Monday, July 17, 2017

Illustrated Short Story For Families by Tree-climbing Extraordinaire Naomi Waggener Rice

Chris Rice Cooper 

Guest Blogger Naomi Wagg- ener Rice:
Illustrated Short Story:  Mom, the WildRice Kids & Python Dennis Play Hide & Seek

       Once upon a time there was Mom and her three children:  5-year old Sean, 3-year old Abby, 1-year old Ethan, and their pet python snake Dennis.
One morning Sean watched Abby remove the bricks and the lid from Dennis’s cage.
Sean told Mom what Abby did but Mom didn’t make the connection because she was too busy getting the kids into the car to make a shopping trip to buy mice for Dennis’s breakfast.
When they arrived back home to feed Dennis, he was missing!  
They looked everywhere, under and inside everything but never found him. Mom tried laying a snake trap with live bait, but that didn’t work. Dennis had eaten the week before; so he wasn’t particularly starving.     
     Exactly one month later Mom washed bedding that Sean threw up on last night but forgot to put the lid down; so the
washer filled up for the rinse then sat there, never draining.  Mom noticed that the lid was open and closed it.  She opened it after it finished the spin cycle but the clothes were still very wet.  
She was about to take care of the wet clothes when she heard Ethan cry.  She ran to take care of Ethan.
       Mom came back and saw that Dennis was squished between the drum and the outer part of the washing machine.  Mom screamed because she thought Dennis was dead.   She had unknowingly killed him in the spin cycle!  But then she noticed that Dennis moved and she felt much better.
Mom asked Sean to hold Dennis so she could find tools that would help them get Dennis out. 
Sean yelled, “Mom! Dennis is going back in and he’s too strong.  I can’t hold him anymore!”  
Mom yelled in a  panic:  “Sean and Abby go wake up Grandma!  She needs to feed you two and Ethan while I deal with Dennis!”
Grandma Waggener spent the night and was tickled to have two excited, energetic kids waking her up with their yells:  “"Grandma, we need your help! Mommy found Dennis and he's stuck in the washing machine!"
Mom wasn’t about to lose Dennis again!  She gently pulled his head back out.  Dennis was mad and tried to constrict Mom!  Mom didn’t let go and gently pulled and wriggled his body scale by scale until Mom got him out! 
Mom and the Wild RiceKids are so glad to have Dennis back.  And
Dennis is glad to have some water and mice in his belly after a month of absence.
And Mom, the Wild Rice Kids, and Dennis lived happily ever after.

*Naomi has been working in the education and therapeutic  fields since 2002. She has worked for the Lovaas Institute to administer ABA therapy for autistic children, Arbor Quest (a tree climbing non-profit that brings disabled children into the canopy), and Tree Climbing USA. She has been a chiropractic assistant at Five Points Chiropractic in Athens, GA for six years and is a leading master instructor with WildRice Adventures (

Naomi has been climbing trees with rope since 1997 and delights in sharing her love of the outdoors and fascination of treetop canopy with others. She is married to her outdoorsy husband Jody and they have three active kids (soon to be four) and an energetic Labrador retriever. They currently reside in Watkinsville, Georgia.

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