going to crash!" our aircraft commander shouted into his mike. "My cyclic's (the steering wheel of a helicopter) been shot away!" He was sweeping his cyclic stick in wide circles that should have made the aircraft spin in circles. Our bird was unaffected. As the Huey's nose began a dive toward the jungle, I instinctively reached for my set of controls.

"I've got it," I told him.

As soon as I grasped my cyclic an "inner whisper," that I believe came from God, impressed me not to move my cyclic more than necessary to stay out of the trees. I was beginning a shallow ascent when our red rpm warning light on the instrument panel illuminated, accompanied by gut-wrenching shrieks in our flight helmets from the low-rpm audio warning. In rapid succession, the yellow master caution light above our instrument panels lit up. Looking down at our emergency panel, on the pedestal between us, I saw that the "Engine Oil" light was now illuminated.

Glancing up again, I noticed that our engine rpm had dropped from 6,400 to 5,800. I knew that if something didn't happen fast, our bird would have more characteristics of a crowbar than a crow. We'd obviously been hit in the engine and oil lines, among other places. Our aircraft commander, who'd been grazed in one leg by an enemy round, reached over and placed the governor switch into the "emergency" position. This provided enough extra engine power to momentarily remain airborne while we assessed our options.

We both realized our engine was losing oil and could instantaneously seize. If it did, I'd have to autorotate--descending on the energy in the main rotor blades, alone, rather than the engine--to make a forced tree landing in the jungle. I'd also have to make a dramatic "flaring" movement with my cyclic at the bottom to dissipate airspeed before touching down. That's when I remembered that "inner whisper" warning me not to move my cyclic more than necessary.

I slowly inched the aircraft up to 500 feet above ground level and attained a comfortable 80 knots of airspeed.

"I'm shooting for Ross," I said.

"Okay," our aircraft commander replied. "I'll call Da Nang and have them get another bird out there to pick us up."

Our two gunships were trailing us so we radioed and asked one of them to fly underneath and confirm whether we were leaking oil or not.

  "Dust Off, you're leaking oil all over the sky," was his unnerving reply.

LZ Ross lay straight ahead, but I knew it was at least five minutes away. That's when I silently prayed again. I thanked God for allowing us to evacuate our four patients and for getting us out of that miserable landing zone in one piece. Then I asked Him, if it was His will, to help me keep the rest of the pieces intact until we reached Ross.

It was shortly after this heartfelt petition that a wonderful, soothing sensation flooded my body. I accepted it as a confirming sign from God that we were going to make it.

When I touched our skids down at Ross and our running landing stopped...so did our Lycoming jet turbine engine. All 1,100 "horses" expired at the same instant.

A few minutes later, after the gunships had picked up our patients and flown ahead to the aid station at LZ Baldy, our aircraft commander and I checked battle damage. We met at our tail boom. He wasn't one known for spiritual beliefs, but the first words out of his mouth were "Somebody else was flying with us today."

I nodded. There was no doubt about that in my mind.

Later, when a maintenance crew arrived from Da Nang to have our bird sling-loaded out beneath a larger, U.S. Marine CH-53 helicopter, one of the crew members came up to me. He said he'd reached up to move my cyclic. It broke off in his hand. The rounds that had severed our aircraft commander's cyclic had continued under the floor paneling and had nearly taken out my cyclic, too. That "inner voice" had undoubtedly saved our lives. As far as I was concerned, another miracle had been performed in my life.

David's thoughts in the 23rd Psalm are still comforting to me 48 years later. I believe I know how he felt.

       [1] Psalm 23:1 & 4-5 (KJV).

 

2nd Place

One Final Favor

Richard Perrault

      

I’d driven 50 miles north to select a terrier pup from a litter of five. As it turned out, the puppy selected me.

The tumbling ball of yapping fur in the far corner paid me no mind as I sat down on the warm spring grass as far away as the enclosure permitted. I’d brought a squeaky rubber hamburger toy to help me assess each puppy’s playfulness. I crossed my legs, held the toy in front of me and squeezed it three times. The tangle of grappling fur continued unabated—save one little head that popped free of the melee and looked my way. Two more squeaks and she pulled free of the scrum. A first step away from her brothers and sisters, bounding into a new life of mountain trails, sun-splashed beaches, and endless hours curled before the fire on ice-brittle winter nights. Abandoning a pack of many, choosing a pack of two.

As is often the case with pets, the terrier suggested her own name. The first night I had her home, a neighbor remarked on her diminutive size. “She sure is a bitsy little dog.” From that moment on, that was who she was: Bitzy Littledog. Loyal companion. Steadfast friend. Silent confidant to share the highs and lows of life. If ever man and beast were meant for each other, it was Bitzy and I.

She came to me a boundless incarnation of energy and joy. Bright and clever, totally aware that Christmas was a special day, unlike any other in the year. She knew Saturdays meant a day together and almost always the excitement of a ride in the car. She accepted that five days a week she would be left alone as I went off to somewhere she knew I had to go and she could not. A ten-hour separation culminating in a burst of excitement when she heard the familiar tune of my keys in the door lock. When the camping duffle came out, in she’d burrow assuring it went nowhere without her. A suitcase meant beg your way into the car an hour ahead of time so you wouldn’t be left behind. We were the center of each other’s lives.

Time went by. I married. The pack grew. Two became three and the joy of days together multiplied. Time, as it has a habit of doing, kept going by.

It was around the time of Bitzy’s 14th birthday that I began to hear the thunder of the grains of sand falling through the hourglass of her life. Her knees were bad, her eyes clouding over, her hearing almost gone. I began to wonder: was this a last birthday, a last Christmas, a last fall or spring?

When she was 15, the coughing began. Body shaking hacks like she was trying to clear something from her throat. It was fall and the tree pollen was insufferable. Bitzy’s vet, Dr. Murr, diagnosed allergies, seemingly confirmed by the effectiveness of a twice-a-day antihistamine. But the malady outlasted the remedy. In two months the hacking returned, Bitzy standing with four legs spread to brace herself, coughing until her legs gave way and she fell.

X-rays revealed a collapsing trachea. Dr. Murr said that Bitzy was coughing to clear her throat, but what was blocking her throat was her throat, narrowed to less than half the size it had once been. An operation might be a consideration for a younger dog, but at nearly 16 the only option for Bitzy was trying to make her as comfortable as possible. A strong codeine cough medicine helped. “What we’re trying to do,” Dr. Murr explained, “is trick her body into thinking it doesn’t need to cough. It should work for awhile, but you need to start preparing yourself.”

I’d been thinking about the inevitability of losing Bitzy for more than a year. Preparing to lose her was a totally different thing. Preparing likely meant making the decision to put her to sleep when the coughing became so severe it robbed her of any joy in life. What a betrayal that seemed to be. A lifetime of trust, always—always—counting on me to make things better for her, obliterated by a single directive: end her life.

I couldn’t come to grips with the moment. Putting her in the car for the ride to Dr. Murr just as I’d done dozens of times before. Carrying her into the examination room where she’d been poked and prodded but always loved and rewarded with a treat. She’d think it was just another visit; but I’d know the truth. A truth I couldn’t explain to her.

The way Dr. Murr put it made sense: “This dog has depended on you for everything for sixteen years. She’s always trusted you to do what’s best. It’s never easy, but it will be one final favor you can do for her.”

Still, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to give the word when the time came. How do you hold a precious life in your hands, a life so intimately intertwined with your own, and simply say, “End it?”

The codeine worked its hocus pocus for a few months. Bitzy and I still enjoyed our walks through the woods. I took her camping a few more times. How she loved being beside me in the wilderness. Growling at any sound that threatened our sanctuary, snuggling close as darkness closed in. She still had her puppy moments; chasing squeak toys, bounding around the room like a two-year old, even giving in to the temptation of an occasional terrier streak, tearing around in circles, careening off the furniture. But the bursts of puppydom were brief and left her panting.

It wasn’t long until after her morning out-and-about she started going back to bed, leaving me alone downstairs. Maybe she was just worn out. Maybe she was trying to help me get used to not having her around. In the evenings she would curl up beside me on the sofa, quickly slipping into a deep, sonorous sleep. I liked to think she was dreaming of a time when everything was easy, when no adventure was beyond endurance. A time when no sound was out of hearing and everything looked like it was supposed to, unclouded by the misty curtain of age that had closed across her eyes.

One night in late August she’d had her puppy romp and loped up the stairs to bed. There was no sound more precious to me than the patter of her little paws as she trotted up those steps at the close of day, or down them in the mornings to begin another day of adventure.

When I went upstairs to take a shower, she’d already settled in and was sleeping peacefully.

After I’d dried off and walked into the bedroom I saw Bitzy sitting in the middle of the floor, breathing heavily. It was midnight, Dr. Murr’s office wouldn’t open for another eight hours. I felt a growing certainty that the moment I’d been dreading had finally come. But the human heart is hesitant to relinquish its grip on hope. Surely there was one more miracle in the veterinarian bag of tricks.

An hour passed. Bitzy’s breathing grew more strained, her lungs rattling with every breath. The dread that had been simmering in me for months bubbled over. There would be no more miracles. When the sun came up I would take her for what I knew would be her last ride. My prayer was no longer for her to live, but that she wouldn’t suffer.

I carried her to her bed and settled her in. Her breathing eased. I lay there beside her, stroking her side. She turned her head my way. Behind the cloudy haze of age I recognized the chocolate marble eyes that had first greeted me that spring day more than sixteen years before. The eyes that then said hello were now saying goodbye. I think she knew we’d reached the end.

I’m not sure if she slept, but I did, lying there beside her, one hand on her side, feeling her warmth. Around 4:00 I woke up. She was still warm, but I could no longer feel the rise and fall of her body. Somewhere in the early hours she had slipped away.

When the sun came up I would still take her to Dr. Murr, to make arrangements for her cremation. I’d selected her favorite digging spot on our hill overlooking the valley to lay her ashes to rest. How she loved to root in that forest soil. Looking up at me, nose caked in the rich dark loam, bright eyes shining with wonder and the shear joy of being a terrier with a place to dig. Now she would be in that soil forever. Become a part or it, nourishing the new growth that came every spring. She would go on living, in every lady slipper, every crocus.

The day I had gone to select her, she selected me. Now, instead of me doing her that one final favor, she had done a final favor for me. There would be no need for me to speak the painful words to end her life.

 

She’s been gone awhile now, though I still see her in a shadow crossing the room or lying in the sunshine by the door. She is everywhere, yet she is nowhere. What I miss most is the sound of her footsteps on the stairs. I don’t have enough years left for that to ever change.

 

3rd Place

Hide ‘n Seek

by Gordon Smith

There were four boys in our family and no girls. This one-sided gender arrangement had a lot to do with what kind of games we played. When the family sat around at night, before TV came along, we played many different table games, including Flinch, Rook, Gin Rummy and Canasta. 

But it was outdoors where we young hellions preferred to be, and it was the active game that we pursued. Boy Scouts’ regular competition at meetings included some rather rough games such as Capture the Flag, Steal the Bacon, and Cranes and Crows. On camping trips, neophytes had to be indoctrinated in the preparations for, and participation in, the good old Snipe Hunt.

My next older brother and I were grouped closest together by birth order, and when we were able to play outside, we were very imaginative. Robin Hood attracted us to the bow and arrow, which we constructed from a thin piece of wood, a string, and some stiff weeds with knobs on the end. Mother made Superman capes for us to give us that extra lift. Climbing every tree in the yard was a great challenge, and each one represented something in which we were interested that day - from the cockpit of a bomber to the bridge of a ship.

But there had to be inside games for rainy days. Mother’s nerves would not allow much running and hollering. When she was home, she pretty much limited us to Hide ‘n Seek.

Because our house was relatively small, we were greatly hampered on places to tuck ourselves away, especially after the fifth or sixth game, when we were about out of unexplored hiding places.

What I am going to relate now actually happened. My brother himself wrote up this story in his extensive journal, and he even had the courage to tell his sons about it before they were old enough to read.

One rainy day when Mother was in residence and forbade us to go outside to play, because of the potential health hazard and our tracking in mud (a requirement that she must have hated almost as much as we did), we sat around trying to think of some exciting game to play that would let us move around the house without disturbing her, but would still have some degree of competitiveness. The longer we sat figuring, the more depressed we became, and it seemed certain that the rain had set in for the whole day.

If our friends had been present, we probably would not have had the nerve to settle for Hide ‘n Seek. That was too tame - bordering on the effeminate, in our opinion.

But what else was left? As long as we stayed out of our mother’s way, we could manage a fairly decent competition, with some imagination.

So “not it” took off while “it” counted to a hundred. Or at least he said that it was a hundred, before announcing loudly, “Ready or not, here I come!” Short counts were always possible.

As I said earlier, our house was not a mansion. But there were nooks and crannies that boys could make use of in relatively small living quarters, and we knew where they were, having explored them all at Christmas time, looking for our presents. So we had a fairly entertaining game for about an hour.

Then the fun really started. What I did was not exactly cheating. I thought it was ingenious. When it was my turn to hide, I made a big show of going toward the only bathroom in the house. I slammed the door from the outside and then hid behind the couch in the living room.

When my brother finished his count and announced that he was coming after me, the first place he checked was the bathroom, having earlier peeked between his fingers to see which way I was going, and being fooled by my door slamming ruse. Since Mother was the only other person in the house, and he could see her at the stove, he assumed that I was in the bathroom. So he settled down to wait me out.

Or he tried to settle down. It happened that we had not slowed down in our game long enough to visit the bathroom and now that he was unable to do so, of course, it seemed more urgent for him to “go.” I was watching the whole episode, peering around the end of the couch.

Bouncing from one foot to the other, unable because of the rain to do what most boys would do and just go outside, he became very desperate. And the bathroom door was still closed.

It so happened that a plank in the sleeping porch floor had a sizeable knothole in it, and one of us had knocked the center out of it, leaving an opening through the floor to the crawlspace under the house. There was no underpinning, so that area was open in turn to the yard. And in the yard, our chickens were free to roam.

My panicked brother spied the hole and decided that any port in the storm would have to do. Making sure that Mother was still at the stove, he lay down on the floor over the hole, unbuttoned his pants, and - well, you get the picture.

 

Except for one more brushstroke: There was a big old red rooster under the hole, scratching for food. He must have thought that he had found the mother lode of worms.

When my brother began screaming, “Something’s got me!”, Mother came rushing in. To her credit, she did not laugh - at least not just then.

But from then on, it seemed that she hummed the song, “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain” an awful lot, with a wry smile on her face.

Especially when she got to the part about killing the old red rooster.

    

Honorable Mention

Momma Dinner

by Sherryl LaPointe

 

There are memories almost every person has which are shrouded in the fog of early childhood. If they are of a recurring event or are discussed by the family, especially if they are good memories, they are retained and become part of the person's being. If they are not discussed, or if they are a one-time happening, they are usually forgotten, and it is as if they never transpired. Some such happenings, like this one, become the material of family legends. It really did happen, but it may have been embroidered and expanded, especially by the father who was the main storyteller. As in any legend, the reader must unravel fact from fiction.

It has seemed like a long winter in northern Indiana. A new baby had been born at the end of August. The day the baby was born, Daddy, live-in Grandma, and the two pre-school aged sisters, Sandy and Shelly finished the move to a new home in a city about eighty miles north of their previous one. In those days, fathers were not allowed anywhere near the delivery room until long after the fact of the birth, so the move kept Daddy's mind off the process and the agony his dear wife was going through. After her five days in the hospital, Momma was allowed to come home to the new house, but her activities were severely curtailed.

Although she was soon able to be up and even go out into the yard and neighborhood with the girls, it seemed like a very short time indeed until winter set in. The snow was deep, and a two-year-old and a four-year-old had limited mobility when they did get to go outside. Even to them, it was often not worth the effort to put on hats, coats, leggings, and mittens along with anything else Momma or Grandma dreamed up to keep them warm. Although playing in the snow or sliding on the ice was fun, sometimes the cold fingers, toes, and noses made them wish they hadn't bothered.

Finally, it happened! Spring arrived! This particular day was a beautiful, warm, spring one. The two preschoolers, by now two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half and both very verbal, were giggling and running in the back yard. Their sweaters had long been abandoned. Their silliness was beginning to get on Daddy's nerves. He was a kind man but maintained two jobs in order to support his growing family, and they were constantly in the exact place where he was attempting to get a week's worth of yard work done in his one day off. When they weren't running back and forth in the new-found freedom of this spring warmth, they were trying to help as he raked old leaves, cut the grass with a reel push mower, dug holes and planted flowers and in general tried to make the property ready for the summer months.

In addition to trying to make the property nicer for their own use, he had, in the back of his mind, the idea that he might try to sell it. He had bought the first place he could find when he had moved his family. In those days of no cell phones, long distance charges, and at the most, one car per family, it was not easy to move eighty miles. He had to find a place where he and his expectant wife could stay, where she would be near the doctor and hospital, and he near his work. Part of the time he had to hitch-hike the eighty miles twice a week to go from his "southern" home to his "northern" one. Now, he only had one home'and a car, of sorts, at least. He might be able to afford a larger home that would better fit the family, and the job looked as though it would last for a while. All this was going through his mind while he worked in the yard.

"Sandy, Shelly, come here," rather sternly.

"Yes, Daddy," came two small voices in unison, not even seeming to hear the stem tone of his voice.

"I want you two to go over and sit on the steps. Don't move for at least five minutes."

"Yes, Daddy," came the same small voices, not subdued or afraid, just small.

"May we talk?"

"May we sing?"

"Yes, you may talk and sing. Just don't move. I have some work I'm trying to get done, and you're getting in my way." The girls took hands and went toward the steps leading up to the back door of the house. Sandy, the older of the two, did her best to skip, bouncing the hand of her little sister as they went. She didn't quite have the skill mastered, but she didn't really care. She was satisfied with her efforts. As the two sat side by side on the steps, they whispered, giggled and talked for one whole minute. Then they were silent for perhaps thirty seconds, trying hard not to move as Daddy had said. After that, they sang "Jesus Loves Me" a couple of times and "Happy Birthday" once to no one in particular, but because it was a song they both knew.

"Daddy, can we get up now?" Sandy called.

"Pleeease?"

"No, It has not even been three minutes. I'll tell you when the time is up."

The sisters lapsed into sad silence for at least fifteen seconds and then resumed their chatter. Soon they took an interest in what their daddy was doing, commenting on every aspect of it.

"He already got the mowing done before we came over here."

"What's he doing now, Sister?"

"He's got all the leaves in a big pile."

"He did that before - 'cept where we ran through them."

"Now he's putting those plants in the ground - the little ones he had in the garage before. Why are you doing that, Daddy?" But Daddy didn't even seem to hear their questions.

"Daddy, What is that stinky stuff you're putting around the plants?"

"Eeew, Daddy, it stinks clear over here."

Without "help," Daddy progressed rather quickly with setting out the last of the plants, finally at the end of his tasks until he bu.med the leaves in the afternoon, while the girls were safely napping. He was setting out the·ones which he had reserved to circsked Shelly, next. "Is it a baby? It looks like a baby."

Momma and Grandma were silent, allowing the girls the joy of the discovery.

Daddy reached to place the baby back in its hole, and then said softly, "Let's go sit on the steps, and we'll talk about it. The family sat together on the steps and Daddy tried to answer all the questions. "Yes, it is a tiny baby bunny. A momma rabbit decided to make her home under our tree."

"Was there a Daddy Rabbit, too?"

"I'm sure there was," responded Grandma, smiling.

Daddy went on, "While the bunnies are there, you girls must not play near the tree. You'll scare them. If

le the large tree which was the source of the leaves, but also, the focus of interest in the back yard. As he approached the gnarled roots to place some flowers between them, he spied movement. He froze and watched carefully. He didn't want to have something attack him, and he couldn't allow anything even vaguely wild to remain if it would harm his girls. As he watched almost motionless, he saw the movement again. He crept closer to the trunk of the tree and saw a tiny hole, one barely big enough for his hand. He peered inside and gasped with pleasure at what he saw. Examining the contents carefully, he saw it was safe to do what he wanted in order to please his dear daughters. He reached in and cautiously removed one of the inhabitants, then spoke very softly, just barely loudly enough for the girls to hear. "Sandy, open the door very softly. Go inside and get your grandma and your mother. Bring them outside right now. Shelly, you stay right where you are."

Sandy did exactly as she was told and Momma and Grandma came hurrying out the door, Momma carrying the sleeping the sleeping baby. She looked over toward the tree and, in a rather nervous voice, said, "Are you O.K.? What is it?"

"All four of you come over here, but be very quiet." The four almost tiptoed through the Spring-green grass to where Daddy was sitting beside the big tree. He held out his hands in which was cupped a tiny, furry, gray baby bunny.

"Oh, Daddy, It's so tiny!" whispered Shelly.

"Is it ours? Can we keep it?" asked Sandy in a very quiet voice.

"Where did it come from?" a

 you stay away from the flowers I've planted, I think you'll be far enough away. Do you promise?"

"Yes, Daddy," came the familiar chorus.

"When they get bigger and come out to play, you can't play with them Bunnies don't play with children.  You may watch them, and maybe they'll watch you."

"Daddy, do baby bunnies get momma dinner, just like our baby does, from their momma?"

Momma answered their question rather quickly, Yes, dear, I'm sure they do."

If a two-year-old and a four-year-old can make their father blush, those two did on that day. As spring turned into summer, the girls did, indeed, watch the bunnies as they grew and began to explore more and more of the yard. It wasn't long until first one and then another left to make homes of their own, but the story lives on nearly seventy years later. Daddy got over bis embarrassment and enjoyed telling the story (and at certain times of their life, embarrassing the two girls with the story of the bunnies and their "momma dinner."

 

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