Ruben and Beatrice

Ruben wanted a new pet – a lizard from New Zealand. He had seen it in a magazine. His sister Beatrice said she wanted one, too.

“The only reason you want a new lizard is because I do,” Ruben told Beatrice.

It wasn’t true. Beatrice wanted her own pet. It wasn’t fair for Ruben to get a new pet if she could not get one. She was deeply offended by his remark.

“You are not my brother,” she declared before stomping away.

She found her mother in the sewing room.

“Mother,” Beatrice said, “I want to order a lizard from New Zealand. I saw it in a magazine.”

Beatrice hoped she would get the lizard, and Ruben would not.

“Beatrice,” her mother said, “where is the salamander that you brought home from the creek yesterday?”

“I do not know,” Beatrice replied.

“If you do not know where your salamander is, then why do you want a lizard? Go and find your salamander.”

Beatrice left the sewing room disappointed. She still wanted a new lizard.

She found Ruben in his bedroom feeding his goldfish.

“Ruben,” Beatrice asked, “why do you want the lizard from New Zealand?”

“So I can name it Tom,” Ruben replied. “I’ve always wanted a lizard named Tom.”

“What should I name my lizard?” Beatrice asked him.

“You are not getting a new lizard,” he replied. “I am.”

“Can I get another salamander?” she asked.

“Yep,” he said.

“Will you catch it for me?”


“What should I name it?” Beatrice asked.

Ruben told her to make a list of her favorite names, but she could not do it because she could not spell the names, so she told Ruben her favorite names and he wrote the list.

He added a few of his own favorites as well.

Then Ruben and Beatrice got their nets and their buckets and went to the creek to catch Beatrice another salamander.



By Doris Garber

Once upon a time there was a place called Sunrise where the leaves turned crimson and floated upon the clear rushing water, along the bank of mossy green, under the sweeping branches, above the salamander speckled brown with large watery eyes, and clustered together as if to say, “We are one and move as surely as the stars.”

Upon the yellow leaf when days were long her mother had built a wicker basket of greenest grass and softest cotton safely hidden in the raspberry bush, for she was never to see her child as days ripened her seed, as the sunlight glistened upon the dew.

Each day her mother had watched the leaves turn so gently golden, waiting for the edges to turn bright red, when her wings would harden and she would float, as surely as the leaves, as surely as the stars.

A time came with the sweet morning breeze that she was swept up in the glowing rays over the clear rushing water to the bank of mossy green, where to her amazement was occuring a dance of wings as her brothers and sisters circled around rejoicing her arrival. There rang out songs proclaiming this beautiful world, songs which told of life in Sunrise, songs of the beginning, songs which lasted all night and they sang together until the morning came.

After a time, he took her hand and she was pleased, and they floated away as one, as surely as the leaves, as surely as the stars.

Together they found just the right spot on just the right bush and she made a wicker basket of greenest grass and softest cotton and together they sang, “Hush little baby, don’t you cry. Tomorrow’s going to be a new sunrise.”

And they were one, as surely as the leaves, as surely as the stars.


img032By Star Traylor

Every day had a theme for Robert. There was the day he found an old typewriter in his grandmother’s attic. Then there was the time his friend Avery was having a birthday party. The theme was elephants.
But today, Robert was bored.
He asked his mother, “Can I go to the toy store?”
“No,” said his mother.
He asked his father, “Will you make me a boat in your woodshop?”
“Not today,” said his father.
Left to his own thoughts, Robert decided to make a potion.
He pushed a chair up to the sink and filled an empty cup with water.
He borrowed a few items from his mother’s spice rack: garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, coffee grounds, onion powder, curry, vegetable oil, and some Dawn dishwashing liquid.
His special potion overflowed the cup, its magical aromas drifting through the air.
“Robert,” his mother asked, “What on earth are you doing?”
She looked inside the sink and saw Robert’s potion.
“I made you a drink,” he said.
“It prevents wrinkles.”
Robert’s father came in.
“What is that terrible smell?” he asked.
“Robert made a potion,” his mother said.
Robert’s father looked into the sink at the potion.
“Come along, Robert,” he said. “Let’s go make something in the woodshop.”
Robert was never bored for very long.



By Star Traylor

Lucy got dressed in her favorite blue gingham dress with an apron attached. She was going berry picking with her friend, Agatha, a teenager. Agatha would arrive soon and in the meantime Lucy had to get dressed and ready. She put on her favorite red sequined shoes and a squirt of her mother’s perfume.
Lucy didn’t have a basket, but she planned to carry the berries in her apron like a character in one of her books had done. If she gathered enough blackberries, she would bring them back for her mother to make a cobbler, but sometimes Lucy only found one or two handfuls.
Agatha came and she and Lucy walked into the woods where they had found the blackberry bushes before. The bushes were located near a large fallen tree by a stream that flowed all the way to a lake on the bottom of the mountain.
“Here they are, Lucy,” Agatha shouted.
Lucy walked over to the bush, which was heavy with sweet, ripe blackberries. She held up the apron of her dress and put the berries inside, one by one, until she was distracted by a buzzing sound. She looked down to see not one, but two bees – yellow jackets. That was when she felt the first sting, then another and another.
Lucy screamed and ran from the woods, but the bees followed. She kept running and running until she got home to the cabin at the edge of the forest, where her mother counted one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve sting marks. She stopped counting at 12 and told Lucy they had to go to the hospital. Lucy’s father was allergic to bees and if Lucy was too, she could die.
“Are you OK, Lucy?” her mother asked as she drove to the hospital. “Can you speak?”
Lucy thought of the blackberries she had lost in the woods.
“Put the windows up, Mama,” Lucy said. “I can still hear the bees buzzing.”


By Star Traylor

Julia had six pacifiers: One white, two pink, one green, two orange. When Julia turned 4, her mom and dad said the pacifier fairy was going to take them away. So Julia hid the pacifiers.

She took them all and put them in a purple box with silver sequins on the lid. She put the box in the back corner of her closet where the pacifier fairy would never find them.

That night, the pacifier fairy came, but she didn’t find Julia’s pacifiers.

Julia went without her paci all the next day so no one would know she still had them.

She went without them the day after that and the day after that again.

On the fourth day, she remembered her pacifiers.

She went to look in her closet, in the box.

There they were.

Julia put the lid back on the box and closed the door and went outside.

Her pacifiers were safe and sound and they always would be, in case she needed them.

But she never did.