15

Show and Tell Surprise – Conclusion

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Where we are: Ms. Beaver’s elementary school class is going to have its first Show and Tell. Mike Moose has told his friends that he has a great idea about what he’s bringing, but he really doesn’t have any ideas. You can read Part 1 here.

Mike got home without any ideas coming to mind.

Mom: Hi, sweetie. How was school?

Mike (gloomily): It was terrible. We couldn’t go outside today, and everyone was really bored. Then Ms. Beaver said that we would have Show and Tell tomorrow to make it better.

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Mom: That’s not so bad. At least you’ll have a better day tomorrow.

Mike: Not really. I want to take something awesome. But I don’t have anything awesome.

Mom: What do you think is awesome?

Mike: I don’t know. Just something that no one else has.

Mike’s mom thought for a few minutes. Then she made a suggestion that Mike really liked. He was excited the next day when he went to school and could hardly wait for Show and Tell. Finally, it was time.

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Ms. Beaver: It’s time for Show and Tell. Who would like to go first?

Everyone raised their hand. Ms. Beaver decided that the only fair way would be to go around the room. The children each showed their item. There were favorite books, pictures of gardens, favorite toys, and a few other things. Finally, it was Mike’s turn.

Mike: I had a lot of trouble deciding what to bring today. Finally, my mom made a really good suggestion. I’d like to introduce you to my grandmother, Joanie Moose.

The children started to giggle. Why would he bring in his grandmother? Was she supposed to be the great idea?

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Joanie: Hello, children. I bet you’re wondering what’s so special about me, aren’t you?

Egbert Bear: No offense intended. We were just wondering why Mike would bring in his grandmother.

Joanie: Mike thought that you might enjoy a story that I have to tell about when I was a young moose.

The children quieted down and listened.

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Joanie: When I was a young moose, I met one of Santa’s reindeer. He wasn’t one of the famous ones. Julius was one of the backups in case someone got sick on Christmas Eve. We went out a few times and had really liked each other.

Finally, he asked me to come home with him and meet Santa and the other reindeer. You can imagine how excited I was. Santa was really nice, just like you hear in the stories. And the reindeer were all kind. It was a wonderful trip.

At the end, Julius asked me to stay with him at the North Pole. I thought about it, but decided that I wanted to be at home with my family. So, I came back down here to Northland. I met Mike’s grandfather and had a wonderful family. But once in a while I think about my visit to the North Pole.

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The children were enthralled. She had met Santa! They asked her a lot of questions until Ms. Beaver said it was time to get back to work, and Joanie went home. After school, the children were still talking about it.

Egbert: Okay, I was wrong. You did have the best Show and Tell.

Joey Hare: Yeah. That was amazing. Maybe sometime we could come over to your house and talk to her some more.

Mike: Maybe. She would probably like that.

The children were still talking about Joanie for several days after that.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

25

Show and Tell Surprise

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It had been a long winter at Northland Elementary School. There was a ban on recess until the worst of the snow storms had passed. Being inside was making everyone stir-crazy.

Ms. Beaver: That’s it for math today. Does anyone have any questions?

Pete Seal: Can we go outside after lunch?

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Ms. Beaver: You know we can’t Peter. The school says we can’t go out until the weather gets better.

Annie Fox: What does the weather have to do with anything? We’re northern animals. We live in the snow.

Ms. Beaver: It’s not really the snow. It’s that Brian Brown-Bear ran away during the first heavy snow of the season and no one knew he was gone until everyone got back inside. By the time they found him, he was asleep in his home den.

Jeffrey Otter: So what? Because he went home, no one can go out?

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Ms. Beaver: They’re afraid that someone might get lost or taken by a bad human, and we wouldn’t know in time to do anything.

The children groaned.

Billy Beaver: It’s only February! That means it’s forever until we can go out.

Ms. Beaver: Don’t be dramatic, Billy. It’s only during heavy snowfalls or storms that we can’t go outside.

Suzy Ermine: I’m bored.

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Ms. Beaver: I have an idea. Do you know what show-and-tell is?

The children shook their heads that they did not.

Ms. Beaver: Everybody brings in something special from home and tells the rest of the class about it.

Billy: What kind of stuff?

Ms. Beaver: It can be anything, really. Your favorite toy. Something from a hobby. Something that someone has given to you.

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Billy: Is there stuff we can’t bring?

Ms. Beaver: Anything that might offend or scare the rest of the class. And nothing dangerous.

Pete: No trophy kills, right?

Ms. Beaver: Definitely not.

Annie: When should we bring our things in?

Ms. Beaver: Why don’t we do it tomorrow? It’s still supposed to be storming and it will give us a nice break.

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The children were excited about the idea and talked about their ideas during lunch and after school. On the way home, three of the boys were bragging about who would bring in the best thing to show.

Egbert Bear: I think I’m going to show my collection of eagle feathers.

Joey Hare: Bert! She said no prey.

Egbert: They’re not prey. I pick them up off the ground.

Joey: Oh. I think I’ll bring in the empty nest I found. That’s a lot better than a bunch of feathers.

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Egbert: Is not! You probably don’t even know what kind of nest it is!

Joey: Is too!

Egbert: Is not! What about you, Mike?

Michael Moose had no idea what he was going to bring. He didn’t have anything as good as feathers or a nest. But he didn’t want to tell the guys that.

Mike: It’s a secret. But it’s tons better than either one of those.

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Next week: Will Mike find something special by the next day to show his class?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

25

Who’s Our New Neighbor? – Part 3

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Where we are: Calico Corners has welcomed a meerkat construction company from Africa to the neighborhood. They have brought over their lion financial/legal team to finalize the paperwork. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

The lions have hit a few roadblocks that no one in Africa had mentioned. They met with the meerkats to discuss things.

Leonard Lion: Mikki, were you aware that the broker had you buy property that’s not in the desert?

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Mikki: It did seem odd that we had to request that the lawn be taken out. Usually you need to have it added. So, where are we?

Leonard: It’s a place called the Midwest.

Marcel Meerkat: What’s it mid-west of?

Leona Lion: No one really seemed to know.

Mikki: They have nice dirt to burrow in. It may not be a problem to work here.

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Leonard: The dirt isn’t the problem. It’s the weather. It gets really cold here.

Leona: And it snows.

Giselle: It gets cold in the desert at night. But what’s snow?

Mikki: It’s white stuff. It looks pretty, but it’s like fluffy frozen rain.

Maria Meerkat: We can’t live in that! We’ll freeze.

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Giselle: It does explain why the cats here have such thick, fluffy coats.

Maria: And houses.

Mikki: So how long does this snow last?

Leona: It could be up to 4 months.

Mikki: That’s not good.

Image result for concerned meerkat"

The meerkats looked at each other. No one said anything. Finally, Giselle broke the silence.

Giselle: Let’s go talk to the cats.

Everyone gathered, and Mikki explained the situation. Oddly, Cielle didn’t seem surprised.

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Cielle: I’d been wondering what you were going to do in the winter. Then when the lions asked me about the weather, I realized no one had told you about winter.

Tammy: Oh, you poor things! No one told you about the cold?

Leonard: Unfortunately, no.

Mikki: It looks like we’ll have to return to Africa. I hate to say that because we’ve come to love all of you.

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Everyone looked distressed, even the lions.

Cielle: I had an idea, if you’re interested.

Mikki: Definitely.

Cielle: My family has several businesses and there are lots of air ducts and other small passageways to maintain. You could work for us when it’s too cold to construct.

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The meerkats huddled together and chattered excitedly.

Mikki: We would like to take you up on your very kind offer. We can learn to sleep inside for that time.

The lions still looked dejected.

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Leonard: I guess it’s time for us to go.

Tammy: Actually, we’ve been talking. You two are very kind. We were wrong to be afraid of you. You’re welcome to stay if you’d like. If there’s no company job, you can be security. No one else knows how sweet you both are.

The lions looked at Mikki.

Mikki: Of course. There’s plenty of room for all of us in the house.

The cats all clapped and cheered. And they all lived happily ever after in Calico Corners.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

12

Who’s Our New Neighbor? – Part 2

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Where we are: There’s a new family moving into Calico Corners and they sound a little strange. They have a lot of children and requested that the lawn be replaced with extra dirt. You can see Part 1 here.

The family moved in a few weeks later. The next day, several residents went to Cielle Calico’s office. Cielle had been expecting them ever since he learned more about the new residents.

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Cielle: Good morning, all. It’s nice to see everyone so bright and early.

Sammy: Good morning, Cielle. You sold that house to a family of lions.

Tammy: It looks like they brought their own prey. It’s disgusting.

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Frankie: I’m not sending my kids to school with lion cubs. What if the cubs get hungry?

Sammy: What about us? We’ll probably be next after they run out of what they brought.

The cats all began to talk at the same time. There were even some growls.

Cielle: Please calm down everyone! I did not sell the house to lions. You should know me better than that.

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Sammy: So why are they living in the house?

Cielle: That’s just temporary. They’ll only be here for a few weeks to finalize the paperwork for the new business.

Tammy: Who did you sell the house to?

Cielle: Mikki Meerkat, the owner of MM Construction.

Image result for meerkats tunneling

The cats looked confused.

Morrie: What’s a meerkat?

Cielle: They’re the other animals you saw.

Morrie: Those skinny things? They don’t look like any cat I’ve ever seen. They did tunnels and sleep in them.

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Cielle: They’re not cats. They’re more like weasels. They’re very nice. You should go introduce yourselves.

Morrie: Maybe tomorrow. I need to think about this.

The other cats nodded in agreement.

Later that day, Tammy’s two kittens came racing home from school.

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Abby: Mom, guess what happened at school today.

Before Tammy had a chance to answer, Andy broke in:

Andy: We got new students today. But they’re not regular cats. They’re meerkats.

Abby: And meerkats aren’t really cats at all. They’re totally pawsome! They can stand on their back legs and look around.

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Andy: And they make tunnels! Can we invite them over?

Tammy: Not until I meet their parents.

Abby: Can we all go over there now?

Tammy: It’s not polite to just show up at someone’s front door.

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Andy: But, Mom. The parents are really nice. They dropped their kids off at school and stayed to talk to us. They speak pretty good Cat, too.

Abby: Please, Mom?

Tammy: Let me call over there and invite the family for dinner.

Abby and Andy: Thank you!

Andy: By the way, their favorite food is beetles.

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Tammy: Oh. I wonder where you buy those?

Mikki and Giselle Meerkat came over with their three pups. Abby and Andy were right; they were extremely nice and told wonderful stories about living in Africa. The kids had a great time. Tammy promised they would do it again soon.

Tammy spread the word to the other cats about the great time they’d had with the Meerkats. She organized a welcome party for the entire clan. Before long, the Meerkats were part of the group.

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Next week: Did everyone live happily ever after?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

14

Ellie Alligator, Exchange Student

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Swampland High School in the Everglades has started a student exchange program with Great Lakes Academy on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The program is 6 months long – July – December. Below are selected entries on the school’s blog. 

July 1 – Hey Fellow Swampies, It’s me, the Elinator. That’s right, it’s Ellie N. Alligator with her first report from sunny Michigan. I’m so glad you elected me as the first exchange student in our new program. The flight up here was a little scary. Can you believe they were going to make me fly cargo because some family of sheep felt threatened? Like I was a savage or something. I had to sit way at the back, but at least I was inside.

Anyway, I’m staying with the Stones. They’re really nice, but they’re Turtles! I knew there weren’t any alligator families up here, but I didn’t know there really aren’t many big reptiles at all. A few iguanas but that’s about it. These turtles aren’t big enough to eat the kind of food I eat. Mrs. Stone said we’d figure something out. Gotta go. They’re going to show me around Manistee.

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 July 15 – Michigan is so weird! Remember how we decided that this would be a good place to exchange students with because it’s hot and humid part of the year? They think 85 degrees is hot. I mean, it’s pleasant but what’s going to happen when it cools down? And the big lake that we all thought would be fun. Flash – it’s cold water! And it has a cool breeze coming off it. that kind of ruins the hot and humid. It’s really nice basking in the sun, but this is not what I expected.

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August 8 – I just found out about my classmates when school starts. The place is full of mammals. I mean the biggest collection of furry creatures I’ve ever seen. There are beavers, skunks, lynx, and even a couple of bears. Bears around here are big! If the bears are regular students, no one better tell me I’m scary. We toured the school. It’s all inside, can you believe it? They said it was because the weather gets cool and wet. And then it snows. How am I supposed to store up energy? Apparently that’s not a problem for furry animals. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this.

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September 12 – I am not having fun on this trip. The other animals are really nice to me, but I miss all of you. No one speaks Gator up here, so I’m always trying to find the right thing to say. And the teachers won’t give me enough time to get from one class to another. They say that I could move faster if I wanted to. I tried to tell them that we only run if we’re chasing food, but they don’t care. Maybe I should pretend they’re some kind of delicacy. Just have to remember it’s a game before I eat them.

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October 30 – It is cold here. I can barely move most of the time. Both the Stones and the school have bought me heat lamps. I know they’re doing the best they can, but this is no place for alligators. If they turn the heat up high enough for me, everyone else is too warm. I saw something called a sweater in a catalog. They’re made out of wool or fake wool, and you wear them to keep warm. I wonder if they come in alligator sizes?

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November 20 – Remember how we all thought it would be fun to see snow? It isn’t. It’s cold and wet and disgusting. And there’s a lot of it. It’s been higher than me since the first time it came down. All of the mammals love it. They can run around and play in it. I sit under my heat lamp and shiver. I want to know who did the research on this place. I am never coming back.

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December 5 – I’m back!! The people in Michigan felt so sorry for me that they let me come home a month early and still earn full credit. I’ve been in the swamp for 3 days and am finally beginning to feel normal again. It is so nice to be able to go out and lay in the sun. I’m surprised my tail didn’t freeze off up there. Gotta go. I still need a lot of sun to get my old energy back.

Advice: Michigan is nice to visit, but two weeks is definitely enough time to do everything that might interest an alligator.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

9

Santa Claws and the New Delivery System

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Santa Claws was not a happy cat. It was three days before Christmas and his new Christmas route had not been finalized. He hated the new system.

Santa: Fluffy, my pet, why did they have to change my schedule now?

Mrs. Claws: You know very well what happened. That new employee you haired got everyone stirred up about working too hard, so we had to outsource some of the work to elves in other parts of the world.

Santa: I am never hiring another weasel. He has been nothing but trouble. Where is Mortimer anyway?

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Mrs. Claws: I’m not sure. The last time I saw him he was offering to get Mindy Mink some cocoa.

Santa (laughing): I wonder if he knows her boyfriend is a wolverine.

Mrs. Claws: I’m sure he’ll find out soon enough,

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Sant texted Mortimer. A few minutes later he was in the office.

Santa: Where is my schedule?

Mortimer: Don’t worry, you’ll get it.

Santa (growling): I want it now.

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Mortimer: It’s not ready.

Santa: What do you mean it’s not ready? Christmas Eve is in two days.

Mortimer: I know! I know!

Santa: When will it be ready?

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Mortimer hesitated.

Santa: Well?

Mortimer: There’s been a little glitch.

Santa: What kind of glitch?

Mortimer: Well, the team in Guam has had a lot of absences and their toys aren’t ready.

Santa: What do you mean they’re not ready?

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Mortimer: Um, the stuffed mice and treats are ready, but the crinkly tunnels and special cat beds are still being worked on.

Santa: WHAT? That’s a disaster! What are you going to do about it?

Mortimer: What do you mean me? I’m not an elf. I’m staff, like all the other non-felines.

Santa: You’re going to be staff clearing ice off the compound if you can’t fix this.

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Mortimer: OK! Take it easy! Don’t get your fur in a hairball. I’ll see what I can do.

Santa: When you told me about your stupid plan, I said it wouldn’t work.

Mortimer: It’s not a stupid plan. It’s brilliant. We have workshops all over the world. All you have to do is drop by to pick up the toys for that area. No more lugging everything all over the world.

Santa: I said that we needed to have everything here so it could be sorted and put in the right order. It’s a magic bag, remember? It doesn’t require lugging. Now look at the mess you’ve made. We’ll have crying kittens all everywhere. My reputation will be ruined.

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Santa Claws arched his back and began to growl. Mortimer looked at the door.

Mrs. Claws: I think you need to leave now, Mortimer.

Mortimer was out the door before she finished.

Mrs. Claws: Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.

Santa continued to hiss and growl.

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Coming up: Will Mrs. Claws be able to save Christmas for the kittens?

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

10

Halber Home for Traumatized Turkeys – Part 2

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Where we are: Three pigs have come to Halber Home looking for refuge from being made into hams. Mrs. Thomas, the administrator, has called a meeting with several other turkeys to see what they think. You can access part 1 from the Recent Posts at the right.

Mrs. Thomas asked Suzy and Larry, counselors at the home. She also invited two of the long-term residents, Charlie and Howard.

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Mrs. Thomas: Thank you all for coming. We have a situation I need your help with. A little while ago, three pigs showed up who need sanctuary. They are in danger from their human.

Howard: Why can’t they stay with their own kind? We don’t have any pigs here.

Mrs. Thomas: There aren’t any pig facilities around here.

Suzy: How long would they be here? This isn’t a permanent arrangement, is it?

Mrs. Thomas: Oh, no. They will be moving south in less than a week.

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Howard: Why can’t they stay where they were? No one eats fresh pig on Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Thomas: They’re going to be turned into hams for Easter.

Suzy: That’s awful. We should find some way to help them.

Larry: We definitely can’t just send them back out on the road.

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Charlie: I’d feel like I killed them myself.

Howard starts to get agitated. He knows that they should help the pigs, but he’s terrified of strangers.

Howard: That’s ridiculous. We all found our way here.

Mrs. Thomas: That’s my point. They found their way here too.

Larry: And our sign does say that everyone is welcome.

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Howard: It’s written in Turkey. That should tell them who’s welcome here.

Larry: Howard, please calm down. You know we want to keep everyone safe and comfortable. That’s why we’re meeting. Mrs. Thomas wants your input.

Charlie: Please don’t be mean, Howard. We all needed help when we got here.

Howard: But we’re all turkeys!

Suzy: Howard, are you afraid of the pigs?

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Howard: They might eat me.

Mrs. Thomas: We won’t let them eat you.

Howard: What if they chase me down? They eat anything.

Larry (trying not to laugh): Do you know what pigs look like? They’d never catch you .

Howard: Are you sure?

Larry: Trust me.

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Howard: What if they come after me while I’m sleeping?

The others realized that Howard was not going to feel safe with the pigs around. Everyone was quiet for a few minutes.

Charlie: I’ve got an idea. Do you remember that big yard we had for turkeys who were too traumatized to be with the general public when they first got here?

Mrs. Thomas: You mean the one we put up before we had counselors on-site?

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Charlie: Yes. Is it still there? Could we use it?

Howard: I’m not going to be locked away because of some stupid pigs.

Charlie: Not for us. For them. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about them roaming around at night with hatchets.

Suzy: That’s a great idea! What do you think, Mrs. Thomas?

Mrs. Thomas: Yes. I think that would work. We don’t use it for anything else. What do you think, Howard?

Howard: I guess that would be OK. They’re only staying a few days, right?

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Mrs. Thomas: Yes. They are just waiting to hear from the woman’s family.

Howard: OK. They can stay if they don’t leave the pen until they’re ready to go.

The rest of the turkeys were relieved. They did not want to put the pigs in danger.

Mrs. Thomas went to the pigs and explained what had happened. They were thrilled with the outcome. They were used to being fenced in, and they would be safe.

Junior: That’s wonderful! Please thank the other turkeys for us.

Penny: Yes. We don’t know what we would have done without all of you.

The pigs stayed for four days before they got the directions South. When they arrived, they sent a letter telling the turkeys that they were safe and thanked them one more time.

Image result for frightened pig meme

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images