Characters Environments 
Author Marian Parisher-Nichols
Poems and short stories, free to read.
"When I write, I shoot from the hip!"

Sammy, the Happy Scarecrow

Greetings every one, I would like to tell you a little tale, a tale about a scarecrow.  Now this tale happened on October 31, All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as it were.  A day that turned out to be very magical indeed..  

It is middle of the afternoon; the skies are grey, the wind brisk, and in a lonely meadow with dried corn stalks and bright orange pumpkins stood a scarecrow.  He had kept the pesky crows from stealing old farmer Brown’s crop of roasting ear corn, and pumpkins.  Pumpkins that would be used this Halloween for jack-o-lanterns and at Thanksgiving to make sweet pumpkin pies.

A long yellow school bus left dust trails as it came closer to Sammy’s lonely meadow.  Now this was Sammy’s first year at guarding the fields, why he wasn’t even one year old yet, so this was something new for him.  ‘What is going to happen,’ he thought.

He soon learned.  Happy children piled out of the bus and with the help of their teacher and old Farmer Brown, each child picked a pumpkin.  They would make jack-o-lanterns from them.  Well this made Sammy smile, why he was so happy that he laughed.  Laugh?  Why he had never done that before.  Before he could only hang from his post, not say a word or moved a leg, unless of course the wind gave him a little help.  Then he would look as if he could dance, but it wasn’t he, it was only the wind.

But this laughter was loud, and everyone stopped and looked at each other.  One little girl with big blue eyes, short dark blond hair named Lauren spoke, “Miss Vick, where did that sound come from.”

Miss Vick taught the third grade at Williford School, she was much loved by all her students, and she shook her head and said, “Why I have not the slightest notion, Lauren.  Farmer Brown, was that you that laughed so loud?”

Well, let me tell you, old Farmer Brown was a happy enough fellow but he never, not ever, gave way to fits of laughter.  “Why no, Miss Vick, it wasn’t me.”

Another child spoke up, a little red headed boy that the class called DJ.  (Lauren liked DJ)

 “Miss Vick,” he said softly, “I think it was that thing over there.”

“What thing, DJ?” asked Miss Vick.

At that question, the whole class pointed towards Sammy and said, “The Scarecrow!”

“Don’t be silly, children.  Scarecrows don’t laugh.  They can’t laugh!  Why, it is impossible.  Just no way.”

Another little girl named Erica, with black braids tied with colorful ribbon joined Lauren, wrapped her arm through Lauren’s arm, and whispered, “Lauren, I am scared.  ‘Cause I heard that thing laugh too.”

Lauren whispered back, “Don’t be Erica.  If the scarecrow laughed then that means he is a happy scarecrow.  And happy scarecrows can’t be mean.”

Well to say the least, this made Sammy’s day, of course he wasn’t a mean scarecrow, except maybe to crows, but after all that was his job, and he did it quite well, even if he did say so himself.  Sammy’s chest swelled with pride, which wasn’t a good thing because he almost lost some straw when the strings that held him together, loosened.  But never mind, he was put together fairly well and he was sure the loss of a few straws wouldn’t make or break him.

Now everyone was looking at him.  What to do?  Should he play dumb?  Should he act as if it wasn’t he?  Oh well, the cat was out of the sack as they say and Sammy decided to confess.

“Happy Halloween!” he shouted and he found he was able to raise his arms and wave at the children. 

As if on cue, every single child screamed and ran to hide behind the school bus.  Lauren and Erica hid behind Miss Vick’s skirts, with their heads peeking out from either side. 

“Hey every body,” called Sammy.  “I won’t hurt you.  Please come out.”

Old Farmer Brown and Miss Vick came nearer to Sammy.  Sammy smiled as grand as he could.  First Framer Brown scratched his chin and then walked around the scarecrow.  He felt of him here.  He felt of him there.  Sammy couldn’t help but giggle.  It tickled after all.  This scared ole Farmer Brown and he jumped away fro Sammy.

Miss Vick, with Lauren and Erica hanging onto her skirts, tiptoed closer to Sammy.  Was she trying to sneaked up on him, he wondered.

“I’ve a feeling some body pulling a prank on us,” she said.  “Come on out children.  I am sure everything is fine.  This is just a dummy and someone has wired him for sound.  Come on out and see for yourselves.”

With care, one by one, the children eased out from behind the bus.  DJ decided he was not going too looked as if he was afraid of an ole dummy, so he threw back his shoulders and thrust out his chest and taking giant steps walked right up to Sammy and said, “How do you do, Mr. Scarecrow?”

“I do very well, thank you,” replied Sammy.

DJ studied Sammy’s face, “Miss Vick!  His mouth moved.  And so did his eyes.”

“Well, I must move my mouth to talk,” said Sammy.  “And I only moved my eyes so I could see you better.”

“Miss Vick!” yelled DJ.  “He did it again.”

Well, by now, all the children had overcome their fear and curiously set in and they gathered around Sammy.  Even Miss Vick, Lauren, and Erica came closer to see what was making the scarecrow talk and move.

“It has been such a pleasant day.  I have so enjoyed your visit with me.  This is my first year of guarding the corn and the pumpkins and I think I have done a very good job.  Although I am not one year old yet,” Sammy talks about himself.  “I couldn’t talk or move before today.  I do enjoy just hanging here and talking with all of you.  But I would enjoy it so much better if Farmer Brown would untie my back from the post.”

Well, old Farmer Brown was hiding behind the school bus, because he knew that this scarecrow was no dummy.  He wasn’t too sure what was going on and so he thought he would wait and see.  DJ stepped up, went behind Sammy, and untied the heavy rope that held the scarecrow to the post that was buried in the dirt. 

Sammy flopped down and landed on his head with his butt stuck up in the air.  A most improper pose that anyone could find themselves in.  Lauren and Erica rushed over to Sammy and taking him by his worn shirtsleeve helped him to stand.  Sammy, being a scarecrow, didn’t have any bones, only the straw to support him.  It took him a moment, like a newborn calf trying to stand for the first time, but he made it.  He was wobbly and his knees shook and his head didn’t want to stay upright, but all in all, he got the hang of it and was soon walking around the meadow with all the children gather close to him. 

No one questioned again, why or how a scarecrow could walk and talk; they just accepted it for what it was and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.  They carved their jack-o-lantern and they even made one for Sammy.  They stuck a flashlight inside of it and it grin a crooked smile.  All too soon, it was timed to go; they gave Sammy a ‘goodbye’ kiss and got onto the bus.  But Lauren, well she shed a tear and hugged her new friend, for she knew that this magic would only last until midnight, then Sammy would returned to his old self,  just hang from his post and scared away the crows.  Until next year that is.

The End

By Man

10/20/2004

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