Vol. 13


A Wrong Turn

1955: Marion, Illinois, USA"A Wrong Turn" illustration, by Yuka Iwasawa: A young girl in a cornfield is face-to-face with a large bull.

Getting lost can be a frightening thing, but when you happen to meet something even more frightening on the way is when things start to get really scary.

In the summer of 1955 my grandma Phyllis was eight years old. She lived in southern Illinois in a small town called Marion. One time her mom had to visit a friend in Chicago, and she needed someone to watch Phyllis while she was gone, since Phyllis’s dad worked.

Phyllis ended up staying with her aunt Christine and her husband. They lived in the rural country with their four children. The front of Aunt Christine’s house faced a road. The other sides of the house overlooked acres and acres of cornfields.

One sunny morning Phyllis and her cousins decided to play in the fields. They strolled out the back door and into the corn. The five lively kids looked and looked until eventually they discovered a bare spot, where they plopped themselves down. After a little while they wanted some old pots and pans to play with. Phyllis volunteered to go back to the house to fetch them.

Phyllis couldn’t see over the tall green stalks, and she crossed row after row until she figured that she had somehow passed the house. She was as scared and lost as could be. “I’ll never get out!” she thought to herself while crying. She finally decided to follow one row all the way, because this would have to lead her somewhere eventually. She started running.

Aunt Christine had a neighbor far down the road to the right who happened to keep a very large bull in their pasture. Well, Phyllis ran and ran until she came face to face with that bull. His fur was brown and white, and matted all over.

Huge horns grew from the top of his head, and from his nose hung a big golden ring. “Humph,” the bull puffed.

Phyllis felt his hot breath against her face. The bull stood motionless in a pen at the time, but his head hung over. Phyllis was completely terrified. She pondered to herself, “If this bull is to the right of the house, then if I turn around and continue on, I’ll come to Aunt Christine’s house.” She took off and ran as fast, and as far away from that bull, as possible.

After what seemed like half a day of sprinting, Phyllis burst out right on the side of Aunt Christine’s house! She was extremely overjoyed to finally be back again, but everyone else was standing there looking so distraught. They had been searching high and low, but no one could find her. And here she was!

When looking back now, Phyllis laughs, though she admits the experience seemed horrible at the time. She definitely learned something and, though silly, the lesson is important: Don’t ever go into acres of cornfields when the corn is way over your head, and especially when you’re only an eight-year-old girl.

Elizabeth Clawson; Missouri, USA

Illustrator: Yuka Iwasawa; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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