Monday, April 9, 2012

Story - "The Unbirthday"

This mini-story is based upon the characters in my new children's eBook, Tales From The Glades Of Ballymore.

Rachel and Rain Rabbit watched from the front window of their cottage as a soft rain dappled Ballymore pond.  Their mother, Rhonda, was standing behind them.

"Girls, it's going to rain all day.  Why don't we do something new and different?  I think we should make an 'unbirthday' present for someone."

Rain asked, "Whose unbirthday is it and what should we make?"

Their mother laughed.

"It's probably everyone's unbirthday and we can make almost anything that is made of fabric.  I think we should choose someone who could use a little cheering up."

So the rabbits sat down at their dining table and began to choose. While they enjoyed tea and scones, they discussed the possibilities. Last week Sam Snapping Turtle was helping the ducks pull the delivery raft across the pond when a basket of flour tipped over.  He was briefly turned into a snow turtle. Recently, Grenby Groundhog tried to make another cake.  The result was the same as his previous try; cake batter ended up all over the kitchen.  Oh, and Finn Frog had his kite drag him into the pond during the kite flying contest last month.  It was the second year in a row that that had happened.

As they were talking, they could hear the ratt-tat-tat of the sewing machine from the next room.  As always, Reginald, the head of the family, was hard at work making clothes for the Ballymore residents.

Rhonda stopped and said, "Why don't we make something for your father.  He is always making clothes for everyone else but hardly ever anything for himself."

The three rabbits stared at the door to the room.  Ratt-tat-tat-tat.  Then they stared at each other and smiled.

"What shall we make?" asked Rain.

"Well," said Rhonda, "he has always liked those wool caps that people in England wear.  Of course, we would have to change the design a little."

Just then the ratt-tat-tat noise ended and Reginald came from the room.  His family looked at him and smiled.

"Why are you all smiling at me?" he asked.

"You'll see," answered his wife.

He shook his head and smiled also.

"I have to go and visit Burton Beaver and Petunia Porcupine.  I need to check some measurements for their spring clothes.  I'll be gone a while."

He gathered his measuring tapes, put on a rain coat, grabbed a scone from the table, and hopped out the door.

Rachel yelled, "Yeah!  Perfect!"

The family went into the tailoring room.  There were pieces of cloth lying everywhere.  Under one pile, Rhonda found a picture of a nice English style cap.  It would be made from a piece of grey and white checkered wool.  The material was left over from a skirt for Belva Beaver.  They sized the cap to fit Rhonda because her head was about the same size as Reginald's. They added two important openings for his big ears.  When it was finished, Rhonda modeled it.  They all laughed. The cap fit well, but it was not her style.  Then they found a box and some gift wrapping paper.  After a total of three hours, the "unbirthday" gift sat on the tailoring table.

"How shall we surprise him with it?" asked Rain.

"I think we should just let him find it here.  He certainly isn't expecting anything," answered Rhonda.  "Let's go back to the kitchen, get something to eat, and wait.  He won't be long."

Everyone was excited.  This was the first unbirthday gift they had ever made.  About a half-hour later, Reginald came home, said hello, and quickly hopped to the tailoring room.

"What in the world is this?" was heard shortly thereafter.

"What do you mean, dear?" called Rhonda.

"There's a very nice gift package sitting on the tailoring table."

"Perhaps you should open it," she suggested.  Everyone giggled.

Unwrapping was heard and then an "Oh, my!  How beautiful!"

He shortly appeared at the door proudly wearing the cap.  Everyone got up and hugged him.

"Happy unbirthday, Papa"

"Thank you, dear.  Thank you everyone.  It's wonderful!  I suspected you were up to something and I was right," he laughed.

He didn't remove the cap for the rest of the day.

The soft rain continued to dapple Ballymore pond.  The rainy day had been turned into a joyful one by an unbirthday.  Things like that happen frequently in Ballymore.  It is part of the cement that holds the community together so well.

© 2012 Robert N. Brooks

The weekly Story about the animal residents of Ballymore is available for free syndication to family-oriented blogs and websites.  For information, please contact me at: ballymoretales(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tales From The Glades Of Ballymore

I am pleased to announce that I have completed my children's novel.  It is a heartwarming, humorous, and adventurous family book about a community of lovable animals.  It has an underlying theme of the "Golden Rule".  The early reviews are excellent. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  The book and a free sample are now available on Amazon.  NOTE: Kindle or iPad not required.

                         Thank you,        Bob Brooks