Kids Corner Book of The Week FREE Excerpt!! Corie Has Actually Permission From Her Dad To Dig A Hole In The Front Yard!! Read More About What Corie Discovers In This FREE Excerpt From CORIE UNIVERSE FEEDER by Walter Eckland

June 11, 2012
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Last week we announced that Walter Eckland’s CORIE UNIVERSE FEEDER is our Kids Corner Book of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the Kids Book category: over 250 free titles, over 500 quality 99-centers, and hundreds more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

Now we’re back to offer a free Kids Corner excerpt, and if you aren’t among those who have downloaded this one already, you’re in for a treat!

 

Corie Universe Feeder

by Walter Eckland

5.0 stars – 10 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

What’s not to love about digging and mud?

Corie: tall, thin, scruffy, female, student, blondish, smart, creative, outspoken, trouble-finding, precocious (whatever THAT means), eager, mature, silly, immature, messy-roomed, imaginative, animal-loving girl ……

……. has actual PERMISSION FROM HER FATHER to dig a hole in the front yard of her house. As an added bonus she can use the water hose, wheelbarrow, shovel, spray paint, a sign and any and all neighborhood friends she wants. After this whole, hole digging event, lots of oddness ensues not just from the aforementioned father, but from her mother, a dog walker, the police chief, the newspaper guy and the scowling town librarian.

Does any good come of this at all? Well, sit down, grab a free cheese sandwich and find out. Oh! One other thing. If you ABSOLUTELY do not like reading, then read this book. It is a tad nutty, nonsensical and sometimes barely even seems like a book.

If you are a parent who has a child that appears to be un-fond of reading, well, then, bribe them to try this by telling them it’s about popcorn, pudding, and Popsicles.

And pickles.

 

And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

Corie

Universe

Feeder

Walter Eckland

 

 

One Green Fermented Chapter

A Pickle Sandwich

or

the Pickle Sandwich

or

one Pickle Sandwich

or

THE PICKLE SANDWICH!

Whichever you choose,

all I know is that it started with a/one/the/THE Pickle Sandwich.

 

And a fish.

 

 

 

 

Two: The Beginning(s)

 

Corie: tall, thin, scruffy, female, student, blondish, smart, creative, outspoken, trouble-finding, precocious (whatever THAT means), eager, mature, silly, immature, messy-roomed, imaginative, animal-loving girl.

Corie lives in a suburb of a big city in the Northeast. Want to know which city? Well, I can’t tell you that.

The house she lives in:

*is painted white;

*has many rooms including, two and a half bathrooms (Corie still wonders where the other half went);

*has a big, big, big, huge front yard;

*has an even bigger, bigger, bigger, more huge back yard;

*is old;

*contains two irritating older but not more mature brothers;

*has the neatest boy-you-can-get-messy-and-in-big-trouble-after-playing-in-it-and-going-into-the-house-and-lying-upside-down-all-muddy-on-your-bed-to-read-a-book-even-though-reading-is-good-for-you stream next to it;

*has plenty of food;

*contains one dog (although, it is often asked, “Why we can’t have fifteen dogs? That’s silly. I’ll take care of them.”);

*is happy;

*looks good in winter;

*has great snakes in the yard, but that’s another story;

*has a fox who visits the yard;

*is also visited by white-tailed deer, as well as one weird deer with no tail and a goofy limp who eats mushrooms and doesn’t run away when you go outside and look at him;

*and contains a mother and a father.

That snake story is pretty interesting, and I wish I could tell you more about the trouble that whole thing caused but I can’t right now.

Anyhow, anyhoo, anywhatever…

Whenever I get off track and try to tell you something else or go off and tell another story—like the time Smelly Timmy, too young to sled, went down the “world’s most incredible slippery, slidey, sled run in Corie’s back yard that only costs a quarter to use all day” and broke his wrist and lost a tooth, and Corie got mad because she never got her quarter but got in more trouble than he did, even though he welched—whenever I get off track like that and I remember what I was supposed to be doing, I end up saying, “Anyhow, or anyhoo,  or anywhatever,” and then try to get back to the story.

I think.

Anysomething.

It’s a nice house in a nice neighborhood with nice parents and irritating brothers and Corie.

And a pickle and a fish.

 

 

 

 

 

Two: The Beginning(s) Some More

 

The pickle.

Listen. Dad, who is not so, so bad as dads go, actually likes pickles. He was home making late lunch, or maybe early dinner, and Corie was Corie-ing around, not doing anything really, but kind of doing it wrong anyway. Dad was making lunch/dinner, and Corie said for the ten-thousandth time, “What’s to eat?”

Dad finally said, “Pickle sandwiches,” even though Corie hates (or as Mom says, “dislikes immensely”) pickles.

The pickle in question:

*was green—and not a nice shade of green like the green stuff that came out the time Corie threw up all over the bedroom after the birthday party thingy happened;

*was wrinkled (aren’t they all?);

*smelled;

*was some new kind that was even bigger than the old kind;

*came from a jar;

*was cold;

*and wouldn’t be eaten by the dog who ate ASOLUTELY ANYTHING (Corie knew this because she had tried feeding the dog ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING).

I’m not going to tell you the name of Corie’s dog. She thinks if you know the name of her dog and what a great pull-you-in-the-sled, chase-you-through-the-house-and-the-muddy-stream, and eat-the-vegetables-you-pass-her-under-the-table-except-for-pickles dog she is, you’ll come to the Northeast and steal her.

That’s why I can’t tell you the name of Corie’s dog and have to just call her “Corie’s dog,” because you might steal her.

Corie’s brothers’ names are Robert and James.

 

 

 

Two: The Beginning(s) Still More

 

The fish in question…

…was served at the early dinner/late lunch on last night’s rice, reheated in the micro-wavy.

At least there were no leftover green beans.

The fish wasn’t that bad, but you never want to admit to your parents that you like fish, or else you’ll get it all the time instead of good dinner stuff like popcorn, pudding, and Popsicles.

Anyhoo.

Dad suggested she eat his extra half of a pickle sandwich and all of the fish, but Corie was way, way, way too full from all that rice, thank you very much.

Brothers Robert/Bobby and James/James came in around then, but they had more important stuff to do like go up to their room and talk about baseball or pick their noses.

If you ask them about the hockey game they’re watching on TV when it’s in the middle of baseball season and it’s clearly a baseball game they’re watching, it’s guaranteed to earn you a bop on the arm; and if you fall down or bump into the wall like the bop really hurts or something, then maybe the brother gets in big or medium trouble and can’t watch baseball for like a month or two years or until there’s enough money in his savings account to pay for college.

Dad said to Corie, “There are people starving all over the world and right here in our very own town, and boy, it would be a shame to waste food, even if it is pickles and fish,” so that’s how all this started.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Finally

 

“Well, Dad, I couldn’t agree more.” (They hate it or at least immensely dislike it when you agree with them.) “Dad, it truly, truly, deeply would be a shame to waste a perfectly good pickle half and a hunk of fish that could be used to feed all the starving people in our town, or at least the known universe.”

“But—and I mean, BUT—wouldn’t it be better if we could put this itty, bitty piece of fish and pickle to better use and feed many more people and kids and goats? Wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?”

“Anyhow, what I thought was we (you and me and that new shovel I’m not supposed to use because I broke the last one, even though, who would know that a shovel would break if you just accidentally dropped it from the second-floor bedroom window while trying to get a crow off the roof? And no, I did not almost fall out the window with the shovel, since my pants were caught on the bed anyway)…anyhow, couldn’t we just use that new shovel and me and you to plant the piece of fish and the pickle in the front yard and grow a pickle-and-fish tree to feed more people? Couldn’t we? It would grow lots of pickles and fish, and some people like pickles and fish, so we could feed lots of people instead of just one girl who’s pretty full from all that rice anyway.”

“I never get to do anything fun.”

 

 

 

 

 

[4]

 

You would expect Dad to give a long, speechless look, like there’s a piece of gum stuck in your hair that’s so long it trails down to your feet and gets caught in the carpet and has twenty colors and maybe marshmallows in it. You’d expect him to say, “I wonder whose child you are anyway and if there REALLY WAS some kind of a mistake between the hospital and the zoo that day, or at least the circus.”

But instead, Dad said, “Sure. Go ahead. Please use the new shovel. Plant the fish and pickle and feed many, many more people in the world. That’s a great idea, and I know you can do it.”

 

 

 

 

 

The End of the Beginning(s): Five

 

Which takes half the fun—or at least a third of the fun, or maybe eleven-sixteenths of the fun—out of it, but so what? We’re talking:

digging,

watering,

planting,

outsiding,

new shoveling and

mess-making (approved even!) and

Corie doesn’t have to eat the pickle or fish, which has to be pretty cold and gross now ‘cause it came out of the micro-wavy around ten hours ago.

Pretty good for a Thursday.

That’s how this all began.

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2, Chapter 1, or Chapter 6 if you want, even though there were three Chapter 2s in that last part

 

Anything worth doing is worth doing with lots more tools, equipment, friends, mud, time, books, enthusiasm, trouble, and more tools.

Corie went out in the front yard to plant.

Corie is not capable of walking to the first likely spot in the yard and planting.

Oh no.

Oh no.

OH NO.

Corie must walk around and a-square and front-wards and backwards and other kinds of -wards and up and down and crawl and skip all over the front yard, until the exact correct, right, perfect, never-been-better, of-course-this-is-the-one-and-only-absolutely-perfect-place-for-it spot is found.

Or at least until no less than four neighborhood children have come over to see what’s going on and to help, which they can only do if they do EXACTLY what Corie tells them to do, EXACTLY as Corie tells them and EXACTLY when Corie tells them, or else they won’t get to help next time, but they will get to help this time, so that next time when they’re not helping, they’ll remember how much fun it is to help.

But even before the walking-around-the-yard stuff happened, the research part had to happen. You always need to research stuff before you do it.

Corie has the biggest and best collection of books on every subject in the whole world. In addition to having her own books, she is the number one visitor to the suburb-town-that-I won’t-name public library.

You would think the librarians would appreciate her coming there since she is there more than anyone else in the whole town, but the folks at the public library don’t seem to particularly appreciate her at all.

If you were a librarian and you had to look at the SAME books all day, wouldn’t you want a girl coming in, always asking for books you have to order from the big library in the other town? Especially if those books are about important things likes snakes or space or London or waste water treatment plants or traffic signals from around the world or planting or hot air balloons or white-tailed deer without tails or more snakes?

Well? If you were a librarian, wouldn’t you want Corie around your library? If you are a librarian and do want her around, please call or write and tell her, but don’t e-mail her because she isn’t allowed to use e-mail for a long, long time.

Even though the e-mail thing wasn’t really her fault.

Sort of.

There was no time to go to the library to research this one. That pickle and fish needed planting, and it was already late, late afternoon, maybe even early, early evening.

The research stuff had to be done with Corie’s own books in her own library where you can be as noisy as you like and don’t get the “SHHHH!” all the time, except when it’s two or three in the morning and you say, “I just had to look that up right away, and when I found the answer, of course I screamed, ‘OH YEAH!’ Wouldn’t you? Well, you are awake now, so let me tell you all about it!”

Anyhow, anyhoo.

Research accomplished, facts learned, concepts conceptualized, plans planned, and ready to plant.

The perfect spot, in the perfect yard, in the perfect neighborhood with the almost-close-to-someday-maybe-perfect girl.

Now there were five helpers, and Smelly Timmy’s arm was pretty good by then, so he might, just might, be able to use the shovel.

Fortunately, there was a can of orangey-red or maybe reddy-orange spray paint in the garage so the construction site could be properly and officially marked. It would have been oh so helpful to spray big numbers on the helpers’ backs like she wanted to. Unfortunately, you know how helpers can be with simple and practical suggestions like that.

The hole began to grow.

And the dirt from the hole went in the wheelbarrow.

And the wheelbarrow dirt was dumped in the back yard.

Now there was a good-sized hole and only one banged worker foot, which wasn’t bad for a job this size.

There is only one proper way to plant something like this. Only the person who had done the research would possibly know what the proper way is.

The pickle and fish cannot possibly be put in the hole all alone! They’ll never grow into a pickle-and-fish tree that way. Just the right ingredients need to be added.

A little orangey-red spray paint is perfect, as is a penny, a leaf, a twig, the broken robin egg shell, the little “Inspected by #19” tag from Jenna’s pocket, five pine needles, no pine cones, and some sand. The absolute best thing—and the most important—is the sticky, gooey, wet mud from the stream.

If you think back on this later, after you hear all about what happened, maybe you’ll think the stream mud was the magic in all of this and what started things going the way they did.

Maybe it was the mud. But then again, maybe it was radioactive snot from Smelly Timmy.

Finally, you’re ready to place the pickle and the fish in the hole, and of course they don’t get broken into little pieces. They get placed on the mud with the small fish on the bottom and the smaller pickle on top of the fish.

Mud—more mud, wetter mud, smellier mud—gently placed on the pickle and the fish.

Then back to the back yard to load up the wheelbarrow with the dirt that was taken out earlier. No, it would not have been just as easy to leave the dirt in the wheelbarrow. It had to be dumped in the back yard. Then it had to be reloaded into the wheelbarrow and wheeled to the front yard. That was what the plan called for.

Add the dirt to the top and pat it down with the new shovel, and then the second-best after-the-mud part: watering.

NO HELPERS NEED APPLY for the watering part.

The pickle and the fish and the mud and the proper stuff watered, just the right amount.

The label on the piece of wood that came from that weird thing in the garage was added with a sign that said:

CAUTION

Pickle-and-Fish Tree

Growing Here Soon

 

 

 

 

 

Seven

 

Just about everyone in the world says Corie has no patience. They are wrong.

With things that deserve patience, Corie has it to spare.

Growing pickle-and-fish trees deserve patience, as well as water and sun and care and attention.

Homework and church and aunts and hair-cutting and dishwashing and putting things away and librarians do not deserve or need patience.

Every day, Corie watered her tree and patiently waited.

 

 

 

 

 

Eight

 

There’s a guy who lives up the road who has a dog. He walks that dog late at night and early in the morning. Corie’s dad walks her dog (and no, I’m still not telling you the name) late at night and early in the morning and meets up with the weirdest and nicest people. Sometimes he meets up with that guy up the street who owns a restaurant in town. That guy works in his restaurant most of the day and pays kids to walk his dog and play with it in the middle of the day, and he has no wife.

He met up with Dad one night or early morning and asked about the sign. Dad told him Corie was growing a pickle-and-fish tree and was going to feed many, many people in the world.

The next day, they saw him at his restaurant, and he said that when her pickles and fish started to grow, he’d put them on the menu. He was quite, quite serious. Her brothers just sat there with their mouths open like they were trying to eat something even though no food—not even the rolls—had come yet.

Corie told him, “I’d love to, but I’m trying to feed the people in the world who have no food, but thank you very much. Maybe if there’s any extra, I can give you some.”

 

 

 

 

 

Nine: Growing

 

Twenty days, thirteen hours, twenty-six minutes, and who-cares-how-many seconds later, Corie’s tree began to grow. On a Thursday.

Every day she continued to water it, and it grew even more.

Except when it rained. Then it was watered, but not by Corie.

The only day it wasn’t watered by Corie or the rain was the day she went to a birthday sleepover and begged, “Dad, please, please, please don’t forget to water my tree, or I’ll walk home from the sleepover and do it myself, and you’ll be out walking the dog anyway, so don’t forget. I’ll put a note on the leash and call you too.”

Every day it was watered, and it grew.

It was planted properly, watered properly, and it grew very improperly. It grew improperly quickly.

In a week it was 18 inches or 1½ feet or 1/2 yard or .4572 meters tall. In two weeks it was 29.5 inches tall. How many meters is that? Look it up or go bother your local librarian about it. They love it when you bother them about books about measurements. Really, they do.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten. Other Things Are Growing Too/Also

 

The guy who walks his dog late at night and early in the morning, has no wife, and owns a restaurant always puts ads in the local newspaper. Why he does that is a mystery since nobody from out of town ever reads the small suburb paper, and everyone in town knows about the restaurant already anyway because it’s been there since the time of the dinosaurs, and it has a huge, big sign.

Anyway, the dog/no wife/restaurant guy places ads in the paper all the time. When he places the ads, he talks to the newspaper owner. Maybe he talks about the weather or the ad or hockey versus baseball or his favorite color or tonight’s restaurant special or dogs or Saturn and its twenty-three or maybe twenty-four moons. One day, he talks about the wonderful growing pickle-and-fish tree he sees when he takes his daily/nightly dog walks.

The newspaper owner listens. He’s supposed to do that, kind of like the guidance lady at school who is SUPPOSED to listen but likes to interrupt and shake her head and ask the same questions week after week, sometimes day after day or whenever you get sent to see her.

The newspaper guy listened.

A few days, or maybe 1.7328 weeks later, he was driving around chasing after the fire engine to see if he could get a picture of a house or a car or nuclear power plant burning so he could put it on the cover of his paper, and maybe then somebody from out of town would read it.

But there was no fire and no water and no hoses and no burning and no picture that day. I guess the fire people just felt like driving around in circles. There were loud siren circles, but no fire.

What there was, however, was a sign next to a little tree that said:

CAUTION

Pickle-and-Fish Tree

Growing Here Soon NOW

 

The newspaper guy who listens took a picture of the sign and the tree.

He put the picture on the cover of the weekly paper the very next Thursday instead of the fire picture he didn’t get because there was no fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Elevensies

 

The adults in the town looked at the picture of the pickle-and-fish tree instead of the picture of the fire since there wasn’t one to look at.

The kids in the town looked at the picture of the pickle-and-fish tree.

The kids in the town made the parents in the town drive them over to Corie’s to see (but not touch) the pickle-and-fish tree.

The parents in the town did the guidance counselor head-shake thing and took their kids to see (but not touch) the pickle-and-fish tree.

Lots of the above happened.

The newspaper guy heard that lots of the people in town (but nobody from out of town) were reading his paper and going to see the pickle-and-fish tree.

The guy now knew what sells papers.

He didn’t drive by and take another picture. Instead, he called and MADE AN APPOINTMENT with Corie to drive by and take another picture and maybe ask her and her dad and Smelly Timmy or anyone else a few questions to go with the picture, maybe even two pictures.

Before Thursday, which is when the weekly newspaper comes out.

 

 

 

 

 

12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12

 

Corie to Mother and Father (shut up, Robert and James):

“I’m certainly not wearing a dress for ANY news-picture guy.”

“My room looks fine, and he’s not going up to see it anyway.”

“Why can’t I …?”

“Why should I …?”

“That’s not fair. It is MY pickle-and-fish tree.”

“Yes, Mother, the rest of the kids in the neighborhood had to be told and invited over. After all, they helped and may be able to help on the next project. No, they’re not just coming over to see me get interviewed.”

“Yes I brushed my teeth and washed my face and hands.”

“Well, there can be dirt under your fingernails after you wash your hands if you go outside and get some dirt after you wash your hands and then rub said dirt into your fingers because no news-picture guy is going to believe you planted a pickle-and-fish tree if you don’t have dirt under your fingernails or at least on your forehead.”

“Yes, I’m quite sure I know what inappropriate words are as well as personal subjects because you mention them just about every day. Why you keep mentioning them I can’t imagine since they’re inappropriate.”

“Yes…No…Yes…No…Yes…No…Yes…No.”

 

 

 

 

There are no Floor Thirteens in elevators except in old, old buildings, and who would ride in an elevator in an old, old building?

 

The news-picture guy was not that bad.

He was almost nice for an adult.

He came at eleven in the morning. He wore a tie. He drove a red, kind of dumpy old car. He had no dog. He went to the same college as Mom, but in a TOTALLY different year because not all adults are the same age. He was polite. He carried a small pad and a large pad and a camera and other camera junk in a bag.

The interview began.

The early dinner/late lunch was described.

The pickle sandwich was described.

The fish on re-micro-wavy-ed rice was described.

The shovel problem was discussed.

The offer to view the new shovel was declined.

The research was discussed, especially the part about having to use her own library because there wasn’t time to get to the town library.

The helper friends were discussed, even the part about them not wanting numbers to be spray painted on their backs. The suggestion was made that maybe the news-picture guy could number his workers, and it would be easier to tell them what to do.

The proper planting instructions were discussed.

The ingredients for planting were discussed.

The stream mud was discussed in great detail.

The watering was discussed.

The absolutely amazing growth rate of the pickle-and-fish tree was discussed.

The interview ended.

Time for pictures. First, a nice picture or three of the home research library in Corie’s room. Mom’s eyes rolled out of her head and across the floor and bonked Corie on the head about then.

Seventeen more pictures of the home research library with Corie in some and not in some.

At least three rolls of pictures of the tree that is 7 feet, 9 ¾ inches tall.

Fourteen pictures of the stream and stream mud were taken, and it was said, “I’m sorry I knocked you in the stream, Mr. News-picture Guy, but at least the camera didn’t fall in.”

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteen

 

That very Thursday, Corie and her tree and her friends and her stream mud pictures were all on the cover of the local paper with an article about them with 376 words, not counting periods or commas because they’re not even words.

That week, more kids in the town made the parents in the town drive them over to Corie’s to see (but not touch) the pickle-and-fish tree.

Even some people who weren’t parents and didn’t have kids came to see the pickle-and-fish tree.

Every day, it was watered, and it grew and grew quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

Fifteen

 

Corie’s parents are always saying she is highly intelligent and imaginative. They ruin that by also saying if she applied herself to something constructive, they would be amazed.

Corie amazed her parents right then and there.

Here’s what she did:

Remember how the pickle and fish were planted so they could feed all of the starving people in the town, or at least the known universe? Well, do you?

Another way you can feed all the people in the town and the country and the world besides giving them pickles and fish is if you give them some money to buy food. Popcorn, pudding, and Popsicles cost money, you know.

What Corie did was to put out a large empty water bottle—and by large, I mean a big one, the kind that gurgle when you use them in the water machine thing and you end up almost peeing on the floor because you drink so much water just to make the thing gurgle.

Corie put out a large empty water bottle next to the pickle-and-fish tree with a small, tastefully done sign about voluntary contributions to help feed people until such time as pickles and fish were readily available.

Of course it was tastefully done: Mom absolutely, no chance, not in her yard, nuh-uh would let her put up the first sign she made, which was as big as a small elephant if the small elephant ate three school buses. (Of course, that wouldn’t be a bad idea, because then they couldn’t bus kids to school, so they would have to cancel. Elephant-ate-the-buses days would be even better than snow days.)

The sign said:

PLEASE ENJOY LOOKING (BUT DON’T TOUCH) THE PICKLE-AND-FISH TREE…

AND IF YOU WANT TO HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE STARVING TODAY AND CAN’T WAIT FOR THE PICKLES AND FISH TO GROW…

PLEASE DONATE MONEY IN THE JAR.

 

Corie took all of her savings and put it in the bottle in the yard next to the tasteful sign: $12.74.

Do you know why she put all of her savings in the bottle?

Because Dad said once that it takes money to make money.

If you take $12.74, that should make more money.

 

 

 

 

 

16  Corie’s Parents Talk to Each Other

 

One night when Corie was asleep, her parents had a lengthy but quiet conversation. They wondered what was going on with the tree. They wondered why it was growing so quickly. They puzzled over the concept of the tasteful sign and the donating of the $12.74.

They didn’t disagree with the sign or the twelve scoots. Mom got kind of teary eyed and talked about Corie maybe really actually growing up.

They talked some more about the tree and the watering and the fast growing.

There are 5,718 books on the third floor of the town library, or at least there were two years ago on Saturday, July 17, when Corie counted each and every one.

You would think a librarian would be interested in knowing that riveting, fascinating, and helpful fact. Well, they’re not—not even the head librarian.

Anywhatever.

Mom and Dad talked a lot. Mom and Dad worried a lot. Mom and Dad shook their heads a lot, then and for weeks and weeks to come.

Dad got up and went outside to walk the dog. He looked at the tree and the contribution bottle and the sign.

Later, Mom got even more (happy?) teary eyed and went to sleep.

Parents!

 

 

 

 

 

neetneves

 

The news-picture guy just about had a heart attack. Some lady from two towns over who owns another newspaper called him because people in her town were not buying her paper but were buying his Corie picture paper instead. Lots of them.

The news-picture guy listened. He was good at that.

That night, the news-picture guy had dinner at the dog walk/no wife guy’s restaurant. He had the chicken pot pie. His mouth was open even before the rolls came too.

That Thursday, the news-picture guy changed the layout of the front of his newspaper, which he hadn’t done in about 100 years, or at least since he took over from his father.

He made a place on the front of the paper where every week there would be a new picture of the pickle-and-fish tree.

He even had two stories inside: one was about the tree, and the other was about the contribution bottle. He himself had donated the last time he took a picture and did not get knocked into the stream.

Public and Private Charities, by Julien Dellaporta, 1992, Page 53 explains all about how to set up a charitable bank account. Corie let the bank manager borrow her copy of that book when she set up the charity account at his bank, and he, himself, donated to her jar.

The news-picture guy put this in his next paper:

Donations may be made in the bottle at the tree…

OR

Mailed to:

Bank Seven

Charitable Gift Account

Pickle-and-Fish Tree Donations

P.O. Box 341

Corie’s Town

Corie’s Northeast State

Corie’s Quite Zippy, Zip Code

One time a dopey bird flew right into the window of the family room while everyone was there. They all went out and looked at it. It looked dead. Robert and James wanted to poke it with a stick, but Dad wouldn’t let them.  Dad made everyone go inside. If the bird was not dead, then it would get up and fly away on its own. The bird was not dead, but it did not get up and fly away on its own. It crawled over near the garage door and got snowed on.

In the middle of the night, if you leaned out of Corie’s window just right with a flashlight and binoculars, you could see the bird out by the garage getting snowed on.

Corie went out and got that bird. She put her (or him—who can tell?) in a box. She put the box in the back hall and closed the door. She went back to sleep.

Apparently, the bird could fly.

That was found out in the morning when Mom went into the back hall to get the stuff that was going to the dry cleaners on her way to work.

It was covered with bird doo.

It was not a pretty site/sight.

Neither was Corie, standing in the back hall in her PJs with a major bed-head thing going on.

I won’t repeat the first ten minutes of discussion. (Isn’t a discussion when two people talk back and forth? Well, there was some forth, but no back.)

More at the eleventh minute:

“But they’re going to the cleaners anyway!”

“Aren’t cleaners supposed to clean stuff?”

“That’s impossible! The clothes are black, and the bird poop is white. Do you think they won’t be able to find it?”

“What attitude?”

“But if they’re cleaners, why can’t they clean things?”

“They’re the best cleaners.”

“Because their sign says BEST CLEANERS, that’s why.”

“What?”

“Who?”

“When?”

“Yes, I fed the bird, and I don’t know what time it was, but it was way too late to be looking at the clock.”

Am I off track again?

Oh.

Anyhoo. Anywhatever…

Every day donations were made in the gurgle jar and at the bank. Pennies and nickels and dimes and quarters and occasionally a dollar were put in the gurgle jar.

 

 

 

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