Today's creative writing comes by way of my friend Johanna who suggested I tell the story of a Norman Rockwell painting. I typed in Norman Rockwell, hit images, and selected the very first (which happened to be from www.rumorsdaily.com) and off I go.
Little Sammy Whittendorf got as far as Eagle Run Creek before he started to get blisters on his heels. He hadn't thought about how irksome his church shoes would be on the long journey, only about how tennis shoes wouldn't do for his entrepreneurial enterprising of the great western frontier. As he leaned down to tie the brown, slippery laces for the 23rd time, he wished he had chosen Monday comfort over Sunday style. He rose again and stretched his 7-year-old frame, lifting all his possessions and investment portfolios high into the air and then letting the red bundle linger a bit before finding its place on his shoulder.
Sammy peered over the single lane bridge at Eagle Run Creek and imagined he saw himself in the wrinkles of water. He didn't, of course, but he imagined a reflection of a strong, important man with a red bundle for a briefcase on his way to see about some business. Sammy quickly realized he wasn't imagining at all, but simply explaining his task for this glorious September day filled with opportunity. Enterprising was much more important than school and subtraction and Walter Leadenhower. Yes, he thought to himself, enterprising was much more important.
He leaned down and picked up a rough piece of grey gravel and weighed it in his palm. With all the strength in his enterprising spirit, he thrust it out and over the bridge and watched the fast descent. A bit disappointed with the distance, Sammy concluded decidedly there was a strong easterly wind coming in which reminded him he should get moving. He was to be at Fletcher's Crossing before noon and the sun was already climbing high above his head.
Sammy left the bridge forgetting about blisters, although his socks were beginning to soak and would remind him later. His sights were set on the undiscovered and (Sammy was convinced) untapped resources of the expansive plain beyond the town of Harrelsville, Iowa. Though still in the formative stages, the success of his hastily laid plans was every bit as sure as his awkward, arm-swinging stride.
About five paces after crossing the bridge, Sammy heard a distant rumbling that quickly turned into a much louder roar. Gripping his red bundle, he meant to dart into the ditch for cover (many a soul could be out to steal his innovative, if not quite complete, plans), but the combination of dust and a familiar voice sent him into confusion.
The voice boomed out of a dream-cloud of smoke, "Sammy? Is that you? What in tarnation are you doing out here? We been lookin' all over for you!"
Everything dreamlike faded and Sammy's hopes of enterprising the great western frontier of Harrelsville with it.
"Hello, Officer Patterson," kind of mumbled out of Sammy's lower, protruding lip.
"You know you walked almost 2 miles from your mom and pap's house? Now, that's a long way, son."
Sammy kicked at the grey gravel rocks underneath his feet, sending little dust clouds up to his chin. His red bundle had dropped and now sat beside him, a dejected pile imitated by his face.
"I only wanted to enterprise the western frontier, Officer." He sputtered on, "I just thought to myself, 'what good is all these numbers if I can't go-a-enterprisin' and makin' somethin' of myself?' That's what I thought, Officer, honest!"
Officer Patterson's eyebrows were knit together in one long line across his forehead and his nose jutted out under his important policeman hat. He seemed to think for a moment before he said, "You know what, Sammy?"
"Well, no I don't know, Officer Patterson," Sammy answered after he judged the pause too long.
"I was just wonderin' how you'd feel about some ice cream right about now. See, I've been feeling myself a little hungry for that rocky road flavor they got in new last week at the diner, what d'ya say?"
"Oh boy, oh boy! Officer Patterson, I thought for sure I was going to cry, but I love ice cream and now you've done it," Sammy caught himself in mid-ice cream-excitement, before his smile covered his whole face, "But, Officer I still want to enterprise, is that okay?"
"Maybe we can talk about this enterprise business with Teddy Noucomb at the diner. He's always got some good advice for... you know, enterprising, as you call it."
"Hm," Sammy rubbed his sweaty palms on the newly dirtied white t-shirt he wore, "I'll think about it. You can't talk business and enterprising with just anybody, you know."
"Oh, I do know. I do know," Officer Patterson said as he settled his blue hat back into place over his knitted brows and jutting-out nose.
"I s'pose I'll go then," Sammy said, picking up his red bundle and walking toward Officer Patterson's cruiser. The Officer opened the passenger door and secured the truant before walking around and taking his seat on the driver's side.
"I s'pose that'd be a good idea."
Every Day in May Project, Number TRES