Summary: Just some short drabbles/snippets (each 100 words) inspired by a posted fortune. Completed the first 5 or 6 fortunes that were missed during the original challenge in the forums and then combined them all to be posted here. Written for the 2019 Fortune Cookie Challenge.
Rating: K+ / Word Count: 1668
Hop Sing’s Fortune Cookies
(February 5, 2019)
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
It was once again time for the annual spring dance on the Ponderosa. Joe was once again faced with the agony of having to ask a girl to dance.
Adam and Hoss seemed to just jump in and ask a lady to dance within five minutes. Most times they were met with an expression of disgust and a solid “no”.
Learning from his older brother’s mistakes by waiting meant Joe was often never turned down when he asked. As he got whisked away, he caught the dumbfounded look on both his brother’s faces. Sometimes it pays to not be first.
(February 6, 2019)
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
“Mama, I just can’t get it right!” Hoss exclaimed. He was trying to whittle a wooden horse for his baby brother.
“You’ll get it eventually, my son. You just need to take your time and not give up.”
Hoss let out an annoyed sigh. He didn’t want to keep trying. He was never going to be good at this.
Marie seeing the frustration said, “It’s a bit like little Joe over there. He won’t learn to walk right away. He takes small steps each day. If he gave up because he didn’t walk the first time, he would never learn.”
(February 7, 2019)
Fear is interest paid on a debt you may not owe.
“Well, Hoss, you knew better than to cheat on that test.”
“But Adam, it was just a quick glance. I didn’t know the teacher was watching. I’m scared. Pa is gonna kill me!”
“Fear is interest paid on a debt you may not owe.”
“Don’t fear Pa without first facing him. He’s always fair with us. Once you explain, hopefully he’ll go easy on you.”
As the ranch came into view, the butterflies in Hoss’ stomach quickened.
“Come, brother. Best to tell Pa everything.” Adam threw his arm around Hoss as they both walked into the house.
(February 8, 2019)
Don’t pursue happiness; create it.
Ben and his two young sons were one of many families on this wagon train. After Inger’s death, he had decided to continue to pursue his dream of heading west where he thought happiness lived.
One of the downfalls of being on the trail was one had plenty of time to wrestle with one’s thoughts. Ben glanced over at Adam sitting next to him in the wagon and observed baby Hoss sleeping soundly in the back. It was then that he realized happiness wasn’t something he needed to chase. Happiness was here and now in his family that he created.
(February 9, 2019)
He who throws mud loses ground.
Ben sat at his desk thinking about the events that transpired today.
Sheriff Coffee had let him know there had been some talk in town about how he’s too old to run a ranch.
Roy, and others who knew Ben personally, quickly defended him as soon as they heard the rumors; they never for a second believed what they heard. In fact, there was a circulation being posted that no one in a 300-mile radius was to EVER hire the gossiping ranch hands.
Ben chuckled to himself, “Guess that old saying is true. Gossiping will only make one lose ground.”
(February 10, 2019)
A person who won’t read has no advantage over a person who can’t read.
Ben walked into the main room and noticed that Adam was sitting in his blue chair, fully engrossed in a deep thought. Ben needed to talk to his son about his refusal to work the past couple days.
“I know you don’t like doing the ranch book-work, but you do have the skills to do it correctly, which is better than most men working here. Right now, you are no better than those men who don’t have those skills.”
Adam just sat there, not saying a word.
“Please just think it over and don’t let your talents go to waste.”
(February 11, 2019)
All things are difficult before they are easy.
A young Little Joe sat at the kitchen table becoming more frustrated as each moment passed on. Looking up from his arithmetic book, he slammed his pencil down and sighed.
Adam decided it was time to intervene. “What’s the matter Joe?”
“It’s these dumb figures, they look like Chinese. I just don’t understand how to solve them!”
“Well, you know Joe, they might seem hard now, but after you learn how to solve them, they will seem so easy. You won’t even remember this frustration. Here, let me show you a shortcut I learned when I was back in school.”
(February 12, 2019)
A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.
Adam sat on the porch thinking. Tomorrow he was leaving to attend college out east. While he was excited, he could not help but wonder if he was making the right decision.
As Ben joined his oldest son, he noticed the worry. “I don’t blame you for being nervous. It’s a big change.”
Adam looked up and softly spoke, “Maybe I should just stay here on the comfort of the Ponderosa, where I feel safe.”
Ben shook his head, “You were meant to go to college. You have the brains and willpower to do so. Go and make us proud.”
(February 13, 2019)
Fear is in a dark room where negatives are developed.
It was the middle of the night and Little Joe awoke from another frightful dream. Ever since his beloved Alice died, he hasn’t been sleeping much. He’d often find himself sitting wide awake, in the dark of his room, just thinking about past events and where his life will take him.
Will he ever find another true love? Will he ever be happy again? It’s in times like these that it seems he will never find love again. Maybe it was just the fear talking in the middle of the night. Perhaps in time he will learn to love again.
(February 14, 2019)
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
Adam knew the first time he saw her getting off that stage that she was the one. There was just one problem: she didn’t seem to notice him. The few times they passed each other on the street, she looked down at him like he was common trail dust. It seemed impossible that they would ever be friends, let alone marry.
Sure, he didn’t have Joe’s charm or Hoss’ sweet nature, but he was determined to win her over eventually.
Adam worked up his courage and approached her. “Howdy, ma’am. My name’s Adam. Care to join me for a walk?”
(February 15, 2019)
The wise man is the one that makes you think that he is dumb.
It had been several weeks now that Hoss was trying to show six year old Joe how to care for the chickens. Each time, Joe claimed he didn’t understand.
“It’s frustrating, but Joe is actually pretty smart. If he convinces you to think he doesn’t know how to do it, you won’t make him and he can continue playing.”
Adam sent a small smile in Hoss’ direction before saying, “It reminds me of someone who tried pulling that same trick on me. I didn’t let you get away with it and you can’t let him get away with it either.”
(February 16, 2019)
The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.
“Hop Sing, do we really have to help you today? I have a million other things I can be doing instead.” Adam said with an unenthusiastic look on his face.
Hop Sing just shook his head and pushed the flour bag across the table. Unlike his brother, nine-year-old Hoss was extremely excited to help make his favorite cookies.
Grabbing a measuring cup, Hoss looked up at his sulking brother saying, “If your brain wasn’t so filled with worry about girls and helping on the ranch, you might actually enjoy this.”
Adam said nothing, just sending a glare towards his brother.
(February 17, 2019)
One that would have the fruit must climb the tree.
Little Joe was lying on his back in the dust for what seemed like the thousandth time this week. Ben had finally agreed to allow Joe to help with wild horse taming. It wasn’t going so well for him.
It seemed so easy for his brothers. Hoss always had a natural way with animals and Adam seemed to know how to train horses since he could walk.
Little Joe got back up, determined to continue trying. Something felt different this time, like the horse could feel his determination. Joe expected to be bucked off again, but it never happened. Success!
(February 18, 2019)
If you want the rainbow, you have to tolerate the rain.
Adam had been on this cattle drive for several weeks already. It was hard, challenging work. Sure, he knew that; he’d been on drives before. But this time it was different. It was his first drive leaving his wife and newborn at home.
Ben had once told him when he was younger that leaving his family on the ranch while he went away was one of the hardest things to do. Adam never believed him. Now he knew how true those words were.
While he hated leaving, it made coming back and holding his loved ones again that much sweeter.
(February 19, 2019)
Never forget that a half truth is a whole lie.
“Did you get your snack?”, Ben questioned his youngest after he noticed that the cake he left on the table was missing a slice.
“Yes, I had a cookie. Only one, honest.” Joe responded, deliberately leaving out the cake he also had. It wasn’t a lie; he DID have one cookie. Pa never specifically asked about the cake.
“Joe, a half-truth is the same as a whole lie and lying makes it hard for me to trust you. Try to remember that in the future. You best help Hop Sing make another cake. Next time I won’t be so lenient.”
Other Stories by this Author
- The Christmas Tree Surprise (by wx4rmk)
- A Waterlily From Inger (by wx4rmk)
- Ponderosa Felines (by wx4rmk)
- A Stray Named Muffin (by wx4rmk)
- The Autumn Race (by wx4rmk)