Bob – The Reindeer

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It was four days to Christmas day. Mrs Constance Claus was in a dither.  Enda, Chief Elf, was no help. He was moving fast making her head spin.

“Enda, stop moving and help. Where did he come from?” Mrs. Claus was red-faced, her voice loud, both unusual for her.  Enda looked up recognised the danger signs of a temper about to blow and stopped beside her. The list of must do’s trailed across the yard and into the workshop. Elves were skipping and jumping over it. He noted Leslie’s big jump and made a mental note to include him in the hop skip and jump the barrel competition.

“From his mum.” Enda said before he thought about it.

“Woof” said the dog.

This got both their attention. “Is he talking to us?” Enda looked at Mrs C. His hat had slipped to the side of his head and it fell from his head straight onto the dogs. Delighted with this game Bob, the dog, started to dance about in a circle.

“Hey you have a note tied to your tail. Give.” Mrs. C said in her best no-nonsense voice.

Bob stopped moving and waited while the note was removed, unrolled and read. He decided to have a nap.

Mrs. C read it aloud, “Dear Santa, I would like to send you my dog to help you at your busiest time. Bob is smart he knows stuff. He is strong and he may help you to get this list to the family who live beside Bob’s house.  I put in a drawing of the family drawn by Sean. He put their list written in a bubble above our heads. Bubbles are handy aren’t they, ask Bob.”

Yours miles of smiles.

Enda snatched his hat off Bob’s head and said, “Well I never. This is a first. I wonder who this smiley guy is?”

At these words Bob sat up and stared at Enda. Mrs. C laughed “well it must be this boy Sean’s idea. It is clever and different.”

“What age is Sean ?” Enda demanded.

“Six and three-quarters.” Mrs C referred to the letter written in bright red crayon. She squinted at the letter. ”

“How did you get here?” Enda muttered.

“That is not our problem but him being here is, you know Santa is allergic to dog fluff and this is one large fluffy dog.”

At this moment Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam arrived.  Sam bent down and hugged Bob. “Ahh, we always wanted a dog, can we keep him please?”

Bob moved between Sam and Noel.  “We can’t keep him he belongs to someone,” Mrs C said. Then she looked at the three elves. They looked sad. There were tears in their eyes. She sighed. “Okay we will find a way to keep him out of Santa’s sight. He is stressed enough without having to worry about his allergy.”

So for the next two days, Bob was in heaven. He got to meet the Reindeer,  Rudolph he knew about cos of the red nose. The reindeer are:Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,Vixen Comet, Cupid,Donner, and Blitzen.

They laughed when they learnt why he had come to the north pole. Dasher said, “you are one heavy-looking dog, you will have to sit in the back of the sleigh.”

Bob patiently explained he had come to help pull it. The reindeers thought this was hilarious. They rolled about in the snow laughing, then went back to eating. Bob left them to it and went to find Slim, Noel and Sam. They were eating dinner. “Hi Bob, would you like some dinner?”

Slim said,

Bob sat beside slim and ate a dinner of fish, potatoes and green beans. Enda noticed and shouted over, “hey he can’t eat that.”

Slim smiled then said, “Too late he has and he enjoyed every single bite.”

Bob wasn’t listening he went to sleep. He needed his energy because he had a plan to prove to the reindeer he could do anything they could do.

Next morning he got up early. When the reindeers went out for exercise they got a surprise. “What is it?” Rudolph asked.

Bob said, “It is an obstacle course you have to get from point a to point b and no cheating for this one. No flying over things. You have to run, jump, crawl and climb.”

Vixen looked madder than usual. “Climb. How can any of us climb?”

Bob didn’t answer just looked at Noel, who had helped him build the course. Bob said “Woof.”

Noel let a shout at the group. “When I say go, I mean run, walk, climb just get to the end.”

The reindeer didn’t look happy but they lined up beside Bob. Noel shouted, “Go” and they did.

The first obstacle was easy it was a simple jump over a gate. They sailed over it leaving Bob behind. He wasn’t worried. He jumped over it.  At the next obstacle a low muddy patch under a large flag the reindeers held a meeting about how best to get under it and survive. Bob lifted the edge and slide under it then he was heard grunting as he walked through the muck.

Rudolph said, “Dasher you hold up this end I will follow Bob and when I get out I will hold the other end up and you can walk through. Easy.”

Bob was now at the tree. He sat and looked back at the reindeer they were carefully tip toeing through the mucky patch. He gave a small leap on to the tree trunk and two swift strides had him onto the lowest branch. He walked onto it and then leapt to the ground landing on some nice soft hay.  Then he trotted to the finish line and lay down to wait on the group.

When they eventually got to the tree they had another meeting. “He said no flying but we could jump.” Dancer said flexing his hoofs.

“No anything over four-foot is considered a flying movement.” Noel told them.

He went to join Bob and they watched the fun. Eventually the reindeers jumped onto Donner’s back from where they stretched up and grabbed the branch, this took a while as they did it one by one. Then Donner was left stuck on the ground.

The others trotted up to Bob. “Okay you won. But you can’t fly? So how can you help us pull a sleigh.”

Bob gave a grunt. Stood up and shook the snow off his fur. Closing h is eyes he took a deep breath and floated gently off the ground. Rudolph shook his head. “Well I never. Okay so you are in. We need to fit you for a harness and teach you the signals for turning right left and flipping.”

During this time Bob heard a lot of arguing and disagreement among the elves and reindeer. Most believed they could manage without this large hairy  dog who seemed to smile a lot. The main argument was they didn’t need him. So Bob waited until they had loaded the sleigh and were doing a test run before Santa appeared.

No matter how much the reindeer dug their hooves into the snow the sleigh didin’t move. Enda shook his head. “There were a lot more toys this year than normal and the new electronic stuff is not as light as we supposed. We need help.”

Everybody swung around and looked at Bob. He walked to his spot in the middle of the group and waited while his harness was clipped in with Vixen and Cupid. Vixen snarled at him and Cupid batted her eyelashes. Bob said “woof”

When Enda took the reins in his hands this time the sleigh took off without a hitch and they did a neat lap of the north pole landing to a huge round of applause.

Christmas Eve Santa was being patiently helped into his seat by the four brothers who were shoving and pushing as normal. Slim muttered, “I thought you were on a diet Santa.”

Noel said, “he was, a see food diet.”

The giggling elves were pushing but trying not to squish the great man too much they heard the words they dreaded hearing him say. “Hang on who is that between Vixen and Cupid.”

Enda looked at bob who was wearing a light weight pair of antlers and had a bright green nose stuck over his own nose. “That is Smiley. Our newest reindeer. He is amazing you will like him.”

Then as Santa landed in his seat Rudolph gave the command and the sleigh took off. Santa’s last words to Mrs C and Enda were “But why does Smiley sound like a dog?”

 

 

Bob’s Diary: I thought the coast was clear.

It was Tuesday Maria was setting up to start blogging after we had a glorious walk when her phone went ping. She grabbed her coat, kicked me and Ellie outside.

When she arrived back we were not greeted as normal. I got curious.

bob 2 tuesday

bob 1 tuesdayThey were back!

 

robyn playing
This is just ridiculous.

 

 

 

 

they are back

 

 

 

maddie prowlingSomething has to give and it won’t be me.

bob and robyn

Maria’s – A Muddled Fairy Tale – Part 2.

Scrumptious Witch.  My side of the tale.

When those three moaning, tiresome knights, kept knocking on my door asking for favors I could not give, I became a little sick and tired of them.

After all when a  pretty, blonde and intelligent witch is trying to snag a Prince Charming having three dolts hanging around her hut is not exactly saying “come and get me” to every available prince, is it?

They were following me or so it seemed. Everywhere I looked there they were. Even when I nipped out late one evening to find come beetle juice there they were: one hopping on his armor the other moaning about being beaten and the third stemming the flow of blood from another self-inflicted injury during a jousting match.

I pretended to brush my hair while sitting not to far away and listened to them. It was apparent they were useless. They would always be moaning and groaning. Something drastic had to be done.  If I was to push them onto another witch I would need help or a really sneaky spell.

I decided if I solved their problems, I would be rid of them but that might make me famous. And then I would have every ruddy knight on the planet camped outside my door.

If the path to a hut containing treasure (me) is blocked by a mountain of knights it would not be enticing to a handsome Prince.

My solution was simple. It happened in a moment of  blinding revelation. I needed to stash them somewhere safe. And in return for their removal I would give them each a gift.

This last bit took some time. Gifts are not something to be bandied about, and this is what I came up with:

Lazy whose armor was always the grottiest would be transformed into an ultra clean cleaner, seeing dirt where no one else could.

Grouchy’s temper would vanish. His anti social side would morph into a person who loves to entertain.

Sleazy lack of interest in everything would turn around. He would become a person needing an answer.

So the spell was cast. I took my time and put them in a deep sleep, they would only be awakened when the world was in need of knights big and small once again.

Unfortunately for me while I was doing the spell that big-headed oaf, Always-Right-Knight stumbled upon me in full moon light dance and chant mode. He wished to join me so he too joined their party. But I was cautious.  I removed him a distance from the others and decided not to meddle with an already arrogant overbearing idiot.

In my defense we were in need of three good solid supports for the bridge and guess who found them?

Yes. Me.

Hopefully the future world will be an amazing place where knights will be true honest and happy.

Maria’s Stuff: Children’s story: Betty’s Do-whacky’s.

Betty is a Grandmother who loves inventing things.

“Gadgets, Do-wacky’s” she calls them.

Her inventions hang from the ceiling in her workshop.  Everything will be useful some day, Betty says. Especially, the wind powered dog walker and even the grass-growing timer.

Betty would love to invent a special car just for her.  A car, which will not collect great bumps and dents whenever she tries to park it. Until then, Betty cycles everywhere.

She is easy to find with her hair pulled into a high bun, which perches on top of her head like a small bird having a rest. Her eyes are large and dark brown. When she laughs, stars tumble from her eyes.

Baby-sitting and Bird Watching.

Betty was babysitting Jim.  She watched him carefully because, Jim loves trouble. Betty did not want any accidents.

Betty’s white cat Sourpuss was sleeping on the floor.

“W-h-a-t ?”  Jim, a very yoghurt faced Jim asked. He waved his spoon around. Dollops of yoghurt flew off his spoon and landed on Sourpuss.

“What indeed Jim!” Betty said. She stopped eating and put down her own spoon. Betty said,  “Well done, your first word. Say it again!”

“Whaaaattt?” he shouted.

Betty picked Jim up. She danced around the room hugging him. It was a hop, skip and jump dance over the toys on the floor.

Wouldn’t it be handy if I could just fly over all of this mess?  But I’d need a flying suit or gadget of some sort! Then an idea danced about in her head until a picture of it formed. “What a brilliant idea, – a flying suit.”

Later when a nice clean Jim was back in his own house, Betty began to work on her idea.   “How heavy could it be? ” Betty said aloud waving her hands in the air.  “I can imagine how it would feel to fly high with the birds. Splendid.”

Betty went outside. She looked up at the sky. “I need to study the birds for clues” she said to the blackbird sitting on her fence. He didn’t like the sound of that and flew off.  A floating feather gave her the answer.

“If humans had as many feathers as birds then they could fly couldn’t they?”

The Feather Hunt.

The group of children were fidgeting and whispering excitedly as they stood in Betty’s garden. Something great was about to happen.

“What do you want us to do?” the tallest of the children called Harry asked.  Harry was in a hurry to get back to his game boy.

“I need your help, please. To collect loads of feathers.”

“What type of feathers?” This was from Sara a very nosy little girl.

“Dog feathers,”her brother said digging her in the ribs.

Sara glared at him. “I meant what size? Big ones or little ones Betty?”

‘All sizes, types and colours, but only ones that have fallen off birds. You are not to chase the birds.’ She added this as she noticed Jonathon eyeing up a very fat pigeon waddling across the road.

They set off at a run. Feather pillows suddenly became featherless. The empty pillows were stuffed with the most unusual items, old socks (mostly of the smelly variety), sheep’s wool and Harry had a brain wave of filling the empty pillowcase with a cabbage from the garden.

Hen houses and hedgerows were searched. Trees were climbed and bird-cages were emptied. Betty found some feathers in the hedge where Sourpuss slept and she put them in a box inside her workroom.  She went to sleep that night dreaming of skies filled with flying children. Much safer than airplanes Betty decided before she fell asleep.

 The Flying Suit.

 

The next morning after a large breakfast of cereal, two hard boiled eggs and three slices of toast, all washed down with a pot of strong tea, Betty went to her workroom.

The sight of the large box stuffed with feathers, sitting at the door, was a surprise. Betty dragged the box indoors. She emptied it onto the floor. The feathers were all co lours and sizes, some were bright yellow, others were as dark as a lump of coal. Betty felt a tingle of excitement run through her. Taking her oldest boiler suit Betty began to cover it in feathers. She was no good at sewing so she was gluing them to the fabric. It was a sticky, tricky job.

At one o clock the back of the suit was covered in feathers. The wings were her next problem. Walking around her workroom she glanced up at the ceiling. There was the answer, – two old kites dangling above her.  Betty began to work again.

By nightfall Betty was hopping about with excitement. It was finished.

The suit looked strange but impressive. Betty wondered who might test it for her.

“I’ll do it.” Licking her lips and rubbing her hands together, she sensed an adventure about to happen.

Betty Goes Flying!

 

Betty woke the sun up. She pulled on loads of clothes, because, she was afraid the sun might forget to shine. On went her warmest jeans, thick socks, boots, two tee shirts, a huge woolly jumper and matching hat. Plonking her sunglasses on her head, she said, ‘I’m ready.’

Betty quickly loaded the suit on to her wheelbarrow. Pushing the barrow to the old barn in the field next to her house didn’t take long. She was huffing and puffing harder than any wolf blowing down a house. She looked about her for a moment or two.

‘How, and where, will I land?’ She looked about her.

The ground looked hard. The cows in a field beside her looked lumpy.

‘What I need is a nice soft landing pad.’ Betty opened the door of the barn and

smiled. Hay, lots and lots of hay! ‘I’d prefer to land with a bounce instead of a thud!’ She said making a giant hay bed in the field.

Her next job was to climb the ladder into the hay loft.  She looked from the barrow to the loft. It was a long way up. ‘Best have the suit on just in case I fall.’

Putting on the suit was hard. With a lot of wriggling and groaning, she managed it. Climbing the ladder was tricky. Her flapping wings kept getting in the way.

Standing on the upper floor of the barn Betty pushed open the upper door and looked out at the wide countryside before her. The sun, now awake and interested, was beaming down on her.  The ground looked a long way down.

‘I’m not too sure about this,’ she whispered.

A gust of wind came hurtling in through the doorway. The wind was singing as it neatly collected Betty on its way out.

She was tumbling along. Betty was flapping her arms up and down at a terrible pace.  She realized something important. It didn’t matter how fast she flapped her arms because it was the current of air, which was carrying her.

By now Betty was tired. Oh my, I need a rest, she thought. There was a huge roar beneath her. Looking down she saw a small airplane. I’ll take a lift on that, Betty thought and holding her wings by her side she dropped towards the plane.

Landing was a bit tricky and noisy as Betty kept shouting things like, “Mind my new wings you big galoot!” to all of the birds who came to watch. They were flapping about and getting in her way.

Finally there she was – sitting on the wing of the plane looking about her.  I wonder where my house is? Another question popped into her head. ‘How do I get back?’

The pilot couldn’t understand why one side of the plane was dipping slightly. The co-pilot could as he spotted Betty land. He was trying to speak.  His mouth didn’t work! He tried rubbing his eyes to make her disappear but it didn’t work. Betty was waving at him.

“There’s a granny sitting on our wing!” he spluttered.

The pilot chuckled, “What? A Granny on the wing, nonsense.”

But turning to look out of the window the pilot got a surprise. “Oh my.”

“What shall I do,?” the co-pilot asked.

“Ask her to buzz off, politely though, if she is like my own granny, we will be in trouble no matter what we say.”

He opened the window of the small plane and shouted in his most polite voice, “Excuse me. Would you mind, hopping off our wing and flying away?”

Betty stared at him. Was he stupid? she wondered. If she knew where to fly to then she would not be sitting on his plane. “Could you please tell me how to get to Ballytrickle?”

The pilot shouted back, “Two miles that way.”

“Thanks ever so much,” said Betty as she was sucked underneath the plane by a current of air. Turning towards the sun, which was hiding behind a cloud, Betty headed home. As she neared the barn she spotted a tiny toddler playing in his garden. She swooped down near him. He saw her coming and his mouth opened wide but no sound came from him. His toy car was made from plastic and very round. Instead of crashing on to its side, it wobbled for a bit. He started to cry!

“Sorry baby,” Betty said. The barn appeared before her. Seeing the giant bed of hay she aimed herself at it and closed her eyes. Landing was a very bouncy affair as she bounced from one part of it to another. She ran out of hay and rolled onto the ground. ‘Ouch!’ Betty sat up to look at the damage.  The left-wing was in tatters but Betty was in one piece.

“I did it!” She said to a bewildered looking cow. Then she put her suit back into the barrow and headed for home.

Time for an extra-large brunch, Betty might fly like a bird but she won’t eat like one, she thought.

“Rashers, sausages, egg and tea all for little old me,” she sang, as she walked. This was followed by an extra long nap.

Bob’s Diary: Rumor has it….

Bob: I’ve called a meeting because I’ve heard a rumour…

1st pic meeting

Ellie:  Seriously? What’s a meeting? What’s a rumor?

pay attentionBob: Just listen. We have a problem. The fact is I’m told the Ogre has a blog.

 Ellie: Good for him. He will be busy.

Bob: Exactly so we can find him and get a refill of fairy cakes.

meeting called

“Good luck with that one.”

Bob’s Diary: Party Sorted

Thanks Denise Esther and Jennifer for your suggestions,  I think the problem is sorted. See  Maria’s account below:

The Party Invitation Problem:

Breeze was  so excited, he  was jumping up and down. On the fourth jump he was frightened by a loud voice shouting. “Stop!  Breeze stop jumping now.”

He paused mid jump by clinging to the trunk of the tree closest to him.

He scowled. It was his best friend, Tulip, who happened to be a fiesty fairy.

Tulip pointed her finger at him . He landed on the ground with a loud whup!

Breeze said, “You are scary for a fairy.” He giggled at the rhyme.

“Huh, we sent our invitations a month ago for our Fairy Tea Party, what did I get today?”

Breeze puffed out his chest. “An invitation to the Ogres Afternoon Tea Party. It’s on the 12th.”

“I know. It can’t be. We are having our party on the 12th.”

Breeze scratched his chin. “Two parties, well…”

“Exactly we won’t have a full table, neither will you.” Her loud voice drew a crowd of onlookers because Fairies never lost their temper.

“Well then there is only one thing to do..” Breeze said.

“Cancel the Ogres party.”

Breeze shook his head. “No.”

“YOU will!” She roared, frightening the wind. It stopped, changed direction and raced away.

“No need, we will have one giant party.”  Breeze said.

Before Tulip could say anything. The crowd cheered.

Breeze smiled. “There you go problem solved. I need to go. I must tell the others to make some fairy cream pies.”

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I’m going to sneak in and watch the fun, I will post the report after the event.

Thank you,  Bob

Bob’s Diary: New Year Resolutions.

Breeze (Ogre friend of Bobs)

I will eat no, fairy cakes.

I will eat  fewer ,,

I will eat fairy cakes with care.

for an image of Breeze follow the link:  http://miartedoris.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/the-trouble-with-trees/

Bob’s Resolution

I will exercise with a smile on my face and eat with a bigger smile on my face.

ellie and bob 053

Ellie’s Resolution:

To keep working at finding people who are lost.

Ellie looking at camera

Maria’s Resolution:

To write more, worry less.

Kevin:

To learn how to breath fire and not water.

kevin 1

Tricks, new and old.

Joe stood staring out at the sea. He was an upright weather beaten man in his late seventies. The large shaggy dog sat at his side.

Joe’s sadness stretched out and down into the depths of the sea, his school friend Larry had died two days ago. It was a fine funeral.

Joe wished he knew if there was something after this life. He would discover the truth sooner rather than later. He grinned remembering long hours spent debating the what if’s of the whole matter, while perched on their regular high stools. We enjoyed the debate, even if we never came to a concrete decision. He shook his head, now they would never debate anything again.

A bird flew low heading inland to it’s nest.

“We should do the same Rigsby”, he said, “but it won’t matter much if we take a bit more time. It’s nice out here.”

His eyes met the dog’s solemn stare, “raw and wild, the way life should be, not confined by rules we are afraid to step beyond.”

Joe chuckled remembering the way he could never colour within the given lines as a child. A talent he carried with him throughout his teenage years and into adulthood.

“Hard to teach an old dog new tricks,” he said as the dog nuzzled his hand. “But I’ve been told I have to conform, behave rather than indulge in whims, or wild and fanciful moments.”  He had spent the last six months behaving in a manner befitting his age while he stayed by Larry’s side.

“Boring, awful depressing stuff,” he muttered.  “But today we escaped our minders,”

Laura had been fussing about him going to a funeral, standing about in the cold. “You might catch something, Dad,” she scolded.

“Wouldn’t that be something! Imagine catching anything at my age,” he replied. He felt guilty at having given her the slip, she would worry and he’d hear all about it when she caught up with him.

He reckoned they had a good hour yet. ‘What would you do Larry if you were here with me?” He grinned as the sun switched its power on him.

He could hear his friend say, “Why Joe, I’d dive in, go for a swim, enjoy meself isn’t that what truly matters? Live for the moment.”

‘What the hell, you are right Larry. Let’s celebrate the fact that I am here,’ he chuckled as he pulled off his shoes and socks. “Come on Rigsby, let’s live!”

When the gentle ‘woof’ of approval was given together man and dog went for a paddle.

Flash Fiction, What or who do you carry in your car?

I’m driving and my four miss daisy’s are driving me loopy, not crazy, loopy.  This is one step beyond crazy. The reason is they are arguing. Mum is the main instigator of every argument. The fact is they are spirits,  all should be quite happy in the next world but this is our family. Most of us do two things really well, arguing and being contrary.

For many years I was aware of Gran perched on the back shelf of my car, she liked sitting there. Spending her time between knitting and watching the world go by.

Once my mum joined the team all peace ended, everyone had to sit in back. She only landed and she caused a row because my maternal Grandmother Nan’s,  prefers sitting up front beside me. I like that too given her wacky sense of humor, but she is needed to act as chief peacemaker between the other three.  Therefore she has to sit in the middle in the back between Mum, Gran, and Nan’s sister, Byna.

Why Byna landed in my car, no one has the faintest notion but there you go, welcome to my crazy life.

Today’s topic of debate is: angels or butterflies?

Mum insists she would prefer to be an angel because there is more chance of being able to voice an opinion. Gran says, ‘bother, dropped a stitch.”

“You can’t be an angel because you love to fight. You would have the world engaged in another war before you could blink.” Nan’s folds her arms and stares at Mum.

“Well I can’t be a butterfly because I don’t like flying, I get sick.”

Byna sticks her nose in, “you only do that to get attention. Well I’d be a butterfly, they are sweet, like me.” She stares at the others defying them to deny this. They ignore her.

I look in the mirror and try to distract them. “I think they are all sweet and by nature, butterflies and angels do fly and don’t argue so there you go. It doesn’t matter which you are really does it?!

At this point they all round on me demanding, “who the hell asked you?”

And you wonder why there is no permanent man in my life? I could give you four hundred reasons, but the four I’ve mentioned should be enough for you to get the picture.