Unexpected Writing Prompts – Chargoggagoggmachvhauggauggagoggchaubunagunagamaugg


I’ve been doing this social-networking-lets-be-friendly-with-other writer thing for over a year. It hasn’t been doing that much for me. I’ve met some lovely people online. I’ve even started to enjoy ‘Tweeting.’ I have talked to some really inspiring authors and I’ve gotten a lot of push to keep writing and continue to do better.

Author Austin Briggs http://austinbriggs.com/ gave me a a writing prompt, for a short-short story about a boy and his dog. The audience was to be for 7-year olds. We collaborated on the piece and I wrote it below. Generally I do not write children’s stories, I’m more a horror girl.


Austin gave me a random fact and I incorporated it into the story. I figured I would share the story.



There are times when seven-year-old boys really hate their dogs.


Like when the dog tries to drown them in a lake after screaming Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg for over an hour.

Mongoose is no Lassie-dog. She would not save me from a well if I feel in.           

I was worried about her at first, all she was repeating since we got to our family vacation at the Webster Lake in Massachusetts was a 45-letter word I know isn’t part of the English language.


Sometimes I wish I never taught my dog to speak.  Every kid on the planet wants a talking dog, until they get a talking dog. She gets stuck on repeat.


It isn’t bad enough that I’m drowning but now something is tangled around my leg and dragging me out of the water.


Probably a giant octopus. I bet they really like the taste of little boys.


I’m pulled out of the lake and come face-to-face with a man who isn’t my father. Actually I’m pretty sure he isn’t in the same century as my father. The guy looks like he walked out of the Native American section of the Museum of Science and History.


“Look at this strange fish. Part boy, part duck,” grunts the man.


            That reminds me that mom made me wear a duck float with my snorkeling gear. She didn’t want me to drown, only die of embarrassment.


“Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” my dog says, standing beside the Indian, wagging her tail, like the traitor dog she is.


“All boy,” I grumble, untangling myself from the net before sitting up and looking around. “This.. doesn’t look like Massachusetts anymore.”


 “This is Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, “Fishing Place at the Borders — Neutral Meeting Grounds.” The Indian stands there, thoughtful for a moment, “Massachusetts your tribe?”


  “No, it’s… well…” the man is just staring at me with that blank expression adults get when they’re really not going to understand anything I say. “Don’t worry about it. Can I have my dog back?”


    “This smart animal yours?” He says, patting Mongoose on the head. She rolls her eyes up at him, tongue rolling out of her mouth, with the biggest grin with a look of a dog that has never been petted in her entire life.


    “Yeah… She just tried to drown me in your Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.”


    “Well duck boy, what you trade for dog? You catch any fish?”


    “No but my duck will keep you from drowning according to the code of moms’,” I say, slipping it off to hand it to him.


    “Moms do know best,” he says after some consideration and takes the float.


    “ChargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamauggI” Mongoose howls dragging me into the water again. I wonder if this really is a fair trade. I should have left her with the Native Americans. Maybe they could teach her something useful like how to herd Buffalos.


I come out on the other side to see mom.


                “Where is your float?”


                “Did you know this lake is called Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg?” I ask quickly changing the subject.


    “Where did you learn that?”


    “The Indians told me.”


    “What Indians?”


    “The ones that took my float. I traded it to get Mongoose back.”


    “Ah, I see.” She says, not seeing but going along with it. Oh well, I tried.

    “Webster Lake!” Mongoose says bounding up to us.


    Mom looks down at the dog, “Did she just say?”


            “Don’t worry about it mom. All she said was bow wow wow. Like all good puppies do.”


            Except she’s not a very good puppy and she most certainly did say Webster Lake. 


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