From the following list, members of our message board entered the following posts. Notice the different ways we used the 'copper skillet' and the 'stone wall'.

stone wall
"What would you say to our......"
rough bark
leaves of red and gold
copper skillet

Thank you,, for allowing me to use your photograph.

Leaves of Red and Gold

By Sharon (

Three neighborhood boys one weekend, with no school and time dragging, were bored.

"What would you say," one of the boys suggested. "To sneaking over to that old hags house and peeking over her stone wall."

"She's a witch. It would be scary," another of the boys answered.

"Lets do it!" All three boys yelled at the same time.

So they trudged through yards strewn with leaves of red and gold, until they got to the huge delapidated house on Maple road. There they shimmied up the rough bark of one of the trees to get a better look over the wall. There they sat on branches overlooking her yard, where they saw her stirring something in a copper skillet she had hung over an open fire.

"What is she making?" one boy asked.

"Probably something evil, made of all sorts of witchy stuff."

"Yeah! Isn't Mr. Mahoney's cat missing?"

"Oh gosh! Do you suppose she needed cat's whiskers for her witches' brew?"

The old woman heard what the boys were saying and knew they were in the tree watching. She smiled to herself. Children for years had been tormenting her. Calling her a witch, throwing stuff over her wall, peeking in her windows. Well it was payback time. She started singing and talking out loud.

"My brew is almost done...all it needs is a redhead boy's freckles, toes from a bony ten year old...and the liver from a farmer's brat. I wonder where I can get those?"

Fear raced through the boy's bodies. They almost fell out of the tree, hurrying to get away. They ran as though a witch was chasing them. They could hear her cackle as the fled. Rushing out into the road, wheels screeched as a driver had to stomp on his brakes so as to not run over the three fleeing boys. Later, when each boy told their parents about the witch wanting to put them in her brew, the were surprised that it was they who got punished instead of the old witch.

"That old woman is not a witch. She is just a lonely widow."

"But she was cooking something in a pot in her yard."

"She wasn't cooking anything. She has no electricity and was simply boiling water to wash her clothes."

"But what about Mr. Mahoney's cat that is missing?"

"The cat is no longer missing. Mr. Mahoney found it at the animal shelter."

Each boy felt badly about tormenting the old gal. So the next day they got together and went to her house to appologize. There they found her sitting on her porch crying, and asked what they could do to help.

"I am just so lonely," she said. "My husband died years ago and my children and grandchildren live too far away to visit.

The boys made it their job to visit her every weekend and to mow her yard, repair steps, or whatever other chores she needed doing. Their parents got together and wired her house for electricity. Someone donated a washer to her. Someone else called her children and told them about her sadness at being alone. The following week, one of her son's came to visit, bringing his children.

The old lady was no longer thought to be a witch by the neighborhood children. She was no longer sad for want of company. The neighborhood project of making her life more pleasant, helped her, but also helped the children of the neighborhood to learn how to be kinder people themselves.

Auntie Em's Cottage

By Phyllis Ann (

Auntie 'Em had a copper skillet hanging on her kitchen wall.
She loved antiques and often went to an antique store in the Old Hickory Mall.

She had a lovely English cottage with a stone wall going down to a creek in the back.
We loved to visit her as children where we often found her cutting quilt blocks and storing them for future use in a plastic sack.

In the Fall her place was a beauty to behold.
She had several big trees in her yard with leaves of red and gold.

Her cat, Smokey, liked to climb the old rough bark tree out back.
He would jump from it to the wall and sit all afternoon showing off his beautiful coat of gray and black.

Out in front there was an old fashioned cart with rusty wheels planted full of seasonal flowers.
An old swing sat under a grape arbor where Auntie sat reading books in the afternoon hours.

"What would you say to our paying her a visit some October day"?
We could be like children again, as in the leaves we 'd play.

Face Like a Stone Wall

By Swampetta (

The old man had a face like a stone wall.
He was a little creepy,
And he was feared by all.

"What would you say to our parents tonight?"
Snickered Jimmy, he was a sneak.
"Let's invite him to dinner, He'll be a sight!"

The old man leaned against the rough bark,
Under his favorite tree he sat.
It was the oldest oak in the park.

It rained leaves of red and gold.
The man went with Jimmy
Up close, he wasn't that old.

In the kitchen a copper skillet on the wall.
Jimmy's parents stood and stared.
The man smiled and that surprised them all.

For they already knew him well.
He used to sell used cars,
And he made a deal on wheels from Hell!

They gave him a sandwich and a beer.
And sent him on his way.
For he had cost them dear!

That was the last time any saw the man
With the face like an old stone wall.
'Cause then he moved to Florida,
Which always had been his plan.

He lives now near a "Hooters"
No cars does he now sell.
He's making a fortune in Scooters!

Leaves of Red and Gold

By Cottage Lady (

Leaves of red and gold
softly fluttered in the
mild September air as they
strolled through the countryside.

They stood next to a tall tree
stroking its rough bark,
holding hands and talking
quietly together.

A long rock wall bordered
the golden field,
large stones fitted perfectly
by some skilled hand.

They passed an old wagon wheel
lying on its side in the prairie
wondering about its origin…
and what was it’s history.

Remnants of a campfire were left
under a secluded tree sheltered
by large rocks with an old weathered
copper skillet lying nearby.

They wandered back through the trees
to a quiet and protected place,
holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes,
as he said, “What would you say to our….”

A Couple from the Valley

By Tom (

She sat on the old ivy-covered stone wall,
he stood at her feet.
Sun was warm and we were tired,
they had climbed Laramie Peak.

“What would you say to our
joining forces,” he asked with a gleam in his eyes.
“You own the East end of the valley,
me I own the west. Between the two we own the river.”

Rough bark would have been smooth
to the look she gave to him.
Slowly she smiled and replied, “Our daddy’s
would turn over in their graves, my you are a bold one.”

Leaves of red and gold fell from the trees in the bower,
as they became man and wife, not thinking of all the strife.
The party lasted for two days,
afore the herd was sent to market.

A large ornate copper skillet she received
to keep him in line, the note said.
She grinned and said,
“Think I will make some fry bread.”

Wheels on the buggy were greased,
as they drove to Rustler’s gulch.
One night of love and you know what,
they drove the cattle all the way to market.

Ups and downs, side-to-side they stood, side-by-side,
raised a family, did OK.
Then one day an ill wind blew,
they both passed on with the flu.

A Schoolboy's View

By Norma (

Leaves of red and gold
Drifted as if jewels of rain
Summer is gasping now,
Coming soon is the change.

A ruddy stone wall protects,
Along train tracks as we chug,
Away from bitter snow to come,
Leaving at the heart so tugged.

Clattering wheels, rhythmic sound,
The night haunting whistle blew
Sorry Granny wouldn’t can’t with us,
Sure enjoyed her first fall stew.

Mom and Dad like to be snowbirds,
So I must join then for school,
Hope Granny stays well for the winter,
While I learn more Golden Rule.

I can keep her close in my heart,
Her heavy copper skillet I’m taking,
Mom will use it to keep Pop in line,
On the beach where they’re now sun baking.

The rough bark of Sandy I’ve missed,
He’ll lick me and know my face,
Dogs are such wonderful creatures,
Without Granny, he’ll give me grace.

“What would you say to our going home,”
I’ll beg Mom and Pop to go north,
I’d never mind old winter’s cold,
If they didn’t send me back and forth.

The Copper Skillet

By Marilyn (

Behind the stone wall was a restaurant,
A favorite place for locals.
Ham and eggs, grits, buttermilk pancakes,
Buttermilk biscuits, too, if you didn't go for the cornbread.

Tonight the wind was blowing and scattering the leaves,
Leaves of red and gold; leaves that had been falling for weeks.
Trees with skeleton fingers seemed to claw at the sky,
Oak trees; trees with heavy limbs and long gray beards.

"What would you say to our stopping off for a bite to eat?"
the young grandson said to his Grandma.
"I don't like fancy places," Grandma answered.
"Last time I was in one, I went home hungry."

The sign, 'The Copper Skillet', was rustic in design,
Gold lettering above a copper skillet that had been attached to rough bark.
"Them French don't know the first thing about cooking for Southern folk," Grandma said.
"I see 'em on TV, flipping them little pancakes and puttin' on airs."

"But it isn't French, Grandma,
The Copper Skillet serves Southern food."
"If you don't mind, young man, I'll wait till I get home to eat.
I've got ham and a pot of beans I can heat up."

Suddenly, an on-coming car crossed the double-line
and Grandma and Grandson landed in a ditch.
The horn blew and one wheel spun eerily.
Grandma shoved her door open and climbed out.

The grandson climbed out and yelled,
"You okay, Grandma? We're lucky it was only a ditch.
The Copper Skillet is right around the curve,
We can go back there for help."

"You can go," Grandma said. "I'll stay here with the car."
"No, Grandma, you're going with me," the grandson said,
and he took Grandma by the arm.
As soon as Grandma stepped inside, she inhaled and looked around.
"I think I'll have me a mess of them turnip greens while we wait for the wrecker," she announced.

When Did That Happen?

Happy Autumn Things

Nightingstorm (several authors)

Late In The Season

I Wonder Sometimes

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