Blog: Amanda Uhle

Amanda Uhle is Executive Director of 826michigan, a nonprofit center in Ann Arbor dedicated to supporting local young people with their writing skills - one of only seven centers in the U.S.. She'll be writing about 826, its impact on the community and even post samples of the kids' work.

Post No 3: Tall Tales & True Stories (continued)

Tall Tale: Rally Ann Sally & McGladdin
By Alex Maranville

There once lived a three-year-old boy who lived in the darkened woods. The boy's name was Rally Ann Sally and he loved heights. There were no skyscrapers in the area though, so Rally Ann Sally climbed trees. His favorite tree was a tree called McGladdin, which was 100,000 feet tall and touched the stars with its branches. Rally Ann Sally climbed McGladdin every day and also stood on the moon on the way up.

He lived in a small cabin with his only friends, Cat the Rat and Rat the Cat. Cat taught Rally Ann Sally to steal food from the bear's den. Rat taught Rally Ann Sally the most important skill of all: to climb trees! They also taught him how to get water by licking in the pond.

One day, Rally Ann Sally headed to the pond and was shocked to see that it looked like lungs in the summer heat. There was not a drop of water in sight. So Rally Ann Sally walked away.

The next day, Rally Ann Sally came with a shovel and dug fifty feet into the pond, but still could find no water. "Curses," yodeled Rally Ann Sally, and he walked away.

The day after that he came with a magnifying glass. He searched left and right for drops of water, but there was none to be found. "Oh, hilly billy!" cried Rally Ann Sally, and he walked away.

The next day, Rally Ann Sally came with his tongue because he had forgotten it at home the last three days. He licked everywhere but could find no moisture, so he walked away.

The whole experience left him speechless, and by the fifth day, Rally Ann Sally was sure this was a drought. Hints of a drought were all around, especially in the dead deer and other animals around. He knew he had to do something.

"Think, think," he said.

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw McGladdin stretching high above him. He had an idea. It was probably the boldest idea Rally Ann Sally had ever had.

Rally started climbing McGladdin all the way to the clouds. Then, McGladdin started to shrivel and the gigantic tree started to fall. The huge trunk started to plummet toward the earth. Before Rally Ann Sally had time to think, he grabbed the clouds and climbed them to the top and started shaking them like crazy.

Rain started to fall. There was so much rain that all of the dead animals who had faded away of dehydration came back to life. Even McGladdin came back to life and its trunk towered over the forest again.

In the years since, many stories have been told about Rally Ann Sally and how he saved the forest from drought with the biggest rain shower that ever fell. Many say they've seen him waving from atop the clouds.

True Story: Old Pops
by Jake Langeman

My great grandpa liked peanut butter with apples. He also played tackle football when he was a kid. He loved NFL football. When his wife went into the hospital and he started growing a beard, people say he just got lazy.

He lived with my grandparents for a couple of years. He always called me by a nickname, something like "Captain." We used to call him "Old Pops" because it was shorter.

He used to play with me and my cousins. We would run up to him and yell, "Come and get me!" We'd run back downstairs and he would stand up and say, "I'm gonna get you!" with his arms stretched out to the sides like a big bear.

We lived with my grandparents for a year and during that time, while we lived in the basement, "Old Pops" lived in my grandparents' room, and my grandparents stayed upstairs.

"Old Pops" died in 2004 the day before Halloween. That's why I don't like Halloween. Now when it is my birthday and it rains people say he is crying.

TRUE STORY: The Baseball Game
by Ashley Blackburn

One day I was on my way to Tiger Stadium with my family. They were playing against the Royals. When we got to the stadium we got some drinks and some hot dogs before we got to our seats.

When we got to our seats the game was about to begin. At the third inning, it was half time. We were still sitting in our seats, and I heard a man call: "Peanuts! Get your fresh peanuts here!" As I got to the peanut man, I gave him the money for two peanut bags.

We went back to our seats and I spilled peanuts everywhere. I remember stepping on the peanuts and hearing them crunch, and then I looked down and saw crushed peanuts everywhere. They reminded me of the ocean.

I wanted to keep crushing peanuts, but my dad said, "No." So I started crushing them on my forehead which felt like hail hitting me in the face, but I got used to the feeling and started to like it. Soon my forehead was as red as the devil's face. I stopped and tried to find something else to do.

In the sixth inning, big thunderclouds came and it started to sprinkle. We had to take cover.

By the time we got to the stadium it started raining so hard that it was like hammers hitting the floor. They covered the field with a tarp that looked like the American flag.

My dad bought us all raincoats to keep us dry. My dad had a yellow one, my mom had a black one, and my sister and I had blue ones.

After it stopped storming, the Tigers took the field again and we sat in someone else's seats with our coats on. The final score was Tigers 12, Royals 9. We won! I was so happy and so was my dad. That was the best baseball game I ever went to.