Holiday season television is about to hit an all time low. We are talking about
lower than inside the belly of a snake low. In case you haven’t heard about it, here is the trailer for Discovery’s Eaten Alive:
Granted, I know nothing about the show other than what I saw in the trailer, but it seems like a cheap stunt—and one that I will likely watch.
Speaking of being eaten alive, who wants a Poorly Illustrated Adventures of Heidi story? All right, kids, gather round!
Once upon a time there was a Heidi. At the time of this telling Heidi was seven or eight and looked something like this:
This particular story took place during Heidi’s unfortunate haircut-like-a-boy-with-a-bad-haircut phase.
Heidi and her older brother liked to play under bridges and on highway overpasses and at nearby industrial ponds. These things were not forbidden because it was the nineteen eighties and no one knew what kids did all day.
If Bob Ross had painted the industrial pond near Heidi’s house, it might have looked like this:
See the happy trees?
Bob Ross would have been romanticizing something far muddier, but Heidi wasn’t one to be overly critical about art.
Heidi and her brother often brought new pets home from their explorations at the pond. Tadpoles and frogs, neat looking bugs, even once a tailless cat who promptly had kittens behind Heidi’s dad’s shed, but this story isn’t about any of those.
This story is about two pond critters Heidi and her brother brought home one day:
Snakey, the garner snake
and Sal the salamander.
Heidi and her brother loved their new pets and wanted them to love each other. They made a comfortable home for them from a large orange tupperware bowl, some grass, and a small tin of water. Then they left the two pals alone to get acquainted.
Dun dun DUN.
Heidi and her brother returned from eating dinner to check on the new best pals. Only… where was Sal?
They searched diligently for the little guy, but let’s be honest, there weren’t a lot of places to hide in that big orange bowl. There was really only one place he could be…
“Does Snakey look a lot fatter to you?” Heidi’s brother asked.
“He really does,” Heidi replied.
“SAL!” they cried in unison, but not really because crying in unison usually only happens in books.
Here’s what really happened: Heidi’s brother lifted Snakey from the bowl.
Heidi’s brother gave him a gentle upward, squeeze, like Snakey was a tube of toothpaste.
Snakey opened his mouth and…
Heidi was surprised.
Heidi’s brother was surprised.
Snakey was surprised.
But perhaps most surprised of all was Sal, who had survived his brief trip into the belly of a snake.
All parties involved felt it was best if Snakey and Sal did not become friends after all.
Heidi and her brother allowed them to vacate the orange bowl and relocate to separate areas of the backyard where they
were both likely eaten by birds lived happily ever after.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of original content around here lately but that’s only because I have been working oh so hard on writing other things*.
*Including, but not limited to:
All the Write Notes 10 Questions with Author Heidi Schulz
Alice in Readerland Interview: Heidi Schulz (Debut Author of Hook’s Revenge)
(If you are interested in reading more, all of my interviews and guest posts are archived on my press page.)
And something else I hope to tell you more about soon.
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be at my desk.
Send caffeine. And maybe a hairbrush or lint-roller or something.
A little while ago, I posted the following
important information on my facebook page:
(Note: For those of you who may not know, Hannah is Newt. Or Newt is Hannah. Whichever you prefer.)
This posting led to a discussion about animals–including zombie rabbits, something about a dog and a Taco Bell wrapper, and the time I had to give a lifesaving enema to a chicken.
Don’t you wish you were me?
You can read the entire thread here.
The discussion reminded me about some childhood shenanigans I have yet to share here. Since it has been quite a while since I whipped out my magic markers for an Adventures of Heidi Story, I did just that.
Adventures of Heidi: Backyard Surprise
Once upon a time there was a Heidi. On this particular day in her life, Heidi was seven years old. Heidi’s much older sister loved to sew for Heidi and put her long hair in rag rollers for beautiful seven-year-old blond curls. (None of that back story is relevant, but sometimes Heidi likes to say things to remind her much older sister how much younger Heidi is. Heidi can be a bit of a terror to those closest to her. She is working on it. [She is not working on it.])
Heidi and her family lived in a house with a big backyard. Heidi’s dad grew a marvelous garden that attracted all kinds of hungry beasts, of both neighbor-child and animal varieties. One of Heidi’s brothers, just a few years older than her, liked to set traps for the creatures–and he often caught them.
Those poor children.
One day, Heidi’s dad came in the house with a treasure he had found on the garden ground.
“Well,” her dad said, “it’s pretty clear what is eating my corn. Looks like a pheasant feather to me.”
And it was.
Heidi’s brother’s eyes gleamed with the idea of catching that pheasant. It was all he could talk about for
Young Heidi didn’t really know what a pheasant was, but to hear her brother talk, it was something special. Perhaps even something like this:
Heidi decided she would help in any way her brother needed. He settled on a plan to catch the pheasant the same way they caught frogs–with a baited fishing hook.*
However, the next day, when Heidi and her brother checked the trap, this is what they found:
Clearly, more drastic measures were called for. Heidi’s brother decided to BREAK THE LAW. In other words, he decided to defy Heidi’s dad’s law to NEVER ENTER THE SHED WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Heidi’s brother sneaked the keys from their kitchen hook and entered the forbidden shed. He made Heidi come along because, as he explained to her, “If we both do it, you won’t tell.”
Inside the shed, the pair found just the thing: a live trap.
It was a wire cage with a trigger bar inside. If an animal stepped on the bar, the cage door would slam shut, trapping the creature inside.
Heidi and her brother congratulated each other on the fact that they would have a pet pheasant before breakfast the next day.
The trap was baited with corn and set far in the back of the garden, where it would not be visible from the house.
The next morning, Heidi and her brother arose early, eager to meet their new pet. As they made their way through the tall stalks of corn, they could see that something had been caught in their trap, but it wasn’t until they got near they were able to discover that it was most definitely not a pheasant.
It was a possum.
Please note, in Oregon, we do not say opossum, we say possum. If you say opossum where you live, that is fine–even though you are wrong.
The possum did not look like this:
It looked like this:
The possum was not a happy little creature. The possum was a hissing and spitting ball of evil dressed in a giant rat skin. With teeth. Really pointy ones.
Heidi was afraid of the possum.
Heidi’s brother was afraid of getting in trouble.
“Let’s kill it,” he said.
“Okay,” Heidi agreed. “But let’s not hurt it.”
“Okay,” Heidi’s brother said. “That sounds good.”
You see, Heidi and her brother may have had murder on the mind, but they didn’t actually want to injure anything–even a soul-sucking rodent demon.
Their solution was to create a pair of weapons, items they could “stab” the possum with, but without actually breaking its skin.
Heidi and her brother (mostly her brother) crafted their weapons with more items pilfered from the forbidden shed (and the less forbidden silverware drawer).
Once their lances were ready they used them to poke the ferocious beast.
Heidi did not poke hard.
Her brother did not poke hard.
Both hoped the beast would sense their intent and oblige them by dying. That way they could avoid getting in trouble.
The possum had other plans.
If you would like to see a very accurate photo of what the animal actually looked like, click here.
After several moments of trying to annoy the possum to death, Heidi and her brother realized they needed adult help. They faced the music and told their mom about the monster in the garden. Heidi’s dad came home from work and
shot it sent the possum to live on a rainbow farm, far in the country.
Heidi grew up a little bit that day.
She was sadder.
She was wiser.
And her smile developed a tiny hint of evil around the edges.
*Yes, we really did catch frogs with fish hooks. We tied colored yarn to our hooks, then standing on a highway bridge over a creek (because every successful childhood includes playing, unsupervised, on the highway) we lowered our hooks and danced the yarn in front of frogs’ faces. They always took the bait. We’d reel them up, remove the hook, load up our backpacks, and take home dozens of new friends. Isn’t that how everyone does it?
After a day of hard labor running to hither and then over to thither, preparing floors to receive new carpet and catching up on prodigious amounts of laundry, Heidi would like nothing better than artfully craft a witty, informative and entertaining post for your reading pleasure. (See Example A)
Unfortunately, an urgent matter has arisen that requires her immediate attention. (See Example B)
Read other Adventures of Heidi stories here.
Once upon a time there was a Heidi. When you were as old as Heidi was in this story, you were only eight. Nine if you were a late bloomer.
Heidi’s mom cut her hair. Heidi’s mom was not drunk when she used her haircutting “skills” to create Heidi’s “hairstyle”, but she might as well have been.
Sometimes people would say to Heidi’s parents, “That’s a good looking boy you have there!”
This was offensive to Heidi for three reasons:
- To the best of her knowledge, Heidi has never been a boy.
- Heidi was wearing earrings! How could the people not notice the totally feminine earrings?!
- Even mistaken for a boy, Heidi was not all that good looking. She knew the people were just trying to be polite.
Heidi had eight brothers and sisters. At the time of this story, only Heidi and two brothers were living at home. Heidi’s parents wanted to have all of the siblings get together. At the same time. At the same place. Eight out of the nine children agreed to meet in Utah for a camp out. One sister wisely declined.
Sidenote: Heidi’s siblings have still never managed to all be in the same place at the same time. Heidi fears for what might happen if they were. It is possible that a hole would be ripped in the space-time continuum. Or that someone would get their feelings hurt and leave in a huff.
Anyway, Heidi went on the family camp out, because she was eight (or nine) and had no other choice. Besides she was a good little
boy girl and wouldn’t want to defy her parents.
At the time.
There would be plenty of time for that as Heidi got older.
Many of Heidi’s siblings were much older than Heidi. They were married with children of their own. Some of their children were not much younger than Heidi.
I interrupt this story for a joke: Do you know what is special about a Mormon wedding? The bride is not pregnant… but her mother is! wah wah wah wah waaaah!
On this camp out, one of Heidi’s brothers thoughtlessly brought his daughter, Brooke. Brooke was Heidi’s nemesis because:
- She was little (emphasizing Heidi’s no-longer-littleness).
- She was cute (see above).
- She had long, dark, curly hair.
- No one ever thought she was a boy.
Heidi tried not to be jealous, but could not help rejoicing when it was deemed that Heidi and her 11 year old brother were old enough to sleep out by the fire. Alone. Without Brooke.
After a few
dozen s’mores, everyone else went to bed in campers.
Heidi’s brother was recovering from mono and slept about 42 hours a day. He dropped off right away and began to snore. Loudly.
Heidi looked at the stars for awhile, then closed her eyes and began to drift off.
Suddenly! Heidi heard a noise!
It was a VERY LOUD crunching noise. Not totally unlike
a giant gnawing on a skull a larger than average person stomping through leaves.
Heidi was no dummy. She knew the law. If there is a boogie-man out to get you and you close your eyes very tight and lie very still, he will be unable to see you.
The crunching grew louder. It seemed to come from all around the campsite.
Heidi risked a peek.
The campsite was being attacked by
malformed lizard silhouettes! skunks!
Heidi clamped her eyes down tight. There must have been
a hundred at least five of them!
What choice did Heidi have but to lie still and wait for morning?
She did not move a muscle. She did not open her eyes. Even when she felt paws on the side of her sleeping bag.
Eventually, Heidi must have passed out from fear. When morning came, the skunks were gone.
Heidi could not wait to tell her family about her terrifying ordeal.
Their response was unexpected.
I think you dreamed it.
Her mono-stricken brother was
awakened questioned. He had slept through it.
Nothing could convince them of the truth. Heidi had spent the night being held hostage by a roving gang of skunks and no one believed her!
Later, Heidi’s family had a family award ceremony. Why? Who knows.
Brook, Heidi’s nemesis, received none other than the Little Miss Sunshine Award. It was a big bag of candy.
Not the actual Little Miss Sunshine Award.
Heidi won the Stretches the Truth Award. Here is her prize:
The moral of this story is: Um… er…
Okay, so this story has no moral. It is completely
In other news, Newt and I are going camping this weekend. Walt has to work. I hope there are no skunks.
Epilogue: Brooke grew up to be a lovely woman, despite being spoiled by too much love and candy.
PS: Here is actual photo evidence of the camp out. So you can not say I made it up. I’m the blonde
boy girl on the the left.