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Me n' Laddie, my dog, beside our hide-ho, down by the river

Me and friend Ross have a special place down by the river. It’s in a place no body can see, we think. We sneak outa the house early morning 'fore the folks is up and preten' like we are hid’n from some bad guys.

I’m older than Ross. My birthday is in April but his ain’t 'till August. I just turned 12 last month an’ told Ross I thought we should start do’n man stuff for a change, now that I was growd more. Me an' Ross both thought that must mean that we should start smokin'.

Dad smokes. He ain't suppose to cause of his heart, but he still keeps smokes in the house. Last night I snuck into his office and stole two of ‘em. Players Navy Cut, whatever that means.

I woke up a bit ago and got Ross up as well. Geez, he could sleep all day if’n I let him.

We got dressed and snuck across the street to our special place and we got ready to light up.

I got a whole box of matches, just in case, but the smokes lit up right away. We puffed for a while, but then I accidentally swallowed some smoke. Geez, I thought I was going to toss up last night’s supper I coughed so much. Ross said, “the hell with this” and threw his smoke intah the river. I was cough’n so hard mine dropped in the dirt and I jus’ let her be.


Merriam got out of bed and looked out on the day where the rising sun was painting the sky pink. As she looked down toward the river bank she saw great plumes of smoke coming from the edge. “Jim, have a look at this! What is that smoke coming from?”

Jim took one glance, then went downstairs to check on the boys room. He smiled, then called up to Merriam, “I know what’s happening dear. Don’t worry.”



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