Ranch Yarns 2023

Kid and Pal have been riding the range at Carrot Ranch for some six years now. In addition to taking part in the weekly round up, these fictional ranch hands also manage the Saddle Up Saloon and the Cowsino that’s in the back room there. You are encouraged to travel about Carrot Ranch but for your convenience the Ranch Yarns are here in one place with links back to the Ranch and the campfire that spawned the yarn.


Storm Past

“Kid, it’s been real nice sharin stories an visitin roun the fire an catchin stories in the Cowsino, but I wunder how things is at the Ranch.”
“Yep. We been holed up in the Saloon fer quite a spell, Pal. But I’m tellin ya it’ll be a challenge ta git outta here.”
“Cuz a all the snow? Is it still stormin out there?”
“Storm quieted some time ago Pal. Didn’t mention it cuz I was enjoyin ma sabbatical. But I reckon it’s time ta head back.”
“So whut’s the challenging part Kid?”
“99-word challenge! Shorty’s posted at the Ranch!”


Happy New Year


“Hey Kid. Pal. Where ya been?”

“Well, we was managin the Cowsino when the storm commenced. We been holed up there at the Saloon, but a whole bunch a folks, real an imagined, stopped in an hunkered by the fireplace with us.”

“Yep. Stories got told. Ended up bein a good time. By the way, Shorty, I sure am glad yer Yooper scooper brought ya this way.”

“You two didn’t take a break?”

“Sure felt like a break. Was restful an relaxin hangin out with everone at the Saloon.”

“An now we’re back in the saddle!”

“Write on!”


“Limricks Pal?”



maybe the idea is radical

but sometimes lettin go is tactical

then grab the end of yer rope

and start pullin up hope

bend an don’t break an call it sabbatical


sometimes a rope’s all ya’ve got

tangled and tied up in knots

hard to know where ta begin

when you cain’t find the ends

and it always tugs at yer heart


lettin go don’t mean free-fallin

it’s action when things seem ta be stallin

you’ll stop bouncing aroun

an find yer feet on the groun

tie off the end a thet rope an start haulin”


CRLC 1-11-23; Sabbatical

Takin a Breather

“Pepe? I was expecting Kid and Pal.”

“Ello Shorty. Doze two are steel arguing wedder or not being snowed in at da saloon all dat time counts as sabbatical. Pal says eet was, because dey weren’t doin deir regular chores and eet also was not a vacation. Keed says eet cannot be a sabbatical as dey haven’t even worked here for seven years.”

“No? Seems longer.”

“Dat ees what Pal said. Keed also said dat a sabbatical ees meant to be a producteeve time. All we deed was tell stories.”

“A breath of fresh air, Pepe! Tell Kid— sabbatical.”


CRLC challenge 1-9-23; Rabbits

“Heehee. Hey Miss Shorty.”

            “Hey Miss Shorty. Teehee.”

“Helga and Hess! Still camping around the Ranch?”

“Yes. Miss Shorty, guess what?”

            “We saw a hairy man!”


“Yes! Wearing a Stormy Kromer hat and overalls.”

            “Like a big hairy Elmer Fudd.”

“Oh. That was just Ernie.”

“He was setting rabbit snares.”

            “But he won’t catch any.”

“Because we took them down. Heehee.”

            “And left the strings in heart shapes on the snow.”

“With his carrot bait inside.”

            “Like an arrow. Teehee.”

“Have you seen Kid and Pal?”

“Yes. They’re still at the Saloon.”

            “They’ve gone down a rabbit hole.”


CRLC 1-18-23; Rabbits

Meanwhile, Back at the Saloon, Kid and Pal Split Hares

“Better git hoppin, Kid. Wer gonna miss the roundup.”

“Warren trouble with this prompt, Pal. Rabbits?”

“Least they ain’t gotta be up on a roof. Figgered this’d be an easy prompt fer ya Kid. What’s the problem this time?”

“Reckon Shorty really meant rabbits?”

“Thet’s what she said, Kid. Rabbits.”

“But mebbe what she saw was actchally hares.”

“Hares? Who cares? Whut’s the dif’rence?”

“Cain’t member the zact dif’rence. Let’s fire up the computer in the office.”

“Ya know I cain’t stand Goggle, Kid.”

“Shush, I’m re-searchin. Hare Krishna, harengon… huh, look’t that…”

“Kid! Git outta thet rabbit hole!”


CRLC challenge 1-16-23; Shadow Lady

Gol Dawn Kid

“Dunno bout this one, Pal.”

“Whut don’tcha know Kid?”

“Dunno if we should be writin bout shady ladies. Ain’t sure Carrot Ranch has a shady lady. Wanda, but she won’t like if I put her in a flash.”

“Change the names ta pertect the not so innocent. But prompt don’t say shady lady. Says lady shadow.”

“Oh. Well, that’s kinda spooky.”

“Could be, if ya aspire ta apparitions. Feel like we discussed hauntins one other prompt. Figgered out they was spirits a unwrit characters lookin ta be released ta the page.”

“This could turn inta a real writin exorcise.”


“Kid, this prompt ain’t necessarily bout haints an ghosts.”

“Yep, reckon it’ll lead inta as many directions as there’s ranch hands.”

“Jist don’t want ya misleadin the other ranchers. An ya do realize, thet by doin yer thinkin out loud here in the comments a the challenge post, ya still gotta come up with a story ta git published in the collection— this here don’t count.”

“I know Pal. But this leads ta that. An mebbe some folks injoy ma thinkin.”

“Hmmf. So, what’re ya thinkin?”

“Thinkin I’ll jist wait fer that shadow lady ta come ta the light.”


CRLC 1-25-23; Shadow Lady

“Stop gawkin inta the shadows Kid. Jist tend the fire, keep conversatin. This un needs time.”

“Is it a unwrit character, Pal??”

“No, ain’t no unwrit character.”

“Is it a character got writ an killed off fer the sake of a story?”

“Ain’t a character from no story, Kid. Thet person lurkin in the shadows is a story keeper.”

“Kin she speak?”

“When she’s ready. Ain’t sure a her voice jist yet. It’ll come. Put another log in.”

“What’ll we say when she does set down ta the campfire?”

“Same as you was told.

‘Howdy. Welcome ta Carrot Ranch’.”


“Meantime, Kid, whut’s yer story this week?”

Once upon a time on a faraway ranch thet was near an dear an accessible ta all, a ranch hand went wanderin off a-lookin fer inspiration. Went beyond the upper pastures, on inta the forest. It was gittin dark an shadows amongst the towerin trees were thicker an figgy puddin.

“Figgy puddin?”

“Had some leftover, good campin food. Anways,

Someone or somethin was in them shadows. Who could it be? What could they want? That ranch hand offered figgy puddin an sure ‘nough. She come forward an took it!





“No ’fense, Kid, but that weren’t much of a story. An ‘thick as figgy puddin’? Ain’t thet a cliché?”

“If it ain’t, should be. There’s more ta the story, Pal.”

“Do tell.”


Ol Sassy-squatch was hungerin fer more’n figgy puddin. Since she’d spied Carrot Ranch’s hairy-man, Sassy was in love.”

“With Ernie?”


Sassy squeezed hersef inta the dress that was lef behind an come outta the shadows feelin sweet as cherry pie.”

“Oh my. Good thing Wanda’s on one a her sabbaticals.”

“Ernie’s got lots in common with Sassy.”

“Yep. Hairstyle, shoe size, an a reclusive lifestyle.”


CRLC challenge 1-23-23; Optimism

Optimism by A. Kid

“I see ya have yer title an byline, reckon that’s a start Kid.”

“That’s all I’ve got. So far.”

“So far. Thet’s a positive mindset thet’ll git ya there.”

“Tryin ta be positive Pal, so rather’n whine, I’m gonna go see Frankie. Reckon she’s seen a optimitrist, she might have some ideas.”

“Frankie knows half a whut ya’d think bout optometry, but Kid this’s bout optimism. Visionin things positively.”

“Oh. I see. Thanks fer clearin that up.”

“So now are ya seein a story?”

“Nope. Not yet. But it’ll come.”

“Always does, doesn’t it?”



CRLC 2-1-23; Optimism

Shiftin Topic

“Ello Keed. Where are you goeeng?”

“Hey, Pepe. I’m tryin ta git a lead on this prompt. ‘Parently optic ain’t the topic, but thought I’d visit with Frankie anyways. She’s got a positively unique way a seein the world.”

“Dat is true. An, eef I do say so myself, Logatha and I are optimists. We feel like everytheeng works out in da end.”

“Where is Logatha?”

“She ees visiteeng her seester, Cheri Le Shart. She’s too positive. Suffers from optimal illusions.”

“She does have a bubbly disposition.”

“Dat one has de personality of a Skeetle®. Not Logatha. She’s solid.”


CRLC 2-8-23; Dishes

Hog Wash

“That dang Pal. Cain’t be bothered ta cook dinner or clean up afterwards, don’t never pitch in anymore. Claims ta always have some place ta be, seems ta git back jist after I’ve finished cleanin up. Well, Curly, we’ll show that yahoo. Yep, here comes Pal now, must think I’m done with the dishes. But I’m jist gittin started. Come here Curly. Good girl.

“Oh, hey, Pal.”

“Kid! Why’s thet hog lickin the dishes?!”

“Jeez Pal, how d’ya think I git the dishes cleaned? Curly’s always willin ta hep.

“Git, I’ll wash the dang dishes.”

“Have it yer way.”


CRLC 2-15-23; Love letter to Nature


How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

“Whoa, Kid. Who’s Zee?”

“Not Zee, Pal. Thee. As in thou? Ye olde you?”

“Me?! An who ya callin old?”

“Shush Pal. Ain’t talkin bout ye at all. Tryin ta write a love letter ta nature.”


“Cuz Shorty says ta. It’s the prompt.”

“Yer writin. A letter. Ta Nature. Cuz Shorty says.”

“Natcherlly. But I’m findin this a tough prompt.”

“Natcherlly. Try this:

Dear Nature, I cain’t live without you.

“That’s good. Pal? How is it folks kin hurt the ones they love?

Nature, kin ya forgive us?”


CRLC challenge 2-13-23; Jam

Introducin— The Berries!

“Kid, is thet lipstick on yer pig?”

“Jist jam. Speakin a jam, ya heard bout Pepe’s new band? The Berries.”

“The Berries?”

“Yep, cuz they like ta jam out. They’re good. Pepe kin really carry a tune.”

“Hmmf. He usually lets it slip. Who else is in this band?”

“Pepe’s the percussionist. His sister-in-law, Cherie Le Shart, plays slide-whistle. Logatha plays accordin.”

“Don’tcha mean accord-i-an?”

“No, she only joins in accordin ta whether or not she feels like it. An Ernie, he’s smokin hot on the cigar box guitar. I play washtub bass.”

“Thet’ll be treble on laundry day.”


CRLC 2-22-23; Jam

Testy Times

“Dang! Kid, you an thet hog et all the jam!”

“Don’t git so testy bout yer toast, Pal. Shush, cain’t ya see Curly’s sleepin? Look’t her eyelashes flutter an her legs twitchin. Reckon she’s rememberin flyin in Pepe’s hot air balloon?”

“These days thet could be a nightmare. Dang it. My dream was toast fer breakfast. With jam. Shift, there’s some, smeared on yer shirt. Whyn’t ya clean yersef up?”

“Cuz the washtub’s got turned inta a base fiddle fer the band. Asides, this stain looks like Curly. I aim ta keep it.”

“I’ll aim fer it too.”



CRLC challenge 2-21-23; literary artist

Ring a Fire

“Kid, who’s thet?! I ain’t never seen anyone catapult themselves inta the Poet Tree like thet. Whoa! Now look’t! Twirlin on thet branch an now spinnin through the air— amazin!

Howdy Stranger. You could be in a circus!”

“No thanks. I’ve run away from the circus.”


“I want a life that’s colorful; full of characters and danger even. The circus wasn’t adventurous enough for me.”

“Ya left the circus with its lions an high wires an sech fer Carrot Ranch?”

“Yes. I saw all these risk takers, thought I’d step into the ring as a literary artist too.”

CRLC 3-01-23; literary artist


No ‘Ezee Way Out

“There ya are, Kid, up in the Poet Tree. Well, how ya doin with this week’s prompt?”

“Doin jist fine, Pal. Cuz I ain’t doin it. Writin, literary artin, whatever ya wanna call it, it’s too dang hard.”

“Then whut’re ya doin up in the Poet Tree? An in yer long-johns, no less?”

“Figger these long-johns is like them leotards circus folk wear when they perform acrobatics an other amazin stunts.”

“Uh-oh. Thet a swing?”


“Shorty’s called fer literary artists Kid, not trapeze artists. Stop monkeyin aroun and git ta writin.”

“No, Pal. I’m choosin a easier path.”


“Writers’ lives are hardest

I ain’t no literary artist

I want a life a ease

so I’ll leap onta the flyin trapeze

Some a ya might ‘member

a circus I started last December

got cancelled cuz a snow

now it’s time, another go

I’ll switch places with that stranger

who figgers circusin’s less danger

that stranger kin take my place, take a chance

an write with ya’ll here at Carrot Ranch”

“Ha! That’s the oddest tree, influencin yer artistry. Mebbe ya didn’t take the leap in time. Thet Poet Tree’s got ya stuck with rhyme.”

“But is it art?”


CRLC 3-08-23; Golden Onion

From Aerial Ta Allium

“Git on down from yer Poet Tree, Kid. Quit doin the alley-oop on thet danged trapeze an git ta the allium.”

“Thinkin on stayin up here, Pal. Don’t find too much appealin bout this golden onion prompt.”

“Stay put then. Ain’t no skin off my bulb if ya don’t write fer the prompt. Shorty’ll be fine without ya, I’m sure.”

“Wait Pal, I’m comin down. There. Feet on the ground.”

“Like a onion.”

“Yep. Or a carrot.”

“Ready ta write, Kid?”

“Yep. Here goes:

peelin off

protective layers

paper thin

revealin goodness

satisfyin soup

“Tanka, Kid?”

“Yer welcome, Pal.”


CRLC challenge 3-06-23; Gloria

“Yer mighty quiet Kid. Ain’t moved.”

“But I am moved, Pal. Moved an mullin over this challenge post. It’s really resonatin with me.”

“Reckon yer relatin ta Gloria hearin voices?”

 “I am the voice, Pal, the figment a someone’s ‘magination an I’ve come ta terms with that. But sometimes I feel like I’m someone missin.”


“Feel like I might be a lost twin. Half of a other, missin a sister or a brother.”

“Oh bother! Thet why ya only do half a whut yer s’posed ta roun here? Yer too self-absorbed Kid.”

“Zactly, Pal. Mighta gained a loss.”


“Shorty, ya seen Kid anywheres?”

“No Pal, I’m unaware of Kid’s whereabouts. What’s up?”

“Kid’s feelin down, might be on the run now, running after somebody— a twin.”

“Kid has a twin?”

“Hope not! But Kid’s convinced.”

“Okay Pal. I think you’ve got to slow down. I’ll fetch Doc Ranger. Oh, here she is now. With Kid!”

“Kid! Whut’ve ya been up to?”

You don’t have to answer, Kid.”

“Thanks, Doc. Anyways, I really don’t remember, but it was somethin that you said. I’m my own twin, jist need ta git innegrated ta be whole.” 

“Something like that Kid.”


CRLC 3-15-23; Gloria

“Tip an Top Lemmon! Fancy outfits! Them yer prancin shoes?”

“Sure are Pal. Kid’s puttin on a talent show.”

“We’re gonna dance.”

“Whut? Dang thet Kid. Cain’t never jist respond ta the prompt with a simple story, always has ta be rilin things up. We don’t need no talent show.”

“It’s where the prompt led Kid.”

“An us! We’re Carrot Ranch’s resident twins, after all.”

“S’pose. Gonna least dance ta Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’?”


“Shania Twain’s ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’.”

“Still don’t think a talent show’s necessary. Talented literary artists show up ta the Ranch ever week.”


CRLC 3-13-23 challenge; Abandoned Playground

Pal Tries Kidding

“Pal? You okay?”

“Yep. Jist meditatin on thet prompt.”

“You? You don’t usually bother with the prompts. Usually bother me. An make sure all the chores git done, the animals tended.”

“Yep. Thet’s what I usually do, Kid. Whut I’ve always done. Reckon it’s all I know how ta do.”

“Yer real good at what ya do Pal. A hard worker.”

“Thing is Kid, thet rusty playgroun exists inside me. Unused.”

“What d’ya mean?”

“I ain’t never played. Weren’t never a kid, Kid.”

“We kin tend ta that, Pal. But it’ll be work.”

“I kin do thet.”

“No kidding!”


“First off, Pal, stop broodin. If ya got an image of a rusty playground, shine it up! ‘Magine paintin the ‘quipment any color ya like.”

“Done. Now what?”

“Git in there an play!”

“Ok, I’m in the playgroun.”

“Stay with it Pal. What d’ya see?”

“There’s a sandbox. I’m playin in the sandbox, Kid!”

“That’s real good Pal.”

“There’s a toy tractor an toy hosses. I built a ranch!”

“Keep playin…”

“There’s lots of free range. I’m making a carrot patch. And barns.”

“Your playin souns familiar.”

“Kid! Take this toy shovel an git busy!”

“Ah, shift, Pal. Really?”


CRLC 3-22-23; Abandoned Playground

Played Out

“Didn’t ‘spect ta find ya down by the beaver pond, Pal.”

“Yep. Relaxin.”

“Ain’t gonna write fer the prompt?”

“Nope. Playin with words is fer other folks. An playin on playgrouns is fer younger folk. But ya taught me I kin play in thet imaginal sandbox anytime I feel like. Thanks Kid.

“Kid, look’t them beavers. Folks say beavers is always workin. They sure seem ta be enjoyin themselves.”

“Reckon they like what they do, Pal.”

“Me too, Kid. I love what I do an I do what I love.”

“Reckon Carrot Ranch is a mighty fine sandbox.”



CRLC 3-31-23; Shots Fired

Fired Up, Over, and Out


“Yawww! Dang it Kid! Don’t do thet.”

“Aw, come on Pal, I’m jist funnin ya. Ya too gun-shy fer this week’s prompt?”

“Mebbe I am. Shots fired don’t seem right fer the Ranch. Now what? Duck!”

“That was jist the LeGumes, Pal, out on the veranda shootin the breeze.”

“Reckon thet’s a good place for em.”

“They wanna see us, Pal. Hey Pepe. Logatha.”

“Ello, Keed, ello Pal. We have news.”

“Phew, LeGume, thinkin yer firin some shots. O, shift. Lemme step upwind.”

“What’s yer news, Pepe?”

“I fired a shot alright. Logatha’s goeeng to ‘ave a bambeano!”


“Pal, what burr’s unner yer saddle now? Hope yer not cranky cuz a the LeGumes’ impendin bambeano.”

“Ain’t thet, Kid. Happy fer em, havin a little stinker. Nah, it’s thet fella thet run away from the circus.”

“From the ‘Literary Artist’ challenge? Whut’d he do?”

“It’s whut I did. Mighta been too quick ta pull the trigger hirin ‘im ta hep out.”

“Reckon a fella like that knows his way roun animals.”

“Too well. Dang cattle’ve all got dance routines now. The hosses all got fancy tricks.”

“Aw, that’s okay, Pal. Seen Curly?”

 “Yep. Over in thet cannon.”



“No!! Don’t fire my hoglet outta that cannon!”

“Why not, Kid? She wants to go across the beaver pond. This is a sure-fire way to get her there quickly.”

“Curly kin walk! Thought ya wanted ta be away from circus life, anyway. Why ya teachin the ranch animals tricks an routines?”

“This Ranch needs a little razzle-dazzle.”

“There’s stellar stories here ever week, thet’s razzle-dazzle enough.  We got Rough Writers takin risks in the safe space a Carrot Ranch. Why ain’tcha writin ‘stead a training the livestock?”

“Chickened out.”

“Mebbe ya better cross the road, Hot Shot. Yer fired.”


CRLC 4-06-23; Impossibly Blue


“Thet sure is a upbeat tune yer whistlin, Kid.”

“It’s a blues song I’m workin on fer The Berries.”

“Oh yeah, Pepe’s band, from the “jam” prompt. But Kid, the blues ain’t s’posed ta be cheery soundin.”

“How kin it not be? This song’s bout the skies over Carrot Ranch.”

“They are not cloudy all day, thet’s fer sure. But, the blues… oh, never mind. Seen our writer anywheres?”

“Nope. An we’re holdin our own.”

“But is she? These yarns is got more loose ends then Ernie’s shag carpet. An speakin a loose ends, Logatha’s gonna have a bambeano?”


“No worries, Pal, got almost nine months ta work that one out. An ya fired that circus fella, so that’s one less character ta keep track of. Ernie’s off with Sassy-squatch. Tip and Top are back in their cowboy duds ridin the range. Curly’s swimmin with her beaver friens. An here come Frankie an Burt ta deliver the mail. Frankie!

“See Pal, all unner control, all us characters jist doin what we do.”

“But the details, Kid.”

“What details?”

“Zactly. Fer instance, no lookin— what color are Frankie’s eyes?”

“That’s easy, Pal. One’s grayish blue an one’s impossibly blue.”



“Dang it, Kid, you jist git away with this cuz a the prompt.”

“Ain’t that the point a the prompt, Pal? An what d’ya mean, ‘git away with this’? Git away with whut?”

“Jist flappin yer gums, thet’s whut. We’re inta a third 99 an ya still won’t admit ta not havin a story.”

“So tell a story already, Pal.”


Once upon a time was a blue hoss.”



Was a wild stallion, couldn’t be caught. It would stan on the top of a hill on a blue-sky day an disappear from sight. Would stan by the creek an not be seen. Even out in the grass it appeared ta be a shimmerin mirage. Even if ya could git near ta it, it would run like the wind an whinnied like the wind too. Nobody ever got a good look at this wild blue stallion.”

“Again, I say, Impossible! If no one seen it, how’d folks know it existed?”

They was a ranch nearby thet raised Palominos.”

“Them yella hosses?”


 “Bunch a the mares had green foals.

“The end.”

“Now who’s gittin away with what?”


“Word count?”

“Count em, Kid. Thet’s a 99-word story.”


CRLC 4-13-23; Dog in the Desert

“Yer still whistling a merry tune Kid. Seen the prompt?”

“Yep! Shorty’s lobbed an easy one this week.”


“Yep. Reckon it’ll be a bots, ya know, based on a true story.”


“Yep. Jist gotta figger which time, focus on that. Cuz she’s done it more’n once.”

“She who?”

“Bless ya, Pal. Hope you ain’t catchin a cold. Yep, jist yesterday Curly got inta my carrot cake. An ‘member the ‘Free Pie’ prompt? Whooee, did Curly have hersef a time then!”

“Kid, ya do realize it says ‘dog in a desert’.”

“Not hog in a dessert?”




“Well, this’s a tough prompt after all. Ain’t got a dog, ain’t familiar with deserts. Ever been ta the desert Pal?”

“Back in ’18, in the 67th yarn. Was on a hoss with no name.”

“I member that one, was kinda weird. D’ya recall seein a dog whilst in the desert? Mebbe one someone set free out there?”

“Nope. An like Shorty says, thet ain’t freedom. Thet’s dumpin.”


“Kid, I reckon we’re a might like thet dog an thet Tatum fella. Cain’t see us functionin anywhere’s else but this here ranch. It’s the only thing I ever done.”


“Careful Pal, that’s almost admittin ta needin me aroun. Cuz most times I git the feelin ya’d love ta be free a me. Asides, I ain’t anywhere near as far gone as you. I could make it somewheres else. Fact, think I will.”

“Ya desertin me Kid? I’ll be doggoned.”

“Well, that takes care a the prompt, so yeah. Reckon I’ve served my time with you Pal, now I’m gonna make my way in the world.”

“Away from Carrot Ranch?”

“Yep. Reckon they’s plenny a jobs I could do.”

“Alright, Kid, I won’t stan in yer way. Good luck.”


Ya cain’t keep someone down thet wants to set out on their own, so I tried heppin Kid with a resume.

“What I’m good at is muckin out barns.”

“Organizational skills… What else ya done aroun here, Kid?”

“Painted that time.”

“Hmmf. Ended up in a corner a the bunkhouse till the floor dried.”

“I’m also a mason.”

“Yer not a Mason!”

“Member I built that stonewall roun the carrot patch?”

“After ya built it around yersef an was stuck inside.”

“I got management skills. The saloon?”

“Ya let kid goats in an they et up all the paperwork!”


“Yer not bein so hepful, Pal.”

“Sorry Kid, it’s jist, this is a lot. Fact is I’m worried bout ya bein out on yer own. It’ll all be so dif’rent. What bout transpertashun? Cain’t go ridin off on one of the hosses. Mebbe ya should take the ranch truck.”

“Um, member? It’s belly up in the creek after I dropped it from Pepe’s balloon. I’ll hitch-hike. I’ll jist pack a few things an git Curly’s leash.”

“I ain’t sure yer gonna blend in.”

“So I’ll stand out.”

“It’s a jungle out there Kid.”

“Let’s say ‘desert’ Pal. Bye.”



Shorty was some s’prised ta find out Kid, along with the hoglet Curly, had left Carrot Ranch fer greener pastures.

“But Shorty. I had ta let Kid go free. Cuz, ya know, Kid was free ta go.”

“You’re right, Pal. It just seems irresponsible because Kid is so… so…”


“Yeah. That. Let’s hope Kid finds a good place and a good job. Meanwhile, here at the ranch… are you going to be alright without a sidekick?”

“Sidekicks kin be a pain in the ass. I’ll be fine goin it alone, thanks.”

“Pal, is that a tear?”




CRLC 4-20-23; Old Lady and the Beast

Pal Says:

Once ‘pon a time, in a magical place known as Carrot Ranch, a prompt prompted a mem’ry a Shorty’s. Or mebbe the mem’ry prompted thet prompt. Cain’t remember. But thet was the time thet Frankie stepped outta the past an onta the page, long with her hoss, Burt. Since thet time they become the mail carriers a Carrot Ranch, the beloved old lady with one good eye an one glass eye, an a eye fer rye whiskey who relies on her beast a burden, Burt. Mebbe ya’ve seen em bellied up ta the bar at the Saddle Up Saloon.  


Frankie Gives a Damn

“Pal! Where’n heck are ya, you beastly no good cuss?”

“Ello, Mees Frankie. What ees da matter?”

“Oh, hey Pepe. I’m steamed. Look’t whut Pal said bout me. That’s hurtful.”

“Oh, deed you not want Pal mentioneeng your eye?”

“No, that’s fine, is what it is.”

“Deed he offend you by mentioneeng de dreenkeeng?”

“No, that’s fine, is what it is. I admit ta enjoyin an occasional libation.”

“Ees eet where he says dat you are old?”

“I am old, Pepe, an don’t mind it. Beats all the alternatives. But, prompt be damned, I ain’t never been no lady.”


Hair T’day, Gone T’morrow

“Hey Pal, whut’s up?”

“Jist checkin in, Ernie, seein how yer doin.”

“I’m doin real good Pal.”

“How’s yer old lady?”

“Wanda? We’re purty much done, Pal, don’t think she’ll wander cross these pages much anymore. Anyways, I’m stil bein pursued by thet Sassysquatch.”

“Heard thet pursuit runs both ways, Ernie.”

“Ha! Yep. Sassy says I’m a beast. But thet I’m handsome an handy. An, Pal, she’s got such inner beauty, such a big hairy heart. She’s made me a better man, whereas Wanda jist made me a bitter man.”

“Glad yer happy, Ernie.”

“It’s a beautiful thing, Pal.”


No Keedeeng

“Pal, eet ees a good teeng you were not here earlier. Mees Frankie ees very angry weet you. She deed not like to be referred to as a lady.”

“It’s jist an expression.”

“Words are eemportant, no? She does not identeefy as a lady.”

“Hmmf. Did she mention whut she does ‘dentify as?”

“She said she ees embracing her cronehood.”

“Fine, I crown her queen crone. Dang it, LeGume, I got more ta worry bout than rufflin thet old hen’s feathers.”

“What ees goeeng on, Pal?”

“Kid’s picked up an moved on. With Curly.”

“You’re keeding!”

“Wish I were.”


Kid’s Wild Writin Adventures

First place I went was Colleen Chesebro’s WordCraft Poetry where they was celebratin her birthday. Well ya know I had ta join in thet fun.

Believin by A. Kid

Least since she was born Colleen’s been alive
hard ta believe she’s today sixty-five
(but roun her ya kin believe anythin)
Colleen an I both live life in full bloom
‘member her poemin at the Saloon?
there shared with us a new form that she had
Double -Ennead!

D. Avery started chasin after me like I shouldn’t be out an about. Hmmf. I beat her ta the Six Sennence Bistro. Threw down fer the poetry slam while I was there.

L’ East Ways by A. Kid

Don’t know where I’m at, mebbe Providence done brought me here
Thinkin this Café & Bistro, like a saloon, least serves chow an beer
I’m thirsty from road dust, wandered so far from the Ranch
ain’t used ta the city but thought I might take a chance;
struck out on my own, ta see what I kin do
jist hope these fancy folks’ll serve me, an my hoglet too.

When that tall thin man ain’t lookin, I’ll sneak in my fat pig
Hey! A poetry slam? Here's my secon off-Ranch gig.
Yep, me an my hog hit the road, went out on the lam
we’re lookin fer gigs, like this poetry slam
Cain’t much more put me in a happier mood
cept fer a beer an some a that bistro food.

Cain’t tell if there’s rules, hope this slam ain’t fixed
something bout havin ta work around six?
Fer this I’ll be countin both stanzas an lines 
not my usual word count a zactly 99
I’m away from the Ranch, outta the barns
takin a chance, steppin outta the Yarns.

I’m known as Kid, an I’m far from my range
a fictional character, hope ya don’t find me too strange
an what I took as a pup, turned out ta be swine
but Curly’s real smart, an behaves herself fine
so if it’s okay fer us ta join in this poetry deal
I’ll squeak out some rhymes an my pig will jist squeal. 

Phew, six stanzas, it’s startin ta feel like a lot
but I’ll give it a go and give ya’ll what I got
but suddenly I’m feelin lonesome an lost
missin the cattle an missin my hoss
ain’t cut out fer the city, ain’t cut out fer cutting loose
feelin outta place, away from my usual group.

Yet this is a mighty nice Bistro, a lot a fine folk is in here
an the service is great! Yes thank you, I’ll have a second beer!
I’ll gather my courage fer this poetry slam
an hope ta be ‘cepted fer who I am
All I kin do, is jist do my best
the rhymin Kid from outta the west.

Threw down a couple a beers too, an the grub was real good. Them oysters ain’t like what Shorty calls oysters. They come from the ocean! Then I got goin, cuz I figgered D. Avery was on her way. I ducked inta Crispina Kemp’s place. That’s when I realized I was missin the ranch an ever’one there.

Roamsick by A. Kid

I’m just A. Kid, and here’s what I did

I decided to travel and roam

but this sky is so blue

and now I am too

for it reminds me of the blue skies back home

Is that a Poet Tree, as empty as me?

not full and lush like back home

all this rhyme

takes me back in time

with the ranch and the range all I’d known

I’ve crashed some scenes, just ask Colleen

stepped into stage lights that shone

but I don’t need a slam

to know who I am

this Kid is going to find the way home.

So I headed back west. Run inta the Poet Lariat an Johnny Appleseed! I rested up fer a spell, jotted off a postcard, then set off agin. Hope ta be back at the ranch soon, but it ain’t easy hitchin a ride with a hoglet companion.


Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Pal says:

Look’t thet. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Thet’s somethin Kid used ta say, even though we ain’t nowhere near a ocean.

Jeez, look’t these italics. Means I’m talkin ta m’self. No choice. Ernie’s hangin out with Sassysquatch, an Pepe’s spendin his time with Logatha, what with ‘spectin a bambeano. Frankie’s cranky an has ta git the mail delivered. Logatha’s cuzzin, Cheri D’Sharte is likely around somewheres but I don’t quite trust her. Never know if she’s comin or goin. An Shorty, she’s jist plain busy. Jist me unner a dark cloud, d’spite thet pink sunset, hopin Kid returns.


CRLC 4-27-23; Dark Eyed



“Yer still mad I called ya a lady, Frankie? Jeez.”

“That. An how ya fin’ly chased Kid off with yer snarlin ornery ways.”

“Thet ain’t how it happened, Frankie. Kid jist wanted ta see the world, show some independence. Cain’t stan in the way a someone’s got their mind made up. If’n I did, Kid’d always blame me fer everthin, would always wunder what’s out there. Kid’ll come back after a bit.”

“I’m thinkin yer not so sure as ya say. Yer eyes is darker’n a racoon’s. You ain’t slept, have ya?”

“It’s dark days without Kid.”


“Dang Pal, ya look like Alice Cooper imitatin Clint Eastwood. Why’nt ya go try an rest.”

“Cain’t Frankie. I cain’t sleep an asides, come ta find out, Kid actchally did chores around here an now I’m havin ta do ‘em. An havin ta admit I cain’t sling shit like thet Kid.”

“Yep, it’s a good thing the prompt didn’t go the d’rection perdicted, Kid’d be down in the dumps fer missin it. But Pal, take heart. Yer right, Kid’ll be back.”

“How kin ya be so sure, Frankie?”

“Cuz I read yer postcard. Kid’s restin up.”


Blossom Hill.”


“Blossom Hill? Sure ya didn’t dream thet up, Frankie?”

“Someone did, an Kid does say somethin bout Dreamtime.”

“Gimme thet dang postcard already.

“Kid’s with the Poet Lariat! An some old pothead? They’re in Pen’s woods, jist fer a spell.”

“This whole postcard reads like fiction, Pal.”

“Fan fiction even. But Kid an Curly’s safe an headed home. I’ll rest easier now.”

“Me too, Pal. Did ya read where Kid got two black eyes? Was lyin unner a apple tree.”

“Well, thet meets the prompt. Frankie, how much kin this postcard hold, anyhow?”

“99 words, Pal. More or less.”


CRLC 5-03-23; Color of Hope

Rocky Road

“Hey Frankie. Got anuther postcard from Kid?”

“No, Pal.”

“Was hopin ta hear somethin. Hopin Kid was comin back soon.”

“Color them hopes a yers, Pal, so’s ya kin least cover the prompt this week. Go ahead. What color’s hope?”

“Hope is bay colored.”

“Bay colored? That’s a hoss color.”

“Yep. An there’s a bay hoss with a rider a-comin up the track.”

“What I spy with my one eye is a hog trottin through the grass.”

“Curly! Kid’s ridin in!”

“I’m hopin hope is granite colored Pal. ‘Cause I’m hopin ya don’t never take Kid fer granite agin.”


CRLC 5-10-23; High Water

Here’s Lookin At You Kid

“Kid! Yer back!”

“Hey Pal. Frankie, good ta see ya.”

“Good ta see you, Kid. Been keepin an eye out fer ya.”

“I see that. Yer sportin a eyepatch. Where’s yer prosthetic eye?”

“At the bunkhouse soakin in a highball glass. Spring cleanin.”

“Ah, hell, Frankie, I drank yer eye water. Thought thet was a ice cube in there.”

“Ha! Thinkin ya need ta git yer eyes checked, Pal.”

“Mebbe, Kid. I’ll tell ya though, yer sure a sight fer sore eyes. Ya done seein the world?”

“Nope. But I’m gonna view it from right here at Carrot Ranch.”


99 In Time

“Whoa. Stop. Backup. Ya mean ta tell me the prompt is ‘high water’? Not ‘eye water’?”

“Thinkin ya might git yer ears checked too, Pal. Okay, let’s respond ta this prompt so’s I kin git cleaned up an git rested from my travelin. Me an Curly’s hog-tired. Hey, where is Curly?”

“Look there, Kid. She’s down with her beaver friends, a-swimmin an a-wallowin in the pond.”

“Dam, them beavers has been busy! They’ve expanded the pond.”

“Yep. There’s some high water there now. Hey!”

“Yep. Check. Soon’s the word counts finished I’m headin in ta the bunkhouse.”

“G’night Kid.”


CRLC 5-31-23; Secrets

Secretive Writing Blocks

“Hey, Pepe.”

“Ello Keed. What ees up wid you?”

“Havin trouble with the prompt. Thought mebbe you’d have some ideas. Cause yer so secretory an all.”


“Gotta write a secret story. Yer kinda a expert on secretion.”

“Keed, Mees Shorty said ‘secret’. You seem to be theenking ‘secrete’.”

“Oh. Shift. Well what d’ya s’ppose her secret is?”

“Dat ees hard to say. She ees a very open person, no? Not secretive.”

“Don’t like secrets Pepe. Ain’t good at keepin em, either.”

“I am de same way Keed. No matter how hard I try I always speel de beans.”


“Hey there Kid. Hello Pepe.”

“Hey, Frankie.”

“Mees Frankie, Keed ees haveeng trouble writing a secret story.”

“Maybe Kid did write a secret story but just didn’t tell you. ‘Cause it’s a secret.”

“No, I haven’t Frankie. Gotta write a story bout a secret.”

“Intriguing problem Kid.”

“Do you know any secrets?”

“Yep. Lots.”

“Tell me.”

“Wouldn’t be a secret then, Kid. My lips are sealed.”

“How’d ya come ta know these secrets, Frankie?”

“Envelopes aren’t always sealed as tight as my lips. Tell ya what, Kid. I’ll do yer writin fer ya this week. It’ll be our secret.”


Sticky Fingers

“I cain’t let ya do my writin fer me Frankie, thanks anyway. I’m gonna head back inta the bunkhouse an try an git something down. Now, where’s that key? Pal got me some plastic pig poop ta hide the key in. Aw, there it is. Oof. Nope.”

“The door’s locked?!”

“Yeah, when I was out travelin the world I saw that a lot a folks lock their doors when they’re out.”

“Why? Ya hidin secrets in there?”

“No. It’s jist what folks do. Mebbe this’un. Ick. This un’s not plastic either.”

“Wanna know a secret Kid? Door ain’t locked.”


“Heehee. Keed. Dat ees funny how you keep putteeng your hands into de poop of your peeg.”

“Ain’t funny at all, Pepe. I’m swearin you an Frankie ta secrecy.”

“You said you deed not like secrets.”

“Yeah, Kid. Nuthin ta hide.”

“Come on, you two. This’s embarassin.”

“Which part, Kid, that ya put yer fingers in pig poop or that ya shut yer front door ta all yer friends here at the ranch. Don’t ya trust us?”

“Of course I do. It’s just that…”

“Kid, here’s a secret ta happy livin: keep an open door an a open heart.”