Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Pickwick Portfolio - January Issue

-JANUARY 2015-
In this issue:
  • "The Birthday Surprise" by Tracy Tupman
  • "A Scene in An Airplane" by Augustus Snodgrass
  • An Outdoor Scene in Winter
  • "A Scene As Seen from My Cliff" by Augustus Snodgrass
  • "A Scene at a Campground" by Augustus Snodgrass
  • "The Definition of Friendship" by Nathaniel Winkle
  • "Citrus Stix" designed by Samuel Pickwick
  • Poet's Corner from "Of People Literature"
                      "Travel" by Robert Louis Stevenson

This paper is part of a new club called “The Pickwick Club.” “The Pickwick Portfolio,” as this paper is called, is designed for the good of the community. Its purpose is to serve as a paper of news, entertainment, and fun.
Yours truly,
Augustus Snodgrass


The Birthday Surprise
by Tracy Tupman
Eliesha McKerall ran around frantically, searching for the black-and-white hamster that had just been discovered as missing not 10 minutes before on that very birthday.  To her, Timmy’s birthday party had turned into a total disaster in one moment.  She had sent Timmy, her 8-year-old son, and his birthday guests to his room to play with the family’s pet, a white hamster with black spots.  “Certainly,” she thought, “Timmy knows how to handle Speckles.  And I won’t be gone long; just enough to catch a quick rest from those busy boys.”  When she had barely dozed off, Eliesha was rudely awakened by her obviously frantic son, who burst into the living room waving his arms and yelling, “Speckles is missing!”  Little did she realize in her panic that as she, Timmy, and his friends raced around, searching under couches and chairs and tables, Timmy carried a curiously smug smile and suppressed mirth.  After searching for nearly an hour, she dropped onto the couch, exhausted and discouraged.  The boys had gotten bored of the unfruitful search by now and were busily playing hide-and-go-seek as the tired mother eased herself up off the couch to finish the birthday lunch to the table.  Opening the fridge wearily and reaching down to take out the condiments, she was startled when a black-and-white streak raced from the fridge, past her heels and towards the living room.  
Feeling suddenly faint, Eliesha leaned against the refrigerator door for support.  Carefully, she bent back down to examine the fridge’s contents.  “I—am—a—robot!” she heard a monotonic voice announce as a red and black robot tumbled out, followed by a horde of stuffed animals and knocking over jars of peach jam which she had just made the day before and which broke into a dangerous, gooey mess.  Behind them stood her favorite potted plant, which was an extremely rare and delicate sanguine rose, and had obviously been harmed by the fridge’s cold!  While she stared, 8 grasshoppers, 2 frogs and 3 crickets also hopped from the plant and disappeared into the house beyond.  She just stood there, watching the creatures go off, utterly puzzled and perplexed.  How could those things have possibly gotten in the fridge?  Then realization swept over her.  “Oooohhhhh…. Timothy McKerall???!!!” she hollered furiously as she slammed the fridge door closed with such force that it bounced right back open again.  Without bothering to reclose it, Eliesha marched off with grim determination to find the trouble-maker, leaving her plant in the fridge.  
    But even as the angry mother stalked off, something else moved in the McKerall fridge.  There was a giggle, the pot moved aside, and out came Timmy, wearing a winter jacket and holding a hand over his mouth to keep from bursting out in laughter.  “Boy, that’s the best hiding spot ever – both for hide-and-go-seek, and to hide from Mom!” he giggled.  Quietly, he tiptoed away.  In the meantime, Eliesha gave up searching for the rascal, cleaned up the mess, and rounded up the boys for lunch.  She couldn’t scold Timmy now, and she had to get the boys lunch; after, she was hosting a party, and couldn’t ruin it for the guests.  Timmy, who knew he was safe while the others were around, calmly ate his lunch.  Although all the boys enjoyed both meal and discussion, (as well as momentary kicking fights under the table), and she usually enjoyed her delicious food, all Eliesha could think of was what she should do with Timmy after the party.  Well, the cake was eaten, the presents were opened and as soon as the door shut behind the last guest, she set off in search of Timmy, who had wisely hidden himself away.  After 30 minutes of searching, she hauled Timmy from his hiding place and delivered a fierce lecture to him about practical jokes and what should really go in the fridge.  His punishments were to be a month-long confiscation of his birthday gifts and the task of washing and cleaning up all kitchen dishes for a month. Despite the punishments, the trouble-maker listened with a look of repentance on his face, while really feeling victory in his heart.  Once Timmy’s dad arrived home from work, the family searched until they finally found Speckles under a couch amid missing marbles, calmly nibbling on fallen popcorn.  Promptly Speckles was put back in his cage, Timmy promised (with mouth, at least) to never cause such a disaster again, and the family enjoyed a very peaceable evening.  So we end Timmy’s birthday knowing there will never be need for Eliesha to worry about another surprise catastrophe in the McKerall’s fridge again… Or will there?

A Scene in An Airplane
by Augustus Snodgrass
As I sit upright in my seat near the back of the airplane, I observe my surroundings nervously, waiting for the engines to start. At the front, a stewardess is getting ready to give visual safety instructions. Towards the right and left are rows of seats and windows. Some passengers are still stacking their luggage in overhead compartments, but others are ready and babble excitedly. Above me, the air condition is cooling my hot face. In a few minutes we will take off!

An Outdoor Scene in Winter
by Augustus Snodgrass
I am sitting at the top of the sledding hill, watching the busy and exited people that are here to sled. On the left side, parents and yelling children are streaming up the sides of the hill. Some lose their sleds and have to run down a ways to catch them but come laughing up again. The mood is a happy and busy one; everyone is having fun. As the people reach the top, however, the line moves even faster and everyone gets even more exited. Sleds are set down, and children and adults pile in. Someone gives a push, and off they go, screaming down the steep and icy hill! Towards the right, people racing snowboards sometimes tumble off and then roll down half the hill. At the bottom, some stop at a hot cocoa station to warm their red and cold faces. As they sip the sweet, warm liquid, the snow melts and drips off their noses. Soon, however, they join into the ever-moving line upwards again. Away from the smell of cinnamon and cocoa, the line tramps to the top of the hill, and the process is repeated, each time more fun than before!

A Scene As Seen from My Cliff
by Augustus Snodgrass
As I stand at the edge of the rocky cliff, I taste the salty sea spray from the waves that are constantly flinging fountains of water many meters into the air. Beyond the crashing waves, the sea is an ever-moving picture of azure waves appearing as if from nowhere. The seagulls above seem to join into the restless mood, screeching as they look for tidbits of food. In the distance, the horizon seems to fade together with the sea into a never-ending blue canvas. As the blowing wind whips my hair into my face, I feel safe and secure from the restless pull of the sea as I stand on my cliff.

A Scene at a Campground
by Augustus Snodgrass
Our campsite is a beautiful and calming sight to behold. I am sitting on a tree stump in a grove of Eastern blue pine trees near the edge of our campsite. The smell of the pine trees and bursting nature greets me. The ground is luscious green grass, and some bright yellow dandelions are growing here and there. Our camper is nestling comfortably in a little, grassy cove towards the left, and several young maple trees surround it. Around the edge are more trees of various kinds: pines, furs, hemlocks, and many more. A slight breeze provides a comfortable temperature from the warm sun shining down through my grove. As I sit here, I cannot help but thank God for the beautiful world He has made!

The Definition of A Friendship
by Nathaniel Winkle
A true friendship is a very special thing to have and be a part of. A friendship means that you are close to a specific person you know. Having a friendship with somebody is different than just being friendly to other people; in a friendship you wish to see and be around that person more because you enjoy and cherish their company. Friendship means you bond with somebody and relate to them, and trust them in a deeper more special way than the average person. Friendship is the opposite of disliking somebody, taking advantage of them and avoiding them. Friendship is a bond, a fellowship, camaraderie; and with a friendship comes a closeness and companionship that we humans enjoy. Having a true friendship is something to be cherished, because as it says in Proverbs 18: 24 “A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.”

Print ad assignment designed by Samuel Pickwick

from Of people Literature
There was a young man of Devizes,
Whose ears were of different sizes;
The one that was small
Was of no use at all,
But the other won several prizes.
                                                                                            There was a young lady of Bright,
                                                                                            Whose speed was much faster than light.
                                                                                             She set out one day
                                                                                             In a relative way,
                                                                                                     And returned home the previous night.
There was a young fellow of Perth,
Who was born on the day of his birth;
He was married, they say,
On his wife’s wedding day,
And he died when he quitted the earth.
                                                                                            There was a young lady of Lynn,
                                                                                            Who was so exceedingly thin
                                                                                            That when she essayed
                                                                                            To drink lemonade,
                                                                                                     She slipped through the straw and fell in.
A diner while dining at Crewe
Found quite a large mouse in his stew.
Said the waiter, “Don’t shout
And wave it about,
Or the rest will be wanting one, too.”
                                                                                            There was an old man of Tarentum,
                                                                                            Who gnashed his false teeth ‘til he bent ‘em.
                                                                                            When they asked him the cost
                                                                                            Of what he had lost,
                                                                                            He replied, “I can’t say, for I rent ‘em.”

by Robert Louis Stevenson

I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow–
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats–
Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar–
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with bell and voice and drum
Cities on the other hum– Where are forests, hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the Pygmy hunters’ huts–
Where the knotty crocodile
Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And the red flamingo flies
Hunting fish before his eyes–
Where in jungles, near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,
Lying close and giving ear
Lest the hunt be drawing near,
Or a comer-by be seen Swinging in a palanquin– 
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince,
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street of house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of light.
There I’ll come when I’m a man
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom
Of some dusty diningroom;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes, fights and festivals;
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.

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