Robby and the rooster

Robby Stanton stared through the fence of the chicken pen. His eyes following the rooster. The road island red seemed almost as tall as he. Consisted small for his age, seven-year-old Robby felt as if he would never grow. Last night at his insistence, his mother measured him and then again, this morning. Pushing his back to the kitchen wall, he stretched his body as far as he could without standing on his tiptoes.

“Three foot eight.” His mother said, smiling at him. Robby’s face fell. He had hoped that he would have gained at least a quarter of an inch overnight. “Come eat your breakfast. It will make you feel better.” She placed a bowl of steaming oatmeal on the table in front of him.

“Isn’t oatmeal sopst to make you big and strong?” He asks, following her dutifully. He hadn’t grown a bit in the last six months. He was the smallest kid in his class, including the girls.

His mother patted him on the head. He hated it when she did that. It made him feel like a little kid. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it’ll happen.” He spooned a few bits of the oatmeal into his mouth. He ate it down to the last spoonful, but as far as he could see, it did him no good.

Finishing his breakfast, he walked out onto the back porch and took the wire basket down from the nail. He stood back and looked at the nail. His father had pounded it into the 2×4 just at the right height for him to reach. At that minute, he hated that nail.

Wondering out behind the house, he swung the basket around his head. He could do that when it was empty. Slowly, he made his way to the chicken pen to gather the eggs. This was one of the few tasks he could perform around the farm without help. Now he stood looking at the new rooster his father brought home yesterday afternoon. The sharp beak and claws terrified him. He doodled around, hoping the rooster would move away from the gate. Instead, the fowl came closer. In truth, the rooster was curious about this small human. Robby stepped back as the fowl named Rascal came to the gate. The small boy stood gawking at the rooster. The foul’s red and black feathers gleamed like a warrior’s armor in the sunlight. Spotting a worm, the rooster dug at the ground. Its claws appeared to Robby to be as sharp as knifes. Sweat popped out on the boy’s forehead. He glanced at the house, hoping his mother didn’t see his hesitation.

Robby tried to be brave, but other things frightened him. Noises in the night caused him to shiver. Surprisingly, thunderstorms comforted him. In them, he pretended he could hear the voice of God. Each night after, his mother tucked him in. After she left, he climbed out of bed to check under it and inspect the closet. Then there were the shadows, and in each one, he saw an intruder. To Robbie’s imagination, there were murderers and pirates crawling all over his room. Many a night, he pulled the covers up over his head and prayed for morning. His parents brought him a nightlight, which helped greatly.

“Don’t you think you should go out there?” Robby’s mother said, standing back from the kitchen window so her son wouldn’t see her. “Yeah, I suppose I should. You know he’s gonna have to buck up. That rooster just needs to know who’s boss.” Ernest Stanton Said.

“He’s one of the biggest roosters I ever saw.” His mother said, her heart going out to her son.

“Yup, he’s a big’en alright.” Ernest said, putting on his hat.

“Be patient with him, dear.”

“Of course.” He said, going out. Ernest tried to think back to when he was Robby’s age. He smiled and almost laughed.  He thought of the time the old white rooster set him to flight. He vaguely remembered tugging on his gumboots so he could gather the eggs. That day, the old rooster came at him again, really to run him out of the chicken yard as he had before. Instead of running, Ernest stood his ground. When the rooster charged him, he kicked the fowl in the head. The rooster stopped as if he had hit a brick wall, fell to the ground, and began flopping around. Ernest’s heart rose to his throat, sure he had killed the rooster. He saw his mother killing hens for Sunday dinner. They acted the same way before they died. After a few seconds, the rooster lay still. Tears coursed down Ernest’s cheeks. His parents would understand, but the chicken was the first thing he had killed. Gingerly, he approached the dead bird. To the young boy, it seemed the rooster’s eyes had already glazed over. His Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Young’s lesson this last week, was about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Would he do the same with a chicken? Ernest nudged the rooster with the toe of his boot. The boy spring back as the rooster jumped to his feet, looked at the boy then turning, he wobbled back to the chicken house. That night, Ernest told his father about the incident. His father laughed and said the boy had probably just stunned the bird. The offshoot was the rooster never bothered Ernest again. He thought of Robby. No with his size, the boy could barely walk in gumboots. They would come all the way up his thighs.

Robbie was still staring at the rooster when his father came up behind him. Ernest laid a hand on his son’s shoulder. Robbie jumped, convinced the bird had somehow reached through the fence and touched him. He dropped the wire basket he was holding. His father seemed not to notice.

“Come on, let’s get those eggs. I’ll give you a hand.” His father said, picking up the basket and opening the gate. Fearfully, Robby hung back. Patiently, his father held the gate open. Finally, Robby stepped into the pen. Staying on the opposite side of his father, he watched the rooster with a wary eye. Walking into the chicken house, his father shooed the hens off the nest. Robby had learned the first time he gathered the eggs: if the hen didn’t want the nest disturbed, she would peck your hand. A peck from their beak was painful and could draw blood. The first time it happened, he ran back to the house screaming. His mother dubbed Mercurochrome on the back of his hand while comforting him in soothing tones. For the next few days, she went with him as he collected the eggs.

When he was young, Rascal fought to establish himself with the flock. In a short while, he became the top rooster in the barnyard. Under his feathers, he had the scars to prove his status. Almost in the third year of his life, Rascal was now more interested in food than fighting.

To him, humans meant food and protection from varmints. He followed the boy and man, watching their every move. He didn’t see any chicken feed in the small wire basket the man carried, but that meant nothing. As far as Rascal was concerned, humans could produce food out of thin air.

After collecting the eggs, Robby and his father started for the gate. Surely, they wouldn’t be leaving without scattering at least some shelled corn on the ground. Rascal ran at them. All Robby saw was a charging rooster. He ran screaming through the gate his father held open. Ernest slammed it shut in the rooster’s face. Ashamed of his crowdedness, Robbie followed his father, his head hung low.

Inwardly, his father smiled. Bravery would come in time, however, not today. He went to repair some equipment, leaving Robby to his other chores.

All day long, Robby watched the rooster. Helping his mother beat the rugs sweeping the porch playing in the yard. Rascal was never far from his thoughts, or if he could help it in his sight. Each time he looked at him, the rooster seemed bigger.

To Robby, Rascal was weird. Their old rooster Buster only crowed at sunrise. Rascal crowed any time he felt like it. His cries sent a sharp edge straight through the boy. He could have attributed that to Buster’s age. He was old when Robbie was born. Last week, his father come in and said the old rooster was on his last legs. He saw him in the chicken pen, barely moving. Later in the evening, he watched his father pick up the rooster by his legs. Buster was already stiff.

They buried him out behind the barn. Ernest even set up a little cross with the rooster’s name on it. Buster never challenged Robbie. He ignored the boy as he gathered eggs or any other activity, which required his presence in the chicken yard. Not so Rascal. He watched every move the boy made. The rooster’s crowing unnerved Robby. At first, he heard the sound, as bragging. Then it seemed the tone changed to a challenge.

As he did his chores or played, it seemed Rascal’s eyes never left him. One time, he dared step up to the fence, trying to conquer his fears. His fingers curled in the openings of the wire. He stared at him. Suddenly the rooster rushed the fence. Jumping back, the boy turned and ran for the house. Rascal unconcerned plucked up the worm he had seen at Robbie’s feet and gobbled it down.

Robbie’s fear went beyond the rooster to snakes and spiders. He barely used the outhouse for weeks last year after his father killed a big black snake hanging from the ceiling of the small building. Then he took his mother’s old umbrella and kept it extended all the time he was in the building’s confines. He stole glances around its edges, sure that there were multitudes of the reptiles hanging from the two by fours.

At night, his mother read stories to him from the old family Bible. He listened to the brave men and women challenging kings and others in authority. Daniel in the lion’s den. Elijah speaking to Ahab.

A week later, he woke in the middle of the night, hearing a sound. Something was after the chickens. Leaping out of bed, he ran to his parent’s bedroom. His father set on the edge of the bed pulling on his boots. “Be careful, dear.” His mother said, setting up in bed.

“Keep him in the house.” Ernest said, indicating Robby. He grabbed his flashlight and his rifle. Checking to make sure it was loaded, he hurried out of the house.

“Come with me.” his mother said. Together, Robby and his mother watched from the back porch.

Ernest shined his light on the chicken yard. Rascal, his feathers bloody, stood blocking the door to the coop. Two coyotes faced him, one on either side. Each time one of them advanced, the rooster ran at the coyote screeching like a banshee. When the animal backed off, Rascal returned to guard the door.

Ernest turned on the flashlight, catching the coyotes in its beam. They turned their attention to this new threat. Their eyes bright with fear, they searched for a way to escape. One bounded to the top of the wire. Taking aim, Ernest sent a bullet through its brain. It fell to the ground outside, the pen dead. The other one ran frantically along the fence, searching for a hole to escape. It took two bullets to end its life. The first crippled it, making it limp crazily.

Rascal staggered over to the dead coyote, pecked at it. Then, turning, he took up position before the door to the chicken coop. He stood there for a few seconds, then collapsed. The din of the hens calmed down. Protected and safe, they returned to sleep.

Leaning the rifle against the fence, Ernest entered the chicken yard. Tenderly, he picked up the rooster and closing the gate, carrying him to the house.

Hurrying into the other room, Robbie’s mother returned with a blanket and spread it on the floor. For the next few minutes, Robbie watched his father and mother tenderly care for the wounded rooster.

“Is he dead? Robby asks, leaning over from his seated position.

“Just about.” His father said. He saw tears in his mother’s eyes.

“He sure fought them coyotes.” Robbie said, feeling ashamed of the way he treated Rascal.

Setting a bowl of warm water on the floor, his mother gently washed the rooster’s wounds.

“He sure did. Hadn’t been for him, those coyotes would have killed all the hens.” His father said, lifting a wing so his mother could wash under it.

“You go back to bed. Your father and I will care for Rascal.”

Tears pricked Robby’s eyes. “I’ll pray for him.” He said, looking at the rooster. Lying on the floor, Rascal seemed smaller than before.

“That would be nice.” His mother said with a sad smile.

As the small boy left the room, Ernest said. “It’ll have to be The Lord that brings him through. He’s hurt pretty bad. Rascal showed no reaction when his mother poured Hydrogen Peroxide on his wounds.

In bed, Robby thought of Rascal and his bravery standing and protecting his hens against certain death. He knew the coyotes would have killed them. As sleep took him, he prayed for the rooster and himself to be as brave as Rascal. He wanted to stay awake but after a few minutes his eyes lids became heavy.

In his dream, Robby heard something. A dozen, then hundreds, and hundreds of coyotes attack the farm. Rascal grew to giant size, protecting not just the chicken coop but the house barn, and all the livestock. Wounded and bloody, he fought them all. They retreated with him still standing guard, ready for their next attack. He crowed, a weak sound coming from his wounded throat. Robby fought against sleep, opening his eyes. In the doorway to his bedroom. Stood the rooster. Rascal wobbled, almost going down. Staggering like a drunken man, he approached the bed. The boy felt no fear. He smiled at the rooster. His mother stood in the doorway.

“He turned the corner just after midnight.” She said, smiling. “We’ll keep him in the house for the next few days until he becomes stronger.”

“That’ll give us time to become friends.” Robby said. Reaching out his right hand, he smoothed the feathers on the back of Rascal’s neck. The rooster closed his eyes, enjoying the attention.

In the next week, while Rascal recovered, Robby and the rooster became friends. For the first day or two, the Rascal did more sleeping than anything. On the third morning, Robby came into the kitchen, struggling to carry the rooster. Turning around from the stove, his mother smiled. “I’m going to take him out on the back porch if you think that would be alright.” Robby said, shifting the weight of the rooster. Stepping to the door, his mother opened it for them.

“I think that would be just fine.” She said. “Do you need anything?”

“No, I’m going to feed him and get him some water.”

A few minutes later, Ernest entered the kitchen. “Come look at this.” He said, indicating the boy on the porch. Together, husband and wife watched as the rooster gently pecked the chicken feed out of Robby’s hand.

This was the turning point in Robby’s life no longer was he afraid to enter the chicken yard. He slept at night, aware that God was watching over him.

Rascal lived a long-contented life. Many days Robby let him out. The rooster followed Robby around like a dog while the boy performed his chores or played in the shade on hot summer days.

Twelve years later, as Robby stood on the battlefield, he thought of Rascal. The rooster had died of old age. They buried him in a special place on the hill overlooking the farm.

Yet the lesson he taught a young boy of standing for what was right still resonated in Robby’s heart and would for generations to come.

Snidely the Bridge Troll

Once upon a time there was a troll that lived up under The Creek Bridge down at Low Hollow creek. He was a short ugly fellow, but very strong. His hair was straight, red, and stuck out like a mop. His skin was really wrinkly and felt like sandpaper. His clothes were always smelly. His name was "Snidely."

One day, Snidely was sleeping and something woke him up.

Someone was coming! It was a young boy and girl in a carriage.

Every time someone tried to cross the bridge, Snidely would jump out in front, cross his arms and demand one Dollar. "You cannot cross my bridge without giving me a Dollar first," said Snidely, with a scowl on his face. If you didn't pay, he would throw you over the side.

The boy and girl in the carriage were so scared they could hardly speak. "Ok, we will pay," said the boy to Snidely.

"We have to get home before the storm," he said to the girl.

Snidely let them through and waved as they got to the other side and rode out of sight. He really wasn't mean, he just wanted to see if people would really pay.

Back under the bridge again, Snidely began to hear some wind and it began to rain. It rained harder and harder. Snidely began to worry as the water started to rise in the creek. He was a strong bully, but he could not swim.

Higher and higher it rose. Snidely began to sweat.

Snidely had to do something quickly or he would be washed down the river.

He got out from under the bridge and went over to the tall fur tree next to the creek. He figured he would climb up high enough that he would not have to worry about the water.

Just as he began to climb, he heard, "Stop, you can't climb this tree without paying me Five Dollars."

It was Chunky the gorilla. Chunky was a nice gorilla, but he was very tired of seeing Snidely causing so much trouble with the people crossing the bridge.

"I only have four dollars," said Snidely.

"I guess you'll have to swim for it then," said Chunky to Snidely.

"I don't know how to swim," said Snidely. "I will surely drown!

"That's a bummer, you should have saved your money" said Chunky.

"I tell you what I'll do" said Chunky. "If you will agree not to charge people for crossing the bridge anymore, I will not only let you climb my tree, but you can come into my house and have dinner with me, as I was just getting ready to sit down and eat."

"It's a deal," said Snidely.

They sat down, ate dinner, and became very good friends.

From that day forward, Snidely became known as the nice troll that lived under the bridge. Whenever someone came down in the hollow to cross The Creek Bridge, Snidely would walk and talk with the them as they went across. Sometimes he would even sell them drinks and food from the little store he started next to the bridge.

Now people come to The Creek Bridge, whenever they can, to see Snidely. He is actually a real fun guy!

The end.

__________________________________________________________

Snidely learned a valuable lesson that he kept for life.

"You should never bully people or act greedily towards others, because you never know when they may be in a position to really offer you a helping hand."

On the go with Zibo

Zibo is a little zebra. You know what a zebra looks like, don’t you?
Right, it is a white horse with black stripes, or is it a black horse with white stripes?

Who cares? Today Zibo explores the world. Neighing happily, he steps through the green fields.
Animals understand people when they talk.
A dog knows what you want if you ask it to give a paw.
A horse that pulls the cart knows when it has to stop.
But human beings do not know precisely what the cow wants, when it moos.
When a cat meows, you may think that it wants to eat, but what did it actually ask?
Maybe it wants a piece of the chocolate that you are eating?
Who knows?
Let’s go back to Zibo, who walks through the fields.
He meets a cow and says: “Hello, animal.”
The cow looks up and answers: “Good day to you too.”
“Who are you and what is your name?”
“I am a cow and my name is Brownie.”
“Are you useful?”
“Surely, I give milk to my calves and to the children. How are you called?”
“I am Zibo, say Brownie, do you also give milk to the grownups?”
“I do, Zibo, there are millions of cows all over the world that give countless quarts of milk a day to all the people and animals.”
“That is great, bye Brownie”, says Zibo and he moves on.

He spots a small animal that creeps out of a flower. It has wings and a yellow abdomen with black stripes, just like him.
“Hi”, says Zibo and puts his nose near the flower.
“Buzz, buzz”, answers the animal.
“Who are you and what is your name?” asks Zibo.
“I am a bee and my name is Sting. Who do you think you are?”
“I am Zibo, the zebra, but are you an animal?”
The bee jumps on Zibo’s nose and says: “Of course I am an animal, but they call me an insect.”
“Well, that’s weird”, says Zibo: “what are you doing and who gave you that funny name?”
“They call me Sting, because bees have stings. I can hurt you with my sting but if I can work quietly, I seldom use it. That is different from wasps. They are dangerous. They often get angry and hurt you. Their sting is very painful.”
“Good to know. What is that work you do?”
“Bees extract nectar from the flowers and turn it into honey. That is very healthy for the tall and the small”, says the bee and buzzes away.
I have never tasted honey, thinks Zibo, but if it is that healthy, I will surely try it.

A bit further, Zibo meets a sheep. “Hello, animal”, says Zibo.
“Bèèè, hello”, says the sheep.
What do you think Zibo asks next?
Of course: “Who are you and what is your name?”
“I am a sheep and my name is Curl.”
“What a beautiful name”, says Zibo: “I am Zibo, are you any useful?”
“I certainly am, I give wool to the people. They knit sweaters that keep them nicely warm.”
“Sounds good, but I think sweaters are too hot.”
“Are you not cold, Zibo?”
“Why should I?”
“Running around like that in your pyjamas!” Curl laughs.
Zibo thinks deeply and then he laughs loudly and says: “Of course, Curl, you noticed that well, you thick curly ball.”
When both animals recover from laughing hard, Zibo returns home satisfied. What a lovely day this was, he thinks to himself.

That day on Krubbo

“Astriebo, where are you?”
“I’m here, Zdragjebo, behind the smukdra.”
“Why are you hiding? Are you afraid of something?”
“No, on Krubbo there is nothing to be afraid of. I’m just playing a game. The smukdra is ideal to disappear, yet it looks like being totally transparent.”
“Come from behind that screen, I rather talk to a visible person.”

That smukdra-thing is very amusing, when you stand behind it you are completely invisible. Astriebo is convinced that it comes from another planet, but he does not know which one. There is enough choice though. Except for the small blue one, which is the furthest away, there is the red or the milky white one. In total there are about twenty colossuses in space that we call planets, just like Krubbo. The elder Krubbonians claim that our light-years old origin is to be found on that tiny blue ball.

“Towards how many of the planets you think we can travel, Astriebo?”
“I have no idea but I’d like to go on a holiday with you to Waldbrow, the green one.”
“We can do that with the Holostar, which has a connection with five planets. The others are too far away.”
“Zdragjebo, you are so smart. If you were to give a lecture at school about a stranger that visits our planet, what would you tell him?”
“I would start off with Nus, the big fireball that brings light to Krubbo and that keeps it warm. Then, I would talk about our way of living in round metallic spheres that are divided in a kind of honeycomb. Each inhabitant has his own small space in which he sleeps and eats. From a tab that is connected to a general pipe system, we get our daily food in the form of a powerful brew. In a space in the middle of the sphere, people can get together to talk or play games.“
“What is your favorite game, Zdragjebo?”
“Hmm, that is Ludo, but I would also tell the visitor that there are bigger spheres for schools or halls for all kinds of events.”
“Will you tell him about Oerkabbo, the huge plain, where we often play and where things fall out of the sky?”
“I think we better keep that a secret, you never know what a stranger has in mind. The day before yesterday, my brother has found a red piece of metal with the inscription ’Tesla Roadster’. He will bring it to the museum.”
“You mean the place where they show this golden disc with the weird noises?”
“Exactly, they say that some of the noises are creatures that talk.”
“Is there something on that chatterbox that we, Krubbonians understand?”
“There are two small parts that we all clearly understand. One says: ‘Hello from the children of planet Earth’ and the second one says: ‘Good health to you now and forever.'

The Tunnel

Macklewood is a small village. There is church, a grocery and a bakery. Next to the town-hall there is a pub. Just outside the village is a big forest.
This forest is the home of all kinds of animals: foxes, rabbits, deer, frogs, butterflies, birds, bees, … Do you know other animals that live in a forest?
One day huge machines and trucks drove through the village. In no time the beautiful forest was cut into two halves by a new highway. It did not take long before hundreds of cars, vans and other vehicles were driving over the highway.
Luckily, for the inhabitants of Macklewood a bridge was built over the road, so they could still walk or drive from one side of the forest to the other side.
But for all the animals it was not funny. Some brave ones dared to cross the road by running fast. A lot of them can see in the dark, so they did it mostly by night when there was less traffic.
Unfortunately more and more got killed. From above the bridge, the people of Macklewood regretfully saw the dead bodies of the animals laying on the road.
Something had to be done about this. So they went to the mayor to discuss a plan. They would ask the Minister of traffic to build an ecotunnel. They read about it in the newspaper. It is like an enormous drill that makes a huge hole under the roadway. Through the hole they put a tube in which the animals can run back and forth. The Minister agreed and after a while the giant pipe was ready.
For the official opening, the local brass band with the mayor in front marched to the tunnel, followed by almost all the inhabitants of the village. Afterwards there was a big party.
The animals did not know what happened, all this noise in their usually quiet wood. They were hiding behind trees and watched curiously and anxiously from behind the bushes.
When the party was finally over, some brave animals dared to go and have a look at this weird hole under the road. They quickly understood that they could easily run from one side of the wood to the other side.
On their turn, the animals organised a big party. From now on they could safely pass the tunnel and they did not have to mourn their friends anymore that were hit by the cars.
The birds, the butterflies and the bees did not understand what this partying was all about.
Of course, they do not need an ecotunnel because they have wings and they can simply fly over the highway.

Words

Words have rhythm and rhyme,
Words are in stories that start once upon a time.
Whisper and shout, write and read,
Big and small are wonderful words indeed.
All words are terrific, all words are fine,
But the best words are sweet, the best words are kind.

 

©️2021 Elizabeth Wrobel

The magic tree

Chapter 1: Lotty was coming over!
Once upon a time, there lived a boy name Dobre. He has a younger brother named Doffy.
Next week their cousin Lotty was going to come over. Lotty was their favorite cousin.
Dobre and Doffy’s mom and dad were also going out the day when Lotty was coming. So, they 3 would be alone at home!
Next week the bell rang. “Ding Dong’’. Dobre and Doffy ran to open the door. They saw Lotty!
“Hi Lotty!!” said Dobre. “Hello Lotty!!” said Doffy. “Hi there both of you!!” said Lotty.
“Come on, lets go to our room and play!” said Doffy.

Chapter 2: a strange tree
All of them ran to their room. Lotty loved their backyard! From Dobre and Doffy’s room you could see the backyard. There was a huge 100-year-old tree. Lotty spotted it! He saw some things coming out and going back in the tree. He questioned Dobre and Doffy “Hey what’s that tree? I can see things coming and going back in from the tree.” “Oh, that’s a super old tree! We always see things coming and going back in from it. But we have never gone there.  Let’s go and explore!  What do you both say?” said Dobre. Yes!!  Said both of them together.

Chapter 3: Slotty and the other gnomes
They all walk to the backyard. They go next to the tree and bend to see what are the things on it.
They did not believe what they just saw! There were small gnomes! “Dobre! Lotty! Look what I found!! There are tiny gnomes going inside and outside!!” Said Doffy screaming. “Oh wow!! Let’s see more closely!” said Lotty.
All of them are focusing on the things the gnomes do.
One gnome saw them staring. “Hi kids! What are you looking at?” said the gnome. “Oh um... Hi!  I’m Dobre.  This is my little brother his name is Doffy.  And this is my cousin Lotty . Nice to meet you!  We were looking at you!!  Um you all are amazing!” said Dobre confused. “Hi Dobre!  I’M Slotty the gnome!  Me and my friends live in this tree!  From inside it looks amazing!” said the gnome. “Oh wow!!  I wish I was small like you, and I could enter your home!” said Doffy. “Well, you can!  I have powers which can make people shrink and be taller.” Said Slotty the gnome.  “Can you please make us shrink?” all of them said together.  “Sure!” said Slotty.  “Boom, shrink them,  Boom” said Slotty.  Woosh all of them became small just like Slotty!

Chapter 4: the inside of the tree
They all entered the tree.  They could not believe how beautiful it was!  “This looks better than my home!  Whispered Lotty.  “Wow this is beautiful!” said All of them.  They all were surprised how amazing it looked from inside!  The outside looked like a dirty piece of wood.
They saw all the gnomes rooms in the tree.  There was a lot of grass and food!  “This is amazing!  I love it!  I wish I could stay here forever.” Said Lotty.  ‘’ This is my room.”  Said Slotty . Slotty’s room was beautiful!  It had small wooden birds, a green bed made of grass and wood, a huge wooden slide and a small chair made of sand.  “It’s so beautiful!” they all said at once.  It was time for them to go.  They all were sad.  They had a lot of fun!
“Bye Slotty!” told them all.  Slotty made all 3 of them their normal height again.  Dobre and Doffy’s parents arrived too.  It was time for Lotty to go too.
“This was the best day ever!” said Lotty.  “Bye Lotty!!”  Bye Dobre and Doffy!”  they all said to each other.
Dobre, Doffy and Lotty never told the magic tree to anyone!  Every time Lotty used to come over, they would go to the tree!

THE END!

Monkey

HooHoo, HeeHee,
Hey there, Mr. Monkey.
I've always wondered when you make that sound,
Is it serious or are you just monkeying around?

©️2021 Elizabeth Wrobel

Running with the bull

Where was he? Cody kept near the fence. Not seeing the bull, he dared to creep to the grove of trees in the middle of the pasture. Maybe old Bubba was lying down in the shade of the big sycamore. Hot summer days like this, Cody liked to dip his bare feet in the cool water of the spring. His feet hot dusty the water cooled them really good. He walked into the shallow end of the pool. Curling the sand under his toes, he wiggled them in the sand and closed his eyes.

He pulled up his britches so not to wet them. “If’n my daddy finds out, I’m in the pasture I’m in for a spankin’. He sees me wet he gonna know where I been.” He danced around, careful not to splash too high. “That old bulls over on the other side of the field lookin’ at them cows.” He hummed a tune he heard in church last Sunday. His eyes still closed, he pretended he was Peter walking on water. At the sound of breaking brush, he froze. Opening his eyes, he looked into the angry bloodshot eyes of the bull. His pulse pounded in his ears; his breath caught in his throat. He backed up out of the water.

“Hi Bubba how are you, nice day ain’t it. I ain’t supost to say ain’t but Miss Rule’s not here.” He felt grass under his feet. In the middle of the pool, the bull glared at the boy. “Miss Rule, she’s my schoolteacher.” Gathering a breath, Bubba snorted at the child.

Screaming, Cody whirled and ran. Bubba gave chase. The boy glanced behind and picked up speed, his heart about to beat out of his chest, his breath coming in spurts. Gaining on him, Bubba’s pounding hoofs thundered closer. Sweat flew off the boy.

One way or the other, this would be his last run. The fence seemed a mile away. The closer he came, the further it was. Over the ridge he came running flat out. A hundred yards to yards to the fence. The door to the cabin flew open.

Women poured onto the porch. Death behind him and trouble in front. His rear end tingled, anticipating the spanking he would receive. That is, if he lived. ‘Thought she was gone’ he said to himself. He ran on his feet flying. He had an audience. His mother in the midst, of the women. One hand covered her mouth, the other on her chest, a look of horror on her face. The bull snorted he almost had his prey. Cody imagined he felt the hot breath of the longhorn. His right foot hit a throne bush. It hurt like blazes, slowing him down but not stopping him.

“Run boy, he’s right behind ye.” Mrs. Dalton shouted.

“You can make it. The fence‘ll stop ‘im” Old lady Boide called.

Others shouted words of encouragement.

His father came out of the barn with a pitchfork in his hand.

“I’m in trouble now.” Cody breathed. Five foot behind him Bubba gave a mighty lunge his left horn missed the child’s back by an inch he bellowed in frustration.

Cody hit the fence, hands straight out and bolted over, rolling on the ground. Leaning his head over the top wire, the bull shook his horns and bellowed. Setting up on his rump, Cody grinned at the bull. His head held high; Bubba turned back in the direction of the spring. Inspecting his foot, Cody picked at the sticker.

A hand picked him up by the back of his shirt. Cal Pickens held the boy up. He turned him around until their eyes were level. “I done told you the next time you bother that bull, I was gonna wear you out.”

Cody grinned. “Bubba sure can run can’t he pa.”
“I brought that bull for breeding, not for chasing my son.”

“Cody Pickens, how many times have we told you to stay out of that pasture?” Kary Pickens said, her eyes moist.

“Know where the name Pickins came from now.” Mrs. Bolide said. “He sure was apicikn’ them up and laying them down.

The gathering of women tittered Kary Pickens looked like she was ready to cry. Picking up the tail of her apron, she dabbed her eyes.

“Suce us ladies, we got some business to take care of.” Cal said. He turned in the direction of the barn.

“Can’t we talk about this pa?” Cody said, twisting around. Putting his hand around his son’s waist, Cal carried him in the barn’s direction.

“We done talked about you staying out of that pasture. You didn’t listen.”

Cody’s mind searched for something to say that would change his father’s mind about the spanking. Suddenly he thought of something his grandfather said last Sunday in his sermon. He took a deep breath; surly God would hear if he shouted loud enough.

“Lord be merciful to me a sinner.” Cody yelled at the top of his lungs. It worked his father stopped in mid-stride. His face cracked. Behind him, the women roared in laughter. Kary tried to appear stern. Her mouth twitched. She put her hand over her mouth. A snorkel escaped. She gave in. Cal stared at them.

If it worked one time, he would give it another shot. Maybe if he added please? “Please, Lord be merciful to me a sinner”

It started at Cal’s eyes and ran to the rest of his face. Setting his son on the ground he joined the others, slapping his knees and bending over he laughed until his sides hurt and tears came to his eyes. Relieved, Cody’s eyes roamed from his father and mother to the ladies. He grinned, believing the danger of a spanking past.

As quickly as it started, it was over. The women returned to their quilting bee, and Cal put his hand on Cody’s shoulder.

“Come on, son, let’s get this over with” With his other hand, he loosened his belt. Cody’s face fell.

“Bu… but I asked The Lord to help me.”

“Yes, and He’s agonna do it.” Tears leaked from Cody’s eyes.

A minute later, the women listened as Cal took five easy hits on Cody’s rear, each one accompanied by a squeal.

“That Cody, he’s a good boy. Why he go in the pasture when he knows the bull is there?” Mrs. Dalton said.

His mother smiled. “To cool his feet. The water in the spring bubbles out of the ground and dipping his feet cools his whole body.”

“I think between the bull and his daddy, his feet are the only thing that’s cool.” Old lady Boide said laughing.

The other ladies chuckled.

Rubbing his rear end, Cody set on the bench under the apple tree to the side of the cabin.

“Ain’t worth it.” He said out loud, “My feet may be cool, but my butt’s on fire.”

Fiama, the Llama

Fiama, the llama
By Aanya Sharma

Once upon a time, there was a small llama. Her name was Fiama. Fiama was very naughty and never listened to her mother. They lived by the river on a high mountain. Every year in winter, snow fell on their house. Fiama loved to play in the snow.
Once in winter, it snowed very heavily. The water in river turned into ice. Fiama wanted do go for skating on the ice. Her mother told her not to do so, since she was afraid that Fiama might fall into the cold water beneath if the ice broke.

That night there was a party in their house. Mother Llama was serving some delicious snacks to the guests. She had a plate full of pies. Suddenly, she remembered how much Fiama loved the pies! She started looking for Fiama in the house, but Fiama was not there! Naughty Fiama had quietly slipped out of the house to skate on the icy river, thinking that her mother wouldn’t know.

Alas! The ice broke and Fiama fell into the cold river. “Help! Help!”, she shouted, but there was no one around to help her. When mother Llama did not find Fiama in the house, she got worried. The guests offered to look for Fiama. The blue bird and the owl flew out, and saw Fiama in the river. The otters ran to rescue Fiama out of the water.

Fiama was all wet and shivering with cold. Mother Llama covered her in a thick blanket and called the doctor. Doctor Duck came with his medicines and checked Fiama. He told Mother Llama not to worry. He said, “Give Fiama these medicines two times, and some raspberry and tea. I will make her feel better in no time.” Mother Llama thanked Doctor Duck, and left Fiama to rest.

But naughty Fiama wouldn’t listen! She knew there were pies in the kitchen and she wanted to eat them all. Just when she was about to get down from her bed, she toppled and had a funny fall. The guests saw her and started laughing! Little Fiama was very embarrassed. She promised to listen to her mother always from then on.

The End.

Charlie the Imaginative

Charlie was a 7 year old boy with a big imagination. He liked to play pretend. This story is about the biggest adventure of his life.

It was a sunny weekend afternoon. Charlie was playing with his favorite stuffed animal (and best friend), Ziggy the monkey. Suddenly, his walkie talkie with the Secret Stuffed Spies Agency started yelling, “ Charlie! Charlie, we need you! Come to headquarters quick!” And so, Charlie was off.
Charlie ran outside to his treehouse. He pulled the lever on the pulley, and up he went. He grabbed his backpack, hopped into his imaginary airplane, and flew to the agency.
When he got there, Charlie saw some of his stuffed animals friends tied up, and an evil guy with a curly mustache holding them hostage!
Charlie pulled Ziggy out of his backpack and told him the plan, which was for Ziggy to jump around and distract the villain while Charlie ran and untied all of the other stuffed animals. Ziggy distracted the villain, and the plan worked! Charlie, Ziggy, and all of the other stuffed animals cornered the villain and took him to jail.
When they got back from putting the villain in jail, Charlie and Ziggy were awarded medals for bravery from the agency.
After a long day, Charlie went home, ate dinner, and went to sleep.
Written by Majestic Mouse on 9/7/2020

A penguin, A black egg and an island

At dawn I heard a knock on the door, it was Salon. He told me that Princess Laytin has been captured by the dark wizard .He handed me a survival kit and a map. I will give you a warning, I cannot guarantee that when you take a pill it will give a certain result, Salon said. I grabbed the survival kit, the map and my trusty sword and raced to my little wooden boat. It is a cold and rough journey to the iceberg. I finally made my way to the igloo where my trusty penguin friend Leo was.

! WHAT! My Penguin friend only has one arm and eye. What happened to you I ask him? He tells me that he was hunting fish for his supper and out of nowhere a baby great white ate his arm and my whole right face off. Come with me and I will give you a new arm and face. So we began the long journey to the nearest blacksmith’s and gave Leo the penguin a new face and arm. He also got given some super awesome ice beam powers so he can freeze enemies and other stuff. So we started our journey and sailed to a near by island to rest.

We parked our boat and walked through the peaceful village to the darkness caves. Luckily I installed a very bright flash light into Leo’s right robotic eye. We walked through the cave until we saw a large creepy shadow in front of us. We paused… and soon the shadow was out of sight. Be careful I say to Leo the shadow creep could still be around us.

We came at a stop there were two tunnels, what one should we go through Leo asks. I think we should see if there is a secret button around here because there is a lot of space between the two tunnels. Great thinking says Leo, so we search and search and then finally Leo found one and pushed it. A small door shaped hole crumbled between the two tunnels. We walked through there were only a few spiders and bats but I took care of them. Leo is scared of spiders and bats so he just stood behind me. We finally came to some light and then we where back outside. I could see a dark low cloud out to sea, the dark wizard is up to something strange.

We sailed to the castle island but a gigantic sea monster was guarding it so we had to make a detour and go to another near by island that had a blacksmiths shed. I found a silver sword and dipped in an plasma infused lake then I hammered into shape and made it red hot. Then Leo found a tiny island that was shimmering gold. Leo cooled my sword and then we set sail to the shimmering gold island. When we got there it was a pond of liquid gold. Then Leo tripped on a vine and then an old locking ground door opened up. I saw all these different suits I put a dark blue and white suit on with wall climbing hand pads and Leo got a ninja suit with a jetpack. We also got some cool weapons. We flew back to the dragon’s castle defeat the gigantic sea monster, and fly to the floating island that had the dragon’s castle on it with Princess Laytin trapped inside. (I think)

Leo gives me a speed pill and the Nadisa spring boots from the survival kit. I take the speed pill and put on the spring boats and take off into the air like a comet and stab my sword into the back of the ghost infused dragon. But it didn’t die… I tell Leo to use his ice beam to freeze the dragon’s wings. Finally the dragon crashes into the sea I quickly pull my sword out of the dragon and get back to land safely. Then I see a weird creature in the distanced getting closer by the minute. It looked like it had sharp crystal shaped things coming off it. The dread clear dragon was awoken. Still I wonder were is the princess and the evil wizard are and when he will strike back for revenge.

The dread clear dragon leaps out of the sea and crashes on the island next to me. Leo shoots massive ice chunks at the dread clear dragon but it was useless. I get Leo to freeze my sword, I spring up in the air land on the over island and slice the dread clear dragons legs off. Then I see a cage on its tail with princess Laytin. I stab the dread clear dragon one more time in the ribs and race to see princess Laytin. I slice the cage off the end of the tail and set princess Laytin free.

‘Are you ok’ I ask, ‘yes’ she reply’s. Where is the evil wizard, I don’t know, she says. Leo, you guard princess Laytin, I’m looking for the evil wizard I grab my sword head to my boat and sail to the dead mountains. I was close to my destination when I could all ready see a old castle on the top of the highest mountain. I could sense the evil wizard was there.

I park my boat and started my journey to and up the dead mountains. It was a peaceful journey to the dead mountains. I got to the highest dead mountain and started my long quest up. First a battled human eating spike plants, second I battled mini mushrooms with poisonous worm spears. And last I battled evil gnomes with magical freezing powers.

Finally I got to the evil wizards dark hideout. I kicked open the old wooden gates, pulled out my blade launcher and slowly crept in. I was walking in when I saw two speeding walls about to crush me, I used my penguin like reflexes and got out there in time. I ran up the old cobblestone stairs and saw a shadow at the opened doors. I jumped in and shot a blade. It got him in the stomach, just were I aimed. I ran up to him with my sword out so he couldn’t escape. He was dead, all his spells and casts were unleashed. The princess was safe, all thanks to me Knight Medin the unstoppable.

THE END

To the Princess

Some Years Ago, I was a young man and I was once the Dark Lords friend and my name is Tim.
The Dark Lords name is, Darth Maul…………………. He was a great friend but then his heart turned dark and became The Dark Lord. Oh and if you don’t already know my name is The protector of the kingdom Fuzhou. But I obviously wouldn’t do it alone. By my side is The Great Assassin……Tim........he is the mightiest of us all.

"Help us ,Help us”
“Yes Ma’am''
''The Princess Lila has been taken from her dorm.”
“We don’t know who by, but our best guess is The Dark Lord.”
“We need you. Do you think you would be able to rescue her? It would be a long hard Quest, but we believe you and Tim can accomplish the task that many have failed at before.”
“you mean she’s been taken by The Dark Lord more than once.”
“Yes, it has happened many times.”
“Are you up for the task.”
“Yes, Ma’am Tim and me will save your daughter.” ……

“Today Tim will be the day that go on the long-life threatening journey. By my calculations it will take two days to rescue Princess Lila. Go and get your armour your survival kit and your food pouch.” said ????
“What about our sword.” WHO
“The sword is included with our survival kit.” WHO
“Okay well let’s go get our equipment and go out on the journey.”

…….. 1 Hour Later……... "James we have a problem" started Tim
''What is it.''
''We have approached the Killer Carnations."
"Tim the killer carnations are also Flesh-eating fish. We have 2 options we can either draw out our swords or run I’m choosing to draw out my sword and slay them all and survive to the next obstacle are you with me.”
“Yes, It is my mission to support you the best I can.”
“Okay thanks now lets Engage in the Battle……

10 Mins later…… "
T I M we have slain them all and now we may continue to the next ferocious obstacle."

"Tim.''
"Yes James.''
''we have approached the Quicksand.”
“Well we can’t go left because there is water surrounding the left side and Western taipans on the right.”
“But James there are big hairy vines in the middle of the Quicksand if we do 1 of the biggest leaps in our lives, so we can grasp the vines and pull ourselves out I’ll go first. Said Tim Impatiently.”
“Okay I’ll be right behind you but once you grab the vines start swing then when you’re as high as you can go let go if you slip and I make it I’ll try my hardest to pull you out.”
.................. 2 Mins Later.................
“AHHHHHHHHH James I’ve slipped of the hairy vines.''
''Don’t worry I’ll go and hopefully I’ll make it across then I’ll pull you out okay.”
“Blub Blub.”
“I think that means yes.” "Okay here I go gee these vines are so slippery now I see why Tim fell off the vine.” “That hurt it probably was better that Tim landed in the Quicksand but now I have to pull him out of the Quicksand then we can keep on moving on the Quest to save the princess. Gee Tim your heavy and it doesn't help that this Quicksand is so sticky. Tim are you alright."
"Yes, James I'm But I'm really sticky."
"Yeah well it doesn't help that all of your Equipment is so thick and heavy."
"Well I'm really sorry that you’re so weak."
"Oh, Shoos it would've help if your grip gloves actually worked."
"James James can you keep on pulling me out."
"Oh, sorry I forgot wow that just gave way Tim are you alright."
"Yeah I'm fine how about you."
''No, I think sprained my wrist ''
''Well are you alright to continue''
''Yes I think"
"well up next we have to conquer the Forest and some people say that there are Monster Possums.

Well James you ready to pull out your sword."
''Yes, I should be fine now."
"Well let’s move but be ready because the Monster Possums can come out of the tree's out of the ground out of the sky.''
''Wait you mean they can fly''
''No not really they just have frilled skin between the arm's and leg's and that's how they can fly.''
''Oh okay''
''Watch out behind you there's a possum behind you.''
''Great job you knocked out the first of many Monster Possums now run and take care.''
''Stop''
''Why''
''The Monster Possums everywhere. Tim watch out keep running I see light its probably the end of the forest run run RUN where getting closer to the light''

Tim where here were is here. The Evil Grannies Lair well were are the evil grannies.'' Yet did they know that the evil grannies were cooking inside. ''Tim should we go in the lair.''
''I think we should.''
''Well lets go..........
''This is dark.''
''Tim Tim where are you.''
''Can I interest you in some poison cake ah no thanks.''
''Get out of my way I want some cake.''
''No Tim its poison cake don't eat it I need you for the rest of our journey."
"Okay I'll stop''
''Walk out the door slowly and cross the bridge go run before they can catch us and make us fat with their delicious treats. That could've be the end of us but since we got out of there quick enough we didn't met the end and that's lucky now be quiet were close to the dark lords castle which means that we must be close to the Dark Lords Dragon.'' Little did they know the dragon was flying 20m above them after 5 minutes the dragon flew down right in front of them and caught them by surprise.

''Tim get out the dragon stun gun''
''Okay click click click click Tim I don't think that its working.''
''Well then get out your sword and Anti-Dragon Heat Shield and I'll get mine out two but I'll also I'll get out my Giant Pill so I have more of a chance of Beating The Dragon.
"Okay then I'll try my best to cover you just to make sure how long does the Giant Pill last um I'm actually not really not sure how long it last but lets just hope for the best okay"
"Well I'll suit up and you get ready to cover me. Okay on 3 we run and stand far away from me because when I grow the dragon will be blowing fire straight at me and he'll be so concentrated on me that you can slowly climb up its back and take the dragons collar thingy then hopefully It'll fly then we can keep on going. Okay ready on three 1,2,3 go Tim how are you doing down there"
"Good but watch out!! The dragon sees you James"
"Thanks but Tim start climbing the dragons back"
"Okay..... James I'm close to the collar thingy"
"Okay be really careful this part of the dragon is really sensitive so climb really, really slow"
"James I've just reached the collar"
"Okay there should be a clip at the back of its neck."
"I've found it I'll unlock it then I'll jump and you can catch me okay."
"Yep
"Arrrrrggggggghhhhhh James catch me"
"I've got you"
"Tim while you were falling the dragon fell off just like we guessed"
"Yes that dumb dragon has left"

"Okay Tim lets sneak around the back of the castle so we won't be seen sneaking around the front of the castle"
"Yep I'm good with that"
"Okay well walk really quiet....

4 Minutes Later....
Hey Tim look at those garden gnomes aren't they a bit weird for an evil lair"
" Yeah they really are weird for an evil lair.... James the Garden Gnomes are moving"
"What don't be silly Garden Gnomes don't move! Tim one has me"
"James didn't you they we're glass"
"well yeah"
"Then doesn't that mean that if we find some rocks that we can smash them'
"Yeah it does but it might be to loud"
"Yeah exactly might be to loud so I'll find some rocks while you fight some the other gnomes off of you so then you can help me get more rocks"
"Okay I can do that." "Tim I'm ready to help but we might want to quicker"
"Okay" As Tim and James went on find more rocks they didn't know that inside the were many booby traps along the way to the very top of the castle which is were Princess Lila is.
"Tim I think we have enough rocks to smash all of them okay ready on 3 we run and smash them all 1,2,3 go Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"
"Tim I think we got them all"
"Good then lets go into the castle"

THE END

The Ultimate Quest

"Urrggh", Owen grunted, he was in the castle doing his homework, but then he heard something strange. He looked outside his broken glass window to see an unusual figure. He flew in the broken, glass window. The figure had a book, a sword and some sort of strange map. '‘Go away!'’ Owen yelled. "And who-who are you?!'' "I'm Merlin and I have chosen you Owen, to save The Princess, Princess Couch Potato. Here's a book, a map and a sword for your journey." Merlin replied.
Just when Owen was going to ask how he would do this stuff, Merlin disappeared into thin air. Owen opened the book it was called The Book of Ozan. Owen opened the first page to see a name of someone called Johnny Greg. He looked at the map, it had strange names and pictures of different places. There was the Lake of Lettuce, Bolin's Castle, Granville Cave of Lies, Naddrins mountain, The Dark lands and the castle that he is in now. Owen studied the sword it had strange symbols on it like a brick and a rat. Just when Owen turned to the next page there was a large BANG Coming from the door.
“Can I come in?" Murmured an unusual voice. ''Umm, who are you?''. Owen stammered. The mysterious creature didn't reply. Then the door opened, there was a small green owl mixed with a chipmunk, and it could talk. “Hello Master Owen, my name is Chippie.” “Why are you here, and how-how do you know my name?” “I'm your companion didn't Merlin tell you?” “No, he didn't he just left me here with this map a sword and this book saying stuff about a dude called Johnny Greg.” “Did you just say Johnny Greg?" he said in a surprised voice. “Umm... Yes. Is there something wrong with that?" ''No, it’s just he was the inventor and guardian of Ozan, he survived all the evil and trapped it away in another land called The Dark lands. But one day there was an evil mysterious looking figure called Bolin, who hunted those of good, including Johnny Greg. Bolin has been the evillest for thousands of years. Johnny Greg only talks to those who are the most positive and brave of them all.''
Owen looked outside and saw a couple mysterious creature it was a slimy yellow beast, it had razor sharp claws and pitch-black eyes. 'Umm, what's that?'', asked Owen. Chippie looked out the window in shock. ''We'd better go!'', Chippie shouted. ''Why?'' ''Just run, there Gloomies, they're the protectors of Ozan!'' Owen and Chippie sprinted out of the castle doors and climbed into a large tree. The tree had lots of rocks and sticks in it. "Should we throw rocks in the bushes over there to distract the Gloomies?" Owen asked Chippie. "Ok but when we throw the rocks and stick’s we need to sprint out fast, so we don't get spot by the Gloomies." Owen and Chippie threw the rocks and sticks and sprinted away and out of the castle gates." Few, that was easy," said Owen. " Yeah that was easy.".
"Where do we go now?" asked Owen, " I don't know, maybe check the map." Owen checked the map it had completely changed. There was a shortcut to Bolins castle! There was now a bridge getting built across a ravine, but they still needed to cross Granville and Naddrins mountain which had a dragon on it. Owen showed Chippie and they started their journey to Dreadnars castle once and for all.

3 Days Later....…..

Owen and Chippie arrived at Granville, the houses were smashed there was broken glass everywhere and there were heaps and heaps of Evil Grannies. " Why is this place so run down," Owen asked Chippie. "And why are there so many grannies. " I don't know why everything is broken," replied Chippie. "But I know why there so many grannies,”, "Why,". "Because it’s called Granville,"
The two heroes walked slowly around the mysterious place while the Grannies watched them. "Why are the grannies watching us?" whispered Owen. "I don't know."

The duo kept walking but now the Grannies were approaching them as if they were going to hurt them. But then a granny ran at them with a knife. "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!" shouted Owen. The Granny striked at Owen with the knife. "Use your sword!" Chippie yelled. Owen grabbed his sword and slashed it at the Granny's head. The Granny's head plopped onto the ground with a great splat. Blood flew everywhere. Just when Owen did that all the Grannies charged at Owen and Chippie. Owen slashed at the Grannies while Chippie was nibbling the Grannies limbs off. They kept fighting and fighting until nearly all the grannies were dead.

"That was hard, but it also felt very awesome." said Owen. "Yeah that was awesome and difficult." replied Chippie. "So now where are we going?" Owen checked his map. "The bridge" Owen replied. "But first I want to get some potions from that potion shop and then we can go." They walked to the potion shop. There were sleeping potions, jumping potions, climbing potions, speeding potions and heaps more! They got most of the potions and walked out of Granville.

They walked down an ally to see a mossy cliff with vines on it.
"What do we do now?" Owen asked. "Climb I guess."
Chippie climbed up easily but when Owen tried, he just couldn't climb. "I know how I can climb." said Owen. "I can use one of the potions like the climbing potion to climb.''
Owen drank a glug of the potion and climbed up the vined covered cliff easily.
"Wow!! These potions really work."

Owen looked ahead where there was a ravine with a bridge across it!
"That's the bridge in that map." Owen said excitedly.
"Yeah it is!"
Owen walked onto the bridge with Chippie the bridge was not what it appeared to be in the map. The bridge looed thousands of years old. It was broken, planks were missing and there were termites everywhere. Suddenly Owen tripped over and fell of the bridge. But he wasn't dead, or hurt he was being held on by something on the bridge, it was Chippie and another person like Merlin. "Thanks Merlin and Chippie for saving me. And why are you here Merlin? Why aren't you at your village?"
Gloomies took over they thought I murdered their leader called Scoff."
They pulled Owen up and walked off the bridge and sprinted away from the bridge.
"Now we go to Bolin's castle to save Princess Couch Potato." said Owen.
"I'm coming with you now Owen." said Merlin. "You will probably need my magic to beat Bolin."

The trio walked for hours and hours until they got to Bolin's castle. It was surrounded by bubbling lava.
They walked to the entrance it was completely open it was like he wanted them to come. They entered slowly and looked for any traps. They couldn't see any traps, so they walked normally. Then Guards rushed out of nowhere.
"Where did they come from?" asked Owen.
"I don't know but they look quite strong but let’s charge!!" shouted Chippie.
They charged at the Guards and slashed and bashed them and put on their armour.
"How do I put this on?" said Chippie. "Drink a glug of this growing potion." said Owen.
"Ok." said Chippie
Chippie drank a glug and grew to the same size as Owen. They walked around the confusing castle and found a sign saying Bolin's Quarters -> they kept walking until they got to Bolin's throne. Bolin was sitting on a golden throne with red cushioning on it.

"Hello Bolin." said Merlin said. "Long time no see. Today is the day you'll die."
The trio took of the armour and Chippie shrank back to his normal size
"Merlin!" Bolin shouted. "You came here to kill me. And who are these things you bring with you wimps."
"Don't call us wimps!" they both yelled.
Owen and Chippie ran at Bolin with their weapons.
"You'll die." shouted Owen. "Also, where's the Princess!"
"Over there." Bolin was pointing to a cage with the most beautiful princess Owen has ever seen.
"Set her free now!!" shouted Owen.
"NO!!" yelled Bolin.
"CHARGE"
The enemies collided. Owen was holding his sword, Bolin was holding an evil snake sword and Merlin was holding his oak wood staff. The trio finally pinned Bolin to the ground.
"Any last words!'' Owen yelled.
"Yes. Dewsuefewruehuetueso."
"What was that?" asked Owen confused
"That was the call to get Naddrin, my dragon to come hear." replied Bolin.
An evil dragon flew in through the window and picked up Bolin.
"You'll never catch me!" Bolin said.
"Or can I?" said Owen.
Owen glugged down the rest of the potion of growing and grew to the size of a giant.
Owen grabbed Naddrin and Bolin and smashed them into the ground.
Owen picked up Bolin while Chippie unlocked the cage to get the princess out. The princess ran out and Owen shoved Bolin in.
"How do you feel now?  Bad and ashamed?" asked Owen.
There was no answer from Bolin. Owen drank the shrinking potion and shrank back down to normal size.

(The End)

The Crossbow of the Wizard

My name is Corrin, the warrior/hero of my nation (who has a small fear of eggs!).  I was hanging out in my penthouse in the castle when Sizzly the Wizard burst in crying out “Ragnarok used the Dread Spell!  It will eventually reach us and cause all life to wilt!” “Dread Spell? Ragnarok? Wait, what!?” I said.

So many questions raced through my head. “Wasn’t Ragnarok the Unholy exiled to Skull Island because his dark thoughts grew beyond the king’s control?” I asked.  “Weeeeeelllll, kinda sorta maybe the spell wasn’t strong enough.” “Woooo Hoooo! Something to do. Finally!” I cried.

I jumped out the window and through the roof of my companion Bumblebear’s house. “It’s adventure time!!” I yelled. I leaped on his back and we bolted into the distance. From behind I heard Sizzly yelling “Oh man, more property damage?”  “Hyah!  To the princess’s tower!” I told Bumblebear.

We got to the foot of the tower when I did a double backflip off of him and landed with a thump.  I strolled in casually when I noticed the empty seat and realised that she was missing.  “I told Sizzly to inform you that she was missing.” The king said. “Oh, I always leave too early to hear the details.  I’ll be back with your daughter!” I yelled back to the king and queen as I ran down the hall to Bumblebear.

We ran into town to question some people who have a history of dealing with Ragnarok but a lot of the villagers are good people that stay away from evil wizards like him.  The first person we questioned was the local blacksmith Malcumus.  “Where were you at 21:00 today?”  I asked him.   He replied saying “Just finishing up on new Electranium sword and shield sets for the elite forces to pick up today.  Why?”  “That information is classified. Thanks!” I said and we walked away.

“There’s really no one else to question,” I said to Bumblebear.  He growled in despair. “Don’t worry!” I assured him. “We’ll find Princess Lucina!  We always do!”  “Wait!!!” We hear a voice.  Malcumus comes running towards us. “I forgot to give you your own Electranium sword and shield.” he said.  “It can harness the power of electricity and transform into a endless ball of pure energy.  I’ll give you another one so that Bumblebear’s stinger can absorb it and shoot it.”  “Thanks!” I said, and we headed to inspect the defense system.

There must have been something wrong with it because Ragnarok never would have been able to sneak past it. It was completely disabled. I saw a sort of magic texture dancing around the broken pieces of machinery. There were cogs and stone bricks everywhere and every pile of wreckage had the magic texture to it.  “These lives must be avenged,” I said to Bumblebear.  He roared in anger and guilt.

Our final stop before leaving in our Electranium boat was the Godess statue.  A lot of warriors went to the Godess statue to pray for strength.  We arrived at the statue and I prayed for my strengh.  Also if you are wondering why our nation, Gokusaiyan has so much Electranium, I’ll tell you.  Thousands and thousands of years ago, while the great war of Chaetophere, an electrified meteor crashed into a deserted island.  The power of the meteorite grew into the Evertree, a mythical tree capable of growing pure Electranium from the branches. The tree is guarded by little mushroom warriors with spears and toxic fungus bombs but we have befriended them so we can take as much Electranium as we need for our survival needs and weapons.  Because they were the first life to walk among it, they had naming rights.  By its inhabitants, it has been named Nidavellir.

We set out for the harbor.  The harbor is just behind the stronghold.  Most of the boats are either for the fleet or the property of the royal family.  Obviously, I am part of the fleet so I’ve got my own boat.  It is big enough for Bumblebear to lay down and I sit on top of him.  He is actually very comfy and soft.  We sail down to Nidavellir to see what’s been happening.  As soon as we get there, we are ambushed.  I realise the mushroomy guys have been brainwashed by Ragnarok.  They are usually very friendly.  “Looks like a fight sequence is coming up!” I said to Bumblebear.

He growled excitedly.  BASH! CLANG! BOOM! CLATTER! SMASH! FIGHT! K.O We knocked some sense into their tiny little poison heads!  Also they have a deadly spore in their round thingies on their heads.  They start to wake up and rub their spores.  “Shhhhrrrrriiiiieeeeeeekkkkk” they shrieked in pain.  “Sorry everyone!  You were brainwashed!” “Yeeeeeeeeee!”  That is the official language of the combined Mushroom Person Species.

Also on our island, Mushroom Soup is a banned meal.  We have too close of a relationship with them.

One of them pulled out a small piece of metal.  “It’s called an Aetherstone.” he said.  An alert came up on it.  It was from Ragnarok . He said he had a pleasant surprise for me involving his wife, the evil queen Bayonetta.  I was not convinced.

They gave me the Aetherstone and some electrical bomb arrows.  I turn it on to see what it does.  Suddenly a red substance came out of it and morphed into a ball.  The mushrooms tell me this is part of the Aether inside it.

I thank them for their help and I go back to my boat.  We head off towards the misty, dark abyss that seems to be inhaling the light.  There are giant floating hands guarding the entrance to the vortex.  The vortex leads to Ragnarok’s wizard/witch evil super castle that has tons of warlords and warlocks who work for him surrounding it.  Suddenly a skeleton with a blue jacket dropped into the boat out of a tree.  “Hey guys!!!!!” the skeleton said.  It said something about how much it dislikes Ragnarok and Bayonetta and something about that he was proud his army was expendable and it wanted to help me seal the darkness and stop him.

“What’s your name” I finally asked it. “Sans, but why are you asking?”  “Because you are now an official member of the Apex Primitives!”  I said to it.  “Also, do you have an official gender?”  “Of course! I’m a male, obviously!”  “Yeah, thought so!”

We continue to sail towards the inky abyss.  Suddenly an army of mega hands surround us.  “We’re under attack!!!!” I screamed.  Some dark lightning came crashing down and obliterated the hands.  “Huh, how convenient!” said Sans. “But still, I could have done it myself!  I have power over time and space!”

A dark yellow passage opened and inhaled us.  Surrounding us was just chaos and wreckage.  I shuddered at the fact of coming back here again.  “LOOOOOOOOOK OOOOOOOOUUUUUUUTTTTT!!” screamed Sans.  It was Rixium, ruler of the Dream Dimension and one of Ragnarok’s old Villain Bar friends.  A cloud of Dreamy Dust exploded into the air.  Bumblebear roared the Roar of the Ancients and blasted the Dreamy Dust straight at Rixium.  He was snoring in no time flat.  “I didn’t think Dreamy Dust could work on Rixium himself.” I said. “At least the world is working in our favor, this time around!” Sans said.

He pulled out a grappling hook and tornado spinned us up to the tallest spire of the castle but we all fell off and went through the roof and into Ragnarok’s bedroom into his pool of sheets and pillows that he sleeps in. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!” we said.  “How is the world working so much in our favor today?!?” said Sans.

TTTTHHHHUUUUMMMMPPPP!!!! (it’s capitalized because it’s loud) “ WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” Sans screamed.  PPPPEEEEEEWWWWWWW PPPPPPEEEEEEEWWWW went my electrical bomb arrows against a mystery figure.  IT WAS A DUMMY!!!  A flash and a kazipp were heard and in came Ragnarok with his wife but they were fused into a demo-bokoblin.  “Look who’s here!”  I said.  I got a growl in return.  It seems this demo form has made Ragnarok lose his intelligence. “No matter! I’ll take you on anytime!” I yelled, swishing my sword.

RRRRROOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!! Let’s go!!! Bumblebear flew up to his head and was shooting electric energy from his stinger and I shot arrow after arrow after arrow after arrow but part of its hide was too thick to peirce from the outside.  I found a glowy bit on its tail.  A-HA!!  A weak point! Even though I don’t like them, I threw some eggs at its tail.

AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!  It poofed away back into Ragnarok but we had rid the world of the Lady of Destruction.  Now we have to deal with the Lord of the Dark Dimension.  “NOOOOOOOO!” he cried. “YOUUU!!” he said, pointing at Sans. “FIGHT ME TO PROVE YOUR WORTH!!” “Nah, I’m fine!” said Sans. “I’d rather have a dance-off!  Wanna try and best me?” “ NOOOOO!!  LOCK ME AWAY!!  I WILL NEVER DANCE!!” screamed Ragnarok.

“Actually we had something better for you! HOCUS POCUS!!!”  I said.  And he was banished.  The princess mystically flashed in after the banishing.  “Hello, friends!  Let’s go home!” said Princess Lucina.  There was a flash and a chiming sound and we were standing at the foot of the princess’s tower.  “Wait!  Couldn’t you have done that to get us there?!?” I said. “The tower weakened my magic abilities so I could not mind travel you to my destination.” said the princess.

“Oh well!  At least we had a fun adventure!”  Everybody laughed and cheered knowing the princess was safe again. And no other threat came across Gokusaiyan for years.  Until December 31 106…

Paying a visit

On a sunny afternoon Trilili says: "I think I’ll go and see Tralala."
On the way to Tralala, Trilili meets Trololo.
“Hello Trololo,” shouts Trilili.
“Good afternoon, Trilili,” says Trololo.
“Where do you go to?”, asks Trilili.
“Me? I am going to see Tralala,” answers Trololo.
“What a coincidence, I am on my way to Tralala,” says Trilili.
“Shall we walk together?” asks Trololo.
“Good idea, “ answers Trilili.

A few moments later, they ring the bell of Tralala.
Tralala opens the door and smiles: “What a surprise, my best friends Trilili and Trololo! Come in. I’ll make a cup of tea for the three of us.”
“That is great,” says Trilili.
“I agree,” says Trololo.
Soon they hear the whistle of the water kettle in the kitchen and a few minutes later they have their tea with a home-made piece of cake in the cosy house of Tralala.

"Did you hear the latest news?” asks Tralala.
“About what?” says Trilili.
“About Trululu,” says Tralala: “yesterday he fell with his bicycle and now he is at the hospital.”
“Oh, dear, he must have a lot of pain,” says Trololo.
“I have an idea, shall we pay Trululu a visit at the hospital?” asks Trilili.
Trololo and Tralala find it an excellent idea and a few moments later the three friends step on the bus to the hospital.
They have wrapped a piece of cake in paper with a nice ribbon. It is a present for Trululu.

Through a large revolving door the three friends enter the hospital. They like such a door that turns like a merry-go-round. But at the hospital you should not play in the corridors and you should not be noisy. That is why the speak very softly.

This hospital is huge with hundreds of corridors and a thousand rooms. They look around and wonder how they can find Trululu’s room. Then they see a sign with the word ‘Reception’. Behind the counter there is a kind lady asking them who they are and what they are looking for.
“I am Trilili,” says Trilili.
“And I am Tralala,” says Tralala.
“My name is Trololo,” says Trololo.

The receptionist smiles and says: “What adorable names you have. You must be paying a visit to Trululu?”
“How did you guess?” asks Trololo.
“There is only one Trululu in this hospital and with names like yours I was sure you were looking for him,” says the friendly lady and she adds: “Trululu is in room 312. Take the elevator to the third floor and then you turn to the right. The room is on the left side of the corridor.”

They zoom to the third floor and can hardly control themselves not to run to Trululu’s room, but they know that you should not run in the hospital’s corridors.
Just in front of the door with Trululu’s name, the three of them rush inside.
Trululu lays in a huge bed and his right leg is wrapped and hangs on a chain with a hook.
There is a nurse in the room who screams: “Ho, ho, ho, easy does it or you will break your legs as well!”

Trululu is full of joy. His friends thought of him and they even brought him a present.
Trilili, Tralala and Trololo are eager to know about Trululu’s accident. They hold their breath when Trululu tells them what happened.

In the meantime, the lady with her white coat gently slips out of the room. The nurse has already heard Trululu’s story plenty of times.

Dr. Skinner and Hungry Pigeon

Dr. Skinner is a very nice and polite man,
he has a very good friend, Bob.
Bob is a gray pigeon with green eyes and red feet.

One day, Bob and Dr. Skinner had a bad fight,
Bob yelled at Dr. Skinner,
"I don't like you, I don't want to play with you anymore",
and then Bob went back to his room.

Dr. Skinner is worried,
but Bob would not speak to him.
Bob is too young,
he does not know where to get food.
Usually Bob play and eat with Dr. Skinner everyday,
and Dr. Skinner will prepare food for Bob.

The first day, Dr. Skinner cooked meals and asked Bob,
"Bob, it is time for lunch, would you like to eat with me".
Bob is still mad of Dr. Skinner, so he said,
"No, Skinner, I will feed myself".

So Dr. Skinner ate by himself.
However, Bob does not know how to feed himself,
he knows there is food in the fridge,
but he does not want to go out and see Dr. Skinner.
Bob did not eat anything in the first day,
he is hungry.

The second day, Bob was staying in his room starving and bored.
Bob thought, "I can totally play with myself".
Then Bob started dancing around the room, pecking around and making face.
Bob played for a while,
then he found it is not funny playing with himself and he feels very hungry,
"I will go out, apologise to Skinner, have some food, and play with him",
Bob thought.

Bob opened the door,
and was surprised to find that there was some food behind the door.
"Oh look what I have found here, a whole plate of food, I don't have to apologise to Skinner anymore".
Bob missed the time he and Dr. Skinner play together,
but Bob does not want to apologise.
"Why there is food behind my door?",
Bob thought at night,
"It must be the god of pigeons helping me".

The third day, Bob felt hungry again.
He opened the door,
but there is nothing behind the door.
"Why no food today? Am I doing anything wrong?",
Bob thought.
"Maybe I should dance".

Bob danced for a while,
but there is still nothing behind the door.
Bob felt abandoned and hungry.
"I will go out, apologise to Skinner, have some food, and play with him",
Bob thought.

Bob opened the door,
and there was some food again.
"Maybe it's not the dance",
Bob thought,
"I should try pecking around and making face next time".

The next day, Bob felt hungry again.
He pecked around the room and made face the whole morning,
but there was nothing behind the door.
Bob felt disappointed and hungry.
"I will go out, apologise to Skinner, have some food, and play with him",
Bob thought.

Bob opened the door,
found Dr. Skinner cooking in the kitchen.
"I am sorry, Skinner, my friend",
Bob apologised sincerely,
"Can I have some food?".

"Sure, this is for you",
Dr. Skinner smiled and handed over the plate.
Dr. Skinner and Bob are friends again.
Bob never told Dr. Skinner about the god of pigeons,
and Dr. Skinner never told Bob, that he put food behind Bob's door everyday.

audio available at https://soundcloud.com/muduo-lei/story2

Abigail Queen of Natronia

Dinosaurs In My Bed

 

Andrew lay shivering in his bed. The sky was alive with booming sounds and brilliant flashes just outside his window.

 

Fifteen minutes ago he asked, “Mom, will the storm last long?”

 

“Please, don’t worry,“ she said. “The weatherman promised it would pass over Truro quickly. Now get some sleep.”

 

Except it didn’t; and he couldn’t.

 

Andrew listened to his alarm clock. “Tick…Tick…Tock.” The night seemed to go on forever. Seconds turned into minutes.

 

Then into what seemed like hours.

 

Above the house, loud lightning crashes made him duck further under the blankets. Outside thunder even rattled his window.

 

Should he go into his parent’s room? But then he was a big boy now. And he had to be brave. Dad even helped him prepare for this bad weather.

 

Just in case it lasted all night.

 

Now his backpack was hidden under the blankets. It was filled with favorite toys, games and comic books. Even “Panda” bear he had since the age of two.

 

Mom made sure Andrew also had a few goodies. A huge bag of popcorn was close to his right side. And a bag of rippled chips was on the other.

 

His family had gone tenting in Cape Breton, last weekend. So he was now a boy with camping experience. And he knew how to be brave.

 

What was moving around his toes? “Ouch, that hurt,” his trembling voice, whispered. The noise outside was so loud Andrew could hardly think.

 

Through the window, a dark sky blocked out the stars.

 

The boy was suddenly nervous. What was under the blanket? He was curious and rummaged through his backpack.

 

“OMIGOSH,” Andrew said. “I forgot my flashlight.”

 

He slid out of bed and hurled himself across the floor. Andrew hunted around until he found it in the top dresser drawer.

 

Quickly jumping back into bed, he forced cold feet down to the very end. Bare toes rested on something rough and sharp. Now it seemed to be crawling around his ankles.

 

Yikes! He wasn’t alone in bed!

 

He checked under the covers where it was black as coal, almost like being outside. Instead of gleaming stars lit up, spots looked more like eyes.

 

Roaring came from behind his left leg.

 

Andrew chewed on his left thumb and turned on the flashlight. “That terrifying sound couldn’t be…?” he hesitated.

 

Yes, a dinosaur! But that was impossible, wasn’t it? Dinosaurs couldn’t fit under bed covers belonging to a little boy, living inside his house. Right?

 

Wrong. Staring back at him was a Stegosaurus. And it tasted his Hostess vinegar chips, the one small bag with a few morsels left.

 

“Get away, you!” Andrew bellowed, trying to be brave. The animal rumbled something back under the blanket-sky and hurried into a shadowy corner.

 

New noises caught the boy’s attention. His flashlight helped pick out moving shadows. What was going on? he wondered. There was a Triceratops and a Deinonychus.

 

And a Tyranosaurus!

 

“Run!” Andrew yelled. Suddenly he felt like he was the only one alive on the planet. But he was still under his blanket that seemed to expand in the distance and even high above him.

 

He searched for somewhere to hide.

 

Cold feet could barely move. It was like a different world under the blankets. His heart marched to the beat of a drum. Lightning zipped then zapped under his blanket-sky.

 

Large animals began to chase smaller ones.

 

Racing toward him was a Dicraeosaurus. This was a peaceful plant eater and would not hurt him. But, Andrew couldn’t take any chances.

 

He pulled a fire engine from his backpack. Jumping into the front seat, Andrew turned the siren on full velocity. All it did was hurt his ears.

 

A Ceratosaurus and Albertosaurus bounded after him. They were like large friendly dogs wanting to play. But Andrew didn’t wish to get crushed.

 

He stepped on the gas pedal. And the fire engine leaped forward.

 

Soon, the road became a narrow path, aiming straight for the forest. Andrew quickly parked. Then he laced on new sneakers from his backpack.

 

He also brought his whistle. Shrill blowing warned everything to get out of his way. A flurry of feet escaped down the trail, each step pounding hard.

 

One arm held tightly to ‘Panda.’

 

The wind blew off his cap sending it into the distance. Branches snatched at his face. He didn’t want to get squashed or eaten by those dinosaurs.

 

The storm outside was nothing compared to wild animals chasing him under his blanket. How did all of this happen anyhow?

 

Growls and speeding feet kept pace behind him. Reaching into his backpack Andrew grabbed his roller blades. Now, he thought, it should be easy to skate away safely.

 

That is, until a sneaky tree root sent him headfirst into the mud.

 

Now it was hurry-up time to climb a tree.

 

“Mom, where are you?” Andrew shouted. “Daddd!” Skinny legs scrambled up the trunk. And like a monkey climbed higher from branch to branch.

 

Suddenly between two limbs was the head of a Brontosaurus. It smiled as it chewed a mouthful of leaves. “What’s your problem?” it seemed to say.

 

“Andrew! ANDREWWW!” someone called. Voices seemed to move back and forth and around like echoes. Yes, people were shouting his name!

 

The boy hastily threw off his blankets, sat up, and stared at mom and dad. He blinked as morning’s sun peeked between Venetian blinds.

 

“Panda” was still tucked securely under his arm.

 

“I see you found our surprises under your blankets,” mom said.

 

Andrew looked blankly at his mom.

 

“You know. Remember the dinosaur models you asked for last week?”

 

“And I’m proud of you,” dad said. “Look how neatly you stacked them on your dresser.”

 

Andrew felt weird as dad pointed.

 

In a neat row was a parade of colorful dinosaurs. They were following a friendly Dicraeosaurus, with a ferocious looking Tyrannosaurus Rex at the end of the line.

 

Leading the whole group was a figure of a little boy.

 

And he was holding tightly to a teddy bear.

 

Author Notes:

All of the dinosaurs are correctly named in this Fantasy tale. My wife, Esther and I, also visited Drumheller, near Calgary Alberta where they once roamed.

 

© 2012-17 Richard and Esther Provencher

The Tale of Two Sisters

The Tale of Two Sisters

In a faraway kingdom there lived 2 girls, Rosie and Daisy. Daisy was the elder sister and Rosie the younger. They lived in a castle. They were princesses. Daisy was really mean and selfish. She loved to hurt everyone including her sister, but Daisy was really kind to her father as she believed her father, the king, would hand over the kingdom to her in the future. Rosie was really kind, loving and helpful. She never complained to her father.

One day the king decided, to divide the kingdom in two equal halves for his daughters. The king asked Daisy, “Daisy, what is it that you like the most in the whole world?” Daisy thought if she uttered pearls or jewels, her father might be displeased and give the whole kingdom to Rosie. Instead she lied, “Daddy, of course it is you!” When it was Rosie’s turn, she smiled and said, “Oh! Daddy, there are millions of things that I like. But the best ones are the rain, rainbow, smiling babies, helping other people and seeing people smiling.” The king’s face turned red with anger. He punished Rosie by asking her to leave the kingdom for a week.

Rosie left the castle really sad. She started walking out when she heard someone sobbing. It was a coconut tree. Rosie inquired the reason for the sobbing. The tree answered that none of them had watered it in a few days and hence it may die. Rosie said “Don’t worry, my friend. I will help you.” There was a lake nearby and she dug a narrow canal from the lake to the tree, so that the coconut tree could be watered constantly. The coconut tree was immensely happy and thanked her. Rosie waved the tree and resumed her journey.

She saw a cow and a calf crying. She went near them and calmed them. The calf cried “My mum has not had any hay for many days, if this continues she will not be able to feed me. I will starve to death. Our master is not here. If he had been here he would have fed my mom.” Rosie reassured the calf not to worry. She went in search of hay and grass. She returned with a big bundle of hay. This was more than sufficient till the owner returned. Having been thanked by the mother cow and the calf, Rosie smiled and walked happily ahead.

She heard tiny voices crying and searched for them. It took some time for her to realize that they were coming from down below. It was the cries of ants. She enquired of them. The ants spoke in between cries. They said “There was a heavy downpour and it splashed our anthill.” Rosie felt sad and she came up with an idea. She said “I can go collect some mud and help you build your ant hill in a better area.” Rosie succeeded in the task. The ants jumped in happiness and thanked her.

As she walked farther along, she entered a forest. At a distance she saw a hut. She was so tired of walking and helping others; she wanted to rest and so knocked on the door. An old lady opened the door. Rosie asked her if she could have some food and take rest. In turn she would do all the work in her house. The old woman invited her in. She gave Rosie some food to eat. Rosie did not tell the old woman that she was a princess because she did not want the old lady to treat her like one. Rosie stayed in the hut and did all the work for a week.

Rosie told the old woman she had to leave the next day. She requested the old woman if she could have a shampoo and soap. The old woman gave them along with a dress that she requested. The old woman gifted Rosie a box and instructed her to only open it in her room.

Rosie started to walk back towards the castle. She met the ants. They gave her gems and jewels. During her return journey, the cow and calf’s master had returned and gave Rosie milk, sweets and dairy products and the master also asked some people to carry the milk to Rosie’s house.

Finally she met the coconut tree and it gave her some coconuts. The coconut tree whispered, “These are special coconuts. Wait and only open them in your room.”

Rosie reached the castle. She knocked on the door. The king opened the door and was shocked to see a girl. He asked “Who is this?” Rosie was stunned. She replied “Daddy! It is me, Rosie, your daughter.” The king could not believe his eyes. He asked Rosie, “How did you become so pretty and how did your hair grow so long?” Rosie did not know that she was pretty. She went and looked in the mirror. Indeed, she was glowing with beauty.

Rosie jumped excitedly and pleaded to her dad, “Let us go to my room and open these gifts.” She was amazed at the jewelry, which was shining like the sun. She took one out and lo! A new one replaced the old.

She turned to the gift from the coconut tree. They looked like normal coconuts, but as she opened them, gold coins poured out. As Rosie kept taking the coins it kept re-filling again and again. Rosie requested her dad to give the jewels and coins to everyone in the kingdom.

Daisy was really jealous. She told her father she was going to study in another kingdom but she had other plans. She went to the place where Rosie went.

She came across the coconut tree. The coconut tree pleaded with Daisy to water it. Daisy arrogantly yelled, “Never! My dress will get dirty if I water you.” Saying this she proceeded farther and encountered the cow and calf who requested her to give them some hay. Daisy quickly replied in a harsh tone “No! If I give you some hay my hands and dress will get dirty.” Saying this, she kicked them and started to walk away. She saw the ants who sought her help to build their ant hill. Daisy answered negatively, again, “No! I am allergic to ants and mud.” She walked away.

She finally reached the old woman’s house. She shouted “Old Lady, I am the princess of a kingdom and I have come to honor you by staying in your house for a week.” The old woman replied, “Please do stay in my house and help me with the cooking and other things.” Daisy was angry and yelled, “No! I am a princess. I am not doing that. You do the cooking and the other chores. I am never going to do such things in a dirty house like this.” The old lady cooked and cleaned.

A week went by. Daisy announced, “I need to bathe before I go back to my kingdom and I need the best soap, shampoo, and a dress with beautiful sequins.” The old woman patiently got her everything she wanted. Daisy asked the old woman to give her gifts more than what she gave Rosie. The old woman gave the gifts. Daisy began to walk away without thanking her.

As she started to walk back to her castle, she met the ants. The army of ants started biting her legs and face. She started swelling everywhere. She ran away. She met the cow and calf who started kicking her the same way that she kicked them. The coconut tree was next. It started to throw coconuts on Daisy’s head. Her head hurt and began to swell with little bumps. She requested, “Please don’t hurt me,” and she ran away.

She was near the castle and could not contain any more suspense and wanted to open her gift. So when she opened it, she was greeted by a swarm of bees and weeds at the bottom. She threw the box away and ran to the castle. She knocked on the castle door and the King came out. Daisy cried “Daddy it is me, Daisy.” The king said, “That can never be! This is not my Daisy. My Daisy has long hair and wears a beautiful dress.” Daisy was astonished by the King’s statement and touched her own head but she was bald. She shouted “No!”

Daisy told the king that she always troubled Rosie and explained to the king in detail about what happened when she went to the old woman’s house and promised her father that she will never hurt anyone and won’t be jealous anymore. She learned her lesson and they lived happily ever after.

Moral of the story: Help Ever, Hurt Never.

Hitha Sathyan

The Growing Tree

The Growing Tree

Elise is a little girl. She is 6 years old and loves nature. In her yard is a big tree. One day, she decided to climb the tree.

Elise went outside and looked up at the big tree as it loomed above her. She was excited. It was so early in the morning, her mom and dad were still asleep. Elise rubbed the night away from her eyes and grabbed the lowest branch and started climbing. Elise climbed and climbed and climbed, for hours it seemed. The more she climbed, the more Elise thought about the tree. It wasn’t that big was it? It seemed like she was climbing forever! She looked down and couldn’t see the ground anymore! She started to get scared. She was really high!
Elise took a big breath and looked back up to continue climbing when she saw a blue bird.

“Why hello over there!” The blue bird shouted to her, waving a wing. The blue bird was holding a small bag full of worms. “You can talk?!” Elise asked the beautiful bird. “Of course I can! Would you like some fresh worms?” The bird chirped back. “Oh, no thank you! I must keep climbing!” Elise smiled and continued climbing up the tree. She wanted to reach the very top.
“It was nice talking to you!” The blue bird shouted after Elise. “You too!” Elise responded.

She continued to climb and continued to see even stranger things! On one branch which she rested on, Elise found a bunny wearing a top hat! He continued to shout nonsense and jump around so she left him alone.

As she climbed more, she missed home and the ground. She looked down and still saw nothing but tree. Little Elise sighed and kept climbing her big tree. She climbed higher before meeting a tall monkey wearing a bow tie enjoying some tea with an owl, a cardinal, and a hummingbird. She walked along the branch to the tea party and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Monkey. I think I’m lost in your tree.” The monkey looked up at Elise and howled. “A visitor!! Come! Have some tea!” it said. “No thanks, but I would like to go back home. Can one of you bring me back down to my home?” Elise asked. Cardinal croaked, “I can’t carry one as heavy as you!” Owl shook his head. “I’m sorry, deary, but I can’t help you either.” Owl had a fancy British accent. Elise looked to Monkey, who walked over to her. “Where is your home now?” Elise pointed below her. “There’s a house aaaaallllll the way down there, sir. I climbed up this tree and got myself lost.” Monkey nodded and grabbed Elise’s hand as he started swinging from branch to branch. “Just down there you said?” The little girl nodded and Monkey continued swinging around. Elise giggled, as the ride was fun. As they neared the ground the Monkey slowed down and gently eased the little girl to the ground. “Join us some time for tea if you’d like!” the Monkey said to her and started swinging back up the tree. Elise sat there amazed for a second before responding “I will!”

The little girl walked back up the porch and into her home. As soon as she stepped in, Elise smelled the familiar smell of bacon and eggs. Her mom was making breakfast in the kitchen.
Elise ran into the kitchen and hugged her mom, who was very surprised at the very sudden hug. “Why hello!” Elise’s mom said. She sounded like the blue bird! “Crazy morning?” Her mom flipped an egg and plopped it on a plate and slid it to Elise’s spot on the table. Elise sat down next to the warm breakfast and responded, “You wouldn’t imagine!” As she smiled and dug into the food.

To this day, Elise has never told anyone about the adventure in the tree and all the tea parties. She still continues to have tea parties with the silly Monkey and all the others in the tree.

The End

Knight and Dae

Dae was the sun and Knight was a curious man.

Knight noticed Dae shining as brilliantly as diamonds on fire in the sky.  He was in awe of her warm glow and adored her from Earth.  She was so bright that it hurt his eyes to look upon her directly.  Dae loved Knight as well, she noticed the effort he made to admire her and wished for him to be close to her.  He could never look at her nor reach for her without being in great pain!  She was so bright!  It made Dae sorrowful to know her glow was painful to her Knight.  Yet, she was the sun, she provided Earth with warmth and light.  It was in her nature to shine and there was no other way for her to be less sun.  Their love was tragic yet true.  They both wished for the same thing, to hold each other and love together for eternity but they could not as it caused them both great discomfort.

Knight was very clever.  He decided to craft armour made of his devotion to Dae to shield himself from her mighty fire.  He thought, "That I may safely reach out to Dae without being burned to ash nor blinded by her wonderful touch.  " Surely, this material would withstand her powerful being and they could be together finally.  Dae watched Knight toil diligently over the armour.

At long last, he came to Dae after his beautiful, gleaming armor was crafted.  She eagerly reached out to him but she melted his armor in just a moment!   "Oh no!", she exclaimed.  She hadn't meant to do this!  Knight was taken aback and disappointed that his armour was so easily destroyed, but he still adored her.  However, Dae was also upset that her touch had caused him so much grief.  Their love was tragic yet true.  They both wished for the same thing, to hold and love each other for all time.  But, they could not be together as it caused them both discomfort.

No matter to Knight, he used his enormous heart to fashion himself a cloak made of his love for Dae.  It was the strongest material ever made in all of time!  Surely, this time, the cloak would withstand her mighty touch and they could finally be together.

Knight then covered himself with the cloak and went to Dae once more.  He was a man in love, determined to hold Dae close to him.  When she saw him in the cloak she was overcome with joy and shone brighter than ever.  This made Knight nervous, the cloak was very delicate.  He was unsure if it would be destroyed by her intense rays.  He reached out to her anyway.  Then, something magical happened!  They were able to finally hold each other!  Knight gave her happiness and she wished to return that joy to him.  The cloak allowed them to be close!  She asked him if he would like to become a Moon.  He joyfully accepted!

For some time, they stayed close to each other, though his light was pale in comparison to her wondrous glow.  When he became the moon, the beings of Earth were in awe of him.  Knight was very kind and he loved Dae very much, so would never ask her to shine less than him.  He asked her if she would like to try on his cloak instead.  Dae was delighted that he would offer his lovely cloak to be wrapped around her celestial body, she agreed.  When Dae put on the cloak, something amazing happened!  The space around her was immediately draped with darkness.  Neither of them expected that!  But, the beings of Earth fell in love with Knight!  And they began to sing and praise him as they had praised Dae.  When Dae saw this, she loved Knight even more, if it were possible!  They remained this way for some time.

However, the Earth was getting sick without Daes warmth and light.  She made Knight aware of this and he became sad, because he knew his pale light was not enough in comparison to the gift her brilliance gave the Earth.  Knight was very intelligent.  He knew that without the Earth, he would recieve no praise from the beings who lived there.  He had compassion for them as he was once a mortal human himself.

So Knight and Dae made a promise together.  Dae would wear Knight's cloak for a short time so that they both could shine in their own way for those who loved them most.  Dae and Knight love each other so much, they take turns wearing Knight's cloak made of his pure love for her.  Dae shines always and Knight is always close to her proving his devotion and love.  Just as they had wanted all along.  No more did they suffer.  Their love is true but no longer tragic.

Ug the Thug

About five thousand, two hundred and forty-six years ago there lived a caveman called Ug the Thug. He lived at the top of a lonely valley, but then everywhere was lonely back then. He had a big club and furry boots and he liked running after things and frightening them best of all. Ug the Thug was nasty to everyone he met. It didn’t matter if the thing he met was big or small, he liked to give it a fright. He liked making as much noise as he could.

‘Raaar!’, ‘Aaargh!’ and ‘Graah!’ were some of his favourite sounds. At night Ug the Thug came back to his cave. He sat beside his roaring fire and ate as much meat as he could. He painted pictures of himself on the cave and he felt very pleased indeed with himself.

But no-one liked Ug the Thug. Everyone was frightened of him and stayed away from him as much as possible. No-one ever went to his cave or even passed near it. They kept themselves to themselves. Then one night as Ug the Thug sat by the fire in the cave he saw a shooting star. A great white light streaked across the sky and he gasped. It was beautiful. Ug the Thug stared at the sky and for the first time in his life he wished he had a friend so he could tell them all about what he had seen. For the first time in his life Ug the Thug felt lonely.

The following day he went outside and he didn’t roar and thump about in his boots. Instead he went down to the stream that ran through the tall grass and sat there looking sadly at his reflection in the water. It so happened that at that very moment a mouse that had been crossing the river higher up fell into the water and began squeaking and waving its paws in the air because it couldn’t swim. Ug the Thug looked down and saw the mouse. Without thinking, he reached out his hand that was as big as a brick and he lifted the mouse very gently onto the riverbank.

The mouse shook itself and rushed off into the grass, and Ug the Thug just sat there by the river with his big head in his big hands. He felt lonelier than ever. That night he didn’t eat a thing, nor did he make a fire. He just curled up in bed and lay there not able to sleep. He felt very, very lonely.

But the next morning something happened. Ug the Thug had just got up when he heard the pitter-patter of tiny paws. Someone was coming. It was the mouse. And the mouse was carrying in its paws a flower. The mouse laid the flower down at the feet of Ug and looked up at him with its big blue eyes.

Ug the Thug fell over backwards. He landed in the sand outside his cave, completely amazed. He realised the flower was a thank-you from the mouse. He had made a friend! He felt so happy he began singing. He got up and danced about the cave for joy. He felt so good he waded across
the river, still singing. He couldn’t stop smiling to everyone he met. At first people were suspicious. Was it possible Ug the Thug could really be happy and friendly? Wasn’t he always angry and loud? But in the end they began to believe it must be true, and they smiled back and shook hands with Ug and laughed with happiness too.

And after a time nobody was afraid of him anymore. He left his old, lonely cave behind and came to live with everyone else. He made lots of friends and never felt lonely again. And in the end he was given the name Ug the Hug because that was exactly what he liked doing best.

The End

© 2015 Kenneth Steven

Wake up on time in time

Son, this story I am about to tell you is of a young boy who didn't listen to his parents near bedtime.
“Mum, what are we going to have for breakfast?” Asked the little boy.
“We are going to have lunch for breakfast,” answered his mum.
Then a little while later the young boy asked: “Mum, what are we going to have for lunch?”
“We are going to have dinner for lunch,” his mum answered.
Then a little while later the boy asked: “Mum, what are we going to have for dinner?”
“There is no dinner,” his mum said to him, “you just ate lunch for dinner.”
“Then why are not we having anything on time?” Asked the boy more desperately.
“It is because you should sleep on time to wake up in the morning.” His mum answered. “That way you can have breakfast for breakfast, lunch for lunch and dinner for dinner.”
“But I woke up in the morning today,” said the boy, “did I not?”
“No, you did not.” Answered his mum. “You woke up near noon time today and that is why you had lunch for breakfast. Listen to me, son. Try going to bed more early tonight so you can have breakfast for breakfast and likewise live correctly from the beginning to live up to a correct ending in everything: in time, in love and in life.”
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
April 14, 2016

Lottie and the Confused Little Bear

Lottie was lonely. Lottie needed someone to hang out with. So she talked to her Dad and he said they could get a dog. He knew that a local kennel had some to spare so that's where they went, up the hill to Boondocks Farm.

Boondocks Farm was a lovely little place. It had once been a sheep farm and they still kept a few, along with other animals, as a small holding. They still breed their own sheep dogs and had started taking in borders and stays from around the way. This meant they old stables were always filled with many barking, howling and panting faces. Today was definitely no exception in fact the noise and excitement was tremendous. Dogs bounced, dogs barked everywhere was pandemonium. The only calm one was the old collie that sauntered out of the house, with a bouncy granddaughter in tow.
"'ello Lottie my dear girl" whispered the grand old lady "What brings ee 'ere to visit us?"
"Hello Fran, I'm looking for a dog of my own, but first please do tell me what is happening?"
"Ah, now me dear that is a good question. Tis best I shows ee."
With that Fran turned and wandered off toward the back of the sables. When they reached the corner of the stables they met two other collies, Toby and his big brother Barney.
"Roight Barney. Ee still at it?"
"Yeah Mum ee tis"
"Tis rite weird" said Toby.
"Well 'oy brought Lottie round to see 'im maybe she can work it out. She got brains this un." Lottie blushed at the compliment from Fran who she knew was a very intelligent dog indeed.
All five of them carried on round the stables where Lottie saw the apparent cause of the trouble but she couldn't immediately say why. Lottie saw a dog, no taller than the collies but much bigger build with much thicker hair. Then, as she got closer she noticed the sound it was making. It was growling but not a simple dog growl like you might expect. It was more like a bad impression of a dog, it was saying "Growl Growl" and instead of barking it was saying "roar".

Dear reader; have you ever pretended to be a bear or a lion? Do you remember the noises you made? Now imagine a dog doing the same. How bizarre.

Lottie moved closer to the dog. She was scared of the strange behaviour but was comforted by the feeling of Toby pressing against her. The brave collie was ready to protect her if needed. All of a sudden the creature rose up on his hind legs. But not like any dog. Some dogs will rise up in a strange prolonged jump, some performing dogs do a trick where they totter around on 2 legs. This was neither, its back was straight and its stumpy front legs splayed out to the sides. "Roar" it said.
"That's just plain weird t’is" said Barney.
"Hello" said the brave little girl "I'm Lottie, what's your name?"
The creature sank back down to all fours but its shoulders sank lower and the edges of its mouth sank too. "I'm Max", it said sadly "Aren't you scared of me?"
"No" said Lottie. Lottie didn’t have to lie, even though she had been scared seeing Max looking so small and sad changed it all around. "Why would I be scared of a lovely fluffy thing like you?" Max perked up and his tail began to wag. Then he suddenly seemed to catch himself and dropped it down, almost like he was ashamed of it. "You should be scared because I'm a bear!"
"You're a bear? Aren't Bears usually bigger?"
"I'm small for my size".
Lottie couldn't help but giggle.
"I am a bear!" protested Max “And that’s How I like it! I can prove it too."
"Prove it? How?"
"I can do things that bears do. I can climb trees, I can fish and I can eat honey." Lottie thought for a while and then had a great idea. "OK Max if you can prove you’re a bear I will take you home and you can live with me". Max smiled a great big toothy smile. "That sounds great let's go find a tree". So off Lottie and Max trotted toward the wood, with Barney and his little puppy Abi following on to watch the fun.

It took longer than expected to find a tree. Max seemed to have a million excuses why each one they found wasn't suitable. Lottie was happy to keep exploring but eventually Barney’s patients wore thin and he made Max agree to one. As trees for climbing go it should have been fine. It was a tall straight pine with its lowest branch just at the height of Lottie's head. Max made a great show of preparing to climb. Meanwhile Barney made a great show of cleaning himself. Max moved up to the tree and walked his front paws up as far as he could reach. Then, with a great roar of effort, he swung his hind legs around the trunk and..... slid slowly to the ground. This made Abi giggle. Max looked ashamed and started to stammer over his explanation. "It.. It's my claws you see, worn down by living on concrete and walking on tarmac instead of in the woods where bears are meant to do their business. Everyone knows bears need claws to climb. I am a bear and what I am needs claws!”
“Never mind" said Lottie "I'm sure your right about claws. Fishing next?" And so they all headed down to the river.

On the river bank they found a fisherman. They talked to him and he said he had had an excellent days fishing. "That's great then Max let's find you a spot up stream and we can give this a try". So they were soon in a quiet spot on the bank. Max waded out, somewhat clumsily, to a rock he had selected. Very soon Max was diving his paw into the water, just like the bears do in all the best documentaries, and pulled out... a hand full of weeds and a drink bottle. “That stupid human must have scared them all away. Everyone knows bears don't fish near humans" complained Max, “I am a bear and I shouldn’t need excuses”.
"I'm sure your right again." said Lottie while she patted Max on the back as he clambered out of the river. "On to the last test." So the four of them strolled together toward the village shop.

Lottie found she had enough money to buy one jar of honey which she took outside and placed it in front of Max. Max smiled and dug in hungrily. "I know I couldn't climb.." He said between mouth fulls "and I didn't do well at fishing", another lap into the jar “But I can eat the honey"... "so I am a bear right?"
"Lottie" whispered Barney "Dogs eat honey too," and gestured to Abi lapping at the lid of the honey jar. Lottie simply put her finger across her lips and shushed him. Turning to Max she said “I think you are brave enough and clever enough to be whatever you want to be ” "So yes you are a bear and much more than that I would like you to be my bear".
Max's eyes lit up and his tailed wagged. “I’d like that very much Lottie " and so home they went, leaving Barney and Abi with the rest of the honey.

Coulours of Halloween

ONCE UPON A time there was a little boy named Jeremy…

Jeremy climbed into bed, he was seven now but he still liked his mother to read him a bedtime story.

“Once upon a time long ago…” His mother’s voice lulled him off to sleep, her words soft and soothing when suddenly she was shaking him awake.

All of a sudden he was sucked into a giant rainbow and when he opened his mouth orange and yellow bubbles flew high up into the air. He jumped into green and bounced high into brown, purple stayed firmly planted on the ground. A bright orange pumpkin man laughed out loud, as brown turned to yellow and then into a cloud!

“My boy you are having so much fun. How does it feel to be inside colours that run?”

“It’s wonderful and slippery, slimy, too, but the colours seem to like me. Do you want to have a go, too?”

The pumpkin man smiled again, shook his head and jumped one step ahead. “I can’t see you, I have to guard all the colours for Halloween.”

“Okay then, watch me.” Jeremy called jumping from colour to colour like he was on giant marshmallows.

He bounced high into the air and grabbed hold of the colour orange and pulled and pulled until it was big enough to hide behind and then it turned to white. The colours were fading. “Where are you going?” He asked confused and a little sad.

The colours yelled loud and clear. “It’s nearly Halloween, we can’t be here.”

“You can’t find me." Jeremy giggled running up a hill made of rocky road. He took one step and sunk in the jellied marshmallow.

Pumpkins sat watching him through black eyes and cats that should have been black stood tall and grey.

“Halloween is on its way. Don’t be afraid come out and play.” He called pulling some lollies from his pocket.

Suddenly the pumpkins glowed a sunburnt orange, black cats ran through colours and lollies all different sizes fell from the sky. Jeremy smiled, he knew it was Halloween and now they all wanted to be seen.

He bounced in the colours with ghosts and ghouls and carried a pumpkin on a stick that looked like a broom, spiders came out and ran through their webs and he saw that his toes were green and his fingers red. Without thinking he poked his head into a blob of purple, and then a bird landed on his head.

“Hello Mr. Bird. What are you doing here in our colours?”

“I came to fly amongst the colours of Halloween because you see sometimes the colours can’t be seen, some don’t believe in Halloween.”

“Not me. I do.” Jeremy said.

“I know and you made Halloween come alive and the colours came out to stay.”

“Now I have to go. I have to be in the painting.”

Then to Jeremy’s surprise he jumped high in the air and landed in a blob of red and purple paint. He woke up with a start.

“Where have all The Colours Gone?” He asked his mother who was sitting on his bed.

“I think you were dreaming darling. Remember I read you the book about Halloween before you fell asleep.” His mother replied.

“Can we read another bedtime story tonight?”

She smiled and kissed his head.

Jeremy couldn’t believe his eyes, on the back of his door was a painting of ghosts, and pumpkins, cats and witches and a great big pot full of lollies! The colours of Halloween were here to stay!

THE END.

©2011 Vicki Griffin

The Candle

The Candle

I was in the basement of my grandma's house when my grandma called for me to come upstairs. I ran up and she said she was leaving, but my cousin Shayla was coming over. Well my grandma left and I stayed upstairs watching TV for a bit until Shayla came. My grandma had just moved in to the house, so we weren't familiar. We only knew that there was some mysterious storm shelter in the backyard that was bolted shut.

We went outside to find the keys because we were 11 and didn't know what to do. We found a locket, a key and 3 jellybeans in a box that was buried. We tried the key. It was too big, so we put everything back except the locket. Then Shayla went into the shed and brought out a huge shovel. She started smacking the shelter door with it. After about 3 minutes of her smacking and me picking open the locket, a huge hole was in the shelter door. We couldn't see anything in there because it was too dark outside.

We went in to get a flashlight when we heard a big "BOOM" coming from outside. Shayla ran outside to find the whole entire shelter door caved in. I brought the flashlight and shined it in there. Shayla went to get a camera but I wasn't sure why. I looked in but right when I turned on the flashlight, it went dead. So, Shayla got another. She shined the flashlight and I just couldn't believe what I saw, but I knew it was true, and real. Shayla snapped some pictures and we got out as quickly as possible.

When grandma came home, we weren't there. We were at the neighbor's house. We went back to grandma's and she said, "I was looking for you two. Where were you?" "At Joey's house" I said with fear in my voice and eyes as I looked outside at the shelter.

Shayla and I ran outside and guess what?..... The shelter door was back on, bolted shut, and everything was perfectly in place how it was before. Shayla tried to tell grandma what happened, but grandma seemed mad about us snooping around. Grandma said "I cannot believe what you girls are saying. I just can't. I mean it looks like you didn't break the door or anything."

At that point I knew it was all a dream; the dead man in the shelter, the locket, the jelly beans, the key.

Everything!!!

But then Shayla pulled out her digital camera and showed it to grandma. It was a disturbing picture and I puked. Sorry, I would put a picture of it on here but I don't have it.

Lindsey

The Skull Tree

The Skull Tree

All the children in the Glentown neighborhood knew about the skull tree. It was just one of those things that, hey, you know, kids know about. This is the story of some of those kids.

Ally and Ryan Burch lived on Glenhaven Drive a couple of blocks from their school, Glenhaven Elementary, and the soccer fields. They also had a convenience store nearby that sold really good frozen cola and cherry drinks. On some school nights after soccer practice, they would ride their bikes by the store and buy a frozen drink. Ally liked the cola flavor, Ryan liked cherry. So before it became dark, they would pull in, park their bikes, buy those drinks, and take off for home--pedaling and slurping. But as you probably know by now, all fun things can have a drawback, or say, a downside. Ally and Ryan knew that they couldn't linger too long in getting home. Because if the darkness of nightfall set in, the big, beautiful oak tree located between the convenience store and their street, Glenhaven Drive, would drastically change.

The tree had a big round black hole in it. This hole was about 15 feet up the trunk of that tree. In the daytime this looked like a hole any normal tree would have. But at night, as all the kids in this neighborhood knew, a big white skull would appear in the black hole. So the kids all dreaded going by this tree at night.

So everyday when soccer practice was over, Ally and Ryan would stop by the convenience store, quickly buy their frozen drinks, and pedal and slurp all the way home.

One night Ryan's coach kept him late, and Ally nervously waited for him on the bleachers. Finally it was time to go, but it was almost dark. They hopped onto their bikes and began to pedal home. "I guess there's no way we can stop for a frozen drink tonight," said Ryan. "No way," said Ally "let's just get home".

But the night came too quickly, and it became dark as they pedaled. When they were almost to the tree, Ryan said, "Ally, don't look at the tree." So she squenched her eyes shut for a couple of seconds, but she had to keep her eyes open to ride the bike. And then curiosity got the better of her. She looked up, and there it was, the huge white object in the black hole of the tree. It was the skull! Her legs felt wobbly like jello and somehow she just barely managed to ride that bike as steady as she could. She didn't stop pedaling hard until she saw her driveway. And Ryan, too, had looked up, because he just couldn't help it! And he, too, had been pedaling fast.

"Whew" he said as he pulled into the driveway with Ally. "I'll never stay late after practice again." So they made it home every night after that, long before the darkness set in.

But on one particular night things were different. It was October 31st, Halloween night. Ally, Ryan, and their good friend Andrew who lived next door to them were trick-or-treating all over the neighborhood. Andrew really wanted to fill his pillowcase all the way to the top with candy.

"Come on Andrew," Ally told him, "you've got enough candy. We'll never make it home before dark if you make us go to every house on every street." Ryan said, "Yeah, she's right Andrew. We've all got enough candy to last 3 months."

"Just this last street," said Andrew. "If we do this last street, I'll beat my own record for the most candy collected at Halloween".

"Well, we'll sit here and wait for you" said Ally, "but now it's getting dark and we'll have to walk by skull tree in the pitch black of the night." While Andrew went house to house, up and down the street, Ally and Ryan crouched down by the curb and sorted through their bags of candy. "This is definitely enough candy for me" Ryan said. "Me too" said Ally.

Finally Andrew walked back to them. He was finished. Ally and Ryan stood up and they all began the long walk home in the dark.

Darkness began to fall, and pretty soon, they all took their masks off because they just couldn't see a thing peering through the little mask eye holes in the dark. And with each step homeward, their bags of candy became heavier and heavier.

Ally could see the skull tree off in the distance, and she told the boys,"When we get sort of close to the tree, let's run as fast as we can until we're way past it." Andrew said, "I'll never make it, this candy is too heavy." "Well, TRY!" said Ryan. "When I say go, make a run for it!"

So when they were almost up to the tree, Ryan yelled "GO!" and they took off. But Andrew fell behind as he had to lug a heavier bag. "Help me! Help me!" he yelled. So Ally and Ryan turned back and grabbed his heavy, bulging pillowcase. As they tightened their grip and began to run, the pillowcase started to rip and the candy burst out all over the sidewalk, scattering everywhere. Ally looked up and realized they were next to the skull tree. "It's right above us" she whimpered, and the boys looked up in dread. "We've got to pick up this candy" said Andrew. So they began quickly scooping it up and stuffing it back into Andrew's torn pillowcase. As they did this, they heard a strange eerie noise. It sounded as if it came from the skull in the tree and sounded like "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!". Leaving the candy behind, they ran across the street to see what was happening, and to get away from it, whatever IT was.

As they watched, the skull became wider and grew wings. It lifted out of the tree and smoothly soared up into the sky. "It's a skull with wings" said Ally. "No, said Ryan, "It's an owl . . . a beautiful owl. All this time we've been so scared of something that is actually a great creature. Whew! Now we can relax."

"No", said Andrew, "I'm still going for a record. We've got to get the rest of this candy picked up!"

The end.

(C) 2001 Paula Moore

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

A long time ago, when I was eight, dad took me fishing. It was in April, the first day of fishing season in northern Quebec. And I didn’t care if it was cold, or if there was still snow on the ground.

“Help me find my warm boots?” I asked. And he did. Then I helped dad make peanut butter sandwiches, my favorite. “Where’s my packsack?” I asked. Smiling patiently, he found it for me.

“This is how I’m going to get a fish,” I said. Holding my new fishing rod birthday gift full stretch, I saw its neat lines, tightly wound threads and shiny eyelets. Then swinging it around, smacked the water glass from the kitchen table. Good thing he helped me clean up all the bits and pieces.

Mom just stood and shook her head. I don’t think she was upset. Just glad her boys were going fishing together, anywhere out of the house.

We loaded up our pickup truck. First my fishing rod was too long in the front. So I placed it in the back. Then I put our packsacks with sandwiches and water right beside it. Almost forgot our fishing box with some neat lures, but dad didn’t. He handed the green tin box to me.

The gravel road was full of loose stones. And they flew behind us as if fired from slingshots. But I couldn’t see much because of the dust. Then we hit a huge bump. “My fishing rod!” I yelled, as I watched it bounce from the truck. Dad put the brakes on so hard I flew across the seat and almost choked on the road dust that soon covered us.

“I saw it fly across that ditch,” I said. Dad climbed down the side of the road. And stepped on some ice. “Don’t get wet!” I yelled. But, he did.

Soon dad came back with my neat gift, scratched and covered in mud. The broken cork handle made it shorter than before. After starting on our way, I could now keep my fishing rod in my lap. And my tears had stopped.

It’s hard to try and be a man when your birthday present tries to take off like a crow then gets broken. At least it fit inside the front of the truck. “Does that mean I can’t go fishing? I ask.

“No,” dad answered. “I’m going to show you another way to fish,” he said. “Just like my own dad showed me.”

“At least we’re still going fishing!” I shouted. After a while, my hat blew off. Dad stopped the truck and this time I went along to help him find it. I tried not to notice him talking to himself.

“Keep it in your lap, under the tackle box,” he suggested. “This is where our hiking begins,” dad said when we finally stopped. The trail was full of icy ditches. He said, “Try not to get wet.” But I did.

It was fun jumping on the ice. Except when I broke through. It was like a freezing /waterfall splashing all over. Good thing he brought an extra pair of pants for me. He must know me really well by now.

Finally we reach the lake. It seems like we walked half way around the world. Most of the ice is gone. And some ducks are swimming. The water’s too cold for me though. I just want to fish.

I watch carefully as dad shows me my grandfather’s way to fish, without a fishing pole.

He finds a heavy rock, wraps some line around it then ties a knot. After that he makes a little circle with the rest of the line, in a pile beside his foot. And ties a neat silver spinner on the very end. Then he makes another knot keeping it fast to the strong black line.

Holding about three feet of line in front of him, he begins to twirl. He does that a couple of times and sends it flying over the water. It sure took off, making a heavy splash some distance away. I can’t wait for my turn.

“Do you want some help?” Dad asked.

“No, I want to do it all by myself.”

“Did you watch everything I did?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answer. “And I’m going to throw it farther than you!” I bragged loudly. I take my line and wrap it around another rock. Then I make a circle with the rest beside my feet. And knot my special gold spoon on the end I am going to throw.

After winding up like a baseball player, my first throw goes backwards and catches on a tree limb. But dad gets it down for me. I think he ripped his pants. Now I’m ready to begin twirling again. First, I do one big circle, then two, then three. And finally let go. My spoon, like a rocket, goes up and up. The sun makes it shine.

A lucky crow gets out of the way. The floppy bird might think it’s a truck…no, maybe a plane that flies. My line flies through the air, past a floating log. And over some ducks on the water.

It goes and goes and…Oh, oh. “Dad, I forgot to make a knot when I wrapped the line around my rock!”

I remember long ago how he shook his head. And smiled. Now I do too. I think he’s still out there on the lake. And he’s looking for a lost gold spoon for his little boy.
* * *

© Richard & Esther Provencher 2007