All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2017 Christine Von Lossberg

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All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2017 Christine Von Lossberg
       
                                                                                    A  BEARIE TALE….THE ADVENTURES OF TINY BEAR                                                            
Written and Illustrated By:

Christine Von Lossberg
 
One day. one of those special days when everything looks freshly washed, the tiniest bear of the forest was playing with a beautiful Butterfly.  They were playing "catch-me-if-you-can."  This game was especially fun for the Butterfly, because she could fold her wings over her face and pretend she was a flower.

Tiny Bear was trying to find her when he suddenly found himself in a patch of flytrap flowers.  One of them was definitely shaking.

"AH HA!" thought Tiny Bear.  "I'm going to catch you now, Butterfly," he called. "I know where you're hiding!"

Tiny Bear reached up and pulled open the sticky flytrap flower and all of a sudden a bee popped out!  "BZZZ a bear!" He shrieked. "But you're a little bear," he said as he took a second look.

"I am?" asked Tiny Bear.

"Yes," said Bee, "You are the smallest bear I've ever seen in my whole life. Where I live, in my hive, big bears come and try to get our honey."

"They do?" Tiny Bear asked.  "What's honey anyway?"

Bee laughed a buzzy chuckle, "You don't know what honey is?" He laughed again. "B-ZZZ B-ZZZ." 

"No." Tiny Bear said honestly, "I have no idea."

Bee grinned as if he had a secret.  "Well, I make it and it's delicious!" he said with pride.  "Come on, hop on my back and we'll fly back to my hive together and I'll give you some for saving my life. Besides, I want all my friends to meet you. No one will believe that I was saved by a Tiny Bear!  Bee paused a second and said, "In fact, I will take you to the Queen!"

Tiny Bear, who wasn't quite sure if he knew what a Queen was, sat and wondered.  Butterfly, who had watched her Tiny Bear save Bee while pretending to be a flower, flew over to them and said, "Oh my! The Queen!  Oh, Tiny Bear, we will have to get you all spiffied up, it's quite an honor to meet the Queen." As an afterthought she said, "I'm sure she will reward you well."

On the forest floor, Old Mr. Snail sniffed and muttered miserably and said, "You can't bring a bear into a beehive. Bears are the worst enemy of the bees. They will sting him! Mark my word." he warned.  Old Mr. Snail was always grumbling about something or another no matter what it was.

Butterfly wondered if Tiny Bear flying to the hive was such a good idea after all.  "I mean," she hesitated, "maybe old Mr. Snail is right?" Tiny Bear scratched his ear and wondered what it all meant.

"Ah, c'mon Tiny Bear," Bee said, "everybody will like you, you're tiny just like us and besides you saved my life.  I would have been a goner if you didn't get me out of there.  My mother told me to stay away for those flytrap flowers and I didn't listen.  Now I know they can trap bees too when they close their stickers on you. You have to come because you've never tasted honey and you have to meet the Queen. She may even knight you for bravery!"

"Knight me, what's that? Tiny Bear asked.

"Boy you sure do ask a lot of questions!  C'mon hop on my back and we'll fly to my hive, okay?"

"Oh my, oh my, oh my," Butterfly moaned.  You see, she was always fretting, as butterflies do, over Tiny Bear. She had been just like a mother to him ever since the day she found him sleeping under a leaf in the forest.  At first, she had thought that he was a caterpillar like she had once been, but she soon realized that he was a precious Tiny Bear. Ever since then, she had taken him under her wing and raised him as her own. Tiny Bear was so happy to have such a beautiful, kind mother. Nobody knew what had happened to his real parents.

Old Mr. Snail warned them again, "I wouldn't if I were you, he sniffed. "I've left my trail all over this forest, slow maybe, but I have seen what a swarm of mad bees can do to a bear that is after their precious gold honey…not a pleasant sight, no, not a pleasant sight at all."

After listening to everybody say what they thought, Tiny Bear stamped down his little foot and said, "Well that's the big bears. NOT ME! I want to go I'm not scared. Besides, I sure would like to try some of that honey stuff! Anyway, I want to meet Bee's friends and the Queen too. So…I'm going!  With that, he jumped upon Bee's back and off they flew with Butterfly fluttering right behind.

They flew higher and higher. Tiny Bear waved goodbye to Old Mr. Snail as they sailed into the sky above the trees. Old Mr. Snail just shook his head.

Tiny Bear held on to Bee's antennae and listened to his wings buzz like a little buzz saw. Behind them, Butterfly's wings were as quiet as a breeze and only a few "oh my's" were heard as she flew around Bee to make sure Tiny Bear didn't fall off.











                                 
Weeee!" Tiny Bear yelled, "Wow Wee!" This is so much fun. I never felt like this before…I feel so free.. I love to fly!"

Butterfly had never given Tiny Bear a ride because she was afraid he would fall off and hurt himself. She was amazed at how well he flew with Bee and was very proud of him.

"We are getting close my hive," Bee pointed. "See way over there?"  

Tiny Bear looked and saw hundreds of other bees flying around and in and out of a big tree. "Oh Bee," he exclaimed. "I see it! It's a beautiful castle in a tree!"

"Yes," said Bee with pride, "It's our Queen's castle."

"Who are those other bees?  Asked Tiny Bear "Are they your friends?"

"Yes, they are," answered Bee. "They are worker bees like me. It's our job to go and get the nectar from the flowers and bring it to our hive where we make it into honey. You see, this was my first time out, and wouldn't you know, I got stuck in that nasty fly trap flower! If you hadn't saved me Tiny Bear, I don't know what I'd have done for that, I will always be your friend.

Tiny Bear smiled. "That's okay Bee, Butterfly always told me to be nice and and help others."

Butterfly, who had been eyeing the hive somewhat nervously, said "Come you two, let's stop at this tree first."  They all flew to a tree across from Bee's castle hive. Tiny Bear climbed down off Bee's back and stretched his little furry legs.

Now, you be careful Tiny Bear. Butterfly warned, we are way up high now, so you watch your step!"  Tiny Bear walked over to a comfortable looking know on a big branch and plopped down on it.

Butterfly watched the busy castle hive again, then put on a serious ..which was not a very easy thing for butterflies to do) and said to Bee, "I don't really think that we should fly into your hive unannounced, perhaps you should go over first and tell you mother what happened today?  In fact, why not invite her over here? Tiny Bear and I can wait here for you two, and then we will know that it is okay to come for a visit with the Queen."

"Oh, beeswax!" Bee exclaimed.  "I'm sure everything will be okay. But if it will make you feel better, I will do what you wish." And off he flew.

Butterfly picked a shiny, emerald greet leaf and walked over to Tiny Bear.  "Now, let's put you under this leaf," she began, "while I go find you a nice berry for dinner, it's been a long day."


"Okay, Butterfly." Tiny Bear said sleepily. "Boy, I sure can't wait for some of that honey stuff!"

 Butterfly smiled at him, "Later, my little one," she said, and then of she flew.

It began to get darker and darker. Tiny Bear's tummy started to talk to him, growling "I'm so hungry."  Tiny Bear stood and truned his eyes up to the growing darkness. "Where is Bee?" "Where is Butterfly?" He asked himself as he tapped his little foot up and down and looked around.

Just then, he heard a funny noise. "Who's there?" he called but only silence answered him. "Bee?" Silence. "Butterfly?" Still silence. "Okay!" TIny Bear called in a brave voice. "You want to play catch-me-if-you-can? Well, I'm ready, and I'm really good at it too!"

"TEE HE Heehaw sparkly voice laughed, and a little bright light twinkled in the dark right in front of him. "TEE HE HEE" the voice teased again, and this time the light twinkled on the other side of him!

"I saw you!" Tiny Bear called. "Turn on your light and come here. Butterfly will be coming back with a berry and Bee will be here soon with his mother. We are all going to visit the Queen in her hive and you can come too!"  Tiny Bear was looking all around himself, all ready to catch the little light when POOF! There she was!

She was absolutely beautiful.

"TEE HE HEE! I think I'll take you up I think I'll take you up on that!" she giggled.  Tiny Bear was wide awake now!

"What are you?" he asked. "You look like a star."

"Oh, thank you, I am a firefly," she said as she started to glow even brighter. "And what are you may I ask?"

"Well, I'm a bear," replied Tiny Bear proudly, Butterfly thought that I was a caterpillar when she found me but then she figured out that I was a bear and named me Tiny Bear."  "You certainly are tiny for a bear!" said Firefly in her sparkly voice.  "And just how did you get way up here in this tree?"

"Well, it's a long story," said Tiny Bear then he sat back down on his knot chair and told her everything.

"My goodness, what an adventure little one, twinkled Firefly when she had heard the whole story. "It is quite an honor to meet the Queen Bee, and I know that you will love honey, I'm very happy for you."

Just after this, Butterfly landed back on the branch with a big, juicy boysenberry.  Firefly turned her light up as Tiny Bear introduced them.

"I'm so peleased to meet you." Butterfly said, "Woul you like to join us for dinner:"

"Yes, thank you, Firefly twinkled.

And so they all sat down together and dined on the plump boysenberry with Firefly's pretty light flickering against the dark night sky.  The hive was quiet now.
"I bet they're in there making honey," murmured Tiny Bear sleepily as he gazed at the castle hive.

"Yes my dear." Butterfly explained. "Bees are very hard workers that are always busy.  I expect that Bee must still be telling his mother what happened.  That's why it's taking so long."

"I'm sleepy," said Tiny Bear yawning. 

"Bee will be back," Butterfly reassured him, "You get some rest now and Firefly and I will keep a lookout for him." She gently pulled the leaf over him and in a moment he was fast asleep.

Butterfly and Firefly stayed up and told stories to each other about their experiences in the forest with the fairies and elves.  They soon discovered that they had many of the same friends and laughed at the fact that they had never met before.              

                            
"WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" Tiny Bear shouted into Butterfly's ear. "It's morning; Bee should bee here by now with his mother."


"All right Tiny Bear, I know." Butterfly said calmly, and then realized they weren't in the flower where they usually slept. "Oh my, don't jump around so much; we aren't on the ground you know!"


Oh Butterfly, I'm so excited, today I get to meet the Queen and have honey too! Tiny Bear looked around. "Where's Firefly? Didn't she want to go with us?"

"She had to leave, she only comes out at night my dear," Butterfly patiently explained. "She sleeps in the daytime."

Tiny Bear giggled, "But that's backwards."

"No," said Butterfly, "You see, all creatures are different. There are lots of animals that sleep in the day and work and play at night. Why, I even heard somewhere that bears sleep all through the winter, and that long sleep is called hibernation."

"Well, maybe my mother and father are hiber-hibernating somewhere?"

"That could be true, my dear," Butterfly reflected, "After all you were asleep when I found you, and spring is jus around the corner."  Tiny Bear tried again to remember just exactly what had happened to his Mama and Papa but his mind was still a blank.        

Suddenly, there was a loud buzz above them. "It's Bee! It's Bee!
 Tiny Bear yelled.

Butterfly looked up and her eyes grew wide and frightened.

Come here Tiny Bear, right now, quickly!" she cried.

Tiny Bear stared up into the sky again and realized that it wasn't Bee at all. It was a big scary looking bug!  Butterfly flew to Tiny Bear as quickly as she could and covered him with her wings. She made herself look like a flower just the way she did when they played their catch-me-if-you-can game.

"What is it Butterfly" Tiny Bear asked in a very small voice.

"Shhh my darling." Butterfly whispered as she nestled quite still over him.  Closer and closer it flew, its buzz was even shaking the leaves of the tree, but Butterfly stayed very still.  Finally it landed very close by and Tiny Bear could feel Butterfly trembling, though to anyone looking at her she would look like a flower swaying in a soft string breeze.

Tiny Bear closed his eyes tightly and held his breath for what seemed a small bear's lifetime.  Just when he thought he might explode, it gave off an extra loud Buzz and it flew away.

Butterfly stroked Tiny Bear's fur with the tip of her gossamer wind and said, "' Come out Tiny Bear, we are safe now, it's gone."

"Oh Butterfly, what was that scary bug?"  Tiny Bear asked.

"That was a wasp my darling."

"Oh, a wasp."  Tiny Bear said scratching his head quizzically.

"Yes dear and I had to hide us from him because wasps have very bad tempers and get angry very quickly, then they get mean and will sting you to death and…she added as an afterthought 'then they eat you."

Tiny Bear looked frightened.  "You mean they even eat bears?"

"They probably do, but we're not going to find out, that's for sure!"                      

"Well, do they eat bees?" Tiny Bear persisted.

"Yes, I am afraid that they do sometimes." Butterfly replied reluctantly.

"Where do wasps live? Do they live in a hive like Bee's pretty castle?"
Asked the curious little bear.

"No my dear, they make their hives out of mud and chewed up paper, they are not pretty places like Bee's castle hive."

"Oh." Tiny Bear said in a small voice as he tried to imagine the wasps' mud house.  He was sad for the wasps' living in an ugly brown hive and he realized how lucky he was to live with Butterfly in amongst the beautiful forest flowers.

"I'm beginning to worry abut Bee, I'm afraid that nasty wasp will get him," said Tiny Bear.

"Now don't you worry little one." said Butterfly patiently, "Remember, I am the one who worries! You just think nice thoughts abut meeting the Queen and eating HONEY…mmm…wonderful honey for the very first time."

"Okay Butterfly, that sounds good to me!" said Tiny Bear as he settled back down on his comfy knot chair and crossed his little legs.

Butterfly unrolled her antennae, then spread he wings and danced around in a circle, and then she could see everything far away.

"It all looks clear now Tiny Bear, so I'm going off to get you some breakfast.  Just stay still now, and do what I told you to do….think about honey!  I will be back as soon as I can."

Satisfied the Tiny Bear would be safe; she flew down through the trees and ferns with the sun glistening on her beautiful wings.

Tiny Bear looked over at Bee's castle hive.  It was shimmering in the morning sunlight.  There were hundreds of little drops of water clinging to it that shone like precious crystals.  There were just a few bees guarding the front door, flying back and forth.  All though he was trying to be as patient as he could, Tiny Bear could do nothing but sit there and wait.  He closed his eyes and tried to picture in his mind what honey was like.

"Hello there," a creaky but sweet voice said behind him. Tiny Bear jumped up and turned around quickly. "I'm Spider," the sweet old voice said, "And whom may I ask are you? And what are you doing way up here in my tree?"

"Oh, I didn't know it was you tree.  My mother, Butterfly just went to get me something to eat and we are waiting for my friend Bee to come over with his mother."

"You mean the bees from the hive over there?" She said as she pointed at Bee's castle hive with one of her spindly black legs.

"Yes, and I'm going to get some honey!" Tiny Bear squeaked excitedly. 

"Ahhh, I see, well I'm sure you will absolutely love it.  You are a bear aren't you?" Spider grinned.

"Yes I am, my name is Tiny Bear."

"Well, I am very pleased to meet you, you're the littlest bear I ever saw, I must say!" She squeaked in in grandma spider voice.

"What do you do Spider?" Tiny Bear asked.

"Why, I'm a weaver!" she creaked.

"What's a weaver?"

"Follow me and I'll show you." smiled Spider, "But watch your step in my tree Tiny Bear, I don't want you to fall off now!"

Tiny Bear held on to the leaves as he followed Spider prancing in front of him. He was looking down "watching his step" when Spider said proudly, "There!"

And she pointed to a magnificent, delicate web. It sparkled in the sunlight like a woven diamond necklace.  Tiny Bear clapped his paws with delight.

"You made that?  It's so beautiful, can I touch it?"

Spider looked alarmed, "Oh, NO little one! It may be beautiful, but it is also a trap.  I catch my food in it.  It's sticky, but I don't stick!"

"That's funny!" Tiny Bear giggled and then Spider giggled too.  After that, Tiny Bear started telling Spider all about his favorite game, catch-me-if-you-can, which Spider found extremely interesting.

Just the, the horrible buzz came back again! There it was THE WASP!  Tiny Bear ran as fast as his legs would take him and hid under a leaf. Spider just stood there and stared at it as it buzzed all around the tree.  The wasp buzzed all around and around and then it flew right into Spider's pretty web!

"Ahhh breakfast! Mmmm I just love wasps! Come out Tiny Bear and have some with me, they are delicious!" Spider said licking her lips.

"IKKY UK UGH!"  Tiny Bear said as he shook his head."  I wouldn't eat him, he might eat me! Besides, I eat berries!"

Spider creaked a crackly spider laugh and ran up her web to wrap the wasp up in her sticky yarn.

"Tiny Bear Tiny Bear! Where are you? OH MY OH MY! "Butterfly yelled as she flew frantically around the tree looking for Tiny Bear.

"Here I am, over here!" Tiny Bear shouted, jumping up and down, waving his paws in the air.

Butterfly flew in gracefully and landed.  "Tiny Bear!" she scolded, "I thought I told you to stay put…especially with that nasty wasp around here!"
"I was, I mean I did, well what I mean is…you see I was with that nice spider over there and she CAUGHT HIM!"

"Who caught what?" quizzed Butterfly, stamping her foot impatiently.

"THE WASP!  And she is going to EAT HIM!"  Explained Tiny Bear, scrunching up his face like a little furry raisin.
 

 Spider saw the Butterfly was back with Tiny Bear and came over to meet her.

"Hello there," creaked Spider in her sweet old voice. "You must be Butterfly; Tiny Bear told me that you were coming back. Please don't be too mad at him. I brought him over here to see my web. He's quite a curious little fellow you know?  Would you care to join me for some breakfast? I just caught a nice juicy wasp." Spider glanced back at her web and smacked her lips.

Butterfly looked at the diamond studded shimmering web and saw the neatly wrapped package on it.

"Ah, um, uh no thank you Spider. I just found some breakfast for Tiny Bear and myself, and I'm afraid that we really must be going now.  She took Tiny Bear's paw and said to Spider, "Actually we're meeting our friend Bee and his mother soon and I don't want to be late. Thank you anyway, come one Tiny Bear, we must get back now.

"Well okay, but you two don't know what you are missing," Spider said smiling with her crooked little grin.

""Bye bye Spider, thanks for catching that mean old wasp! I was afraid that he might catch my friend Bee." Tiny Bear shouted back to Spider as Butterfly hurried him away.

"My pleasure Tiny Bear! Good luck to you and you friends, she said as she licked her lips again and scurried back on to her web.

Tiny Bear found it hard to believe that such a nice Spider could catch and eat things like wasps.  Butterfly explained that all creatures of the forest were good at certain things and that spiders, apart from catching nasty bugs, were great weavers and the artists of the forest.

Soon they were back in their spot in the tree and Butterfly said "I was lucky today and found you a grape this time!"

"Oh! mmm I love grapes."

Just when he was ready to take his first bite, he felt a light tap on his shoulder.

"Don't you think that would taste better with a little honey on it Tiny Bear?" said a familiar buzzy little voice.

"BEE!" Tiny Bear yelled. "Oh I am so glad to see you Bee! Where is your mother?" 

"She told me to bring you and Butterfly over to the hive. She couldn't come to fetch you because she is so busy, but she was so happy that you saved me from the flytrap flower. So come on, hop on my back and I'll take you there…you're really going to have a big surprise!"  Bee was so excited he wanted to leave right that moment.

Butterfly brushed Tiny Bear's fur with her pretty wings and made a fancy bow with the grapevine for him to wear. She stood back and looked at him and winked. "Well, I guess that you're as spiffied up as I can make you, so let's go!"

Tiny Bear hopped onto Bee's back and off they flew to the beautiful castle hive.  The soft wind blew through Tiny Bear's fur as Bee's wings buzzed in the cold, crisp morning air. Butterfly was right behind and she danced pretty patterns around them with her gossamer wings.

As they flew closer and closer, they could hear the whole hive buzzing louder and louder, Bee's friends were cheering Tiny Bear in Bee talk! Much to Butterfly's relief.

The little guard bees opened the front door of the castle hive and in they flew.  It was spectacular! There was golden, shiny honey dripping from the honeycomb walls everywhere, and where the sunlight came in, it was really sparkly!

"Well," Bee said. "This is it, how do you like it?"

"Oh Bee. It's so beautiful in here, but where's the honey?" Tiny Bear asked looking around everywhere.

Bee laughed a giant buzzy chuckle, BZZ BZZ BZUZZ!

"You're LOOKING at it!" Butterfly and all the other bees were laughing too.

Tiny Bear walked over to a stick, shining honeycomb wall and dipped his paw into one of the holes and licked fingers "MMM…GOOOOD!!" This is the best thing I ever ate!!"      

The whole hive roared with laughter as they watched Tiny Bear dipping his little paws in and out of as many honeycombs as he could. He was in Tiny Bear Heaven!         

Two of the Queen's soldier bees marched up to Butterfly and Bee and grandly announced, "The Queen is ready to see Tiny Bear now."

Butterfly laughed and said, "If we can tear him away from the honey! Come on Tiny Bear, it's time to meet the Queen Bee now."

Tiny Bear walked back to her licking and licking his little paws and said, "I really LOVE honey Bee, its so good!"

"We could see that!" Bee and Butterfly chimed at the same time.

Butterfly took Tiny Bear's paw and bee took his other sticky paw and they proceeded to follow the soldier bees marching pace down a long honeycomb hallway.

All Tiny Bear could do was to look around and see honey EVERYWHERE! His eyes kept getting bigger and bigger and he had a silly grin on his face. "There's honey every place I look!" 

They turned a corner and saw two elegant honey gold doors which formed the entrance to the Queen's chamber. The doors were opened by one of the Queens handmaiden bees, "You all may enter," she said graciously, so they all walked into the room holding hands, and looked  to the end of the room. There she was the magnificent Queen Bee. 

She was sitting upon a throne of honeycombs which had been exquisitely designed for her.  She was very beautiful indeed.  She wore a crown made out of a gold ring with diamonds, rubies and sapphires on it. She had a long flowing cape which was adorned with hundreds of tiny flowers.

"The Tiny Bear, Your Highness."  A soldier bee announced.  Butterfly nudged Tiny Bear and squeezed his paw.

"This is it my little one." She said.

"Come to me Tiny Bear," said the Queen, "do not be afraid, I won't sting you!"

Tiny Bear looked at Butterfly. "Go on, it's okay."
 
Tiny Bear walked up and stood before the Queen and did his best bear bow. The Queen smiled, she stood up and gave Tiny Bear a kiss on his fuzzy head!

"You are a very brave bear and you are the first bear that has been allowed in my castle hive and most certainly the only bear I have ever kissed!"  She said as she winked at Tiny Bear.  Everybody just giggled.

"My son told me about your act of heroism, that you saved him from being eaten alive by a flytrap flower. That was very courageous of you. I now proclaim you an official Knight of my Queendom." Rising from her elegant throne she touched Tiny Bear's head with her delicate honeysuckle scepter.

Tiny Bear looked up at her and he said, "Thank you Queen Bee."  Then he turned and looked at Butterfly and Bee with a grin.

The Queen Bee continued, "My son also told me how you were found by Butterfly and how she has unselfishly raised you as her own. Tiny Bear nodded yes.  The Queen Bee motioned with her flower scepter to Butterfly and told her to come forward. Butterfly had a surprised look on her face and she walked gracefully up to the Queen Bee on her slender legs.  She curtsied; spreading her magnificently painted wings low until their pastel tips lightly swept the golden floor.

 "Dear Butterfly, I wish to commend you for being such a noble and unselfish Butterfly."  And with that, she touched Butterfly with her flower scepter and said,"I hereby proclaim that form now on you shall be known as "The Duchess of the Flowers."

Butterfly smiled at the Queen Bee, and at Tiny Bear then curtsied once more.

"Thank you your Highness, I shall do my best to live up to this honor," she fluttered prettily.

Then the Queen handed Butterfly a scroll that said "TOP SECRET" on it.

"You take this and you use your best judgment." she said as she handed Butterfly the delicate paper scroll. Butterfly looked a bit confused and asked the Queen what it was.
"You will see." The Queen answered.

The Queen turned her attention to Tiny Bear, "I understand that you have taken quite a liking to our honey," she smiled graciously.

"Oh yes!" said Tiny Bear as he looked around gleefully at the sweet drippy walls. "Your honey is the BEST thing I ever ate!!"   

The the Queen said, "Good! Because as an official Knight of my Queendom you shall be entitled to have ALL the HONEY you will ever want for the rest of you life!"

Tiny Bear started jumping up and down, "Ooh thank you Queen Bee, thank you!" he squealed, grinning from ear to ear.

The Queen laughed and said, "Be sure that you caome back and see me soon."

"We will!" Both Tiny Bear and Butterfly chimed together.

Bee said "Come on, let's go back to your tree and have that grape and some honey for lunch and have a nice long chat..SIR Tiny Bear!"

They all bowed and curtsied to the Queen then went back through the hive as the other bees cheered and applauded for them!

Butterfly was so happy and relieved at the same time the Old Mr. Snail was wrong. "You are so smart Tiny Bear, I had worried about nothing at all, everyone was so nice to us, and now we have new forever friends!"  Butterfly learned a big lesson from Tiny Bear that day; she learned to trust more in the good than the bad.

As they walked out, Tiny Bear scooped his already sticky paws full of delicious honey.  They all flew back to the tree and settled down to talk and snack on the grape.

Tiny Bear smeared the grape with the heavenly honey and proceeded to munch away, "Boy, honey sure is good on grapes; in fact, I think it would be good on everything!"  Tiny Bear said as he took yet another bite.

"Bazuzz Buzz! I knew you would love it!" Bee chuckled.

Butterfly asked Bee in a somewhat serious way, "Tell me something Bee, why didn't you tell us that the Queen was your mother and that you are a Prince Bee?"

"Oh gosh, I just wanted to be like the other bees and help gather nectar for the flowers and make honey too." blushed Bee.

"I see," Butterfly smiled, nodding her head in approval,'"Now that I have been appointed "Duchess of the Flowers" I'm sure I will be able to help you find the best flowers so that you can make the sweetest honey."  With that she gave Bee a delicate Butterfly kiss on his downy cheek.

"Gee, thaty you Duchess Butterfly," Bee said gratefully, and went over to share the honey grape with Tiny Bear.

Tiny Bear looked up and asked, "What does that paper say that the Queen gave you?"

Butterfly exclaimed, "Oh my, I almost forgot. Well, let's see here," as she unrolled the "TOP SECRET" scroll.

For the longest time Butterfly read the precious document, then she began to laugh, "Well, for goodness sakes, Oh my!"

Tiny Bear tapped his little foot impatiently and Bee started buzzing excitedly.

"Well, what does it say?" They said together.

Butterfly was mumbling to herself and chuckling.

"Are you going to tell us?"  They continued.

"Oh yes, of course I am. It's a map, see," she held it up for them to look at.

"What does that say on the top Butterfly?" Tiny Bear asked.

"Well, my dear, it says "To the Secret Land of Wee Bears."

"Wee Bears?" said the curious bear, "Am I a Wee Bear?"

"Yes my darling," replied the Duchess Butterfly, "And this is a map to your true home!" she smiled.

Tiny Bears eyes got big and said "You mean where my Mama and Papa live?"

Butterfly gave him a giant butterfly kiss and said "Well, we sure are going to find out."

Tiny Bear started giggling and jumping up and down. 

Bee hugged Tiny Bear and said, "I just KNEW my mother had a big surprise for you!"

"But how did she know?"

"She's the Queen, she knows where all the bears live in the forest…even the WEE bears!" replied the Prince Bee.  He was so happy for his new best friend.

Butterfly called Tiny Bear over to her, "Come on my little Knight, you are going home. Just climb up here on the Ol' Duchesses back."

Tiny Bear gave Bee a bear hug and told him, "I'm really going to miss you Bee."

Bee smiled at his friend, "I will be seeing you again, after all, you are a Knight now…goodbye, good luck my friend."

Then Bee helped him get up on Butterfly's soft back and he gave Butterfly a little kiss on her cheek. Butterfly unrolled her antennae and fluttered her wings and said, "You take care of yourself Bee, and watch out for ther flytraps. We love you and don't want anything bad to happen to you again, promise?"

"I promise," Bee said and he crossed heis heart. Then Bee bowed to the Duchess Butterfly and Sir Tiny Bear and flew back to his castle hive to his mother, The Queen.

Butterfly was snickering to herself.

"What's so funny?" Tiny Bear asked.

"I was just thinking about your home, I must have flown over it a hundred times and all the time I thought those were caterpillars down there and now I find out they were Wee Bears!"

Tiny Bear laughed with her.

"Oh Butterfly, I am so excited! I must be the happiest Wee Bear in the forest!"

"I am so happy for you my darling!" Butterfly said.

"Are you ready for take off? Now hold on tight!"

"I know how to fly," Tiny Bear said rolling his eyes.

"Oh yes, well, let's go!" Butterfly took off and fluttered 

"You're a very good flyer, my Tiny Bear! I am very proud of you."

"Well, I have experience!" Tiny Bear giggled.

They flew and flew. Over the hills, over the trees, over the rivers and flowers.

"Look down there Tiny Bear," Butterfly pointed towards the berry patches. There were hundreds of little furry creatures walking around and on the berry patches.

"It's the secret land of Wee Bears my little one."

"It is! It is!"  You know Butterfly; they do look like caterpillars from up here!" They both laughed.

"Hang on tight…we're going in for a landing!"

Tiny Bear did what he was told but just couldn't resist throwing his little bear feet into the air!

"Weee! "  He sang as they glided right into the Wee Bear's Land.

"Look Butterfly, there is every kink of berry in the whole forest growing here!"  Tiny Bear kept turning his head every which way. He was so excited that this was his home.

Beneath the bushes there were all kinds of Wee Bears everywhere. They were all coming out of the bushes and caves to see who the Butterfly was who had invaded their land.

A man Bear, who looked official came up to Butterfly and asked,"May I be of some assistance Madame?"

Butterfly answered as she held on to Tiny Bears paw, "Why yes I am returning this bear to his home."

The official man Bear looked down at Tiny Bear and is eyes got as big as they could get and he yelled, "It couldn't be, it's a miracle! That's my baby!" Then he picked Tiny Bear up and gave him a giant yet gentle Papa bear hug and kissed him all over his little furry face!

"Papa!" Tiny Bear yelled, holding on tight to his Papa's big fuzzy neck

"Come; follow me dear Butterfly….I'm taking my son home to his cave and to his Mama!'

Tiny Bear's Mama was baking a raspberry pie in her little cave kitchen, when Tiny Bear's Papa walked in an stood behind her holding Tiny Bear in his big arms.

"Mama!" Tiny Bear yelled and she jumped and turned and yelled

"MY BABY!"  She was laughing with tears in her eyes. She ran and gave Tiny Bear kisses and special Mama bear hugs.

Butterfly stood at the doorway and watched Tiny Bear hugging his Mama. She brushed a tear of happiness away from her eye. She loved Tiny Bear and was so happy for all of them.

They all sat down on a big fluffy couch which Papa had made of carved sticks and t was stuffed with fuzzy dandelions. The cave was very cozy and comfortable. Tiny Bear and Butterfly both noticed a tiny crib in the corner of the room, and there was a picture of Tiny Bear when he was just a baby hanging above it.

Tiny Bear sat between his Mama and Papa. He puffed out his chest with pride and said, "Mama, Papa I want to introduce you to The Duchess of the Flowers, Butterfly. She has been taking care of me since she found me under a leaf sleeping one day. She has been my mother."

Butterfly nodded and smiled. Papa took one of her hands and said, "How can we ever repay you for everything you have done?"

"No, no, dear sir, it was my pleasure…you have a fine son. Brave too! In fact he is an official Knight of the Queen Bee's Kingdom! You can be very proud of your Tiny Bear." Butterfly stroked his little cheek with the tip of her wing. Tiny Bear put his little paws over his mouth and giggled. He loved Butterfly, and was so happy that she was the one who found him but he was also happy to be home with his Mama and Papa.

Butterfly wanted to know how Tiny Bear was lost to begin with. Papa explained, "It was the beginning of winter. We were all in our cave ready to hibernate. When we had fallen asleep there was a terrible storm. Snow, wind, a hard blowing wind. When my wife and I awoke, our cave door was blown down and our baby was gone. We hunted everywhere. Now one could find him. We feared he just blew away…because he was really tiny then. We had almost given up hope of ever seeing him again, until today. It's a miracle I say!" And he reached over and kissed and bear hugged him Tiny Bear again.

Just then there was a loud knock at the door. Papa opened it and there stood another Wee Bear, "I hate to bother you at a time like this, but I think you'd better come out here an see this…I don't understand it."

They all went out and the Wee Bear pointed up to the sky. There were hundreds of bees carrying little flowers full of honey!!  And leading them all was Bee! 

"Tiny Bear! Where are you?" The Bee prince yelled.

"What's going on?" Papa asked.

"Bee, over here. Here I am!"  TIny Bear yelled, jumping up and down and waving his fuzzy paws in the air.

Bee spotted the jumping furry ball and came in for a landing. Tiny Bear ran over and bear hugged him.

"How did you find me?" Tiny Bear asked.

"My mother told me!" Bee laughed.

Then he asked Papa, "Where should I have my soldiers dump the honey sir?"

"Ah, um, over there in that tree stump would be fine I guess." Papa said with a surprised look on his face.

Bee directed the soldier bees over to the tree stump and they filled it up with their delicious, golden honey and flew back to their castle hive. All the bears in Wee Bear Land were going crazy!  They were laughing as they all climbed up the honey tree stump and dipped their little paws as fast as they could into the delicious gooey stuff. They just couldn't believe it.

Tiny Bear's Mama invited Bee into the cave. "You must be the Prince Bee the Tiny Bear and Butterfly spoke of," she said as she shook his hand.

"Yes, Maam." Bee said bashfully.

"Would you care to join us for lunch? I just made a raspberry pie." she asked.

"Well sure! I brought the honey!" he chuckled. "Bazuzz Bazuzz."

Tiny Bear rolled onto the couch and held his chubby tummy and laughed and laughed. "Honey tastes good on everything Mama!"

They all sat at the little dining room table where Mama served up the warm raspberry pie to everyone. Bee just so happened to have a flower full of honey with him and he placed it in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy. They ate the pie and honey while Bee explained how they actually made honey.  Of course, they were all quite interested and found it fascinating how flowers pollen could transform into the most delicious, golden, sweet thing they all had ever ate!"

Bee stood up and announced, "Well, I must be going back now. I am so happy you found you Papa and Mama Tiny Bear." Tiny Bear smiled. Then Bee said to Butterfly, "My Mother told me that she needs you that she has a job for us to do. You did say you would help me find the best flowers that make the sweetest honey right?"
 
Butterfly grinned. "That's right! I know where there are some very special, magic flowers that only my friends, the fairies and I know about that make magic honey." she smiled as the tips of her wings gave a little flutter.

Tiny Bear ran up to Butterlfy and gave her his best bear hug. "I love you, Butterfly," he said in his sweet little voice.

"Oh, I love you too my Tiny Bear!" she declared as he gave him a giant butterfly kiss.

"We will be back to see you soon. The Queen Bee has given us our orders."

"Okay." Tiny Bear said puffing his little cheeks out.

Butterfly gave him a tender butterfly hug and Bee hugged him too. They walked out of Tiny Bear's cave and after everyone said their "good byes" and "good lucks."

Butterfly and Bee flew right up over their heads and hovered. Tiny Bear yelled up to his other mother and best friend, "Come back and see us soon!"

"We will!"

Off they flew together to the mysterious fairie's flowers to make some magic honey.

Tiny Bear said to his Mama and Papa, "Want to go over to the honey tree with me?"

His Mama and Papa just laughed as they watched their Tiny Bear run to the tree. They were so happy to have their son home and once again, they were a happy family.
                
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg


Skylight  
                      

  By: Christine J. Von Lossberg                         
                                                                                                   c 1994

Westa opened her big, dark eyes and looked up at the beautiful Alaskan sky. Today was the day that all the female whales were to swim to the warm waters of the Baha to give birth to their baby calves. Westa had never swam that far before, she had never had a baby calf before.

The Ancient Ones had created the invisible water path and somehow all the whales knew just where to go. It was very far and sometimes dangerous, but it was their way and it was an adventure that all the females could share together.

Westa was so excited about going. She could feel her baby within her moving about ever so gently. She would hum to him under the water so that he would know her voice. When she would hum, sometimes he would move at the same time.

“A showoff already, I bet you will be a great jumper!” She would think out loud. In the whale’s world, they could read each other’s minds.

“Oh Westa, Westa!” Mista called. She was Westa’s best friend. She was going to have a calf too.

“We are all about ready to go, are you ready? Did you get enough sleep, enough to eat?” Mista wanted to make sure.

“Yes, as a matter of fact I even ate an extra fifty pounds of fish, just in case.” Westa smiled.

“I guess we should get in line, are all the girls ready?”

“Oh yes, but it looks like we will be at the end of the line.”

“The end of the line Westa thought. Well, I guess we will be okay.”

She thought of their leader Freesa, she was the very old, wise grandmother whale. Her husband Tobay was the oldest members of their whale tribe. They had five calves that Westa was raised with. Freesa knew the way to the Baha waters from the whispers of the Ancient Ones.

Tobay and the other males came swimming by. They all jumped out of the water, saying good bye to all their mates and their unborn calves, each one’s huge tail would slip back and disappear back into the ocean.

 The time had come to begin the great journey. Freesa attached her mind to all the other whales’ minds. Westa got the thought message and began to swim behind Mista. They all waved their tails goodbye to their mates.

 Suddenly, Westa’s young mate Valor, swam under her belly, and rubbed it with his giant snout, and kissed her and their unborn goodbye. Westa giggled and gave Valor a snuggle back. Their big knowing eyes met and Westa knew that he would be in mind with her the whole time she was gone.

The long journey had really begun when Freesa raised her giant body from the icy water and with a huge splash that rippled to everyone to begin the mother’s swim.

Westa waved her final goodbye to Valor with her flipper and soon they were on their way.

“Hold on to the rear, Westa.” This thought entered her mind. It was Freesa checking in with her.

Westa thought back to her “Okay, Freesa I have it covered back here.”

They swam and swam. Occasionally diving down to grab a bite to eat now and then. They could see the land where the land humans lived. To themselves, the dolphins and whales were the “water humans!”

Westa could see the beautiful brown and green mountains where there were houses and a road that went along side with cars going both ways.

She thought the cars were land whales! 

Freesa let her know in her mind “No, dear, those are cars that the people move around in.”

They had gone about one hundred miles.  The night time brought the stars and the moon’s reflection on their ocean home.  It was time to sleep and dream.

Everyone stayed in line that was important for now. They simply closed their big, knowing eyes and float-slept until morning came. Mista touched Westa’s snout with her tail.

“Wake up sleepy head, it’s time to go.”

Westa opened her eyes. She felt her baby move inside her and sent him a whale kiss

“I’m awake now.” Westa said.  “A little hungry though.”

Freesa thought, everyone follow me, we will be coming to a really great feeding place real soon.”

Everyone gave tail flips and continued down the ancient water path behind old Freesa. They went another thirty miles. Westa looked over to the land, it looked different now, the mountains were gone and it was flat land. She could still see the “earth whales” going back and forth though.

Freesa jumped out of the water. “Time to eat girls.”

Westa and Mista and everyone else dove down into the blue ocean where there were thousands of squids. Everyone opened their big mouths and the squids swam right in.

“Delicious!” Everyone thought.

They continued on and on the pathway. Soon they came to a place where there were all these big floating things on the water and they were coming towards them.


“Whale watcher’s girls. Wave your tails!” Freesa thought as she did a magnificent jump out of the water.

Every one of them waved their tails at the same time. Westa could hear the yelling and whoo hoo’s coming from the floating things.

Freesa explained that they were the land humans and that the floating things were called boats. Westa thought they were so little and cute.

Their journey continued and just about every twenty or thirty miles they same thing would happen. They were really good at it now, to the point were they would all jump out at one time! You should of heard the woo hoos and yee haws from the land humans. Westa thought they might even fall out of their boats they were so excited.

It was the first time that any of them had seen the land humans. Freesa was the only one who had. She knew a lot about them. There were many legends about them, some good and some bad. Yet, the whales were to love the land humans not matter what, that was how the land humans would learn the best, with love.

The water began to feel nice and warm now. Freesa let everyone know that they were almost there. It had been days, miles and miles and finally the great Baha was in Freesa’s sight.

Everyone’s unborn were moving more and more. Westa thought of her mate Valor and felt him in her heart. He was with her there all the time.

Yes it was true, they had made it there! It was the great Baha. The water was so nice and warm and clear blue. Freesa thought everyone to go in a big circle.

They were as one even more now. Their calves were too. It was so important that they start out that way, in oneness.

Suddenly, Westa could feel something happening. She looked around and all the other whales had funny looks on their faces.

Westa could feel her baby slowly coming out of her. She closed her eyes for a moment and felt her mate Valor, right there with here too! She peeked under the water, and there he was! Her own baby! He came up to here right away and rubbed himself on her. Westa rubbed him with her giant flipper, and then he went under her and began to drink her first mother’s milk.

She looked over and there was Mista with her baby too.  She had a little girl. All the babies were born and were drinking their mother’s milk.

“In your milk lies their continued life. Mother’s give freely to your babies bonding yourselves to them forever.” Freesa thought to all the young mothers.

All the new mother’s knew that they were to always be completely bonded to their babies. The babies knew it too as they all drank their mother’s milk, and gently nestled themselves against their mother’s giant tummies.

“Listen carefully now, let your babies tell you their names.” Freesa told them.

Westa felt her baby under her tummy and listened very carefully.

“I am Skylight.” She heard him say.

“My Skylight, who lights the way.” Westa smiled.

You see, the whales always named themselves right after they were born and had done so for thousands of years. Sometimes a baby would be the return spirit of an ancient one, come back to teach more of the old ways. Everyone knew that Freesa and Tobay were ancient ones. Westa was sure that Skylight was one.

Westa received a thought from Freesa just then. “Skylight my old friend.”

It was true. Westa was even happier, if that could be possible. She knew that Skylight was to be a teacher. It was written in the stars, Skylight, my star.

They stayed in the great Baha for days and weeks. Everyone got to meet each other babies and Freesa had many thought talks with Skylight. Soon, the babies became bigger and stronger, big and strong enough to go back on the great journey to there home. Home to meet there fathers for the first time.

They all formed the familiar line. Westa and Skylight were holding up the rear. Freesa gave the signal and all the new mothers and babies followed right behind.

Every calf stayed right with their mother. They couldn’t help but jump and play all the way they were so happy to be here.

Mista’s baby had named herself Shella. Skylight and Shella had made friends right away. It seems that they did know each other from before and would jump over each other and sometimes give each other little whale kisses.

After swimming a couple of days. Freesa wanted to stop at a special spot that she said was a sacred place. It really didn’t look any different, yet, it did have a somewhat different feeling, it was very far from the land. Freesa had them swim in a giant circle.

All the mothers did as they were told and then the babies swam into the middle of the circle with Skylight and Shella leading the way.

Freesa told them to look at the water line and watch the fireball fall slowly into the water. It was a brilliant sunset lit up with beautiful oranges, yellows and purples.

The night came, and the moon shone down right over the circle, lighting the wavelets surrounding them. The stars above shone bright and twinkled to each other. The mother’s began to swim in a circle around the babies. It wasn’t noticed at first, no one said anything. They were all caught up in the dance around the babies, when Westa noticed that Skylight was glowing!

The water dance stopped. Everyone just looked at Skylight as he happily jumped in and out of the water just glowing away.

Westa looked over at Freesa who had a nice smile on her face.

“Why is he glowing?” Westa asked.

“He is a Starwhale!” Freesa said as her own dorsal fin began to light up too.

Soon she was completely lit up. She had never glowed for them before. It had to be in the sacred place.

 Mista looked over and saw that Shella was glowing too!

“Look at Shella! She’s doing it too!”

All the whales hit the water with their fins clapping for the show.

They played in the water circle late unto the night and when the morning came, they ate delicious fish and were back on their journey home.

Along the way they saw the land humans now and then. Skylight said he would tell stories about them one day

It had been days and weeks and they were almost there. Westa recognized the big mountain that was on the land. She knew she was to see Valor soon.

Then, yes they were there!  There were their mates to greet them jumping way out of the water, they were so happy! Then they swam towards them to meet their new babies.

Even the babies started to jump their best jumps too. Their father’s came right up to them and the babies got on their big backs. Each father knew their own baby right off and gave them rides!

All the mother’s watched as they played with their fathers and just smiled and said. “Just look at them, it’s love at first sight.”

Tobay was swimming stable, looking as regal as he always did. Freesa went right to him and they rubbed snouts for a while.

“Skylight came home I see. So did Shella. That’s wonderful, they are the magic couple!” Tobay said to Freesa who agreed.

“Just like us my love.” Freesa thought as they swam towards the giant land mountain.

Soon everyone was home in their own special waters, even thought he whole ocean was their home. The new families lived their lives together in harmony with all.

Skylight told many new stories which over the years became legends. He married Shella and had their own babies who were ancient ones too.

Westa and Valor were proud grandparents. When the time came for Freesa and Tobay to go play in the stars, it was Westa who lead the way to the great Baha. The whale’s whispers guided her heart to the sacred places for all the whales to share together.
 

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg


The Furry Friends      

Christine J. Von Lossberg c 2001

There is a very tall building that sits in the middle of a very big and busy city where a rich family lives on the top floor that’s called the penthouse. You have to take an elevator to get up there, unless you want to climb up thirty flights of stairs, and no one ever did, except one family. The McMouse Family. They accomplished this feat over twenty years before. Now, most of the family had spread out and were either on long vacations or had moved to the country. The McMouse’s were known far and wide.

All who was left was Marty, his sister Ladeeda and their Grandparent’s, Mr. And Mrs. Jack McMouse. Their parents were on vacation visiting relatives in the country.

Marty McMouse is seven years old. He has grayish brown fur and rather striking ears. He always wears his blue vest and green velvet hat that his big ears stick out of. He never leaves home without taking his red toy wagon with him just in case he finds something for his family.

He was born at the penthouse and knew every wall, nook and cranny. He was raised on many fancy type cheeses, assorted mixed nuts, plenty of grapes and raisins, expensive crackers and left over ice cream on sticks. He only drinks bottled water, of course.

His family became accustomed to only having the best; it is all they have ever known. Marty has his own baby shoe that he sleeps in. It is full of cotton balls that he found in the bathroom, he was very comfortable sleeping there. He has lots of toys that he found too. A small red rubber ball with some jacks, a little hot wheels car, some marbles and many more, too many to even mention.

Marty’s sister, Ladeeda had everything a little girl mouse could ever want. She wore satin ribbon dresses with matching lace and ribbon hats. She loves make up and would find powder and little sample perfumes in the lady of the penthouse’s bathroom.

Ladeeda has pretty blonde fur. She has long eyelashes that surround her big dark blue eyes. She sleeps in her own little doll bed with a comforter. She has her own dressing table with a mirror that she sits at while trying on her different ribbon hats that Grammy makes from sewing scraps. She tries on her different makeup there. She loves to play dress up, even though she is only six years old.

They both have little wagons that they pull to go get left overs every day. There is always plenty because the people who live there are always dropping things on the floor, especially after they have a party. Then there are green and black olives, stuffed celery sticks, potato chips and even dip. One time, Marty found a pickle, but no one liked it, so he would always leave them alone. There was always a fancy cookie somewhere which they all would share together.

Their people would have a party almost every week. Boy, were they lucky! They loved to sneak under the couch and watch movies on the television. Sometimes the people would drop the remote control under the couch and Grandpa Jack would jump on it and change the channels. They thought they had a ghost!

One night, when Marty was out hunting for goodies with his wagon, he heard a funny noise coming from the kid’s room. He could make out the sound; it was usually quiet in there. He couldn’t stand the suspense, so he left his wagon in a safe place and slipped  along the wall to the child’s door.

It was Spencer’s room. He is six years old. In fact, it was from Spencer that Marty got the little wagons. He just left them out one night, and Marty grabbed them quick. He got a lot of stuff there, including his favorite red ball.

Marty peeked under the door. It was too dark in there; he would have to go in. He squished his little body under the big door and he was in. The sound was coming from over by the window. There was something new up there. Marty made his way up the curtain until he got to the window sill.

There it was! A cage! Marty shuddered; he had heard about cages from Grandpa Jack and got a little scared.  He climbed up the curtain and he peeked in and there were a bunch of wood shavings and a bowl of water and some green pellet food and…a wheel spinning around!

“The noise! What a racket!” He thought.

“Hey, Hey!” Marty squeaked.  The wheel slowly came to a stop. Something fat and furry came out and Marty didn’t know what it was. He saw another furry thing rolled in a ball sleeping in the corner.

“Hi, I’m Bernie. What are you anyways?” He asked Marty.

“Don’t you know a mouse when you see one?”

“Actually, no I don’t, I never saw one before. What is your name?”

“Marty and this is my penthouse.” He said as he checked Bernie out. He felt so bad that he was in there even though he didn’t know him.

“It’s nice to meet you; sorry I didn’t know what a mouse was. They didn’t have any at the pet store.  That is my sister Etta. She is sleeping so don’t wake her up.” Bernie said in a hushed voice.

“I have a sister too, her name is Ladeeda.’

Marty just sort of stood there and stared at Bernie until Bernie told Marty they were hamsters. Now, Spencer was their owner and that he always exercised in the middle of the night. He said he usually put in five miles on the wheel. Marty was very impressed.

They sat there and talked the rest of the night. Marty told him the history of the McMouse family and Spencer’s family and all the goodies he would find, as they looked out at the city lights. Marty went down the curtain and brought up some goodies for his new friend. Bernie loved the cheese stuffed celery, he had only had the pellets and they were getting pretty boring. It became clear they were to become great buddies. Marty had never had a best friend before and neither had Bernie.

Suddenly Marty came up with a bright idea. He wanted to break Bernie and Etta out of there so they would be free like they were. Then they could go on hunts together, watch television and play around with Spencer’s toys.

Bernie said it sounded really good, but he would have to think very hard about it and ask Etta what she thought. He didn’t want to break the little boy’s heart.

“There is nothing worse than losing your pet.” Bernie told Marty.

It was pretty hard for Marty to really understand. He had never been a pet. He didn’t want to be one either.

Marty said that he would have to ask Grandpa Jack and Grammy if it would be okay anyways.

They decided to meet the next night. Same place, same time. Before he left, Marty scooted down the curtain and got a grape for Etta to eat in the morning as a surprise.

They said good bye and soon, both of them feel fast asleep in their own little beds, Marty in his shoe and Bernie in his wood shavings.
The next day, they each woke up late and couldn’t wait to tell their families what had happened.

Bernie asked Etta, “Guess what happened last night with I was working out?”

“A mouse came over here and we talked all night. He told me to give you this.” Marty pulled the grape out from under the shavings and handed it to Etta.

She didn’t know what to do with it.  “It’s a grape, you eat it.”

She licked it a little and then put her teeth into it. It squirted on he and she munched it almost all up.

“Mmm this is good.” She wiped her mouth with her little paw.

“Can I have a bite before it’s gone?” Bernie asked.

She handed the rest over to Bernie and he ate it right up.

“So what is a mouse? Have I ever seen one before?”

“Okay, well, he is about our size, he had a long tail and big ears and a pointed nose, big whiskers and short fur.” Marty did his best.
“Oh yes, and he wears something called clothes, a green hat and a blue vest.” Bernie smiled.

Etta tried to picture in her mind the mouse. It sounded cute. She knew that she liked him already; he had given her the grape.

Bernie told her that Marty was coming over tonite and that she could stay up and meet him. He also told her that he had a sister named Ladeeda who was her same age.

Etta got very excited about everything. She didn’t have a friend here, all her friends were left behind at the pet store and most of them were pets now too.  She really missed them. Bernie had a couple of hamsters that were his friends that he would share the wheel with.

“Spencer is coming, hide!” They both buried themselves in the wood shavings. It was too late. Spencer saw where they went. He put his hand in there and grabbed both of them. Bernie gave his finger a little bite, not hard, just enough to let Spencer know to take it easy on them.

Spencer yelped “Ow!” and then he gave Bernie a little kiss and scratched his head. It felt really good. Now, Bernie felt bad for biting him.

Then Spencer took Bernie in one of his race cars and rolled him down the long wooden hallway.

“Yee Haw!” Bernie yelled. Then out of the corner of his eye he saw Marty behind the potted plant. They waved at each other as he went whooshing by.

Along came Spencer and he pushed the race car back the other way as hard as he could.

“Whoopee!” Bernie yelled. He really liked being this kid’s pet; he was having so much fun with him.

Marty just laughed as he saw Bernie gliding back and forth and thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to be a pet after all.

It was Etta’s turn next. She went flying by, holding on to the steering wheel. She saw Marty and Marty saw her and she flew out of the car and slid down the floor. Not thinking, Marty ran over to her to see if she was okay.

“Thanks for the grape.” Was all Etta could say then she passed out.

Spencer came running up to her and cupped her in his hands, then he rubbed her tummy and then blew softly in her face. Etta woke up and she was just fine. She had fainted. Soon they were back in the cage.

“Was that the mouse?” Etta asked to be sure.

“Yes, that was Marty…are you alright, are you dizzy?” Bernie was still a bit worried about his little sister.

“I’m okay, really. I really like the little mouse and his cute clothes.” Etta smiled.

Bernie wasn’t sure, but he thought that Etta had a little crush on  Marty. She sure was acting funny, maybe it was just the bump on her head.

Ladeeda couldn’t wait any longer to hear what happened. Marty was just about to tell her and then he took off when he heard Bernie yell “Yee Haw!”  The suspense was just too much for her to bear. She was getting angry now, and would pull Marty’s tail the minute he came in.

Marty came in the door almost out of breath and he had a huge smile on his face.

“Well, are you going to tell me or what?” Ladeeda squeaked as she went for Marty’s tail. He was too fast for her and told her to go sit down and behave or he wouldn’t tell her anything. Ladeeda did as she was told; she plopped down on the pink cotton ball chair.

“We have hamster’s here! They are in Spencer’s room. They are his pets. One is Bernie and one is Etta. They are furry, fat, big eyes, little see through ears and little stubby tails. They are our size too.”

“Do they bite?” Ladeeda asked. “Well, they do bite people sometimes, but not mice. They are really quite friendly; would you like to go meet them tonight?”

“YES!” Then she started to wonder what she would wear for the big occasion. The pink, the yellow, or maybe the green ribbon clothes. Oh, decisions, decisions!”

Etta never had any clothes. She had a very nice brown and white fur though. So did Bernie. They didn’t even really know that they could wear clothes. Marty had really got him thinking about these things after showing up with his vest and hat on. Etta couldn’t stop talking about how cute he looked and wondered what Bernie would look like with a hat on.

Night time finally came. Spencer was fast asleep, and Ladeeda and William were under the couch with their Grandparents watching television with Spencer’s parents. They were watching an old Tarzan movie. Everyone loved Cheetah the chimpanzee the best because he reminded of silly Uncle Simon, who moved to the park.  The park was the closest he could come to a jungle in these parts. He was the ultimate Cheetah fan, besides Grandpa. Grammy liked the elephant’s because she heard they were afraid of mice and that made her laugh.

Ladeeda thought that she would bring Etta a little present. She didn’t have any friends and thought that it would be the right thing to do. She ran back to her room and picked out a nice red ribbon hat and a vial of sample perfume that Marty found.

She decided to wear her favorite outfit, the pink satin with the matching pink and white lace hat. She looked adorable. She fluffed up her blonde fur and put on some cheek blush, eye shadow and with a drop of perfume, she was ready.

“Are you ready yet? Bernie whined. “Come on, I’m leaving right now.” He stamped down his foot.

“Yes! I’m ready. Do you think Etta will like these?” Ladeeda showed the gifts to Bernie.

“That’s very nice Ladeeda; I know she will love them. Maybe I should bring something too.”

“What about that old red rubber ball?” I think you have bounced it a million times, they could play catch with it in that awful cage.” Ladeeda said.

“Good idea.” Bernie went and got it and rolled it along the floor. Then he grabbed a purple hat he never wore to give to Marty and stuck it under his green one.

They climbed down the stairs and slipped down the long hallway to Spencer’s room. Bernie could hear Marty running in his wheel. He told Ladeeda that Marty ran five miles a night on it. She was very impressed too.

They slid under the door and made it up the curtain. Bernie held the ball in his mouth and Ladeeda carried hers with one hand. They made it up there okay.

Ladeeda just stood there in a state of shock. She had never seen a cage either and it was horrible to them. They tried to not let their sad faces show.

“Hey, Marty!” Bernie squeaked, but not too loud. Marty stopped running and jumped out of his wheel.

“Hi, you made it, great!” Marty smiled showing his two front teeth.

“Is that your little sister?” Marty asked.

“Yes she is. Is she yours?” Bernie asked even though he knew she was.

The little girls introduced themselves to everyone and each other. Etta told him how much she liked her pretty clothes. Ladeeda told Etta to close her eyes. Etta did what she was told.

She reached behind her and pulled out the red ribbon hat!  She pushed it through the bars of the cage. Etta couldn’t believe it. She She put it on her fluffy head and she looked darling. Then Ladeeda gave her the little perfume vial too.

“You put a little drip of it behind your ears. It smells really good. Like flowers.” Ladeeda explained.

Little Etta opened it up and delicately put some behind her cute little ears. “Oh, it smells so good. I never smelled a flower before.”  Etta took a big whiff.

“How can I thank you for these wonderful gifts.” I love them so much, but I don’t have anything to give to you.” Etta said.

“That’s okay, I just want to be in your friend, and your friendship is all that I want.” Ladeeda said. Etta reached out her little paw to Ladeeda’s and held it this time.

Now, it was Bernie’s turn to get his presents. Marty bounced the little red ball a couple times and then squished it between the bars.

“This is for you buddy; you and Etta can play catch with it.” Marty said as he smiled with his two big teeth.  Then he pulled his green velvet hat off and took off the purple one and put it through the bars.

“Thought this would look good on you dude.”

“Wow!” Bernie put the hat right on. It was him all the way. Etta and Ladeeda loved it on him too.

“Thank you so much. This ball is great, I’ll hide it under the wood shavings, I really like it a lot.” Bernie smiled and he wished he could invite Marty in to run on his wheel, but there was no way, the cage was latched, so he didn’t mention it at all.

So they stood there and talked and talked and joked and looked out the window at the city lights for at least two hours.

Etta thanked Marty for the wonderful grape and for coming to save her when she crashed.  

Marty said it was okay and got a little embarrassed. Something Ladeeda had never seen him do before and it made her love her brother even more.

Then Marty came up with a big plan in his head. He had been inspecting the latch on the cage and it did look really tight, but he still thought he could figure out something get it open. He thought that at least at nighttime when all the people were asleep they could all go play all over the penthouse and be back by morning. Life in the cage wouldn’t be so bad, if their nights were free.

Marty looked down at the floor at everything lying around.

“Hey you guys, I think I can get the cage open!” Marty giggled.

Everyone smiled with their two teeth at the same time at the idea.

Marty scampered down the curtain and found a pen that was on the floor. He put it in his mouth and ran back up there with it.

“What is that thing?”  Etta asked.

“It’s the kid’s pen. He always leaves good stuff on the floor.” Marty said.

Marty took the pen and pushed it under the latch. He had to push as hard as he could.  Then Ladeeda helped and they pushed and pushed and SNAP the door opened!  Everyone clapped and hip hip hoorayed.

Bernie invited Marty to come in and run on his hamster wheel if he wanted to then he patted his back and said, “Great job buddy.”

Little Etta came out with her new red satin ribbon hat and gave Ladeeda a hug. They looked so cute together, just like best friends always do.

Bernie came out next, bouncing his red rubber ball like crazy on the window sill. His purple hat didn’t even fall off.

Marty had forgotten to ask his grandparents permission. Well it would be okay with them it turned out. They could spend their nights together playing and exploring the whole penthouse. They ate very well, they watched late night television with Grandpa Jack, they made ribbon hats with Grammy and they played with Spencer’s toys. They had so many wonderful times and none of the people ever knew about anything.

Spencer was happy that he had his pets that he loved so much. He took very good care of them and could never figure out why they never finished their green pellets. Of course, he didn’t know they were eating all the great goodies every night with Marty and Ladeeda.

Grandpa loved Bernie and would tell him all his stories about when he was really fast too. Bernie loved all his old stories.

Everyone from Uncle Simon to Cousin Sammy would drop back in at the penthouse with stories to tell of their adventures in the outside world.  All the relatives loved the fat little hamsters and were very impressed with Bernie’s running abilities and who wouldn’t love sweet fluffy Etta who was so smart and kind.

They stayed best friends for life. Over the years, they had many fun nights together.
Oh, yes, if you have hamsters and they sleep all day long, maybe they have mice friends at night too!



 
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg

FREDERICK THE FASTEST FROG


Written and Illustrated By: Christine J. Von Lossberg
                             c 1990


Frederick was not you usual type frog. Yes, he was green. Yes. He had bulgy eyes and yes, there were spots on his back. The thing about Frederick was that he had the biggest feet that any frog ever had. They were huge!  

There were some benefits having the biggest frog feet, even though some would point and laugh at him. You see, Frederick was the fastest swimmer in the whole pond. Those feet really could go!

Frederick’s best friend Wilbur swam over to his lily pad where Frederick was taking a nap. His feet were hanging over in the water.  Wilbur just couldn’t resist giving Frederick’s feet a little tickle!

Frederick jumped up and laughed and yawned at the same time! Wilber snuck around to the other side of the pad and poked his head up out of the water.

“Croak! Scared you huh?” Wilbur laughed.

“I thought it was you. I’m going to get you now!” Frederick said as he plopped into the water.

Wilbur swam just as fast as he could to get away from Frederick. It was no use, Frederick was too fast for him, so he gave up then Frederick tickled him back!

They hopped and played just like typical boy frogs do. Soon they were joined by some other frogs. They were not just any frogs; these were ones from the other pond.

The other pond was way over on the other side of the big marsh. Somehow, they had managed to make their way through all of the sticks and mud and there they were, sitting right there.  Three of them, not saying a word or even a croak. Then…

“Hi you guys. I’m Frankie, this is Greenie and that’s Ferdie.” Frankie introduced everyone.

Frederick and Wilbur looked at them and then introduced themselves right back.

“So, what are you doing over here in our pond?” Wilbur asked.

“The reason is we are having a big race and we wanted to know if you anyone who would like to be in it?” Ferdie asked.

Apparently they hadn’t seen Frederick’s feet. They didn’t have a clue what they were dealing with here. Frederick kept his feet in the water after Wilbur gave him a wink.

“Why yes, Ferdie, our Frederick is quite a good swimmer. He’s our man.” Wilbur said as he patted Frederick on his back.

“Great! Well, we will see you all there. Two moons from now.” Greenie croaked.

“You got it.” Frederick said, not truly sure to what he had agree to.

“We’re going to beat you, we got Big Sam!” They all yelled as they made their way back through the marsh to their pond.

“Big Sam. I think I heard of Big Sam. I’m finished.” Frederick said as he got back on his lily pad.

“Oh, Frederick, don’t be that way. Remember, you got the FEET. The FEET. You will win for sure!” Wilbur smiled.

“Come on, let’s go tell everyone. We all have to pull together.”

They swam back over to where all the frogs were hanging out. It was singing time. They were sitting on the bank of the pond on their lily pads and were croaking out frog songs.

Frederick and Wilbur joined right in. This went on for at least another twenty minutes, then Wilbur just had to cut in.

“Everyone, everyone pay attention! I have exciting news!” Wilbur yelped.

Frederick sort of looked around hoping no one would point and laugh at him.

“We have been invited to a race! Our Frederick will be racing Big Sam from the other pond. Whoever wants to go, show up here in two moons.” Wilbur was finished with his announcement.

“Ha! Ha! Croak! Hee! Hee! Croakity Yuk Yuk! Ha ha ha!

All of them were laughing. Except one. It was Buford the Big Bullfrog.

“Stop!!” Big Buford barked.

They all stopped at once and looked up at Big Buford who was sitting on a big rock looking down at them.

“Now, listen up, and listen good. I have listened to you make fun of Frederick’s big feet long enough. Frederick is faster than any of you. He can out swim the best of you and you know it. You are just jealous of him and I want it to stop. RIGHT NOW!” Big Buford’s deep voice went though all of them. They all knew he was right.

Frederick just sat there with his feet in the water. He didn’t say anything, he was just a little embarrassed about the whole thing.

Soon, all the other frogs came over to him and told them they were sorry. They said they would come to the race and that they knew he would win it, even if it was Big Sam he was racing.

Frederick told them he would do his best, that’s all he could do.

The frogs agreed, “That’s all you can do, right!” Then they went home to their lily pad homes.

The first moon came. Frederick, Wilbur and Big Buford got together for a little talk at sunset time.

Buford sat on his rock and told them something important.

“Nobody knows this, so I want you to keep my secret. Okay?” They both agreed and listened very carefully.

“It’s about Big Sam. He’s my brother. We had a fight many years ago and we haven’t spoken since. He is just as stubborn as I am, so we have just lived in our own separate ponds.”

Both Frederick and Wilbur just looked at each other. They were like brothers and loved each other. It was hard for them to understand, but they tried.

“I think this race is a trick to get me over there for some reason. I think that he is just trying to show off and make me mad. Don’t worry, I will be there, but I will hide so he won’t see me. He will think that I didn’t show up.” Big Buford smiled.

Frederick asked. “Do you really think I can beat him?”

“With those feet! Boy, you are going to cream him! I can’t wait to see it.” Big Buford laughed.

Wilbur and Frederick went out to the middle of the pond and Frederick did some practice swims. He went as fast as he could back and forth about twenty times. All the other frogs couldn’t believe their bulgy eyes. He got faster and faster!  

They all yelled “Yay! Go Frederick go! Go go go!”

Even Frederick couldn’t believe it himself; he didn’t know he could go THAT fast.  Well, it was time for sleep now. Time to relax and be all rested up for the big race.

The morning mist floated over Frederick’s lily pad and he woke up to all the frogs surrounding him.

Then at the same time the yelled “Wake up champ!”

Frederick fell right in to the water, the popped his eyes up.

“I’m ready when you all are. My feet can’t wait! I feel them moving already!” He was totally excited.

Wilbur showed up with Big Buford. Big Buford looked different somehow. Frederick just sort of stared at his big friend.

“I have red clay on my face, Frederick. I am in disguise.” Big Buford said in his deep rumbling voice.

“Oh, oh yes, I understand. It’s good, very good.” Frederick stared at him a bit longer.

“Is everybody ready to go?” Wilbur called out.

“CROOAAK!” The whole gang croaked together.

Big Buford led the way through the marsh. He knew the short cut. Soon they made it there and all the frogs jumped into the other frog’s pond.

“This is nice too, but ours has more flowers way more lily pads.” Frederick said to Wilbur who agreed with him.

Buford hid behind a bunch of reeds. He matched them pretty good he thought. He couldn’t see Big Sam anywhere, no matter how he strained his big bulgy eyes.

Wilbur met with the frogs he met at their pond. They were sitting together on one giant lily pad.

“Nice pad.” Wilbur said.

“Thank you, now, where’s Frederick?” Greenie asked.

“Oh, he’s coming. He’ll be here any minute.” Wilbur explained.

Frederick was still in the reeds with Buford. Buford was giving him a little pep talk. Frederick listened very carefully.

“It’s time to go now. I know you can do it. You’re the fastest!”

Buford said as he nudged Frederick along. Frederick slowly swam to where Wilbur was with the other frogs.

“I’m ready when Big Sam is.’ Frederick said boldly.

All of a sudden everything stopped. From behind a tree that was growing out of the water came Big Sam. Frederick looked at him and gulped. Wilbur just sort of croaked a little.

“He’s really quite BIG, isn’t he? Frederick gulped out his neck.

“Very big, yes, very, very BIG.” Wilbur gulped too.

Big Buford poked his head out from behind the reeds. He just had to take a peek.

“I just can’t believe how fat he got, he’s absolutely humungous!” He began to laugh to himself. He rolled over and over laughing.

“He looks just like Grandpa Blub.” And laughed again.

Two little girl frogs with flowers on their heads hopped on the bank to the pond. They were getting ready to start the race. They stood there holding leaves that they would drop and then they would go. When the first leaf fell, it was time to start the race.

Frederick decided that he better introduce himself to Big Sam, so he swam over to him. He pulled his giant feet up on the lily pad and everyone just gasped! Big Sam looked very worried indeed.

Before Frederick could shake hands with him, the leaf dropped!

And…they were OFF! Big Sam plopped in the water so hard that it made a giant wave for him to ride on. Frederick couldn’t believe it, it knocked him under the water and he lost his sense of direction.

 Buford watched his brother do that old trick and said,

“What a big cheater!”

Frederick came back out of the water and saw Big Sam out there way in front of him. All the frogs were croaking like crazy. They were hopping all over the place.

Frederick heard “GO Frederick, GO!”

That was enough for him. He shot off like an otter! Big Sam saw him coming. There was nothing he could do now. He already did his cannonball trick and there was nothing left. Frederick was right next to him now. Suddenly, Big Sam started to sink!

Big Buford looked over and said, “Now what is he up to?”

Big Sam still didn’t come up. Frederick looked back and Big Sam was gone. He didn’t know what to do so he just kept going to the finish line and…HE WON!

Then from no where, there was Big Buford! He dove down to the bottom of the pond and saw his brother just lying there.

“Oh no, Big Sam.” He said and he pulled him all the way up to the top of the water and dragged him over to the bank. Big Buford just looked at him; he didn’t know what to do.

Suddenly, Big Sam opened his bulgy eyes and looked right up at Big Buford.

“Are you okay?” Big Buford asked him.

“I’ve been wondering the same thing about you. Are you okay?” Big Sam asked him.

Big Buford slugged him in the arm, like brother’s do.

“Yes, I’m okay!” Big Buford yelled.

Then they both started to laugh and laugh. It had been so long that they had done that together. They were brother’s again, and yes, both up to their old tricks.

Frederick swam over to them and wanted to know if everything was okay.

“Yes, Frederick, everything was okay now…” Big Buford smiled.

“Big Sam pulled one of his best tricks on me yet! Now, we are friends and best brothers again.”

Big Sam listened and nodded his big double chinned head.

Frederick was happy for them as was everyone. It wasn’t long after that the beavers came along and made a water pathway so that all the frogs could swim back and forth to each others ponds.

Like big fat Grandpa’s, Big Buford and Big Sam would gather the tadpoles and other little frogs around to tell them stories and teach them silly tricks.

Frederick went on to become a legend. His huge feet were famous and he was always the fastest frog in the land. Frederick and Wilbur would go to ponds everywhere so all the frogs could see the FEET, and watch Frederick race. He would even race the beavers and the otters; it was a sight to behold.

 
                               


All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg

Mary’s Little Friends


        Written and Illustrated By: Christine J.Von Lossberg
                                          c 1992

When Mary went to the pet store to pick something out she decided that it was to be some kind of bird.

She went to the back of the pet store where all the birds were in cages. They were all so beautiful, but Mary felt sorry for them because they were stuck inside of cages.

She went from cage to cage. Each one of the birds would squawk, tweet or sing to her. There were so many of them. She made it to the cage that had the parakeets. So many. So many colors. So beautiful they were.

She hadn’t noticed it at first because she was so busy looking at the other ones, but, there it was. A very small yellow and green one sitting on the end of the top perch.

“It’s so tiny, isn’t it cute?” Mary said to herself.

She went and got the pet store man and told him that is the one she wanted.  

“Oh, you don’t want that one, she’s just a runt.” Willy the pet store man told her.

“Yes I do. I think she’s so cute and really special because she is so small.” Mary explained.

“Well, if you already made up your mind, I guess I can’t change it for you.” Willy replied as he found a little net to catch her with.
“I think she will be lonely all by herself, don’t you Willy?” Mary asked.

“To tell you the truth, yes I do. Who wants to be all by themselves with no one to play with, right?” Willy asked.

“That’s exactly right. I am an only child and I always wish for a sister or brother to play with.” Mary said.

“Well then, who’s it going to be? There’s a very handsome gentleman over there. See him? The blue and white one?” Willy pointed to the second perch.

“He is very handsome, he looks like the sky. Do you think they like each other?” Mary asked.

“Oh yes, I see them kissing all the time.” Willy laughed. “So what do you think? Baby girl and Pretty Boy?” He raised his eyebrows and smiled.

“Absolutely yes!” Mary jumped and clapped her hands.

Willy went and got two parakeet boxes. One for each of them. He came back and got his little net, then opened the door to the cage. Mary watched as he very carefully caught the boy then the little girl.

All the other parakeets started singing to them as if they were singing “Goodbye. Have a good life. It was nice knowing you. Take care. Be good.” You could hear all the replies from the parakeets.

Now, it came time to pay the bill. Mary got some parakeet seeds for them and a few toys but just couldn’t’ bring herself to buy a cage. Somehow, she would think of something.

She very careful carried them home and talked to them through the holes in the boxes. They chirped back to her which was a good sign.

Soon she was on her street and passed one of her friend’s house and they came running out to see what she had.

“Hey Johnny.”

“Hey Mary, what do you have in there?”

“This box has the smallest parakeet in the world in it and the other one is her boyfriend.” Mary said with pride.

“Wow, can I see?” Johnny couldn’t wait.

“Okay, but I have to bring them home; I don’t have a cage for them.”

They walked down the rest of the street together and Johnny held the seeds and toys for her.  Soon they came to her house. Her Daddy was working in the front yard.

“Hi Daddy! Wait till you see what I got!” Mary yelled.

“What did you get?” Dad wiped his brow. “Some Chinese food?” Daddy laughed.

“Oh Daddy.” She rolled her eyes. “I got two parakeets! One is the littlest one you ever saw and the other one is her boyfriend. I spent my allowance money I have been saving on them. Wait till you see how cute they are.” Mary was so excited.
“What about a cage? We don’t have a cage.” Dad asked.

“Oh Daddy, I know. I felt so sorry for those birds all cramped up in the cages. What should we do?” Mary almost began to cry. Johnny just stood there looking anywhere but at Mary on the brink of tears.

“Well, where do birds live?” Johnny asked.

“In trees silly.” Mary lit up.

“That’s right, in trees.” Daddy said.

“But if I put them out side in a tree, they would just fly away.’ Again Mary felt dismayed.

Daddy perked up his eyebrows as if he had a big idea. Mary knew that look well; her Dad was always coming up with good ones.

“What is it Daddy? Got a good idea?” Mary asked.

“Follow me to the backyard. Come on. Hurry!” Daddy hurried them down the driveway to the backyard.

 Mary and Johnny both smiled as they watched Daddy go over to all the branches he just cut down from the tree. He picked out some really good ones and laid them down on the lawn.

“See..TREES!”  Daddy laughed.

Mary and Johnny still were not sure what he was up to. They just kept watching as the birds were singing in their boxes.

Daddy took off most of the leaves on the branches and made sure that only good sturdy branches were left. Then he went into the garage and got some hooks, a hammer and little chains.

“Come on kids, follow me.” Daddy said as he carried everything into the house.

Soon they were a Mary’s bedroom with all the stuff. Then guess what her Daddy did? He hammered the hooks in the ceiling, then he hung the chains from the hooks and then he hung the branches on the chains!

“It’s a tree!” Mary laughed.

“Well, it’s the closest I could come to it!” Daddy said and gave her a hug.

Soon Mommy came in and said, “Hey, what is going on here?”

Everyone laughed.  “What do you mean, doesn’t everyone have a tree in there room?” Mary laughed again.

Soon Mommy got the whole story and it was now time to let the parakeets loose in their new tree. First the little boy. Well, he went right for it and began to rub his beak on the wood. Then, the little girl was let out; she flew right up there too, and nuzzled his feathers with her tiny beak.

“What about their food and water? Where are we going to put their food and water at? Mary said a bit worried.

Mommy said, “Hey! I have a great idea. I’ll be right back.”  Then she left the room in a flash.

Next thing you know she came back with two baskets in her hands. One had a bowl of water in it and the other one she poured the seeds into.  She carefully hung them on the branches and within a minute both birds were investigating and having a bite to eat.

In the next few days, Mary found ribbons; little bunches of leaves and hanging plants to hang on the branches for them. She also put paper on the floor for you know what. They were so happy in their own little tree.

They really loved Mary too. They would sit on her finger and fly over and sit on her head.

She named them Nina and Skyboy. They really were her special little friends. Mary was never lonely again because as it turned out, she taught them how to talk. It wasn’t long after that, then they told her to get some stuff that they could make a nest with.

Little Nina laid two small eggs and soon Eggbert and Angel were born. She gave them to Johnny when they were big enough to leave and he made a tree for them in his room too. All the neighborhood children loved the birds and would talk to them and let them sit on their fingers too. Mary was never lonely in her room anymore.

 

 
                                 
                                   
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg

                            
                                                                               BETTINA THE ONE WINGED BUTTERFLY

                                                                                        Christine Von Lossberg  c 2009


Bettina didn't really mind only having one wing. She had become use to it as that is just the way she was born. She would walk all over the plants and flowers instead of flying. The thing was..is that one wing she did have was even more beautiful than the other butterflies wings! Everyone thought so. It was purple with yellow and turquoise spots and everyone really loved it. It had a certain sparkly quality too that the other butterflies didn't have. She knew she was different and loved being herself.

It was a little sad for Bettina that she never got to fly like the other butterflies did sometimes. The other butterflies would all come back from going to the flowers in the fields and tell stories about seeing bunnies, frogs and other things that Bettina had no idea what they were.

One day, while drinking from a big beautiful pink rose, Bettina felt like there was someone looking at her. There was! It was Violet the fairy! She tapped on Bettina's wing and said,


"You sure do have a beautiful wing there..are you part fairy?"

Bettina jumped and turned around.. "I don't really know..I was born with only one wing and this is the one I got."

Violet smiled as if she had a secret.

"Do you know which way are the lavender fields? I am suppose to meet my tribe and I am just a little lost." Violet asked.

'Mmm..yes..yes I do. I know they are that way." Bettina pointed.

'Hey, would you like to get on my back and I can fly you there?" Violet asked.

Bettina's heart felt like it was singing. Her big dream had come true. She was going to fly and see the world...there was no stopping her when she yelled "OKAY!!"

Violet stooped down so that Bettina could get on her neck and hold on to her antenae.

'Let's fly!!!!!!" Violet chimed as she took off into the air.

She started to do circles and double eights in the sky..really giving Bettina a great, fun ride.

Bettina laughed her self silly.

"Whooo hoooo...weeee heeeee...weeeoooo!" Bettina yelled as she held on tight.

Soon they both saw the purple fields..yes right where she thought they would be.

Violet saw the fairy tribe and came in for a landing. Bettina held on really tight..'whew that was fun!!"

The fairies all came around to see this butterfly with the magic one wing!

OOOOHHHH they all said. You have the magic wing design!!

"I do?" Bettina smiled. "But I can't fly..I only have the one! Even though it is pretty, it is just for looks."

Soon the fairies took her to the forest far from the lavender fields.

They came to this big twig house covered in moss and dried flowers and little things they had found from the humans..like pennies, bottle caps and toothpicks. All made in little designs and fancy sculptures.

They were at the famous Fairy artists magic house.

They knocked on the door and the Magic fairy answered...

Her eyes got so big and her eyelashes touched way over her eyebrows.

'Is that you? Baby Bettina? All grown up?"

Bettina scratched her head and answered 'Yes , why yes I am..but how do you know my name?"

I knew your mom and dad.. You see, you were born with no wings and I created this one wing for you and magically put it on. I knew one day you would come here and find me..I have something for you..the pretty fairy artist smiled.

Bettina was so excited..

The magic fairy..her name was Tonita..she came out with the matching wing..It was Bettina's other wing!

'This is for you, she smiled and said.."Are you ready to get it attached?"

'YES!!!!" Bettina smiled from ear to ear.

Tonita the magic fairy..placed the beautiful wing on Bettina's back and with a poof of her magic wand..she made the wing STICK!!

From then on Bettina could fly like all the other butterflies...plus she had the most beautiful wings of all.

She stayed friends with the fairies and they had many adventures..Bettina got to see the world after all and sparkled fairy dust with the fairies on many occasions, the only butterfly with real fairy wings!
                                  
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2011 Christine Von Lossberg

 Linda’s Special Day


       Written and Illustrated By: Christine J. Von Lossberg
                                      3/12/94  copyright 1984


It was wintertime. Snow had fallen everywhere and on just about everything. Everyone’s mothers had to pick all the kids up from school, because it was just too cold to walk home, no matter how many clothes you wore.

Linda’s mother was right on time. She sat in the car with the heater going so it would stay nice and warm. Linda opened the door to get right in as fast as she could.

“Ah, warmth!” Linda said as she snuggled on to the front seat.

“How was school today honey?” Mom asked as she began to drive away.

“Oh, pretty good. We learned about some beautiful animals in Africa. I just love them.” Linda said. “You know it’s always warm there, can we move there mom?”

“No sweetheart, we are stuck here it seems.” Mom said.

Soon they were at there home. It was a nice little house with a lot of trees that were bare now with snow lining their branches. Linda went on to tell her mom about the elephant’s, giraffes, zebras, gorillas and antelope. Mom knew that Linda loved animals and she listened very carefully to her tell everything she learned.

Her father, Bill, was an artist. He worked at their house all day in his studio. He came out with some hot chocolate for them in his hands. Everyone went to the table and Linda went on and on some more about the African animals. She also mentioned to him about moving there, but Dad said it wouldn’t be possible.

Mom and Dad started to talk about Linda’s tenth birthday that was coming up soon.  Where did she want to go? What did she want to do? It was such a cold winter that it didn’t seem possible to go to the theme park; they had to close it for the winter this year.

This was her special tenth birthday. They had to think of something really different.

“How about a regular birthday party here, that would be fine with me.” Linda said.

Her parents told her they would think of something. Something even more special.

Days went by and no one could think of anything. Linda just kept on saying she wouldn’t mind a regular old birthday party.

Finally, her parents told her that they thought of something, and they weren’t going to tell.  Linda was so excited, she knew that they had come up with something really good. It had been days and days of thinking about it.

Linda woke up on the day of her tenth birthday. She had to go to school, but she knew her Mom and Dad had something special happening when she came home. She couldn’t figure it out though.

She spent the whole day daydreaming about what was going to happen. Her teacher had the class sing “Happy Birthday.” That was nice and a little embarrassing, but she got through it okay.

Finally the clock said it was time to go home.

“I can’t wait.” Linda thought as she got more and more excited.

There was her Mom sitting in the car waiting as usual. Snow and slush everywhere, yet the temperature was nice anyway.

“Just for my birthday.” Linda said to herself.

Mom was sitting there with a party hat on. She put one on Linda too. Linda hoped all the boys didn’t see her. She liked it anyway, and got right into the birthday spirit.

“Your adventure has just begun. I am your chauffeur and I have instructions to take you to a few destinations.” Mom said acting like a limousine driver.

“You must sit in the back seat, you are the birthday girl, and you are to have the special treatment.” Mom said.

Linda hopped in the backseat and shut the door quickly. There was a box wrapped in gold paper with a red velvet bow sitting on the seat next to her.

“Is this for me?” Linda smiled.

“Open it.” Mom the limo driver said.

Linda opened the pretty gold box and there was a piece of cotton in there. She pulled off the cotton, and there as a little gold ring for her baby finger. It had the face of a lion cub on it. Linda squealed with laughter.

“Mom, I love it, thank you.”
“Look under the cotton.” Mom said.

Linda peeked under it and there was a small piece of paper with very small writing on it.

“Hey, what’s this?” Linda asked.

“Read it honey.”

“Carry on to Becky’s where you will find something there.”

“Hey Mom, who is Becky?”

“You must wear this white mask.”  Mom handed Linda a little white mask with rhinestones and feathers on it and put it on.

She couldn’t see anything. Linda started to laugh and she rubbed her ring with her other finger. She had no idea where she was; she just played along with the adventure and loved it all the way.

The car came to a stop. They must be at Becky’s house now. Mom got out of the car and went over and opened Linda’s door. Linda still had the mask on so she still couldn’t see, so she took her Mom’s hand and was led down a path. Soon they walked up some steps very carefully and Linda heard a doorbell ring. Then she heard the door open..

“Enter, my young lady.” A sweet voice said.

They both walked in and Mom took Linda’s mask off. Linda had a huge smile on her face because they were at Becky’s…The Becky who made one-of-a-kind clothes for everyone from ice skaters to movie stars. She was a very kind older lady with lots of extra pounds. She was the best seamstress around. Linda had only heard about her, but now, there she was standing in the middle of her latest creations.

Becky took Linda by the hand and led her to another room and sat her down on a red satin bench.

“Close your eyes or it won’t be a surprise!” Becky told her.

Linda closed her eyes tight.

“Okay, OPEN!” Becky said.

Mom stood there holding the most beautiful dark green velvet dress she ever saw. It had gorgeous lace, some emerald rhinestones and a beautiful satin bow that tied in the back. Linda put her hands over her mouth, she just couldn’t believe it. Then the shoes came that matched perfectly.

“So, do you like it honey?” Mom asked.

“Oh Mommy, I LOVE it! Linda laughed.

“Well, go put it on; it’s your special birthday dress.”

Linda wondered how her parents could afford it. Then she saw one of her Daddy’s paintings on the wall. She knew he had traded her for it.

Linda came out and modeled the exquisite dress for everyone. She looked so pretty. Mom went and fixed her hair, so everything matched.

“Okay, let’s go.” Mom said. Becky watched her go back to the car and get in the backseat.
“What a little princess.” Becky said.

Linda had to put the mask back on. She just sat there smiling.

Mom pulled up to the driveway. Linda knew that sound. She knew she was home now. What possibly could be next?

Mom took her hand again and directed her safely to the front door. The door opened and it was Dad.

“You look beautiful honey.”

Then he directed her to the living room and sat her down in his chair.

“You can take the mask off now!” Daddy said.

She wasn’t really in the front room. She was on the enclosed backyard patio. Then she heard SURPRISE! All her friends and relatives were there.

Then she looked in the backyard. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. It was all lit up with little twinkle lights. They were all over the trees and there was a life size elephant, giraffe, lion, gorilla and a chimpanzee too. There was even a river of blue snow made with food coloring. It was the most beautiful scene she had ever seen.

It seemed that her Dad, Mom and their artist friends made them out of carving ice. Her own Africa, right there in her own backyard!

This was the most special birthday she ever had. I guess turning ten is a big deal, but all birthdays are special, because you are here to have one. So, I wish for you many special birthdays and wonderful memories, not only to have, but to give.