The Carrot Ranch February 7, 2019, prompt is to working-template-for-ff-challenges101.png“in 99 words (no more, no less) write a
story that includes a sign. It can be a posted
sign, a universal sign, a wonder. Go where the prompt leads.”  The prompt led me back to those giant birds from last week’s mythstorical retelling of Maushop in “Thar Blows”




Massasoit keeps me close; he does not trust me who has been carried away and back by the giant birds, which have been preying along the coast.

I learned the words of the English in their country. The giant birds are ships. After five springs I followed the sun back to my country in ships, finally returning to Patuxet where chill winds rattled through empty fields littered with the untended bones of my people.

Another ship has come. English families are building in Patuxet. Massasoit gathered the shamans in the swamp, looking for a sign.

These are uncertain times.

Six Sentence Smackdown

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It is Six Sentence Story time again, and this week’s prompt word is vessel. Last week our host prima prompter Denise wrote a poem. SSS regular Clark of the WakefieldDoctrine made the comment that poetry was for girls. This girl challenged him to write a poem.  Do click over to see Clark’s admirable response to my challenge. My six sentences are a Sicilian sestet poem.



Was a man, I know not his name- was it Roger? Clark? Or Scott?

Whomever ‘twas, he wrote prolifically, his prose was something special;

but found adversity in verse, you see, but this week we’ll see just what he’s got.

Poetry was not the ship he sailed, to carry words it was not his favorite vessel;

but he talked smack, no takin’ back, so here the battle of poetic form is fought.

Fighting with gurrls, making a switch to ferry from ship, with his manly words he’ll wrestle.


Now it’s coming back to me, yes the man is our own dear Clark

he’s stood up and laid a poem down despite discomfort and feeling nervous.

He says he’s averse to penning verse, yet his pen has found its mark,

perhaps in goading him to act on this whim I’ve done him and his readers a service.

And it goes to show that you never know what good may come of a lark;

poems is for girls he said then took me on and wrote beautifully in versus.

Thar Blows

workingtemplateforffchallenges289929.pngThe giant Maushop shared whales and fish with the people. Only Maushop could stop the monstrous bird that ate children. The people showed thanks with gifts of tobacco. With ashes from his pipe Maushop made a second faraway island. The fog from his pipe shielded for a while but was not enough.

Then the people took the others’ god. The others said he was the devil; Maushop obliged. He turned his children to fishes and his wife to a stone before taking to farther seas. They’d see him again, misty smoke now urgent spout of a great white whale.


The ‘sea mist’ prompt had me thinking about Maushop, the once gentle giant whose smoking habit is the cause of the pervasive fog of Nantucket. The above 99 words is a distillation of some of the Maushop stories and theories. Maushop is a tragic character who couldn’t find an island far enough away to escape the Europeans and the rapid changes wrought on Native culture and economies in the 17th century. The Maushop stories can be interpreted as historical narrative as much as myth and continue among the Wampanoag today. Nathaniel Philbrick says of his book Abram’s Eyes, that it “looks to Maushop as a way to recover an understanding of how native Nantucketers experienced their world.” He suggests that, “to appreciate legendary giants such as Maushop for who they really are, we must enter a universe where myth is more than mere fiction; it is a higher reality” and to accept “the Indians’ legends as flexible and renewable truths”. Which all means that the myths are not fantasy; they were and are told by real people who really experienced what is portrayed. I hope that Maushop is still around in whatever form he may have taken for our times.

 Informed by:

 Philbrick, Nathaniel, Abrams Eyes. Mill Hill Press, Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1998.

 Simmons, William S., Spirit of the New England Tribes: Indian History and Folklore, 1620-1984. Hanover, New Hampshire; and London, 1986.


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With Destiny tied to the bowsprit branch, Marlie took command of her tree fort. She steered the pitching ship into the roiling sea of fog-drenched backyard, the surf of snow rising underneath the plunging bow. Over the howling wind she barked orders at her frightened crew.

“Should they really be out there in this weather?”

“They’re dressed for it and they’re under cover in the tree fort. Tommy will let her know when he’s had enough.”

“Maybe. Oh, here he is now. Tommy. Are you okay?”

“I had to walk the plank.”

“There’s hot chocolate in the galley, Mate.”


The January 31, 2019, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sea mist. How does it create an environment for a story? It can set the stage or take the stage. Go where the prompt leads.

I was led back to Marlie and her Destiny Doll . You may remember her as the prophetess or maybe even as a Warrior