Eddie’s Tall Tale

Eddie’s Tall Tale

As Eddie spun his new tall tale, the children watched in awe.

Eddie leapt above the flames, a snarl spread cross his jaw.

“I took a shortcut home after my Trick or Treat last year.

The wooded path was dark, but I was brave. I had no fear!

Halfway through the forest I heard rustling in the trees.

I held my breath and listened, shaking slightly in my knees.

I ate a chewy chocolate bar to calm my jumpy jitters.

‘I ain’t afraid of you!’ I shouted at the hidden critters.

Marching like a soldier does, I headed out of there.

No silly little squirrel would give me another scare.

Heavy shuffling footsteps followed close upon my trail.

I walked a little faster, then I ran and clutched my pail.

Witches? Ghosts or demons? What was chasing me that night?

What terror they did give me! I had never felt such fright!

A vicious, snarling grizzly sprang before me in a flash.

His claws were sharp! His paws were huge! His teeth began to gnash!

My heart was pounding wildly but I couldn’t even yell.

The brute’s nose started twitching as it found a tempting smell.

My candy – it could save me! So I tossed it in the air.

The treats rained down and I began to run from that old bear.

So should you ever think about a shortcut far from home,

Make sure you bring some candy if the beasts are out to roam.”

Since I’m still posting along a Halloween theme this week, here is my submission for the “First Page Prompt” challenge at Kathy Temean’s “Writing and Illustrating” blog. I took a few liberties with the challenge to draft just the first 23 lines of a story to accompany Colin Throm’s illustration, envisioning a project that would devote one section to each of the children at the campfire telling a ghost story. I struggled a bit initially, thinking the image was a bit too frightening for the picture book age group, but then conceived of a way to sandwich this boy’s story into a compilation of tales. Isn’t there always one kid in the group who likes a good scare? I’m imagining the sweet tale of the little ladybug at the left being comforted by the cavegirl…fun! This illustration was the October cover of “Stories for Children” online magazine.  Read more about the challenge at:  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/



About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter @catballoumealey
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2 Responses to Eddie’s Tall Tale

  1. Cathy,
    Congratulations on winning the Halloween writing contest. I especially love the poem you wrote above. I was so engrossed in the story before I realized it was verse. Excellent story. I left you a message on my blog about the many autism books that I’ve reviewed and stories I’ve shared. You might want to check it out. – Pat

  2. Cathy Mealey says:

    Many thanks Pat, for stopping by!

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