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 by D. Avery

“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.”