Dad’s Stories for Children

 

                                                  The Great Woods Trilogy

 

Book One

 

MANY YEARS AGO, IN THE BIG FOREST, ALL THE ANIMALS WERE FRIENDS.  THE ANIMALS NEVER FOUGHT WITH EACH OTHER; THEY ALL TRIED TO HELP ONE ANOTHER.  SURPRISINGLY, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND BEST-LIKED ANIMALS IN THE FOREST WAS RABBIT.  WHENEVER ANYBODY HAD A PROBLEM, FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER, RABBIT SEEMED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO HELP THEM, BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE.  AND THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW RABBIT HELPED ALI THE ALLIGATOR WITH THE BAD TOOTH

alligator-27283389[1]                                         rabbit[1]

THE ALLIGTOR AND THE BAD TOOTH

 

ONE BRIGHT SUMMERS DAY RABBIT WAS HOPPING DOWN THE TRAIL LOOKING FOR HIS BREAKFAST, AND HE WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND A NICE PATCH OF CLOVER WITH SOME YOUNG MUSHROOMS SCATTERED IN IT. AFTER EATING, RABBIT DECIDED TO HOP ON DOWN TO THE RIVER AND GET A NICE COLD DRINK OF WATER.  BUT, AS RABBIT GOT DOWN ALMOST TO THE RIVER BANK, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE HEARD SOMEBODY SAY, “OH, IT HURTS, IT HURTS SO BAD, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?”  RABBIT STOPPED AND SAID, “MY, IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY IS IN TROUBLE,” SO HE HOPPED AROUND A LITTLE CURVE IN THE PATH AND DOWN TO THE RIVER, AND SURE ENOUGH, THERE WAS ALI THE ALLIGATOR, LAYING THERE ON THE BANK, HOLDING HIS JAW WITH ONE FRONT PAW.  “WHAT’S THE MATTTER”, SAID RABBIT.  AND ALI SAID, “OH, RABBIT, I HAVE A TERRIBLE TOOTHACHE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO DO, IT HURTS SO BAD”. 

RABBIT SAID, “HAVEN’T YOU BEEN BRUSHING YOUR TEETH LIKE YOUR MAMA TAUGHT YOU?”   AND ALI SAID, “WELL, I KINDA FORGET, SOMETIMES.”  RABBIT SAID,”WELL, I GUESS I HAD BETTER TAKE A LOOK AT THAT TOOTH AND SEE IF THERE IS ANYWAY I CAN POSSIBLE HELP YOU, I HOPE I CAN”.  ALI OPENED HIS MOUTH AND RABBIT STUCK HIS HEAD IN THERE AND SAID, “OH, ALI, THAT TOOTH HAS GOT TO COME OUT.”  RABBIT PULLED HIS HEAD BACK OUT, AND AS HE DID ALI CLOSED HIS MOUTH.  RABBIT SAID, “UH, ALI, I JUST BARELY HAD MY HEAD OUT OF THERE.”  AND ALI SAID, “I FORGOT TO TELL YOU, I CAN ONLY HOLD MY MOUTH OPEN FOR SO LONG, THEN IT CLOSES ALL BY ITSELF, WHETHER I WANT IT TO OR NOT.”  RABBIT SAID, “THANKS A LOT FOR TELLING ME.”  “ ALI, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THAT TOOTH OUT OF THERE,” AND ALI SAID, “DO YOU THINK YOU CAN?” AND RABBIT SAID, “WELL, LET ME THINK ABOUT IT.”   “NOW, OF COURSE, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE HELP ON THIS.” AND ALI SAID, “WELL, I GUESS, I DID NOT THINK YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT BY YOUR SELF.”  SO RABBIT JUST LET OUT A YELL, AND SAID “BLUEJAY” AND SURE ENOUGH

BLUEJAY ANSWERED AND SAID, “I AM HERE RABBIT”.

NOW I NEED TO TELL LYOU SOMETHING ABOUT BLUEJAY. HE IS THE MOST CURIOUS BIRD IN THE WOODS.  IT JUST DRIVES HIM CRAZY IF HE THINKS SOMETHING IS HAPPENING AND HE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT IT.  SO ALL DAY LONG HE JUST FLIES AROUND TRYING TO SEE WHAT’S GOING ON.  BUT, HE HAS FOUND OUT THAT WHAT EVER IS GOING ON IS GOING ON WHERE RABBIT IS.  ALL THE INTERESTION STUFF HAPPENS AROUND RABBIT, SO WHEN HE SEES RABBIT, HE USUALLY STAYS PRETTY CLOSE.  SO, SURE ENOUGH, THERE HE WAS PERCHED IN A TREE, RIGHT ABOVE RABBIT. 

RABBIT SAID, “BLUEJAY, DO YOU THINK YOU CAN FIND YOUR COUSINS, THE CUTBEAKS?” NOW THAT IS A BIRD WITH AN ODD BEAK THAT CUTS THINGS REAL FAST.  AND BLUEJAY SAID, “YEAH, I CAN FIND THEM.”  RABBIT SAID, “WELL GO FIND YOUR COUSINS. AND YOU KNOW THOSE BIG TREES OVER THERE WHERE THAT WATER IS KIND OF WARM AND ALWAYS KIND OF MISTY?  WELL, THERE ARE SOME GREEN VINES THAT GROW UP IN THOSE TREES; I NEED TWO LONG PIECES OF THOSE VINES.  LONG ENOUGH TO REACH FROM THE GROUND AND UP OVER THAT LIMB ON THE BIG OAK TREE AND BACK DOWN TO THE GROUND AGAIN.”  BLUEJAY SAID, “ALL RIGHT, RABBIT, WE WILL DO IT AS FAST AS WE CAN”, AND OFF HE WENT AS FAST AS HE COULD.

AND RABBIT SAID TO ALI, “NOW ALI, WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO, IS TO STAY IN THE WATER AND GET AS WET AS YOU CAN, BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TIME TO PULL YOUR TOOTH, YOU WILL BE OUT HERE ON DRY LAND FOR QUIT A WHILE. AND I DON’T WANT YOU TO GET TO HOT OR TO DRY.  SO YOU STAY IN THE WATER AND KEEP YOURSELF WET.”

IT WAS NOT LONG BEFORE BLUEJAY AND HIS COUSINS CAME FLYING BACK. CARRYING TWO LONG PIECES OF VINE, THEY PUT THE VINE OVER THE OAK LIMB LIKE RABBIT ASKED THEM TO.  THEN RABBIT SAID, “NOW BLUEJAY, I NEED SOME MORE HELP FROM YOU.  I NEED YOU TO SEE IF YOU CAN FIND THE HANDS PEOPLE.” AND BY THAT HE MEANT SQUIRRELS AND RACCOONS AND BEAVERS, EVERYBODY THAT HAD FINGERS.  BECAUSE MOST ANIMALS ONLY HAVE PAWS, LIKE RABBIT OR HOOVES LIKE DEER.

BLUEJAY SAID, “OK, RABBIT, I WELL GO FIND THEM”. AND RABBIT SAID, “BE SURE AND TELL THEM I NEED HELP FOR ALI AND TO COME AS QUICK AS THEY CAN.  SO BLUEJAY TOOK OFF AGAIN. AND PRETTY SOON THE SQUIRRELS AND THE RACCOONS STARTED GATHERING BY THE OAK TREE WHERE RABBIT WAS.  RABBIT SAID, “I APPRECIATE YOU ALL COMING, BECAUSE ALI THE ALLIGATOR HAS A BAD TOOTH AND WE HAVE TO PULL IT.”  RACCOON SAID, “THAT SOUNDS LIKE QUIT A JOB” AND RABBIT SAID, “YES, RACCOON, AND IT IS GOING TO DEPEND MOSTLY ON YOU AND THE SQUIRRELS IF WE CAN DO IT.”  RACCOON SAID, “SHOW US HOW, RABBIT, AND WE WILL SURE TRY”.

RABBIT SAID, “OK, WELL LETS SEE, O YES, HERE COME THE BEAVERS NOW, WE HAVE ALL THE HANDS PEOPLE HERE”. “ALI, ARE YOU READY TO COME OUT OF THE RIVER?”  “I AM AS READY AS I WILL EVER BE, RABBIT.”  RABBIT SAID, “OK, YOU COME RIGHT OVER HERE UNDERNEATH THE OAK LIMB. AND NOW, HOW CAN WE KEEP YOUR MOUTH OPEN?”

ALI SAID, “THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP MY MOUTH OPEN IS TO PUT A STICK IN IT.” RABBIT SAID, “I KINDA HATE TO DO THAT, ARE YOU SURE IT WON’T HURT YOU?”  “NO”, SAID ALI, “JUST PUT THE STICK RIGHT BEHIND MY TEETH AND IT WON’T HURT TOO BAD”.    RABBIT SAID TO ONE OF THE SQUIRRELS, “CAN YOU FIGURE OUT HOW LONG OF A STICK IT WILL TAKE TO KEEP ALI’S MOUTH OPEN.”  AND SQUIRREL SAID, “SURE, OPEN YOUR MOUTH ALI”, AND SQUIRREL TOOK A LOOK AND SAID, “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK.”  AND HE WENT TO THE TREE AND CHEWED OFF A LIMB AND HE BROUGHT IT BACK AND IT FIT JUST RIGHT; NOW ALI’S MOUTH WAS OPEN AND THE RACCOON SAID, “OK, RABBIT, NOW WHAT DO WE DO?”  “TAKE THE END OF THAT VINE AND YOU FELLOWS WILL HAVE TO PUSH IT DOWN THERE AROUND THAT TOOTH. AND GET IT AS TIGHT AS YOU CAN.  TIGHT, SO IT WON’T SLIP OFF. MAYBE, YOU AND THE SQUIRRELS CAN DO IT TOGHTHER.”

RACCOON SAID, “OK, RABBIT, WE WILL TRY IT”. SO THE RACCOONS AND THE SQUIRRELS WORKED AND WORKED AND FINALLY THEY SAID “RABBIT, WE’VE GOT THAT VINE DOWN THERE AS FAR AND AS TIGHT AS WE CAN GET IT. SO NOW WHAT DO WE DO?”  “WELL NOW, IT IS UP TO YOU RACCOONS, BECAUSE YOU ARE THE STRONGEST ONES HERE, I WAS HOPING THAT BEAR WOULD SHOW UP, BUT, HE IS NOT HERE.  WHAT YOU RACCCOONS NEED TO DO IS FIND A ROCK, LIKE THAT ROCK LYING RIGHT OVER THERE.  DO YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN LIFT THAT ROCK AND BETWEEN TWO OR THREE OF YOU, CAN YOU PUSH IT UP THAT TREE AND ONTO THAT LIMB?”

“I THINK SO”, SAID RACCOON “HOW ABOUT YOU OTHER FELLOWS, DO YOU THINK WE CAN DO THAT?”  THEY SAID “YES”.  SO THE THREE RACCOONS ROLLED THE ROCK OVER TO THE BASE OF THE TREE AND THEN STARTED PUSHING IT UP THE TREE AND RIGHT ONTO THE END OF THE LIMB.  RABBIT SAID, “FINE, NOW TIE THE END OF THE VINE TO THE ROCK, AND MAKE IT AS TIGHT AS YOU CAN TIE IT.”  SO THY TOOK THE OTHER END OF THE VINE AND TIED IT TO THE ROCK AS TIGHT AS THEY COULD.  AND RABBIT SAID, “OK, NOW, WE HAVE GOT ALI’S TOOTH READY, AND WE’VE GOT THE VINE ANDTHE ROCK READY, NOW ALL WE CAN DO IS TRY IT.”   “WHAT IS IT WE ARE GOING TO TRY, RABBIT?”  “WELL, WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO, WHEN I COUNT THREE, YOU ARE GOING TO PUSH THAT ROCK OFF ON THIS SIDE OF THE LIMB, AND THAT IS GOING TO PULL THAT VINE, AND THAT IS GOING TO PULL THAT TOOTH RIGHT OUT OF ALI’S MOUTH.”  AND THE RACCOONS SAID, “WELL YA, THAT OUGHT TO WORK.”  SOTHEY GOT READY IN THE TREE, READY WITH THE ROCK.

AND RABBIT SAID, “ARE YOU READY, ALI?”  “YES, I AM READY, RABBIT.”  “OK, RACCOONS ARE YOU READY” ONE, TWO, AND THREE.”  AND THEY PUSHED THE ROCK AND IT WENT RIGHT STRAIGHT DOWN, AND ALI WENT RIGHT STRAIGHT UP IN TO THE TREE AND LANDED RIGHT ON THE END OF THE LIMB.  NOW, IF IS ONE THING ALLIGATORS DO NOT LIKE IS TO BE UP IN TREES.  SO ALI IMMEDIATELY STARTED SCREAMING.  “RABBIT, ALLIGATORS DO NOT CLIMB TREES.  GET ME OUT OF THIS TREE.”  “ALI, I DID NOT WANT YOU UP IN THAT TREE. JUST BE QUITE FOR A MOMENT AND LET ME THINK OF HOW TO GET YOU DOWN.”

“BLUEJAY!  DO YOU KNOW WHERE BEAR IS?”  BLUEJAYSAID, “YEA, HE IS OVER THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL, STEALING HONEY FROM THE BEES AGAIN.”  “CAN YOU GO GET HIM, AND TELL HIM I NEED HIM REAL BAD?” “I’LL TRY”, SAID BLUEJAY.  PRETTTY SOON BLUEJAY CAME BACK AND SAID, “RABBIT, BEAR IS ON HIS WAY, BUT IS HE A MESS, HE HAS HONEY ALL OVER HIM.  THE BEES ARE MAD AT HIM AND IT WILL TAKE HIM A FEW MINUTES TO GET HERE”.  “WELL I GUESS WE WILL JUST HAVE TO WAIT,” SAID RABBIT.  AND ALL THE TIME ALI IS STILL YELLING ABOUT BEING UP IN A TREE.

RABBIT SAID, “ALI, PLEASE SHUT UP, RACCOON AND SQUIRREL ARE HOLDING YOU, YOU CAN’T FALL.”  PRETTY SOON HERE COME BEAR.  NOW I HAVE TO TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT BEAR. HE IS ONE OF THE BEST LIKED IN THE FOREST, BECAUSE HE IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST.  HE DON’T WORRY ABOUT NOTHING.HE JUST KIND OF GOES ALONG BY HIMSELF AND ONCE IN A WHILE HE FINDS A BEE TREE AND STEALS THEIR HONEY.  AND REALLY THE BEES DON’T SEEM TO MIND TOO MUCH.  AND BEAR JUST KIND OF WANDERS ALONG SINGING A SONG AND ENJOYING LIFE AND DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH.

SO UP BEAR COMES AND LOOKS UP IN THE TREE AND SAY’S, “GOLLY, RABBIT, I DIDN’T KNOW ALLIGATORS CLIMBED TREEES.”  “THEY DON’T”, SAID RAG\BBIT.  “WELL, GOLLY, THAT IS THE FIRST TIME I EVER SAW AN ALLIGATOR UP IN A TREE”.  RABBIT SAID, “BEAR, WILL YOU LISTEN TO ME.  I KNOW THAT THERE IS ALLIGATOR UP IN A TREE…THAT IS WHY I SENT FOR YOU.  YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE BIG ENOUGH TO CLIMB UP THE TREE, GET ALI ON YOU BACK AND BRING HIM BACK DOWN.  CAN YOU PLEASE DO THAT FOR ME?”    BEAR SAID, “SURE, THAT IS NO PROBLEM.”  SO BEAR CLIMBED UP THE TREE AND GOT HIS SHOULDERS EVEN WITH THE LIMB ALI WAS ON.  AND SAID, “OK, ALI, SLIDE OVER HERE ON MY BACK AND I WILL TAKE YOU BACK DOWN TO THE GROUND.”

SO ALI SLID OVER AND BEAR TOOK HIM BACK DOWN TO THE GROUND AND SAID, “NOW ALI, YOU CAN QUIT WORRYING.”  SO BEAR REACHED BACK TO PUT ALI ON THE GROUND AND ALI YELLED, “LET GO, LET GO.  PUT ME BACK, PUT ME BACK. LET GO.”  BEAR SAID, “NOW JUST A MINUTE ALI, I DON’T WANT YOU RIDING AROUND ON MY SHOULDER, WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘PUT YOU BACK’”.  ALI SAID, “BEAR YOU HAVE BEEN EATING HONEY, HAVEN’T YOU?”  “YUP”  “AND YOU HAVE BEEN SWATTING AT BEES, HAVEN’T YOU?”  “YUP”  “WELL, YOU HAVE HONEY ALL OVER YOUR BACK, AND NOW I AM STUCK TO IT. AND WHEN YOU PICKED ME UP JUST NOW, YOU LIKED TO TORE ALL THE SKIN OFF OF MY TUMMY.”  AND ALI SAID, “OK, RABBIT, NOW WHAT DO YOU DO?” AND RABBIT SAID, “OH, FINE. I WISH I HAD NEVER STARTED THIS.  BUT, I GUESS I BETTER GO THROUGH WITH IT.”  “OK”, SAID RABBIT, “BEAVERS”  “RIGHT HERE, RABBIT” SAID BEAVERS.  “CAN YOU FIND A HOLE DEEP ENOUGH IN THE RIVER, SO THAT BEAR CAN SIT DOWN AND HAVE THE WATER COME UP TO HIS SHOULDER.”

“OH, SURE” SAID BEAVER.  SO THE BEAVERS TOOK OFF TO LOOK FOR THE PERFECT HOLE FOR BEAR.  AND BEAR SAID, “OH, RABBIT.”  “YES, BEAR.”  “DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO GET IN THE COLD RIVER WATER?”   “YES, IF YOU WANT ALI OFF OF YOUR SHOULDER.”  “WELL, I TOOK A BATH A MONTH AGO AND I WASN’T REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER ONE ALREADY.”  “LOOK BEAR, YOU HAVE A CHOICE.  YOU CAN EITHER GET IN THE WATER, OR WALK AROUND WITH ALI ON YOUR SHOULDER ALL THE TIME.”  “O’NO”, SAID BEAR.  “SO, I GUESS I WILL GET IN THE WATER.  DOG GONE IT, I WASN’T PLANNING ON TAKING A BATH ALREADY.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “LOOK AT YOU BEAR, YOU HAVE LEAVES STUCK ON YOU, GRASS STUCK ON YOU, YOU HAVE GOT HONEY ALL OVER YOU, A BATH WILL DO YOU GOOD.”

SO BEAR WENT OVER AND SURE ENOUGH, BEAVERS HAD FOUND A HOLE, AND BEAR SAT DOWN IN IT AND THE WATER CAME UP TO HIS SHOULDERS AND THE BEAVERS STARTED TO SWISH THE WATER AROUND BEAR AND ALI AND PRETTY SOON ALI JUST FLOATED RIGHT OFF BEARS SHOULDRE.  SO ALI SWAM AROUND A LITTLE BET AND CAME BACK AND SAID, “ALL RIGHT, I AM OFF BEARS’ SHOULDER, BUT YOU STILL HAVEN’T PULLED MY TOOTH.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “I KNOW”.  BUT ABOUT THEN SQUIRREL STANDING UP ON THE END OF THE LIMB STARTED YELLING, “RABBIT, LOOK RABBIT, LOOK.” AND RABBIT SAID, “NOT NOW SQUIRREL, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR…..”  “YES YOU DO RABBIT. YOU BETTER LIIK AT THIS.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “ALL RIGHT, WHAT IS IT?”  AND SQUIRREL WAS HOLDING ONE END OF THE VINE AND ON THE OTHER END SWUNG ALI’S TOOTH.  IT SEEMS THAT WHEN BEAR WALKED INTO THE RIVER, NO ONE NOTICED THAT THE VINE WAS NOT LONG ENOUGH TO REACH THE RIVER AND WHEN THEY REACHED THE RIVER THE TOOTH HAD JUST PULLED RIGHT OUT.  AND WHAT ALI THOUGHT WAS STILL HIS TOOTHACHE, WASN’T, IT WAS JUST A SORE SPOT IN HIS GUM WHERE THE TOOTH HAD BEEN.  SO, RABBIT REALLY DID FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PULL ALI’S TOOTH AND EVERYBODY WAS HAPPY.

 

 

   Book Two

                                                   THE BEAR THAT GROWLED

free-bear-clip-art[1]                  rabbit[1]

 

ONE FINE BRIGHT SUMMERS MORNING, RABBIT, HAD GOTTEN UP AND FOUND A NICE PATCH OF CLOVER FOR BREAKFAST. AFTER EATING HIS FILL, RABBIT HEADED DOWN TO THE RIVER FOR A NICE COOL DRINK OF WATER.  AND ALL AT ONCE HE SAW BEAR COMING TOWARD HIM.  AS THEY GOT CLOSER TO EACH OTHER, RABBIT SAID, “GOOD MORNING, BEAR.”  AND BEAR JUST GROWLED, “GERRRRRRRRRR.”  AND RABBIT STOPPED AND LOOKED AT BEAR AND SAID, “BEAR, WHY DID YOU DO THAT?”  BEAR SAID, “WHAT.” RABBIT SAID, “YOU GROWLED AT ME.”  BEAR SAID, “I DON’T KNOW.  I GROWL AT EVERYBODY.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “WHY?”  “WHEN MY PARENTS LEFT ON THEIR TRIP, THEY SAID IF I GROWLED AT EVERYBODY, THEN NOBODY WOULD BOTHER ME.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “AND NOBODY BOTHERS YOU, DO THEY.”  AND BEAR SAID, “NO.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “AND YOU ARE ALONE, AND YOU ARE LONELY AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FUN AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANYBODY TO TALK TO, DO YOU?”  AND BEAR SAID, “NO.”  “WELL, THEN,” SAID RABBIT.  “WHY DON’T YOU STOP GROWLING?”  BUT, BEFORE BEAR COULD ANSWER, MAMA SQUIRREL CAME RUSHING UP AND SAID, “OH, RABBIT, RABBIT. I AM SO GLAD I FOUND YOU.  I NEED YOU HELP SO BAD. I HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME.”  “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE MATTER, MAMA SQUIRREL?”  “OH, RABBIT, A BIG LIMB BROKE OFF OF THE TREE THAT OUR HOUSE IS UNDER.  AND THAT LIMB FELL RIGHT DOWN ACROSS OUR DOOR.  AND MY FIVE CHILDREN ARE INSIDE, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “OH, MY GOODNESS. I AM SURE THAT WE CAN THINK OF SOMETHING.”  AND MAMA SQUIRREL SAID, “OH, I HOPE YOU CAN FIGURE OUT AWAY TO MOVE THAT LIMB, RABBIT.”  AND RABBIT LOOKED OVER AT BEAR, AND SAID, “OH, I THINK WE HAVE A WAY TO MOVE THAT LIMB. MAMA SQUIRREL, YOU GO ON BACK AND TELL YOUR CHILDREN THAT WE WILL BE THERE IN A FEW MINUTES, AND WE WILL GET RID OF THAT LIMB.  WE WILL BE RIGHT THERE.”  AND MAMA SQUIRREL TOOK OFF RUNNING BACK TO HER HOUSE.  RABBIT LOOKED AT BEAR AND SAID, “BEAR, YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME MOVE THAT LIMB.”  BEAR SAID, “I GUESS SO.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “AND ONE OTHER THING.  YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GROWL AT ANYBODY FOR THE REST OF THE DAY, UNLESS SOMEBODY GROWLS AT YOU.”  AND BEAR SAID, “OK, RABBIT, I WON’T GROWL AT ANYBODY IF YOU SAY SO.”  WELL RABBIT AND BEAR WENT ON DOWN TO WHERE EVERYBODY WAS STANDING AROUND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE LIMB ACROSS MAMA SQUIRRELS DOOR.  AS SOON AS THEY GOT THERE, THE WOODPECKERS HAD THE IDEA THAT IF EVERYBODY WOULD STAND BACK AND LET WOODPECKERS PECK AT THAT LIMB THEY COULD GET IT MOVED IN TWO HOURS.  BEAVER THOUGHT HE AND HIS FAMILY COULD CHEW IT IN HALF AND HAVE IT MOVED IN ONE HOUR.  THEN EVERYBODY SAW RABBIT COMING AND SAID, “HERE COMES RABBIT.  LET HIM FIGURE OUT HOW TO MOVE THAT LIMB.”  “OK,”SAID RABBIT. “IF EVERYONE WILL BE QUITE FOR JUST A MINUTE AND LET ME FIGURE OUT WHAT WE CAN DO.”  SO, HE LOOKED AT THE LIMB AND HE LOOKED AT BEAR AND HE SAID, “BEAR, DO YOU THINK YOU CAN PICK THAT LIMB UP?”  BEAR LOOKED AT THE LIMB AND SAID, “YEA, I THINK SO, RABBIT, I AM PRETTY STRONG.”   AND RABBIT SAID, “ALRIGHT BEAR.  NOW, I WANT EVERYBODY TO GET BACK OUT OF THE WAY.  BEAR IS GOING TO PICK UP THE LIMB, BUT HE WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE, SO I AM GOING TO HAVE TO GUIDE HIM BY VOICE.  AND HE IS GOING TO TURN TO HIS LEFT AND HE IS GOING WALK OVER HERE AND HE IS GOING TO SET THE LIMB DOWN.  SO DON’T ANYBODY GET IN HIS WAY.”

SO EVERYBODY GOT OUT OF THE WAY AND BEAR WALKED OVER AND PUT HIS ARMS UNDERNEATH THE LIMB AND GAVE A BIG HEAVE AND PICKED THAT LIMB RIGHT UP. AND HE SAID, “OK, RABBIT. I HAVE GOT THE LIMB.  GUIDE ME.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “BACK UP.”  SO BEAR BACKED UP ABOUT SIX STEPS, AND RABBIT SAID, “TURN TO YOUR LEFT.”  AND BEAR TURNED TO HIS LEFT, AND RABBIT SAID, “GO FOREWARD.”  AND BEAR WALKED FOREWARD ABOUT TEN FEET AND RABBIT SAID, “OK, BEAR. PUT THE LIMB DOWN.”  AND BEAR PUT THE LIMB DOWN ON THE GROUND.  AND EVERYBODY HOLLORED WITH JOY.  MAMA SQUIRREL WENT RUSHING TO HER HOUSE AND HER FIVE CHILDREN CAME RUSHING OUT.

WHILE EVERYBODY WAS STANDING AROUND CONGRADULATING BEAR AND RABBIT ABOUT MOVING THE LIMB, BEAR WAS FAST GETTING AQUANTED. HE HAD A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE.  RABBIT WAS STANDING WATCHING ALL OF THIS.  HE NOTICED THAT THE FIVE SQUIRREL CHILDREN WERE STANDING IN A CIRLCE, AND EACH IN TURN WOULD SAY TO THE OTHERS, “NO, YOU ASK HIM.  NO, YOU ASK HIM.”  FINALLY, RABBIT SAID, “SQUIRREL CHILDREN,  “WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU WANT TO ASK. AND WHO DO YOU WANT TO ASK?”  AND THE LITTLE GIRL SQUIRREL SAID, “WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK MR. BEAR IF HE WOULD GIVE US A RIDE ON HIS BACK.”  AND BEAR SAID, “YOU WANT TO RIDE ON MY BACK?”  “YES, WE DO.  MR.RABBIT, DO YOU REMEMBER BIG DEER THAT USED TO COME AND SEE US? AND HE WOULD LIE DOWN AND LET US GET ON HIS BACK. AND HE WOULD RIDE US AROUND. IT WAS SUCH FUN; WE WOULD LIKE TO DO IT AGAIN.” “WELL,” SAID BEAR. “THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT WOULD BE A LOT OF FUN.  I WOULD LIKE TO DO THAT.”  “WAIT A MINUTE BEAR.  YOU HAVE TO LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT CHILDREN,” SAID RABBIT.  “A LOT OF TIMES, CHILDREN MAY ASK YOU TO DO THINGS, THAT THEIR PARENTS DON’T WANT THEM TO DO.  YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO ASK THE PARENTS IF IT IS ALRIGHT.”  BEAR SAID, “OH, I AM SORRY. I DID NOT KNOW THAT.  MAMA SQUIRREL, CAN I GIVE YOUR CHILDREN A RIDE?”   SHE SAID, “YES, BEAR” SO HE SAID, “OK, NOW HOW DO I GIVE YOU A RIDE ON MY BACK?”  AND LITTLE GIRL SQUIRREL SAID, “OH, YOU HAVE TO LIE DOWN.  YOU ARE TOO BIG FOR US TO GET ON.  WE HAVE TO CRAWL UP, AND WE HAVE TO HOLD ON TO YOUR FUR.”  “OK,” SAID BEAR. “NOW, HOLD ON TIGHT.”  SO THEY ALL CRAWLED UP ON HIS BACK, AND BEAR GOT UP AND SAID, “IS EVERYBODY READY?  HERE WE GO.” AND BEAR STARTED RUNNING.  AND SQUIRREL CHILDREN KEPT SAYING, “FASTER, FASTER.”  BEAR RAN AROUND AND AROUND, THRU THE TREES, UNTIL FINALLY HE SAID, “I AM SORRY, BUT I AM GETTING AWFUL TIRED.”  AND LITTLE GIRL SQUIRREL SAID, “ OH, WE ARE SORRY BEAR. WE DID NOT MEAN TO TIRE YOU OUT.  YOU STOP WHEN EVER YOU ARE READY.”  SO BEAR STOPPED, LAY DOWN, AND ALL THE SQUIRREL CHILDREN GOT OFF.  BEAR STARTED TO GET UP, BUT LITTLE GIRL SQUIRREL SAID, “WOULD YOU WAIT JUST A MINUTE BEAR?”  BEAR SAID, “YES.”  LITTLE GIRL SQUIRREL WALKED RIGHT UP AND KISSED BEAR RIGHT ON THE NOSE.  BEAR SAID, “OH, MY.  I DON’T THINK I WILL WASH MY NOSE AGAIN.”  ALL THE SQUIRREL CHILDREN SAID,  “THANK YOU SO MUCH, BEAR.”  AND BEAR SAID, “OH, I ENJOYED IT AS MUCH AS YOU DID.  AND I WILL BE BACK AND WE WILL DO IT AGAIN.”  SO NOW, WITH ALL THE EXCITEMENT OVER, ALL THE ANIMALS STARTED TO DRIFT OFF.  JUST BEAR AND RABBIT WERE LEFT.  BEAR LOOKED AT RABBIT AND SAID, “OH, RABBIT. THANK YOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL DAY. THIS IS THE MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE.  AND I OWE IT ALL TO YOU.  THIS IS ALMOST A PERFECT DAY.”  AND RABBIT SAID, “BEAR, WHAT WOULD MAKE IT PERFECT?”  AND BEAR SAID, “ IF I COULD ONLY FIND A BEE TREE FULL OF HONEY.  BOY, WOULD I LIKE TO HAVE SOME HONEY RIGHT NOW.”  AND A VOICE RIGHT ABOVE THEM SPOKE UP AND SAID, “I KNOW WHERE THERE IS A BEE TREE SO FULL OF HONEY, IT IS STARTING TO RUN OVER.  AND IT IS ONLY A LITTLE WAYS AWAY FROM HERE.  I WOULD BE HAPPY TO LEAD YOU TO IT.” AND BEAR AND RABBIT LOOK UP AND THERE WAS BLUEJAY.  AND BEAR SAID, “ BLUEJAY, ARE YOU SERIOUS?”   AND BLUEJAY SAID, “IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ME, I WILL SHOW YOU I AM SERIOUS.  I KNOW RIGHT WHERE THAT TREE IS.”

 

BOOK THREE

THE BLUE JAY STORY

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ONE FINE DAY IN THE FOREST, BLUEJAY HAD BEEN FLYING AROUND FOR HOURS, TRYING TO FIND RABBIT, HIS FRIEND.  BUT, WHEREVER RABBIT WAS, BLUEJAY HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND HIM.  HE WAS GETTING VERY TIRED AND HOT.  AND HE SAID, “I AM GOING HOME AND I AM GOING TO REST”.  HE STARTED FLYING AS FAST AS HE COULD, AND HE DODGED AROUND A BIG TREE, AND FLEW RIGHT SMACK INTO THE MIDDLE OF A BIG, DRY BLACKBERRY BUSH.  AT THAT TIME OF THE SUMMER, ALL OF THE BERRIES WERE GONE AND THE LEAVES WERE GONE, AND ALL THAT WAS LEFT WERE BRANCHES AND VERY THICK THORNS.  BLUEJAY WAS FLYING SO FAST THAT HE FLEW RIGHT INTO THE BUSH AND GOT ALL TANGLED UP IN THE BRANCHES AND THE THORNS.  ONE LARGE THORN WAS PRESSING RIGHT AGAINST HIS THROAT.  A VERY SHARP, POINTED THORN.  IF HE EVEN MOVED A LITTLE BIT FOREWARD, THAT THORN WOULD GO RIGHT THREW HIS FEATHERS AND RIGHT INTO HIS THROAT.  AND BLUEJAY THOUGHT, “WELL, WHAT A PLACE TO END UP”.  ABOUT THAT TIME HE HEARD SOME SPARROWS CHIRPING AND TALKING AND HE STARTED SAYING, “HELP, HELP, OH, SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME.”

SUDDENLY, SPARROW SAID, “I THOUGHT I HEARD SOMEBODY CALLING FOR HELP”.

AND BLUEJAY SAID, “OH, PLEASE HELP ME. I AM STUCK IN THE BERRY BUSH.”  SPARROW FLEW AROUND AND SAID, “OH BLUEJAY, HOW DID YOU EVER GET IN THERE.”  “I WAS STUPID AND FLYING TOO FAST”, SAID BLUEJAY.  “SPARROW, CAN YOU PLEASE TRY AND FIND RABBIT FOR ME.  I AM SURE HE CAN HELP ME IF ANYONE CAN. IF NOTHING ELSE, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO A FRIEND.”  SO SPARROW SAID, “WE WILL FIND HIM FOR YOU BLUEJAY.”  AND ALL THE SPARROWS TOOK OFF FLYING AS FAST AS THEY COULD TO FIND RABBIT.

THE SPARROWS FOUND RABBIT ASLEEP UPON THE SIDE OF A HILL, AND TOLD HIM WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HIS FRIEND, BLUEJAY. RABBIT WENT HOPPING AS FAST AS HE COULD TO GET DOWN TO WHERE BLUEJAY WAS.   AND WHEN HE GOT DOWN THERE AND TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE MESS THAT BLUEJAY WAS IN, HE SAID, “OH, THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF HELP. I HOPE, SPARROW, THAT YOU CAN HELP ME ROUND UP A LOT OF ANIMAL FRIENDS TO HELP BLUEJAY.”  SPARROW’S SAID, “WE WILL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT, RABBIT.  WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP BLUEJAY TOO!”  “WELL,” RABBIT SAID. THE FIRST ONE I NEED IS TURTLE.  IF SOME OF YOU WILL FLY DOWN AROUND THE RIVER, I AM SURE THAT YOU WILL FIND HIM THERE SOMEWHERE.  AND THE REST OF YOU, FLY UP TO THE TOP OF THE HILL AND SEE IF YOU CAN FIND BLACK BEAR AND BROWN BEAR.  I NEED BOTH OF THEM.  I THINK I SAW BOTH OF THEM UP THERE THIS MORNING.”  SPARROWS SAID, “ WILL DO, RABBIT.”  AND THEY TOOK OFF IN TWO DIRECTIONS JUST AS FAST AS THEY COULD FLY.    THERE WERE STILL SOME SPARROWS LEFT.  RABBIT SAID, “NOW, THE REST OF YOU SPARROWS, I AM GOING TO NEED ABOUT THREE RACOONS AND THREE SQUIRRLS. WILL SOME OF YOU TRY TO FIND THEM?  I AM ALSO GOING TO NEED A BEAVER, AND A LOT OF WOODPECKERS. THEN, WHEN YOU FIND THEM, WE CAN START RESCUEING BLUEJAY.”

WHILE THEY WERE WAITING FOR ALL THE ANIMALS TO GET TOGETHER, RABBIT ASKED BLUEJAY, “HOW ARE YOU DOING, BLUEJAY?” “WELL, RABBIT, I AM DOING PRETTY GOOD, EXCEPT FOR THAT BIG THORN PRESSING AGAINST MY THROAT.  IT FEELS LIKE IT IS GETTING BIGGER AND MORE POINTED.  BUT, I KNOW YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN.  SO I WILL DO THE BEST I CAN.”  RABBIT SAID, “WELL, DON’T YOU WORRY. YOU JUST HANG IN THERE, AND TRY NOT TO MOVE FOREWARD, I AM GOING TO GET YOU OUT OF THERE.”

AND ABOUT THAT TIME, HERE CAME THE BEARS. AND THEY SAID, “RABBIT, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?”  “IT’S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF TIME TO EXPLAIN TO EVERYBODY AGAIN, BUT, OUR FRIEND, BLUEJAY, IS IN TROUBLE, AND I NEED YOU BEARS TO HELP ME GET HIM OUT.”  “ANYTHIG WE CAN DO, RABBIT.”  RABBIT SAID, “I SENT SOME SPARROWS TO FIND TURTLE. AND JUST AS SOON AS I KNOW WHERE HE IS, WE CAN GET STARTED.”  BLACK BEAR SAID, “TURTLE?  WHY IT WILL TAKE HIM A WEEK TO GET UP HERE.”” RABBIT SAID, “OH, NO IT WON’T.”  AND ABOUT THAT TIME, HERE COME THE SPARROWS, “WE FOUND TURTLE, RABBIT.  WE FOUND TURTLE.”  “GOOD,” SAID RABBIT.  “NOW WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO. BLACKY, I WANT YOU TO LIE DOWN, AND LET THE SQUIRRLS AND THE RACOONS CRAWL UP ON YOUR BACK.  LET THEM GET A GOOD HOLD, BECAUSE, YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE THEM FOR A RIDE.”    BLACKY SAID, “I AM?  OK RABBIT.”  THE SQUIRRLS AND THE RACOONS CLIMBED ON AND RABBIT SAID, “NOW BROWNIE, YOU GO ALONG AND PICK UP TURTLE AND PUT HIM ON BLACKIES’ BACK.  AND THE RACOONS AND THE SQUIRRLS ARE GOING TO HOLD HIM ON SO HE WON’T FALL OFF.  AND GET HIM BACK HERE JUST AS FAST AS YOU CAN.”

SO, BLACK BEAR AND BROWN BEAR TOOK OFF TO GET TURTLE. AND ABOUT THAT TIME, HERE COME A FLOCK OF WOODPEKERS AND ONE SAID, “YOU SENT FOR US RABBIT?”  “I SURE DID, BUT BE PATIENT A LITTLE BIT AND I WILL EXPLAIN WHAT I NEED YOU TO DO.  BUT I HAVE TO GET STARTED WITH SOMETHING ELSE RIGHT NOW.”    SO EVERYBODY WAITED FOR A LITTLE WHILE, UNTIL SURE ENOUGH, HERE COME THE BEARS.  TURTLE WAS ON BLACK BEARS’ BACK AND AS SOON AS THEY GOT THERE BROWN BEAR LIFTED TURTLE OFF AND SET HIM ON THE GROUND.  AND TURTLE SAID, “RABBIT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU NEED ME FOR, BUT THAT RIDE WAS WORTH IT. WHAT’S UP?”  AND RABBIT SAID, “OUR FRIEND, BLUEJAY, IS STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT BERRY BUSH.  AND YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO IN AND GET HIM OUT.  THE ONLY THING I AM WORRIED ABOUT, TURTLE, IS THE SKIN ON YOUR HEAD AND YOUR LEGS.  I KNOW THE THORNS CAN’T HURT YOUR SHELL.”   TURTLE STARTED TO LAUGH.  “THOSE THORNS CAN’T HURT MY SKIN EITHER, RABBIT.  IT IS TOO OLD AND TOO TOUGH. THEY WON’T BOTHER ME A BIT.  JUST WHAT IS IT YOU WANT ME TO DO?”  RABBIT SAID, “HOW IS YOUR BEAK? IS IT GOOD AND SHARP?”  TURTLE SAID, “YEP, I EAT WITH THAT, YA KNOW.   I KEEP IT GOOD AND SHARP.”  RABBIT SAID, “CAN YOU CUT THOSE BERRY BRANCHES?”  “ARE YOU KIDDING?”  AND TURTLE REACHED OUT AND WENT ‘CHOMP’, AND HE CUT ONE OF THOSE BRANCHES IN NOTHING FLAT.  AND RABBIT SAID, “FINE, NOW THE OTHER THING YOU HAVE TO DO IS, YOU HAVE TO CUT THE BRANCHES UP IN SHORT PIECES, SO THE WOODPECKERS CAN FLY THEM OUT OF HERE.  WE HAVE TO KEEP THE GROUND ALL CLEANED UP.  I DON’T WANT ANY BRANCHES OR THORNS LYING ON THE GROUND WHEN WE GET BLUEJAY HALF WAY LOOSE.” TURTLE SAID, “WELL ALRIGHT.”  AND THE WOODPECKERS SAID, “DON’T WORRY RABBIT, WE WILL PICK UP EVERY PIECE OF BRANCH AND THORN THAT TURTLE CUTS.”  SO TURTLE STARTED CUTTING AND ALL OF A SUDDEN RABBIT SAID, “STOP FOR A MINUTE, I FORGOT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING.  THERE IS A BIG THORN PRESSING RIGHT AGAINST BLUEJAY’S THROAT.  IF BLUEJAY HAPPENS TO MOVE FOREWARD A LITTLE BIT, THAT THORN MAY GO INTO HIS THROAT. SO, TURTLE, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CUT AROUND BEHIND HIM, SO HE WILL SLOWLY SLIP BACKWARDS.”  AND TURTLE SAID, “ OH, I CAN DO THAT, RABBIT.  HE WILL SLIP BACKWARDS, HE WON’T SLIP FOREWARDS.”   SO TURTLE STARTED CUTTING ALL AROUND BEHIND BLUEJAY.  AND IN A FEW MINUTES BLUEJAY SAID, “RABBIT, THE PRESSURE IS OFF OF MY THROAT, I WAS ABLE TO MOVE BACK A LITTLE BIT.”   “FINE,” SAID RABBIT, “NOW YOU JUST HANGON AND WE WILL GET YOU OUT OF THERE IN A LITTLE BIT.”

SO TURTLE KEPT CHOPPING AND CUTTING UP THE BRANCHES, AND THE WOODPECKERS KEPT HAULING OFF THE PIECES. AND RABBIT TURNED AROUND AND SAID, “IS BEAVER HERE?”  “RIGHT HERE, RABBIT, WHAT CAN I DO?”  RABBIT SAID,  “ BEAVER, I AM GOING TO HAVE YOU BACK IN THERE, WITH THAT BIG FLAT TAIL OF YOURS.    WHEN TURTLE FINISHES CUTTING BLUEJAY LOOSE, HE WILL FALL RIGHT DOWN ONTO YOUR TAIL.  THEN YOU CAN CARRY HIM OUT HERE WHERE THE REST OF US CAN GET THE REST OF THE THORNS AND BRANCHES OUT OF HIS FEATHERS.”  AND BEAVER SAID, “I’LL DO IT.”  THEN TURTLE YELLED TO RABBIT,” RABBIT, I ONLY HAVE ABOUT TWO BITES LEFT, HAVE YOU GOT EVERYTHING PREPARED.”  “JUST A MINUTE,” SAID RABBIT. “I WANT TO GET BEAVER IN THERE.  WOODPECKERS, HAVE YOU GOT THE GROUND CLEANED UP?”  “YES, WE DO, RABBIT.”  “OK,” SAID RABBIT, “BEAVER, START BACKING UP.”  “OK,” SAID BEAVER. “BUT I DON’T BACKUP SO GOOD. SO, YOU WILL HAVE TO GUIDE ME.”  SO THEY GUIDED BEAVER BACK AND THAT BIG TAIL WENT IN RIGHT UNDER BLUEJAY.  AND RABBIT SAID TO TURTLE, “OK, CUT THE LAST OF THE BRANCHES, AND LET BLUEJAY FALL.”  SO TURTLE WENT SNAP, SNAP A COUPLE OF TIMES AND BLUEJAY FELL RIGHT DOWN ONTO BEAVERS’ TAIL.  BEAVER JUST WALKED RIGHT OUT OF THERE JUST AS NICE AS COULD BE, WITH BLUEJAY ON HIS TAIL.  AND WHEN THEY GOT BLUEJAY OUT OF THERE, THE REST OF THE ANIMALS STARTED TAKING THE REST OF THE THORNS AND PIECES OF BRANCH OUT OF HIS FEATHERS.  THEN BLUEJAY STOODUP AND STRAIGHTED HIS WINGS AND LOOKED AT RABBIT AND SAID, “OH, THANK YOU MY FRIEND, THANK YOU SO MUCH.  AND THANK EVERYBODY WHO HELPED ME.”  THEN RABBIT SAID, “NEXT TIME, DON’T FLY SO FAST AND DON’T FORGET TO LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GONING.  OK, BLUEJAY.” AND EVERYBODY LET UP A BIG CHEER, “THANKS TO RABBIT, THANKS TO RABBIT.”     AND OUR FRIEND BLUEJAY IS FLYING ONCE MORE.

135823580[1]THE END