Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Taffy and Skippy: The Story of a Girl Who Asked the Tooth Fairy for Help

Once there were twin poodles named Taffy and Skippy, who always got into trouble. They dug in the neighbors’ flower gardens, ran into traffic, and ate the mail. 

Taffy had black fur, and Skippy had white fur, and together they looked like a Dalmatian. Seven-year-old Marie Moyer put them on short leashes and kept them close to her. 

“Sit!” Marie would say to the twins, who did the exact opposite of what she said. She still loved them anyway and hoped that they would soon learn obedience. She washed their fluffy coats and gave them tasty dog food and even human food. 

Then one day, they pulled so hard on the leashes that the leather cords snapped. Since Taffy and Skippy were stronger than Marie, she couldn’t catch them. The dogs dug under the white backyard fence and ran off into downtown. 

“Oh no!” Marie cried, grabbing her red bicycle, and pedaling after her twin poodles. “Stop!” she yelled at the poodles as they almost got hit by a truck. 

She slammed on her bike brakes, only to hear police sirens from the Dog Pound van. Taffy and Skippy barked at the nasty man from the Dog Pound with the net. 

“Wait!” Marie said. “My poodles! Don’t take them! Stop! The leashes broke!”

Before Marie could stop him, the man from the Dog Pound scooped them up in his net. He threw the poodles in the back of his van, slammed the door shut, and drove off. 

“Now I have to pay the pound!” Marie said, pedaling back to her home to get her piggy bank. When Marie arrived at her house, she grabbed a hammer from her dad’s workbench. She took it into her bedroom and slammed it on the top of her piggy bank. 

The piggy bank fell apart into many pieces and out came $23.00. She shoved the money into her pocket and pedaled to the Dog Pound as fast as she could. When she got to the Dog Pound, a crooked sign hung on the wall saying: “$12.50 per Dog.”

“I need two dollars fast!” Marie said, scratching her head and wondering where to get the money. “The Tooth Fairy to the rescue!” Marie said, remembering how the Tooth Fairy brings one dollar a tooth.

She had many baby teeth in her mouth that could be loosened sooner than originally intended. When she got back to her house, she threw her bike on the driveway and ran into the bathroom. She wiggled her two front teeth as hard as she could, back-and-forth and back-and-forth. When she finally got the teeth free from her mouth, she ran to her dad and smiled. 

“What happened to your teeth?” he said, holding her face with shock. 

“I have to get Taffy and Skippy from the pound!” Marie said, showing her dad her teeth.

“Why didn’t you just ask me for the money?” the father said, staring at her toothless smile.

“Well, I thought I would ask the Tooth Fairy! He pays a dollar a tooth,” Marie said. 

“The Tooth Fairy!” the father said. “Here’s $25. Go get those crazy poodles!”

Marie looked at her front teeth in her hand and felt silly for pulling them out. 

“Thanks Dad,” she said, kissing him on the cheek. “I should have asked you first. I was just going to write the Tooth Fairy a letter, explaining the problem . . .” 

“A letter! You were going to write the Tooth Fairy a letter about those dogs?” the father said. “Just put your teeth under your pillow tonight for the Tooth Fairy. I’m sure she’ll leave you two dollars. Your permanent teeth will grow in eventually . . .”

Marie ran into her bedroom and placed her teeth in her tiny Tooth Fairy pillow under her big pillow. Then she ran out the front door with her father’s money to get Taffy and Skippy from the Pound. She hoped people would understand why she was missing her front teeth when she smiled. Surely someone must have asked the Tooth Fairy for money in emergencies other than Marie.


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Dedicated to my mother, Darlene Waters, and her dogs Taffy and Skippy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Sandbox Giant: The Story of a Sister and Brother Who Wanted to Build Castles

Once there was a sister and brother who liked to play in the sandbox in their backyard. Their father had built the sandbox, and it was much better than digging in the dirt. They used their scoops, shovels, and pails to build castles and sculptures galore. 

Until one dark night, a thunderstorm came that was unlike other thunderstorms. It shook the house, and the lights went out; there was no electricity for hours, only candles. The mother told the children: “We should go to sleep early tonight. The sun will come out tomorrow.”

“I’ll try to sleep,” the sister said, crawling into bed, counting backwards from one hundred. Her brother was already fast asleep on the couch, as if he had never even heard the storm. 

Even though the sister tried to sleep, the storm raged outside the sister’s bedroom window. She was so scared that she ran down the hall to sleep next to her brother on the couch.

“Something’s not right! What are we going to do?” she said, waking her brother.

“What? It’s only a storm. Go to back to your room,” he said, squashing her with a pillow.

As lightning struck, he rolled over on the couch and pulled his blanket over his head. The girl climbed back into her bed, hoping the storm would end and the sun would rise. Sure enough, the next morning, the sun was shining strong and bright, not a cloud in the sky. The two children headed to the sandbox with their shovels and pails.

“Where did these come from?” the girl asked, looking at sandy footprints in the grass.

“Oh, it was just the storm last night,” the boy said, filling up his pail with moist sand.

As the girl put her feet in the sand, a fierce wind blew through the tree behind her. The sky became black, and a loud clap of thunder filled the heavens. Then the sandbox began to swirl and whirl, pulling the boy into its grip until he disappeared. 

Out of the sandbox came a very large monster made of sand that roared and growled. His face looked just like her brother, but it wasn’t him at all. The creature loomed high above the sandbox, almost as strong as brick-and-mortar.

“What happened to my baby brother? I want him back!” the girl yelled. The Sandbox Giant reached for the girl, but she escaped his grasp.

 “Momma, come quick!” she yelled, but her mother was inside cleaning the house.

“What do you want with my brother?” the girl cried, throwing her shovel at the monster.

“I want him to stop playing in the sandbox where I live!” the monster growled. 

“You don’t live here! My father built this sandbox. Go back where you came from!” the girl yelled. 

From the corner of her eye, the girl noticed the garden hose in the bushes. She dove to grab the hose, hoping she could melt the Sandbox Giant with water. As she grasped the hose, the monster lunged for her and almost caught her waist. Before he could strangle her, she sprayed the water in his face. The Sandbox Giant tried to cover himself from the stream of water. 

“No!” the monster screamed, as it slowly shrank in size. 

“Take that! Go back into the sandbox! I want my brother back!” the girl yelled.

“Honey, why are you yelling?” the mother called from the kitchen window.

“My brother is missing,” the daughter yelled to her mother, still spraying the monster with water.

“Oh, he’s just hiding,” the mother said. “Come out, come out wherever you are . . .”

When the girl turned back around, her brother was sitting in the sandbox building a castle. “What happened to you?” she said. He looked just like himself, and the awful monster was gone. 

“Nothing. What are you talking about?” he said as the girl curled the garden hose into a pile. The girl shook her head, knowing that she could never explain to anyone what she saw.

She was so glad to have her brother back and hoped to never see the Sandbox Giant again. Every stormy night until the end of time, she worried something might be wrong, and only she would know it. At least she knew how to get rid of the Sandbox Giant; he might’ve been big, but he wasn’t that strong.


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tiny and the Magnificent Elephant: The Story of A Very Large Grocery Bill

Third grader “Tiny” Tina wanted to join the circus, or at least watch a few shows. After all, her mother had told her the circus was coming to town to perform in a big tent. Of all the animals, the elephants were supposed to be the largest and the most fun.

Since everyone laughed at Tina for being three inches shorter than she should be at 8 years old, Tina decided if she had an elephant for a pet, then everyone would be nice to her. So, her plan was to befriend the largest elephant in the circus as her new pet. Certainly, her mother would understand, since she was the one who told her the circus was in town.

When the elephants arrived on the train in the train yard, Tina knew it was her big chance. She waited until late the next night, crawled out her window, and headed for the train tracks. As she approached the train yard, she noticed a very small opening in the broken fence. Miraculously, she was able to slip through the tiny opening and run to the elephants. 

Most people wouldn’t have been small enough to fit through the opening. Not “Tiny” Tina, she was about as big as a peanut that elephants ate with their curly snouts. She was so tiny that no one even noticed her in the train yard, because she didn’t make a sound. As Tina approached the train car, she saw a purple tail sticking out the door. She climbed up the steps on the train car and tugged at the tail until the elephant woke up.

“Come home with me! I could use a new pillow at night,” Tina whispered to the elephant. “We could go for walks through the fields in the day, and you could lift me to pick apples from the trees.”

“Do you have a big backyard?” the elephant asked in a deep voice. 

“Yes, in fact we have a whole acre where we could play!” Tina said.

“I’m tired of riding bicycles for cheering crowds. I don’t like standing on my head,” the elephant said. “I especially don’t like balancing balls or jumping through rings of fire. You’re much nicer than the nasty Circus Trainer who cracks his whip at us.”

The elephant roared and stamped his feet on the train car, shaking the entire train on the tracks.

“Yeah! Hooray!” Tina said, pulling the elephant’s tail again. “I think I will name you Charley, the Magnificent Elephant! We’ll be best friends!”

Charley swung open the train door with his snout and lifted Tina on his back. He stomped out of the train car onto the ground, waking up all the other animals. The purple elephant looked left and then right, and the Circus Trainer was nowhere to be seen. 

“Where are you going?” Tina said, grabbing Charley’s flying ears. “My home is three blocks down the street.”

“The rest of the circus animals are coming with us!” Charley said. “I can’t leave them here alone.”

One by one, Charley shook loose the rest of the animals on the train, and Tina held on tight. By the end of the night, the circus animals were behind Charley in a straight line. The circus marched two-by-two down the street: unicorns, horses, lions, giraffes, and tigers. 

Then came the camels, kangaroos, monkeys, seals, ostriches, leopards, llamas, and grizzly bears. When the circus reached Tina’s house, all the animals except Charley crept quietly into the backyard. 

Instead, Charley slipped through the window of Tina’s bedroom and landed right on her bed. Then Tina crawled through the window and climbed on Charley’s back—he was softer than a pillow. Two seconds later, the entire bed crumbled onto the floor, causing a crack in the wall. 

“What’s going on in here?” Tina’s mother ran into the bedroom crying. “Oh my gosh! There’s an elephant in the room! Where did he come from?”

“I just set him free from the circus. All the other circus animals are in the backyard, too!” Tina said. Tina’s mother peered out the bedroom window to find the animals munching on her vegetable garden.

“Can we keep the circus animals? Please! They really need a home with a nice family,” Tina said.

“Oh, I suppose . . . I should have never told you the circus was coming to town . . .” Tina’s mother sighed. “Maybe we could sell tickets and get our money back because it’s going to be a very large grocery bill.”


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Monday, September 8, 2014

Time Capsule: The Story of a Girl Who Built a Treasure Chest

Once there was a girl, who wanted to write a note to the future. When she started to put pen to paper, she knew that a note was not enough. So, she decided to make a time capsule, like a treasure chest with pirate gold. 

Instead of diamonds, she put a swatch of her braided hair in a jewelry box. The jewelry box would be her time capsule—elegant and gracious. Then she pressed a flower in her favorite book about roses and daisies. She placed the book on the bottom of the jewelry box with its shiny cover. She also put in her grandfather’s pocket watch with its golden chain.

Next to it she placed sheet music to a song that she wrote—note by note. She carefully wrapped the feather pen that she used to write the notes and fit it in the box. The feather on the pen came from the wing of an eagle that she found in its nest. Finally, she put in her favorite teddy bear named Freddie, who wore one of her socks as a shirt.

She thought someone in the future might need Freddie more than she did. Then she dug a hole in the backyard next to the swing set and buried the capsule. She wondered who would find it and what they would think of how time changed things. 

Most importantly, she hoped they liked the picture she snuck in of herself at age 14. Because the more time changed things, the more she hoped she would always be the same at heart.


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Field Trip: The Story of Suzie Q and the Museum Monster

Suzie Q and her fifth-grade class boarded the school bus for their annual field trip. The ugly thick green seat came up to Suzie’s nose, and she could not see beyond it. 

Anne, Suzie’s field trip partner, sat beside her, taking up most of the long seat with her book bag. So, Suzie looked out the window instead, waiting for the bus driver to pull away from the curb. Mrs. Kapp insisted the class go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She said that the best art in the world was on display, and her students must see it.

“The Museum is a crowded place! Stay with your class partner, and do not get lost!” she said. Ten-year-old Suzie looked at her class partner and shrugged, thinking she was better off alone. Anne was bossy and always acted as though she was better than everyone else. 

Suzie was sure that Anne was bound to be the one who got lost, and Suzie would be blamed. Anne never listened to class directions and always thought she was right about everything. However, she was usually wrong about most things and just wanted her way, like a bully. As the school bus parked outside the Museum, the students walked off the bus.

“Everyone must wait in line! The Museum doesn’t open until 10 o’clock sharp.” Mrs. Kapp said. “Now everyone hold hands as we wait for the doors to open and adventure to begin!”

As Suzie reached for Anne’s hand, she realized that Anne had already disappeared. 

“Oh no! Anne is gone!” Suzie cried, scratching her head underneath her woolen hat.

Mrs. Kapp threw up her hands in disgust, saying: “Can’t anyone listen to me? Is it that hard?” When the doors to the Museum finally opened, Mrs. Kapp marched the class to security. “Which way to ‘Lost and Found’? I need to find a missing student . . .”

The security guard pointed to the left, and Suzie bit her tongue, holding back nasty comments. “This is not my fault,” Suzie said. “I didn’t get lost . . . Anne just wandered off . . .”

“Of course,” Mrs. Kapp said. “If she gets eaten by the Museum Monster, it will be your fault.” When the class arrived at “Lost and Found,” a frazzled woman stepped from behind a pile of junk.

“We need to find Anne,” Suzie announced, hoping that she was safe and sound. 

“Well, if you can find her in this mess, feel free,” the woman said, wiping her brow. “I already have a few students who became separated from their teachers—they’re in the closet.”

Just in case Anne was hiding under the mound of lost things, Suzie dug through the pile. If the Museum Monster was real, Suzie did not want it to find her, simply because Anne got eaten. Everything in the mound was marked “L-O-S-T” with tags—hats, scarfs, bags, and umbrellas. 

“I always stamp the children’s foreheads L-O-S-T, so they can’t get away,” the woman said. 

“Yes, I can see that!” Mrs. Kapp said, pulling Anne from the closet by her ear. 

“L-O-S-T” was clearly stamped across Anne’s head in large blue letters. 

Mrs. Kapp bent over and spoke in Anne’s ear, so she couldn’t misunderstand the directions: “You are now F-O-U-N-D. Stay with the group. You cannot do what you want! I am in charge.”

Suzie sighed in relief, glad that the Museum Monster never found Anne by accident. For the rest of the day, Suzie pulled Anne through the Museum, telling her what to do. 

The students never met the Museum Monster and arrived safely back to their parents. Even if Anne cried like a baby, saying it was a horrible day; Suzie had fun and hoped to return soon. Besides, if Suzie ever lost her umbrella, she would know where to find it without a problem.


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters