a fictional children's story for all ages
Clarence and Dorothy are Siamese cats who live in a little pink cottage in the center of town.
Clarence and Dorothy
Behind their back yard is a twelve foot wide canal that winds through the village, and flows into The lagoon. Clarence was born in an overgrown vacant lot, and now that he has an indoor home he likes to stay in it, often under the bed. Of course he has to go to his night watchman job five days a week at 10:00 PM, but in the daytime he ventures from under the bed to eat, watch tv, use the litter box, sharpen his claws, play with his toys and xbox, and keep watch over the neighborhood from thecottage windows.
Dorothy was born a fancy cat, a social butterfly, in a beautiful big house. One day, as a half-grown kitten, she ran out the door to meet the doves at the hedge, and got lost scampering after them into the nearby woods. Dorothy found Clarence’s colony and was happily accepted by the elders.
Mr. Turtlety lived in the canal. One spring morning he awoke, poked out his head to greet the peppermint stick colored sky, and extended his arms and legs.
“Oh no, help me, I’m sinking in some awful gunk!”, cried the little turtle to his soaring-by friends Brian Bluejay and Kenny Catbird.
Brian, perching on Mr. Turtlety’s shell, laughed, ”Mr. Turtlety, this is not a good situation, but you must know that you are trapped in mud, after all, you ARE a turtle.”
“Holy moley, it IS mud”, thought Mr. Turtlety, as he realized he was not sinking, just stuck.
“Now how am I going to brush my beak or Wash my face. I don’t even feel like sticking out my tail.”
Kenny, the more logical bird, said, ”Well, I think we should consult Dorothy Devine, she is always good at figuring out problems, probably because of her Feral Institute education.”
“Oh Mr. Turtlety, I am so sorry”, said Dorothy, “Let’s get you out of this mess and help you get cleaned up.”
It was a struggle for two birds and a cat to push and pull a turtle up on the grassy bank.
After bathing and grooming in Clarence and Dorothy’s comfortable home, the unhappy reptile exclaimed, “What is to become of me? Will I forever wander around in the mire, waiting to die of thirst and starvation?”
Dorothy, a caring and clever cat, decided to have a catnip tea party at her place to discuss how the neighborhood could help Mr. Turtlety with his predicament.
The Squirrel sisters,
Susan, Sharon and Karen excitedly chattered in unison (which is their way),
“Any way we can hold the
party under our big oak tree?” “We love a party.”
“We have been storing some wonderful black walnuts for a special occasion.” Dorothy graciously said, “Of course, ladies, the tree is a perfect place and black walnuts are always a treat.”
Kenny and Brian would of course be there, and Clarence asked, “Is it possible that I may attend from inside the open bedroom window? I can better watch over our guests, so no harm will come to them.”
The tea table was set up between the tree and the window near the birdbath.
Dorothy was busy baking
peanut and birdseed muffins, picking strawberries from the garden, and
brewing her tea, that always
had the most heavenly aroma, hinting of orange blossoms and meadow honey. Clarence guardedly watched from the window. Finally, it was the 2 O’clock meeting time, and all were seated or perched.
Mrs. Wooddebby and her children, Jay and Riley, noticed the festivity while pecking for insects high up in the squirrel tree, and came down to investigate.
“Oh my, such a grand celebration, Dorothy, I can never get enough of your get togethers. I was just telling my boys we need more cats like you and Clarence around here.”
“Please join us”, said Susan Squirrel. “It’s not a party until the Woodpeckers get here”, said Sharon Squirrel.
Karen Squirrel was busy pouring sugar on the strawberries, but did say, “Grab a muffin while they’re hot.”
“And just to let you know”, piped up Mr. Turtlety, “ I am now homeless and need help.”
As the guest of honor, he lounged on a tree stump at the head of the table.
The group was having such a good time visiting and enjoying the banquet,
they forgot the reason for
the gathering. Dorothy suddenly remembered and purred, “Until the
summer rains, the canal will not
be a suitable habitat for Mr. Turtlety. Does anyone here have a suggestion for him?”
All the guests thought and thought. In fact, so much eating and so much thinking resulted in much napping. Clarence alone stayed awake. He noticed Larry and Chase, the pit bull boys from across the canal, tiptoe over the mud, slink through the garden and crawl over the lawn to the tea table.
Fearing for his friend’s safety, he yowled, “DOGS!!” to waken them and scrambled under the bed. Mrs. Wooddebby, falling off the side of the oak tree, squawked to her children, “Save yourselves, fly.”
The Squirrel sisters loudly scolded the dogs, “Intruders.” “Sneaks”. “PITBULLS!!” and took refuge in the leaves. Mr. Turtlety withdrew his head, arms and legs, “Holy moley.”
Brian and Kenny swooped down, “Rat a tat tat, brroom, swoosh”, while dive-bombing the dogs. Dorothy climbed into the window where Clarence had been, and the party was over.
The dogs tried to explain why they were there. “We are seldom invited to fun things, and decided to come over while everyone was dozing. While we were crawling over, we heard parts of the discussion about Mr. Turtlety’s problem.” said Larry.
“If we were found quietly lying at your paws (or claws) waiting to help, we thought maybe we would be accepted as nice, polite neighbors and be asked to stay for some of that glorious smelling tea.”
Dorothy, peeking over the window sill, now felt bad for Larry and Chase and jumped down to offer them leftover treats (and tea).
“How bigoted of us to always exclude you just because you are pits.” The dogs, glad to be included in anything, were eager to share their idea. Mr. Turtlety poked his head out of his shell, “Hi fellas”, and listened cautiously.
Larry explained, “Our house is built on stilts over a spring fed creek that never goes dry. Clear sparkling water is always bubbling up out of the ground. Mr. Turtlety is welcome to live under our doghouse a long as he needs or wants to.”
The crowd decided it best to investigate together. Clarence said, “I will trust the majorities’ judgment, besides, it is time for my favorite tv program, Walking Catastrophy.”
As all of them walked or flew over the back yard and mucky canal. A cozy little doghouse loomed ahead amongst the tall, whispery Australian pine trees.
“It IS built over a creek bed.”
Mr. Turtlety said, “Thank you Larry, thank you Chase.” He was happy he could have a new home under such a pleasant home. His friends all agreed it was a good plan and were relieved that the thinking was over!
“More good neighbors to invite,” thought Dorothy. When she got back to the cottage and told Clarence, a cat of few words, what had been decided, he remarked, “Less intruders to worry about”.
He watched guard over Dorothy cleaning up after the party as he finished watching Walking Catastrophy.
Make new friends, keep the old
Some are silver, some are gold
All are precious and make a great party
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