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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: I Betcha
By Verna Cole Mitchell


“Shhhh, Jennie, don’t make a sound, or I betcha Mama will see us sittin’ up here at the top of the steps where it’s kinda dark and make us go back to bed. She’s been so excited about havin’ the home group meetin’ at our house tonight. She’s been bakin’ and cleanin’ and shooin’ us out of her way all day to get ready. Oh, there’s the doorbell now. Daddy’s goin’ to let folks in.

“What’s that you say? ‘That lady in the purple hat sure does walk funny.’

“Well, that’s Miz Smith, and she can’t help it. She’s had a lot of trouble with her bad knee lately. I betcha they’ll pray for her tonight.

“Look at ‘em piling in here now. I betcha there’s a hunnerd of ‘em. They’re just laughin’ and talkin’ like it’s a big party or somethin’. They sure seem happy to see each other. I seen a couple of ‘em huggin’ Mama. I betcha they really love her. She’s pretty sweet most of the time, ‘cept when we’re getting’ on her last nerve. Daddy sure must think she’s sweet cause he hugs on her all the time.

“You want to know what that book is they’re all holdin’ in their laps? Why, that’s the Bible. It’s the same book Mama and Daddy read out of ev’ry night after dinner. It’s got awful big words in it for you and me, but they ‘splain ‘em to us. Now I betcha they’re gonna read some from it here and then talk, talk, talk about it. Almost wears me out, jus’ listenin’ to ‘em.

“Oh look, they’re all laughin’ ‘bout somethin’ or ‘nother. I betcha Daddy told ‘em one of his funny stories. He’s got lots of ‘em.

“And now they’re all cryin’. I betcha Mr. Moore’s tellin’ ‘em about his son gettin’ runned over. I heard Daddy tellin’ Mama about it this mornin’. Jimmy got his leg broke when he was gettin' off the school bus, and a car run into him. They said they sure was glad he wasn’t kilt.

“Now look at ‘em, all on their knees, 'cept for Miz Smith. She’s got the bad knee, ya know. Sounds to me like God’s in the room, and they’re jus’ talkin’ to Him, like you and me's talkin’. Daddy says God always hears us when we pray. I betcha He’s listenin’ to ‘em prayin’. Some of ‘em must think He heard 'em 'cause their faces are all shiny-like.

“And there they go to the dinin’ room table, where Mama put all them goodies. Them choclat chip cookies sure was good. I had me six of ‘em when Mama wasn’t lookin'. Do ya remember? I give you a couple. I betcha they’ll eat all the rest of ‘em and won't save none for us. Ya know it’s a good thing Daddy di'nt hear me say, ‘I betcha,' 'cause he said he was gonna warm my bottom good the next time he heard me say it.

“Let’s you and me jus’ put our heads down here on the top step and rest for a ‘sec while they’re all sayin’ good-bye.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Oh Myrtle, come look at the top of the steps at that precious little boy, fast asleep in his pajamas, with the tiny black poodle in his arms.”

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This article has been read 1130 times
Member Comments
Member Date
David F. Palmieri Sr.12/06/07
Simply beautiful...I love the dialogue, it's so realistic...

The ending is great (for lack of a better word.)

"Through the eyes of a child"...great story...
Dee Yoder 12/06/07
Clever! And so sweet. I never would have guessed he was talking to his poodle, but I could imagine just what he was seeing through the descriptions. Right on topic, too.
Joanne Sher 12/08/07
Sweet - and lovely job with the dialog/dialect. Enjoyed this.
Laury Hubrich 12/08/07
This was very good with a surprise ending!
Emily Gibson12/09/07
Simply brilliant!
william price12/09/07
Extremely well written. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 12/10/07
Only one word to say about this precious entry: awwwwwwwwww.
Lynda Schultz 12/11/07
The language is wonderful, and the ending is a delightful surprise.
Holly Westefeld12/11/07
I enjoyed this unique perspective, and surprise ending.
LauraLee Shaw12/12/07
Creative title, clever beginning and superb ending. Your dialect is perfect, too. I betcha this one's a keeper!
Sara Harricharan 12/12/07
Love the ending! I thought he was talking to a friend, not a cute dog! I loved the dialouge here, it just fit so right and especially seeing all of this through young eyes. Your title fits great too!
Beth LaBuff 12/12/07
Sweet story, sweet writing. My heart was`warmed this morning.
Temple Miller12/12/07
If you could hear me, I'm oohing and aahing. You've created a beautiful piece of art with this story. I loved it!
Tim Pickl12/12/07
The funny thing is we did this as kids -- we always 'spied' on mom and dad to see --and especially hear-- what the grown-ups were up to! Excellent writin'!
Dianne Janak12/12/07
I loved this one for many reasons... starts well and ends sweet but yet believable.. not syrupy sweet but REAL... love your dialect... and characters... good writing.. a winner in my book! Dianne
Loren T. Lowery12/12/07
Love it! The dialogue was well written and the ending wrapped it up so perfectly.
What great examples his parents are and what a great friend he has to share his life with.
Paula Titus 12/12/07
Absolutely precious. I could picture the little one holding fast to his pup- and it warmed my heart. Great writing :)
Patty Wysong12/12/07
Oh, I LOVE it! (I betcha you had a great time writing this one!!) I could see it happening, and seeing it through the little boy's eyes made it special. Great job!!
LaNaye Perkins12/12/07
I betcha this is one of my favorites this week! This was just precious and priceless. You did such a wonderful job of writing this story!
Sharlyn Guthrie12/12/07
This is just precious. I really love all the boy's observations in his special voice, and then to find out he's talking to his dog...brilliant!
Joanney Uthe12/12/07
What a delightful story. I love dialect and the POV for this topic. A few of the things he said didn't seem realistic until I realized he was talking to a toy. Fun read.
George Parler 02/21/10
Good job, Verna. I wondered about the silence of the one the little boy was talking too. We found soon found out at the end. Well done.

That sure brought back a lot of memories with my own mother's "last nerve." Not all of them are fond memories though. Me and last nerves never really got along too well. LOL
Carol Penhorwood 02/21/10
What a cute story with a twist I never would have expected! You're such a great writer!