All alone outside on a sunny day
No one else wanted to come out and play.
Here I am dribbling a soccer ball--
Who will I pass to?
No one at all.
All alone outside on a sunny day
No one else wanted to come out and play.
Here I am on the sidewalk drawing with chalk, wow!
But there's no one here to compliment
What I've just drawn right now.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The next morning, Grandroar’s fears are confirmed. His sister is missing, and there are tracks leading to the forest that look suspiciously like hers. He feels very guilty. He knows that he shouldn’t have given her the fruit. There are dangers in the forest so terrible…………he shudders. He thinks with all his mind about what to do. He thinks about how much she’d loved that grapefruit, how much she likes to explore, -and suddenly he finds the answer. He runs of to tell the adults his plan. They huddle in the meeting room to discuss and put into action Grandroar’s plan.
One day, on their morning walk, Grandroar spots the most delicious-looking grapefruit he has ever seen, and gobbles it up. Lovelypaw stops for a moment as well, to ask him “What was that that you just ate?” “A grapefruit,” Grandroar answers. “Do you want to try one?” She eats a grapefruit. “Yum, these are delicious!” “The best ones grow in the forest, but we’re not allowed in there.” He makes a gesture to the forbidden area. She licks her lips. “Lovelypaw! Grandroar! Come on!” They run back to their father, Grandroar feeling that he may have made a very big mistake in letting Lovelypaw try the grapefruit.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Each day on his island, Grandroar takes a walk with his father and twin sister. They stop if Grandroar spots a particularly ripe plum or orange pumpkin that he’d like to have for breakfast, and he eats and goes back home with his father. Then he plays with his twin sister, the princess Lovelypaw, until lunchtime when he goes of in search of a lentil or two. In the afternoons, he does not have any of the pouncing or hunting lessons a normal young prince might have, because he is a vegetarian, so he has this time all to himself. At dinner he sits by himself, because he does not like to see or smell the meat any more than he likes to eat it. This is how it goes for Grandroar, every single day.
Grandroar is a lion cub. More importantly, he is a prince, and his father, the king. Grandroar is a perfectly normal young cub, except for one thing. Grandroar is a vegetarian. The first time his father allowed him to share the meat that they had jut brought down, he refused it. The reason was that he hated the thought of eating something that had once been alive, and he felt sorry for the poor deer that the pride ate. The other cubs were forbidden to tease him. After all, he was the prince. Grandroar could not wait for his mane to grow. He simply loves his father’s. He is rather odd, but he is very nice all the same.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Sleekwhisker graduates from her school and becomes an underwater gardener, and when she is 4 even learns about the plants above the ground. She also likes to go up to the beach and pick up shells and polished stones to border her gardens. She loves her work, and has a very happy life.
Sleekwhisker rushes into her cave. “Aunt Shellsmile! Musclefin! Roughbark! Sweetblubber! Speedswimmer! I’m home!” She is greeted by shouts of surprise and delight, and is almost bowled over by 5 hugs coming from all different sides. The 2 eldest boys are trying to look tough but failing horribly as the tears of joy come to their eyes, Aunt Shellsmile is running off with Sweetblubber to fix her a hot drink (bawling loudly all the way), and Speedswimmer is howling “Sqeakster come back!” and flailing his little flippers. Sleekwhisker laughs and cries with delight at the same time. Never before has she felt so happy.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Through the next few days, Sleekwhisker catches fish for the small group, and they make good progress-about 5 miles a day. Finally, on Friday, Sleekwhisker sees her coral reef. “We’re almost there!” she announces. Everyone swims faster. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I cannot swim you home,” Sleekwhisker tells the monkey brothers. “I want to see my family. But there is and island right next to my coral reef. You can move in if you wish.” “Alright,” the monkey brothers agree. Sleekwhisker rushes to her cave to see her family.
"What do we do? What do we do? What do we do?” the monkeys yelled. It had grown very, very, dark now. Everyone is shaking, but suddenly Sleekwhisker gets the answer. “We have to throw some clam and oyster salad onto the island over there. The shark will go to it and leave us enough time to get away,” Sleekwhisker whispers to the screaming monkeys. “But it’s so dark, how will we ever hit the shore,” they ask. “It’s a chance we’ll have to take. You realize it’s our only chance,” says Sleekwhisker. She grabs the bag containing the clam and oyster salad and hurls it at the shore. Everyone holds their breath. Then the sound of seaweed tearing fills the night. Their plan has partly worked. The shark got the salad at least. As they swim away, though, Sleekwhisker realizes that she has just thrown away their only source of food.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The next day, Sleekwhisker and the monkey brothers check everything, and they set off. Everything is going very well and there doesn’t seem to be anyone but them out at sea until around 3:30 pm. when the second monkey brother spots some bubbles on their left. He alerts the others and they swerve to the right, but the bubbles follow them and they begin to worry. “I think it might be a predator!” says Sleekwhisker. “What should we do?” They swim as fast as they can, but the bubbles move faster. It is growing dark, so they swim some circles to confuse whatever-it-was, and started to turn a corner when a large head thrust up out of the water. “Shark!” they all screamed at the same time. The shark gnashed its teeth together and began circling.
When Sleekwhisker awakens, she is lying on a thick bed of leaves. She looks around. There are 2 strange monkeys sitting beside her, applying a strange ointment to her injured flipper. She sits up straight. “Who are you?” she asks. “Ah, she has woken up,” one monkey says. “We are two monkeys of the Island of Friendship,” the monkey announces. “And who might you be?” the other monkey asks. Sleekwhisker tells them her name, and then manages to get out her whole story. “And that is why I must leave quickly. I do hope that no one was hurt in the tsunami!” “Your family is probably fine,” says the first monkey. “The tsunami passed very quickly, and they would have had a chance to get back to their home.” “I have to find them!” cries Sleekwhisker. “We can be ready by tomorrow. We wish to accompany you,” says the second monkey. That is just what they do.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The next morning, the water feels a lot stronger than usual. Sleekwhisker looks around. Her family appears to be very frenzied. “Sleekwhisker, quickly! A tsunami is coming, and we must be away when it comes!” cries Aunt Shellsmile. Sleekwhisker leaps up and starts gathering as much leftover clam and oyster salad as possible. They wouldn’t want to run out of food on their escape. When they are all ready, they swim off. Sleekwhisker spots the tsunami rolling towards them. She tries to swim faster, but at that moment (of all moments it could have happened!) her flipper has one of its rare painful moments, and she is overtaken by the humongous wave! Her last conscious thought is that of her family calling her name as she is forced away from them.
The next day is a school day for Sleekwhisker, so she quickly eats her breakfast, picks Glimmercoat up, and swims to school. When they get there, the teacher, Miss Longtusk, has already started attendance, but luckily both their names are at the end of the list, so Miss Longtusk has not called them yet. After roll call, Miss Longtusk tells them “Today we will be studying seaweed, coral, and other plants that grow under the sea.” “Good,” thinks Sleekwhisker in her head. She loves to learn about plants. She has a garden back home in which she grows all kinds of things. During the lesson, she is able to share much of her knowledge of plants with the class, and learns a few new things herself. When it is time for lunch, she is thinking about the coral reef she wants to grow encircling her garden as she chews her clam and oyster salad.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sleekwhisker’s family (agewise) goes like this: Aunt Shellsmile, Musclefin, Sleekwhisker, Roughbark, Sweetblubber, and the baby, Speedswimmer. Musclefin and Roughbark are sometimes a little hard to control, but they are really very nice. Sweetblubber is 2 months old and is a sort of copycat. Speedswimmer is only 5 weeks old, and can’t do much yet. On weekday evenings, Sleekwhisker likes to curl up in her section of the cave, while the others swordfight with stalactites and look for pearls in the closet, and takes a nice nap. On weekend mornings she catches fish with Aunt Shellsmile, and takes Sweetblubber for a swim. Sometimes her best friend, Glimmercoat, would come over and they’d make seaweed necklaces and swap news and try to prevent Sweetblubber from tagging along. Boring would never be a good way to describe Sleekwhisker’s cave, and yet she longs for more adventure, which her damaged flipper keeps her from.
Sleekwhisker is a seal. She is 2 years old, and almost a teenager. She has a problem though. When she was just born, her family was tossed up on a group of rocks and her flipper was damaged. She has learned to deal with it, but she has never been as strong a swimmer as she should be at this age, and her flipper sometimes begins paining her again so that she cannot swim. Still, she goes through life and her exams in school, and there is nothing really wrong with her at all. At home, she plays with her 3 brothers and her 1 sister (all younger than her except for Musclefin) and lives with her Aunt Shellsmile who is very kind to all of them in a undersea-cave, so she has a pretty good life for a young teenage seal with a damaged flipper.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
The other children are no longer terrified of Shimmerscale, and go to him for help with bullies and balls that go just out of reach. He would have been happy just fitting in, but since that doesn’t seem possible, he soon settles in to the new position he has among the children of the island. His mother (of course) is extremely proud of her son and very glad that she picked that egg up on the beach 2 years ago.
When they get back, they go to the village square to tell everyone. When they get there, they stop in horror. A large boulder is teetering on a ledge above a group of rabbits, and they don’t seem to notice! Shimmerscale calls out to them, but they do not hear him. For a few moments, he just stands there flapping his wings wildly and shouting-then his wings begin to lift him of the ground! He is surprised, but remembers where he is, swoops down and quickly grabs each shocked rabbit, lifting them to safety. The boulder falls, but the rabbits are safe. He brings them down and is greeted by cheers. He, Shimmerscale has saved the day.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Shimmerscale and his mother stay for 4 weeks, and discover quite a lot about dragons. On the last day of their time there, Shimmerscale decides to stay inside a day and think about what he has learned. They have wings, horns, and tails, and lots of scales. “Hey, that’s sort of like me,” he realizes. “And I liked that fruit that mother hated. Could I be a dragon?” It was all starting to fit together in his head. This was why he had always felt connected to the word “dragon”. He had always grown much faster than the other children in his class, and that footprint had been so huge. “I am the last dragon alive,” he realizes. He tells his mother, and it makes sense to her, too. They go home, then, having found out as much as they need to know.
Shimmerscale and his mother are on the bank of a river, waiting to cross. His mother wades in, and Shimmerscale climbs onto her back. The water is not deep, and it does not take them long to cross. The other side is one of the spots where the dragons were supposed to have spent a lot of time, and Shimmerscale is amazed by it. He walks about a bit, then almost falls into a shallow pit. On a second glance, he discovers that it is not a pit-but a giant footprint! “Wow,” he gasps. There is something familiar about this place, but he doesn’t know why. They explore the bank further, and find some golden yellow fruits which Shimmerscale finds scrumptious but make his mother almost gag, find some marks on a tree that suggest that a rather large tail was lashed at it, and had a pretty good time. Shimmerscale is still very curious, though.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The next day, Shimmerscale’s back feels funny. He looks back to see if a leaf has fallen on him-and sees a tiny pair of wings! He rushes to his mother and shows her. She nearly faints. Shimmerscale flexes them. He feels both excitement and confusion. During the week, his wings grow until they are each as long as 2 good sized books. He is very excited, but he still wants to find out more about dragons. Finally, he grows so curious, and he hasn’t really found out anything he doesn’t already know (since that first scroll), that he decides he wants to go take a trip to see the area they were thought to live in, to study clawmarks and things like that. He tells his mother and she insists on coming with him. Shimmerscale would also like to learn more about what the first scroll said the dragons were guarding, but he does not tell his mother that. The next day, they go to find out more about dragons.
The next day, (which is a Saturday) Shimmerscale goes to the island’s treasury of old scrolls. He inquires about any scrolls relating to dragons, and is led to a shelf. He chooses one and reads the information inside. “Dragons” he reads “were on this island for ages.” “Nothing interesting yet.” he thinks. Nothing comes up in any of the scrolls that he didn’t already know Shimmerscale is very curious. Every time he has heard/read/said the word “dragon”, he has felt a bit odd, but he still can’t see why. He goes home that night, feeling queerer than ever. He will dream about dragons tonight.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Shimmerscale attends school, like all young creatures of his age, and he has history today. The teacher, Mr. Blackspot, will today tell them about the first creatures to be on the island. “Before anyone else on this island, there were great dragons. They had scaly skins that shone and tall pointed horns. They breathed fire. Back then, the island was a sort of tropical paradise, so they had everything they needed.” Upon hearing this story, something in Shimmerscale’s head clicks. This is in some way related to him, but he cannot see how. He raises a claw. “Yes, Shimmerscale?” the teacher asks. “What happened to them?” Shimmerscale asks. “Most people believe that a giant storm came and that all but one of the dragons could not leave in time,” responds his teacher. After school, Shimmerscale thinks for a long time. He just has to find out more about the one surviving dragon.
Shimmerscale has always wondered where he came from. His mother had found his egg on the shore after a big flood, and taken care of him. He looks nothing like anyone else on the island and his mother is so much taller than he is that she has to stretch her entire long neck to feed him, though he is growing faster than any of the other children. He has shiny golden scales, which his mother takes great pleasure in polishing, and two small, sharp horns which the other children are all afraid of. He is very proud of his horns and his scales, but he wishes he could be more like the other children. At night, small rings of smoke curl from his nostrils as he dreams. His mother, who is a giraffe, loves him very much but cannot help wondering who he is. She remembers the night she picked up his large, pearly swirled pink, blue, and golden egg. Everything about her son is a mystery.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Emeraldtrunk never again finds the slightest drawback with her trunk. To keep from tripping over it, she ties it in a bow under her chin. Fiercepaw loves to tell their story, and gets quite an audience when he does. They are both very happy and their parents are quite proud.
The animals stay there for a day and a half, until finally the west wind gives way to an east wind, and blows the water back into the sea. Then Emeraldtrunk and Fiercepaw lead the way down the side of the mountain. The ground is very damp, and the hole in the side of the mountain must be repaired so that no more water leaks through, but still it is good to be back. Everyone is very thankful to Emeraldtrunk and Fiercepaw. All is well until a mother giraffe finds a strange egg on the sea shore that has been swept onto the island by the sea……….(read A Dragon’s Wings to find out what happens.)
Friday, January 13, 2012
Title: The Emerald Atlas
Author: John Stephens
Main characters: Kate, Michael, and Emma
Summary: Kate, Michael, and Emma are passed from orphanage to orphanage after their parents abandon them. At one of the orphanages, which is very dismal, they find a photo album and put into it a picture from when the orphanage was a better place-and are transported back to when the photo was taken. They escape from an evil countess but Michael is left behind, and Kate and Emma go back to rescue him and and are caught by the countess. They lose the photo album to her, and are desperate to get it back and go back home. They finally find it and save the children the countess has held captive, and defeat the countess. They finally can go home.
They get onto the raft (to their relief it holds their weight and floats) and launch it. Emeraldtrunk used her trunk as a paddle and got them halfway to the mountain before she gets tired out and Fiercepaw Takes his turn. When they bump against the side of the mountain, everyone but Emeraldtrunk gets off the raft and climbs onto a ledge. “You coming, Emeraldtrunk?” asks Fiercepaw. “I need to paddle over and get the other animals. We can’t just leave them!” She went back many times that day for the other animals, collecting anything that was able to be saved that could be used as food along the way. When she gets back, she realizes with pride that a normal-sized trunk could never have been used as an oar, and none of this could have happened.
To put their plan into action, Fiercepaw leads Emeraldtrunk into the back of the cave. “There are a bunch of very strong strips of wood back here. It will need to have layers, but it we can find something to stick it together with, it should make a good raft. The plan depends on how strong the wood really is. You arrange them while I go check on your mother.” He leaves, and Emeraldtrunk reaches for the first stick, but her trunk gets caught in a vine twice its length. “Well, that’s something to tie it with,” she says. When she is finished, the raft is 8 ft. long and 1 ft. thick and tied nicely, but she just hopes it floats. She shows it to Fiercepaw, who says “Perfect! I think we need to test it before we use it, though. “No time!” says Emeraldtrunk’s mother. “Look!” They looked. The water was coming in the door of the cave!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
“Mother! Mother, wake up quick! The water has risen halfway up the side of the hill!” Emeraldtrunk shakes her mother, who springs up. “Emeraldtrunk, why is Fiercepaw here?” “No time to explain, mother! Just look at the flood! How will we ever get away?” Her mother gasps and would fall out of the cave if Fiercepaw didn’t yanked her back. She asks, “Does anyone know another way out?” “We could dig,” Fiercepaw suggests. “Tiger claws are very sharp.” “Where would we dig to? The whole island must be flooded by now!” Emeraldtrunk asks. “No, wait! The water couldn’t reach past the ring of mountains it’s leaking through, right?” She points to a mountain. “But the tunnel would have to be very wide so that we wouldn’t get stuck, and it might take too long.” Fiercepaw says, “No, I have a better idea.” They huddle together as Fiercepaw tells them his plan. “It's extremely risky, but it just might work.”
The next morning, Emeraldtrunk is awakened by a loud whisper. “Emeraldtrunk!” She opens her eyes and is surprised to see Fiercepaw staring at her. “I wanted to help stop the flood, but father says I’m too young.” Emeraldtrunk recovers from her surprise and asks, “But why are you here?” “Well, because-” Fiercepaw pauses-”I wanted to ask you if you want to help, too.” Emeraldtrunk gasps. “You mean there might be something we could do?” They spent a while thinking, and being very careful not to wake Emeraldtrunk’s mother. That was when they heard it. “Fiercepaw, what’s that splashing sound?” They looked down the hill. The hole in the mountain ring had obliviously widened surprisingly during the night. The water had risen halfway up the hill, and it was slapping against the side!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Encircling the edge of Emeraldtrunk’s island, there is a line of mountains that keep out the sea. The land on the edge of Emeraldtrunk’s island slopes inward, so that the water would completely cover the island if it were not for these mountains. Unknown to the inhabitants of the island, the sea has been carving a small hole in one of these mountains, (due to a particularly strong west wind) and the water is already beginning to leak through. This is discovered by a passing owl, who makes sure to ring the alarm bell and warn everyone to stay where the water cannot reach. The chief decides that if the water level gets too high, they will have to find a way of leaving the island. Emeraldtrunk and her mother receive the warning and Emeraldtrunk wants to stay and help, but her mother hurries her to their winter cave, which is atop a large hill. Emeraldtrunk looks out the window and wonders what Fiercepaw is doing now. “Probably helping his father with the flood,” she thinks with a sigh.
Striper tells Emeraldtrunk “Happy Birthday,” and introduces the cub as his son, Fiercepaw. They show her around their home, and Fiercepaw and Emeraldtrunk make fast friends. Fiercepaw is very excitable, and likes to show off. He shows Emeraldtrunk many things about his home and admires her long trunk. “I wish I had a trunk,” he says. When it is time for Emeraldtrunk to leave, they are both disappointed. They hope to meet again soon. When Emeraldtrunk gets home, she asks her mother if they can visit Striper and Fiercepaw again soon. “Maybe,” says her mother. Then she kisses her daughter on the trunk and snuggles up with her for a nice, long, nap.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
On Emeraldtrunk’s 1st birthday, she goes to meet Striper. It is a long way to his home, but Emeraldtrunk does not care. She has been waiting for this for a very long time. When they finally get there, there is a little tiger pup jumping in front of the door. Upon seeing them he jumps back inside and re-emerges to say that they may come in. Emeraldtrunk slowly walks forward. She is a bit nervous. Finally she gets inside. There is a tiger sitting on the rug. The pup leaps over to him. Emeraldtrunk gasps. She is finally meeting the legendary Striper!
The next day in school, Emeraldtrunk has her favorite subject, art. They learn to suck paint into their trunks and spray the rocks to make cool patterns. She, of course, excels at this, and receives an A+. It is a picture of herself and Striper, but you could not tell by looking at it, there are to many spots and splashes. She wants to take it home, but you cannot simply pick a rock up off the pavement. It is wedged to hard between the other rocks to bring it anywhere, so Emeraldtrunk brings home the recipe for paint instead, in her looooooong trunk. She hopes to make another one at home. Maybe someday she will. But not now. Now it is time to rest.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Emeraldtrunk the elephant is 4 months old. She has always admired Striper the legendary tiger who had saved the island long ago, and wants to be like him when she grows up. For her 1st. birthday, she wants to meet him. At the moment, she attends a preschool for young elephants. She has a trunk that is longer than most adult elephants’ but she loves it. She can use it to pick up pebbles and make towers of rocks by reaching over and using it for a suction cup. It is so long she can tie it in knots. However, she has a hard time walking in school, because she is always tripping over it, and everyone else is always tripping over it, so she is forced to stand in the back of the line. Poor Emeraldtrunk.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Striper graduates from his school with full marks in all his end-of-year reports, and falls in love with a pretty young tigress named Neonpaw. They have one child (who will be mentioned in other books) and are very happy. Growlson and Scarletheart visit often. It’s a wonderful life.
After the battle, Striper is never quite the same again. He never jumps when you say hello or is terrified by the flutter of the owls’ wings. Everyone calls him a hero, and his parents are extremely proud, but he says it was all just luck (which nobody believes). Growlson and Scarletheart are proud to say that they fought alongside him. They all lived happily ever after until………….(read An Elephant’s Trunk to find out.)
The animals spring out of the bushes on all sides. Striper had not realized how many his mother had meant when she said “the others”. Growlson and Scarletheart were there, and so were the teachers at his school, and Ms. Topaz! All different types of animals were there, too. The owls were all hooting and waving their schoolbooks, Emeraldtrunk, that clumsy little elephant with the long trunk, was spraying water everywhere, and the geckos were climbing all over the enemies! The looks on their faces! He hurled himself into the mayhem and got into claw-to-claw combat with a kangaroo, which a friendly cheetah made private by running rings of dust around them. One of the rings went into the kangaroo’s face and Striper was able to tackle him. He ran off to wrestle a panda. This battle was won easily, since Striper, Growlson, and Scarletheart got the better of the chief, and Ms. Topaz silenced the silly bat general who kept screeching things at them.
When Striper goes back to the evil creatures to lead them into the trap, he feels very confident. As he leads them towards the spot, he wonders if he will ever be able to go back to his old life when this is done. They near the clearing. Striper tells them “We’re almost there. We just need to go a bit farther.” An owl notices a small leaf twitch. He looks suspiciously at Striper. “Oh, just the wind I expect,” the nervous tiger replies. The leaf twitching means that the other animals were there, awaiting his signal. He walks 20 paces and says “We’re here!” Those words were the signal. The trap has been sprung.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Striper is very glad to have found someone to help, but there is not enough time to find anyone else, and 2 tigers will not be able to defeat all those warriors. He relays this thought to his mother, who says “Your father could tell the others to come to the place as well. Just tell me where.” Striper, in surprise, says “You mean you know where everyone else is?” “Oh, yes.” Striper immediately tells her the exact location and time to be, and even shows her a signal which will mean to jump out. He leaves the cave through the back, feeling satisfied with himself. An owl hoots. He doesn’t even turn around.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Striper thinks it will be easy, but everyone is in hiding. The 1st day is almost at its end, and he still has not asked anyone! This must improve, or he will be in serious trouble when he is to lead the evil creatures to the “chief’s home”. He searches through the night as well, but can find no sign of any other living creature. The next morning, he is exhausted. He valiantly keeps going till noon, when he finally creeps toward a dark cave to rest. He stumbles in-and finds his mother sitting there! They both gasp. They quickly embrace and then Striper wastes no time informing her on everything.
Striper is frozen with fear, but his brain is spinning like a top. He is hard-pressed to find an answer before the animal came out. He finally thinks of something. He will pretend to tell them where the chief’s home is, and have other animals there, waiting to ambush them when they come. After saying a quick prayer in his head, he tells them a fake location and offers to take them there in 2 days (during which he thinks he should be able to get someone to help with the ambush.) They accept his offer. He begins looking for someone to help immediately. He believes it will be easy. It might. It also might not.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
That night, Striper nervously waits for all of the enemy beasts to be inside their cave. Finally they are all inside, and he edges closer to the entrance to hear what goes on within. A shuffling noise, then he heard someone speak. “On Thursday night, I vote we go out to get some information on the home of the chief’s location.” Striper thinks “They’ll be out Thursday night. Check.” There’ll be no need to post sentries, they’re all to afraid to come anywhere near.” “Yesssss,” thinks Striper. Striper hears someone getting up from their seat and edging closer to the entrance. “I need to check something.” A gruff voice says. The terrified Striper hears a gruff voice say “Who’s there?”
The next morning, Striper awakes to a dark, gloomy day. He remembers hearing the horn and jumping into the bush. He then remembers that glimpse of that evil-looking jackal and realizes what must have happened. The very thought of it made him shiver and shake. He knew he would have to do something about it, but what could he do? Maybe if he were someone else he could do it, but there was nothing he could think of that he could do well that could help at all. He was a fine studier, but what use was that? He could listen for hours to an interesting conversation through a keyhole. Aha, he thinks, I could listen to one of their conversations and try to find a loophole through which I could make some sort of real plan. Well, it was a start. The only challenge is not to get caught. And that, seeing what a scaredy-tiger he is, could be a very serious problem.