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A Stone's Throw, Orvie's Stories, a book of short stories by Mort Mather, is on sale now in bookstores, from the publisher, or through Amazon. Get a signed copy by sending a check for $19 to:
802 Bald Hill Rd.
Wells, ME 04090-6634
Ya gotta be real quiet when youíre tracking Indians;
careful like Deerslayer not to step on a stick and make it crack, because
Indians can hear real good and they will come and get us. Cubby, my faithful
scout, and me are heading up the mountain to the woods, but first we have to
cross the raging river. I wish we had a canoe like Deerslayer. We go along the
bank looking for a way to get across and we come to a tree with some big
branches that reach across the river. Deerslayer stealthily climbs the tree and
walks out on a branch holding onto a branch above. Faithful scout plunges into
the rushing water, takes a drink of the clear, cold water, and swims across,
climbing the bank just as Deerslayer drops out of the tree next to him.
"Hey! Jeez, Cubby, do ya have to shake the water off right next ta me? Iím soaked! I might as wellíve waded across."
Back to the top.
The girls let me jump rope with them. Mostly they
like me to swing the rope, especially Sue May because she is taller than me
even, and the swingers donít always get the rope high enough. It hits her head
and then sheís out, which isnít really fair because it isnít her fault. Sue May
gave me half a Twinkie, and the other girls teased her and said she had a
boyfriend, but Iím not anybodyís boyfriend. I like to look at girls, but gosh
they are weird sometimes. I mean, I really canít figure íem out. They always
have secrets and they arenít really nice to each other and they arenít nice to
boys either, but they get really mad if boys arenít nice to them.
And what if Sue May was my girlfriend? What would that mean? Anyway, she isnít.
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Perry gets a bite but the fish gets away. He pulls in
the line and puts another worm on the hook and just then the same thing happens
to me. As I put on a fresh worm I ask him what Satan does.
"Oh, he comes down to earth a lot. He is the one who tempts us to do wrong things because if he can get us to sin and we donít confess to the priest then Satan gets us and we go to Hell."
"Does God come down to earth?"
"No. He sent his son Jesus but he never came himself."
"Why not? Why doesnít he come down like Satan and tempt us to do the right thing?"
"I donít know."
"Seems like itíd be a good plan."
It starts getting hot, so we go under the bridge to get out of the sun.
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Pancakes for Breakfast
"Get up, Orvie. Come on down here!" I donít want to get up yet, but what is Dad up to? He should have gone for the train by now. The radio is on, which it never is in the morning. Thereís something goiní on. I haul myself out of bed, pull on my pants, and run downstairs. Heís right at the bottom and he picks me up and throws me in the air. Heís laughing and Mom is laughing and there is cheering on the radio. Dad holds me in one arm and puts his other arm around Mom and we start dancing around the kitchen aní Dad is singing, first time I ever heard him sing. "The war is over, the war is over, itís over over there, the war is over, the war is over, itís over over there." Aní Mom starts singing too. On the radio I hear people shouting and cheering and the announcer talking about how everybody was about half crazy with joy.
We would have danced all day except we got tired and all three of us fell in a heap on the floor. Turns out because the Germans gave up Dad didnít have to go to work, so he made pancakes.
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