Crazy Shift CRLC Challenge

farcow5.gifHorn Blowin

“Shorty’s on ‘bout uni-corns agin. “

“Shorty’s crazy ‘bout uni-corns.”

“I ’member the second uni-corn prompt, February 22, 2018. Was you ‘roun fer the first, June 4, 2014?”

“Course I was ‘roun the Ranch. Jist didn’t know it yet. Kin tell ya thet was Shorty’s 100th Carrot Ranch post ‘an her 14th 99 word challenge. If’n ya read thet post you’ll see how steady she’s been all these years. ‘Ceptin’ fer the uni-corn thing. She suggested, ‘snap the halters off our inner unicorns’. Hmmf.”

“Well, Pal, it don’t git more free range ‘an that. Mebbe uni-corns ain’t so crazy.”

square-template28.pngAt Carrot Ranch, the April 16, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something crazy. Laugh like crazy, show the setting of stir-crazy or go off the rails on a crazy train. Have fun with the word and the situation, but go where the prompt leads! (Respond by April 21) 

The prompt seems to be working for my yahoo characters better than for me. So indulge them if you will for four sequenced Ranch Yarns, each 99 words, no more, no less..

Crazy Shift           (Like Craft Cider, Comes in a 4-Pac)

“Aw, shift, Kid, what’re ya up to?”

“Been thinkin’, Pal.”


“Thinkin’ Head Quarters should reflect the Ranch an’ vice versa. I’m fixin’ on how ta fix hosses inta uni-corns. Ya’d think it’d be an easy thing ta git toilet paper tubes…”

“Kid, ya cain’t jist braid tubes onta the forelock an’ call thet a horn. Ya gotta look it the hoss’s genes.”

“Yer stir crazy. Hosses don’t wear jeans. Oh! Genes. Reckon I could start by s’lectin’ the hosses got stars on their foreheads.”

“Blazes no, Kid. Ya gotta look fer the ones got stars in their eyes.”


“Gonna send Pepe back up ta HQ, ta utilize his connections ta the universities. Thinkin’ there’s some nerds with time on their hands could do some genetic engineerin’ fer this uni-corn project.”

“Kid, they’s all workin’ on more practical things than horned hosses. Anyways, Pepe’s out there scratchin’ his head, eyein’ the groun.’”

“Huh… Pepe!”

“Keed, look. Dees ees not farfennugen.”

“No, too big. Are they skittles?”

“Dees ees too beeg to be Skeetles. Ees size of horse poop, but colors of da rainbow. Keed… dees ees unicorn excrement!”

“You mean?”

“Oui! Dere ees a unicorn on Carrot Ranch!”


“Let’s hit the trail! Why, if we kin find this uni-corn we’ll… we’ll… uh, Pal, some hep here?”

“Hep yersef. Jist what will ya do if’n ya track down thet uni-corn?”

“Reckon I’d rope it.”

“Uh-huh. Then whut?”

“Well, guess I’d lead it back ta the Ranch. Corral it.”

“Uh-huh. Or git it inta a stall. Think it’d be happy, roped an’ corralled?”

“Not at first. But…”

“But what? You gonna tame it?”

“Yeah. Tame it an’ train it. Till it’s—”

“Docile as any old plug?”


“Some things cain’t never be undone, Kid.”

“I’ll leave it be.”


“Pal! I have foun’ the true power a uni-corns!”

“Shift! Kid I thought you was gonna leave thet animal alone!”

“I am, Pal. In fact Pepe an’ me been goin’ roun’ gatherin’ up any rainbow colored droppin’s so’s to protect it. I been takin’ the uni-corn manure out ta ma little off-shoot Poet Tree behind the Saddle Up Saloon. An’ that tree is growin’! I’ll be climbin’ out on a limb in no time.”

“Ya been outta yer tree fer a while. We kin all use some buckaroo-ku these days, Kid.”

“Okay, Pal.”

among friends

gathering rainbows

crazy shift



This essential establishment is OPEN! 

Saddle Up Fer M’fundays

See that new widget just to the right? No, we don’t really look at the widgets, do we, and for all I know it looks totally different on your device. But my top widget is the graphic for the weekly Saddle Up Saloon feature at Carrot Ranch. If you click on that widget you will be transported to the Saloon archive page at Carrot Ranch. If you follow Charli Mill’s blog, or if you pay close attention around the blogosphere and surrounds, you will have noticed that Mondays are fun days at the ranch and that my Ranch Yarn mainstay characters, Kid and Pal, are running a saloon. Yep. Fiction is funner than facts and that’s the truth. New posts at the break of Monday, or midnight Sunday, your choice, but -ish either way.

The Saddle Up Saloon is a judgment free, pandemic-free zone, so come unmasked, ungloved, and hug at your own discretion. Come to relax and unwind or to rub elbows and be seen on the scene. And, you or your characters are welcome to be featured guests, artists, or to even work the bar.

Since the introduction of the Saddle Up Saloon both Chelsea Owens and Anne Goodwin  strode through those swinging doors. This week we are visited by fictional friends Ernest Biggs and Marge Small who, along with Kid and Pal, offer an opportunity for your own characters to step out and step up. Next week, April 20, Geoff Le Pard will unleash two of his mop-topped characters into the Saloon, that event already being touted as the latest British Invasion.

Anything is possible in the world of fiction, if you can imagine it. Check out the Saddle Up Saloon and email me at with Saloon in the subject line if you have an offer I shouldn’t refuse. Ideas welcome.

Disclaimer? Fictional characters Kid and Pal are in charge.

Anything you’ve said or printed may be used to promote you.


Open 24/7   Fresh Fun Served Ev’ry Monday


To Hex With It

Be Bold (JULY)So, here’s the deal. Kid and Pal are fictional ranch hands who identify as real. (That’s been an ongoing issue.) Up till lately they have lived relatively quietly at Carrot Ranch and also have their own page here, if you want to catch up. Up till lately they were content to just comment on Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch  posts and prompts. I had thought to give them their own blog but failed miserably at setting up with the new and improved WordPress machinations. But as some of you have noticed, these two seem to have busted out anyway and are doing business here on my front page in addition to their regular chores at the Ranch. I am going to continue to use this Carrot Ranch banner when Kid and Pal have something going here, though these are not your regular Ranch Yarns. These are irregular times and while these two came up with a plan to remain times neutral at the Ranch, they will allude and intrude on current events here. And, as you can take the ranch hand off the ranch but can’t take the ranch from the hands, well, the following is in 99 words, no more no less.  

One more thing… if you’re looking for something to do, these two wouldn’t mind at all if you left a six foot comment, that is twelve syllables. They aren’t too fussy about accents.  


To Hex With It

“Pal, all yer time at the Poet Tree n’ ya got no poem? Not even a haiku?”

“Bless ya, Kid. An’ don’t fergit ta haiku inta yer elbow crook. Anyways, I’m thinkin’ if folks is gonna try poetry they should use iambic hexameter.”

“Really? I am a bit sick of six.”

“Stop draggin’ yer feet, Kid. Jist think of it as a 12 pack a syllables.”


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

“Don’t be a Dickens, Kid.”

Carry on, hearts be strong, share positivity

help, share, extend your care, show true humanity”



March 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

All Normal, See?

“Pal, you’re back from yer time at the Poet Tree. Got some lines that rhyme? Ya been out there fer four days.”

“Seems longer, mebbe ‘cause a spendin’ some time with you, tellin’ ya ta jist keep it t’gether. I ain’t come up with a poem, Kid, but I gotta plan fer us.”

“Plans is hopeful. What’re we ta do? Gather up supplies? Stay put? Keep our distance?”

“Shush Kid. We’ll do the z’act opposite. ‘Cause Ranch plans ain’t changed. So we’ll take advantage a our fictional status an jist keep ta our chores here. No more, no less.”


“Uh, Pal, what’re my chores again?”

“Jist shovel shift, Kid. Hope folks find ya more amusin’ than annoyin’. Figger folks got enough ta worry ‘bout. At the Ranch they kin come close, enjoy a tale or two ‘roun the fire. Yer ta stop yer whinin’. ’Member this is a refuge fer the real folks thet come by. They kin say what they gotta say, but all us fictional folks is jist gonna injoy our normalcy.”

“I see. Too bad.”

“Why’s thet?”

“I got a fictional six-pack a purell fer Frankie an’ a case a tp for Pepe.”

“No shift?”

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

First, the roof-bergs broke loose. Great hunks of condensed ice thicker than a doorstep slipped from the eaves, crashing onto the garage with such tremendous force that my neighbor ran to the side of my house. I happened to be coming down the stairs at the moment and saw a flash of sun on ice before I felt the shock of vibrations that accompanied the blow. Spring wears heavy boots in the Keweenaw.

Next, came the tapping, drip-drip-drapping of water seeping from beneath the remaining bergs, ice sculptures, and packed drifts of geological snow layered storm by storm. A rapping, louder than water tapping, sounded at my door — ’tis a neighbor, nothing more. Cranky (as in Sew Cranky, not So Cranky) smiled and informed me that the maples no longer slumbered. Sap was flowing. Her husband came over and tapped our tree.

Now, this is no ordinary tree. It…

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