Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pooh Sticks

The creek was overflowing, flooding the woods on either side.

The children were watching television; neglected, bored, ornery and starting to fight.

I burst into the room.

"Get your coats on!"


"Quick! Let's go play Pooh Sticks!"

They scrambled. None of them had a memory of that old Winnie the Pooh video we used to watch when they were toddlers. There was just something about my sudden urgency, and the name....Pooh Sticks!....they pulled on boots, mittens and followed me as I dashed out the door.

I ran down the slope of the front yard to the road and they all tumbled after me, calling, "What are we doing? What's Pooh Sticks? Wait!"

I got to the end of our driveway and a few more yards to the barriers on Kalamink Creek, and stopped.

"Oooh," they said. It was flowing fast. I jumped into the woods and broke off some dead twigs - five of them. Working so fast that they couldn't think of questions, I passed them out.

"This is Pooh Sticks," I said, leaning over the barrier, watching the water rush underneath the road, and holding out my stick.

"Oh!" they understood, lining up on either side of me and dangling their sticks over the edge.

"On the count of three, drop your Pooh Stick," is all I said.

One, two, three. Now!

Dropping my stick I dashed over to the other side of the road and leaned over the edge. They followed, stomping along in too-big boots, breathless from running and the cold. We waited silently, tensely, until a stick appeared.

"I won!" Someone yelled, and then,
"I'm second!"
"Where's mine?"
"Over there!"
"You're last!!!"
and then,
"Let's do it again!"

Oh, simple pleasures. Even the 15 year old trudged after us and dropped his stick in, and laughed, pleased to see it appear on the other side of the bridge.

Thanks, Pooh.


Unkarik said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I so want to play Pooh Sticks with you. DO NOT play "poo sticks" with your brother Bill as I am afraid the game is quite different, involving cow pies,a large barn wall and the discovery that sticks is also a verb. Continue capturing the concert of the simple. Bravo!

cjs said...

and the mother of the year award goes to.....


Molly said...

That sounds like so much fun! But...ummm...I think you need a different name for that game, hahaha :)

Kulio said...



Diane said...

Ok, maybe its because we've been stuck in the house together for too many days, but I'm picturing my children playing this game. "That's not your stick - its mine!" "Her stick is bigger than mine, MOM!" and the ever popular "I'm cold!" said in a very whiny voice.

That last one might have been me.

Joann said...

Diane, I was thinking the same thing!! ha! Somehow these things always work perfectly for Heather.

riahbell said...

i remember ittt!when ever me and kennna go to my g&gs house we playyyy!

kool kenna said...

Yeah except the rivers always too slow so my stick never makes it under the bridge. I want to play it with you sometime.