Stories For Thing

Unfinished

girl

Today on the bus called Back Home
I dangled my legs and wrote a pome
About when I’d be a lady and all,
Jiggly chest, lipstick and tall.

I should like to marry a millionaire
And own a bookshop, one here, two there.
Or I’ll marry a bookshop and turn it out
With tea and scones and an orange cat stout

I would butter my cats and pet my scones
And pour tea down red tellyphones.
I’d knead and bake old Rumpelstiltskin
Top him with Playdoh, sprinkle him with mint.

I’d stand on fat books to trap the fairy (tales) in
Order them to stop being so pretty, and pull out a wing.
I’d tell rude old women, who came in for tea
Exactly what I think of them completely for free.

That’ll show them for pinching my cheeks
Or crushing my face to their pudding chest of fleece.
I’d run far away if I was asked to be polite
Disappear to secret places and give my folks a fright.

I’d empty the refrigerator and leave open the door
For my polar bears to climb in, to slumber and snore
My flamingo would be my sceptre, my staff
Or would I need something taller, maybe a giraffe?

I’d make a thing, all shiny and clean
that goes around call it the More and More Machine.
what would it make more of i don’t quite know
more and more rubbish maybe, a lot more than before

i could tell you about my teachers in school
wearing a man’s shoes, missing a toe, keeping the rule
but the Back Home Bus has brought me home
where I’ll be too busy to finish this poem

By Sandhya Menon

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Party in the rain

 

a

Umbrellas, open, strewn all over the living room halted Mama in her tracks.

She was confused. She had cleaned this room, hadn’t she?

Then she heard her ChumChum giggle, like bells in the wind and she wasn’t confused anymore.

She peeked inside the nearest umbrella, “What are you doing, little Miss?’

“This is my fort”, said ChumChum, “it’s where I hide from Rain?”

“You love the rain, why are you hiding from it?”

“Because Rain always pours when I’m not looking”, ChumChum said patiently, “and if Rain pours I can go out to play.”

Mama nodded. “Ok then, have fun.”

“No, you can’t go Mama. Come have soup with me.”

“This is delicious ChumChum”, said Mama taking a sip, ‘what’s in it?”

ChumChum rolled her eyes, “It’s just water, Mama”.

“It’s delicious water.”

Rain didn’t pour that afternoon. Mama and ChumChum didn’t notice. They were too busy shoring up ChumChum’s fort, building boats from super strong paper, drinking soup.

Ninja Duckie

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Thing slays dragons for breakfast

20120811-215032.jpg

Thing slays dragons for breakfast,
And dunks aliens in her soup.
She spells “mulligatawny”.
While twisting giraffes to a hoop.

She turns cabinets to rockets
And rockets to snails.
She takes them to the movies
After supping with the whales.

Thing’s waterslide’s a crocodile.
Her aeroplane’s a bee.
Her hair is the Amazon.
Her handkerchief’s a tree.

Thing takes tadpoles to the opera.
And waits till they become frogs,
And frogs become princes,
And princes become hogs.

She trains Cyclops to reggae
And Pluto to hip-hop.
Hercules to jazz
And Caesar to rock.

Thing’s closet’s a sanctuary
Of yellow-orange coats.
Of hot pink cyclones.
And biscuit-flavoured boats.

Her pencil can turn broccoli
Into tufts and tufts of smoke.
Homework into candy floss,
Erasers into soap.

Thing drinks up the Milky Way
In one giant gulp.
The stars and the planets,
The Queen and the Hulk.

Then, in comes Mum
To turn off the lights.
Thing shuts her book
And closes her  eyes.

Off she goes dreaming
Of  strawberry skies,
Of lemon meringues,
And blueberry pies.

Gauri Burma

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Thing is Five

Little Thing lay herself down to sleep
Her eyes open she would not keep
On her pillow she stubbornly lay her head
“Tomorrow I shall be a big girl!”, she said.

“I will get hugs and kisses galore,
A tiny thing I shall be no more.
I’ll be very tall and as strong as a bear
I’ll throw my Mahm up and down in the air.”

So it could come fast, she slept very soon,
While over her watched the ever smiling moon.
It sent her dreams, so colourful and odd
In her sleep we could see her smile and nod.

She dreamt of a dragon, wreaking havoc over Britain.
She cast a shrinking spell on it, had it mewling like a kitten.
Pet dragon on her shoulder, firm ground beneath her feet
She set off once more, what strange people she would meet!

In each land she brought peace and calm
She had learnt well from her wise Mahm
She set them all a’ laughin’ with her terrible jokes
She had learnt them from her dad, what a funny bloke.

She settled in a village with her dragon named Mandy
Everyone refused to stop giving her candy.
She lived there for years until she got bored
And then she decided to once again, hit the road.

In her travels she came across many a chance
To stop and with all the countryfolk dance.
She jumped and she pranced until Mandy got weary
Then she went and brought light to lands more dreary.

All this happened and she was hale and hearty,
But oh no! She hadn’t yet gotten her 5th birthday party!
As the thought struck her she struggled once more
She couldn’t wake up! Oh what a bore.

But wake up she did and hugged everyone tight!
It had been a long long lovely night.
She stood on her bed and in the pillows she did dive,
It was her day, her year, she was now five.

By L’il Pun

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Adventures of FAT LOUIE. Episode 4: The Party & the Intruder

Fat Louie

Fat Louie (for those who just joined us, is a brown Bear and) is a class hero of 5th Grade in Jungle Tot’s school. Today he was at his best friend Ninja Duckie’s birthday party. The party was being held in a secluded Party Place away from all the homes of Jungle tots. Fat Louie had never been here. It was breath-taking! The whole place was done up to look like Lisbon; or so he was told, he didn’t know what Lisbon looked like! No wonder it was called “Portuguese Party Place”. Fat Louie had never seen a sea or waves. He had seen a river and even a waterfall, but not waves & a sea shore. They had created all this at the Party Place. Fat Louie wondered what Portuguese food would be like. He hoped they would have some fish here for him to eat!

He need not have worried because he saw some orangutans dragging a net from the shore and gleaming fish were jumping in the net. He felt as if he had been transported to some far off place. He wondered whether it was all for real.

He then saw Ninja Duckie. She looked, he thought a bit uncomfortable in her part dress, and then she came & hugged him. He suddenly remembered the gift he was clutching tightly and handed that to her. She squealed in delight after opening it and seeing her favourite chocolate truffles. Her mother appeared and stopped her from eating it all right there. Fat Louie then found himself in the middle of the party with his friends Sid the bunny & Druider the sloth and a lot of others.

Parrots were doing a great Rap song and there were bodies on the floor gyrating away; Sid was doing his favourite bunny hop and Fat Louie did his own version of Gangnam style stopping now and then to nibble on the appetizers of Bombil stuffed with nuts and taking sips of mountain dew. Druider was the only one not dancing; he was sniffing around for tacos stuffed with termites.

Suddenly they heard a commotion near the front door and a scream!

The parrots stopped singing and there was an uneasy silence. They heard the Orang-utan at the door say “You can’t come in here” and the gruff reply “watch me”!

They saw the long snout of Wily the Wolf dressed in a Hoodie. The Wolf had gate crashed Ninja Duckie’s party. The 5th graders looked around aghast. Their parents had all gone leaving them to have a good time. Wily wolf entered the party room with an evil grating laugh. Ninja Duckie was paralysed with fear. All around the room it was as if they were playing the game ‘statue’. No one moved.

No one except Fat Louie. Fat Louie drew himself up to his full height and gave a big roar. The biggest he had ever done. Fat Louie then charged at Wily Wolf unmindful of the consequences. There was an audible gasp from around the room. To everyone’s surprise and delight Wily turned tail and ran out! Everyone in the room clapped! The orangutans shut and bolted the front door and the party started again.

Fat Louie was the hero again. Fat Louie had saved Ninja Duckie’s party! The jungle tots would have carried their hero on their shoulders except he was too heavy! There were lots of high fives and fist punches. Birds sang & the parrots rapped even more. Even Druider the sloth was enjoying himself.

What a memorable party this was, it would be remembered for many years! When the Moms came to collect the tots they were in for a great story!

Thing’s good friend, Rian

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Billy the Meaniebutt Shark gets a surprise

    meaniebutt

This is the third and final part of the story about the Little Princess vs. Billy the Meaniebutt Shark. Now then, how much of parts 1 and 2 do you remember? To be honest, Frisbee the cat had to remind me of everything that happened before because I didn’t pay proper attention.

If you remember, Lola the Bulldog told Frisbee a story about a little girl who liked to hunt sharks. One day, the little princess heard about a really mean and nasty shark named Billy, and so she set out on the high seas with her loyal crew of Jolly Pirates to find him.

Billy lived in a house inside of a volcano, which sat in the center of a scary, dangerous place called Shark Island. Lucky for Billy, the house was lava-proof, just in case the volcano ever got sick and threw up.

Billy loved the water, but because he was hired to keep Shark Island clean, he had to spend most of his time on land. Some sharks agreed that this was what probably made Billy extra especially grumpy.

One day, Billy was at home watching television and eating a human and cheese sandwich. “Nom Nom Nom,” he said. Humans with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and mustard, on whole wheat bread, was his favorite.

“So what if I’m getting a pot belly,” he grumbled, thinking about some of the jokes other sharks had made about him when they thought he couldn’t hear them. “Some things just taste better than skinny feels.”

He burped. It was a very loud burp.

Billy was watching a musical. People were dancing and singing, and he liked to think about which of them he would put into his favorite sandwich first.

Suddenly, the security alarm went off. There was an intruder on Shark Island! Billy checked the security camera and saw a little girl with long dark hair and a pretty blue dress crying and stumbling along. She looked lost.

“Well, well,” Billy said. “Looks like I’ll be having an after dinner mint.”

Eagerly, Billy rushed out to meet the snack sized human, giggling to himself because he had decided to play a little game.

The little girl walked through the jungle of Shark Island, sobbing. “Oh woe is me!” she cried. “Mama was so right about me! I am my own kryptonite!” And if you listened closely, you would have heard her add, just under her breath: “I can’t believe I just said Mum was right! I’d better get an award for this performance.”

The little girl tripped over nothing in particular, collapsed into her arms, and shuddered with sobs.

By the time Billy the Shark arrived, he was almost starting to feel sorry for the poor lost girl. Almost.

“There there, little lady, why are you crying so?” he turned on his most concerned uncle voice.

The little girl looked up at him. Her eyes got big and round like saucers. Billy took this to mean that the girl was quite frightened indeed.

“Don’t be afraid. I won’t eat you,” he grinned. All of his teeth were showing, which wasn’t very reassuring.

Nevertheless, the little girl said: “Oh Mr. Shark, Mr. Shark! I’m lost and hungry and sad! Can you help me, please?”

“By all means,” Billy agreed. “I’ll take you to get something nice to eat, ok?”

“Ok,” said the little girl. Um, but I can’t eat food and swim underwater at the same time.”

Actually, a little mermaid had taught the little girl how, but the shark didn’t need to know about that.

“I have a house here on the island, inside of a volcano. Don’t worry, it’s lava-proof.”

So, Billy lead the girl back to his volcano home, asking her all sorts of questions about her parents, where she had come from, and how she had gotten lost.

“My parents and I were on vacation,” the girl lamented. “We were so happy, until the storm came and smashed up our boat.”

“Terrible,” Billy said.

“My dad was only 37—it’s such a shame. At least my mum was 89, and lived a full life, you know?”

“Wow. 37 and 89,” Billy remarked. “That’s not just May-December, that’s Mayan Calender-December.”

“And yet somehow they made it work,” the little girl nodded.

“And what is your name little girl?”

“Um…I have amnesia.” The little girl said.

“Pretty name,” Billy remarked.

Soon, back at Billy’s house, the little lost girl seemed much less worried about her plight. In fact, she walked around the shark’s place with intense curiosity.

“Now, let’s find you something to eat!” Billy said, almost licking his chomps. “Fatten you up a bit,” he muttered. He went to his refrigerator and looked in. “Tell me little girl, what would you like to eat, hm?”

“Can I have a shark burger, please?” the little dark haired girl asked sweetly.

Billy the Meaniebutt Shark turned to her. “That’s not funny, little girl,” he said, narrowing his eyes.

“I wasn’t making a funny,” the little girl assured him, still smiling.

“Who are you?” Billy the Shark asked. There was something odd about this little lost girl, and he was suddenly getting a very bad feeling about all of this.

“Well, it’s not amnesia,” said the little girl. “Not even close. It doesn’t even rhyme with amnesia. Do you want to know what it rhymes with? I’ll tell you: it rhymes with sting. Not sting like a bee sting. Sting like: surprise! It’s a trap!”

Billy finally realized who this strange little girl was who had suddenly turned up frightened and alone on Shark Island, of all islands. He’d never seen her before, but he’d definitely heard of her.

The little girl whose name rhymed with shark hunting.

The little princess named Thing.

“No!” Billy the Meaniebutt Shark screamed. “Somebody! Haalp!”

“Say hello to my Big Bad Mum!” the little princess shouted.

“Oh no!” Billy cried. “Your mom’s here too! That’s not fair! How bad is she?”

“She’s awful!” the little princess admitted, “but I’m talking about my magical sword, see?”

She held it out for him to see. It was bright and shiny, and it looked very sharp.

Billy shuddered. “Please don’t turn me into Meanibutt shark cutlets!”

“Quiet down!” the little princess commanded. “If you surrender peacefully, I won’t have to.”

Billy stifled his sobs and tried to look as helpless and pathetic as possible.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, stinky shark!” the little princess said. “You’re such a bully, and just like all bullies, you’re really just a big ole coward at heart.”

“I’m sorry!” Billy whimpered. “What do you want me to do to make up for all of my bad ways? I’ll do anything.”

“Billy, Billy, Billy! You’ve been a bad boy! I’m going to take you to Shark Zoo.”

“Not Shark Zoo!” Shark Zoo was famous for being a place where sharks had to go in order to learn how to behave, and even do school work.

If they learned good manners, and promised to be good every day, the sharks would finally be set free again. Billy had met a few sharks who had graduated from Shark Zoo, and they were so boring.

“It’s not a zoo!” Billy complained. “It’s a prison! You turn perfectly natural sharks into wimpy little guppies. I betchu if I was a dolphin, you wouldn’t send me to such a nasty place–and dolphins are much worse than sharks!”

“What are you, an activist?” the little princess snapped. “Don’t talk to me about dolphins! I’m a shark hunter, okay? Now, hold still while I tie you up!”

And so, the little princess and her Jolly Pirates took Billy the Meaniebutt Shark to Shark Zoo. At first, Billy was very sad and bored there, but the little princess wrote him letters—and even sent some tasty snacks (not humans)—which brightened Billy’s spirits immensely. Before long, Billy was the best behaved, most studios shark in all of Shark Zoo; even standing up to bullies who liked to cause trouble there.

Billy had become so good and nice that by the time he we was free to live in regular waters again, he had gotten a new nickname: Billy the Goody-Goody Shark Who Always Likes to Brag That He’s Princess Thing’s Pal.

By Saladinho

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Any Thing you want to be

Baa. Badum. BOOSH!

Thing fell on her tush. “Ow!” it hurt, “I don’t like you,” she wagged her finger at the errant stone.

“Sorry, little Miss,” said he.

“But, but… stones cannot speak!”

“Who made the rules?

Must be some fool

Whose bed was full of bugs.

You can’t be here

Causing such fear –

You shall get no free hugs.’”

Thing made a face. “But that’s wrong. If hugs are free, everyone should get them.”

“You have much to learn, little Thing

Of happy silences and liars who sing.”

But Thing had bigger worries to worry. Where was she, where were Mahm and Dada?

“Dream’s Cape” said Stone.

 

Fig 1

 

“No. Dreamscape.”

 

Fig 2

 

“Let’s go,” said Stone, wobbling from side to side.

“There’s much to see

And places to be,

C’mon girlie

Keep up with me.”

Thing skipped along – adventure time! ‘Maybe I’ll get something to eat too. My tum-tum is getting all rumbly,’ she thought.

————————————

They walked and wobbled, walked and wobbled, and in no time, they were in a white-white room with shiny-shiny things.

“Where are we?” asked Thing. All this white…and all little Thing could think about was how much better it would look if it was all coloured in.

“Why, hello!” said a big girl in a big white coat. ‘She reminds me of someone,’ thought Thing, ‘but who? Like Mahm and a little like Dada, but not exactly. Oh oh! What did she say?’ Thing tried to listen carefully.

“This isn’t your first time in a hospital, no?” said the white coated big girl.

“But it is,” said Thing. If it wasn’t, the place would not be so very white.

“Ah. But you were in a place quite like this around the time you were born.”

“How do YOU know? Were you there too?”

“In a way,” she said with a smile. “Do you know what this is?” She handed Thing a big plasticky black thingy with a shiny metallic U thingy.

“Doctor uncle carries this around. Are you a doctor too?”

She smiled again, “Indeed. And this is a stethoscope.”

‘Stethoscope. That’s a nice word. Ste-thus-cope. Stay-thus-cope. Stir-the-scope. Stereo-scope.’

“Do you want to try it?”

Thing was thrilled. She’d been thinking about the very same thing since she first touched it.

So the Doctor girl put the black tips of the U thingy in Thing’s little ears and placed the heavy disc thingy on little Thing’s chest. “Do you hear that?” She sounded so far away. And suddenly, Thing heard the most amazing thing.

“Lub dubb. Lub dubb. Lub dubb.”

She took it off her ears, “It’s like someone’s playing drums inside me!”

“That’s your heart.”

Fig 3

 

“Thank you for your patience,

But we have to get to other places.”

Thing had forgotten Stone was even there.

‘But I want to know what other instruments play inside me,’ thought Thing. But he was already wobbling away. So she waved a quick goodbye to Doctor girl and smiled her biggest smile.

“Goodbye Miss. Goodbye.”

“Bye-bye, little girl,” she said, “bye-bye.”

————————————

The ground was getting rough and walking was now tough. Every now and again, Thing thought she was lost. So many Stones, where was hers? But only one would move, muttering “C’mon, c’mon”. Good thing stones weren’t normally in the habit of talking.

Eventually, the ground smoothed out and sloped, so that Stone was mostly rolling than wobbling. Suddenly, they found themselves in a cave-like room. One wall was all glass, holding an ocean behind.

“Beyond the waves of infinity

Lie generations of my family,

Some sharp, some dull, some much like me.”

Stone was singing his tuneless song. Thing didn’t understand. So she pressed her face against the glass but her nose got in the way.

In the distance, she saw a little fish, grey and chubby and generally harmless. Its big mouth was stretched in an even bigger smile. That was growing by the second. Bigger and BIGGER OH GOD HE’S GOING TO CRASH! But there was only a slight thump as the BIG grey chubby fish hit the glass gently.

From behind its mighty fin emerged a much smaller, much slimmer black creature, with googly eyes and pipes and things. On closer examination, Thing realised, why, this ‘thing’ looked almost human!

“Who or what is that?” she asked Stone.

“A scuba diver is she,

An adventurer under sea,

A friend of the fishes who

Is vegetarian too.”

‘Makes sense,’ thought Thing, ‘I don’t eat my friends either.’

And then she saw the diver girl do the most bizarre thing with her hand. Like an ancient gesture or an other worldly salute.

 

Fig 4

 

Thing tried to do it herself and got it wrong a few times – everybody does. But she got it eventually. The diver girl flashed her a thumbs-up and swam off, much like her fish friends. Thing looked down at Stone. He was already wobbling on his way.

————————————

They walked through a dimly lit tunnel and soon were out in the open again. Thing stretched her arms far and wide; she never liked dark places. As she tried to stretch out and out of her body, she heard something in the distance – was that music? “Uh…” she opened her mouth to ask Stone, but he had no ears. But he could hear her speak. For that matter, she never really saw a mouth on him either. He fixed her with a stony stare with eyes that weren’t quite there. She’d fallen behind again. “Alright, alright. I’m coming. Sheesh.”

Soon they were walking in a pretty little garden, complete with green grass, fragrant flowers and there’s that music again!

Up ahead was a person sitting with her back to them. And Thing was sure it was a girl because her long and curly hair was tied into a braid. The big boys with long hair never did that.

Stone wobbled up to this girl and plopped on the grass before her. So Thing did likewise. She was very polite like that. And she finally saw where the music was coming from.

“Your guitar is so small!” said Thing. The girl stopped playing and smiled. “This, my dear, is a ukulele.”

“A yuka what?”

“You-ka-ley-li,” she said and handed it to her. Thing was overjoyed. Normally, people told her not to touch this and that. But here, everyone was giving things to her without her even asking for it.

She took the mini guitar. It was just the right size for her. She strummed it like she saw the girl do.

 

Fig 5

 

“Whoa!”she wanted to keep this thing with her forever. But it wasn’t hers to keep, so she gave it back sadly. The girl took it back and with a smile that never waned, she played them a song. And the song was so snappy, boy, it was so happy, that Thing got up on her feet and twirled and jumped and swayed in time to the music. “Once more!” she cried, when the song was done. So the girl played again, and kept playing as Thing and Stone skipped along on their way.

————————————

They came to a spot in the garden that had rocks of the size one could rest their bums on rather comfortably. Thing’s tum-tum was rumbling like anything, more so for she could smell the mangoes nearby. But, big as she was, the tree was so much bigger than her. She looked hopefully at Stone, who nodded (probably). He wobbled up the tree, but kept to the lower branches – stones are not used to such heights you see. He disappeared among the leaves and one by one, mangoes ploinked down on the grassy floor. Thing caught as many as her little hands could and settled down to eat. As Stone wobbled down the tree, Thing laid out the mangoes on her lap and worked on them one at a time like a good girl, but seeing how Stone might feel a little left out, she picked him up and offered him some.

“Now that we’ve met them peoplesies,

How many things did you really see?”

Thing wiped her mouth and smoothed her dress and thought back on her trip. “Three,” she said with obvious pride, stumbling with the words, eyes open wide, “thing with UK’s layli, thing with scuba driver and thing with…um, stereoscope!”

“Try again, but this time think

Were they all different or really the same Thing?”

————————————

“Thing! Wake up. Come on now.” That was Mahm’s voice. Thing opened her little eyes. She was in her room, all tucked up in bed. “Good morning, sleepyhead.”

“Good morning Mahm,” said Thing with a huge yawn.

“Off you go to the bathroom, little girl.” Thing skipped away to brush her teeth. Mahm was making the bed when suddenly she found something under the blanket. “Silly Thing. What things she collects.” She put it aside.

Sometimes a stone is a girl’s best friend.

By Ozone Baby

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ChumChum and Nana

shutterstock_69002632ChumChum and Nana sat on the swing, pushing it back and forth and all the while ChumChum talked about her school, and her friends, Adi, Tara and Mini. Nana’s pet dog Bruno slept with his head in ChumChum’s lap. She tickled him behind his ears, just to see them twitch in his sleep.

“You know Nana, the aeroplanebird is not a bird and it is not small either. When will I get to eat mangoes? Are those mangoes up there on the trees in your garden? Which bird is that? Your garden is so nice Nana. Can I water your plants tomorrow? I want to eat mangoes, Nana.” She chimed in one breath.

Nana laughed her tinkling laugh, “Do you want to walk with me and see the mango trees?”

Bruno sat straight and looked up at Nana. He was as happy as ChumChum to go to the garden. He grabbed his squeaky toy and ran after them on his stubby legs.

There was a hammock tied to two of the mango trees. Nana lay ChumChum on it and then lay down next to her. The sunlight streamed through the leaves and fell on to their faces. ChumChum raised her hand and moved it around to feel the warm rays play on her arm. She giggled “Nana, these sun rays are playing hide and seek with my arm”.

Nana raised her arm and pointed to the top of the tree “See there ChumChum, you see that green little thing? That is a baby mango.”

“But Nana, mangoes are yellow. My teacher showed us a picture.”

“Yes ChumChum, mangoes are yellow. But before they become yellow, they are green. And you know, the green ones are sour and not sweet like the yellow mangoes.”

“Sour like curd?”

“Umm, not like curd. Mango sour is a different sour. Like when you feel naughty and hide behind a chair and jump out in front of Mama and giggle. That giggle is sour. It tickles you.”

“I want to eat the sour mango, Nana, and laugh a naughty laugh.”

Now Nana had been hiding a mango in her satchel for just a time like this. She cut a small piece for ChumChum and herself. “Now we both will eat this after I count to three. Okay? One…two…three!”

ChumChum took a quick bite and the naughty mango tickled her teeth. She shut her eyes tight and squeaked. “NANA! The mango is so sour!”

Nana laughed, and ate her piece of mango and squeaked just like ChumChum.

“I want more Nana!”

Bruno looked up at them, wondered what the fuss was about and ran off to explore the garden. His favourite thing in the world to do.

By Ninja Duckie

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Frisbee’s Nine Lives

tuxedo

My name is Mraomeowkookow, but my human calls me Frisbee. Now everyone calls me Frisbee. Even Lola, who ought to know better. I’m a black cat with bits of white patiently and delicately painted on my paws, and about my face and throat; right around where my Vishudda resides. Everybody agrees that I’m quite handsome. Actually, they say I’m “beautiful”, or “cute”, even though I’m a boy. Oh well, I don’t complain. My human feeds me often enough (sometimes she ignores me when I demand special treats—I let her get away with it because I’m from a noble lineage, and it would not due to make unseemly outbursts).

I have a friend—I guess she’s a friend—named Lola. Did I tell you about Lola? Get this: She’s a dog. A Bulldog, in fact. And they call her beautiful too! I shouldn’t be mean. I like Lola (don’t tell her I said that). I can overlook the fact that her face looks like it’s been flattened in by one of those frying pans my human uses to cook fish for me. Okay, okay, I’ll stop…Lola is a good egg. She’s even shaped like one—if an egg had four legs.

I suppose I should tell you a story. It isn’t going to be a good story, but don’t blame me. For me, to my mind, the best stories are short. Like this: “Once there was a little princess in a faraway land called India. Her name rhymed with string, wing, and ring-a-ding-ding. She liked to wrestle sharks, bookshelves, and wits with her Mum.” The end. Now, if I were the one who had told such an exciting, heart-wrenching story, I’d take a nap right after.

Mm! Fish! I’m hungry. And sleepy. I think I’ll take a nap after all. Don’t go away! I’ll be right back! SNOOOOORRRREEEEE!!! PUUURRRRR!!! Yawn! Stretch! Eat fish!!

I’m back. I had such a great nap. And when I awoke, my human gave me a fish burger. With ice cream and cake…and wine! Okay: I lied about the wine.  My human drinks wine, though. A lot. I remember one day not long ago, my human was drinking wine and eating chocolate, and telling me I was her only friend, when some man human came to visit, with a whole armful of flowers.

My human was so angry at the man. You should have seen her. I guess she doesn’t like flowers. She started yelling and screaming. The man kept stammering “But-but-but—honey I’m sorry! Please don’t be mad!” Not having it, my human chased him away with a frying pan. My fish frying pan. Humans make me shake my head.

With all the yelling, I decided to slip outside my apartment—which is on the second floor of a large complex of neat little boxes stacked side by side— and go downstairs to walk over to Lola’s house, just across the street. I stopped at the sidewalk and looked both ways before crossing. I had to make sure that there were no cars coming, because I’m such a sensible lad.

“Hey Frisbee!” said Whaump-whaump the squirrel. He was in the middle of the street, and he waved at me to come over.

“Get out of the street, Whaump,” I told him.

“Humans don’t own the street!” Whaump said. He liked to think of himself as a rebel.

“That won’t stop them from running you over if you get in their way,” I said. Conversations with Whaump-whaump had a tendency to turn political.

“Come here a second.” The squirrel said. He was holding something in his tiny paws. I was curious, but an ancient proverb came to mind, and I decided to wave him off.

“Pff!” I said. I was busy. I had better things to do.

“C’mon, dude!” Whaump-whaump said “You can go see your girlfriend later!” He giggled at me. He liked to tease me about Lola.

“Sounds like someone’s jealous,” I sniffed. It was a new tactic I’d learned from my human. Pretend that something doesn’t bother you, even when it does. It was called Massive Suggestion, I think.

“You always act like you’re better than everybody,” the squirrel sneered.

“I do not act like I’m better than everybody,” I stiffened. “I am better than everybody.” Perhaps that was a bit uncalled for, being so brutally honest, but the squirrel was getting my back up.

“Scaredy cat! Scaredy cat!” Whaump-whaump taunted.

I started to cross the street, ignoring the idiot squirrel.

“Hey, Frisbee!” He shouted at me, “What’s the use of having nine lives if cats are so afraid to do anything with them?”

I stopped.

I think now would be a good time to tell you the moral of my story. I know you’re supposed to wait until your story’s actually finished to tell it, but it occurs to me how often in life we already know a lesson before we foolishly put ourselves through all the trouble of having to learn it.

Anyway, the moral of my story is this: don’t let silly squirrels shame you into standing in the middle of the street with them.

Okay, now back to the story: I walked over to Whaump-whaump. “What are you holding” I asked, nonchalantly. Nonchalantly. That’s another word for pretending not to care about something.

“It’s an almond,” Whaump said. “Want to play ‘Hurry Up and Catch It’?”

“What’s ‘Hurry Up and Catch It’?” I asked, forgetting to be annoyed that the only thing the squirrel was holding was his lunch.

“It’s a game. You take an almond—or an acorn if you have one—and you put it in the middle of the street, and then you run to the sidewalk and wait until you hear a human’s metal monster coming. Then you spring into the street, grab the almond-or acorn-and run back to the sidewalk before the metal monster catches you!”

I  stared at Whaump-whaump while he beamed at me like a lunatic.

“Do squirrels have something like catnip, only it’s for squirrels,” I asked. “Because it looks like you’re taking it.”

“C’mon! It’ll be fun!”

“You can stay in the middle of the street if you want, but my Spider-Sense is tingling, and I’m going to get out of —HOLY TUNA FISH!!!”

Suddenly, out of the parking lot of my apartment complex, my human’s man came speeding out in his huge red metal monster, headed right for us.

“AAAAHHHH! WE DIDN’T START THE GAME YET!” Whaump-whaump screamed.

I couldn’t move. Neither of us could move. We were frozen in terror.

Just before it was too late, the metal monster screeched to a stop. It was standing nearly on top of us. It smelled of burning rubber, fish pans, and sad roses. It made a large blaring roar.

This time I moved. I ran over to Lola’s side of the street, Whaump-whaump right on my tail, and sighed in relief once I made it away from the huge ugly thing safely.

It took us a few minutes to catch our breaths.

“Hi guys,” a voice chirped happily at us, making us jump.

It was only Lola.

“Hey Lola! We were playing a game!”

I looked at Whaump-whaump. I couldn’t tell if he was lying to preserve our dignity, or if he really thought our terrible ordeal had all just been some exciting lark.

“I want to play!” Lola said excitedly.

“I propose a new game,” I said calmly.

Lola and Whaump-whaump were both intrigued.

“Let’s play “What Do Squirrels Taste Like?”

“What *do* squirrels taste like?” Lola said.

“How do you play that game?” Whaump-whaump asked, suddenly showing signs of self preservation.

I gave him a pointed look. “Oh. I think you know how you play that game. You eat a squirrel.” I narrowed my eyes and slowly advanced on him. “What part would you like to try first, Lola?”

“THAT’S NOT FUNNY FRISBEE!” Whaump-whaump squealed, running away and up into a tree and out of sight.

“Were you really going to eat him?” Lola asked.

I shrugged. Cats know best when to keep their own counsel.

“What happened out here anyway?” Lola asked. “I saw you two running from the street. It didn’t look like you were having fun.”

“It was nothing,” I said.

Cats may have nine lives, but we’re not the best storytellers.

By Saladinho

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Eating People Is Wrong

Congratulations!
First day?
Not to worry, you are off to a great start!
Come this way!

Brains safely ensconced in Head?
Hands check? Feet check?
All systems go?
You’re on your own and YOU can go wherever you want to go.

Streets! Up and down they go. Look a hare!
Hare

Sometimes you will want to go to there.
There are other rather dreary streets, but then I think you should trust your feets.

Also sometimes all streets are horrible,
and almost all incorrigible.
Then turn to page three ninety four,
or maybe head out of this town, so dour.

Out there! Oh, out there!
They say ‘stuff happens’
And it does to people like you but sometimes it doesn’t.

But when stuff does happen,
Fret! Panic! Be normal!
But also, go!
With the flow!

But remember! Eating people is wrong. Also watch out for angry running lobsters.
Lobsters

Strapping young person, you!
Sights! Sounds! Lights! Camera! Action!
Up is the place for you.

You will be good and you will fly to better clouds.
You will be the best and above the rest.

But don’t take my word for it! Because sometimes you won’t!

It is kinda sad and terribly true
Ups come with Downs and a lot of times they come for you.

You could lounge in a trough. Like this baleful starefish.
Starefish

That part is usually rough.

This is when they say the going gets tough.

The streets might suck again.
Darkness everywhere?
A bump and a push and a tumble in the bush.

It could be even worse. You could be eaten by a cute lion.
Lion

But remember! Eating people is wrong.

Maybe a clockwise when it should have been counterclockwise?
Who knows? I don’t!
Take the road less travelled or take the high road?
IT IS PRETTY HARD TO MAKE A DECISION WHEN IT IS YOURS TO MAKE.
QMan

You could try sitting but you don’t look the type to be doing that!

You will find a way. You will get out.

Once more! Oh the Heights! You will go where no ham has gone before!
Spacenaut

There is fun.

But sometimes there isn’t.

I might have left out the sports. You can learn about them on your own.
I am personally into video game horticulture.
Plant

Learning is always good.

There is loneliness to come. And the fears. Oh they are downright fearsome.
Scared me when I met them and I am scared still.
You will want to be scared too. I think it is okay. But what do I know?

Know this. Eating people is wrong.
And sometimes there will be cake and sometimes it will be a lie!

But I think you are an upper and a getter.

Tread lightly. Balance well. Be nice and be well. Look a bug!
Bug

Maybe you will get there!
Oh well, you probably very well will!

Now maybe you shouldn’t waste time listening to me prattle
when there are hurdles to be rattled.
Pinnacle

Poem and Original Artwork by Ninja Dukie’s good friend, Doppey

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