Animals


There once were Five Little Pigs.
Together they owned a party pavilion which stood at the end of the Santa Monica Pier.
It was very grand! Each week all the barnyard animals who liked to dance would dress up
in their finest glad rags and come to the Pigs’ Club Foot to dance!
The band was the swinging-est, most danceable, most absolutely Moo-rageous band in town!
They were called “Joyful Cow-tenence” and they specialized in Moo-sic that made you want to dance!
“Joyful Cow-tenence” was a ten piece band and they all played the Cow Bell. Exclusively Cow Bell.
Do you like to dance? Dancing makes me feel udder-ly amazing!

The Five Little Pigs were named Piggly Piggleton, Wiggly Tail, Oink-Oink, Super Pig, and Jeff.
They all loved to dance. They were very happy to see so many barnyard animals dancing happily
together. (We’ll come back to these five pigs in a bit so don’t forget them!)

Every week everyone would come to Club Foot for the best toe-tapping fun around!

One day, Ms. Chicken (who specialized in the Chicken Dance) brought a giant apple pie to share with
all the barnyard animals to celebrate Arbor Day. It was as big as a swimming pool and it smelled so good everyone wanted to
dive right in!

But some of the older animals hadn’t arrived yet!
“Wait!” Said Ms. Chicken. “This pie is for everyone to share! We should wait until all the barnyard animals
are here and then we can each share a piece.”
Everyone agreed that Ms. Chicken had a delicious idea and found her apple pie idea aPEELing!

Ms. Chicken set the pie on top of the Santa Monica roller coaster where it wouldn’t get danced on and the band played
beautiful MOOsic that the sheep said sounded ‘BLEATiful.’ And everyone had a great time.

Finally, the oldest horse from the barn, Mister Horseradish came slowly sauntering into Club Foot.
Everyone celebrated because they loved Mister Horseradish and also because they could now share the yummy smelling
apple pie!
Yum! Every dessert tastes better when it is shared with animals you love!

But when Ms. Chicken got to the top of the roller coaster to get the pie, she found a surprise!
This Arbor Day party had turned into a Surprise Arbor Day Party because someone….
(Can you guess what happened? What do you think happened?)

Someone had brought a whole buncha vanilla ice cream and put it right there next to the apple pie!
Wow!

And all the animals had their share and celebrated trees with Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Now, apple trees were of course especially celebrated, and vanilla bean plants were also greatly appreciated,
as well as sugar cane plants, wheat, and cinnamon trees. But all the animals loved all trees.

Mr. Horseradish had even brought some seeds to plant and little seedlings to give away!

Everyone was having a great party….except Sally Badger. Sally Badger was scratching her head.
There was a mystery afoot and she wanted to get to the bottom of it!

You see, mysteries abound all around us. Every time an inventor invents, or an artist arts, or a musician musics, mysteries are being solved. Math problems, questions, puzzles, riddles, unknowns….they’re all mysteries! And mysteries are fun to solve.

And Sally loved to solve them. She was a gumshoe, or detective. She loved to do math, learn science, build, create, study, read, play, explore! And during the Arbor Day Party she found a mystery as he dug a hole to plant a seedling Mr. Horseradish had given him.
As she dug into the dirt with his tough badger paws, she found that someone had buried their slice of apple pie!
How strange! How mysterious!
She used all the senses she knew to find clues: she looked, sniffed, touched, listened, and yes….tasted!
She needed more information so she began to ask the barnyard animals questions.

Sally heard it from a rooster that a “some mysterious figure had been seen near the spot where the apple pie had been buried.”
Sally knew that the Five Little Pigs that owned Club Foot always had their hooves on the pulse of Santa Monica and knew all the gossip. One of the Five Pigs would have to know!

Sally asked Piggly Piggleton if she knew who buried the piece of pie in the ground.
“I have used all my senses to figure it out but still I’m stumped! Piggly, is there any info that you can give me, any deets? Any data, any facts? I’m all ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and badger paws!”
Piggly snuffled.
“Well Sally have you used all your senses so far?”
“Yup!”
“Did you use your sense of balance? Your feeling of intuition? Your interior feelings of being full or hungry or having a headache? Did you use your sense of right and wrong?”
“Well…I guess I didn’t know we have so many senses Piggly!”
“I’m a gumshoe detective too Sally, and I’ve learned that there’s all kinds of ways to figure things out. I once tried to figure out if a flower was pretty by looking at it but it didn’t work. I needed to also use my sense of beauty.”
“I see,” Said Sally. “And was the flower pretty Piggly?”
“Yes. It was a beautiful rose. I can still see it in my memory.” Piggly snuffled again. “And as to that apple pie that had been so craftily and sneakily snuck away underground–I haven’t the foggiest. I wasn’t around at the time. I had gone to market.”
“Aha. I see. Well thank you Piggly!”

Sally Badger went off and found Wiggly Tail playing beach volleyball.
“Excuse me Wiggly, I was wondering if you knew who buried a piece of apple pie in the ground.”
“Ahhhhh. Yes. The apple pie!” Said Wiggly Tail as he put down his volleyball and wiggled his tail.
“So you know about the mysterious buried apple pie!”
“Well, I don’t know about any specific buried apple pie but I can use my imagination to see how it must have been. I can see it right now in my mind.” Wiggly wiggled and giggled.
“Well Wiggly, I want to know about a very specific piece of apple pie that someone strangely buried.”
“In my imagination I see someone burying it with a tiny spoon and they are wearing a bicycle for a hat and they are laughing butterflies.” Wiggly looked very serious as he said that last part. “My imagination surprises even myself sometimes.” And then he wiggled.
“So you didn’t see anything yourself with your eyes huh?”
“No, when the apple pie was being served I wasn’t there for I had stayed home.”
“Hmmm. Okay. Thanks Wiggly.”

Sally Badger was presently no closer to the answer but she never gave up! Sometimes solving problems was difficult, but Sally stuck with it!
She next found Oink-Oink and Super Pig standing atop a pile of rubble. Oink Oink was holding Super Pig in a cradling and loving sort of way.
“What’s all this? It looks like a storm has just come through here!” Sally gasped.
“This? Oh, this was the work of Doctor Haymem. A very villainous villain she is indeed!” Said Oink-Oink.
“Doctor who?”
“No, Doctor Haymem!” Oink Oink corrected. “She’s a meteorologist who always predicts tornadoes and if she’s wrong, she makes her own tornadoes. She’s a bit of a bother, really.”
“Yeah, a real bummer.” Groaned Super Pig.
“But we took care of all that nonsense, Sally. What can we do for you?” Said Oink Oink looking quite heroic.
“Well, you could tell me if you know anything about who might have buried a piece of apple pie?” Sally asked.
“Sally, you are ever the inquisitive badger!” Oink Oink yelled out , carrying Super Pig down off the pile of assorted crumbled buildings.
“I didn’t mean to badger you, I just wondered…I wanted to know…I so much like to solve mysteries, you see.” Sally said as she removed her detective hat and kneaded it in her paws.
“Sally, I love that about you! Love it!” Oink Oink exclaimed. “Super Pig here and I could not tell you a thing about that apple pie for we were out and about doing different things when the dessert was served.”
“Were you two together?”
“No, we were out to dinner at the time at the Tofu Hut.” Oink Oink set Super Pig safely down on the hood of a ’68 Ford. “I remember it well. One of us had forgotten to bring their money you see–” Oink Oink nodded in the direction of Super Pig “And so we could only afford a little bit of Tofu and Super Pig gave me all of it.”
“That is a bit strange isn’t it? I mean, that Super Pig gave you all the Tofu?”
“Tofu is no matter when love is involved, Sally. You see there is a sense of love that when one feels it, you just can’t help but give up Tofu for the Pig you love.”
“Wow. Super Pig. What a wonderful…strange…mysterious…”
“Oink Oink does the same for me!” Super Pig rustled up from the hood of the car, all wrapped up in a long bright red cape.
“That’s the way of love. Oink Oink gives me the Tofu just as often as not. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
“And what’s good for the Pig is good for the Super Pig.” Oink Oink said softly with a gentle snout rub against Super Pig’s cape.
“So one had Tofu and the other had none…” Sally concluded.
She was no nearer an answer!

The day was winding down. The sun was setting over the part of the sky that Sally guessed was the West because that was where the Sun usually set, but she didn’t have her compass with her so she couldn’t be sure.
She found the last little piggy Jeff sitting on his porch, drinking a glass of Slop.
“Sally!” Jeff greeted. “I do hope you bear me the gift of your company!”
She could not decline him. She sidled up alongside him taking a seat in the rocking chair next to him.
“Have some Slop, Sally!” He handed her a glass.
“Thank you.” She said, being polite. “I have a question for you Jeff.”
“Shoot.”
“Do you know anything about who might have buried apple pie in the ground?”
Jeff stared off in the distance for a while.
“That sure is peculiar isn’t it?” He said. “Whoever did that sure was…creative.”
“I want to know! Who would do such a thing?!”
“Sally, sometimes there are questions that have no answers. Each evening I come out here to my porch and I see the sunset and I ask myself: ‘how could the simple act of the sun setting be so amazing?'”
“Actually Jeff, it’s not the Sun setting, it’s the Earth rotating.”
Jeff laughed. “Well that’s even more amazing!”
Sally was not laughing. “Who would bury apple pie!? That’s just plain silly!”
“Silly Sally? Silly is the best mystery of all. The strangeness that just gets you all wound up and frustrated until all you can do but laugh. That’s my kinda mystery!” And Jeff did start laughing.
And his laugh was just mysterious enough and….well silly enough to get Sally laughing too.
She had a second glass of Slop and said her goodnights to Jeff.
She set off down the path.
There, along the winding path where she had found the apple pie buried down in the ground earlier stood a giant Apple Pie Tree! It was as tall as the barn and it was sprouting slices of apple pie!
There were children and baby chickens nibbling at the delicious sprouts.
Some were holding their pie next to a knot in the tree that instead of oozing sap was oozing whipped cream.

Sally stood amazed. It was so…so…silly!
Sally started to laugh. It was a high ‘hee hee hee’ sounding laugh and it made her feel good.
And Sally went ‘hee hee hee’ all the way home.

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To find a Cookoo Clock bird you don’t look in a zoo
They live in clocks and can sing and only one could play kazoo too.
His name was Tic Toc the Cookoo Clock Cookoo Kazooist
And his name was on every year’s Top Ten Kazoo list.
Music hop scotched moonbeams from the parlor to the stairs.
Everything hopped in the rhythm that was traveling through the air.
It was a twelve o’clock kazoo-ing to say hello to the pale blue moon.
And Tic Toc the Cookoo Kazooist played to an empty room.
The ears of the Cookoo were hot, red and ouchy
Because the Clock Chicken Ted had yelled and been grouchy.

“My goodness,” thought Tic Toc, “When Ted yells and is grouchy, it really hurts my ears.”
Aside from every Cookoo clock having a Cookoo Bird, they also have a Cookoo Clock Chicken.
Cookoo Clock Chickens are typically very soft and fluffy.
They live in a cozy little apartment below the Cookoo’s nest and it is their job to tell the Cookoo when to sing.
(Or in the case of Tic Toc when to play his kazoo.)
Every hour, Ted came up from his room and stood next to Tic Toc’s nest and said: “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”
And that was the signal for Tic Toc to burst from the clock and play his kazoo. A
nd everything had been just fine until last week when Ted started getting grouchy
and instead of saying “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” in a nice tone of voice, Ted started saying it really loud and grouchy.

So one morning, Ted looked at his watch and saw that it was eight fifty seven, time for Ted to go upstairs and say “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” to Tic Toc.

Ted got up from his big brown comfy couch and walked slowly up the stairs, grumbling all the way up.
“Grumble Grumble Harrumpf.” He said.
Ted stood next to Tic Toc’s nest and looked at his watch it was eight fifty nine and he counted down inside his head until finally: “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” And nothing happened.
Where was Tic Toc The Cookoo Kazooist?
It was Nine O’Clock and he wasn’t here to mark the hour! Gulp!
Well, Tic Toc the Cookoo Kazooist was walking across the clock to find a nicer place to play Kazoo where he wouldn’t hear yelling grouchy voices.
He strolled along gears and stepped along sprockets
He had nothing but a kazoo and two empty pockets.
He played as he went a happy little tune
But without him marking time, he threw off the moon!
Time was all a jumble without his Cookoo Kazooing
And minutes stopped and started and time trouble started brewing!

And Tic Toc met a minute (small) Clock Monkey sitting on some gears. The Monkey was very wise and listened to Tic Toc’s trouble. “So this Ted Clock Chicken has burst your bubble, with his loud outside voice and his grouchy grumble grumble.” Hmmm. Monkey saw this was a very difficult situation. He stroked at his long white beard. “I’ve got an idea.”
Ideas are like friends–they’re good to have. And ideas that include friends to help each other are the best kind of ideas!

The next day Ted The Cookoo Clock Chicken woke up to find that he was a Cookoo! He was in the clock’s Cookoo nest!
He looked in the mirror and saw that he had been transformed during the night! Wow!
And he looked at his watch and saw that it was Ten Fifty Seven!
Suddenly there appeared a Cookoo Clock Chicken by his nest!
Ted thought to himself that he hoped the Cookoo Clock Chicken would be nice to him and use a friendly tone of voice.
And then, the Cookoo Clock Chicken looked at his watch and it was time to say the signal.
Do you remember what the signal was?–How the Cookoo Clock Chicken counts down?
“Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”
He said that alright, but he said it with love and friendliness in his voice–full of positivity and kindness. Just like this:
“Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”

And Ted jumped out from the clock and Cookoo-ed a loud Chickenlike Cookoo. (And he did very well indeed for his first try.)

When he came back in, there was Tic Toc was there getting out of a chicken costume!
And Clock Monkey was there too!

Clock Monkey explained that they had dressed Ted in a Cookoo costume during the night!
Ted said that he was surprised to find that he was a Cookoo when he woke up but that it was
very nice that Tic Toc used a friendly tone of voice when he said
“Three, Two, One Blast Off!”

“I feel ouchy when your voice gets grouchy.” Said Tic Toc. “I like friendly voice.”
“I’m sorry I used a grouchy voice.” Said Ted.

And Ted and Tic Toc hugged and danced and said how nice it was to have time together as friends.
And time started running smoothly again.

There once was a morning that was very quiet. The big bright sun was shining and the flowers were dancing with the butterflies but the birdy birds were not chirping. The birds weren’t singing, tweeting, warbling, cawing, hooting, screeching, clucking, or even cock a doodle dooing.
It was very quiet and very still.
Birdy Chirp Chirp was sitting in her nest, knitting a cozy wool sweater for her friend Oscar the Ostrich when she heard something: nothing!
“Why it is so quiet and I can’t even hear myself think!” Birdy Chirp Chirp whispered to herself.
She opened up her window and craned her neck out to see that the morning looked very normal but it sounded very unusual. It was unusually quiet.
There wasn’t even the sound of the baby chickens saying ‘peep peep’ or the snoring of the Barn Owl who had just gone to sleep.
Birdy Chirp Chirp put on her traveling hat and her walking boots and set out to see what the source of all the silence was.
She looked for bird songs everywhere: the zoo, the museum, the playground, the elementary school, the beach, everywhere! She didn’t hear a single bird singing.
Birdy Chirp Chirp sat down and began to think.
“If I cannot hear any birds singing maybe it is because my ears cannot hear bird songs today.” She said to herself.
“I shall try an experiment! I will sing a bird song and see if I can hear it.” And she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and Birdy Chirp Chirp could hear it!
“Well,” She said. “If I can hear myself, it might stand to reason that I would hear other birds singing–if they were singing. I shall conduct a survey! I will ask birds if they are singing and collect their answers!”
And she did so and when she was done she looked at her results: and she found that no birds were singing!
“Well, I shall conduct another survey to find out why they are not singing! And it probably would have saved me time to ask this the first time around!” So she flew around the world again and asked every bird why they were not singing.
Every bird that she talked to, the emus, the penguins, the parrots, the buzzards, the chickadees, the turkeys, everyone said the same thing: “What difference does it make? I’m just one little bird. What does it matter what I do or don’t do? Grump!”
It seemed that all the birds in the world had got a case of the Grumps. The Grumps come and go and are quite common and natural but never before had all the birds in the world got the Grumps at once!
Birdy Chirp Chirp spoke with her good friend Crow. Crow as usual had an idea:
“We could tell a joke and get all the birds laughing!”
And Crow flew around the world telling jokes. It helped a bit, and some birds whistled and chirped but again everything went quiet.
Then Birdy Chirp Chirp spoke with her friend Eagle and Eagle as usual had an idea:
“We could give every bird a trophy for each time they sang!”
And Eagle went around the world and gave trophies to the birds who would sing.
And it helped a bit and some birds sang very loud to get Eagle’s trophies but soon enough everything went quiet again.
Then Birdy Chirp Chirp, Crow, and Eagle went to the very wise Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw, the smartest Chicken they knew.
“Hello Birdy Chirp Chirp, Crow, and Eagle!” She said and gave them all big hugs. Her feathers were warm and a little tickley.
“All the birds of the world have got a case of the Grumps, Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw, and we can’t figure out how to get those birds all singing again!” Birdy said.
“Well, Grumps are normal and natural but never have I heard of all the birds in the world getting Grumps at once! Hmmm.” Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw said then thought quietly.
“Birdy,” She finally said, “I know that you sing very well and you also like to knit sweaters quietly. And Crow can caw very loudly and crow can collect shiny things very quietly. And I know Eagle can screech nicely and Eagle can also soar quietly on the wind. Loud or quiet, every bird is unique. Nobody can be a bird just like you Birdy Chirp Chirp.” Said Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw.
And Birdy Chirp Chirp understood and started to sing and dance in her own special way–like no other bird could. And Crow understood and started to hop in her own special way–like no other bird could.
And Eagle understood and soared in her own special way–like no other bird could.
And soon the other birds saw how much fun they were having being themselves that they began to understand.
“I’m not just any ol’ bird, I’m an ostrich and I like math!” Said Oscar the Ostrich.
“I’m not just any ol’ bird, I’m a pelican and I like to roller skate!” Said Mike the Pelican.
The next morning, when Birdy Chirp Chirp awoke, the big bright sun was shining and the flowers were dancing with the butterflies and the birds of the world were busy being themselves: Each one being a bird like no other bird could.
And Birdy knit a sweater. It was a very nice morning. It was a very birdy morning.

There once was a tailor.
He was a tiny tailor who lived in a small room in the attic of a bee barn. His name was Tootoot LePetite, and he specialized in making sweaters for the honey bees that lived below him. Every night the Bee Keeper would say goodnight to the bees and then bring Tootoot a cup of sleeping tea with a spoon of honey in it.
“Buzzzzz Buzzzzz!” The thousands of bees would say in unison to Tootoot before they fell asleep.
“Goodnight Honey Bees!” Tootoot would say and then he would hear them begin to snore:
“Snnnnooore….Buzzzz….Snnnoorrre……Buzzzz.”
And then it would be Tootoot’s favorite time of day. He would sip on his sleepy tea with a touch of honey in it and look out his window at his tiny town. He would see the gentle grey smoke reaching up from chimneys and candles being lit inside the cottages. He could see the people saying goodnight to friends on the sidewalks and hear the lullabies being sung to good little children being tucked into bed.
Then the very best part: Tootoot would look up into the sky and say:
“Goodnight my friend!”
And his friend the Star Friend would twinkle back.
“Twinkle Twinkle!”
Tootoot had to look carefully for his Star Friend because every night he would appear somewhere new in the night sky. One night Star Friend would hide by the Big Dipper, then the next by Leo, then Orion, Libra next, and so on with a new hiding place each night but Tootoot always found him.
“Twinkle Twinkle.” He would always say.

One day when Tootoot was handing out sweaters to the Honey Bees the Bee Keeper came into the Bee Barn and told Tootoot that she and the Honey Bees were moving to to a new town.
“There is a new field of clovers over the hill and we’re going to buzz on over there. Thank you for keeping the Honey Bees so warm all these years Tootoot. The Honey Bees wanted to give you a gift before they go.”
And at once all the Honey Bees flew up and landed all over Tootoot and tickled him with their tiny little hands.
Tootoot sang:
“Ha ha ha and hee hee hee
I’ve been tickled by a barn full of bees!
They make me laugh from my head to my feet
their tiny tickles are honey sweet.
Ha ha ha and hee hee hee
I’ve been tickled by a barn full of bees!”
Then the Bees all gave one big flutter of their wings and lifted together and Tootoot felt his
feet leave the ground and soon the Honey Bees swung him to and fro near the ceiling.
Tootoot was flying!
They set him safely back on the ground and then zipped away out the barn and over the hill.
Tootoot waved until the very last Bee went out of sight.
That night Tootoot looked out his window drinking his sleepy tea without any honey.
He looked up to the sky and said “Goodnight Star Friend!”
Suddenly instead of a twinkle he saw the Star Friend zip down out of the sky like a falling star down down down towards the dark fields.
“Oh no!” said Tootoot. Tootoot gathered up all of his needles and all this thread and put on his traveling coat and headed towards the dark fields where he saw Star Friend fall.
Tootoot traveled many long days and many dark and cold nights. Everyone he met said that they hadn’t seen any stars fall to the ground so Tootoot kept walking.
One day he met a tiny spider named Ocho hanging from some Spanish Moss.
“Have you seen a star fall to the ground?” Asked Tootoot.
“No, I have not. Lo siento. (Which is how Spanish Spiders say ‘I am sorry.’) But I may have just not seen it. You see, my eyes are often filled with tears because I am so sad and I might have mistaken a falling star for just another tear drop.”
“Why are you so sad Ocho?” Asked Tootoot.
“Because all the other spiders tease me. They tease me because I don’t make webs. I don’t like to make webs. I like to count. I like to count the numbers one through eight over and over.”
“I see. Well, if you’d like to help me look for Star Friend you’re welcome to join me.” Said Tootoot.
“Si, si!” Said Ocho (which is the way some Spanish Spiders say ‘yes’).
So the two set off together, with Ocho riding on Tootoot’s shoulder and Ocho would count each step Tootoot took until he reached eight and then he would start over again.
At the end of each day, Tootoot would ask Ocho how far they had gone.
“Well I counted to 8 224 times today.”
And then Ocho would tell Tootoot a bedtime story and they would say goodnight.

One day as they walked along, they met a Firefly sitting on a Volkswagen Beetle named
Heinrich.
“Have you seen a star fall to the ground?” Tootoot asked.
“Nein (Which is how German Fireflies say no).” He said. “But that doesn’t mean one didn’t. For you see, I am often so angry that I shoot sparks out of my tushy and I may have mistaken a falling star for just another of my tushy sparks.”
“Why are you so angry Heinrich?” Tootoot asked.
“Because all the other fireflies tease me because I don’t like to light up at night. I like to describe every thing I see using only the color blue.” Heinrich said.
“Well, if you would like to help us look for Star Friend you’re welcome to join us.”
“Ja ja!” Said Heinrich (Which is how German Fireflies say yes)

So they walked on and on and each day Heinrich would ride on Tootoot’s shoulder and would describe the scenery:
“That tree over there is a rich blue green and the sky is a wispy azure and the fence is a light Alice Blue and the reeds by the river are a bold Prussian Blue.” and so on like that.
At the end of the day Ocho would add up how far they went.
“Today I counted to 8 397 times.”
And they would tell each other stories at bedtime and fall asleep.

One day they met an old turtle sitting by a pond named Turtle Monk.
“Have you seen a star fall to the ground?” Asked Tootoot.
“I did not see it fall, but I saw where it landed.” Turtle Monk said.
Tootoot, Ocho, and Heinrich gasped: “Where!?”
“Right there in your eyes!” And Turtle Monk pointed at their tiny little eyes.
They bent down and looked in the pond and yes! They could see in each of their eyes there was a Twinkle! They had been looking for so long and the Star Friend had been twinkling right in their eyes the whole time!
They laughed and hugged each other.
Together they moved to the Big City Ant Hill where Tootoot would make sweaters for all the ants and Ocho would count Tootoot’s stitches up to eight over and over and Heinrich would describe the sun to the little ants who were to young to play outside: “It is a big round ball of bright Periwinkle” he would say.
And each night Tootoot would sing to them this lullabye:
“Twinkle twinkle little eyes
My love for you can fill the skies
I love you for who you are
and always will whether near or far
twinkle twinkle little eyes
my love for you can fill the skies.”

There once was an lagoon. It was a deep blue ocean and it was clear and clean.
Octopi gave each other big, complex sailor-knot hugs, and squid raced each other in figure eights.
Everything was very nice and calm. Until one day when Bumpy the Grump showed up.
Everyday Bumpy The Big Ol’ Grump would lounge in the lagoon and splash the manatees. He would wiggle his nose at the herons and would crawl around on the beach and make faces at the seals.
Bumpy would kick sand at the clams, and do silly dances behind the Sandpiper’s backs. Bumpy was a Big Ol’ Grump.
One day all the animals came to Monkey to ask him to do something about Bumpy.
“Have you asked him politely to stop?” Monkey asked.
“Many times, Monkey.” Said Mr. Walrus and everyone nodded except the Sea Cucumbers who just wobbled a bit.
Monkey got a plan to make banana smoothies for Bumpy everyday so that Bumpy’s Grumpies would go away and he would smile more and not be a Grump.
So the next day Monkey climbed up a tree to get bananas for Bumpy’s smoothie.
Oops! Monkey dropped the bunch of bananas and they fell down down down right on top of Bumpy’s head!
“Ouch!” Said Bumpy.
Monkey was so embarrassed and sorry! He felt really bad and chattered his teeth and scrambled down the tree to apologize and say “I’m Sorry Bumpy.”
But when Monkey got to the bottom of the tree Bumpy was talking to a Kelp.
“Wow! I just got hit on the head by the Sun!” Bumpy was saying.
The Bananas had squished on his head and now his eyes were covered up by banana peels.
“The whole world is now dark because the Sun fell down and hit me on the head!” Bumpy was getting really upset and even when Monkey tried to calm him down, Bumpy wouldn’t listen.
Suddenly, Bumpy got an idea.
“I’ve got the bestest mostest perfect idea in the whole big entire world! Bestest idea in the solar system! Even bigger! The Universe! The Multiverse!”
Monkey thought to himself, “This must be a pretty good idea by the sounds of it.”
Monkey watched as Bumpy proceeded to get onto his hands, kick his feet into the air and begin walking around the beach on his hands.
“Aha! Now the Sun will never hit my head again!” He proudly announced as he hand-walked away along the lagoon.
Bumpy seemed happy enough to walk every where on his hands so Monkey and the other animals let him enjoy himself.
And things returned to normal again. For a while.
Then one day Bumpy hand-walked over to a Pelican and made silly noises at her and wiggled his toes like a Big Ol’ Grump.
Soon he was right back into his old ways of bothering all the other animals, the only difference now is that he was on his hands. Monkey thought to himself: “Tonight I will make Bumpy a Banana Smoothie and he will be happy and not a Big Ol’ Grump.”
So that night Monkey climbed a tree to get some bananas.
Oops! Monkey dropped the bunch of bananas and they fell down down down right on top of Bumpy’s butt!
“Ouch!” Bumpy said. “The moon has just fell down on my butt!”
Bumpy became real upset and wouldn’t listen to Monkey when he tried to tell him:
“It was bananas. Not the moon!”
Bumpy did a hand spring into the water and hid hear the rocks.
“I’ll be very very very safe in the water between these rocks!” Bumpy said.
Monkey called out to Bumpy, “Bumpy! It was bananas! Not the moon!”
Bumpy stayed in the water.
He stayed there so long in fact that his feet turned into a big fishy fin and in three days he turned into a Mermaid!
Through the years, Bumpy the Mermaid would convince other animals in the lagoon that the sky was falling and they too would hide between the rocks with him and he would tell them for hours and hours about the time the Sun and the Moon fell down on him.
And it made Monkey and all the other animals happy to see that Bumpy was no longer a Big Ol’ Grump.

There once was a Circus. It was called “Meow Meow Circus” because all the performers were cats. The cats traveled all over the American South, each night setting up their Big Tent in a different town.
They were busy cats and had hardly anytime at all for all the things they liked to do: scratching, purring, licking, napping, staring out windows, looking at flowers, sleeping, and meowing.
But they all loved their jobs in the circus because they brought so much joy to the families who came to see them.
When “Meow Meow Circus” came to town, even the angry dogs would stop their barking. Everyone loved the hard working circus cats.
One day after all the big circus tents were packed up and loaded onto the train the train conductor said “All aboard!” and blew the whistle “Woooo Woooo!” and the train went over the hill “Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga Meeeeow Meeeow!”
But Oh No! There were Three Circus Cats still down by the river playing dice under the light of the Big Full Moon.
Rusty the Fire Eating Cat, Misty the Cannonball Cat, and Captain Butterfly the Trapeze Artist had been so busy rolling rice and having fun they missed the train!
“Oh boy oh boy oh boy when they go to hand me a burning torch I won’t be there to eat the fire!” Said Rusty.
“You think that’s bad, when they shoot the cannon nothing will happen! It will be a cat-less cannon! This is bad news for the circus!” Said Misty.
“The air. The air calls to me to swing through it. And here I am with my feet firmly planted on solid ground! A tragedy! A disaster! A CAT-astrophe!” Bellowed Captain Butterfly.
So the three cats got their paws trotting in purrr-suit of the Circus Train but soon it was out of sight and they walked along the train tracks, watching their tiny furry footsteps in the light of the Big Full Moon.
But Oh No! They came to a fork in the train tracks where they could go left or right and they didn’t know which way to go! Their kitty whiskers twitched and their kitty tails twirled.
“A train…left you…right?” Said a sloooow voice from the shadows.
“Step out into the open, you shadowy voice!” Captain Butterfly yelped.
Very slowly, a round mound stepped into the light. It was a giant turtle!
“Hello,” She bowed. “I am Turtle Monk…I didn’t mean to frighten you.” She wore a saffron colored robe and sandals.
“Which way did the train go!?” Said Captain Butterfly.
“Please..?” Added Rusty.
“The way the train went…Was the way you will not go.” Turtle Monk said.
“Of course it is! Just tell us left or right!” Said Captain Butterfly.
“Well…Train tracks are not for cats…Very dangerous you see…So if you walk down the wrong track I will make…a little sound that will make you think you chose correctly but you will suspect that I misled you…and you will think to go down the correct track…until you suspect that I misled you to go down that track…so you will then go back to the wrong track and…you will end up in Cleveland.” Said Turtle Monk.
“You are sure are sneaky!” Said Misty.
“But I will tell you where you can find Kitty Cat Trail. It is an easy walking path lined with pretty flowers and will take you directly to where you want to go.” Said Turtle Monk.
“Gee thank you!” Said Rusty.
“This going to be a riddle, I can sense it.” Said Misty.
“To find Kitty Cat Trail…to begin you must first look behind you.” Said Turtle Monk as she tucked her legs and arms into her robe and shell.
“Aha!” Said Captain Butterfly. “I’ve figured it out. Turtle Monk means that we must look within our memories and together we will find a pussy cat patchwork pattern of archetypal dreams!”
Rusty turned around and look behind himself. “No, she just meant that we had to look behind ourselves.”
“You sure are sneaky!” Said Misty.
“How long will it take us to get to the next town from here?” Asked Captain Butterfly.
“It depends…It depends on how fast you go. If you rush quickly you’ll make it by morning. If you take your time you’ll get there in an hour.” And with that, Turtle Monk tucked her head in her shell. A moment later, the Cats heard the song “Can I Get To Know You Better” playing from a radio inside.
So the Three Circus Cats set off on their way to the next town walking down Kitty Cat Trail.
“Come on you two! Hurry up! If we hurry we’ll get there in an hour and we’ll have time to get some sleep before tomorrow’s big show!” Yelled Captain Butterfly.
“Actually, Turtle Monk said that if we hurry, we’ll get there by morning. If we take our time we’ll get there in an hour.” Said Rusty.
“That’s ridiculous!” Said Misty. “Think about it. That doesn’t make sense!”
So they started running and hurrying and passing by all the pretty flowers that were dancing in the Big Full Moonlight. Lightning bugs whirled and whizzed and did a tiny fireworks display by a patch of honey suckle but the cats never saw it because they were running so fast.
Suddenly, Misty and Rusty got their tiny feet stuck in a mud puddle.
“Squishy! Squishy! Meow Meow!” They said.
Captain Butterfly grabbed a branch of a nearby Pussy Willow Tree and swung over the mud puddle and grabbed Misty and Rusty and landed them safely on the trail.
“Thank goodness you know trapeze!” They said.
They ran and ran and ran some more and suddenly they came across a fire that blocked Kitty Cat Trail and they couldn’t get past.
Rusty stepped close and took three big bites “Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!” and ate up all the fire and they started running again.
“Thank goodness you eat fire!” They said.
And they ran and ran and ran some more until they got to a very high mountain that blocked Kitty Cat Trail and they couldn’t go any further.
Suddenly, Misty saw a cannon and she had Captain Butterfly hold on to her tail as she shot herself out of the cannon and landed on the top of the mountain. She set Captain Butterfly down safely and walked back down the mountain and had Rusty hold onto her tail as she shot herself back up to the top.
“Thank goodness you’re a kitty cannonball!” They said.
They ran down the other side of the mountain and got to the Circus just as the morning sun lit up the Big Circus Tent.
“Morning! Already! Oh No! But Turtle Monk said if we hurried it would only take an hour!” Said Misty.
The Big Circus Boss saw the three cats and said “Shame on you! You missed the train and you are very late! You weren’t here to get a good night’s sleep like all good cats need! I am very disappointed.” Said the Big Circus Boss.
“But a Turtle Monk said that if we would hurry we would get here hours ago and we ran the whole way!” Said Captain Butterfly.
“No, no, tut,tut.” Said the Big Circus Boss. “He told you if you took your time you’d be here in an hour and if you hurried it would take all night. That is just what we told him to say when we saw him by the train track. We then sent out the Lightning Bugs from the Insect Parade Brass Band to signal to stand still so the Owls from the Owl Cabaret could pick you up and fly you back here. But you just kept running and running and running some more.”
“Oh.” They said.
“Hoot! Hoot!” Said the Owl Cabaret.
“You’re fired.” Said the Big Circus Boss.
So the three cats went down by the river and began to play poker. Just as they were beginning to have a real good time, it was getting too dark to see.
Suddenly the Big Full Moon came up over the trees.
“Thank goodness for your moonlight!” They said.

Our cultures are facing the shock of science! I hate test tubes and microscopes for the most part with the exception of when they are used as props in science fiction movies.
Can’t you see what this modern era of the last six hundred years has been doing to us?! Its getting harder and harder to get a spirit possession properly diagnosed and your village’s well protected from various vampiric creatures including Biting Blankets and Wooly Mammoth Wooly Socks.
We are undergoing a paradigm shift.
But not everyone and everything need be vulnerable to the seemingly inexorable march of science’s influence!
Yes, my brothers and sisters our minds are the last great fortress against those evil forces of Reason.
Our old gods can take respite in the hold-out of your mind and I encourage each of you to hold fast in the face of facts and objectivity.
What we have always held dear is our human capacity to instill fear and give explanation and meaning through off-the-cuff story telling and no amount of Education can rip that instinct from our primitive minds!

Take for example the Wind Wolf. Hear that noise outside? You know what that is. It is the Werewolf’s inbred cousin who visits children during windy nights and howls among the alleys and parking lots. The Wind Wolf smells the sin of lust and Self Pleasure. That howling is a warning Little Ones! Beware and repent!
You may hear from younger generations who have been indoctrinated with the ‘new worldview’ that Wind Wolves have never been proven to truly punish children who incite their lustful longings with exploratory hands and shower nozzles but remind them: sometimes Wind Wolves exact their punishment in the afterlife!
Take heed before it’s too late!

And who hasn’t noticed that the religion of the Floorafe has diminished in recent years?
Yes, the tale of the Floorafe has largely been pushed aside in favor of “evolution” and “common sense,” both of which are purely tools of the Cloven Hoofed Old Scratch.
We can all recall the story of the Floorafe:
In the beginning a giant giraffe filled the whole of the cosmos. Its wisdom and neck were limitless.
It created humanity and was pleased with the way humans groveled underfoot.
Over many millenia humans learned to walk upright and started to see themselves as equals to the Great Giraffe in The Sky.
Given that the Great Spotted Lanky One was Eternally Humble, She said to Herself,
“Okay, you humans think you’re so great…I’ll allow myself to shrink and not stand in your way of development and growth.”
So She shrunk and allowed humans to have more and more control and understanding of Her universe.
Soon humans were exploring space and manipulating DNA….And more did She shrink.
Before long humans were feeling pretty good about themselves–they were healing diseases, predicting storms, and those aspects of the universe that had once been mysteries to them opened up before the human species and they found less and less need for astral powers and spiritual beings.
The Great Giraffe shrunk even further until Her neck was touching Her shoulders and She looked no different than a humble horse. As humanity’s strength grew, She shrunk even more until she was two dimensional and as flat as a string of nanomolecules.
Now, The Great Giraffe hides in the floorboards of Her True Believers and is known among the initiated as the Floorafe.
She is only seen in the ‘heart of faith’ or sometimes makes Herself known under the feet of Her devotees when She makes a slight creaking noise.
“Oh, that’s just a loose floorboard.” some skeptics will say.
Ha!
We know the Truth.

Yes, there are many extinct Gods and Goddesses but with the proper upkeep of our mindscapes, we can hold on to the last remaining ghouls of our ancestors.

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