Published December 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

A resounding HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Pegman. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Many happy returns to Karen and Josh. You’re doing a great job.Β 

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

This photo didn’t take me to Iowa, but to the back woods of Arkansas. The story is an edited snippet from a story in my short story anthology THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER which is out of print (save copies still available from the author πŸ˜‰ ) It’s still available on Kindle. The story is based on one of my husband’s memories of spending summers with his best friend Ray (Francis Ray Stills). We had fun working on the longer version together.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150


Granny Stillwell’s shack, built into the hills, was propped up on cinderblocks. Another rough-hewn cabin sat just the other side of a vegetable garden. A tire-less, 1940’s pick-up truck, also set on cinderblocks, had been pushed up against one wall β€œto keep it from a-leaning too much.”

After supper, his stomach full of catfish and rhubarb cobbler, Kenny Lord lazed on the porch and thought about the day.

β€œHey, Lordy-Lordy, know how to swim?” 


β€œTime to learn.” Β 

He would never forget his terror when Boyce shoved him off the cliff to the Buffalo River 50 feet below. Boyce’s evil laughter filled his ears until water surged up his nose and his panic-stricken lungs blazed.

Kenny seethed. β€œBoyce better watch his back.”

β€œHe was jest funnin’,’” said Frankie-Ray Stillwell.

Granny spat out a wad of chewing tobacco. β€œVengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

Kenny smirked. β€œThat’s me, Kenneth Donald Lord.”



30 comments on “SWIMMING LESSON

    • Dear Josh,

      On one memorable vacation and float trip on the Buffalo I got to experience Granny’s house and see the cliff. It’s always been one of my husband’s favorite stories to recount…I just took it to a new and fictitious level. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the comment and for a good year.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh man it set my stomach spinning just thinking about a fifty foot drop. Masterful job packing this tale into 150 words. I especially enjoyed the rich scene-setting. So glad to have you popping by Pegman over this last year with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Karen,

      I’ve seen that cliff and I wouldn’t want to be pushed off of it. Jan says it might not have been 50 feet but it got longer on the way down.

      I’ve really enjoyed taking part in Pegman. It’s just different enough from FF to draw me in. Not really different as far as choosing the prompt, though. πŸ˜‰ Maybe it’s the extra 50 words that allow me to expand some of the 100 word pieces.

      Again, thanks for facilitating and for being faithful to comment. Everyone in FF knows exactly how I feel about interaction this week. πŸ˜‰



      Liked by 1 person

  • These Arkansas summer vacations were special to me. Lots of memories. As stated, it might not have been 50 feet exactly, but the further I fell with arms flailing, the further away the water seemed. This little Anthology of Rochelle’s short stories is a fun, and a great read. As it is still available on Kindle, it is a very frugal and fun read. Check it out. “This, That and Somtimes the Other”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    That was great! So much fun and I sure as heck would NOT consider it “just funnin'” to be pushed off a 50-foot cliff!

    Hope he did get his vengeance! (Love the drawing…)

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Even Jan admits that the drop got longer every time he told the story. However, I’ve see the cliff and the swimming hole and 50 feet or not it’s quite a drop. I don’t know if Jan ever got true revenge.

      At any rate you’ll have to long version. πŸ˜‰ Thank you, my friend.




    • Dear Valerie,

      No doubt those boys never thought about the possible consequences. Fortunately my husband lived to tell about it….over and over again. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Seeing you here makes me smile.




  • Yeah, Boyce better watch it. I’m not a fan of such teaching methods. Oddly enough, the same people who espouse such teaching methods don’t like being taught that way either. Funny that.Next time Boyce decides to take a bath, he might get the lesson: What to do when in a bath full of Water Moccasins.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Wow, I can swim, but a fall of 50 feet? That’s about, what, 15 metres? I’d be terrified too! Boyce had better watch his back, the nasty fellow.
    I love the scene you’ve painted with the cinder blocks and so on. It sounds very “out in the middle of the woods” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      Don’t ask me to think in metres. I could never grasp the metric system. Thank heaven for converters. πŸ˜‰ (It came in handy when I was competing with my rabbi as to who swam the farthest in the shortest amount of time. His center’s pool was measured in metres and mine in yards. Bother! I still won.)
      At any rate, I’m pleased you liked the story. The scene takes place in the Arkansas hills…very back woods. Thank you. πŸ˜€



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelvin,

      The full version of this story was a lot of fun for both my husband and myself. He’d told our kids the story of his swimming lesson for years. It was time to up the ante. Glad you enjoyed. I’ve read this one for our nephew’s high school English class and they get a kick out of the dialogue. Thank you for your kind comments.




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