This is Patches on a good day; but not all of them are to his liking!


Patches was grumpy!  Patches was feeling sorry for himself.  His tail dragged on the ground.  His ears drooped down over his eyes.  He was one sad sack of a donkey!


“Mrs. Jones is mad at me because I ate her flowers!  Mama Duck said I scared her babies!  The lambs jump higher than I can.  The horses that pull the wagons and plows told me to stay out of their pasture or they’d step on me!  A turtle bit my tail…”


Patches sat down beside the path and looked around.  Everyone was busy.  No one had time to play with a little donkey.  Especially one that always got in trouble!  Suddenly he heard a wee little voice, “Help! Help!”


Patches jumped up.  He looked around but saw no one.  Then he heard it again.  “Help!  I’m stuck!”


Patches looked down at the path.  Right where he had been sitting he saw a cricket.  It was tangled up in a clover plant.  Patches put his nose down to the plant.  “Was that you calling for help?” he asked.


“Well, who did you think it was?  You come along and plop your big bottom on my clover plant and don’t even know I’m here!”


“I’m sorry, sir, but you ARE very small,” said Patches in a friendly manner.  “Can I help you get unstuck?”


“OK, but you’d better be careful and not bite me in two with those big teeth!”  The cricket was rather rude.


When Patches had carefully pulled aside the clover stems and blossoms the cricket hopped out.  Patches couldn’t help nibbling on a clover blossom.  After all, they were quite sweet.  He looked around carefully and sat down again in a spot that looked safe.  “Want to talk a while, Mr. Cricket?” he asked.  “I’m feeling kind of lonesome today.”

“Aren’t you that kid I see playing with rabbits and pups and chickens?  How can you be lonesome?”  Mr. Cricket jumped onto a tall stem of wheat where he could be heard better.  “Now can you hear me!?” he yelled.


“Yes, thank you,” said Patches.  Now your voice is as big as mine.”


What did I hear you griping about a while ago?”


“I wasn’t griping!” protested Patches, “I was telling the truth!  I’m too little to be of any use and I’m always getting into trouble.”


“Pity, pity, pity!” whined the cricket.  “You ought to try living my life!  You think YOU are little!  How about being so little everybody steps on you?  Or SITS on you!  And I only get to live while it’s summertime.  Then the winter comes along and it’s too cold for bugs!  How about that?”


Patches wasn’t feeling quite so sorry for himself now. “Well, you could come live in my barn during the winter.  It’s nice and warm there and there’s plenty of straw to keep you warm.”


The cricked sniffed.  “Humph, thanks for the offer.  But what would I eat?  Probably no clover or wheat in there.”


Patches laughed, “Haven’t you ever been in a barn?  Why, there’s oats and hay and even molasses; I love molasses!  Course you have to be careful no one catches you eating it between meals!”  Patches still remembered the swat he got from Mr. Jones that day!


Mr. Cricket and Patches talked for a long while that sunny afternoon, and by the end of it they were both feeling better about the day.  Patches asked Mr. Cricket to tag along with him for the rest of the day and remind him how nice the sunshine felt and what a cozy home he had.  And Mr. Cricket found out how nice it was to have a friend.  Especially one with a warm barn full of goodies.


Yes, it had been a changeful day for two rather small fellows!


About dswan2

Poet, author, columnist, lyricist, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife of 50 years. Born and raised in America's Heartland
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15 Responses to A CHANGEFUL DAY

  1. Jingle says:

    patches is cute, what a lovely story,

    it fits children’s story category.
    Thanks for linking.

    • dswan2 says:

      Thanks, Jingle,
      I’d done the short story slam on the prompt photo, so decided to share one of the children’s stories. Patches and Freddy Mouse are characters I often use in my children’s column for the newspaper. Storm moving in so I’ll not be one for a while.

  2. Joe Zakarian says:

    Poor little cricket! Was it Jiminy Cricket in the old days who had so much grief?Patches may be small, but he’s a good big buddy!

  3. Hi, Joe! Good to hear from you again! I’ve been putting some of my Jingle Poetry submission here on Granny Tales, so you’ve probably been seeing more than kid stuff.

  4. This is such a sweet story and with such a good moral. There’s always someone with worse circumstances so you make the best with you have.

  5. dswan2 says:

    Thank you, this was something I thought up for my newspaper column for children.

  6. Melissa says:

    Dear Mindsinger,
    This note is a day early but I wanted to give you a heads up. You are my choice for this Thursday Writer’s Tribute. Your stories are fantastic, it’s a kid friendly site and it was just a plain joy to read your offering to the Short Story and Poetry Slam last week. Congratulations. Tomorrow I’ll have the post up with an award designed for you.

    Best Regards,
    Melissa R. Bickel

  7. Thank you, Melissa, I’ll look forward to it!

  8. Well done Mindsinger for the Thursday Writers Tribute. I feel sorry for the cricket in this one. It works well if you’re trying to teach a child that however bad things seem it could always be worse. A great message.

  9. Thank you, Melissa! I appreicate being featured on Blue-Bell Books. If your readers would like to read my favorite story on this site they can go The White Bird, here.

  10. lori says:

    What a great world you’ve created! Wonderful story for children, and I enjoyed it, too. It’s always good to shift perspectives…

  11. Kay Salady says:

    Congratulations on your award. It’s well deserved. God bless you, Donna.

    • dswan2 says:

      Thank you Lori and Kay! I’m glad you enjoyed my whimsy! Actually I hate crickets, but Patches is much more tolerant. 😎

  12. Jingle says:

    well deserved award.
    keep it up.


  13. Judith Evans says:

    I love this gentle story. Just read about your well-deserved award on Bluebell Books. Congrats!

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