KARA MEETS THE BEDROOM FAIRY®

From her favorite hiding spot inside the closet, Kara watched her Mother step around a large pile of books.

“I’m going to the library. If this mess isn’t cleaned up by the time I return there will be no ice skating this weekend,” she said.
Kara sat quietly in her closet and listened for her Mother’s footsteps to disappear down the hall.

“I don’t get it,” Kara said to Pug. “It’s my space. I like it this way.” She continued sitting in the hollow darkness of her closet thinking how she was really looking forward to skating.  Kara loved the feeling of being free, like a bird, as she would glide smoothly across the ice.

Her first glance from behind the closet door was blocked by a mound of clothes. Rising up on her knees, dramatically Kara threw herself onto the pile of clothes, pretending to be lying in a pile of dry leaves and surveyed her space. Books were thrown all over. Dolls and toys were under the bed and dresser. Stuffed animals hung by an arm or leg from the toy chest. Kara saw what appeared to be a sock stuck under the mattress.

She looked at the crystal sun catcher in the window and followed the prisms along the bedroom walls. Suddenly, the prisms began dancing. They moved along the iridescent stars which made up the Constellations on her ceiling. The rainbow prisms moved faster around the room, picking up speed and Kara got dizzy – fast.

“Hey, Pug.” Pug barked at the sound of a squeaky little voice coming from nowhere. Kara stood in the middle of her room looking around.
“Pug, did you hear that?” Kara said as she picked Pug up from the floor.
“Over here,” the voice squeaked. “On top of your fish bowl.”

Kara moved cautiously toward the book case where she kept Rodman, her fish.

“Kid, you really ought to get rid of this smelly fish.” Rodman died a week ago.

There on top of the fishbowl, was a yellow looking sort of man with a funny face. He was tiny like a toy soldier. He had a big nose and large ears. “IT” was wearing a blue cap, a green outfit and on its shoulders a tiny pair of wings.
Pug snorted as Kara reached her finger forward to touch it.
“You touch me and I’ll send you to orbit for eternity,” it squeaked.

“Look, kid,” it spoke. “I’m here to help you clean up this slum.”
Pug barked and Kara smiled from ear to ear.

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“Don’t be so happy, squirt,” it ordered. “First you have to show me that I should help you.”
“But who are you?” Kara asked.
“I’m Duffy, The Bedroom Fairy.”
“Really, a fairy?” Kara said laughing. “And I’m the Princess of Wales.”
“Look, squirt,” Duffy spoke now jumping from the fishbowl to the windowsill. “If you don’t need my help, I can leave. You know Billy at 317 Pineapple Street?  He really needs me…”
No, don’t go,” Kara said.  Pug’s head tilted left, then right.  The look of worry.

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“First, sort those clothes. Put the dirty ones in the hamper and the clean ones on your bed,” Duffy said.
Suddenly, with a flick of his wings, Duffy had the covers on the bed moving in midair, twirling around in circles until they landed perfectly in place.
“Wait a minute,” Kara said. “If you can do that, then why can’t you sort the clothes?
“Because I can only help you, if YOU help you,” Duffy said.
Kara sorted the clothes shoving three shirts, a dress and four pairs of socks into the hamper. On the bed, she placed a sweater.
“Now, straighten those stuffed animals,” Duffy ordered.
“What are you going to do?” Kara asked.

With another flick of his wings, Duffy had the books on the floor flying through the air, two at a time, onto the bookshelves.

Kara tossed the toys to Pug who then stuffed them into the chest.

“This is amazing,” Kara said to Pug.  The room was now spotless.
“See how easy it is to get help when you are willing to help yourself,” the fairy said. “There’s nothing magical about it.”

THE MYSTERY OF CHERI CANARY®

“Attention, Pug,” Kara said to her best buddy Ella Bella Mae. “It’s time for the vets.”
Pug climbed off her pillow perch and scampered across the floor to where Kara waited with the leash. Pug’s harness was a bright pink with Seahorses stamped on it. A present from Grand Papa. Pug loved going to the vets. Everyone there loved her and would “oooh” and “ahhh” saying “what a cute little Pug.” And the best part was she would get a treat at the end of the visit.
The waiting room was crowded. Pug’s friend, Louie, a small terrier was the first to say hello. Some yapping from Louie and snorting from Pug was their equivalent of a “high five.”
“Hello Cheri,” Kara said to the yellow canary sitting in the cage on top of the receptionist’s counter. “I hope you are having a wonderful summer.” Cheri Canary whistled back.
Kara eyed up the waiting area. She knew it would be at least twenty minutes before Pug was called to see Doctor Katzenbach. She made herself comfortable next to the lady with the French bulldog puppy.

“I’m Kara and this is Pug,” Kara introduced herself.
“This is Louise and I’m Lori,” she answered. “But we call her Weazey. It’s her first time here. That is why she is hiding so far under the bench.”
“I guess she’s a little shy,” Kara said reaching to pet Weazey’s cute little ears. They were black as ink. ”Her ears are so soft. Just like velvet.”
Phones were ringing, pets and owners were coming and going and the staff called the next patient. All the while, Joe Weasel was making his way unnoticed into Cheri’s cage. Joe Weasel was furry and very flexible. It was easy for him to squirm into small places. Joe Weasel was another office pet. Everyone knew Joe Weasel needed to be watched so as not to harm Cheri Canary. But this day, at this time, there was such distraction that no one saw Joe enter the cage. Nor did they hear Cheri as she chirped and chirped fighting the advances of Joe Weasel.
Once Pug finished her visit with Doctor Katzenbach, Kara noticed Cheri was missing and Joe was in the cage.
“Oh no,” Kara cried out. “Look! A bed of feathers in the cage. Joe Weasel has some in the corners of his mouth.”
Standing next to Kara, Pug tilted her head to the left and then to the right with her big bulging eyes staring up at Kara. It was the look of worry.
“Good grief,” Doctor Katzenbach said. “Joe, did you eat the Canary?” Joe slithered his thin body and big head through the bars of the cage. Going out the same way he got in.
“Oh Doctor,” Kara said. “This is sad. What should we do”?

Doctor Katzenbach looked around his very full waiting room. “There is nothing we can do, Kara. I need to get back to work. I am sorry you had to see this.”
The staff was devastated. They could not believe Joe Weasel got passed them. He had always tormented Cheri Canary. He would sit up on his hind legs peering in the cage and the staff would shoo him away. But this time, it was different. He had gotten in and now the only thing left were Cheri’s yellow feathers spread and splattered all along the bottom of the big brass cage.
“Weazey,” Doctor Katzenbach called. “Hi Lori. Let’s see the new pup.”
Lori stood up from the brown bench and stooped to pick up Weazey. Kara and Pug watched as Lori scooped the little bundle of velvet-like fur into her arms.

 “Look, Pug” Kara said. “It’s a few more of Cheri Canary’s feathers.”  Kara reached down to pick them up. Pug sniffed the black and white checked floor.  Kara picked up the feathers from the trail leading under the bench where Weazey had been.
“PUG!” Kara exclaimed. “Cheri! Come here, little Cheri.”
Kara cupped little Cheri Canary in her hands. Everyone was so excited that little Cheri was not harmed.
“It just goes to show,” Kara told Pug. “Sometimes you might have to ruffle a few feathers for your freedom.”

THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BUNNIES®

Breezes pushed the leaves of the wild blackberry trees. On the first day of summer, Shirley Squirrel climbed to the highest tree limb. Chattering.
“Tsik Tsik Tsik, Chrrrrrrrr”
Squirrel watched as the others began to gather. In the distance were Betty and Buster Groundhog. Gliding the blue sky was Cardinal Charlie and his mate, Louise. As he descended gracefully, his red feathers glistened like a bright light on the fireman’s truck.
In the far distance were Jeb and Rae Jackrabbit. Squirrel was excited. The Jackrabbits were bringing their babies.
The Cardinals hunched on a branch.
“Good day,” they chirped.
“These blackberries are a good crop,” said Betty Groundhog.
“Save some for us, Groundhogs,” chuckled Squirrel.

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The Jackrabbits arrived out of breath.
Rae screeched almost like a rooster crowing. “Has anyone seen the babies?”
Charlie swooped to the grass.
“Whatever do you mean?”
“When we woke up, they were gone,” Jeb echoed.
Betty growled, “We need to spread out.”
Stanley Snake appeared. “Misssssing bunniessss, eh?” his tongue slithered out of his mouth. “I am headed to the briar patch. I will sssssee if they are there.”
Rat moved from under the bush. “I’ll go with snake,” he burped.
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll have you for breakfassssst,” Snake hissed to Rat.
Rat glared at Snake with his beady, little eyes. His sharp nose took a whiff as the breeze filled the air with the sweet scent of honeysuckles and wild blackberries that Rat could not resist.
“I’ll check the pasture,” squeaked Rat. He spun waiving bye bye with his thin, long tail.
“As I was saying,” Betty spit as she spoke. “Everyone spread out. We will find the missing bunnies”
Cardinals investigated the hill where Charlie thought he had seen something.
“Oh dear,” Louise chirped. “That is not the bunnies at all.”
Charlie moved the bundle with his beak. “It’s only an old scarf someone lost.”
The Jackrabbits were sad. Everyone had been searching all morning. Still no bunnies.
Tired of looking, Buster began grazing the wild blackberries. Rat joined him.
A bulging Snake slithered from the briar patch. He had big lumps in his skin where everyone could see he had eaten well while looking for the missing bunnies.
Betty, Louise, Squirrel and Rae huddled near one of the honeysuckle bushes.
“Snake looks like he had a nice meal,” Squirrel chirped.
“You don’t think he ate the bunnies,” Groundhog’s teeth chattered as she spoke.
Rae Jackrabbit couldn’t bear the thought. She placed herself down on the ground, her head locked in her front legs. She was sad.
“Don’t despair,” the lady animals told their friend.
Charlie landed next to them. “I’ve given the land a bird’s eye view.”
Louise pulled a honeysuckle placing it to Charlie’s beak. “You have to keep flying,” she chirped. “Return and search the nest.”
He glided over Ripple Creek. His wings touched the leaves of the cornstalks as he zoomed through the rows of farmer Tem’s corn. He rested himself on the arm of the old scarecrow. He squinted one eye against the glare of the sun focusing on the barnyard animals in the distance. Rat knows the layout, he thought.
Catching the backwind, Charlie returned to the wild blackberry field.
He swooped down so fast picking up Rat by the neck that the other animals hardly knew what happened.
“Hey. Where are we going?” They could hear Rat in the distance. They watched as Charlie flew with Rat hanging on for dear life. Once landed safely, Charlie hopped around. Rat headed directly for the hog trough.
Charlie stood on the barn roof. He hopped along the roof’s edge, following the faint cry. He peeked into the opening. “Is anyone in there?” he sang. The crying got louder. It was them! Charlie has found the missing bunnies – Suzie, Lucy and Tye.
“Hang on,” Charlie sang. “We’ll get you out.”
Rat slipped into the spout. “Come. Follow me.”
Jeb and Rae were so happy to see their babies.
“We were going to surprise you and get to the field before you, “Suzie purred to her Mother. “We headed in the wrong direction. We will never do that again.”
The Jackrabbits were forever grateful to all their friends.

THE MYSTERY OF THE FALLEN STAR®

The fireflies blinked on and off again among the leaves.  Kara laid on the hammock with her best buddy Ella the Pug.  She gazed at the sky as the sun melted away and the moon provided light.
“Oh look, Pug,” she said.  “I see the first star tonight. I am going to make a wish.”
She wanted to close her eyes to make the wish. But Kara was afraid she would miss a falling star; the luckiest of them all. So instead, Kara continued her star gazing.
“Look, Pug!” Kara screamed as she jumped from the hammock. She rose so fast that poor Pug was lifted from the hammock into the air falling directly into Kara’s arms. “It’s there,” she exclaimed. “It’s falling. We must follow and see where it lands.”
Kara ran fast. She carried Pug into the woods, every now and again stopping to track the star.
“There it is,” Kara pointed above the trees as she and Pug continued deeper into the woods finally reaching the babbling brook.  The sounds of the brook at night were far scarier than in the daytime. The ripples splashed as Pug took a drink of the fresh water.
Thankfully there was still a little moonlight streaming in between the trees. Kara and Pug stopped by the running water. With Pug on the ground at her side, Kara twirled around and around, her head cocked so far back she got dizzy.
“Ribbit. Ribbit. Ribbit.” The sound came from up stream.  Pug began to bark at the large toad on the slippery rock.  “What are you doing in the woods this time of night?” Toad said.
“We watched a star fall from the sky and we’re headed to see where it lands,” Kara told Toad.
“I want to see, too,” Toad said hopping from rock to rock following Kara and Pug as they continued the journey deeper into the dark woods. Pug had little legs and a short snout and could not move as fast as Kara.  Tired out. Pug sat and barked at Kara as if to say “I can’t go much farther. Are we there, yet?”

“Come on, Pug,” she said.  “I know we are close. The star has disappeared near the horizon at the end of the meadow.”
The reflection of the fireflies flashing amber on and off again helped guide Kara, Pug and Toad to the open meadow.   Pug laid in the cool grass and barked at Kara.
“I’m not sure yet where it is, Pug.  Maybe Owl has seen it.”
“Whooo.  Whooo. Whooo.” Owl called from the large oak tree.  “Whoooo are you looking for, child?”
Pug moved behind Kara as the big orange eyes of Owl blinked down at them. “The fallen star,” Kara said.  “We watched it fall into the horizon.  Do you think it is stuck in one of the trees yonder?”

The fireflies finally caught up.  Hovering under the pine tree where Owl was perched, they listened closely.
“Oooooh,” Owl began. “What you saw is a streak of light.  It looks like a star has fallen from the sky.”
“Whatit? Whatit?” Toad tried harder to listen.
“Yes,” said Owl. “It is not really a star.  The reflection of light makes it appear a star has moved and fallen to the ground.  But it is not Soooooo.”

Owl blinked his big orange eyes again and spun his head around until it looked like he disappeared. With his wide, round eyes open, he fluttered his wings to balance himself on a lower limb.  He wanted to be closer to his audience.

“They may appear to have an enchanting glow as the stars that twinkle above.  But they are actually tiny pieces of dust and rock.  When they hit the earth’s atmosphere, they burn up.”

“I think Owl is right about this,” Toad croaked.
Kara sighed.  She laid down into the cool grass in the meadow and stared again at the night’s sky. The shining, bright stars from the sky, the moon so full it looked as if it would spill out and fireflies blinking amber lights around her.
“Thank you, Owl.” Kara said.  “I will now tell every star above just how wise you really are.”

THE MYSTERY OF MISS VICKI®

Kara and her best buddy Ella the Pug sat on the stoop of the old brownstone. It was a very hot day in Brooklyn. If there was a tree growing in Brooklyn, they have yet to find it. Kara twisted her hair into braids that outlined both sides of her face. She and Pug had just finished playing a game of tag ball and she was sweating. Pug panted hard as she stretched her body out fully along the cement, trying to get cool.
“Here kitty. Here Kitty,” Mrs. Bird was calling for her cat.  “Sppssssppspss.  Spppssssss,” she made the noise in a whistling sort of way. She was tall.  Her hair piled higher on her head actually made her appear gigantic.  She was lanky. Kara thought Mrs. Bird must eat like a bird.
“I can’t find Miss Vicki,” Mrs. Bird stood at the bottom of the stoop looking over her specks at Kara. “Has Pug chased her?”
“No. Pug has been with me all morning,” Kara spoke wiping sweat from her brow. “Maybe Miss Vicki is inside keeping cool.”

“There’s a five dollar reward to whoever finds her,” Mrs. Bird said as she made her way through the front door into the cool of the vestibule.
Kara’s eyes lit up. “Did you hear that Pug? Five Dollars! We can buy a lot of snowballs with that.”  She stood up from the stoop and pointed down Pineapple Street. “Let’s start at the corner.”
Pug was already down the steps. Her tail swaying back and forth as she strutted slightly ahead of Kara.
“We have to think like Miss Vicki, Pug,” Kara said changing her gait to a skip. “If you were a cat in this dreadful heat, where would you be?”
Pug turned the corner onto Peach Road. She sniffed and stopped. And stopped and sniffed. She barked and began running.

“Slow down, Pug,” Kara commanded.

Pug stopped at her friend Cello’s house. Cello was at the front window barking out, but Pug could barely understand. She barked back. Cello could not get out and Pug could not get in. Pug ran toward Kara and back to the window again. Finally, Kara stopped.
“What is it, Pug?  Do you want me to see if Cello has seen Miss Vicki?”
Kara rang the bell. Her friend Mary came to the door with Cello barking behind. Kara explained to Mary they were looking for Miss Vicki.  Cello and Pug shared a few sniffs, whispers and small barks to each other. Mary told Kara she had not seen the kitty.
Pug ran down the steps and began barking for Kara to follow.
“I think Pug is onto something,” Mary said. And she and Cello joined Kara skipping down the long block. Pug was in the lead, with Cello close behind.  The two barking, running and panting.
Cello stopped running and took time to sniff the sidewalk alongside Kara and Mary. They could hear Pug up ahead barking. From the distance Kara saw a tree.  Pug was barking upward at the tree.
“Mary,” Kara said. “Let’s run to Pug.”
Mary picked up little Cello, tucked him in her arm and ran with Kara to the tree. The tree was white and its bark was shedding. Pug and Cello sniffed the base of the tree. Both stood on hind legs, with front legs and paws outstretched toward the top of the tree. The tree was so full of leaves the shadow sprawled out on the sidewalk creating a very nice umbrella of shade.  The girls found it refreshing, as they sat down crossed-legged on the cement. Pug barked and nudged Kara’s arm.
“What is it, Pug? I think you have brought us on a wild goose chase.”

Through the silent air, Kara heard a faint “meow” Pug ran back to the tree. Kara and Mary looked up to see Miss Vicki. Her white fur sprawled out along the white shedding branch was like camouflage.
“Miss Vicki! Come down at once,” Kara coaxed.
Mrs. Bird handed Kara the promised five dollars.

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“Let’s go and get snowballs,” Kara said to Pug, Mary and Cello.  “Isn’t it just like a cat to find the only tree in Brooklyn?”