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Christy Keyes

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Member Since: Feb, 2007

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Living Alone
by Peter Mulraney

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Verbal Volley
By Christy Keyes
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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           >> View all 7

Mom and son challenges through the years


“Can I have some orange?”

“It isn’t orange, honey, its lemon.”

“I like lemon.”

“Oh, do you? That’s unusual for a fella of three. Lemon will make you pucker, like this.”

“I want some.”

“Okay, but I don’t think you’ll like it. Well?”


“Would you like another slice?”


“No, thank you.”

“No, thanks.”

“Close enough my stubborn one.”

Points    Mom 15        Tom Love



“Look what Matt and me found.”

“Matt and I.”

“Yeah, Matt and I.”

“It’s a Yak’s head.”

“Where did you find it?”

“Out in that field behind Matt’s house.”

“Well honey, I think it’s probably a cow’s skull. There are lots of dairy farms around here.”

“But what if a guy wanted a Yak sandwich?”

“He’d be out of luck; there are no Yak farms around here.”

“But if he was really, rich, he could’ve flown a Yak over here so he could have one, right? Then when he was finished with it, the bones could’ve been thrown into the field.”

“Possible, but pretty unlikely, Tom.”

“But it’s possible.”

“Yes it is.”

Points   15     All


Elementary School

“Good report card, Tom, grade seven and a seventy-eight average.”


“Eighty is the honour roll.”

“I know.”

“If you put in just the smallest effort you could be on the honour roll.”

“I know.”

“Don’t you want to be on the honour roll?”


“So you’re satisfied?”



“Yes, Mom.”

“Okay, I guess if you’re happy, I can live with that.”

Points   Tom 30        Mom 15


“Well, Dr. Tom how’s my favorite vet student?”

“Fine, well, except for this one idiot prof I have.”

“What course and why is he an idiot?”

“Organic chemistry. He only ever cites from the textbook and writes it on the board. Ya don’t really learn anything from him.”

You don’t learn, not ya.”

“Anyway, I quit going to his class.”

“But don’t all vets have to take the same courses?”

“Yeah, I mean yes, I study from the text.”

“What about your exams?”

“I got ninety-one on my first test.”

“Works for me.”

Points   Tom 45        Mom 15


Skull Two

“Guess what I got Claire and Doug?”

“Someone brought another homeless puppy into your clinic, and you thought they could give it a good home.”

“Nope. Remember they wanted deer antlers for the cottage?”

“That would be no, not nope.’

“Right. Well, this client of mine in Airdrie has lots of them, and he had a buffalo skull!”

“That’s great Tom, but do you suppose it might be a little more than they were looking for?” 

“No, they’ll really like it. It even has a hole where the bullet went in.”

“I’m sure they’ll be surprised.”

Points    Tom 45        Mom 30


Game to tom



            Tom’s favourite dessert is lemon pie.


After vacation the yak skull returned to Toronto with us. It was a cow’s hip.


Elementary School

            Tom was never on the honour roll in elementary school. His marks were so good at university that he was accepted into Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan with two years of university but no degree. He was nineteen.


University class

 Tom continued to skip his class. His final mark was seventy-seven.

Skull 2

 Claire and Doug opened their gift and discovered a large amount of mouse droppings in the box. There were even more in the skull’s bullet hole. This was definitely more than they had requested. The buffalo skull is hanging on an exterior wall at the cottage, on Bob’s Lake. It is quite a conversation piece.

       Web Site: Canadian Short Stories

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Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 5/11/2007
Excellent write, Christy; very well done!
Reviewed by Susan Bain 5/10/2007
I love this story, Christy. Any mom can relate, I'm sure, but your format makes it even more effective. You've made me realize that I should mine my own trove of parenting memories.

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