Featured Question with Forrest Fenn and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: Rainy Season

the thrill of the chase forrest fenn treasure huntDear Forrest,

I receive emails from bloggers who say what a good writer you are while a few are somewhat critical. I wonder if you would like to analyze your writing. It would be nice to know what you think. ~jenny


Since I hid my treasure I can’t get by with any malfunctions in my writing. I received emails from two English teachers who criticized my use of commas and semi colons, and each one corrected me in a different way. So I just punctuate the way that looks right to me and hope that no one sends me marijuana cookies. But don’t you think I should get high marks for doing the best I can?

Here’s my first attempt at fiction, and it may contain some errors.

I hope some of your readers will comment about what I did wrong. Please tell them I’m taking notes. f


Beautiful Dreamer by Forrest Fenn 

There was this girl who lived just down the block and around the corner. Delores was her name and we were special friends. It didn’t take her family long to add up their assets, and that gave me an idea.

The Senior Prom was coming up and I said if she’d make all C grades or better I’d give her a new dress for the ball. Her whole face grinned because she was worried she’d have to wear her big sister’s hand me down pants suit again. I guess it’d been handed down a few times already.

But Delores was still young and didn’t have many living experiences so I devised a plan that I hoped would help her grow some trail mojo like me. I started giving her gifts that were nothing good, like a feather one time, and a picture of Johnny Dukakis, and other things like that. And some different colored Wriglets of course. This went on for several weeks.

Sure enough, she finally came to me and said to not give her anything else. I had fed her up with junk and I secretly smiled. Ha, now to spring the trap. “Look,” I said, if you don’t want gifts from me anymore lets shake hands and make the deal final so it would be unethical for me to give you things again.” She smiled and we shook.

Then I said “Delores, I am proud of you for thinking things through and knowing what you want. You are such a wonderful person. But now I can’t give you a new dress for the prom, and I can buy myself something nice with that money.” Suddenly her eyes looked like two Texas road maps in the rainy season.

I knew her mother was going to call me and it didn’t take her very long for that to happen. She said I was mean and uttered a word I’d heard once in the pool hall. I just told her to let Delores figure something out and hung up the phone right then because I didn’t want my cell battery to run down.

Well, that very afternoon here came Delores sloshing through the mud and ringing my bell. She said, “Mister Fenn I want to unshake our deal.” “What,” I muttered? She told me that if you can shake to seal a deal you should be able to unshake it away and she went on to explain. “If you count a pig’s tail as a leg how many legs would the pig have?” I told her “five, of course.” She shined and said “No, a pig has four legs. Just because you count the tail as a leg doesn’t mean it is one,” and she kind of snickered. I thought that was a good analogy so we high-fived three times with our left hand. That, she explained, is how you unshake a deal and I decided her mojo was ok after all.

The story had a wonderful ending and I’m a little proud of myself. The fifteen dollars, plus tax, that I paid for that beautiful dress was the best money I ever spent. f


So?  What do you all think of the above story?  Forrest said to tell you he was taking notes on any suggestions you might have to make it better…..  


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188 Responses

  1. Jdiggins says:

    Well, my first thought is…wow! Forrest! Your skills! But I can be more critical…I just have to let it soak in…
    I’ll be back!
    (Snicker 🙂 )

  2. Brad Hartliep says:

    Note 1. Just ’cause you say it’s Fiction, doesn’t mean it’s Fiction ..

    Note 2. I think the story is perfect just the way it is – except I would have bought her a nicer dress – and I don’t believe it may contain some errors .. one maybe .. some? .. no ..

    Note 3. Most Fiction has an ounce and three tenths of a Truth ..

  3. Evan says:

    Looks great to me.

  4. Spoon says:

    What the heck is a Wriglet?

  5. Forrest Fenn says:

    Spoon, I don’t know what a Wiglet is. Must be a typo. f

  6. Jdiggins says:

    Proctologist for 200 alex…
    Oops…sorry….wrong channel… 🙂

  7. Iron Will says:

    Forrest… there are quite a few errors within that story, but I just cannot be critical of it. I’ve seen the many mistakes I’ve made editing my first draft, and your tale’s literary woes pale in comparison to the blunders I’ve written. Besides, I’m pretty sure you made many of those mistakes on purpose. To what end, I do not know. Your recent, public posts have thoroughly confused my empathic “mojo” that had previously translated your words with relative ease. I probably just need some more Wriglets.

    • JC1117 says:

      Hello, Iron Will.

      I agree with you. I’ve made so many mistakes that pointing out someone else’s just don’t feel right.

      Great news, tho!

      Double your pleasure.
      Double your fun.
      All Wriglets now…
      Two fer One!!!

      While suplies last.

  8. Jdiggins says:

    I used to get free gum at the Wrigley plant in Santa Cruz. Maybe it is mixed with chiclet….

  9. C.M.R. says:

    High five, high five, high five, but…you do know Mindy now has hundreds of pictures to unshake. Lol

  10. The Wolf says:

    Oh my, are you sure you didn’t have a few of those cookies before you pitched that puppy? 🙂

    Forget the grammar, I just want to know what does two Texas road maps in the rainy season look like? Better yet, what do eyes that look like two Texas road maps in rainy season look like? Does Texas even have a rainy season? 😉

    That was a good one!

  11. Buckeye Bob says:

    I didn’t know that Hillary had a sister…

  12. BW says:

    Someone once told me, only a fool never changes his or her mind. Errors are mistakes made unknowingly. Mr. Fenn I believe you know the difference, you just don’t care. Age does that! 😀. That is what I think and I am not changing my mind.

  13. pdenver says:

    Thank you for today’s “Featured Question with Forrest Fenn.” I will enjoy thinking about it.

  14. Buckeye Bob says:

    Ok, Forrest, so I did a search for Johnny Dukakis and found no pictures of him.
    But doing a search for John Dukakis found plenty of pictures.
    This seems like a false trail devised and intentionally planted by you, sir.

  15. Passenger says:

    Forrest, I’ll be honest… When I first began to read TTOTC I thought it was just mediocre. Because of the apparent simplicity and jutted tone, my intuition teased at either an easy solve, or alternately something obscure and unintelligible.

    I have since come to believe that your book is work of art. What many don’t understand is that those words are laden with the Poem solve hints. The book is literal and poetic double-entendre. I’m not sure anything like it has ever been written.

    The story above is colorful… Although I’m not sure I know where you’re going with it.


  16. Jeremy P. says:

    Well, the first thing that is wrong with it is also how you can tell it’s fiction. It’s completely unbelievable that a girl would ever ask you to stop giving her things. 😉

    Let’s see what else we can find…

    • Iron Will says:

      LOL that was funny, though some may have curled up their nose to it 😛

    • Jeremy P. says:

      I am certainly no expert, and prone to grammatical blunders and typos of all sort, but I gave it a shot:


    • Jeremy P. says:

      Guess I can’t use a user page at Wikipedia to show edits (it’s marked for deletion). Here’s my edited suggestions:

      There was a girl who lived just down the block, and around the corner. Her name was Delores and we were special friends. It didn’t take her family long to add up their assets, and that gave me an idea.

      The Senior Prom was coming up, and I said if she’d make all C grades or better I’d give her a new dress for the ball. Her whole face grinned because she was worried she’d have to wear her big sister’s hand-me-down pants suit again. I guess it’d been handed down a few times already.

      Delores was still young and didn’t have many life experiences, so I devised a plan that I hoped would help her grow some trail-mojo like me. I started giving her gifts that were nothing good; like a feather one time, a picture of Johnny Dukakis, and other things like that—some different colored scrunchies of course. This went on for several weeks.

      Sure enough, she finally came to me and said to not give her anything else. She was fed up with the junk, and I secretly smiled. Ha! Now to spring the trap! “Look,” I said, if you don’t want gifts from me anymore, lets shake hands and make the deal final so it would be unethical for me to give you things again.” She smiled and we shook hands.

      Then, I said, “Delores, I am proud of you for thinking things through and knowing what you want. You are such a wonderful person. But now I can’t give you a new dress for the prom, and I can buy myself something nice with that money.” Suddenly, her eyes looked like two Texas road maps in the rainy season.

      I knew her mother was going to call me, and it didn’t take very long for that to happen. She said I was mean, then uttered a word I’d heard once in the pool hall. I just told her to let Delores figure something out, and hung up the phone right away because I didn’t want my cell battery to run down.

      Well, that very afternoon here comes Delores sloshing through the mud and ringing my bell. She said, “Mister Fenn, I want to unshake our deal.”

      “What?” I muttered.

      She, then, told me that if you can shake a hand to seal a deal, you should be able to unshake it away. She asked, “If you count a pig’s tail as a leg how many legs would the pig have?”

      “Five, of course,” I told her.

      She shined, and said, “No, a pig has four legs. Just because you count the tail as a leg doesn’t mean it is one.” She kind of snickered.

      I thought that was a good analogy, so we high-fived three times with our left hands. That, she explained, is how you unshake a deal, and I decided her mojo was OK after all.

      The story had a wonderful ending, and I’m a little proud of myself. The fifteen-hundred dollars, plus tax, that I paid for that beautiful dress was the best money I ever spent.

      – f

  17. OH! says:

    “Wriglet” would be in the same category as “unshake”. We understand “unshake” even though it’s not a word. I got caught up in the story and never queued into any mistakes until I proof-read.
    It’s odd how the mind automatically teaches the untaught.

    Critical correctness / Political correctness, same in my book.

  18. SL says:

    It’s the moral to the story that matters most. Punctuation can’t do that.


  19. astree says:

    Well, first of all, looking for an overall scheme in “Beautiful Dreamer” (and should the title be set off with quotes, or italics, or something?)

    Caught these

    Wriglets – I know about Chiclets, hmmmm. (This has already been mentioned above).

    (With punctuation corrections, below)

    Wriglets, of course.

    “Look,” I said, “if you don’t …

    (Suddenly her eyes looked like two Texas road maps in the rainy season. ) Nice!

    (because I didn’t want my cell battery to run down.). Does the story take place before cell phones? Or, when did Forrest get a cell phone? If I recall, several years ago, he didn’t own a cell phone.

    “Mister Fenn, I want to unshake our deal.”

    “What?,” I muttered.

    I told her “Five, of course.”

    “That,” she explained, “is how you unshake a deal”

    I’m sure I missed most of it. “Five” mentioned several times.

    • astree says:

      Forgot to mention the “marijuana cookies” and “high marks”.

    • astree says:

      Fifteen dollars doesn’t seem like a lot for a prom dress, if the setting is current day. So, guessing it takes place years ago. If so, what about that “cell”?

      High-five three times, gives fifteen?

      • Crow says:

        astree, it appears he has two different decades mixed – one of the errors that is not grammar related. Perhaps his corner is on another planet. 🙂

  20. jl says:

    As I always seem to get the gist of your writing and my criticizing of your writing would be like the skillet calling the kettle black, how bout we just do three high fives left handed and call it a day?

  21. SL says:

    Might Dolores and Johnny have some connection to each other?
    Might Johnny be known under a different last name?



  22. 23kachinas says:

    A perfect story for Delores…does her house have several romanesque arches?

    My only comment is that I like more details about the houses people live in when I read a story. Sometimes I like pretend to think like an architect. President George Washington is about 13 today even though he’s 285.

  23. nmc says:

    The dress wasn’t a gift; she would have earned it. She could have reminded him of that.

  24. Rich says:

    And just because you count a clue as a clue it doesn’t mean it is one 🙂

    Good story Forrest

  25. Twingem says:

    Pure perfection I say. If you can wrigle in, you can wrigle out. That Delores! Funny gal. Wouldn’t change a thing, but for the adventure of it.

  26. Bailey says:

    Great story Mr. Fenn. Punctuation matters, to some degree, but people tend to get carried away with it. Here are a few examples of when it would make a difference:
    Let’s eat Grandma! or Let’s eat, Grandma!
    Woman, without her man, is nothing! or Woman, without her, man is nothing!
    On the other hand, when I was in college, I plagiarized myself just to see what would happen. I turned in the same research paper to two different classes. Different years. Different teachers. I got a C the first time. That professor didn’t like me at all. That paper was dripping red with grammatical corrections. The next year I got an A. Same paper. That prof. liked me. There were a few red marks, but interestingly enough, neither prof. made the same corrections.

  27. Bailey says:

    Mr. Fenn wrote:
    “If you count a pig’s tail as a leg how many legs would the pig have?” I told her “five, of course.” She shined and said “No, a pig has four legs. Just because you count the tail as a leg doesn’t mean it is one,” and she kind of snickered.

    What about this?:
    “How many legs does a pig have if you count the tail?” I told her “five of course.” She shined and said “No, a pig has four legs, and you can count the tail as many times as you want,” and she kind of snickered.

    Have a great President’s Day everybody.

  28. Rich says:

    As for what you did wrong? The spelling of her name.

  29. nmc says:

    Ok, now I see how her analogy works after a second read.

    Mr. Fenn was counting the tail (dress) as a leg (gift), and she pointed out that they were not the same. Good on Delores.

  30. ROLL TIDE says:

    You’re a riot Forrest. I laughed all the way through that one.
    Was that cellphone one of those large ones that came in a suitcase way back then?
    Funniest thing about all of that was the fact that it didn’t take very long for her folks to add up their assets.
    Not funny that you said it that way but, funny that only yesterday I commented to my daughter about knocking on the door to the poor-house. Only you will be able to appreciate the humor in that.
    Yes, my trail mojo has gotten pretty good.

    Now, to spring the trap…

    Who’s graduating ?

  31. Nora V. says:

    Was the last name of the girl- “Raines”?

  32. DPT says:

    Tears . Delores means sorrow. Just like her Texas road map rainy eyes.

    Also tears in the worn out clothes so she wants new ones.

    Tears means two different things just like wear.

    I will have to check my washboard for my worn out clothes.

    Tears, sorrow, grieve, shed.

    Thanks Forrest and Jenny, this helps a lot.

  33. ROLL TIDE says:

    There’s that dope reference again folks.

    I’ll say it again, better go talk to Ora Mae if you want the skinny on all this.
    She’s probably hangin’ out with that idiot at the bookstore, if you can’t find her.

  34. voxpops says:

    Lots in here to chew on, but one part reminds me of Orwell’s phrase, “Four legs good, two legs bad.” I’m thinking that four legs are very good, but the tail is a tall tale.

  35. Strawshadow says:

    Thank you Jenny and Mr. Fenn,
    Delores, the angel, lived up to her name, before and after the wriglets. She knew a wriglet was the end of a three legged pig joke. Much like every English teacher knows a 15 dollar dress is blue, a page which should be dogearred, I for one would add an asterisk*. You might say these observations aren’t mistakes, only mistaken. A quick look into a 5 dollar mirror does not necessarily prove the value is emphasized, in an equal manner, on the flip side. If I were keeping notes these would be captioned with squiggles along with a signature of note. In hindsight, thank you Mr. Fenn, for helping erase the thought of any young woman sporting an overused pantsuit to any Ball, unless of course the Ball was a masquerade. Ah, bypass that part, any story about any Delores is worth a reread.

  36. nmc says:

    I’m thinking a lot of folks are letting the tail wag the dog with this Featured Question.

  37. bluegeyser says:

    Sometimes I feel like editing is closer to sanitizing. If something is comprehensible, and reflects the true voice of the speaker, it should be left intact. As a child, I had a wonderful neighbor named Mr. Jones. This story reminds of him. Although he did not give me a prom dress, he did offer me a piece of his chaw. You keep writing your fiction, because it brings back memories of my reality. And I know I put commas in the wrong place, but I use them where I want because that’s where I want the reader to pause, correct or not.

  38. JDA says:

    I loved it. I will give Mr. Fenn an “A+” as far as being able to teach us something that is important. I loved the idea of being able to UN-shake a deal.

    Forrest always seems able to find a way to make us think. Thanks Forrest. JDA

  39. The Wolf says:

    Errors are not errors if they are intentional. This is fiction so who which one of you is the dreamer or is this a dream? Is the cell battery and $15 dress a time line enigma or does this setting take place in a cell block (institution or what have you)?

    If I read it literally and consider it fiction and allow the subliminal effects to take hold, I imagine this taking place many years ago in a Illinois Detention Centre cell block. I mean you did say she lived in “block and around the corner”, “cell battery to run down” (battery of run down cells) and “Grade C” are detention centre terms. Sure we all assume a different setting, but once fiction enters the fray assumptions go by the wayside or we fall victim to the mind trap.

  40. Jdiggins says:

    I stand by my initial comment. WOW.

  41. Point Foot says:

    Thank you Forrest and Jenny! I always look forward to seeing your words Forrest. Even when I disappear for a while. They always feels like a gift. Some I understand, others take me a while to figure and then there are those that leave me scratching my head. I cherish them all. Your words to me are like a famous painter’s works to be enjoyed. Even a famous artist sketches are cherished. I don’t feel I can offer changes to make your words better. Maybe though one day I might find my way and write my own story. If I am worthy maybe my works might be cherished too. I’m going to add a mental note though… think carefully before doing any deals… otherwise one might search for a way to unwind it.

    • Lia says:

      Jackie Kennedy was an editor for the big wiglets. If She didn’t correct Forrest’s stories, I don’t plan to either.

      Good story For! Can I have a sip of her Brandy?

  42. Onuat says:

    Doesn’t matter how many mistakes one makes,as long as the other person understands what is being said. If one corrects another than that only means the message was received .
    What would I know, I got an F in English writing skills but I can read.😄

  43. Mary S says:

    I was enjoying the story too much to waste time looking for errors or mistakes. Maybe that’s how I’m gonna start looking at my life from now on. Thanks Forrest & Jenny 😁😁😁

  44. Sparrow says:

    Thank you Mr. Fenn. Whether you meant wriglets, wiglets, or piglets, it’s a great story. 🙂

  45. TammyO says:

    The only thing that could make this better, would be a vivid description of
    “..big sister’s hand me down pants suit”…
    Color and pattern would be great.

  46. Mike Forni says:

    I have always said: One wriglet in the hand is better than two in the bush.

    It sounds like your fancy friend learned some street smarts (trail mojo) along the way… and still got her dress. 🙂

    Don’t focus on picking up pennies (critical of typos, grammar errors, etc.) , when you should be focused on dollars (the main point of the story). Look at the Big Picture.

    • Mike Forni says:

      And as always, my comments are said the a running “Thank You!” to Master Fenn, Jenny and My Fellow Treasure Hunters.

  47. Peri....... says:

    The only mistake I saw was that Delores didn’t keep accepting the junk. she may have been able to built a nice outfit with it eventually. I guess she came out with a new dress in the end. I’m sure she was beautiful.

  48. Point Foot says:

    Some things I’ve learned on my journey so far… allow yourself to dream as you did as a child… take every moment as a gift because it is… enjoy all the trail mojo you pick up along the way because it is the journey that shapes us and makes us into who we are meant to be.

    I see lots of snow in the Rockies still. I’m looking forward to the melt and kicking off another search season. It seems the snow will likely melt just in time for my birthday! My next expedition will be my ninth and I eagerly await it as much as I did my first. Thank you Forrest for continuing to keep us engaged over the winter months. I am always entertained by your words and by what others have to say. Every once in a while you say something that really gets my attention too.

    I have to wonder one day when it is found and assuming the solution is revealed in my lifetime how many things I figured right and how many things I missed. It seems every time I look there is more too see. I wonder how many of us will be kicking ourselves over the things we missed. How many among us got close? How many were in the 500 ft club? The 200 ft club? How many clues did we get right?

    Ah well no matter how or when it ends and who finds it I for one am at peace knowing I am a participant in perhaps the greatest hunt of my lifetime.

    Thank you Forrest for your amazing gift. It is a blessing beyond words.

  49. Stoutman says:

    Isn’t the left handed hand-shake a big no-no because people wiped their rears with their left hand? That made sense to me. I’m wondering if that’s why she snickered before that left handed three-high-five unshake. I guess you could call that “mojo”.

  50. Jonsey1 says:

    You do realize that prom comes before grades, right? Or was that part of the whole lesson left undiscovered….

  51. colomtnman says:

    I write technical papers (traffic impact studies) for a living and I had to learn comma use. The secret is all about the clauses. Sometimes it takes cookies in order for it to make sense. 😉

  52. DelaYah says:

    Mr. Fenn, sir! I think I found your pet alligator!


    How does it go? Don’t throw stones until after you cross the stream?

  53. DelaYah says:

    Revelation time is getting close! YEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

    Encierro El Cantlor – Part I
    El Cantlor lived a notorious life somewhere north of the border. His legend lives on to this day and those who cross into the backcountry known as his ponderosa can testify of the shrills still present. Recently, he is also known to wreak havoc easterly on rocky ground. His last known whereabouts, although unconfirmed, were south of the Rio Grand in De Montainas. He called a gathering and the people ran like bulls to the place of the quest.

    It’s rumored there is coming a counter-slam. How apropos?
    Wonderful and joyous will it make many, as runner-ups all, no winner take todo.
    From far and from near, some will run and others will jeer
    Hope in a dream, for some it will seem, but many ready with ear
    The day the news breaks about a box with esteem will come up over here
    Where they are standing and digging and reeling and wondering about all the cheer.

    Share it with many comes quickly to mind!
    How many at once all sought to the find!
    Preparing their backpacks and on the road fast!
    To a treasure that will my whole life last!

    Come quickly come all to the place I will announce!
    Your fate will rest assuredly in the next words I pronounce!
    The place of the box that you all have sought
    lies at the spot marked X and not in a knot

    If you get there first or last you’re under the lens
    Don’t let your heart become bitter to your newly met friends
    The quest it’s a thumper to everyone’s heart
    You may find it first if you’re really so smart

    Come one and come all bring the neighbor with you
    To a fenn in a forrest where your dreams will come true
    The north will get you there with whatever you desire
    the south will only bring a boil because of your fire

    Descend the thousand or the few hundred, either way
    the journey you face is not a danger but do pray
    that you can think as some who have come all the way
    Where the trains stop is only a short distance away

    The timing now isn’t exactly perfect
    the brown up high will soon the ground bedecked
    All filled on the food the squirrels have gathered
    the stash they have consumed is now scat-tered

    Don’t ask the conductor of the way to your stop
    He’s mean and if you scuffle, it’s a very long drop
    He’ll eat you like a fish for lunch or dinner
    whether your ways or right or you’re just a humble sinner

    The beauty you will behold will be worth the long trip
    Bring some H too oh with you the local isn’t proper to sip
    Some can bring the filter bottle, man that’s pretty hip!
    But whatever you do, don’t delay, no back-talk or lip!

    If you come from the south you need to be careful on your way
    the man in the big hat is ready to say you should have a nice day
    The train stops a short distance
    from an old type of entrance
    If you park the wrong way you can meet senior guardabosques del parque

    If you have seen El Cantlor, do not approach him
    Strong men didn’t make it and had been sung a hymn
    when they ran into El Cantlor and had gone for a swim
    When he found them and tore them the meat from the bone did he trim

    Be not dismayed by the lores you are now hearing
    Put on your boots leave your compass and get ready for some mountaineering
    A short journey to the place whichever way you shall descend
    A type of wonderland you will see and your heart it just may rend

    Fear not little flock it’s been told it’s a pleasure
    to show you many lovely things and give you a treasure
    Way up high you will climb with understandable worry
    Quickly to diminish when you’ve unraveled the whole story

    In case you walked right past when your journey upward went
    you can see the hint of it on the trek where you were sent
    Don’t forget to bounce around as the Forrest you he told
    on the edge where the game carries on to a place of the bold

    DelaYah – 9-27-16

    • C.M.R. says:

      La segunda parte?

      • DelaYah says:

        Howdy CMR,

        Seguramente, y gracias por preguntar. La tercera parte aún está en curso

        Encierro El Cantlor – PART II

        Boldly have you traipsed to a blaze unsupported
        But if you follow the leader you will be comforted
        Wayward you may have been to your own indifference
        But now there is a way that you can have confidence

        The booty we are seeking lies within an area like a yard
        If you have found the right path it won’t be so hard
        If a short climb is your desire
        Take care where you build a fire
        We won’t miss the forrest for a lack of trees
        My sight is set and zeroed, for you to appease

        Follow the poem, read a bit, now follow it again
        I have a secret elucidation concerning the Fenn
        This place is huge and divine to the eyes
        If you’re not careful there’ll be no goodbyes

        At the moment the slam I’m to illustrate
        Even the words of the poesy I will explicate
        Let’s huddle the masses the people to agminate
        Have a chummy chat under the beast I’ll illuminate

        When finally I had realized how the slam it was sorted
        Even the walk that we were on which is yet to be reported
        The next day I was wise and began a new search
        for a huge old friend who appeared ready to lurch

        Down the street went a man sporting a fine bracelet
        Even the brand he alluded to with be associate
        Very special to him and walking with a grin
        Wagers brought it forth from where it had been

        I long to hear his tales while the sun it yet shines
        The days growing shorter, yes the light it declines
        But not our hopes and ambitions while in the pines
        Let’s get this thing unearthed and make some headlines!

        First an uphill climb
        though not so sublime
        to the end of the path
        for a prestigious mud bath

        DelaYah – 9-29-16

        • C.M.R. says:

          I like it. This type of confidence (w/o bragging) I can handle. Is there more?

          • DelaYah says:

            That is kind C.M.R. Thanks 🙂
            There is more, almost 22 pages filled. I’m going to publish them afterwards, God willing 🙂
            Part III is on the shelf, I hope I finish it.

            Here is one I think we can all relate to that have had BOTG:

            So close but yet so far away
            If only I had more than a day
            Perhaps if I lived there some will say
            I could find a hoard tucked away

            A bit closer each trip, biting my lip
            As I stand and look in the water I don’t sip
            Dirt chunks flying with a Flippity-Flip
            Knowing all along I’m on a serendipity trip

            Everyone Hoping the day of final disclosure
            Will be the dialog when spoken of what were
            The long awaited outcome to the cause of a stir
            A forrest with a fenn concealing a treasure

            So close but yet so far away
            Perhaps on a trip another day
            When flowers are burgeon, maybe in May
            ‘Twill be more clear where the box does lay

            DelaYah – 9-27-16

  54. well mr, forrest,you dared us to figure out your poem and get a treasure worth alot of money.so my dare is,I dare you to undare and tell me where the treasure is ,so I can go get it ,and bring it to you,give you your bracelet and talk to you.and let me live a nice life of what I got left.

  55. Snider says:

    Great fiction Forrest.
    Looks like deals are no good. Unless they know how to undo them.
    Thanks for taking all of us back to the poem. Maybe I need to learn how to follow directions a little better.
    Thank you.

  56. Passenger says:

    Hi Forrest… I have a few questions:

    1) Did Johnny Dukakis get too much too soon?
    2) What shoes did Delores wear to the Prom?
    3) Did Delores have maternal grandparents?


  57. Wild West Wendy Jo says:

    Very entertaining story! My research brought up this, and it makes sense since Forrest is great at making up words and meanings! http://writingfromthecentre.ca/piglets-sniglets-and-wriglets/ “As part of the program, I did some research on sniglets. This term, attributed to comedian Rich Hall, refers to words that don’t exist, but should. Here are a few great examples: “Wriglet (n.) -1. a rambling blog post that fails to have a clear narrative line or theme as a result of its author being a small anxious animal surrounded by metaphorical water.”

  58. squat cobbler says:

    Thankyou Forrest, It’s a nice piece story. Thankyou for the seconds. But you never answered my original question. Are you right or left handed?

  59. astree says:

    I haven’t been able to connect the post’s “Rainy Season” season to the post to well, nor the “Beautiful Dreamer”. Need to mull over it some more.

  60. Sher says:

    Delores had gumption — I like that for sure.
    I also like how you create visual pauses in your story kinda like how my lil Fice dog, Peewee, would stop and listen and think in the middle of chasin a wolf rat. Like smellin air in your mind.
    You are an oddity — a surprising mix of clever and kind. Did time do that? The wind?
    There was an invitation for comments so I’ll be bold like your girl with gumption.
    I’ve not “shook”, so I don’t need to unshake.
    Could we shake on that?
    I think I’ve gotten at least a “C” to-be-sure.
    I’d like a purdy feather.
    I don’t think I’d need a 15 dollar dress, though sure need some trail mojo to go.
    Thank you.

  61. Carolyn says:

    I like the story Forrest. I was glad it had the turns and twists to keep us in suspense, but also a good ending. I hate a sad ending, especially in fiction. You get enough sadness with real life, don’t need it in fiction too. I also liked how you taught a lesson. Great job Forrest!

  62. Carolyn says:

    One more thing though, it was odd that you mixed what seemed like a life a long time ago like a $15 prom dress and a newer time like with a cell phone use. Couldn’t tell what time period you were trying to get us to be in

  63. John Boy says:

    Punctuation and sentence structure was somebody’s idea of how it should be and then rules were made governing such. Who said they are correct? Rules change all the time. I think your story is perfect just the way it is. It is a great story and a story that should teach us all something more than punctuation and sentence structure. Like they say, don’t ever look a gift horse in the mouth. Isn’t that what we should be learning here? Great story Forrest.
    John Boy

    • John Boy says:

      Isn’t it funny how some people, I won’t say who, walked right past the simplicity of the story and went right into complicating things? Kind of like we all have in the search.
      Thanks Forrest

      John Boy

  64. Sandy says:

    I wonder if the Wily Coyote got out- foxed in this story. From what I can see, Delores was crafty enough to recieve lots of small gifts (hints) in addition to a beautiful ballgown. When she unshook the deal it would appear she never had to make the grades (her part of the bargain). Unless the final report card was inadvertantly left out of the story.

  65. Afana says:

    Mr. Fenn, Yes, You deserve high marks, for delivering your messages through your developed talent of word smithery. It’s no longer “who they think you are,” It’s “who you are.”

  66. Tim Cash says:

    Mr. Fenn, all of your writing is very readable. I think readability is the best indicator and, when compared to so much of the “zero-punctuation” seen these days (especially in texts and emails), it’s refreshing to read something and NOT have to continuously decipher it. Your buffalo story in TTOTC reminded me of the style of Patrick McManus. He used to write for Outdoor Life, which I subscribed to as a kid and would anxiously wait for every issue. My dad and I would read those stories to each other (aloud) and laughed ’till our eyes watered. Your buffalo story took me back to those days….. Thank you for that! If you haven’t read his stuff, I highly recommend “Shooting Chickenout Rapids” as a starting point. I live in the Santa Fe area and would be glad to share copies of his paperbacks……

  67. Lindsay D. says:

    Poem of Uncertain Origin Regarding the Simplicity of the English Language, circa 1900

    We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

    You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
    Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
    I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
    If I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

    If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
    Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
    If the singular is this and the plural is these,
    Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be named kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose;
    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!

    So our English, I think, you all will agree,
    Is the craziest language you ever did see.
    I take it you already know
    Of tough and bough and cough and dough?

    Others may stumble, but not you,
    On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?
    Well done! And now you wish, perhaps
    To learn of less familiar traps?

    Beware of heard, a dreadful word,
    That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
    And dead; it’s said like bed, not bead;
    For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!

    Watch out for meat and great and threat;
    They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
    A moth is not a moth in mother,
    Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

    And here is not a match for there,
    Or dear and fear for bear and pear.
    And then there’s dose and rose and lose,
    Just look them up, and goose and choose.

    And cork and work and card and ward,
    And font and front and word and sword.
    And do and go, then thwart and cart.
    Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start.

    A dreadful language? Why, man alive,
    I’d learned to talk it when I was five,
    And yet to write it, the more I tried,
    I hadn’t learned it at fifty-five!

  68. Ron Ricker says:

    Hello all.
    willing to trade Oldrich Farsky oil on canvas Mountain Vista for the Ray Bradbury/Gene Roddenbury connection.

  69. Ron Ricker says:

    Make an offer on hoB ’32

  70. Madesquare says:

    Vigorous, and better than my first attempt-

  71. Inohury says:

    Good, bad or blaze…TMI. my brain has seized. I guess I got too cocky. Go ahead, yuk it up! So smart, so dumb. Yup.

  72. Belle says:

    It’s the story that I read not the errors!

  73. Belle says:

    The additional twist of words is an added bonus.

  74. John says:

    You have written another great story that fits the treasure chest search area, similar to the one in “Important Literature.” I wonder if the girl at the computer in Borders knows Delores. She passes her muddy yard frequently.

    You don’t have to worry about your battery going down….you have so many more “batteries.”

  75. whodat says:

    OK Forrest, as a psychology professor this gets an A+. Well done grasshopper.

  76. Homely Girl says:


  77. JDA says:

    I have lost my gavatar on Dal’s site – checking to see if I have lost it here too.

  78. JDA says:

    Nope – it appears here

  79. Jonsey1 says:

    I´d like title this story:

    “Wrinkles….and Ironing: a Straight Forward Approach to Making the Grade (on many levels!)”

  80. Jonsey1 says:

    …or maybe just “Pressing the Dress” lol

  81. Fenngshui says:

    She should have played along and countered for a better deal. As for a critique, I understood what the author intended and that’s what matters in my opinion.

  82. Crow says:

    Hmmm. ff, would you like the grammar rules to accompany the modifications? Your writing could benefit from the reasoning. Then, there is editing for punctuation mechanics – punctuation rules. Then, there is word usage rules. Alas! There is the story plot line. All of this could be overwhelming. Teaching writing occurs in steps, for example, a writer could focus on plot line first, word usage second, grammar third, and editing mechanics fourth. To focus on everything at once tends to be counter-productive. The story message is better when the writer commits to one timeframe or era. Are you in the present – cellphones, proms – or in the past – balls, down the street and around the corner. Fowler’s can be more valuable than Webster’s. Communicating a story involves encoding the message in sincere hopes the receiver can decode the story and arrive at the intended message. Many a time, you travel an unmarked trail in encoding messages and insist on challenging the decoder. When it comes to an ff writing, I would seek the message first and work backward to modify the actual words and punctuation. 🙂 My editing continues to employ pre-he/she stuff!

  83. Ron Ricker says:

    This is a story about his daughter.
    i feel that what you may have done rwong mr fenn is not hold her to the original terms of the deal. Unless there is more to the story or we assume that she brought her grades. To unshake the no more gifts thing was only one of the obstacles she had to overcome in order to be rewarded the dress. Making the grades was the other and original term.
    if i had to relate it to the chase, i would say rather ask, how many searchers abide and practice the fundamental rules. Ive seen lots of comments about how sensible they are but ill bet few actually imploy them. I know its not part of the poem but it very well may be the first clue. The fundamental rules that is. Does the requirement to state this as opinion exist here as does it at dalnazi’s? Where ironically one cant state their opinion. Only approved opinions.

  84. MJ says:

    Mr. Fenn,
    Now that I know I’m in the correct place for commenting on the beautiful dreamer you wrote. I like it, that was kind of you to inspire Delores to get better grades and think for herself. There is nothing worse than parents who control a child and try to fulfill there dreams though there children.
    Tesla wanted to prosue science, his father and grandfather were priest, his father dying of coleria got him off the hook of the priesthood! Parents,at least mine, when I tried to express my self would tell me, don’t contradict me? I liked your story of Delores and the blue dress did she have blue swade shoe’s to match her dress? My mojo is off this morning, I was under the impression you were no longer doing mysterious writings?
    I thought I was at Jenny post and left some comments, Im not quite right! Forgive me for such ignorence!

  85. Indy says:

    Interesting story… For fun, I’ll give an attempt at a critique, first on grammar then on content.

    Grammar critique

    The sentence in paragraph three regarding Wriglets is a fragment. It seems like this is intentional because in the preceding sentence, Mr. Fenn was already delineating a list of items. Thus, there wasn’t really a need to separate the two sentences since together they formed a single, cogent thought. What is the reader supposed to glean from this? One can only assume he intends to emphasize something. The transition between sentences becomes somewhat cumbersome and actually draws attention to the preceding sentence – the one with the list. Maybe that picture of Johnny Dukakis is important, even though we don’t hear anything else about him elsewhere in this brief anecdote…

    Next, we see that Mr. Fenn forgot a quotation mark before ‘if you don’t…’ – that’s a pretty minor error. But it makes it seem like he is drawing extra attention to his prior quotation, ‘Look’, which referenced his trap. Perhaps the missed quotation mark is an accident, or perhaps he wants the reader to focus on the trap – that is to say, maybe this grammatical error is a subtle admission that one of his character’s mistakes was setting a trap for Delores. But I suppose all good stories do need a healthy dose of conflict…

    Thirdly, unshake is not a word, but unshaken is. Maybe he is indicating that despite the trap he set for her, Delores remains ‘unshaken’. Perhaps he is indicating that she is an appropriate protagonist for his story given her unflappable nature.

    There are a few others, but that’s all I’ve got for now with respect to grammatical errors.

    Content critique

    There are a few plot holes.

    Why does Mr. Fenn feel the need to set a trap? We are given an explanation that it is to give Delores some ‘trail mojo’. That seems to be a reasonable way for an elder to train an unruly young’un. But we also see that they were already ‘special friends’ with an apparent sense of mutual respect for one another. Maybe Delores was a bit too zealous in how she approached Mr. Fenn and he felt the need to rebuff her momentarily. But if he knew her mother would get involved, why wouldn’t he have opted for a less-confrontational scheme? I suppose we are left to conjecture, but this is an area in which a more detailed account may be helpful.

    Secondly, Delores seems to be a very confident young lady. It seems quite out of character for her to turn her nose up at a family dress (or in this case, pants suit). In fact, my wife read this anecdote and personalized the story. She said, ‘In her mind, Delores’ hand me down dress is studded with pearls and diamonds. It fits her beautifully, and her family worked hard to purchase it for her and her sisters. She would look just as lovely if not lovelier in that dress as she would in Mr. Fenn’s new dress. And Delores’ prom date is so in love with her, he’d be proud to take her to the prom even in rags. He makes her so happy that she feels like a queen even in her sister’s old dress.’ I thought that sentiment was lovely. And let’s be honest, only someone that unassuming would be worthy of being a Fenn protagonist.

    Finally, we are assured that the story has a wonderful ending, but we are left to wonder what that may be – clearly, the story begs for a sequel! What happened with the mother? Do Mr. Fenn and Delores come to an agreement on how to count accurately? Do we find out the wonderful ending in the second installment? Do they keep in touch? Or does this short tale become the intro to something far more lengthy and epic?

    Hopefully Mr. Fenn doesn’t disappoint and continues to enrapture us with his fiction. We can only be so lucky. I’m no English teacher, but I’d give his first attempt a B+.

    Well that’s all I’ve got. That took more time than I expected, but it was fun.

    How’d I do?

  86. Homely Girl says:

    Around the corner/bend (German idiom for a special kind of person)

  87. ohwell says:

    Not that anyone is going to read my comment but…..your story is perfect. As they say, “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”…….. there is no correct grammar in prose or poetry!

  88. Inohury says:

    Me sorry.

    Who: Delores and Forrest
    What: Had a deal
    When: before prom (Springtime)
    Where: on the block
    Why: because he thought she needed help
    How: a shake and three high fives

    Question: How tall is Delores?

  89. Inohury says:

    And, Wriglet. A capitalized typo?

  90. Lia says:

    Dukakis has had an interesting film career. Enjoyed this post better after chewing on the details a few days.

  91. Mountain Ash says:

    I really like this story! It’s tightly written—every sentence and every phrase adds something important to the telling of it. I laughed when the narrator gives his reason for hanging up the phone, and, like JDA, I especially enjoyed the idea of “unshaking the deal.”

    Somebody once said that every original work of fiction creates an original world. In the world of “Beautiful Dreamer,” there are Wriglets. I think we just need to accept that and have fun wondering what they might be.

    I would change “didn’t take her very long for that to happen” to “didn’t take very long for that to happen” or “didn’t take her very long.”

    Forrest, I hope you keep writing short stories and sharing them with us!

  92. Mountain Ash says:

    Now I’m imagining Wriglets as little rubber pigs that wriggle around after you squeeze them. I could see how Delores would be content with just one of those.

  93. lifesablaze says:


    So Wrigley offered ‘premiums’ with the items he was trying to sell much like the premiums Forrest gives us in the form of ‘hints’ also the entire chase phenomena is full of premiums. When he began selling gum he wanted to make sure dealers would display and sell HIS gum so he offered a counter scale to each dealer who purchased 15 dollars worth of his gum.

    John Dukakis attended Brown University and among other things, developed the boy band ‘New Kids on the Block.’ A lot more about John can be tied in.

    Here’s what I got with ‘mud bell battery rainy texas’ LOL! High 5! Hope I get a C!


    Whew…glad we unshook “You can only hold out an unshook hand for so long before your arm muscles get tired.”

    Picture of John https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1656449959/image_400x400.jpg

  94. Marti kreis says:

    Ohhhhhh lawd lawd always on the chase For woman 💃 Danceing doloris Great story

  95. lifesablaze says:

    “The suits sent me here”. The mother had a direct line to his cell phone. You don’t argue with the mother we all know that. Don’t waste your energy. Energy>>cell>>battery. Mitochondria are the batteries of cells, converting food into energy. Mitochondrial dna are passed down only through the mother and are used to trace maternal inheritance…the daughter gets the new dress. Boys (get) II (be) Men. Johnny’s birthday. Johnny’s mother is Apollo’s sister. She helps at the library. We can’t have the book of time falling into the wrong hands. A left-handed high-5 times three. 15 is the card of material existence. 1 plus 5 is 6 there are 6 properties of matter. The family was impoverished. (Physically, genetically, materially?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_body…where do the boundaries lie? The Zoot suit. She is sorry, but Texas was never lucky for her and what good is a map if the road is flooded? But she’s a fast learner. And one can make so many things with mud. “And so, as the disco ball turns…” And after the prom you might ask? A new “premium” spin. And the little piggies cried ‘WeeWeeWee’ all the way home. Hahaha! Haven’t been on a Fenn induced mental rant for a while. Feels like having a good shot of some ancient dark cask anejo. The kind you sip and savor.

  96. Diggin gypsy says:

    How did the ole coot have a cell phone back when prom dresses were 15 bucks.

  97. Anna says:

    Haven’t been here in a while. Fun to read comments running the gammit from mitochondrial dna to grammar. With Forrest’s Delores story…I stepped back into 1966 when at 5 yrs old I learned the fox trot listening to the original “Beautiful Dreamer” on a crank phonograph in a log cabin without electricity. Mom placed my little tootsies on top of hers and we floated around the room laughing.
    Great song lyrics.

  98. Sparrow says:

    Thanks Anna. That was a good post. 🙂

  99. Inohury says:

    Chewing and bit into this. No quote marks on this sentences’ dialogue:

    That, she explained, is how you unshake a deal and I decided her mojo was ok after all.

    There’s one note, grammatically speaking. As a reader, most intriguing and a work of brilliant fiction! 🙂

  100. lifesablaze says:

    If the assignment is to point out what Forrest did wrong I will have to say “Nothing” because I believe he pays extreme attention to detail and everything he does and says concerning the chase is with intention. So if he leaves out a comma or starts a sentence with a preposition then who am I to say write, right or wrong? I mean he DOES set the Bell Curve for the class right?

    Delores sounds like she is sorry. Maybe she feels like a real dumb bell. C is average. Why not above average? Because C grade ranges from 70-79 percent. And if a rainy Texas road map is a topo map then 70-79 could represent 7000-7900 feet. Fits my place anyway. That would be a HIGH C. Three high fives – a perfect fifth.

    Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true.
    Just because you don’t believe something doesn’t make it not true.

    The only thing I can say, Mr. Fenn, is “pigs don’t wear their hair that way” TeeHee!

  101. Jason says:

    I trust that Delores actually has a biblical name…is close to journey’s end. This dark haired, dark-eyed beauty has dreamed plans of spoils, adjusted them, will seek the cross of iron en route to a meal in an old kitchen. If she’s ever to complete this quest, she must leave her yellow home, if only a days round travel.

  102. Jdiggins says:

    Great assignment for the rainy season. Kinda like looking through old photos. Good ways to put a smile on your face for a long time to come! 🙂

  103. ace 340 says:

    In my opinion, it was perfectly written and perfectly played. Delores did not get something for free. She had to figure it out on her own. She unlocked her street mojo. Forrest got to know that he did something for someone that was more than just an item of monetary value. All things remain equal in relationship. g

  104. Jdiggins says:

    Did I say wow? I meant wowzer!
    Sorry all, just see things different I guess. Late …

  105. paul hunter says:

    Better told than I could tell.

  106. paul hunter says:

    What is there to change it’s good as it is.

  107. Jdiggins says:

    1,141 days since i first met with botg.
    17 trips, 35,000 miles driven, 50 plus hiked, 68 days on the road and who knows how many cokes…
    I am counting the days til I meet with the botg again…
    Beautiful Dreamer, I love it!

  108. Jdiggins says:

    It appears I like this thread. What is it I see here?
    I wonder if Delores gained any more trail mojo, or is she still spinning at the ball in her big sisters pantsuit?
    Though this was only nine or so months ago…
    Keep digging I spose.

  109. Five-leaf blaze says:

    I, 5-leaf, say to always get-high marks.

    • JC1117 says:

      Hello, 5-leaf.

      I thought we were supposed to put in below the home of Brown…

      …not fly high above the home of magic brownies. 🙂

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