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Show and Tell Surprise

Image result for wild animals in snow

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.

Image result for animal show and tell meme

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.

Image result for animal playing with toys meme

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?

Image result for meerkat on grass"

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.

Image result for fluffy cats in snow"

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.

Image result for beautiful calico cat"

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.

Image result for cats and meerkats"

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.

Image result for cats and meerkats"

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.

Image result for meerkat and tunnel

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.

Image result for meerkats eating

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.

25

Who’s Our New Neighbor?

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Everyone was excited in Calico Corners, an exclusive subdivision of mainly executives in the food industry. It sounded like they finally had a buyer for the Foster property. It had been empty since Suzy Moggy-Foster had been reassigned to the research facility in Paraguay.

It was unusual for the house to still be on the market since it was an extremely desirable location, and houses often sold before they could be listed on the market. Many cats wondered if it had something to do with Suzy’s rather odd hobby of breeding and selling muskrats.

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Suzy’s replacement was an outsider who really didn’t understand the business. Luckily, he and the company decided it wasn’t working out before he had bought a house. They had no idea who would hire a Rottweiler to be lead taste tester over a team of cats.

It had been four months and the neighbors were really hoping someone would buy it. It was annoying to have those real estate people in the neighborhood. And some of their client cats tromped through the gardens as if they owned the place. Those cats would never fit in at Calico Corners.

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Now it looked like it had been sold to someone. Cielle Calico, heiress to the family who had started the company, told the head of the private school, Tracie Tuxie, to expect some new students. Cielle wasn’t sure how many, but probably 10-12.

The cats were appalled. What type of cat family had that many kittens? Didn’t they know it was bad manners to have more than one litter with all the overpopulation issues? In fact, some couples were choosing not to have kittens at all.

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At the homeowners’ association meeting, the cats wanted answers.

Tammy Tabby: Is it true that you finally sold the Foster house?

Cielle: Yes, we did. And they’re lovely animals.

Sammy Shorthair: What do they do?

Image result for cats and construction

Cielle: The tom owns a construction business and he’s opening a branch here.

Frankie Forest: What breed of cat are they?

Cielle: I’m not really sure. I’m working with a broker.

Frankie: Well, where are they coming from?

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Cielle: Somewhere in Africa.

Tammy: Wow. That’s a long way. It will be exciting to have such interesting neighbors.

Sammy: I can guarantee that they’ll have short fur like me. When are they moving in.?

Cielle: As soon as we have their property ready.

Image result for cats new house move

Tammy: What are you doing to it?

Cielle hesitated.

Cielle: We’re taking out all of the grass and bringing in extra dirt.

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Frankie: What? We don’t want that in our neighborhood. Do you have any idea what that’s going to look like? It’ll ruin the appeal of the entire subdivision.

Morrie Manx: That’s for sure. Exactly what type of cats are these?

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Next week: The new neighbors move in.

 Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

14

Santa Claws and the New Delivery System – Part 2

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Where we are: Mortimer Weasel has convinced Santa Claws that he needs to have his toys built by elves all over the world rather than just the North Pole. Santa would be able to pick up the toys locally for delivery to the kittens in the area. Unfortunately, Santa finds out three days before Christmas that some of the toys won’t be ready.

(The link to the first part of the story is at the right.)

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Santa: What am I going to do? That idiot has ruined Christmas for all of those poor little kittens.

Mrs. Claws: I have an idea.

Santa: Thank you, dear. But I don’t think there’s time for anything now.

Mrs. Claws: Just trust me.

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Mrs. Claws ran off while Santa continued to pace back and forth. Finally, he curled up in front of the fire and went to sleep. He dreamed about chasing weasels through the snow.

When Santa woke up, it was dark. Mrs. Claws still wasn’t back. He walked back to the house; she wasn’t there either. Where had she gone? Finally, she came in and nuzzled Santa.

Santa: There you are! I was getting worried. Where have you been?

Mrs. Claws: I told you. I had an idea about how to fix your problem.

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Santa: Did it work?

Mrs. Claws: We’ll know in the morning.

Santa and Mrs. Claws had dinner. They curled up and went to sleep. Before they knew it, someone was ringing the bell. Santa got up and answered the door. It was Greta. She had been chief of toy production before Mortimer eliminated her job.

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Santa: Greta! It’s wonderful to see you! How have you been? What brings you here?

Greta: I’m great, Santa. Mrs. Claws came to see me yesterday and told me about your problems. We elves had been wondering how this new system was going to work. Everyone’s feeling badly that we let that weasel talk us into it.

Santa: It’s not your fault, Greta. I’m sure he made it sound fool-proof.

Greta: Anyway, is Mrs. Claws here?

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Mrs. Claws: Greta! How are you doing?

Greta: We’re ready to show Santa the big surprise.

Santa: What big surprise?

Mrs. Claws: You’ll see. Come with us.

The three of them walked toward the toy shop. Santa was surprised to see all the lights on. The local elves had finished their work at the beginning of the month and were all on vacation until after Christmas.

Image result for cat toys under christmas tree"

Greta opened the door, and Santa saw the elves working feverishly, building the extra toys he needed.

Santa: Greta, how did you do this? I thought everyone had left town.

Greta: No one wanted to miss Christmas Eve, even if we weren’t working. When Mrs. Claws told us about the kittens who were going to miss their visit from Santa Claws, we got to work. You should have everything you need before you go.

Santa: Greta, I can’t believe you would do that. Particularly after the way Mortimer treated you.

Image result for kittens with toys"

Greta: It doesn’t have anything to do with him. It’s about the kittens.

Santa: That’s true. It is about the kittens. I don’t know how to thank you. Please tell the elves that they’ll be getting double their regular Christmas bonus regardless of whether or not they get everything finished.

Santa and Mrs. Claws left the elves to their work. Santa was beside himself with excitement. Maybe it was going to be all right after all.

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The next day, Santa got dressed and ready for the trip. He went to the toy shop to see how everything had worked out. He was amazed to see everything he needed for the area around Guam.

Greta: What do you think, Santa? They’re all here; no kitten with be without a gift. I’m really proud of the team.

Santa: Greta, the team is truly incredible. Excellent as always. I couldn’t have done this Christmas without all of you.

Image result for santa's reindeer"

Santa Claws made his trip around the world. The new regional delivery system wasn’t too bad, but he didn’t like not having control of the quality. Some things just weren’t up to his and Greta’s standards.

When Santa returned to the North Pole, he fired Mortimer and gave Greta her old job back. He didn’t want to fire all of the regional elves, so Greta worked out a system where they would do early production. Everything would be sent to the North Pole for completion and quality control.

 Image result for happy 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.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

7

The Animal Rights Coalition – Part 4

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Where we are: The Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) has been working to stop humans from using their names as insults. They have had no luck with submitting a petition or trying to meet with the members of the Human Council. Gregg Bear and Ivan Tiger decide that it is time to consult with a lawyer. (Links to the previous sections are found at the right)

Gregg and Ivan are waiting in the offices of Sharkfin and Sharkfin to meet with the attorney. A well-groomed Siamese cat approached them.

Siamese: Hello, I’m Greta. I’ve been assigned your case.

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Gregg and Ivan looked at each other. Was this some kind of joke? This cat was not going to intimidate a bunch of humans. What was she going to do? Purr loud?

Ivan: Meaning no disrespect….

Greta: You want to know why I’m not a shark, right?

Gregg: Actually, yes. We’ve been trying to get a bunch of humans to listen to us and we wanted someone to get their attention.

Greta: Actually, that’s why they sent me. If you two aren’t going to intimidate them, we certainly won’t.

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Ivan: What do we do?

Greta: First, you have to know what is going to get their attention. What can you do that they can’t ignore? When do you interact with the humans?

Ivan: We see them at the stores and at work. But that’s just the regular humans.

Greta: OK. But they’re all just regular humans.

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Ivan: Some of them are more important. They own things and tell other people what to do.

Gregg: We want to get their attention.

Greta: Then you need to make them understand that their insults are having an impact on their business. You need to tell people to stop using their products until the humans stop insulting you.

Gregg and Ivan left, confused. They had wanted to hire someone to sue the humans. This cat wanted them to educate the humans. They called another ARC meeting.

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Gregg: We met with a lawyer. She said that we need to get the humans to see that we’re important to their business before they’ll listen to us.

Cecile Ferret: I guess that makes sense. They’ve thought they’re better and smarter than us forever.

Joe Iguana: They take us for granted.

Ivan: That’s what the lawyer said.

Ralph: OK. What do we do?

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The animals talked about which businesses they might be able to influence. They decided that they would only do one at first to see if anything happened. The first business they targeted was Adderson’s Shoe Supplies. They posted this message outside shoe stores:

“Please buy a brand other than Adderson’s. Their advertising calls tired, stinky feet “dogs”. We want them to find a different way to sell their product. Thank you. ARC

The signs didn’t work. People still bought the shoes.

Gregg: I don’t think this is a very good idea.

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Joe: I don’t know why we chose shoes. We don’t wear shoes. We should have done food. Food is always good.

Cecile: Did you hear? We made the news!

“Tonight’s local take is the boycott ARC is trying to start against Adderson’s Shoes for slander. It seems the animals are finally tired of being insulted. Good luck!”

Image result for luck animal

Ivan: Great. We’ll need it.

Cecile: It gets better. Look at this:

Animal call for end to insults spreads. Several areas have picked up on the ARC animals’ quest to end animal name insults. Protest is gaining momentum.

Three months later: Due to grass-roots pressure from their customers, humans included, the Human Council began the process to identify and eliminate institutional animal insults.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.