Tag Archives: Stories

Snowman’s Revenge

(A short work of fiction, with a little bit of fact included.)  

After a good snow last week, the boys spent an entire day building snowmen in the yard and then spent the final ten minutes of daylight running full speed into these sculpted towers of snow. The boys were big boys, high school football players and lineman types. They giggled and laughed each time a snowman exploded in a cloud of white powder.

It was so much fun, in fact, that after dark that night, they decided to take their newly found talent show on the road. They drove to the money neighborhoods, the neighborhood where the suburban families built the most picturesque snowmen and snow forts imaginable, like they hired artists to decorate their pristine lawns.

The boys drove around the alien upscale neighborhoods until they found a particularly nice piece of young urban professional snow art. Car parked, one of the big boys opened the car door, sprinted across the lawn, and obliterated the snow statues to powder and small chunks of snowball. The activity was repeated several times across several city blocks until each of the boys had a chance to steamroll a snowman

Yesterday, it snowed again. A snow day kind of snow, complete with a foot of wet, packing snow. That evening the boys again packed into the vehicle and headed out for the the wealthy side of town. These are not bad high school kids in any ways, shape, or form. It’s just the winter boredom and the recent snowstorm have left few options for entertainment. So, they headed back to blow up a few more snowmen.

The car stopped at a corner house, the only light on was the dim glare of the porch light. The biggest and bravest kid stepped from the car just outside the shadow of the street light. He pointed in the direction of a yard where he took out a snowman the last time they visited. He smiled a confident smile and got into his offensive lineman three-point stance before quietly reading out a cadence. The column of exhaled breath drifts away on the crisp, cold air. Game time.

“Down.”

A few giggles of anticipation from inside the car.

“Set.”

All went quiet.

“Hut.”

The man-child exploded out of his stance. The snow flew behind each step he took. Faster and faster he moved toward the newly built, even more Norman Rockwell-ish version of a snowman. A giant of a snowman, at least eight feet tall, four huge balls of snow stacked on top of one another. Closer and closer, the lineman approached his target. Two steps from the snowman, he lowered to perfect technical blocking position, ready to pancake block the snowman into oblivion.

He collided with the snowman in a dull, flat thud.

Instead of a beautiful white cloud of snow, the air rapidly left his body. He bounced off the snowman and landed on his back in the deep snow. He gasped for air, the twinkling stars moved in circles above his head. And the he heard laughing from the direction of the front porch. He rolled his head to see a pajama clad four or five-year-old boy high five-ing his bath-robed father just inside the threshold of their front door.

Finally able to inhale the sharp, cold air, he stood up and staggered in defeat back to the open car door. Pride wounded and body screaming in pain, he fell into the safety of the backseat just as the young boy’s voice floated across the yard.

“Don’t mwess wiff our snowmans, no more!”

The car exploded in laughter, save for one occupant, who reached for the door handle. As he pulled the car door closed, he caught one last look at the snowman. The street light reflected off its solid ice-encrusted surface as it stood tall and proud, smiling a wide, charcoal briquette smile at the beautiful, winter night.

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At Grandpa’s Bird Feeder

This is one of the first stories for kids  I ever wrote. I found it recently cleaning through some old files. It’s probably from around 1991 or so, and believe it or not, it is one of those almost true stories. 

At Grandpa’s house, we used to throw stale crumbs to the birds in the front yard. The birds would eat the crumbs and fly away. But not anymore.

Since we bought Grandpa a bird feeder, the birds stay around all day. He tied the bird feeder to a branch of his oak tree and filled it with wild birdseed. When the birds land on the feeder, it rocks back and forth like a swing.

At Grandpa’s house, we used to watch television or play video games all day long. But not anymore.

Now we kneel on the sofa and watch the bird feeder from the picture window. There are robins and blackbirds and bluebirds and blue jays and cardinals and doves. Boy, there’s a lot of action at Grandpa’s bird feeder!

At Grandpa’s house,we used to run in and out of the house, make lots of noise, and bother Grandma as she tried to do her chores. But not anymore.

Now we follow Grandpa around and help him fill the bird feeder with wild birdseed. Sometimes, Grandpa gets mad at the blackbirds and yells,”Those darn blackbirds, they’re eatin’ me out of house and home!”
We all laugh when Grandpa yells at the blackbirds, even though Grandma says swearing at birds is not in the least bit funny.

At Grandpa’s house,we used to have wrestling matches and sometimes thing accidentally broke. Grandma would get VERY upset when her things broke! But not anymore.

Now we spend most of our time watching the bird feeder and playing games to see who can name the birds the fastest or count the most of each kind. It’s even better than wrestling, Grandma says.

At Grandpa’s house, we used to listen to Grandma’s stories about her bridge club, her bowling league, or how beautiful the neighbor’s third cousin’s sister’s wedding was. But not anymore.

Now she tells exciting stories about happenings at the bird feeder.”Kids, these two sparrows were on the bird feeder using their beaks to knock seeds to the ground and there were all these birds on the ground munching seeds! You could barely see any grass! Oh my! You should have been here to see it!”
(Since we bought the bird feeder, Grandma’s stories are much more interesting.)

At Grandpa’s house, we used to see very few animals when we visited because they live in the city. But not anymore.

Now we see hundreds of birds flying around the bird feeder, eating seeds, or sitting on branches.We also see squirrels and rabbits and cats and dogs, it’s almost as fun as the zoo!

At Grandpa’s house, we used to wonder where the birds would go when they left the yard. There weren’t any birdhouses or bird nests in Grandpa’s tree or in any other trees in the neighborhood. But not anymore.

Now we build our own birdhouses from a set of plans Grandpa found at the garden shop.We went to the lumberyard to buy the wood. Grandpa cut out the pieces for the birdhouses then we glued them together and painted them. Now, almost every tree in Grandpa’s neighborhood has a birdhouse.

At Grandpa’s house, we used to mope around with long faces because we’d be bored and couldn’t find anything to do. But not anymore.

Now there’s always something to do…At Grandpa’s bird feeder!

At Grandpa’s Birdfeeder by Mike Hays, April 2012

What do you think? Is there any potential for this old story? If you liked it, leave a comment. If you didn’t, also feel free to leave a comment. 

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