Robbery Attempt

He approached her as she was putting the last of the groceries into the trunk of the car. She’d been shopping for two hours with two little kids and she was exhausted. The twins were already in their car seats with their bottles. As she closed the trunk and reached into her purse for her keys, the dark haired young man in the tattered jacket stopped just beyond her empty cart. “You have any change?” he demanded.

She frowned, shaking her head.

“Get in the car,” he said. “I have a knife.”

“No you don’t,” she said irritably. She shoved the empty cart at him and slipped into the car, locking the door. She backed, careful not to look in his direction. At the end of the lane, she braked and looked back. He was nowhere in sight. Her hands were shaking. Surely she hadn’t imagined what had just happened.

Copyright © 2014 Loretta Miles Tollefson

Life Lessons

He had plowed the field in the morning. In the afternoon he came back and disked it. Now in the evening twilight he stood at the edge of the field and looked out over it with satisfaction. While it had been light, some crows had landed among the clods of earth and busied themselves picking out insects. Only two remained. It felt good to know he would sow corn in the morning. The rains had been adequate and promised a full harvest. He turned and walked toward the barn.

Inside the barn he saw that his son had put the milk cow into her stall, but he had left the gate open. “Michael!” he called.

There was no response from the house. Michael was so indifferent about his chores.

The farmer closed the stall and went into the house. Upon entering, he said, “Michael, the cow’s out of the barn.”

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson

Stomach Flu

“Mama, I’m hungry,” Cindy said.

Amanda tried to sit up, but the nausea overwhelmed her. She sank back on the couch. “There’s cereal in the cupboard,” she said.

Cindy shook her four-year-old head. “I ate it for breakfast.”

Amanda closed her eyes. “There should still be bread.”

“Daddy made sandwiches with it, for his lunch.”

“Have an apple.”

“I can’t cut it.”

“Oh, Cindy, please just find something to eat and leave me alone. Just talking about food makes me feel sick.”

Cindy crawled onto the couch and snuggled against her mother’s shoulder.

“You’ll get my germs,” Amanda said.

“Then I won’t talk about food and make you feel bad,” Cindy answered.

Amanda chuckled. She pulled Cindy closer. “Having you next to me does make me feel better,” she said drowsily.

They were both asleep when her husband came in an hour later, a bag of groceries under each arm.

Loretta Miles Tollefson © 2014

In the Forest

A mountain lion watched a young doe from a rocky outcrop near a forest glade. It was cool in the glade, which was not far from an open meadow where several other deer were. There was a newly fallen tree between the doe and the lion. The lion crept closer, looking down from above.

The doe sensed that this was not a safe place, but she was attracted by the browse which had been brought within reach. She was eating peacefully.

The lion sprang. Though it had to clear the log, the kill was quick.

A raven entered the forest and was very much interested. It watched from a lower tree limb, cawing for reinforcements. None came.

Its hunger sated, the lion pulled some brush over the carcass and withdrew to rest near the foot of the rocky outcrop. From this secluded position, it watched the raven inspect the kill.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson


The cat was crouched under the dining room table, meowing.

“The sun isn’t up yet, Oscar,” Mary told him. “I opened the blinds. When the sun comes up enough, you’ll have some light to lie in.”

Twenty minutes later he was still under the table and still meowing. Mary glanced into the living room. A patch of light lay on the carpet. She lifted Oscar and carried him into the living room. He leapt from her arms and curled himself contentedly into the spot of sunlight.

She shook her head as she went back to her chores. “Cats,” she muttered. “They act just like people.”

Loretta Miles Tollefson © 2014

The Way It Is

Fast, sleek, and lithe, the marten was no one to fool with. Every squirrel in the woods knew it. You did not hide on the backside of a tree trunk and expect to elude a marten. No sir, the fury and speed of the marten was certain death to anyone foolish enough not to seek cover.

It was in this way that a young squirrel was caching nuts in a crook of a limb when another squirrel alerted it to the presence of a marten. It headed straight for a large woodpecker hole. But the equally large bird was inside. It was incubating some eggs.

The squirrel looked in every direction. Then the marten was upon it.

This is the way things are in the woods, the complacent bird sitting upon its nest, the greased lightening of a marten settling down on a limb for a nap. It just is.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson

Always Ready

Andy yawned, his mouth gaping open. “Wow, I’m tired,” he said. He twisted his ten year old body in the truck’s passenger seat. “And stiff.”

His father nodded, eyes on the road ahead. “It’s been a long day, hasn’t it? We’ll be there soon. Another hour or so.”

“Will Grandpa and Grandma still be up?”

“I’m sure they will. Why don’t you sleep for a while?”

Andy stared out the window. It was completely dark, except for an occasional yard light highlighting a dark house and silent vehicles. He wondered who lived in those houses and what their lives were like. “No thanks,” he said.

“It’s not like there’s anything to see,” his father pointed out.

“But if there was, I would miss it,” Andy said.

His father chuckled. “You’re always ready for what ever comes along, aren’t you?”

Andy smiled at the approaching yard light.

Loretta Miles Tollefson © 2014