Be Careful What You Wish For

Yippee-ki-yay! This was it! Mary Jean had made it! Every inch of her three-and-a-half foot frame tingled with birthday cake, root beer, and victory. Breathing rapidly, she looked out over her audience – a mix of neighborhood kids, classmates, and bored adults with plastered smiles. For months she had slowly accumulated the complete, gen-u-ine cowgirl ensemble, and now she had the pony. Her moment had come. She was off to the Wild West and no one could stop her. Flashing her best Sally Starr smile Mary Jean let out a “whoop!” and dug her tanned feet into the pony’s sides. The pony burped.

The Wolf

“Does Billy want a sweet?” cooed Grandmother. Billy peered upwards from under the floppy brim of his hat and bobbed his flushed cheeks yes. Sam felt a drop of sweat roll down his back. He had been told to watch his brother on the four-hour train trip south.  He may as well have been handed a rabid squirrel in a burlap sack.  Odysseus had an easier journey.

“Smile, Sammy!” Grandfather called as he aimed his Brownie at the boys. Leaning against the station wall, Sam could see over Grandfather’s shoulder to their train car. As the train slowly steamed away, a haggard porter pitched their last remaining trunk onto the platform. A muffled cheer arose from inside the train, drowned out by the train’s whistle.

“Little lamb,” Grandmother chuckled as Billy released the knot of his tie and held out his pudgy fingers for the proffered toffee.