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Nearsighted adventure

Beth Gibbons
Crawford, Neb.

She stayed home by choice, not because she liked to stay home alone – far from it. She stayed because there was this huge load of laundry she felt had to be finished while the warm sun was still shining. There was a thunderstorm in the forecast.

Back and forth she went to the clothesline hanging rows of wet clothes on the wire line in the yard. Some of the many colored towels and bed linens were flopping dry in the breezes while the washer continued to swish back and forth.

Once, while gathering an arm full of fresh smelling clothes she heard an unusual scratching noise over by the front porch. This porch is rarely used and so she called, ‘”Who’s there?” No one answered so she took a step closer.

The strange scratching noises continued and she caught sight of what appeared to be something, or was it someone crawling in the hole beneath the porch. Why, oh why hadn’t she insisted on having those boards repaired before now? she wondered. It’s always been an eyesore and source of potential danger.

Now her strained eyes stared as a hairy hand seemed to reach out of that dark irregular shaped porch hole. She stood still, like a Frozen Charlotte doll, tightly clutching a full armload of clean dry sweet smelling clothes.

The hand grew larger and moved more quickly, coming ever closer. Was it? … Yes, it seemed unattached!

She blinked, her nearsighted, strained eyes and … would you believe? An old black hen, who had moulted off most of her feathers, scratched and ran away in the opposite direction.

Quickly, she caught her breath and took the arm full of clothes inside. On the way out she reached for her eye glasses. Glasses do have some respectable features, especially when you’re so nearsighted you fail to recognize your old hen who wasn’t supposed to be in the yard let alone under the house.

Sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves.


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