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Today, we’re pleased to publish part two of a short and very entertaining story by Rick January, author of Come Out to the Garden. If you missed the beginning of the story, click here to catch up!

Thud! I actually made a thud! “What the . . . ?” Here I am on my back, a pressure washer on my stomach, pain coming from several places. And I’m thinking, “I made a thud! Who makes a thud?” When a tree falls it makes a thud! I mean, I’m a few pounds overweight, but there’s no way I should make a thud! Really?

About that time is when I began wondering what the EMTs might be doing. If you fall hard enough to make a thud, something must be broken, right? I started taking inventory of what still worked. I had hit my head on the ground, and it hurt. My back hurt, and my right leg felt as if it were burning, but one limb at a time was tested and found to function more or less normally. I slid the pressure washer off my stomach and slowly rolled to my knees and then to my feet. I was standing, I could move. The EMTs could remain on standby after all.

When I looked down, there was the ladder still on its edge as if to confirm its superiority. My next thought was, “How far can I throw this @#$%& thing?” Then I remembered I was in my front yard. It would be my luck that while no one may have seen me fall, everyone on the block would see me throw the stupid ladder and be finally convinced I was not only nuts, but dangerous. “Get the kids and dogs in the house and lock the doors! Rick really is a kook!” As much as I wanted to, I also refrained from kicking the ladder over. I mean, my foot hurt enough already.

That was enough. I had been humbled by an assemblage of inanimate, aluminum parts. Although everything still worked, a lot of things hurt. There was blood running down my leg. My will for the honey-do was temporarily broken. So much for windows and gutters that day. I started the day with thirteen windows to wash, and I still had thirteen to go. I picked things up, put things away, and decided to have a beer.

The ladder was the last thing I picked up. I still wanted to throw it. I hadn’t fallen that hard in a long time. I don’t know if the guests at the party will take note of the dirty windows, and I certainly don’t think my unborn grandchild will mind. For now, I’m left hoping my grandchild doesn’t take after my forgetful ways and thud-filled landings. I do hope he or she takes after my love for story-telling, the art of the written word, and the ability to find humor in any situation. I still can’t believe I made a thud!

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Rick January lives in Georgia with Stella, his wife of 40 years. His first children’s picture book, Come Out To The Garden,was released earlier this year and is available in paperback or hardcover. Come Out To The Garden is written in a rhyme and teaches kids the value of hard work and rewards that come along with tending to the garden with a loved one. It is also available to download as an eBook. Click here to visit Rick’s website: ComeOutToTheGardenBook.com.