Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

February 13, 2014

Can you write a six-word story?

CROSSVILLE — Have you heard of "six word stories"? The legend goes that, one day, while sitting at a table of fellow writers, Ernest Hemmingway bet the other writers that he could write a compelling story in six words. Each writer bet Hemmingway $10 that it couldn't be done. Hemmingway wrote on a napkin, "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn." and collected the bet. Whether the legend is true or not, it spurned a whole new pastime for millions of amateurs.

My daughter first told me about the six-word stories, and said that she wrote a new story each day for a year in a journal. I decided to give it a try. I put my daily six words on an online calendar, just to keep track of what I saw, or what happened that day. If nothing else, it makes you condense your thought into only the most significant ideas. You can look up "six word stories" online to learn more and see examples.

So here are three of my attempts and each longer story explaining the shorter six-word story.

Flat rock valley walk with deer.

This was my first feeble six-word story attempt. A six-word story is supposed to provide conflict, action, and resolution. I didn't attain that, but the story on my calendar does remind me of the hike I took that day. In a remote area of Fairfield Glade, I discovered a very steep valley with the opposite side covered with scattered large flat rocks almost like a mosaic. As I hiked down into the valley, I jumped four deer. Two ran full speed out of sight, but two others, a buck and a doe, just stood and watched me. As I slowly walked, stopped, walked, stopped through the woods, the two trusting deer walked parallel to me for a quarter mile. I kept closing the gap, but the deer never ran. Eventually, I left them standing, watching me as I changed direction and headed for home. Nice hiking with you guys ... thanks.

Someone killed the sentry; residents safe.

The next day, four of us were exploring another unnamed valley in our area when we discovered a pig house. The "house" is just a daytime resting place that is used occasionally, but we called it a house. The house was a rock overhang and on the floor was a soft bed of crushed leaves. There was no question that the wild pigs had been lounging on the crushed leaves. There was pig scat scattered all around the house, not on the cushy bed, but around and outside. It was a perfect location. The house was in the middle of an open hillside with views all around. It faced southwest, so the warm sun would take the chill out of the bedroom. Outside in the yard, there was even a security guard. Unfortunately the guard had succumbed due to unknown causes. A gray screech owl was dead on the frozen ground in front of the house. I could picture the owl high on a branch keeping watch over the property. That isn't what owls do, but it made a nice picture.

Wild house party with owners missing.

This six-word story is on my calendar a week later. We decided to set up my trail camera over the pig house to see if a cute pig would pose for some photos. The camera takes photos automatically when it detects movement, so we strapped it to a tree, placed a handful of corn where we wanted the pigs to position themselves, and added the contents of a can of sardines to draw them home. I never feed wildlife, except I sometimes leave a small appetizer when I place my camera in the woods so that I get more than a blurry passing shot. Well, after a week, the pig family never came home, but everyone else in the neighborhood did. I had lots of photos of gray fox, raccoons, gray squirrels, flying squirrels, deer, and mice. I took the camera down, but I plan to make a surprise visit to the pig house from time-to-time to see if I can catch them napping. Stay tuned.

So that is my "six word story" story. You may want to give it a try. I would be interested to know if you can come up with a particularly good six-word story. Who knows, you could be the next Hemmingway.

Comments, questions or suggestions for future nature articles are welcome at

Text Only
Glade Sun
  • County residents urged to vote

    Cumberland County has around 39,000 registered voters, as well as a strong reputation for voter participation.  However, as of press time on Tuesday, only 4,300 residents had taken advantage of early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections. Local officials are predicting less than 50 percent of registered voters will cast their vote in the 14 days of early voting, plus election day. Only 23 percent of registered county voters participated in the May elections.

    July 30, 2014

  • Board amends by-laws

    At the July meeting of the Fairfield Glade Community Club, the board of directors approved a vote to amend the club's bylaws regarding uncontested elections of board members, effectively declaring Bob Diller and Steven Smith new board members.

    July 30, 2014

  • Naiad Kuhlman.jpg Senior olympian on the run for good health

    No one can get away with telling Naiad Kuhlman of Crossville that age is a barrier to exercise. The avid runner, personal trainer and instructor at Cumberland Medical Center’s Wellness Complex at Fairfield Glade won’t buy the excuse.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enjoying nature.jpg Get your mink coat on the road

    It is interesting what animals you see crossing the roads sometimes. When animals cross roads, you can get a look at them, that wouldn't be possible if they stayed inside the cover of trees or grass. Sometimes, it is just a fleeting glance and you aren't sure what you saw. When you go into the woods looking for animals, they usually hide or leave the area before you even know they are around. But, roads are wide open with no cover. Also, most mammals are nocturnal, so they are out when we aren't. Anytime that I am on a two-lane road at night, I am always watching intently for wildlife in the headlights.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Read the latest edition of "The Bulletin"

    The Crossville Chronicle-Glade Sun also publishes a newsletter called "The Bulletin" in which you'll find a schedule of Glade activities and events, a restaurant and dining guide, golf information, and even tour schedules. Click here for the latest PDF edition of "The Bulletin."

    April 21, 2010 1 Link

  • Patches of Life: The replacement years

    I need a new refrigerator. There are some other things on order too as we seem to be in the replacement year of our life. Everything from the light bulbs to the computer seemed to agree that this is the year of replacement.

    July 30, 2014

  • Abacus Column: Tennessee the third most corrupt state in the U.S.?

    According to a recent article in Time magazine, Tennessee is ranked third among U.S. States in political corruption. I am not sure how they measure such crime in order to make such a charge. Does some purveyor of statistics identify the number of elected officials proved guilty in a court of law; or merely charged with corruption?

    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws celebrates pet adoption after 3 1/2 years

    Three and a half years ago, a local no-kill animal welfare organization known as A Time 4 Paws (AT4P) received an important email. A Nashville animal shelter volunteer asked if AT4P could take two severely abused English Pointer mixes. The email said they didn't want to take back two dogs they had placed in foster care for fear they would have to kill them.

    July 30, 2014

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.
    That’s the message being delivered by A Time 4 Paws, which has launched an ongoing drive to collect shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at A Time 4 Paws in Crossville and can be left in the blue recycling bin outside labeled Soles4Souls.

    July 30, 2014

  • FFG Treasure Hunt set for Sept. 5

    The 2014 Fairfield Glade Treasure Hunt is set for Friday, Sept. 5. This has always been a fun evening for those who enjoy puzzle solving, figuring out clues or just having a good time.

    July 30, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014