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 SIDNEY SEAHORSE®

The bright sun placed radiant reflections along the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. With each crash of the wave to the shore, the water shimmered. The waves looked like very sparkly gem stones, Kara thought. “Not just diamonds,” she said aloud to her best buddy Ella the Pug.

Kara and Pug traveled from Brooklyn, New York to her grand papa’s home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It was a summer ritual. Kara continued placing sea shells into her bag.

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“Two whole weeks of this wonderful beach,” Kara told Pug. “I might have to try surfing.”

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Pug’s ears flew back, and she tipped her head one way and then the other.

“Pug, why the look of worry?” Kara asked. “It will be spectacular as I ride the waves”

Kids running down the beach brought Kara from her daydream of catching a wave to shore.

“Look, Pug,” Kara said, pointing her finger toward the sky. “Kites! We need to fly one.”

Following the kites, Kara and Pug ran up the beach. Soon, they came to the oasis of kites.

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“Wow, Pug,” said Kara in amazement. “Have you ever seen so many kites? Look, there’s one that looks like a seal.  And there’s one of a starfish. And look at that one, Pug. A seahorse!”

Kara was about as excited as she had ever been.

“How much does it cost for the seahorse kite?” she inquired of the owner.

“Twelve dollars,” he replied.
Pug looked at Kara with that worried look again.
“Oh well,” She said scooping Pug up off the sand into her arms. “Not today, Pug.”

On the boardwalk, there were many souvenir shops. Pug followed close to Kara, every once again trying to break rank and chase a sea gull. “There it is,” Kara said walking into one of the shops. “We don’t have enough money for the kite, but I can buy this pin.”
Kara held the object in her hand. She ran her finger along the ridges of the wood carved pin and traced the small gem stones inlays. She loved the way it sparkled so much like the gems the sun made over the ocean.
“That will be five dollars,” the clerk said.
Kara placed the pin on her shirt and took a glance in the mirror. “Perfect,” she said.

“Pug, this is Sidney Seahorse and this is Pug.”
In approval, Pug’s ears stood tall as they could. The three of them continued their tour of the boardwalk until they reached Grand Papa’s house. It was blue with white shutters and a little white picket fence. It sat just off the boards, away from much of the crowds. Kara sat on the bench, under the umbrella and poured a glass of lemonade Grand had made earlier.
“I just love my new pin…” her voice stopped. The pin was gone!

“Oh, no. Oh, no,” she sobbed. “Pug we must track our steps to find Sidney.”

Pug lead the way up the boards sniffing and stopping. They searched everywhere Kara had been. Exhausted from the walk and saddened they did not find Sidney Seahorse, Kara and Pug returned to Grand Papa’s. Kara’s head hung low as she opened the gate to where Grand Papa sat under the umbrella.
“You have quite a collection of shells here,” Grand Papa said. “And this seahorse…”
Kara looked up and saw the shimmering Sidney Seahorse dangling from her Grand Papa’s fingers. She ran and placed her arms around his neck.
“I love you Grand,” she said and then kissed him on the cheek. “I thought we lost Sidney. Grand, this is Sidney Seahorse and this is Grand.”
“So you like Seahorses,” Grand asked. “They are magnificent. They are the only creature on earth in which the male carries and gives birth to the babies.”
Kara placed Pug on a chair next to where she was sitting listening very closely to her Grand Papa.  Grand Papa reached over and pinned Sidney Seahorse to Kara’s shirt.

Sidney Seahorse shimmered as the gem stones reflected light of the rays from the afternoon sun.
“It looks like a rainbow, Pug,” Kara said.
“You see,” Grand Papa said. “Even though something is different it still has beauty.”

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.”