Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 6: Meanwhile

While Lilacfeather is taking care of his family, the squirrel, (whose real name is Nuttooth) is running himself ragged searching for the cygnets. An hour ago, near the wall of Grandroar II, he lost the footprints and the scent. He will not give up, though. After he has searched for signs for 3 hours, he spots a small shelter and decides to ask permission to rest there. He knocks, and out steps a swan, by her looks about 3 years old, who reminds him maddeningly of someone, though he is not sure who. “Do come in. There’s room for all,” she says in a sweet voice. He obliges, then stops with a gasp. He now realizes why this swan reminds him of someone. That someone is Lilacfeather, and this must be her mother, seeing as there are 2 little cygnets behind her, and they look exactly as Lilacfeather had described them, too. He nearly faints, then, coming to his senses, he tells them his story, and the next day they set off for his home.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 5: Waiting

Lilacfeather and the squirrel agree. The squirrel will follow the scent of the cygnets’ footprints and try to find them, if Lilacfeather will stay back at his house and take care of his family. Lilacfeather is reluctant, but she must see Petalwing and Nettlebill again. She finds that is not hard to take care of a squirrel family. Every morning, she gathers nuts, and in the evenings she curls her wing around the fuzzy little bodies and keeps them warm. She is ever watching, watching, for some sign that the squirrel is returning with her family, but she is disappointed. Still, there is hope, and she with never stop hoping. At night, she sometimes tells the little squirrels stories to ease them to sleep.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 4: Searching

Lilacfeather spends the next week searching for her siblings. Whenever she feels like giving in, she thinks of them, lost, and shivering, and she finds strength to go on. She no longer sits and writes poems by the lake, nor really gets any sleep at all. She finds no sign of Nettlebill or Petalwing until the 4th week of searching restlessly. She spots 2 sets of tracks and a few drops of raspberry juice heading towards the spot where they had seen the rose. “Well, at least they’ve eaten,” she thinks. She decides to take a rest. She sits by a tree, and watches a squirrel following the scent of a nearby nut. Tracking its scent. She stops, considering the idea that has just come to her. If a squirrel can smell a nut…but he might be too busy. Besides, she’s never met a squirrel before. What if she offends him? Still, he’s her only hope…she walks over to ask the squirrel if he will help with her plan.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekly Pet Interviews: Mickey the Rat

Hi, I'm Mickey. I'm a rat. My brother Mechisedec and I have lived with the Food Lady for around 9 months, now. My bro's a little tanner than I, and a bit plumper, too. (Ouch! Sorry, Melk, I didn't mean it!) Sometimes a tall man with glasses comes and takes the floor off our cage, and Melchisedec and I are forced into pink and blue boxes with handles while he cleans it. Mmmm,when is lunchtime? I'll just climb up the wall to get the Food Lady's attention-she always seems to think it's odd that Melk and I need so much food. I like to gnaw on the fun red stick she pokes in for me. Ahh, here she comes with the Pirate Booty...(crunch, crunch.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 3: The Most Beautiful Rose

One day, Lilacfeather is taking the youngsters for a walk, when Petalwing cries out “Oh, Lilacfeather, Lilacfeather, look at this rose!” Lilacfeather turns, and sees the most beautiful rose she has ever seen. She has inherited her mother’s love of flowers, and this one’s pastel pink petals and simple sweetness is almost irresistible…she snaps out of it. There seems to be some sort of magic around here, and she doesn't like it. She turns to tell the others that they are going back home…but where are the others? She is alone. She almost cries. All these years she has spent looking after them, and now they seem to have just disappeared into thin air?! This is just too much. Lilacfeather has to find them. You can’t simply allow the only people you have left to slip away from you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 2: Responsibility

Every morning, when Lilacfeather wakes up, she takes the younger 2 out for a morning swim in the pond and catches them some breakfast. Since they cannot go to school without a parent giving them permission, she also takes the responsibility of teaching them which plants and fish are good to eat, which areas are the best to find them in, and how to tell a fresh berry from an old one. She also makes sure that they make no attempt to climb over the wall which King Grandroar II erected 4 years ago. She is very busy, but she somehow manages to find time to sit by her favorite rosebush by the lake and write poems in her head. Lilacfeather loves Nettlebill and Petalwing a lot, and every night she nestles them under her wings and sings them to sleep.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Swan's Grace: Chapter 1: Lilacfeather

Lilacfeather is a young, gorgeous swan. She is very artistic and can find beauty in the ugliest toadstool. Her favorite colors are lilac, peach, and rose, and she likes to sit by the stream and compose poems and paint pictures about it. Looking at her, you would not think that she had a care in the world, but it is not so. When her youngest sibling had just been born, both of her parents went missing, and she has taken care of her younger brother and sister ever since. Her brother and sister’s names are Nettlebill and Petalwing (4 months). She herself is 1 year old and takes good care of everyone. Petalwing and Nettlebill are very nice little swans, and not much trouble, so Lilacfeather has never had to do anything desperate. Still, she wishes her mother and father would come back some day. Every night, to lull herself to sleep, Lilacfeather thinks of the memories she has of her mother and father. These thoughts always cause very happy dreams.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Peacock's Fan: Epilogue

When Gemfeather’s family sees her, they are very happy. Primcrest comments on her dark blue fan however, and does not recognize her at first. They live very happily for a while, and there is a good water supply. After a while, they get a bit cramped in the valley, so they take some water from the stream and use it to make the plants of the island grow back, and it is soon the beautiful place it used to be. Gemfeather is very happy, but then why wouldn’t she?

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 6: At Sea

“I’m captain!” Gemfeather shouts as the large fish departs for the island d the other families had gone to. She sits on its back, waving to her family. She had volunteered to go with the large fish, and chauffeur the other families aboard when they got there. They set off, and Gemfeather smells the salty sea air, and grazes the tops of the waves with her fan. She loves to wake up each morning and feel the gentle motion of the fish beneath her. She loves the smell of the sea, but her feathers are beginning to turn a dark shade of blue. She does not mind, however. Finally, after several days, they spot the island where everyone has gone to. When they all hear the good news, there is a rush to make the trip back home. They make several journeys, and after 7 everyone is enjoying the paradise. They all live very happily, until…………(read A Swan's Grace to find out)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 5: Discussion

Gemfeather suddenly got an idea. “I know!” she shouts. “Let’s send some of this delicious fruit to them with some pelicans I know who were planning to go out, anyway!” Her sisters’ groans of distress that their sister knew pelicans were not heard over their mother saying “That’s a nice idea, dear, but it will be very lonely here on this island from now on. Most of the other families have already left the island, and if your pelican friends leave, too, we’ll be even lonelier.” They think and think about how to share their good luck, and the sun gets hotter and hotter upon their backs, when suddenly Beautywing cries “I must have a drink from that stream!” and rushes to its banks and drinks deeply. She cries out “There is a huge fish in there! I bet he could carry our message to the other families, and bring them back here, one at a time!” And that is just what it agreed to do.

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 4: A Miracle

Gemfeather is strolling about, thinking how nice it would be to have a sip of water or taste of food, when a familiar scent comes to her nose. “No, no, it’s just your mind playing tricks on you,” she repeatedly tells herself. “It can’t be.” But as she walks farther and farther, the smell gets stronger and stronger, until the aroma surrounds her, and she can’t resist a look around to see if she can find the source of the scent. She turns a corner and can’t believe her eyes. There, down a hill, is a field of fruit trees, untouched by the drought because a stream of water is running in from the sea! With a cry of delight she yells for her family, and runs down the hill joyously. When the others come, they gasp, too. “We must send word to the animals who left 2 days ago! How excited they will be! They will want to come back at once!” her mother cries. “No, wait,” says Gemfeather. “I don’t think the whales that took them agreed to a round trip, and they can’t swim by themselves.” What’ll they do?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 3: Drought!

In the next few weeks, something is happening to the island. The climate is growing hotter, and the rain is coming less and less frequently. The grass is growing withered, and the lake seems to be drying up. The drought is spreading fast, and many families are thinking about leaving the island and moving to a far-away place that was heard about in earlier days because of a seal named Sleekwhisker. Gemfeather is not liking the weather very much, because she cannot play in the grass if there is no grass to play in, and her sisters are worried that if they don’t get more food soon, their fans will droop. Everyone is worried about the stream, and already many families are leaving for other lands. Gemfeather begs her parents not to move. “I want to help!” she cries. Her mother and father do not change their minds. It looks like Gemfeather may have to say good-bye to her beautiful island.

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 2: Gemfeather's Life

Gemfeather’s sisters’ names are: Primcrest, Prettystrut, (Gemfeather, of course), Beautywing, and Sapphiresmile. They live in a glen in the woods near a lake, and the land is very pretty. Gemfeather’s sisters like to look at their reflections in the lake. Gemfeather like to splash water. At night, Gemfeather snuggles up with her family under a large spreading oak, and they sleep until morning. Each morning after breakfast, Gemfeather goes to school across the lake with her sisters, and sits, pretending to pay attention, and wishing they had recess. She never gets very good grades, but that is because she is not very interested in “all that prissy princess stuff” as she calls it. She loves her mother and father very much, and her sisters too. The only thing she wants is to be more unique. Then, her life would be perfect. That is all she could wish for. Except, maybe a little adventure.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Peacock's Fan: Chapter 1: Gemfeather

(Illustration by Mary E. Moser)

Gemfeather is a peacock. She is a perfectly normal, very beautiful, young peacock….and that is her problem. When her prim and proper sisters are off preening their dull brown and tan feathers, she wishes she could be colorful like the boys. She wants to be different, unique. Once, when she was 4 months old, she squirted blueberry and cranberry juice all over her fan, and her mother made her hold them in the lake until they were their natural, boring, color again. She is happiest when she is running about in the fields. She goes to school at the best one her parents could find, where she learns to strut, and clean herself, and all the proper ways to behave. She really wishes she were more unique, but her sisters are no help. She wishes she had an older brother. She’s always wanted one. She is a middle child. Every night, she wishes on a star that her feathers would turn green, or purple, or red………any color but brown.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Book report: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings
Author: J.R.R Tolkien
Main Characters: Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, Gandalf, and Aragorn
Summary: Bilbo Baggins passes a very powerful and dangerous ring down to his nephew Frodo. The wizard Gandalf tells Frodo of the danger, and they gather a few of Frodo’s friends and start on a quest. When they get to a place called Rivendell, the king, Elrond, organizes the Fellowship of the Ring, which is a group who agrees to go with Frodo to destroy the ring without letting it be taken by Sauron, or one of his minions, creatures called orcs. In their adventures, they are separated from Frodo and his servant, Sam Gamgee, and suffer the loss of Boromir, a very brave man. Sam and Frodo travel further towards Mordor (Sauron’s domain) and destroying the ring, while the rest of the Fellowship meets Theodon, king of Gondor/Rohan, and Denethor, steward of Gondor/Rohan. Both groups meet Faramir, Boromir’s brother. Frodo and Sam meet a giant spider called Shelob, and they are separated, and Sam searches everywhere for his master until he finds him, and they successfully destroy the ring, and are finally found by Gandalf and the other members of the Fellowship, and taken back to the Shire, where they came from. They find things bad, and fix everything. They live happily ever after.
My Favorite Part: I liked when, in Mordor, Sam says Frodo looks like “a perfect little orc.” That was so funny!

The Stolen Sapphire

Rosa was climbing the Rocky Mountains with her pet Labrador retriever, Butterscotch. An evil wizard had stolen her enchantress mother’s magical sapphire, and she was on a quest to bring it back. She had traveled for weeks, because without the sapphire, her mother’s magic was failing. She knew that the evil wizard’s fortress was at the top of the Rockies, and heavily guarded, but if she reached it at night, she thought, she had a chance. Finally Butterscotch barked. He had sighted the wizard’s fortress ahead and was slowing down. They waited until midnight to approach, protected by the shadows.

Rosa crept slowly towards the gate. She slipped past the snoring guards, but Butterscotch barely got in, and almost awoke 2 of them. When they were halfway through the main hall, 4 guards sprang at them with crossbows shouting “Halt!”. Rosa set Butterscotch on them, but the other guards had been awakened by the noise. She slipped out of the hall, hoping that Butterscotch could handle the guards. She went from door to door, checking each room for the sapphire or wizard. Finally, she found the sapphire. Unfortunately, the wizard was with it. She froze, then made a wild dash for the sapphire. She got it and ran away, unfortunately with the wizard on her heels. She found Butterscotch, but they were trapped. Then, she remembered a spell her mother had once used. Making sure Butterscotch was touching her, she clutched the sapphire to her and said, “Villa reditus.”

In an instant they were back in her little English cottage, and her mother was rushing from her bed to embrace her. “Rosa,” she whispered. “You’ve returned!”

Friday, February 3, 2012

7 Things People Don't Know About Me

(A Response to Aunt Rita)

1. I have 2 pet rats, named Mickey and Melchisedec. They are 2 of the things that consume the most food in this house. They beg for food in their own way...they move their mouths at me whenever they're hungry.

2. I am writing my own series. I am currently on the 6th book. It's about a peacock.

3. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher or an author. If I'm a teacher, I'm going to open my own school with Gregory, Mary, and Paul.

4. I play the piano. I have played since I was 6 years old. I am working on some pieces for Saint Patrick's day right now, including "Molly Malone" and "My Wild Irish Rose".

5. My favorite series is Harry Potter. I love them! My favorites are books 4 and 7.

6. My favorite artist is Degas. I love all the pretty dancers he paints.

7. I hate spiders. They creep me out, even when they're just sitting there.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Lion's Mane: Epilogue

Grandroar is a good king in his turn, and Lovelypaw never again nears the forest. They both are very happy. Grapefruits are made the national food, and King Grandroar sees to it himself that there is a wall of wood put up around the forest.

A Lion's Mane: Chapter 7: Victory

The cougar, taken by surprise, jumps back, and Lovelypaw yells with delight. “Don’t! Touch! My! Sister!” Grandroar yells, wrestling the cougar to the ground. His father, taking advantage of the cougar’s surprise, flings himself into the mayhem. He tries to send Lovelypaw home, but she insists on leaving a clawmark here and there before she goes. When they leave together, triumphant, Grandroar gives a loud, long, roar, to make sure the cougar never troubles them again. They can be sure he won’t follow them in a hurry.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Lion's Mane: Chapter 6: Waiting

Grandroar’s father helps him up into the top branches of a tree, which, because of his size, sways a bit but does not fall. He dangles the grapefruit and vine down, and waits. They wait, and wait, and wait, and wait………it feels like hours. Then, they hear small footsteps. Grandroar guesses who it is and braces his muscles for what he must do. The steps stop, a sound of delight is heard, and they start again, this time heading for the grapefruits that Grandroar is dangling out of the tree. Suddenly, a growl is heard, and a cougar springs out of the brush, and Lovelypaw (for that is who it is) gives a cry of fright and backs away. His father cries “Lovelypaw!”, and is about to fling himself to the ground, when, for the first time in his life, Grandroar feels his predator’s instincts kick in. With a ferocious growl, he lunges at the cougar.

A Lion's Mane: Chapter 5: Preparation

Grandroar explains his plan to the elders and his father. “If Lovelypaw isn’t hurt, this just might work,” the elders say when he has told them his plan. His father pats him on the back. “Now all we need is a bunch of the juiciest grapefruits you can find, and a nice, very strong vine.” “I’m on the job,” Grandroar answers. He finds the vine and the grapefruits and takes them to his father. They set out at once, being sure to have a number of strong lions with them. Besides the grapefruits, Grandroar is carrying a small amount of plums and carrots, for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Finally, they spot the forest ahead. Time for action.