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Wolfer Diggs - A Thanksgiving Short Story-creative writing

Updated on December 11, 2011
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Wolfer Diggs


“We didn’t find nothin’, Hiram.”

Joe Grissom had been sheriff since territorial days, because he kept the peace and always brought in his man, but now he stood shamefaced in front of Hiram and Nellie Folsom. Joe turned to a tearful Nellie.

“There’s a good two foot of snow on, Ma’am and there ain’t a track to be seen.”

That morning, Hiram Folsom had risen before dawn to tend to the milking, and four year old Millie Folsom had gone to the barn with her father, in the midst of a light snow. One of the barn cats was nursing a new litter in the hay, and Millie was enthralled with the kittens. But soon enough, the cold was nipping at her small toes, so her father walked her to the barn door and watched as she headed for the pre-dawn lantern lights showing in the kitchen window. Satisfied, he returned to his milking.

Two hours later, he trudged across the frozen barnyard in the early morning sun to the warmth of the house, shaking off the dusting of snow in the mud room. Nellie placed a hot cup of coffee on the table for him and glanced behind her husband.

“Where’s Millie?”

The light dusting of snow on the hard ground revealed no tracks, and a quick search of the outbuildings revealed no trace of the missing child. Hiram had to force a now frantic Nellie to don her winter clothing before she ran to the fields in search of her missing daughter. He saddled a horse and rode quickly to town to organize a search party.

Sheriff Grissom reckoned that a child Millie’s age and size could not have walked more than a couple miles an hour at best, which placed her within ten miles of the farm at most. Marvin Hardy’s tracking hounds picked up her scent in the barnyard easily enough, but lost it after that, giving no indication of which direction to take.

“This snow will help us, if she’s moving, so watch for tracks. Space yourselves out far enough to cover ground, but not so far that you might miss her. We’ll circle the farm and then move out farther and circle again.”

The big sheriff paused and watched Hiram bringing Nellie in from the fields. He looked at the sky and shook his head.

“We have to find her today, men. Tomorrow will be too late”

The men in the search party nodded. They all remembered the day Jacob Fry got lost in a blizzard, walking from the barn to the house. They found him during an early thaw, under a drift, and not a hundred feet from the house.

The gray sky thickened, and the light snow became heavier. The temperature quickly dropped ten degrees, and the searchers put their collars up against the quickening wind. No one said anything, but they all knew that a norther was blowing in, and what that meant to a small child, lost and alone on the prairie.

By late afternoon, the search had widened to nearly eight miles from the farm, and the snow was falling in earnest. Hundreds of tracks were examined, but none were those of a small child. In the dwindling light of late afternoon, the sheriff gathered up his search party and sent them home. Then he rode back to the Folsom farm to admit defeat.

Now he stood uncomfortably before the parents, hat in hand. Emily Grissom, the Sheriff’s wife, stood with an anguished Nellie, her large arm around her shoulders. She had driven a wagon from town, with food and supplies for the search party, but the mounting blizzard now had them all trapped at the farm.

While the men tended to the evening chores, the women busied themselves with supper, welcoming the diversion of work. Nellie was now dry-eyed, but her face was haunted. Millie had been warmly dressed, but she had not eaten all day, and food was essential to keeping warm in the winter. Outside, the blowing snow increased, and the wail of the wind took on a sinister note.

Supper was subdued, with Nellie picking listlessly at her food. Joe Grissom and Emily glanced at each other but said nothing. Hiram was deep in thought, eating his food mechanically. At last he spoke.

“It don’t make no sense. Millie was well on her way to the house, and she done it many times before, so why would she go off somewhere else? It just don’t make no sense.”

Sheriff Joe sat back in his chair and regarded Hiram Folsom.

“Maybe your dog took off after a rabbit. Maybe she followed. Or maybe she followed that cat somewhere.”

Hiram shook his head.

“No. The cat was nursing her litter, and old Prince was sleeping where he always does. It just don’t make no sense, Joe.”

“We’ll start looking for her again, come morning, Hiram.”

Sheriff Joe glanced at Nellie, who was looking down at her hands, saying nothing.

“I’ll have the whole search party back out at first light, Nellie. We ain’t give up. Not by any measure. “

Nellie raised her head and gazed steadily at Sheriff Joe Grissom.

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, Joe. It would be fitting to find my Millie.”

Hiram banked the fire, while Joe and Emily climbed up into the loft for the night. Nellie was still silent, but her haunted eyes spoke of her motherly despair and anguish. Somewhere, out there in the South Dakota badlands, was her baby, alone and frightened.

If she was still alive.

Hiram Folsom was a craftsman, so the cabin he had built was snug and warm, a realization that brought little comfort to the four adults. Outside, the wind picked up again, and moaned under the eaves. The driven snow pelted the walls, and Hiram put his arm around his wife to comfort her. She did not respond.

2

Big Joe Grissom was dreaming of a dog sled, being pulled along by a yapping team, when he felt Emily pulling on his arm.

“Something’s out there, Joe! Hiram is already up and getting dressed.”

Over the shriek of the wind, he could hear old Prince, barking frantically at something, and the agitated horses were also making a racket in the stables. He grabbed his pants and coat and started to dress.

Hiram was already dressed, and lighting lanterns when Joe came down from the loft. The two men looked at each other and checked the loads in their rifles.

“Could be wolves, or maybe a bear. Sam Johnson saw one down by Spider Creek, just last month.”

The Sheriff shook his head. “Could be, but most critters have better sense than to be out in weather like this. They’ll be holed up, most likely.” At the pained look on Hiram’s face, Joe instantly regretted his remark. Millie was out there, somewhere.

Hiram tried to lift the bar, but the door was jammed. Joe pushed the door back against the wind while Hiram worked the bar back and forth, until it suddenly came free. They eased the door open, and were rewarded by a blast of frigid air and blowing snow. Hiram had cleared a path earlier, but there was now an additional foot of snow, and they could see a growing drift by the well house.

“Shut and bar the door behind us, Nellie, and check my spare rifle for loaded. Maybe you should put on some coffee.” He patted his wife’s shoulder and the two men stepped out the door.

They could see the well house through the snow, but not the barn. Prince had probably heard them opening the door to the house, because he had calmed down some, but the horses were still making plenty of noise. Hiram shouted in Joe’s ear over the shriek of the wind.

“We’ll walk to the well house, and from there, we can probably see the barn.”

Both men knew the danger of losing their direction in such a blizzard. More than one man had lost his life that way, and they were both remembering Jacob Fry.

They reached the well house, and from there, they could just make out the shape of the barn. Hiram had started to move forward when he felt Joe grab his arm, and point to his right. For a moment, he saw nothing, but then, in the pale yellow light of the lanterns, the shape of a large gray wolf materialized out of the gloom. He pulled off his mitten with his teeth, and raised his rifle.

“Hold up, there, dammit! Just you hold up.”

The voice was deep and guttural, and the speaker was at first unseen. Both men peered intently into the white curtain of blowing snow, and then saw a huge shape loom out of the murk, made even larger by the heavy buffalo coat he wore.

He was a monster of a man. Sheriff Grissom was an easy two inches over six feet, and he found himself looking up at the figure standing before him. The man’s face was covered by a long, ebony beard, which flowed halfway down his coat, and his uncut hair covered his shoulders. He was wearing a heavy fur headpiece that Joe guessed was the skin of a wolverine. His massive buffalo coat came almost to his knees, and his feet were covered with handmade, fur lined boots, laced up to his knees.

Sheriff Grissom nodded at the man. “Hello Wolfer.” He turned to Hiram. “This here is Wolfer Diggs, Hiram.”

Wolfer Diggs was a local legend. He made his living as a trapper, and from the bounty paid on wolves. He also made out on an occasion beef or horse that the owner wasn’t watching very closely.

Seldom seen, he had a reputation as a man to be left strictly alone. No one knew where he lived, and the rumor was that he had a cave somewhere in the foothills. He was also rumored to have killed several men, although that was mostly just talk, in Sheriff Grissom’s opinion.

The one man he was known to have killed was Grub Baker, the man who had bothered and murdered Wolfer’s squaw. When Wolfer caught up with him in Deadwood, a frantic Baker was seen shooting into Wolfer twice, and at point blank range, but Wolfer just kept coming. He grabbed Baker and crushed him in a massive bear hug, breaking his back. He then dumped his lifeless body on the street and walked away without a word.

Sheriff Grissom jerked his head toward the cabin.

“We had best get inside. It must be near zero out here.”

Hiram eyed the wolf. “I reckon you can put him up in the well house.”

Wolfer grunted. “He’ll make out by his ownself. He always does.”

Hiram pounded on the door. “Open up Nellie.”

The women gasped and took an involuntary step backwards as Wolfer Diggs ducked through the door and stood in front of them. Then Nellie regained her composure and offered the men some coffee. She was aware of the huge man’s eyes following her. Still standing, he began to unlace the rawhide holding his coat closed.

“Reckon this is yours, ma’am.” He opened his coat to reveal a feed sack resting on his massive stomach, supported by a leather strap around his neck. He lifted it off and placed it on the table, where he gently opened the sack to reveal little Millie Folsom, wrapped in a blanket, warm and sound asleep.

Later, Wolfer awkwardly drank coffee from his cup, obviously not used to anything so small. He was a man who missed little, and had seen the search party. At his question, another trapper had told him about the missing child.

“So when I seen that party of Sioux holed up, about ten mile yonder, I watched for a spell, and sure enough, I heard her cryin’, scared-like, so I rode on down there. Seems one of them young bucks spotted that girl while he was looking for something to steal, and the damn fool brought her back to camp. They was only too pleased to be shed of her, fearful of the Army coming after her, so I traded for her.”

“You traded for her?” Nellie had assured herself that Millie was unharmed, and placed her in her small bed. She dried her tears, and then gave Wolfer Diggs a long hug, much to his embarrassment. Now they were all seated at the table, listening to him.

“Yes, ma’am. I traded my two horses for her. And then I set out to bring her home.”

Joe and Hiram stared at him. Then Joe spoke. “You walked ten miles in a blizzard?”

Wolfer Diggs studied the rafters in thought for a moment. “I reckon. I make it to be nigh on ten, maybe eleven mile. Thereabout.”

“How did find your way in this blinding snow? Men have lost their way in less than fifty feet.”

“I ain’t never lost. I just set out and here I am.”

Hiram spoke up. “I have two good horses in the barn you can have. The bay and the dun. They’re yours, and I thank you sir.”

Emily Grissom broke her silence. “Well, it has been a hard day for all, so we should get some rest. Where do you want Mister Diggs to bed down, Nellie?”

“I’ll make out in the barn, ma’am. I ain’t used to sleeping in no bed.” Wolfer eyed the sheriff. “You got any papers on me lawman?”

Joe chuckled. “No, but I have a few irritated ranchers and farmers who think I should have!”

Nellie stood. “Then let’s go to bed. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and I‘ll have to get an early start if I’m to cook a dinner.” She turned to Wolfer. “May I ask your given name, Mister Diggs?“

Wolfer blushed. “It’s James, ma’m.”

“Well, may God bless you Mister James Diggs for bringing my daughter home, safe and unharmed. Thank you, sir.”

...

Nellie and Emily were hard at work over the cook stove when Joe and Hiram returned from doing chores. Nellie looked past them at the closed door, a question on her face.

“Where’s Mister Diggs?”

Hiram looked at Joe before replying. “Looks like he rode off in the middle of the night, Nellie. He was gone when we went to milk.”

Emily looked at Joe, and placed her hands on her hips. “Well, you just go after him and bring him back, Joe Grissom! He’s the guest of honor, and I won’t hear of him going hungry today,”

The sheriff grinned, ruefully. “Reckon I can’t go after him, Em.”

“Well, why on earth not?”

“Because when he left with the horses Hiram gave him, he stole mine for good measure!”




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    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you.

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 16 months ago from California

      Great article. Thanks for sharing it.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you RM! Probably not!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 2 years ago

      Great story and I bet the sheriff won't be taking out any warrant for his horse either!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks, Peg!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      A great read the second time around, too. I love your Western stories, Will. The dialogue really makes it real.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Linda!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Love this story! You are an amazing storyteller.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Ginn!

      BTW, people enjoyed your narrations of the stories!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Will do, Mike! ^-*

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 3 years ago

      Hey you, your timing was perfect. I had just tossed some wood in the ole wood stove (32 degrees) here and me an Wolfer Diggs enjoyed your excellent story.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill, let's get that story out of your head and down on paper where we can all see it. I miss the heck out of your frequent stories. We do need to get together soon. My new hobby is homebrew beer. In 4 weeks I will let you know if it is drinkable.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Mike, and we're doing well. I'm working on a new Thanksgiving story (still in my head).

      Say hello to Sue for me and Carolyn! Hope to see you soon.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, James, and I hope you find your little girl!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      WillStarr - This is one of my favorite stories and I appreciate you sharing it with us. The only problem is now I thirst for more of these WillStarr classics. Hope all is well at your house.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 3 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Will, your stories are so good that I didn't remember reading this one, and was just as enthralled as the first time. I have a four-year-old girl in my life "somewhere" so I really felt for the Folsums.

      Thanks, Will!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    • D.Juris Stetser profile image

      D.Juris Stetser 5 years ago from South Dakota

      I just finished your Christmas story, still wiping the tears away...and just shared on my facebook. You are an amazing and talented writer. I can't wait to read more and more! BTW are you on Facebook? Thnks again for sharing you wonderful talents. Dotti

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    • D.Juris Stetser profile image

      D.Juris Stetser 5 years ago from South Dakota

      Thanks very much for the info. love your writing! will definitely have to read your collections. Thanks again!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Oh, by all means. thank you!

      Here is a Christmas Trilogy you might like. The Bonnet is my favorite! :

      https://hubpages.com/literature/A-Christmas-Short-...

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks WillStarr, I look forward to reading them! Thank you for sharing!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you HoneyBB!

      I have two collections of short stories just like this published on Barnes and Noble. You can find them here:

      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hangman-will-s

      and here:

      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/will-starr-hired-o

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, D.Juris Stetser, and thank you!

      I have two collections of short stories just like this published on Barnes and Noble. You can find them here:

      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hangman-will-s...

      and here:

      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/will-starr-hired-o...

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 5 years ago from Illinois

      Shared Your link on my facebook page!

    • D.Juris Stetser profile image

      D.Juris Stetser 5 years ago from South Dakota

      I just love this story! Fantastic characterization and atmosphere...Voted Awesome, beautiful, interesting voted Up...so glad I found it...I'd already read your 'America' hub and was impressed...went on to discover this one, and how appropriate it, being so near Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your talents! Oh, and Sharing too, Absolutely!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, HoneyBB!

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 5 years ago from Illinois

      What an awesome Thanksgiving story. I'm so glad Little Millie was alive and well. You're a great writer. This was entertaining, well written, and the descriptions planted pictures in my mind. Thanks for sharing. Voted Up +++

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, ahorseback, and thank you!

      It is about to become part of volume two of Will Starr short stories. Volume one has already been published! :

      https://hubpages.com/literature/A-Public-Thank-You...

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      WillStarr , You realise this could be a novel , right ? I'm serious man ! I pushed all the button s and wished there were more !

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Eiddwen,

      Thank you for the kind comment!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      My gosh Will I thought that these comments were never ending for a moment.

      Easy to see why there are so many though.

      You are the kings of storytellers and I vote this one a huge up up and away.

      Here's to so many more to share on here in this New Year.

      Take care my friend and enjoy the rest of your day.

      Eddy.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, miss_jkim!

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 5 years ago

      Will, take a look at the following links.

      http://www.glimmertrain.com/

      (Check on the submissions link)

      http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-...

      (There are two competetions still open)

      http://www.pw.org/grants

      (Poets and Writers lists grants, competetions, and open solicitations)

      Good luck!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, miss_jkim!

      Most don't accept unsolicited work, but I'm hopeful!

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 5 years ago

      This is an outstanding story and very well written. Have you ever submitted any of your work to Glimmer Train or Readers Digest? If not, you should give it a try. I feel you would be well received.

      Voted up and awesome

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Cindy!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Better late than never. So glad I was able to read this one, Will. It was a wonderful story. Congratulations on your win. It was a winner in my book!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, wordscribe43!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      I've been meaning to come by and congratulate you on your win. You most certainly deserve recognition for this outstanding story, Will. You have a great gift for character development. Congrats!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Thomas! I was honored by this.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Will...

      This is a great story...congrats on your win! Excellent ending!

      Thomas

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Peg, and thank you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This story was captivating from the get go. Love your stories and your writing style. Huge congratulations on your contest win! And I loved the ending!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Susan,

      I'm happy you took the time! Thank you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Took me awhile to get over here to read your Winning Story. I am so glad I did. I really liked the ending. It did bring me shivers with all the cold. So glad that Millie was found and is safely home. Awesome and congratulations.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Martie, and thank you. Praise from you is always sweet to hear.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, writeronline,

      Thank you, but have you read Marlin 55's 'The Agency'? It is a superb story.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Movie Master, and thank you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Congratulations! This is really a superb, very well-written story. I am proud to be your follower.

    • profile image

      writeronline 5 years ago

      Hi Will, for some reason I missed this beautiful story earlier. I'm not surprised you won a prize for it. My congratulations, it's very well deserved.

      My only surprise is that it didn't win first prize. Maybe the judges were only kidding about how "the emotional power of the writing" was a fundamental aspect of the judging process. NOT to disparage anyone else's work for an instant, but there's a genuine humanity in this story that makes it 'reach out and touch' the reader in the heart. To me, that's where real emotion lives.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I had missed this one, sorry Will it's a great story and congratulations - really pleased for you.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Becky!

      ^_^

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Congratulations Will, on the award. It was well deserved.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, saddlerider1, mary615, akirchner, Ronnie, Genna, Rosemay, Sunnie, phoenixarizona, Marlin 55, Drax, rebekahELLE, and htodd for taking the time to comment!

      Much appreciated.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Wolfer Diggs..That is really a great story

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 5 years ago from Tampa Bay

      It's such fun reading these winning entries for creative writing. I love your characters and your attention to details. I was on the edge of my seat while reading and loved that Wolfer had the child wrapped in a blanket inside the feed sack. Love the ending. Congrats on you win!

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 5 years ago from NYC....

      Congratulations Will.. I could find myself on the edge of the seat through this story. I really really enjoyed it.

      Thanks very much !!

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

      WillStarr, I can see why you have so many followers. You are a very talented and gifted writer. I can easily see you work in print. Congratulations on your win. I know that I will be hearing more good things about you in the near future.

    • phoenixarizona profile image

      phoenixarizona 5 years ago from Australia

      congrats on your win Willstarr you deserve it!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      Congrats Will!...So happy for you!

      Hugs,

      Sunnie

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Congratulations Will. This story certainly deserved it. Well done

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh Will, I am soooo pleased you won! This wonderful story certainly deserved the prize. Kudos!

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I was pulling for you to win, Willstar! Great job!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

      Much deserved on your win and many congratulations~ Wonderfully done!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Congratulations! You deserved to win with this entry! Goodnight.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 5 years ago

      Congratulations WillStarr, wonderful write, you so deserved this win. Bravo.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, suziecat7!

      Of course, I would not have been here at all if not for you!

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Congratulations on your win, Bill. You certainly deserve it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Maria!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I love when 'a winner wins...'! Congratulations on an awesome story! I'm proud of you, Maria

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks, Don!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, RedElf, snakeslane, Lela, Frannie, Phoenix, JT Walters, Gail, and Don!

      At the risk of sounding like a total buffoon, what did I win? Does anyone have a link to the announcement?

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Congratulations on winning, Will.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on your well deserved win. This was an awesome story and I loved the ending!

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

      Congratulations on your win.

      JT

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 5 years ago from USA

      Congratulations Mr.Starr!

    • Frannie Dee profile image

      Frannie Dee 5 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

      So glad to hear this story won! Well deserved Will.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Congratulations, Will. This was one of the best stories of the bunch! Write on!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 5 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on your prize winning story WillStar, well done! Regards, snakeslane

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      Wow - excellent story! I certainly enjoyed your "scribblings."

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Alastar Packer, and thank you for the kind words!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Simply awesome WillStarr. One of the best I've read.

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      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Yep.

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "... it's a mother instinct thing, I guess."

      It is, but even mothers make horrible mistakes.

      A friend's daughter here in the Phoenix area had a change in daily routine that caused her to forget that her baby daughter was not at day care, as usual, but was sleeping in the car seat. By the time it dawned on her, her only child was dead in the Arizona heat.

      The media heaped scorn on her, and called for her head, but we knew that she was actually a very devoted mom who made a fatal error.

      A family member checked on her toddler son, who was taking a nap. She answered a phone call, and then checked again, to find him missing. He was discovered in their above the ground pool, drowned.

      It happens.

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      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I was thinking I might, after reading your hub.

      I got that you were trying to convey his concern. But I am a mother. Nothing but either walking her back himself or seeing her enter and close the door would have worked for me, and that would have shut down the entire story, haha. I used to watch my best friend walk home when I was five years old. She wasn't really there until I saw her wave and disappear inside her front door. While I watched her, my mother was watching me from our picture window... it's a mother instinct thing, I guess.

      If I do write the story, I will let you know. Thanks for your interest and for a hub real enough to complain about.

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, SilverGenes,

      The lack of sawmills resulted in the thousands of log cabins in the early west. They could be quickly erected with a minimum of tools, and, when the cracks between the logs were well chinked with a mixture of mud and straw, they were fairly cozy, if the fire was kept up.

      Most had hard packed, earthen floors, and the wise husband put in a stone or wooden floor as soon as possible.

      I too, long for the nostalgia and comfort of a log cabin...with a floor of course!

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Barb,

      I tried to convey her father's watchful concern until he felt assured that she was safe. We all make such mistakes, and most of us get away with it. Sometimes, we do not, and have to pay the price.

      Happily, a known scoundrel saved the day.

      I would very much like to hear the story of your grandmother's tragic loss. You should write it up as a Hub.

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      SilverGenes 5 years ago

      Will, everything about this story is so good! The characters are full of life - the cold and snow are all so real and the ending is just beautiful for Thanksgiving on any day. I want to move into that cabin! :-)

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      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Hey Will, another very real, touching tale.

      I realized as I read the first bit, that I was astonished and angry at the father for allowing his daughter to walk back to the house, knowing that folk froze too often, in similar situations. I could not believe that he would do this. I suppose his wife felt the same way. It made me understand why couples divorce when such things happen in real life. Forgiveness for such a devastating slip, would require overwhelming love. (Did I ever tell you how my grandmother lost a baby while birthing my mom and her twin during a North Dakota December?)

      I was relieved (and somewhat amused) to discover she was safe, and loved your signature surprise ending.

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Sueswan!

      We are all flawed, including a man who walked ten miles in a blizzard to return a child to her mother, only to steal some horses.

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      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Will

      A great Thanksgiving story.

      Who cares if Wolfer Diggs stole the sherrif's horse. lol He brought back Millie.

      Hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving.

      Voted up and awesome.

      Enjoy your day.

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Genna,

      Looking forward to another one from you!

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, feenix!

      Happy to lead you astray, my friend!

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      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Because when he left with the horses Hiram gave him, he stole mine for good measure!”

      Just the right touch of dry humor to end this great story, Will. Your characters are sooo human; they are full of texture and character; we believe them and like them almost immediately. Up and awesome!

    • feenix profile image

      feenix 5 years ago

      Hey, Will,

      Very good Thanksgiving story. And I was really worried about little Millie. You really had me going there.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Suzie!

      And what a great story you wrote! Wow!:

      https://hubpages.com/literature/For-Her-Own-Good

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      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I had to read a good Thanksgiving story and I just did. Thank you.

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I never thought of that!

      No, my Aunt Ruby died many years before that song came out.