A hutch can be a simple outdoor container for chickens on a ranch, or a simple chest to store saddles. Hutches can also be crafted into fine furniture that holds a person’s treasured dishes. Like a wardrobe, a hutch has many possibilities in storytelling.
Writers were asked to look inside. As you would expect, a wide variety of items were found.
The following is based on the January 2, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something found in a hutch.
PART I (10-minute read)
Heirlooms by D. Avery
She used to keep the better china in it. Then pretty knickknacks and collectibles. Things she thought one of her children, or grandchildren, even great-grandchildren might want to have. One day.
Now framed photographs lined the shelves of the hutch, all in order— children, grandchildren, great grandchildren; first-born to last-born.
She sighed. There were more great-grandchildren than living grandchildren. These young children, some addicts at birth, now lived with their grandparents— her own aging children.
The hutch predated the Civil War. Would her family survive these present day battles? Who will keep the hutch? Who will curate its treasures?
Inside the Hutch: Mary Hansen Saga VI by Artie & Stu
Mary Hansen’s grandmother Margaret lived in the first settlers’ home on Lake Winataka. Her great-grandfather built it out of local oak. While it still stands and the old log houses are all rotting remains, he wouldn’t recognize much other than the kitchen hutch. Over the years, the home was remodeled and upgraded seemingly around that hutch. Mary spent many happy hours playing with the pots and pans stored below and then staring with curiosity at the mason jars and spices bottles inside the hutch. When her friends visited and asked what was in that cabinet, Mary always said, “love”.
Unpacking by Susan Sleggs
Michael took another oblong bundle of paper out of a box labeled Hutch and unrolled the mound until the prize inside laid in his hand. He held a wood box with a hinged lid that had been tied securely with string. He handed it to Tessa.
With a look of wonderment, she undid the string, opened it and lifted out an Altoid box labeled with her son’s name. She shook it to hear the familiar rattle before opening it to show Michael the contents. “Brent’s baby teeth.”
“Parents save those?”
“Of course. I’ll bet your Mom has yours.”
Memories Within the Old Hutch by Chelsea Owens
“What’s this, Grammy?” Pearla’s granddaughter, Ella, squatted on the old hutch, something wooden in her hand.
“Ah. That’s the lovespoon Grampy brought back from Wales.”
Ella retrieved another piece. “An’ this one?”
“A model plane your Daddy-”
“An’ this one?”
“Aunt Michelle’s locket from-”
“An’ this one?”
Pearla laughed and kissed the curly-haired forehead. “Slow down, Ella, dear.”
“Sorry, Grammy.” Ella pulled something from the shadows. “An’ this one?”
“That’s-” Pearla choked; whispered, “Those were your Aunt Ella’s.” Taking and returning the tiny baby shoes, Pearla took the living Ella’s hands, instead. “What do you think about making cookies?”
Great-grandma Carpenter’s Sherbet Dishes by Faith A. Colburn
Grandma Hazel and her younger sister, Edna, used to have knock-down drag-out fights. One night it centered on who would wash the dishes. After a bunch of yelling and snarling, it degenerated into hair pulling. To keep from falling, Grandma grabbed her mother’s hutch where Great-grandma Frank displayed her fancy sherbet dishes. The hutch went down, breaking all but two of the dishes.
“That’s the only time I ever saw my mother cry,” Hazel said.
Grandma Frank made the girls dig a hole in the back yard and bury the broken glassware.
Sis and I have the two survivors.
Maybe Next Year by Anne Goodwin
Every Christmas, he gifted her a pretty notebook and a pen fit for an arthritic hand. Every year, he took the grandkids to the pantomime, left her at the kitchen table, to fill the first page. Every autumn, he looked for it amongst the litter of the rabbit hutch, a crumpled sheet of unmet targets and dashed hopes.
He never mentioned it. Simply smoothed out the wrinkles and filed her disappointment among his gardening magazines. His resolution spanned a decade but he swore he’d get there. One day he’d bring them out and show her how far she’d come.
When the Wealth Didn’t Matter by Lisa R. Howeler
He kept the gun in the hutch behind the Tiffany Sybil Claret Wine glasses that had belonged to his grandmother.
There were 20 of those ridiculous glasses, worth $100 each. Wealth, wealth and more wealth.
It was all around him but none of it mattered.
His fingertips grazed the cool metal of the gun, a Remington RM380, traced the shape of it, and slipped down to the handle where his fingers firmly grasped it.
He tipped his head back and laughed loudly.
So rich yet so poor.
They had their money to keep them warm.
They wouldn’t miss him.
Lagomorphs by clfalcone *
“Why’d you quit the agency, Laurel?” His stern look matched his suit: rough, angry, out of place in this Alaskan wilderness.
Unblinking, she reached into the hutch, gently removing a rabbit.
“You know what this is?” Hugging the bunny.
He just stared, cold wind flapping his trenchcoat.
“This is a snowshoe hare …. lepus americanus…” She closed the hutch. “I like studying their migratory patterns, not those of Islamic military targets in Iran for Big Oil.”
“But there’s a war on…we need you, Laurel.” he huffed.
“Your war…. not mine.” She turned and walked away, waving. “Good day, Mr. Mills.”
Mother: “He’s not a curious child.”
Father: “A little slow, maybe?”
Mother: “He needs schooling, Sterling.”
Father: “Needs a kick in the…”
Mother: “No he doesn’t. He needs a private school. He’d be five and in grade one.”
Father: “Pay for his learning?”
Mother: “For a year. It’d be hard, but we could do it.”
Father: “What’s this place called?”
Mother: “The Bunny Hutch.”
Mother: “And you’d have to drive him.”
Father: “I work shifts at the mill.”
Mother: “We’d have to drive him.”
Father: “You don’t drive.”
Mother: “I’ll have to learn.”
Father: “Guess you will.”
The Culprit by Caroline Scott
“Pa, can I keep it? Please?”
Sam scratched his head at the furry culprit in his son’s arms. How that little brown pup had gotten into the rabbit hutch he had no idea, but he wasn’t happy about it, no sir, not at all.
“Those were good rabbits,” he said.
“But Pa! We’ll get more! This little feller’s a hunting dog, I can tell.”
The hope in his boy’s eyes was pleading. Sam’s eyes went to the little wriggling mongrel who caused so much trouble, and his gaze softened.
“Alright. But you’re cleaning up after him and that’s final.”
The Hutch by Ritu Bhathal
Milly peaked inside the room again, hoping the scene had changed since she checked a few minutes ago.
So, everyone really had forgotten.
She looked again a few moments later to find her family stood there.
“What’s happening?” Confused, Milly’s eyes darted from person to person.
“Get your coat, Midge,” her brother ruffled her hair and smiled, and beckoned her to follow them into the garden.
A hutch stood in the corner.
“Go on, Milly. Look inside!”
Her eyes lit up as she saw a tiny rabbit.
“Happy birthday, Milly. Did you think we forgot?”
Rabbit Hutch by Nobbinmaug
Jen’s dad made the rabbit hutch for her when she was 8. She cherished it. He wasn’t around much when she was a kid.
When she was 12, he left on a business trip and never came home. He left no word, and the police found no clues.
When she got her own house, she decided to set up the hutch in her yard. Maybe someday her kids would breed and show rabbits.
When she and her friends were disassembling the hutch, she found a secret compartment. She forced open the rusty hinges revealing a large bag of diamonds.
A Shared Project by Stevie Turner.
His son smiled at him as he bent over the little hutch and banged in the last nail. Now the boy was eight, he’d found working with the lad in their shared project rather more satisfying than hours spent frequenting the pub. Okay, a few of the screws had gone in somewhat crooked, but what the hell. He smiled in return. By making the shelter for Sheldon he had managed to please not only the tortoise, but just in time had also achieved the thing that had been so elusive to him in past years; that all-important father-son bond.
The Rabbit Hutch by Sally Cronin
Her kids wanted new things for their children and Milly decided to have a garage sale for toys she had hoarded. Neighbors came and went, but one little boy stood in front of the rabbit hutch all morning. She had put 20 dollars on the ticket as they were expensive to buy new. He clasped a dollar bill in his hand. “My dad says I can have a rabbit when I can buy the hutch”. A tear rolled down his cheek. He raced down the street waving the sold ticket in his hand and she smiled at his joy.
The Hutch by Margaret G. Hanna
The hutch stands in the far corner of the shed. The glass is broken out of the upper doors, allowing a sparrow to build a nest. The lower doors hang askew, revealing paint cans and oil filters. A crudely carved heart stands out amongst the gouges and scars on the counter. Within it, I read the initials: DL + BR.
Were they high school sweethearts who married? Or was it only a summer fling? I trace my finger around the heart, hoping to feel the passion that inspired them to leave an everlasting declaration of love on this old hutch.
Regal by DG Kaye
They stood tall and proud. None wished to be snatched away, or worse, – broken!
For decades these worthy icons remained admired and sought after, not only for beauty, but, their ever-increasing monetary value. The older, the more valuable. A grand mix of ethnic backgrounds co-existing in silence.
Such greats as: Lalique, Capodimonte, Royal Doulton, and Russian nesting eggs sat perched on a shelf protected behind the beautifully scallop-edged fine glass doors housing the regal cabinet where they all lived in harmony in all their diversity.
Time’s treasures of hidden wealth and ancient lore communing in one dining room hutch.
Those Eyes! by Ruchira Khanna
“Whatever happens, don’t open this?” Mom commanded as if the colonel of the army, and
marched out of the room.
I obeyed with a soft nod but confused eyes.
I stared at it and saw a pair of eyes on the brass knobs of the brown polished wood.
Peeked outside the room.
“Should I open it?” I grinned like a witch, “But maybe it had something forbidden for me, just
like Adam’s apple?” I contemplated.
Stared back at the hutch, but darn those eyes reflected at me!
Is it my consciousness or just the reflection of my own eyes?
Eye of Luxor by clfalcone *
“You said you’d give it back if I brought you the letter.” He handed her a tattered, soiled paper.
She looked it over with scrutiny, examining the writing, squinting. Finally, folding it, she placed it in a box on the hutch. She took the pendant hanging from the finial.
“The Eye of Luxor.” She winked. “There’s a lot of power in that jewel, you know. Be careful.”
“Much as you should be careful with scrolls of Moloch.” He said, snatching the gem with a return wink, walking to the door
“Give the prince my regards, sister.” And he left.
PART II (10-minute read)
The Hutch by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
When Mosiko arrives for work shortly, she will ask him to help her carry the cages from the barn, and assist her in setting them up, one at a time, in front of the chicken coop door. A bit of food sprinkled on the ground would be enough to attract the stupid birds out of their chicken coop and into the cage when she released them from captivity by opening the door. Once safely inside, Mosiko would then help her carry the occupied cages back to the barn, ready to be hung under the wagon before the family trekked.
Memories of the Past by Colleen M. Chesebro
Julia packed the last of the doilies into the bottom drawer of the hutch. She lovingly stroked the top of the sturdy pine chest. This heirloom had been in her family for more generations than she could count. She hated saying goodbye.
She opened a cupboard door and touched great grandmother’s bone china wrapped in cloth for protection. A great feeling of sadness overwhelmed her, and she gulped back her tears.
With one last look at the remains of a life she had to leave behind, Julia stepped from the covered wagon into the heat of a prairie dawn.
That One Day (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
Sun beat down on the oxidized hood of the Willies Jeep. It was Danni’s ninth birthday and her dad said they’d explore the old wagon road of the 40-Mile Desert. So far, all Danni had seen were oxen bones and rusty horseshoes. Her dad stopped to check out a dried-out pile of wood.
“An old hutch once,” he said.
Danni climbed out and saw a glint of something in what had been a cupboard door. A marble. Not just any marble but a large globe with an elephant inside. That was the day Danni decided to become an archeologist.
Yield? by JulesPaige
secrets too long kept
India Ink script fading
on brittle parchment
I took one of Marisol’s boxes and placed it on the built in hutch. A bit too hard, trying to avoid Lucky weaving underfoot, “You kitty are early for lunch! You and Dawg are always on the run – why don’t you take a nap I like the way you sleep!”
A loose backboard popped open. There was a thick oil cloth bound by butcher’s twine. Marisol’s box got moved to the back burner.
I cut the twine and carefully unwrapped the cloth. The first page was dated 1835…
Cheese Keeper by Ann Edall-Robson
It was a rare occasion when Hanna had time to look through the box her grandmother had left her. Today was her day off, yet she had offered to help Liz in the kitchen and had been shooed away. Now, with the pictures spread across her bed, she looked at each one. Reading the fading words on the back for the hundredth time. Her favourite was one of her grandmother at someone’s birthday. Surrounded by people Hanna was yet to identify. On the table was a cheese keeper.
“That looks like the one Liz has in her china hutch.”
One Afternoon by Michael Fishman
She laid two bony hands on the table, leaned forward, and with a moan of effort, stood up. She grabbed her cane and shuffled away.
“Where you going, grandma?” I said, hoping I hid the hope in my voice.
She didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to because when I saw her walk to the hutch I knew exactly where she was going. Third drawer, left side. That’s where she kept them.
“It’s been a while, love, so today we’re going to play a game.”
Third drawer, left side, that’s where my grandmother kept her deck of magic cards.
Blackie (BOTS) by Nancy Brady
My son found an abandoned Easter bunny near the woods behind our home. We found a cage to house the little rabbit. Because of our cats, though, a disaster could strike, and Blackie would be gone.
Frankly, my husband didn’t want it; he convinced an employee, who raised rabbits, to take the bunny. They even had a rabbit hutch in their backyard. Now, to convince my son as he was attached to Blackie, he promised, “We’ll visit him.” With that, the rabbit had a new home. Devastated, tears trickled down Michael’s cheeks, and he never saw the rabbit again.
What’s Hidden in Your Hutch by Susan Sleggs
After exercising on stationary rings and showering, Michael sat staring at the hutch his sister had insisted he needed. The upper shelves displayed happy memories: pictures of him with Army buddies at reunions, his parents, and his sister’s family. The lower cupboards held a good stock of liquor. The center big drawer was like a safe deposit box, hiding tangible PTSD triggers: two purple hearts, medical records, dog tags, pictures of lost buddies and of himself with legs. He thought of baby teeth and hoped Tessa would have a grandchild to help him understand why such things were keepsakes.
The Inhuman Hutch by tracey
The four foot square box made of metal had a thick wavy pane of glass on one side. The POWs called it the hutch. The Major broiled inside for twenty-seven days and shivered through twenty-seven nights.
The enemy was sure a man of his rank knew plenty about troop movements or upcoming military operations. But he didn’t know anything, though he often wished he did so he could misdirect the enemy.
He was just a payroll officer caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. A mere mortal given the opportunity to demonstrate his inordinate strength of mind.
The Silla by clfalcone *
She was at the rabbit cages when Nanuq came to the gate.
He cleared his throat. Chills crept her spine like the icy winds off Marmot Bay.
“Sis…they can’t find the boat…. the eight went down…I’m so sorry, Jissika.”
She had feared the worse when Maritime lost track of the Silla off Sitkinak Island nineteen hours ago.
Now it was so.
She let the bunny drop back into the hutch, rubbed her distended belly, welling up. The fishermen would have to wait for their boots and hats this season.
She had to raise the baby without her Ujar now.
Freedom! by Joanne Fisher
I squeezed through the small gap in the wire, and then I was free. I had finally escaped my prison. I ran down the path towards the forest and freedom. After a short time I could hear the footsteps of my captors behind me. They knew I had escaped, and were giving chase. I vowed I would get away this time. It was to no avail however: a large hand suddenly scooped me up.
“Aw! The little fella tried to escape the hutch again. We’ll just have to make sure there are no more gaps in the wire netting.”
Plans for Supper by Liz Husebye Hartmann
The four children huddled in the corner of the rabbit hutch. Cock-sure that the trolls would be sleeping off their hangover, they’d broken into the cellar for a bit of potato…maybe some ham! They’d not counted on LilleMjol catching them.
LilleMjol’d expected a reward of rabbit stew in brown gravy for dinner. What he’d gotten was a cuff on the ear.
“Stupid boy! These are humans, not rabbits. Our Peace Accord says we can’t eat them!” his mother glared down her long nose at him.
LilleMjol was furious, vowing to kill them anyway.
But the four had other plans.
Hutch by Dave Madden
Ben and Diego entered Death Kiss MMA as soft high school seniors out of curiosity; two years later, each had hardened into highly touted amateur prospects within the local circuit.
The road along the way was paved with several hardships—losses, injuries, problems with coaches or other teammates, and personal issues outside of training—but they always had each other’s back, like MMA’s hard-hitting rendition of Starsky and Hutch.
Much like the two detectives would chase “their guy,” the two continued their journey into the professional ranks, pursuing glory in cages across every continent.
For Luck by Anita Dawes
My mother’s welsh dresser needed filling
I remembered the six crates in the attic
Not sure about most of the china
So old fashioned
I managed to find a few bits
I was about to carry the pieces down bit by bit
When I noticed a small crate
Over by the window
Taking a quick look, I found
A blue and gold Aladdin’s lamp
It felt warm to the touch
Unlike the other pieces
I felt instantly fascinated with it
Carrying it down like a precious new-born
Placing it on the dresser
Most days, someone rubs it for luck…
Hutch of Treasures by Kerry E.B. Black
Grandma asked my cousins and me, “What inside this hutch is my dearest possession?” She creaked as she settled into an armchair to watch our debate.
My eldest cousin took the lead. “The goblets. They’re gold, aren’t they?”
Grandma inclined her head. “Indeed, but they aren’t my treasure.”
Each chose something. Crystal, silver, china, linens. I noticed a stack of ribbon-bound letters in the top right drawer. When my turn came, I pointed to them. “Are these from Grandpa?”
“Yes, when he fought in the war.”
“Then these are your treasured possession.”
Tears dribbled from her white lashes. “Yes.”
A Hutch by Floridaborne
What is a hutch?
A dust magnet.
Unless you hire a cleaning crew each week, it’s nothing but a time waster. I have better things to do than clean the knick knacks, shelves, and plates.
Binge-watching a series has more meaning. Cleaning is drudgery that never ends — a series does, and you were entertained along the way.
Yes, a hutch once owned me, a darkly wooded monstrosity with toe-catching legs that sent me to urgent care more than once.
Hutches, like mansions, are for the rich. I’ll take light wood cabinets and a wall full of counter space instead.
The Traveler by Saifun Hassam
Grandma’s favorite room was her den. The center piece was a beautiful chestnut hutch she found in a yard sale.
She enjoyed her days gardening and reading. And ah yes, helping with the upkeep of the gnome and hobbit homes in her hometown of Charlevoix. A motley collection of miniature stone hobbits and gnomes had found its way onto the top shelf.
The hutch was home to novels like Treasure Island, Moby Dick, Kon Tiki, Don Quixote, Lord of the Rings, and Lord Jim. On the lowest shelf an exquisite carving of a sailing boat rode the high waves.
TempOWary by D. Avery
“Pal, ya ever git skeered we could git replaced?”
“Us? Heck no, Kid, we’re iconic. Stock character Ranch hands, dang good at what we do.”
“Yeah, but, seems like there ain’t a position these days ain’t dispensible. I know Pepe’s worried ‘bout automation at Buckaroo Nation.”
“You know he slips inta Headquarters now and agin. He found out Shorty’s frien’s got a fartin’ machine. Kin ya believe it?”
“Cain’t believe it could keep up with Pepe.”
“One time they was talkin’ spreadsheets, ‘member?”
“An’ you kept shovelin’ an’ spreadin’ an’ scatterin’ shift like farfennugens. Kid, jist hutch up.”