Twister is my Name

TwisterWhen I was just a kitten, the Missus wanted to call me Stormy, but the Mister would not agree to that, and so he named me Twister because I twisted when I walked.  Nothing to do with a storm or tornado.  Or so said he, so Missus  agreed to agree. Regardless of that incident, they have given me a good home. I can sleep here in this rocking chair whenever I please. Or whenever it’s stormy. And I can whisper this secret about the Missus. She’s gonna write a story about me. Don’t lose any sleep while waiting. But watch!


Day 10, November 2013

WHAT WAS HER NAME? by Freeda Baker Nichols

A shop at Mt. ViewAt a shop in Mountain View, Arkansas, USA, I look around and find this treasure. A photo of a lovely girl, her hair bobbed short in the fashion of her day.  The black and white photo leans against the smooth back of an antique chair. The seat of the maple chair makes a shelf for a pink sewing box and silk  pin cushions, more than likely handmade.  As a writer, the photo interests me. Who was this girl? Where did she grow up? Here, in this Ozarks region or “away from here?” What was her name?  Her photo is a story prompt with many possibilities. And my imagination takes over to make me wonder if her name might have been Calypso.  But no, I think not. The time frame of my short story about Calypso Travis is contemporary and this girl lived a long time ago. So that settles that.  Still, I wonder. What was her name?  Do any of my readers care to guess? What do you think her name might have been? Or, if you are a writer or a poet using this story prompt for your character, what would you call her?  I’d like to know your answers. Will you please tell me in a comment below? Thanks.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols


November 8, 2013

For A Job Well Done

For A Job Well Done

Poets’ Roundtable Presidents, so shrewd!
You did your jobs with humble gratitude,
always without a restful interlude.

You must have wanted to pull out your hair,
in spite of your sophisticated air.

You burned both ends of candle, middle, too.
You stayed until each trying task was through.
You were our tranquil skies of constant blue.

You were red sunsets; we were only rays;
we never knew how bright you made our days.

When each retired and new one filled your place,
at first, we found it hard to like new face
but soon we welcomed each with an embrace.

You were the greatest!  Pioneers who dared
to show the world how much true poets cared.

You reached for goals you often found too high
but never did you let us hear you cry;
instead, you sang a poet’s lullaby.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols


For November, day 7, 2013


THIRSTY ROBINS- NaBloPoMo-11-05-13

DSC_0074-1Thirsty robins come to drink, not in the wildness of the Little Red River that winds through the Ozarks but from the fountains at a writer’s residence in the foothills. Namely, the dwelling place that I call “La Casa de GeGe.” It’s not at all like the cabin which Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) called his “inkstand.” But it’s my place, my writing room, my “inkstand” if I may borrow Thoreau’s term. And I’m loving it here, especially now that autumn has blanketed these hills in a rich, warm mix of colors.

My teenage grandson sets up his “deerstand” off in the woods where he hangs out with bow and arrow, waiting for the big buck, and hoping the panther that’s been sighted does not show up on his watch. Because . . . well, just because!

The migrating robins stopped only for a drink and a rest before they flew on into their own wilderness wherever that may be. I  bid them adieu and will welcome them back in the spring.

Each season will find me writing and blogging. Watching for the birds and watching out for the panther. Waiting to hear whether the grandson brings home venison.  Looking out my window to see the magnificent nature that Thoreau wrote about in Walden, when he said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo -2013-11-04-BARN OWLS

English: A friend had a nest of barn owls on t...



Another day in a blogger’s life, another goal to reach–day four out of thirty for November. Today I’m sharing a poem in the Lil Ann form.  This pattern was created by  poet, Carrie Quick,  from Missouri who is a member of Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas.  The Lil Ann contains 8 iambic lines with rhymes, as follows: 1a, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5b, 6c, 2a, 1a.  The first two lines transposed become the last two lines.  This form has a light subject.

Aduilt of T. a. guttata in flight -- Sandesneb...


The barn owls guard their nest in light of day.
At night, they fly and search the woods for prey.
The baby barn owls stay inside the nest.
Too young to go, to give a hoot or cry.
They trust the parent owls to do their best
when they take off into the starry sky.
At night, they fly and search the woods for prey.
The barn owls guard their nest in light of day.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo 2013-11-03- “I Remember Mama”


Okay, this is my second post in a 30- day run.  I scrambled to my files and came out with this, written some years ago, but just stored there in my files begging to be shared. What better chance to share it than here on my blog as I attempt to blog a post a day for November, 2013? So here it is, slightly edited and imperfect. : )My pleasure to share with you.


The whippoorwill was calling this morning, long after daylight. It was an unusual sound– the whippoorwill’s call in the daytime. At night we hear them call again and again.  Their call is a peaceful sound and  reminds me of my childhood summers, when I used to sit on the front porch with my family, and listen to the whippoorwills as we waited for bedtime. Nobody talked much . . . I remember just sitting there with Mama, Daddy, my sister, Yvonne, and my brother, Bill. There at our homeplace on Banner Mountain. I remember wandering in the grass of the front yard, trying to stay cool, no lights on in the house . . . Then we would wash off our feet in a washpan of cold water, and throw the water into the yard, go into the house and go to bed.

There was a peach tree not far from the edge of the back porch.  It not only supplied fruit, it also provided Mama with the necessary equipment to keep us kids in line.  I loved the rich experience of being the one to take a switch to Mama when she needed to punish my brother or sister. (Our four older brothers and sisters had already left home)

I remember Mama sitting in the  shade of an oak tree in the summer when the garden vegetables were ripe.  She would sit there in the yard and shell beans.  I remember seeing her cry, sitting there, as she read a letter from my brother, who was overseas, during the war.  I didn’t like to see Mama cry.  That is the first time I remember seeing her cry and it worried me very much.  The only other time I saw her cry was after I married.  I was packing my things to leave for another state. I had received a lovely wedding shower of gifts.  When we had finished taking the last load to the car, Mama and I were walking back to the house.  “It seems like I can hardly stand to see you go,” she said.  Her voice was choked and tears moistened her eyes.  The ache was so deep inside her that I could not understand it at that time.  Only now that my own children are growing up, do I know the magnitude of my mother’s feelings at that moment when her sixth of seven children prepared to leave home.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

“His Name Was Nobody” by Freeda Baker Nichols

English: American Pit Bull Terrier

English: American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Henhouse near Ganthorpe

English: Henhouse near Ganthorpe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John had named the pup Nobody. He was half Pit Bull and half Catahoula.  He was out of Three Toes, a Pit Bull and Gracious Lady, the Catahoula that shepherded the Angus cattle on the Big Creek Cattle Farm. He acquired his name because he was so mean that nobody would mess with him.

John needed to find a home for Nobody because he had started chasing the neighbor’s chickens.  Mr. Singleton had said he would shoot the overgrown pup if John did not keep him away from the chicken house.

“How can a neighbor say such a thing to a young boy?” John’s mother wondered.  She rarely ever faced life with any sense of reality.  She lived in a dream world where only love, happiness, and good will existed and she tried hard to steer her two sons, John and Brady, away from conflict and violence.

“Hey, Mom,” John called, that morning as his mother was making pancakes for breakfast.  “I’ve found somebody who wants Nobody!”

“Oh, I’m glad, John.  It really is best to give the dog away.  We can’t have him chasing the neighbor’s chickens.”

“”No! No! I don’t want to give Nobody away,” Brady cried.

“He will have a good home, Brady.” John turned to his little brother.  “He’s going with a rancher who lives down by the river.  He has lots of fields and woods and no chickens.”

“Can we go see him again?” Brady asked.

John looked at his mother.  She took Brady by the hand, and she placed her other hand on John’s shoulder. “You boys are growing up,” she said.  “I’m proud of you and just look at Nobody.  I’m proud of him, too.  He will make a very good watch dog for the rancher.”

“I’m glad we found somebody to like Nobody,” John said.
“I always liked Nobody,” Brady said.  John and Mother smiled.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols