Old Sport Loved Peanuts

The peanuts grew on the bank of a stream that gurgled through the south pasture of our farm at Tame Valley.  My siblings and I had to help pick the peanuts when it was harvest time. I hated pulling the vines from the clinging, dark soil. I didn’t like shaking the dirt from the plants.  So I complained a lot. Didn’t do any good. I still had to help.

I preferred playing with our dogs, Old Sport and little Brownie. But I couldn’t play until all the peanuts were harvested.  Mama told me not to let Sport eat the peanuts.  He liked peanuts. But I knew Mama thought our big family would need them for snacks. So I obeyed.

Later, that winter our family gathered in the living room when snow fell like goose feathers flying through the air.  Mama parched peanuts in a tin pan on the wood stove.  The peanuts tasted so good, warm and salted.  When Mama wasn’t looking, I was tempted to drop some peanuts on the floor for Sport.  But I didn’t.

And I regretted it because Sport died the next spring before planting time. When I got older, I knew that if Mama had known Sport would die, she would have given him her share of the peanuts.  And I would have given him mine also. © Freeda Baker Nichols


My grandmother.
Her braided hair wound around
her head twice. Her blue eyes
smiled when her lips did.
She sang delightfully–
like the voice of a robin in April.
Her hands were warm and strong.
They made awesome chocolaty
sweets! She gave me hugs–
whether I wanted them or not.
Her dog, Bulger, toothless and cranky,
was a bulldog. The highest breed.

Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Original Tag

The poem below is my first attempt at writing a Haiku-Ku.  According to my source, Pathways for the Poet by Viola Jacobson Berg, the Haiku-Ku has a quality of humor and may be titled.  It has the same structure as the Haiku.  And so, here is my creation.


Original Tag

the solid black mutt
named for its distinct marking–
Snow Nose


c Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols



Beware of the Dog

Cougar 008

I’m Cougar. I’m not afraid.



Beware of the dog? Who says? I’m not afraid.
Why, he ain’t nothin’ but a big old cat.
Just watch me go right up to him and purr.
He won’t chase me for I am a cougar.
That is what my owner named me and so
I know there was a good reason for that.
One dog lives here, another lives next door.
One of them starts on the run in no time
when I get my backup and head his way.

You really ought to see how fast he goes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It’s that million dollar mutt the neighbors
think is grander than any other dog
that ever lived. But that just ain’t the truth.
My owner’s big old dog is grander than
any other dog and I’m not afraid
of him. No sir-ee! Just look at his face.
He looks as gentle as a cat to me!

c Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Jasper, 2011, 003









(Note: This poem might be blank verse.  But I don’t guarantee it. 🙂    )