Saddle Up Saloon; Bar None

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

March 23, 2020

“Shorty, I git goin’ where the prompt leads, but I ain’t ‘zactly comfterble bein’ led blindfolded by anyone, even you. Where ya takin’ us?”

“Pal, it’s sech a great surprise! Wait till ya see it!”

“Well, Shorty, how kin we see it if’n ya got us wearin’ our bandanas over our eyes?”

“Yer short on patience Kid. Okay, whoa. Stop. Lift yer blindfolds, both a ya.”

“Wow! A waterin’ hole! Yeehaw!”

“The Saddle Up Saloon? How long’s this been here?”

“It’s brand new!”

“This saloon is on the ranch?”

“Just over the line.”

“Over the line? Thought it were a free range ranch, unbounded.”

“It is indeed, Pal, but I figgered it might be best if this establishment be set back some, in case you an’ Kid go over the line. Give us all some elbow room.”

“Ya think Kid an’ me’s gonna be here all the time, bendin’ our elbows, Shorty?”

“Bendin’ ‘em, throwin’ ‘em, but mostly it’s gonna take elbow grease. This here’s fer you! A place fer ranchers ta unwind, socialize, take in a show… you an’ Kid kin run it on yer own! Come on in. Look aroun’. There’s a bar, reckon you’ll have Ornery Ernie workin’ thet. An’ there’s a stage, an’ a piano. There’s plenty a tables, an’ a kitchen in the back.”

“Aw, it’s real nice, Shorty, an’ I ‘preciate it, but kin we jist talk ‘bout the elefint in the room?”

“Pal, I don’t see no elifint. Jeez, you all feverish too, seein’ elefints, an’ I s’pose rabbits on roofs? Any ways. You an’ I done talked ourselves outta elifints on the ranch already. On account a, you know, the size a their—”

“Shush, Kid. I mean, Shorty, how kin we open a business at a time like this? How kin we be invitin’ folks inta a public place an’ serve ‘em food an’ drink?”

“Pal, I’m countin’ on ya both ta serve folks what they need, an’ ta offer ‘em a safe place ta go an’ relax an’ interact with one unuther.”

“Gosh Shorty…. Kid, ya think we kin handle thet?”

“Shucks yeah, Pal. Asides, we got ever’body else aroun’ here ta pitch in.”

“You two will manage ta manage this place. It’s open 24/7, with somethin’ served fresh ever Monday.”

“Well, thet’s finer an’ a waxed moustache on a mosquito, Shorty. So what’re we servin’ first?”

“That’s fer you ta serve an’ me ta find out. I gotta ride on, but afore I leave ya here ta figger things out I got one more thing fer you, Kid. Here. It’s a rooted cutting from the Poet Tree. You kin grow yer own Poet Tree out back a this place. An’ Pal, there’s an office space jist fer you, ‘cause I know you’ll wanna git away from Kid now an’ agin. Okay, see y’all next Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon’s debut.”

“Later, Shorty. Well, Kid? What’ll we do fer our debut?”

“De butt? Heehee.”

“Don’t be an ass, Kid. We gotta think on this. I mean, we could do all sorts a things. Innerviews, open mikes, dif’frent challenges, dispense advice…”

“Heck, since we’re fictional characters, I wunner if they’s other fictional characters out there that’d like ta be innerviwed. Give ‘em a forum ta air their side a their stories.”

“Yeah, let’s do thet. Let’s do all a thet an’ more. Heck, Kid, mebbe ya kin revive yer think tank. But fer now, if folks wanna leave their ideas in the comments, thet’d be hepful. If they’s any characters out there wantin’ ta be innerviewed up on the stage here at the Saddle Up Saloon, contact us, Pal & Kid at .”


Pal & Kid are free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch. They never tuck tail, but their tales are corralled as Ranch Yarns at ShiftnShake. If asked, they will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. Please let these yahoos know what you think, and stop in at the Saddle Up anytime for a virtual good time.


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  1. Chelsea Owens

    “Rabbits on roofs…” 😀 Are they runnin’ this here shindig live? Will the poet tree sapling be viable enough to host some d’verse-in’ in the shade?

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That little whip is growing quite rapidly. Kid is fertilizing pretty heavily. You might be surprised how rapidly fictional trees can grow.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Whoa! I got a brown box, like Shorty’s! I did not see that coming.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Rest assured, that was just surprise, not a delight in power. I’m old fashioned and believe with power comes responsibility and duty. So I’ll try to react in a more mature and responsible fashion going forward.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        That was a joining-you-in-the-fun-of-it wow, not a reprimand. You’re always both responsible and entertaining.

      • Charli Mills

        Fictional fertilizer works great! Hey, neat, you get Ranch colors!

  2. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    What a wonderful idea! Having had my characters interviewed by a robot radio talk-show host, I’m sure they’d be up for this challenge.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      From robots to ranch hands! I hope my characters are up for this. Your characters scare them a little. Although Kid just went to check the juke box, and sure enough there’s Aerosmith. (Dude Looks Like a Lady)

    • Charli Mills

      Kid, Pal & Co. needed a bigger space for their entertainment and witticisms. Now other characters get to join in. Anne, you have many, including a bunch of daughters.

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “Well, Kid, it’s kinda quiet so far. Whyn’t ya go plant thet side-shoot poet tree in the back. I’ll go fetch Ornery Ernie, see if he’s innerested in tendin’ bar. Gotta admit, Kid, I’m a little nervous ‘bout what we jist opened up. Some a the folks thet come ‘roun here, you jist don’t know who er whut they’ll bring by. Elves, fairies an’ sech.”
    “No trolls, they’s better an’ thet. But wouldn’t surprise me none ta see unicorns tied up at the rail out front ‘longside our hosses.”
    “That’s okay, Pal. Unicorns mean rainbows. We’ll take ‘em.”

    • Charli Mills

      We’re a unicorn friendly outfit, and I hear that those who live downstate from headquarters are called, “trolls” on account they live below the Mighty Mac Bridge. You’ll do good things!

  4. H.R.R. Gorman

    Would rather have a rabbit on the roof than an elephant in the room. I’ve seen cow patties – can’t imagine the land mines an elephant would leave!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Lincoln was offered elephants from the King of Siam, but declined as he felt they would not do well in our climate and were not the most practical means of transportation for the Union army. Imagine Charli’s roof woes should the elephants have come over, possibly crossed some lines so to speak, so that the Keweenaw found itself over run with jack-phants or heffalump hares.

      Good to have you by the saloon! It’s an international establishment, like an airport bar, always open, we’ll not judge, just assume it’s 5 o’clock your time.

      • Charli Mills

        What a fascinating bit of history. It brings to mind the camels used in Nevada. As a kid, I used to ride my horse in some of the local parades and I had a camel spit at us! I can’t imagine the havoc of elephants! I agree with H.R.R. in regards to size or pies.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Back at ya. Kinda glad, as a kayaker, that we don’t have to share our waterways with hippos.

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:

    The Saddle Up Saloon is open and serving one and all. Come say howdy ta Kid & Pal.

  6. Jim Borden

    bottoms up!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hey Howdy! It’s the quiller from Crescents and Coils! Let’s set ya up with yer fav’rite drink, The Naughty Nurse. What’s in thet drink agin?

      • Crescents and coils

        The Naughty Nurse
        1.25 oz Elderflower liqueur
        1/2 oz. gin
        3/4 oz. lemon juice
        3/4 oz. simple syrup
        Top with a sparkling white wine

        It’s perfect

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Elderflower? Thet soun’s healthy. Would ya call this a health drink? Does it make ya feel good?

      • Crescents and coils

        I’d definitely call it a healthy drink. I feel fine especially after a couple of them.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Case folks don’t know what quillin’ is here’s a link:
        Thinkin’ some a yer work’d look real nice hanging’ on the walls a the Saloon. Think ya could quill spurs or boots, sumthin’ like thet?

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Here’s ta yer health. May you an’ yers be well.

      • Charli Mills

        Now, that’s a health tonic! Those elderflowers and berries are good for ya! Is this the famous coil artist? I think Kid and Pal should decorate the saloon with such art, maybe interview the artist (she’s obviously got great taste)!

  7. TanGental

    great idea; if I could Yee Haw in the comments I would… and interview my characters? What a splendid idea! Back outside to plant a poem seed…

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Wait. Whoa. You are a character! But yeah, it could be fun. Dueling dialect dialog and all.

      • TanGental

        I think I may be a badly drawn eccentric in my own life… whoever wrote me needs a good editor though

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, what a conversation that will be!

  8. Charli Mills

    Congratulation on your new Monday digs! Got a nice turnout of curiosity seekers, and some takers to play along. Fun times coming! Danni was thinking she might want to speak about her horse Blackjack and growing up on the migrant ranch trail in Nevada. She’ll be in touch as soon as they release Ike from jail.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I don’t think the well will run dry. Tell Ike there’s always a pot of good strong coffee at the Saloon too. And teas, including elderberry!

      • Charli Mills

        Ike likes coffe!

  9. Norah

    What a great spot to stop when feeling thirsty. Bottoms up! (er, drinks, that is)

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      We’ll always slide down and make room at the bar for ya.

      • Norah

        That’s nice to know, thanks. I don’t usually like to impose.

      • Charli Mills

        There’s a saddle stool with your name on it, Norah!

  10. Ann Edall Robson

    Thought I’d mosey in and see what all the hoopla was. I have to say, I am impressed that a saloon has been opened on the ranch! There’s nothing like barroom conversation to keep the patrons coming back for more. Pal and Kid are going to just fine in their new (ad)venture.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It’s sure good ta see ya. How’re things in yer little house on the prairie? Yep, you now have a place to come and hang out, and I hope ya do.

      • Ann Edall Robson

        The prairie home is doing fine. We’ll be back to see you in the saloon, you can count on that.

    • Charli Mills

      A nice place to rest your spurs, Cowgirl!

  11. wallietheimp

    Wallie is a great fan of Pal and Kid. 🙂 Through personal misadventure and loss, he’s not been in his own wood for a little while, but he’s starting to sniff the fresh air again.

    That being said, Wallie and I always enjoy these two characters. A very mischievous and humorous pair! Would love to see them on any crazy adventure.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Kid & Pal appreciate you coming by and wishing them well on their new venture. Even as the world over people are displaced, misplaced and in place there’s always a place here at Carrot Ranch and this new saloon just over the line.
      Hope things are looking up for you and yours.

    • Charli Mills

      Wallie is always a welcomed sighting at the Ranch!

      • wallietheimp

        Thank you 🙂 It’s been a while… life has been very eventful for little imps. We’ve both missed the ranch. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        I hope the imps are well!

  12. Jules

    As the Ranches Poet Lariat I’m thrilled to have another location to inspire me! I can’t wait for that Poet Tree to be in bloom and enjoy its shade!

    I’ve been a tad distracted by some family goings on. But I’m glad to have another retreat to visit.

    Here’s to The Saddle Up Saloon Bar None; Pal, Kid, Shorty and all who visit. ~Jules

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thanks, Jules. Yes, I’m sure they will be looking to you to help grow this off shoot Poet Tree. (Though I’m never really sure where they’re headed till they get there.)

      • Jules

        That’s OK, I’m never really sure where I’m going either. I let my muse take over sometimes… and when in the zone I just let the ‘sap’ flow 😀

    • Charli Mills

      I think the Ranch Poet Lariat will be hanging out at the Poet Tree, offering Kid some lessons.

  13. susansleggs

    Wow, a saloon. It’s widely believed military folks like to drink, but Michael and Tessa are pretty serious stuffed shirts compared to Kid, Pal, and Ernie. And they’re not known to be punny either. Maybe Michael could bring his guitar and sing a song or two. Wait, saloons attract all types so I’m thinking we can all hang out together cause we sure could use some fun right about now. See you soon.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I’m thinking this is more about the camaraderie and entertainment than drinking. It’s as much a salon as saloon. Thanks for gathering with us. What’s Michael’s favorite song?

      • susansleggs

        “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks would be Michael’s favorite song in general. At church it would be “Amazing Grace” because of the line, “He saved a wretch like me.” (Had to think on that awhile to come up with the time appropriate answer.)

    • Charli Mills

      All types welcome! We get to grow and learn from casual conversations and shared words, strummed or recited.

  14. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “Pal, check this out.”

    All well here, ah well I still worry my fingers.
    Worry my mind too, but spending time sending love.
    Do I put on gloves, not at the keyboard my love.
    To hold a pen the same, my mind is different.
    At least I still have them both to have and to hold.
    Have, hold, write, send prayers to all around the world.

    “Why Kid, thet’s some a yer finest poetry yet. An’ timely.”

    “It is fine, Pal, ‘cause this time it ain’t writ by me. It’s from eLPy.”

    “Git thet gal a drink. On us.”

    • Charli Mills

      Well done, eLPy!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Isn’t it? That is the six-foot form, hexameter. (just to be safe)

    • eLPy

      Wow! I feel so honored seeing my little piece posted here at the Saloon. Thanks so much. You set the challenge and I reached to get it so thank you. You guys serve margaritas here? I mean I’m not too picky but we all have our favorites. I think this is a great space. Thanks for extending the invite Kid and Pal!! What a privilege it is to be here among you all. This is going to be one heck of a spot! Woo Hoo! Heck yeah!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Margarita? Do you mean Frankie’s aunt? Or the drink? The house margarita is made with habanero infused tequila and tequila infused pineapple. Very tasty.

      • Charli Mills

        Shorty’s favorite is thimbleberry margaritas with Copper Queen tequila. 😉

      • eLPy

        Wow! I would like one of those and some of that please!! 🙂

  15. Susan Zutautas

    Kin someone git me some suds? Dying of thirst ovr here.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Good ta see ya, here with yer ranch hand buds
      Good ta hear ya, demandin’ yer pint a suds
      an’ while I figger yer killer thirst’s a figger a speech
      here’s a virtual beer I’m placin’ in reach
      I drink ta yer health an’ the grass side a mud.

      • Susan Zutautas

        Well thank ya kindly mam!

    • Charli Mills

      Cheers, Susan!

  16. eLPy

    Count me in for the fun and the less than fun (cleaning up and stuff). Looks like you’re off to a good start. My characters are a little shy at the moment but I think I’ll let them read over my shoulder. They’ll see it’s a safe space and warm up eventually. Cheers to all of our health!!!

    • Charli Mills

      Cheers to good health around the world!


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