We have to deliver, since we spent the morning knocking on all 17 doors and solemnly asking for news. This is how real reporters do it.
Sadly, from this effort comes only announcements of vacations, new nephews and grandchildren, home improvement, and complaints about elected officials; nothing that catches our attention or seems even a little bit worthy of this austere publication. And so, bereft of things interesting, we have reported on our own vital activities– our family dogs, Charlie and Chester, received summer haircuts for the first time and were very embarrassed; a heron was caught in the chickenwire fence across the street and was rescued by my parents; we stole (borrowed, to our minds) lumber from my father’s garage and spent three days building a four-floor spiral treehouse in a pine tree on our land and had to get haircuts of our own from the sheer volume of pitch that we collected on our heads. Billy Foss leaves wonderful 15 cent bottles when he drives past after 5 pm, and we thank him for contributing to our fundraising efforts. The calves at Ronnie’s farm will suck on your fingers till they bruise if you put your hand through the gate, so watch out.
We argue formatting, spelling, the importance of the feature article concerning the dog haircuts. Cousin 1 is concerned about selling this, and whether we should charge more. Sister and Cousin 2 are discussing the merits of parfaits vs. the more-expensive banana splits. I am thinking that Carolann and Lisa, yet more cousins from down the road, better not try to horn in on this action, because this is OURS.
–Evidently even at this tender age, I was concerned with copyright.
Two hours later we’ve printed an undisclosed number of copies (undisclosed because I can’t, frankly, remember how many) and are walking them from door to door. We are astonished at how much we can get for them: our original price of 0.25 is doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and without our even having to bargain, hint, or guilt-trip to achieve this. We return victorious and unexpectedly wealthy, to combine these earnings with the generous if inadvertent contributions of Billy Foss. Then we walk the trek down to the Ice Cream Shoppe in a delirium of success. There is a waxed paper cup under the hutch in my house filled with quarters now, and we are each getting a triple banana split with jimmies and nuts. I have learned the commercial value of the written word at an early age –four pages copied x number of times and hand-delivered is worth four giant ice-cream boats and then some.
Also, your family may not be your best critics, but they are definitely your best promoters.
(This was page 2, I think. I particularly like the catfish illustration.)