Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This is a kid's story that I wrote and pulled it from my archives to share with you all. Although the tale is fiction, the boy in the story is a friend of mine who lived on a farm and had a dog named Trixie. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Pocket Change
                Norman was a curly haired, rosy cheeked boy who lived on a small farm with his mom and dad. His dad raised chickens, pigs, and a few cows. There was never a time on the farm when there were no cats and Norman had a dog. Trixie was his dog and followed him everywhere, helping with the chores.
                The farm had a small orchard and large garden. It was Norman’s job to keep the weeds out of the garden and it was Trixie’s job to keep the animals out. Although Norman spent a lot of time on chores, he did have free time. That is when he and Trixie would explore the open fields and nearby wooded glen. They found secret places to play among the rocks and trees. They splashed in a little stream that tumbled through the woods and raced across the fields.
“Norman, Norman Lee,” he heard his mom’s voice calling. Norman had been in the barn looking for Muffy, one of the barn cats. She had a litter of kittens and he had just found her nest. He slid down out of the hay mow.
“Coming Mom. I’ll be right there,” he yelled as he hurried from the barn.
Parked in the driveway was a shiny black car. His mom and another lady were standing beside it. The other lady looked a lot like his mom. Drawing closer, he could see a boy about his own age standing with them. His hair was so blond; it looked almost white in the bright summer sun.
Trixie ran ahead and stopped by Norman’s mom. She absent-mindedly scratched Trixie’s head while they waited for Norman to catch up.
“This is your aunt Rose and your cousin Frank. You haven’t seen them since you were just a baby. They are visiting for a few hours. You two boys can play together while I visit with your aunt Rose. Show him around the farm and have some fun.
“Great Mom,” Norman said as he grabbed Frank’s hand and shook it. Trixie ran around the two of them barking. She seemed to know that they were going exploring.
“Come on Frank. Let me show you something that I just found.” They started walking toward the barn.
“I just found Muffy’s new kittens We have to be quiet and we can’t touch them yet. They are too young.” Norman was glad to have someone his own age to play with and to share some of the secrets of the farm.
The barn was filled with sweet smelling hay. In seconds, the two boys had climbed into the hay mow. Trixie began to whine at being left behind. “Trixie, be quiet. You can’t come up and you don’t need to see the kittens.” They crawled farther into the mow and peeked into the nest. Frank lifted his hand and started to reach toward the nest.
 “Don’t touch,” Norman cautioned.
“I’m just counting them,” Frank pouted, then began to count, “One, two, three… uhm, I see six kittens.”
They watched the kittens play for a few minutes until Muffy came back and hissed at the two of them. They backed away, slid down from the hay loft, and sped away in search of other things to do with Trixie close on their heels.
Norman showed Frank the other animals; the cows, the pigs, and the chickens. He didn’t seem impressed with anything. Soon the heat chased them into the cooling shade of the nearby woods. Just at the edge of the trees, along the bank of the stream, Norman saw a round black stone. Kids called these smooth rocks “Lucky stones” and this one seemed to shine in the sun. Norman bent over and picked it up. The smooth stone felt hot on the palm of his hand.
Frank pressed close and asked, “What did you find?”
Opening his hand, Norman showed Frank the smooth, dark stone.
“It’s nothing but an old rock,” Frank said, hurting Norman’s feelings.
Nothing that Norman said or done seemed to please his cousin, because Frank said that he “was a city boy and there was nothing a country boy could do that impress him.”
Norman stuffed the stone deep into the left pocket of his overalls. The stone clicked on something that was already in the pocket. He slipped his fingers deeper to see what he had in there. When he pulled his hand out and opened it, there was a bright red marble on his palm. It was almost the same size as the stone.
“How did you do that?” Frank gasped in surprise. His eyes opened wide as he stared at the marble.
“Do what?” Norm asked, not sure exactly what he had done.
“How did you change the color of that rock?” Frank said as he pointed to the marble.
Norm chuckled as he remembered something he had in his right hand pocket. “Watch this.” He dropped the marble into his pocket, delving deeper to pull out a large steel ball bearing. Norman opened his hand and when Frank saw the shining, silver ball bearing, he pointed and cried, “That’s magic. How did you do that?”
Once again Norman remembered something he kept in the back pocket of his jeans. “That’s nothing. Watch this.” He slipped his hand into his back pocket and released the ball bearing. When his hand reappeared, the ball bearing was gone and in its place was a bright, shiny quarter.
“Wow, Norman, that’s great. Tell me how you do that,” Frank pleaded.
“I can’t tell you, it’s a secret,” Norm whispered, his eyes twinkling with mischief. He moved the quarter to his other hand and thrust it into the front left pocket. He allowed the quarter to slip from his fingers and grasped the smooth black stone that started it all. When Frank saw the stone, he begged, “Come on Norm. We’re cousins. You can tell me. Show me how, please.”
A sly smile crept across Norman’s face “It all starts when you find the right stone. Some of them are magic.”
But before Norm could say anything more or before Frank could ask any more questions, they heard Aunt Rose calling, “Frank! It’s time to go.”
“I’m coming Mom,”Frank turned and began to walk along the stream. Norman watched as Frank took a few steps, bend over and pick something up, before taking a few more and bending over again.
Trixie and Norman followed behind. By the time they caught up with Frank, he was standing beside his mom at the car. When Norman saw that both of Frank’s pants pockets were full and bulging with stones, he could hardly keep from laughing.
“All right, let’s get in the car. It’s time to go,”Aunt Rose leaned over to hug and kiss Norman. “We’ll be back soon, I promise.”
As Frank started to climb into the car, he stopped and grabbed at his pockets. Aunt Rose just picked him up and sat him on the passenger seat.
Norman waved as they drove off. Trixie chased the car down the driveway.
There in the dust, was a small pile of “Lucky stones.” Norman picked up one that had rolled almost next to his feet. He looked at it and broke out with a big grin. “Frank picked up so many rocks that they must have poked a hole in his pocket,” Norman thought. The smile became a soft chuckle. I think I finally impressed Frank.”
“What are you smiling about Norman and what is that in your hand?” she asked.
“Just some pocket change, Mom. Just some pocket change.”

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