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Humbuggin' Dry Leaves

Ah, it feels good to be back on the radar of the blogosphere. It's been too long, too long... I've missed you all!!! In the spirit of returning to the schedule, here's a writing exercise!
Exercise #132 : "Humbuggin' Dry Leaves"

Write something - anything - that includes dry leaves and the word "humbug."


Ernest sat alone on his porch in his hand-made rocking chair and surveyed his lawn. It was completely covered by the dried leaves that had fallen from the ancient oak that was rooted stubbornly in his front lawn. He had tried to have it removed several times, but each time an activist of some sort did something drastic such as chain themselves to the trunk in hopes of "saving such a beautiful testament to nature." 

He scoffed at the leaves. "If that damn tree weren't there," he said aloud, "then I wouldn't have to deal with these damn leaves." 

With a decided hmph, Ernest stood up from his rocking chair, the armrests creaking in protest as he used them to support his weight. He walked to his back yard and into the storage shed and came back out with his rake, muttering something about how he was going to "show them leaves who's boss." 

 His arthritis-ridden hands enclosed around the handle of the rake, and he began to push the copious amount of leaves into piles on his lawn. After he completed to piles, he took a break and sat back in his rocking chair. A few moments later, little Billy Joelson rode by on his bicycle. 

"Hey, Mister Plonsky!" he called, waving energetically at the old man on the porch. Ernest nodded his head jerkily at the boy and then looked forlornly at his lawn. Slowing, Billy drove his bike up Ernest's walkway. 

"Hey, Mister Plonsky," he said, "would you like some help with those leaves? I'd do your whole lawn for a dollar." 

"Humbug!" exclaimed Ernest. "What if I like my leaves?" 

"Well, you wouldn't be raking them up would you?" Billy said, referring to the unfinished piles. Ernest sneered at the boy, but he nodded his head toward the rake. 

"Well, get started then." Billy's face lit up as he leaned his bike against the old man's porch and grabbed the rake. 

"I'll be done really quick, Mister Plonsky! Promise!" he said and began raking. 


Oh, Ernest. Why must you be so crotchety? And why must I love you for your crotchetiness??? I have always had a soft spot in my heart for those angry old men who complained about anything and everything. Maybe that's partially because my own Grandfather is a little like that. I mean, he's very self-sufficient and so on, but he frequently says things that honestly shock me. 

Do any of you have people like that in your life? 



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