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Something To Crow About

We asked you to send us original works of fiction that could be read in three minutes or less. And, man, did your inner authors respond -- we received more than 5,000 submissions! Read all our favorites from round one on the Three-Minute Fiction page.

One sweltering afternoon, a boy, still wringing wet, walked into Byler's Bar and announced, "I sunk Danny's rowboat." He was nobody's kid we knew, so Bill Byler, the barkeep and proprietor, made a motion with his hand, a little flick of the wrist, and simply said, "Sunk it or not, no minors allowed," but the boy didn't go. Instead, he balled up those little fists of his and said, "Danny's boat is in the Mississippi mud and I'm the one that put it there." His voice was kind of screechy and shrill and we all looked at him.

"Okay, kid," Bill said, after a minute, "Congratulations. So where's your friend Danny now?"

"He ain't my friend. I reckon, by now, he's floated halfway to New Orleans."

A triumphant look shot from the boy's wild eyes. Then he turned around and stomped out.

We all chuckled. I took a long drink off my beer. Sunlight streamed in through the dust-covered windows. I never once saw Bill clean them.

"Ornery kid," I said.

Bill was toweling off a mug. He looked up, like he was checking to see if the kid might have walked back in. "Oh, he just had something to crow about," Bill said, when he saw it was nobody in the bar but us.

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