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Run Toto Run

Story ID:6808
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:2011
Person:Scared Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Run Toto Run

Run Toto Run
Hurry Auntie Em
Looks like a storms a comin
Where’s Uncle Jim?

Opened the wooden door
That kept the cellar cool and damp
To preserve the canned fruit and vegetables
Lit only by a kerosene lamp

Deep into the darkness peering
Feeling no fears she had before
Of bugs and spiders
That lived on the cellar floor.

They opened the door
Down the steps they flew
Lit the kerosene lamp
Dorothy, Auntie Em and Toto too.

We three huddled together
Waiting for the storm to end
Saying silent prayers to God
To save Toto, me, and Auntie Em, and Uncle Jim

Suddenly the door flew open
There came Uncle Jim
From the field
Down the steps into the cellar he ran

Suddenly it got very quiet
We could hear Old Josh’s mule bray
He lived down the road
About a mile away.

Then came the terrible roar
Hanging onto the door was Uncle Jim
The door was bouncing up and down
He called for Auntie Em

We have to keep it closed
Help me hang onto the door
Then there was an eerie stillness
We opened it slowly to explore

As we moved out of the cellar
The damage that was seen
The front porch was gone
So was the front door screen

The barn was askew
The out-door John was gone
We saw a black crow
Only one wing feather hanging on

He had been plucked clean
Unable to fly
We knew it was a matter of time
Until he would die.

We stood there surveying the damage
Missing also were several trees
As we entered the house
We got down on our knees

We thanked our “savior” For keeping us safe from harm
And that wonderful old cellar
Out here on the farm.

Monte L. Manka 2-8-11

Remember Jay how we crowded into your mom’s cellar that frightful day. How you and Don Held the door down. The crow we saw in Udall, Kansas after their tornado, poor thing. This poem, though silly has a real background—I’ve never ever been so scared in my life. I often wondered where we could have gone if there was no cave on 623 So. Topeka, El Dorado, Kansas?