Mud River Monster

I have been finding it difficult to write this week. So I will share a blast from the past with you this morning. I wrote Mud River Monster in either 2009 or 2010, my notes are sketchy on the date I finished. It’s the first piece of any length I completed. Though I have been writing since I was fourteen, I have always had dreams of finishing large projects that never quite work. It was a blessing to be able to look back and see how much I have grown in the last 2 years since taking my writing more seriously. I hope you enjoy the fun read. (I grew up in a family with 8 children and my early inspiration is pulled from those memories.)

Mud River Monster

Jay was Lord.
Nea was Queen.
Over the bank of
Mud River they leaned.


Nea had her staff
Jay had his bow
but little May cried,
“I don’t want to go!”


She sat in the grass
jeans stained green
thinking her brother
and sister QUITE mean.


“But we can not beat him here!”
They said again, and again,
Then through the sparse leaves
HE began to descend.


A grey gunny sack was
thrown over his large head,
and eyes darted wildly as
he passed the flowerbed.


As he stepped off the deck
May jumped up with a shriek,
and cleared the Mud River
in one quick, desperate leap.


Jay and Nea now
hot on her tail
splashed through the water
their faces ghostly pale.


Then he began howling as
he raced through the garden,
and the children knew he
would give them no pardon.


They reached the tree line
on the opposite shore,
but he gained ground while through
some piled leaves he tore.

As he charged the mud river
Jay turned to ready his bow,
Eyes shining brightly as he
prepared to meet his foe.


Nea stood behind Jay
her staff held so tight.
May hid behind a tree
overcome by the sight.


Jay loosed an arrow;
it flew straight through the air
to land in the muck,
missing by a hair!


While the monster’s great boots
splashed onto the shore
Jay and Nea hurried
to retreat once more.


They grabbed little May’s hand
as they passed by her tree,
but in one step she tripped
and grazed her tender knee.

Her small tears sounded
so loud through the air,
while up puffed the monster;
OH it was so…SO unfair!


Nea knelt down, took
May in her arms,
then turned her back
to shield her from harm.


But as Jay fumbled
to reload his bow
the monster’s advance
had begun to slow.


He huffed a great sigh,
and sat with a loud thump,
on the cool moist dirt
before the tree clump.


“I’m tired and hungry.
Is it dinner time yet?
Oh little May I would
never hurt you, don’t fret.”


At the sound of his voice
Jay’s bow just vanished,
Nea’s staff became a stick
May’s tears were banished.


The grey gunny sack he
now pulled off his head,
and in that moment, Jay’s
cheeks turned a bright red.


“The game can’t be over
until the monster’s dead!”
Jay exclaimed as
reality spread.


The monster shrunk
right before their eyes,
to their own brother Jo,
no longer in disguise.


His pants were muddy,
his hair stuck on end,
with a runny nose
to sum up the trend.


“My boots are full of water,
my socks go squish when I walk.
I think it’s about time
we started a peace talk.”


Jo looked up at Jay
Jay then looked to Nae;
they weren’t quite sure
now what they should say.


“I guess the monster
doesn’t have to die.
We could always say he
turned in to an ally.


Oh, he was just chasing us
to warn of an Evil King…
Who wants Nea for,
his brand new queen!”


“Then we better run home.”
Nea jumped to her feet.
“I KNOW I won’t marry HIM.”
And she led the retreat.


Back down to Mud River
just a ditch and a stream,
and up through the garden.
They made quite a good team.


For on the way home they
had to battle a bear
that once soundly defeated
turned into a lawn chair.


Little May sighed as
they reached the front door.
“I DO like Jo better this way,
always running is such a bore.”


So the four went inside
where was spread.
They ate like Kings,
and that’s all to be said.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

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