Saddle Up Saloon; Carrot Cartin’ Characters Ain’t No Caricatures

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

July 13, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Well Howdy. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon. This here’s Kid, I’m Pal.”

“Hello. Jess.”


“Jess. Cindy. Yer lookin’ a might lost. Ya’ll on walkabout, from last week?”

“Walkabout? No, we’re not from Australia, we’re from New Zealand. We’re looking for Carrot Ranch.”

“Ya ranchers, are ya?”

“Not exactly. Our writer ranches, you know, responds regularly. We’re farmers.”

“Oh. What d’ya grow?”

“Corn mostly, but we’re interested in diversifying, heard the ranch was open to that.”

“Corn’s all ya need ta be growin’!”

“Shush, Ernie, yer jist thinkin’ a yer corn liquor. Farmers an’ folks should cultivate an’ celebrate diversity.”

“Dees ees true, Keed. I suggest a legume to fortify de soil after de corn.”

“Figgers, Pepe LeGume. Yer always advercatin’ fer beans.”

“Dere are other legumes. You could geev peas a chance.”

“Yes! I like the sounds of that! What do you think Cindy?”

“I think you won’t want to hear this, Jess, but I’m seeing faeries scampering along the bar.”

“Cindy. Not here.”

“Umm, them’s our chapfaeries. We got kinda a infestation ya might say. They mostly hang out out back by the Poet-tree.”

“Is that where the portal is?”

“Ya could say so, Cindy. It’s a portal ta poetry, buckaroo-ku an’ the like. Don’t mind ‘em, they’s harmless.”

“Oh, I know. Jess, this seems like a good place. Ask them what they think of your carrot crop.”

“Ya got a crop a carrots do ya?”

“Well, yes, like I said, we want to diversify at our farm.”

“Shorty’s the expert on carrots aroun’ here, but seems ta me ya gotta think ‘bout marketin’.”

“Shorty’s the expert on thet too. Kid’s right though, an’ they sure is plenny a carrots aroun’ these parts. But ya’ve come a long way. Whyn’t ya show us what ya got.”

“Whoaaaa! Look’t ‘em Pal! Why them carrots is ever’ color a the rainbow!”


“By gosh, ya’ll got diverse carrots! Bet yer husbands is mighty impressed with yer farmin’ abilities.”

“Ha! Husbands?”

“I see ya each gotta band on yer ring finger.”

“And you assumed. Not all carrots are orange, Pal.”

“And not all marriages are either.”

“Reckon yer right, both a ya. Sorry ‘bout my ‘sumptions.”

“Hey, mebbe we kin git Shorty ta feature more’n the typical orange carrot ‘roun the ranch.”

“Good idea, Kid. Jess, what other ideas ya got fer diversifyin’ yer farm?”

“I’d really like to raise alpaca.”

“I’ll pack a cooler!”

“Shush Ernie! You were sayin’?”

“Alpaca. A herd of them.”

“I’ve heard a them. Little llama like things.”

“Woolly? That’s be anuther fine addition ta the ranch! Reckon Shorty’d ‘dentify more with alpaca than llamas, too, ‘cause they’re, you know… shorter.”

“Jess, Cindy, don’t you sell yersefs short. Seems like yer already doin’ right by thet farm a yers. Ya do an’ it’ll do right by you. D’versifyin’ yer crops an’ sech will make yer farm more resourceful an’ resilient. Agri-Culture— culture of the field. Wish folks could see thet cultivatin’ d’versity an’ weedin’ out intolerance is good fer ever’one.”

“Thank you Pal, well said. Right Cindy? Cindy? Pal, where’d Cindy and Kid go off to?”

“There they are, out back at the Poet-tree, with them chapfaeries flittin’ about. It’s been real good gittin’ ta know both you an’ yer wife better, Jess. Yer colorful carrots has given me somethin’ ta chomp on.”




“Yep, folks, if’n yer lookin’ fer a extra prompt, write some verse ’bout d’versity. Any kinda verse’ll do, jist leave it or a link in the comments. Oh, here’s Kid back from the Poet-tree.”


Communities should be like ecosystems

Knit together to carry weights might be shiftin’

When one has ta set back

another picks up the slack

All pullin t’gether, never jist one does the liftin’.


It ain’t a weakness or wrong

Ta see d’frences as d’frent ways ta be strong

We’re each part of a Whole

The breath of Earth’s Soul

Each singin’ a verse in a single shared Song


So don’t matter d’ya ‘dentify farmer or rancher

Or ‘dentify as plodder or prancer

Jist be yer best you

Good things will ensue

Sometimes we’re all both question and answer.


Jess and Cindy hang out in Joanne the Geek’s blog: which is run by Joanne Fisher who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. She writes fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and the occasional article. Last year she completed writing two novels, and is currently looking for a publisher. In the past she had a collection of poetry published under a slightly different name. She tries to make her blog a fun creative space where she can experiment with different styles and formats. Her Facebook page for her blog is


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

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  1. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Another fun post, thanks for prompting your carroters, D and Joanne.

    Yay for diversity! Lovely pome from Kid.

    I tried to grow rainbow carrots once, without much success. Rainbow chard is a better bet. Can’t promise I’ll come up with 99 words on that.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      You wouldn’t think it’d be hard
      to grow rainbow chard
      I had a colorful bunch
      till a chipmunk had it for lunch
      now over my plot I stand guard

      Thank you Anne. As we’re pretty relaxed around here you could get away with leaving a relevant link too.

  2. Norah

    What a lot of fun. The greater diversity, the more interesting things get.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      “Orange, Pal.”
      “Whut Kid!?”
      “Orange. Orange ya glad Norah come by?”

      • Norah

        S’Norah happy? She’s dreamin’. 🙂

  3. Simon

    Very nice read ???????? Well done with Diversity ?????? I’ve never tried rainbow carrots, I don’t think in India they sell in all varieties, for us the carrot Color is orange ????????

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank you Simon, glad you enjoyed the visit from Jess and Cindy. Orange is iconic; these multi-colored ones are generally roasted. Either way it’s all good.

  4. joanne the geek

    Thanks again. You did a great job! ???? ??

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Back at ya! Hope to see lots of those farmers around the Ranch’s number one saloon.

  5. Jules

    Sumthin’ different? And not 99 words – just to hot to think.

    (solo renga)

    allure to curl up
    on a bookish day; either
    too hot or rainy

    divine alone time until
    eyelids flutter; close for sleep

    on the shelf color
    d’versity of many themes
    for all interests


    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank ya Jules!
      I had a bookish day. It was indeed divine. Nothing like perusing those colorful shelves and letting the next book pick you.

  6. Charli Mills

    Of course, there are indeed rainbow carrots growing at Carrot Ranch headquarters. We diversify and provide good soil for all growth. So happy to find Jess and Cindy made their way here. Wonder if they might find another critter to take back to New Zealand? Might I suggest a mule? Seems my muleskinner Cate has an admirer. Your prompt inspired another tale from the pioneer trail…

    Rainbow Carrots
    Olivia watched Cate wrestle her three young adoptees, in and out of the shadows cast by the campfires. Giggles carried across the cool night air. She couldn’t help but notice the way Cate moved with confidence. Later, after Olivia washed her cousin Martin’s dishes – the small price she paid to join him and his young wives headed to Utah – she walked over to Cate who sat alone, poking the fire. The children were asleep in the freight wagon. She brought a small gift, a token of hope. Seeds for rainbow carrots. Olivia wanted more in life than loveless uniformity.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Looks like you just picked up a couple new characters! Olive’s getting ready for Utah. Ready or not!
      Thank you for sowing this gift of 99 words.

  7. Ann Edall Robson

    Diversity . . . The state of finding fissures that leak words from one’s comfort box to sprout stuff from a pen, all from the unknown. (Meaning concocted by a Dame from the Range).

    A long road trip
    Imagine the games
    Kids of all ages
    Around each corner
    Up over the hills
    The miles slip away
    Word games prevail
    Same only different
    Identity crisis
    Cattle or cow
    Pond or slough
    Goat or kid
    Laughing faces hurt
    Everyone wins
    Almost there
    Next game starts
    Rules change
    Find the word
    Road sign looms
    Diver City Limits

    I really enjoy being able to stop by the Saloon whenever I like, and it’s terrific having Pal and Kid introduce us to the guests that stop by. Thanks for keeping it open 24/7. You guys rock!


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