Patrick and Crazy Eddie Muldoon find the perfect secret place one summer, up in the rafters of the Muldoon’s garage. They find several boxes of empty canning jars and decide to conduct a science experiment throughout the summer’s sweltering heat. Who knows how far it could have gone if Mr. Muldoon didn’t accidentally discover it.
For anyone who had their own secret places as a kid, or even has them now, the story Secret Places is for you.
Cold Fish is one of the stories a lot of people ask me to help them find (it’s in the book They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?), especially in winter. It highlights the wonderful relationship between Pat and his mentor, the cantankerous old woodsman Rancid Crabtree.
As a rule Rancid tries to avoid work at all costs. But he is also prone to inventing elaborate schemes to help him avoid said work, and in the process expends a lot of energy that, to an outside observer looks an awful lot like the kind of work he is probably trying to avoid.
In this story Pat and Rancid build a fish shack with a sail on it so the wind can help move the shack from one fishing hole to another. Of course it works a little better than anticipated.
Sequences has always been one of my favorite stories. I remember the first time I read it. I couldn’t believe how perfectly he captured what happens in my own mind whenever I set out to do any task, no matter how small it may seem.
For instance, a few days ago I tried to start my morning with a cup of coffee but I was out of coffee creamer. Lucky me I had a new one in the pantry. But when I went to throw the empty one in the garbage I couldn’t because it was full. So I pulled out the full trash bag and took it outside to the trash bin. Standing in the cold, shivering, I looked around confused, wondering why I wasn’t sitting in my chair sipping my morning coffee like usual. The vortex of sequences had snuck up on me again.