I've been revising and revising this story on and off for about 4 months and will soon post it to my critique group on July 5th. But before I do I thought I'd share it here and see what you all thought of it. I've been writing poetry for some 6+ decades so when I started as a contributor to this Children's Book Critique Group, all my stories were rhyming ones. I was encouraged to try writing a children's story in prose which I've done a few times but this still is my favorite form of writing. So having taken some of the suggestions of the group after my first posting, I've written and rewritten this story 7 times and this is the result. Please feel free to give me your critique after reading it. You won't hurt my feelings, quite the contrary. I'd love to know what you think. Thanks in advance.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
THE FRATS (Ages 6-9)
By Pat Severin
The Anderson twins were Fraternal, by name,
Since that’s what you call twins who don’t look the same.
The Frats, they were called, didn’t care about that.
They’d race and they’d bet at the drop of a hat.
Yes, Logan and Ethan both wanted to be
Declared as the winner, the best one, you see.
And so this competing to see which boy won,
It lasted from morning until day was done.
Their constant competing to find who was best,
Brought anything, everything, down to a test.
Which boy was better or who was the winner,
Who could gulp faster when eating his dinner.
The Frats, they kept at it, this betting each other
About this and that, which confounded their Mother!
“Boys, this is silly, you don't have to do this!
All this competing, now, can’t we review this?”
“I know that you’re twins, but right here and right now,
With all this competing you’ll never see how...
You each are unique, not the same, that’s for sure,
Your contests are far more than I can endure!”
Competing and betting were all that they knew.
One minute you'd hear, “Bet that I'm taller than you!”
The other twin followed with, “Oh, no you're not!”
Then sprint to the door frame, they’d run like a shot.
Mom measured and found that their height was the same...
Which made Mom ecstatic, “Hooray!” she exclaimed,
Because if their measurements didn’t agree,
The two would start arguing and heatedly!
Their Mother remembered the way it had been:
How Logan loved Ethan and Ethan loved him.
They played with their toys and they shared every one,
And no one got angry, and when they were done...
They’d hug and they’d smile and the next day the same.
They both loved pretending, inventing a game.
And it didn’t matter, whatever they played,
There’d be no comparing…but why did that fade?
When they were at school, it was the same story,
Each twin was trying to get all the glory.
From whose grades were best, to points scored at soccer,
Who was the faster from class to his locker.
And what did they earn? A bad reputation...
Causing their teachers a major frustration!
It seemed that it came down to nothing but that,
One race to the finish is five seconds flat!
Their Mom hoped and prayed she could make the twins see…
That more than a rival, a brother could be…
A best friend for life like no other you’d find!
“Oh, what can I do that would change my boy’s mind?”
Then low and behold, on their way home from school,
While Logan and Ethan pretended to duel,
Completely by accident, horsing around,
As Logan lunged forward, his twin hit the ground!
But when Ethan lay there, not moving at all,
His brother was certain that he’d faked the fall.
But Ethan had stumbled, his twin didn’t see...
That when he fell backward, his head struck the tree...
Which made Logan angry, “You’re scaring me, Bro!”
But when he knelt down, he saw blood and said, “Whoa!”
He didn’t know what he should do but Mom would,
So Logan ran home just as fast as he could.
Out of breath, Logan said, “Mom, Ethan is hurt!”
“His head is all swollen; there’s blood on his shirt!”
They both ran like lightning to where Ethan lay
Right next to the tree where the two of them played.
When Mom knelt by Ethan, he opened his eyes,
Then blinked till he focused, “What happened, you guys?”
“Remember the dueling...Ethan, remember?”
“So, that’s why my head hurts, ouch! It’s so tender!”
The boys started laughing and that’s when Mom knew
That Ethan was fine and would be good as new!
And there, at that moment, the Anderson twins,
Learned what was important so each of them wins.
They’d be the best brothers and twins they could be
And best friends forever was their guarantee!
Friday, June 4, 2021
I don't have to tell you that there are times when we're going through something in our lives where we feel that we SHOULD be able to control the outcome, we SHOULD be able to fix it. Especially if we're a take-charge person, a get-it-done person who evaluates, sees what needs to be done and...does it! But whether you're a Christian or not, we don't have control of the outcome. God is ALWAYS in control and the sooner we recognize it, the sooner we can step back and let him take the reins.
WHAT COULD IT BE?
By Pat Severin
It seems so often unprepared we can’t believe it’s true.
How could it be, look, this is me, that’s why I come to you...
And ask you why has this occurred? I’m lost and can’t make sense...
Of all this is, what do I do, this problem’s so immense!
But though I beg and though I plead, your answers just don’t come.
This kind of thing it happens, yes, but, Lord, now I’m the one?
I don’t know what to do with this, why don’t you answer me?
It’s time you sent an Angel down, explain this so I see...
What your plan is, or, better yet, how will this whole thing end?
This wasn’t in MY plan at all, what do I do...pretend?
Pretend that I will be OK and I can handle this?
If I don’t make it, Lord, what then, there's so much that I’ll miss!
I know I’m rambling, going ‘round and ‘round and ‘round again,
But, Lord, I need some answers here, and when will this scourge end?
Calm down, I know, I know I should, but this is how I feel!
Of all I’ve had in my short life this is the biggest deal!
So here I am on bended knee, I come to you in prayer.
I think it would be great if I could see you standing there
And hear your voice and have you say that it will be alright.
But, Lord, I'm trying to believe that you'll bring ALL your might!
I wish that you’d erase it all, at least I wish you would,
And yet the Bible says that you will turn all things for good.
And so I pray, Lord, for your strength and that you’ll see me through.
But could it be the answer is...
CONTROL BELONGS TO YOU?