A Bucket of Water

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

March 28, 2019

A familiar item found around the world and throughout time– a bucket of water. And just as common — a Harry Belefonte song, Hole in the Bucket.

No matter how familiar, creative writers can shape the ordinary into remarkable stories.

The following are based on the March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water.

PART I (10-minute read)

Note to the Netherworld by Violet Lentz

When I abandoned all aspects of self, and melted into you, I thought, how can I lose you, if there is no distinction between where you end, and I begin?

So when I lost you, still impervious to the fact that I was ever a whole person without you, I built a life on the foundation of your loss.

Recently I remembered, I once had a bucket list all my own. I checked off Aurora Borealis in February, and I am prepared to check off the second entry next month.

No, I haven’t forgotten you- I just remembered me.


Sunrise Brings Hope by Ruchira

“Wake up!” mom nudged her hard enough to make her sit upon her bed.

After a big yawn, and a stretch Prema walked with empty buckets in her hand towards a destination where the water truck would station.

While she waited in a queue for the truck to arrive, ‘Despite no water in our pipes, Life is beautiful.’ she muttered as she saw how the sun broke the spell of darkness with one drop of shine at a time.

She brought the two buckets of water to her cottage with the intention that the water crisis will end soon.


Water Wastage by The Dark Netizen

I was shocked at the spectacle I was watching.

People were running around on the street, in a dust-storm of colours, flinging water at each other. They were tossing water from their houses, many storeys high, at the chaotic crowd below. The people were throwing water balloons and using guns to squirt streams of water all around. Nobody seemed to care about the water that they were wasting. If only they knew what us village folk have to bear. I was almost in tears, but I held them back.

I knew the cost of a single bucket of water…


More Precious than Gold by Norah Colvin

The children observed the bucket.

Teacher explained, “Let’s find out about what’s in the bucket. Ask only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Do not say what you think it is.”

“Is it wet?” “Yes.”

“Is it a liquid?” “Yes.”

“Is it heavy?” “Try.” “Yes.”

“Do we drink it?” “Does it come from clouds?” “Does it make puddles?”

“Yes. Yes. Yes.”

“Is it more precious than gold?”

“Don’t be stupid,” spluttered Andy. “It’s water!”

Teacher glared. Andy’s smirk dissolved.

Ahmed looked squarely at Andy. “In my country… “

Teacher closed the book. Ahmed’s lesson was more effective than any she’d prepare.


The Penrose Conundrum by Geoff Le Pard

‘My bloody mother.’

‘What’s she done now?’

‘She asked me to take her car for a service…’


‘…so I was in a rush to get to the Post Office to pick up her letter, which had her new credit card in it and she had to sign for it…’

‘…which meant you needed the car to take her…’

‘…who’s telling this…?’

‘…but you couldn’t get it without her paying by her new card…’

‘…has she been talking to you?’

‘Only you…’

‘It’s my dear Liza moment…’

‘…I was thinking Catch 22…’

‘… and there lies the difference between us…’

Author’s Note: dear liza moment: see Harry Belafonte’s song there’s a hole in my bucket
Penrose conundrum: a reference to the Penrose steps drawn by MC Escher


At the Well by Leara Nicole Morris-Clark

I opened my eyes to blinding sun. I pulled the rope, hoping to finish before anyone noticed.

I was startled by a man leaning against the well. Had he been there?

“Let me.” He took my burden before I could respond. He poured the bucket into my pot. The water flowed until it was full.

“How did you…it takes three times for that container.”

I stared at refreshing water inside the vessel. “Have faith. You’ll do great things.”

I looked up. He was gone.

Somehow, I now held the bucket. I opened my eyes. Morning rays infiltrated my room.


Letting by D. Avery

Robert trotted right past his little brother without seeing him. Before Thomas could follow, his father called for him.

“Yes, Pa?”

“Thomas, I need an extra pair of hands. Bring those buckets there and come around the back of the barn.”

“Yes Pa. Pa? I thought you didn’t want me helpin’ with that chore yet.”

“Looks like I need you now. You know it’s got to be done, right Thomas?”

“ I know. Them pigs was always meant to feed us.”

“That’s right Thomas. And Thomas? I don’t want you pesterin’ Robert no more for stories about the war.”


Bucket of Water by Macy Brown

Sweat drenched Elsie’s shirt as she lugged the overflowing bucket of water up the steep hill that her cottage sat upon. She was annoyed she had to do this two days in a row since Sasha decided to disappear into town when it was her turn to collect water from the river to take care of their sick father.

“Here Papa, drink up.” she said to him as she walked into their living room where he laid on his make shift bed in front of the fire.

If only they could afford a warmer house, maybe he’d get better.


Water is Life by SusanSleggs

Ezra sat waiting for his wife to come home from the field hospital. He had fed their children bacon, biscuits slathered with butter and wild berry jam, and fresh cow’s milk for supper. The garden wasn’t yet producing vegetables, but it would in a few weeks. Keeping it weed free was something he could manage even with his wounds. When Louise finally arrived on horseback, he offered her dinner.

“No,” she said. “Just water. Cold, fresh and clear water.”

Their eldest ran to fetch a bucket of water from the stream, careful not to muddy it while doing so.


Wet Monday by Goldie

In silence. Side by side. Grandma knitting and grandpa reading the paper.

“Papa, how did you meet Nana?”

He turned towards her, but she didn’t even flinch.

He folded the paper in half three times and said:
“If you think your grandmother is beautiful today, imagine her when she was twenty” – he said and looked at her again.

Blush crept onto her cheeks, but she remained unperturbed.

“Monday after Easter, I dumped a bucket of ice-cold water on her while she was still in bed.”

“Stupid old traditions” – she said with a smile and went right back to knitting.


The Banty and the Bucket by Faith A. Colburn

I was headed to the chicken house with a bucket of water when the banty rooster attacked my bare legs. It wasn’t the first time. I grabbed and caught him. We looked each other in the eye. I ducked his head in the water. We had another staring contest. He didn’t look remorseful. I ducked him again. He still didn’t blink. After the third waterboarding, he fluffed up his feathers and strutted off. I can’t say he stopped spurring—my son his shirt pulled up, changing a tire, my daughter any time she left the house. He avoided me.


When It Felt Full (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Unable to stop smiling, Danni bought a galvanized steel water bucket. After twelve years of studying, summer digs, teaching undergrads, and crediting her work to advisors, Danni had completed her Ph.D. She promptly married Ike and bought a horse.

“I was thinking we might need a house,” Ike said, staring up at the stars above their sleeping bags.

“We can find a barn by winter.”

“Mrs. Gordon, we need more than a barn.”

Ike’s uncle sold them his small spread when he moved to town. Danni’s bucket of water felt full for ten years. Until Iraq poked a hole.


Centered by D. Avery

I am the Moon that orbits the Earth
I am the Earth; I am her Oceans that gather Moon’s beams

I am the woman who gathers water
I am the woman whose water breaks

I am the woman who carries water
Who nourishes, who cleanses, who sustains the child

I am the child who swings the bucket in play
Denying gravity with centripetal force

I am the child who gathers gifts from oceans
Who collects moonbeams in the bucket

I am the Child become the Woman who gathers water
Becomes the Oceans becomes the Moon becomes a centered force.


Tumbling Tale by Kerry E.B. Black

The condensation trickled down the side of the bucket mimicked sweat slicking the sibling’s reddened faces.

The eldest swiped her forehead. “Carry that, J.J.”

He whined, “No way, Jilly-bean! You’re stronger.”

“How do you think I got strong? Chores.”

He pouted.

She shrugged. “You know, Dad’s the kingdom’s giant killer. He doesn’t want a scrawny namesake.”

“Fine.” He groaned and hefted. After a few steps, his feet entangled, and he tumbled down the hill.

She darted to help, slipped on the spilled water, and rolled after.

At the bottom, she consoled, “You know, this’ll make an interesting tale.”


Bucket of Water by Robbie Cheadle

The four boys emerged from the sandpit looking like sand monsters. Sand matted their fair hair and stuck like a second, gritty skin to their bodies and swimming costumes.

Earlier, the three bigger boys had dragged the hosepipe over to the giant sandpit and run water into holes dug into the sand. They burrowed into the resultant mud like baby hippos.

Mom laughed when she saw them. “It’s time to clean up.”

She reappeared with a bucket filled with soapy water. “Get in, Michael, and rinse that sand off. I’ll squirt the rest of you down with the hosepipe.”


Three Plastic Buckets by Papershots

They must both work downtown, but downtown is big. So the suburban rail carries them both in, briefcases and all. They must see a bit of the country in between the dark tunnels, which is “quite something” now that the sun rises early. Once off the train at the Northern Junction they go their separate ways. A have-a-good-day kiss never seemed so week-daily real amidst the morning rush, dusty litter swirling in the breeze and the three (red, blue and green) plastic buckets where the dripping water off the humid station walls sets a rhythm nobody pays attention to.


Waterfall by Sarah Whiley

The staccato rhythm on the roof became a dull roar.

It was really coming down and the children’s focus had wandered from their work to the window.

“It’s just a little rain, we’ve all seen it before,” I redirected, whilst simultaneously reaching for the bucket for the roof’s long-standing leak.

“Honestly”, I thought, “how hard was it for the school to fix this issue?”

I watched with horror and awe, as it soon overflowed and the roof began to bow.

With a crash, the roof caved in and I witnessed my first ever indoor waterfall… right in my classroom!


A Basket of Water by Sarah Unsicker

At the shallow river, she hoists the worn basket of water onto her head. The basket her mother mended this morning. The basket carries the weight of her worry. The child walking by her feet, his stomach protruding with malnourishment, trembles with exhaustion. Stone soup will not carry him another day.

She stumbles over a tree root. Catches herself and the water that splashes. The child laughs weakly – music she has not heard in days. The splashes reveal an egg, precious protein for the soup. With some leaves and roots, there will be dinner tonight. Tomorrow is another day.


Lizard Lake (from “Crater Lakes”) by Saifun Hassam

By late spring, the well near Lizard Lake was stone dry. Jagged cracks ran along the edges of the drying muddy lake. Lizards basked on the pebbly shores. The drying marsh was rich in grubs, larvae and buzzing insects, attracting blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.

Jeff watched the changing scene from the old log house on the lower ridge. Marta Jensen and her family once lived here. An underground spring still fed a backyard well. In her journals, Marta wrote of the dry seasons when a bucket of water from the wells was a gift to be treasured.


My Bucket by Anita Dawes

Sacred water, the giver of life
we do everything with it
bathe, clean windows, wash cars
Leave a bowl out for the birds
Christen our new borns
As children, we splash in it
laughing and screaming getting soaking wet
We go boating on a summer afternoon
hand held over the side
Gentle water slipping through our fingers
Hidden trails of water beneath our feet
The Hindu God of Oceans, Varuna
Salty water, secret life below
Water is calm and violent
we cannot do without it
It sustains all life, take time
to bless the magic that falls on us…


PART II (10-minute read)

Trip to the Well by H.R.R. Gorman

Sally lugged the bucket of water up from the well.  Her hands stung from the day of labor, but the taskmaster wouldn’t ease up.  She picked up the pail and carried it while the foreman fiddled with his whip.

Struggling to remain standing, Sally tripped and spilled half the water in the bucket.  She chanced a look at the foreman, hoping emptily that the foreman hadn’t noticed.

Scared of the whip, she dumped the bucket and ran towards the foreman.  She placed the empty bucket over his head, punched him in the gut, and took off for the Railroad.


Ambrosia by Sascha Darlington

Despite Ranger nipping my heels, I followed the butterfly until it fluttered onto something putrid and not for the first time marveled how a beautiful creature feeds upon death.

The net result of my ill-advised venture was that I was lost.

The breeze kicked wood smoke toward me, so I followed a deer trail toward the smoke and an old piecemeal cabin.

A twangy voice asked, “You lost?”

I nodded.

“Road’s that way.”

“Do you have water?”

The gnarled woman pointed toward a well.

I raised the bucket. Nothing I imagined could prepare me for the cold sweet ambrosia.


Water Rationing by Miriam Hurdle

“This is the third year we suffer from the drought.” The Hubby said.

“The temperature was above 100o Fahrenheit for six weeks, too hot.” The Wife sighed.

“The city announced water rationing, limits watering the lawn to twice a week, no hosing the driveway.”

“How do we wash our cars?”

“Use buckets of water.”

“How do you wash the top of your SUV? The city doesn’t know if you use the water hose.”

“There must be a way of monitoring.”

“Well, I know. You can still use the water hose, just put a bucket of water by the car.”


Surprise! by Joanne Fisher

“Do you really think a bucket of water is going to harm me?” the vampire asked as they approached me smirking and sizing me up as their next meal.

I smiled and casually emptied the bucket of water all over them. As they slowly began to burn I watched the look of surprise on their face as they realised they had made a major mistake.

“A bucket of water? No. A bucket of holy water on the other hand? Yes!” I replied as they quickly ran away leaving a trail of smoke and ash. They wouldn’t trouble me again.


Transformation by Coleen Chesebro

I stared into the bucket of water expecting to see my own image stare back at me. Instead, the image of a Rusalka water nymph wavered within the watery depths. Her eyes glinted with green fire and her golden hair drifted around her shoulders.

She slipped from the water and stood before me clothed only in the gray mists that circled the banks of the river.

“Come, friend. I’ll show you the way.”

“The way?”

“You died before your time, and now you’ve transformed into a Rusalka water nymph.”

“I’m dead?”

“Of course. You belong to the river now.”


Bull’s Eye by Abhijit

“if you want Draupadi’s hand in marriage,” Arjuna was told, “ hit the fish eye, on the other side of circling wheel, all by looking at its reflection in water.”

“do you see wheel, and eye of the fish, mighty Arjuna?”

“Yes master, I do,”

“Pierce the eye, now!”

Of all assembled royalties from all over Aryabarta, Arjuna alone managed the feat and won Draupadi’s hands in marriage.

Another, equally capable man, suta putra Karna, was not allowed to compete for not being born in a royal family.

Who did Draupadi want? Karna or Arjuna? We may never know!


Speaking To Me by John Rieber

“The Anishinaabekwe agree that Nibi speaks. But they want us to understand that we must first speak to her.”

I had never heard this before. A name for water: “Nibi”. So how do you speak to it? Staring at the ocean, I sensed its power and peacefulness in equal measure. I grabbed a bucket, ran to the edge and filled it full of briny, icy cold water. I dipped my fingers in it, I waited for a sign, but everything was quiet, still. I was disappointed for a moment, then thought that perhaps that was the point after all.


Following Elephants by Sally Cronin

The young boy raised the heavy tin bucket full of dusty liquid onto the rolled up shirt on his head. Both hands steadied the precious cargo as he watched the herd of elephants moving slowly off into the sunset. He had followed them all day from his village across the parched earth, knowing they were creatures capable of finding the most hidden of watering holes. They had led them to this ancient secret spring; a life-giving find for his village. He turned and retraced his steps homeward, cloaked in the dangerous predator filled dusk. Today his family would drink.


Buckets by FloridaBorne

His beard reached to his chest, touching a faded flannel shirt. I held tight to my backpack, thankful the truck with my furniture had waited out the hurricane in another state.

“Where ya from, girl,” he asked, rowing along a suburban street.

“Originally, I lived in Arizona. I just returned from two years with the Peace Corps in Mali, where I lived in a hut. The place was so dry I walked three miles each day for a bucket of water. I swore I’d never live in a desert again.”

“Better watch out what you wish for,” he chuckled.


That Winter by Joanne Fisher

There had been a snow warning so I stocked up on milk and bread. By the time I got home thick clumps of snowflakes were falling. I turned on the heater, made dinner and settled in for a cosy night in my warm living room, but it was not to be. There was a phone call saying the workshop had sprung leaks in the roof and so within a short time I was back at work emptying endless buckets of icy water in an unheated workspace all night. The rest of that winter I was sick with the flu.


Fetching Water by Michael B. Fishman

At the top of the hill Jack watched Jill bending over to fill the bucket with water. His eyes roamed over the seams of her denim cut-offs. His mind roamed the ample flesh hiding beneath.

Jill straightened. “What’re you looking at?”


“Nothing is right,” she said as she poured the water over Jack’s head. “Now you fill it.”

A dripping Jack filled the bucket, turned, lost his balance and started rolling down the hill.

“Help me!”

Jill, reaching to help, stumbled, lost her own balance and tumbled after Jack. And the rest, my friend, is nursery rhyme history.


Farmer Henry by Chelsea Owens

Liza’s dad waited ‘nside the barn; toe tappin’, scowl deepenin’. Where was that girl? He’d sent ‘er ten minutes ago ‘n hadn’t seen hide nor hair since.

“Uhmmmooobreuhhh,” lowed Maybelle.

He patted the cow. “I know, girl. I know.”

Right as ‘e settled on fetchin’ ‘is daughter, a glimpse a somethin’ yeller showed in the winder. Shore ‘nough, ’twas Liza. She weren’t movin’ fast, which perplexed the farmer.

“Liza!” he holler’d. “Whatcha dallyin’ fer?”

Sniffin’ and silent, she showed ‘im what she’d bin sent after.


Ashes of the Truth by TN Kerr

Kenny hitched his trousers up and plopped on the front porch couch. A cloud of red dust rose up; some settled back on his Momma’s old Chesterfield, while the rest got picked up by the breeze and carried away.

He sat for a while watching the clouds roll in. When he was sure it was gonna rain he went and fetched the old galvanized bucket with the broken bail from beneath the sink. He sat the bucket in the bedroom directly below the ceiling stain.

Tonight he would say his prayers and ask for cash to fix the roof.


Surfs Up by calmkate

Dad was ever the larrikin, always up for a practical joke and his favourite involved a bucket of fresh seawater. After his early morning dip he’d return to camp with his bucket full then select his targets.

My cousins were all older teens and early twenties trying to sleep off their late night capers … no idea what as I was too young.

Then he would whip their bedclothes back and douse them in water calling out “surfs up!” This gave the others a slim warning that he was on his rounds. He had zero tolerance for ‘lazy bones’.


Yuck by Annette Rochelle Aben

She always hated camping. The bugs, sleeping on the ground and the weird outhouse bathrooms. Yuck! Here at her grandfather’s place just outside of Bouche, Quebec, Canada, they may have been in a cabin, but it was still like camping. Hauling water in a bucket from the lake to wash dishes, to cook with and with wash your hands before meals. Yuck!
And there was that hateful outhouse! Only during the day, of course. At night, there were buckets in each of the two bedrooms. Buckets that had to be washed out the next day before hauling the water.


Well I Never! by Di @ pensitivity101

We are more into barrels than buckets these days, but before hosepipes and rain catchers, the bucket was a familiar and important part of our camping gear.

We had two, one black and one orange. It was important to remember which colour was for what, and as far as I can remember nobody got it wrong.

It was my job to collect the water in the orange bucket for washing and drinking.

I filled it to the brim and carried it back to the tent, not understanding why it wasn’t very heavy.

I will never live down the song.


Chester Has a Little Problem by Molly Stevens

“Why is there a bucket of water in the bathroom?” said Ruth.

“There’s a little problem with flushing the toilet,” said Chester.

“Fiddling with the handle is a ‘little’ problem. Not being able to flush without a bucket is a big problem!”

“Relax. I’m plannin’ to fix it as soon as March Madness is over.”

Ruth walked over to the television and unplugged the cable box.

“Woman! What are you doin’? LSU and Maryland are tied, and there’s only two seconds left to play!”

“I believe your ticket to The Big Dance is waiting for you at Home Depot.”


The Big Leak by Ritu Bhatha;

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Colin lay on the bed, trying his hardest to sleep but the incessant dripping noise was keeping him from his beauty sleep.

He’s already emptied the bucket, just before going to bed, though it sounded like it would be full of more rainwater before long, and he’d have to dispose of it again.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

It was typical that a leak had to spring now, during the rainiest of seasons, with a hurricane brewing, when no roofer was willing to risk his life to patch up a few shingles on his roof.

Drip. Drip. Drip.


It’s Nippy in the Florist’s by Anne Goodwin

After an hour, I texted Mum: Can you bring my padded coat?

The fat suit? she texted back. The one you vowed you’d never wear?

She brought it. By lunchtime, I was snug. Loving my Saturday job, even though Marge wouldn’t let me touch the flowers. Except to bung them in buckets of water.

Then Romeo walked in. No time to shed that coat. So what? He wouldn’t notice me in a bikini.

“For your girlfriend?” Marge made him blush as she added a bow to the bouquet.

He paid, turned, passed me the flowers. What? “Happy Valentine’s, Juliet!”


Panic by Susan Zutautas

Quick, quick, I yelled.

Where’s the bucket? Asked my son

It’s down in the basement by the washing machine.

Please just hurry up!

A candle that I’d left unattended for a few minutes had tipped over on the nightstand in my bedroom and had started a fire while landing on a book. All I could think was I could easily put it out before it spread.

Damn, I should have run and got the bucket of water myself.

Here, mom, I’ll toss the water on the fire for you.

Thank God it worked, just leaving an awful smoky smell.


PART III (5-minute read)

Bucket Lost by Ann  Edall-Robson

The roar of the spring runoff over still frozen layers of ice was deafening—making the bridge the only safe place to access the water. Tossing the bucket into the creek with a rope tied to its handle was the easy part. Within seconds of resting the filled vessel on a piece of ice before pulling it up, there came a thunderous crack. The bridge shuddered. The taut rope went limp leaving the frayed remnants swinging in an outstretched hand. The bucket? It sloshed its way downstream on the rural iceberg before being tossed unceremoniously into the swirling water.


Legend Keeper by Jo Hawk

No one remembered the well digging ceremony, the water pump’s installation, or the water bucket’s significance. During the troubles, it was the only county pump to provide clear, pure water.

This was my family’s land. My land and my responsibility. The caretakers ensured we wasted not a drop of precious life-giving fluid. The task grew more difficult with each passing year. Many had forsaken the old ways, and the relic’s existence faded, erased from common memory.

As the keeper, I held the stories, legends, and rituals. With the full moon, the remaining guardians gathered and spoke with the sprites.


Water Daze by Bill Engleson

I first saw Sharallee in the brilliance of my youth.

I lived in the far valley.

She was of the mountain people.

We were strangers to each other.

Then, one day, our stars aligned.

I was seeking a change.

She was a restless and thirsty beauty.

The Sweetflower River cascaded down from her hills to ensure that our fertile farm land would produce all the food a people could desire.

Me with my bucket of dreams, she with her grandmother’s locket, some said we were ill-prepared for the adventure.

These many years later, I cannot but disagree with them.


Bucket of Water  by Frank Hubney

Grace fills a small bucket of water from her sink for four plants on her balcony overlooking the bay overlooking her former life far away. She hopes the plants thrive. They may not like it here and they have no way to escape.

With the water delivered she looks down on the tiny neighbors walking the street all accustomed to being here, mentally preoccupied. They look happy, but who knows? Happiness is not what it’s all about. It’s all about – what?

She figures those tiny plants have to trust her, but sometimes water comes from the sky as well.


The Wait of Water (American Sentence haiku; tanka haibun) by JulesPaige

A human fish; swimming before being bipedal, so I was told.
I am one with natural liquid, especially salted oceans.
Now that I have a home by a creek; all future homes will have flow too.

If I were to have a bucket list in retirement; home on the beach.
I’d be able to take said bucket and fill it to my heart’s content.
To explore everyday all the gifts therein; brought to me by the sea.

born out of water
Into a sign of flowing
to write on beach sands

am I asking for too much
simple serendipity


When The Well Runs Dry by Nobbinmaug

They sprinted to the well. Liza frantically pulled up the bucket.

“Test it!” Mike just looked down and shook his head. “Damn it!”

Liza vented her frustration on the bucket.

The same scene played out countless times.

Their pouches ran dry before Mike sighed and smiled.


They greedily drank from the well before filling their pouches and bucket.

“We have to get home and hope we haven’t lost anyone else.”

Two days later, Mike and Liza stumbled into the village.

“We found water.” Liza held up the empty bucket. “What?”

“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.”


The Follies of Youth by Anurag Bakhshi

“Where’re you off to?” I called out to him.

He pointed towards the empty bucket in his hand.

“I’ll come along too,” I said.

As we silently trudged up towards the well, I recalled the times when the hills used to echo with our carefree laughter.

But now…

I quietly wiped off a tear.

If only I hadn’t seen him kissing Mary that day.

If only I hadn’t pushed him in anger.

Jack wouldn’t have fallen down and broken his crown, and I wouldn’t have had to go tumbling after him to prove that it was just an accident.


Watering Whole by D. Avery

“Well, Kid, water ya waitin fer? The prompt has arrived, it’s time ta saddle up. Oh, let me guess, yer gonna turn water inta whine, gonna whine about the prompt. Again.”


“That’s a deep subject, Kid, an’ Shorty’s done subjected us ta deep thinkin’. Thinkin’ that musta been quite a time, bein’ amongst those water walkin’ women. Sounds right powerful.”

“Reckon it was, Pal. Ain’t nuthin’ more powerful ‘an a group a women ‘an water. Makes me smile ta think a Shorty at a tribal gatherin’.”

“Kid, Shorty’s at a tribal gatherin’ ever week. She leads Buckaroo Nation!”


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  1. Ritu

    A Bucket load of fantastic entries!

    • Charli Mills

      Buckets of good reading flowing through those holes, too. 😉

      • Ritu


    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Sally! It’s good reading!

  2. the dark netizen

    Reblogged this on The Dark Netizen and commented:
    Find all the amazing flash fiction’s from the Carrot Ranch community here! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Net! It’s fun to read all the stories together!

  3. tnkerr

    This bucket load of stories runneth over! Thanks everyone. This is great.

    • Charli Mills

      It’s a refreshing drink, TN!

  4. Norah

    What a fabulous collection, Charli. You’ve arranged them well, giving us a taste of humour and a ponderance of deep. It was interesting to see Liza and Henry and Jack and Jill make a number of appearances. I’d thought of them too but opted out. Those that opted in did well.
    So many other great stories that broached the worries of the world and others in playful fun.
    Thanks for a great prompt eliciting such a good read.

    • Charli Mills

      I was not as familiar with Dear Liza as everyone else was, but now I’ve got the song firmly stuck in my brain. I enjoyed how different writers employed the song or the nursery rhyme and yet made it distinct. It reminded me of your fractured fairy tales contest.

  5. joanne the geek

    Another fine collection. I did consider writing a third one which would have been my take on Jack and Jill, but I see a few others had the same idea and theirs were all far better than what I would have written…

    • Charli Mills

      You would have had a trio, Joanne! What I liked about the Jack and Jill stories is how each writer made it distinctly their own. The greatest show on earth is about variety! <3

  6. Violet Lentz

    Some brilliant writing going on this week. Thank you Charli for hosting.

    • Charli Mills

      Each week shines with something new and different. Thanks for joining in.

  7. floatinggold

    A great read to start my day. Interesting as always.

    @”The Banty and the Bucket” by Faith A. Colburn – I enjoyed the description of the rooster stares immensely.

    • Charli Mills

      Faith’s flash had me laughing with her confrontation with the rooster. Glad you had a good read to start your day with Goldie!

  8. Ann Edall-Robson

    I don’t always get the chance to read through the posts for each week’s prompt until they show up in the 10 Minute Read. It always impresses me the diversity of the words penned, and this is another great collection.

    • Charli Mills

      It amazes me week after week, the diversity of creativity. And yet, I also come to enjoy the recognizable styles of individuals, like your Canadian frontier centric stories. Thanks, Ann!

  9. JoHawkTheWriter

    Great work by everyone this week. I am always amazed by the stories.

    • Charli Mills

      Indeed! I’m always amazed, too Jo!

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