Archives for posts with tag: toys

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A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE FILM (Excerpt)

by Jean Shepherd

It was late November and the Christmas fever was well upon me. I thought about a Red Ryder air rifle in all my waking hours, seven days a week, in school and out. I drew pictures of it in my Reader, in my Arithmetic book, on my hand in indelible ink, on Helen Weathers’ dress in front of me, in crayon. For the first time in my life the initial symptoms of genuine lunacy, of Mania, set in.

I imagined innumerable situations calling for the instant and irrevocable need for a BB gun, great fantasies where I fended off creeping marauders burrowing through the snow toward the kitchen, where only I and I alone stood between our tiny huddled family and insensate Evil. Masked bandits attacking my father, to be mowed down by my trusted cloverleaf-sighted deadly weapon. I seriously mulled over the possibility of an invasion of raccoons, of which there were several in the county. Acts of selfless Chivalry defending Esther Jane Alberry from escaped circus tigers. Time and time again I saw myself a miraculous crack shot, picking off sparrows on the wing to the gasps of admiring girls and envious rivals on Cleveland Street. There was one dream that involved my entire class getting lost on a field trip in the swamps, wherein I led the tired, hungry band back to civilization, using only my Red Ryder compass and sundial. There was no question about it. Not only should I have such a gun, it was an absolute necessity!

 A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE FILM by Jean Shepherd is available at Amazon.com.

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RILEY AND LULU

Story Poem by Barbara Alfaro

What’s your dog’s name asked a boy of a woman and not waiting her reply continued My dog’s name is Riley My dog’s name is Lulu said the woman just then Riley a red dog reminiscent of Irish setters and German shepherds and other miscellaneous breeds and Lulu a beige dog of even more dubious lineage than Riley interrupted their afternoon swim in the model boat pond to shakesplash their owners a portable radio a pair of shoes and me They swam again then galloped and chased on the wet concrete Lulu doing most of the chasing with the grassy abandon city dogs on park days know making strangers laugh out loud and now intimidated by the sailors who were not laughing these handmade or purchased boats cost four hundred dollars baby and the pond is after all for them not Riley and Lulu the older brother of the boy attaches a leash to Riley’s collar and the woman bribes Lulu into a semblance of quietude with pets and scratches but mind you Lulu and Riley are eyeing each other all this time they’re approximately five feet away from one another and What’s this Oh no a beagle well a partial beagle bouncing into the pond a stick between his teeth guarded as though it were the golden fleece and Lulu that hussy swimming after his neat patched little body as though absolutely nothing has happened between Riley and her for God’s sake chained and barking in pain while a bumble bee is bugging pun intended me and a little girl lopes by announcing Now my other front tooth is crooked!

Photo: Catori Charlie, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED