Making Friends

I went on a trip!  I went far, far south, to where it was very hot.  I dreamed of snow, trying to stay cool.  It didn’t help.  I sweated buckets.  There weren’t enough towels in the world to keep me dry.  Oh my gumdrops!  But when it rained, the skies turned black and lightning split the world in half.  Talk about wild!

Wren didn’t go.  Meikiko didn’t go. None of the guys over at Dolli Lane went.  Crazy Juniper wasn’t there (thank goodness.  still not sure what to make of her. she stands in the moonlight with her eyes closed and her face turned to the sky).  Just me.  It was kinda nice, being alone, but kinda…not.  There was nobody to play with at first, not even for a Littles game of I Spy.

But then, when I got where I was going, I met up with a group of other kids.  They were all so very small!  I mean, even smaller than the Littles, I think.  That’s really small.  Their names were Smidge (pink hair), Snip (brown curly hair), and Pip (purple hair).    They were all brothers and sisters…or maybe cousins…or maybe…um… yeah, I don’t know how they were related, but they sure looked alike.


Did I mention they were small?  I had to get down on my knees cuz I felt like a giant.  At least that way, I could see them without looming over them.  I got the idea when Snip started looking really freaked out.  He kept whispering to Pip, then looking back at me, then tugging on her arm. And his eyes got bigger and bigger.  So I tried to make myself smaller.


He seemed a little better after that.  We played some simple games, like Simon Says and I Spy.  I know I called them Littles games, but I love playing Littles games.  If we’d had more people, we could’ve played Red Rover!  We laughed our way through a game of Telephone where “Three White Rabbits” turned into “Crazy Monster Guts” and “Where did I leave my keys?” morphed into something I can’t repeat!  We also talked about lots of stuff. I told them about Wren and Meikiko and the girls over at Dolli Lane (I didn’t mention Juniper or the Witch…I didn’t want to scare them, and I wasn’t sure what to say).  And they told me about things like how Smidge has a Glamper and has friends who live far, far away (like a girl named Voir who got a bunch of baby peas for Christmas?) and loves the color Pink (capital P and all!)  And Pip lives far, far away but came for a visit.  She works in an art studio!  and she loves the color Purple (capital P again).  Snip is a writer.  He has a blog at  I’ll get Hazel to look it up when I get home.  He lives in a breadbox that they just prettified with awesome flooring and nice wallpaper.  And he has a hammock.  I think a hammock sounds awesome, kinda like sleeping on a cloud.  I’d like to try one someday.

Anyhow, while they were talking, they mentioned that they all have a “Bean” who helps take care of them.  The Bean is sort of a giant? who loves them?  It made me nervous to listen to their talk. They said I have a Bean too, and that my Bean loves me the way their Beans love them.  My stomach went all butterfly when they talked about Beans, and I kind of wanted to run away, but I was afraid I’d get lost.  I really wanted to find Wren and ask her about Beans, because Wren is smart and knows lots of things.  I didn’t run away, though.  I did try to stop thinking about Beans.  I wonder if my Bean would look as scary to me as I think I looked to Snip?  I’ll have to keep an eye out for it, like I’m keeping an eye on Juniper.  Things are not always as they seem.

We all curled up in a cozy gray blanket for a sleepover.  It was full of giggles and fun and whispered secrets.  I thought I’d feel out of sorts, being bigger and all, but they were all so nice.  I felt right at home.  It was lots of fun.


I think I mentioned that it rained.  And rained.  And rained.  That happened the day we left the Hot Hot Deep South.  It rained at home, too.  Lots and lots of rain.  Tons of trees fell down, and lots of people got in trouble.  I wanted to hurry home to check on Wren, but there were so many trees down that I couldn’t get down the Lane.  So I spent another night with my new friends, cuz Snip’s house isn’t that far away from Wren and me.

Snip’s house is tiny, though (cuz he’s tiny), so I had to get all small again and think super tiny thoughts.  I did find a pretty flower outside the next morning! I gave it to Pip before I left. I was gonna give it to Snip, but I didn’t know if he’d want a flower.  I mean, he’s a boy and all.


Pip was so happy about the flower.  It was funny.  She called out to Smidge to come see.    She said she couldn’t tell whether it was her favorite Purple or Smidge’s favorite Pink!  I guess I didn’t know either.  I just thought it was a pretty flower.  And I wanted to give them something so they’d know how much I enjoyed spending time with them.  Before I headed home, they told me to come back anytime.  I think I might do that.

(In case you were wondering, there were some limbs down around the yard, but the house was ok, and nobody got hurt in the big storm.  Everybody over at Dolli Lane was ok, too).


After the Storm 2: Dolli Lane

Wren and I hiked over to Dolli Lane to check on Nim and the Littles after all the terrible rain.  There were no less than five trees or big branches down on the road between our places.  We did bunches of climbing and mud-slogging.  I almost lost one of my boots in all the mud!

When we arrived, all the Littles seemed to be in good spirits.  They were busy working on clearing away parts of a fallen tree that came down near their house.  Nim said it was scary there, too. And she was very glad that both Hazel and Vega had been visiting, because half of the Littles pack was inconsolable in the midst of the terrible thunder and lightning.  Nim said that there had been a bunch of banging and crashing from up in the attic, too, where the witch was working on something. I’m sure that didn’t help any of the Littles feel better.  But splitting them up made it easier for everybody, and they certainly looked fine when we arrived.

While we were picking up and tidying the yard, trying to get all the debris from the storm cleared out, I realized there were two new faces.  When I pointed them out to Wren, she said she hadn’t seen them before, either.

When we asked Nim about the two new girls, she said that Vega had found them wandering down by the front gate and brought them up.  They couldn’t remember anything except their names.  (the girl with the pale hair is Winter; the girl with the purple-pink hair is Spring).  We mentioned that Juniper had arrived in a similar fashion. The three of us were stumped.  What force of nature could pick up three girls, rattle them around enough that they forgot everything, and drop them on our doorsteps?  There were no tornadoes during the storm.

I will ask Juniper about Winter and Spring.  Perhaps she will remember them?  Seeing each other face to face might work better to jog a memory, though.  We’ll have to work on arranging a playdate.


After the Storm

Last night, we had this terrible storm.  There was lightning and thunder and so much rain! When I opened the back door to take a peek, there was water up to the bottom step! We watched it from out the window until a big branch crashed to the ground near the house. Then Wren made us all go to the middle in case a branch came through the window or something. Meikiko cried until she fell asleep in my arms.  I didn’t want to move her, so I fell asleep in the chair where I was sitting.

In the morning, the sun was shining.  But branches had fallen everywhere.  So I went through the yard, picking up sticks and setting things to right. Everything was wet!  And there was so much mess.  I made a huge stick pile.  If we’d had beavers, they would have moved right in. (or maybe they did? there was a lot of rain. if they did, they should do some work too, cuz I got pretty tired.)

While I was out, I found something surprising.  All I saw at first was a mess of wet cloth and string.  Then I saw a foot.  And an arm.  And a face.  There was a person in our garden!  A little girl.

Oh my gumdrops!  I dropped everything I was carrying and hurried over to check on her.  She seemed confused and dizzy and surprised to see me.  But she didn’t look hurt.  That was good. I don’t know much about fixing broken parts.  I gave her a hand up and helped her into the house.

sm 03 - Getting Up

I took her to Wren straight off.  Wren would know what to do. Me? I’ve got no clue what you do with a girl you find washed up in your yard after a big storm.  I don’t even know if it happens a lot.  Maybe there’s an organization for girls found after rainstorms.  GFAR.  If that doesn’t exist, maybe we could start it.  It sounds pretty important.

sm 04 - Introduced to Wren

Wren was so much smarter.  She asked the girl her name and where she lived.  I didn’t even think about that!

sm 05 - Amnesia

But the girl just kind of looked at Wren.  She didn’t have a clue.  I mentioned GFAR, but Wren said it didn’t exist.  She made the girl sit down in a chair, she was looking so dazed. I put the kettle on the stove to make some tea while Wren tried to talk to the girl.  Maybe something to eat or drink would help.  (and I thought of that all by myself!  Maybe, since GFAR doesn’t exist, I should create it)

After the girl had a few sips of tea, she did finally remember her name: Juniper.  See?  The restorative powers of GFAR are proven!!  But I’ve noticed something a little bit odd about her.  I pulled Wren over toward the stove to talk about it. If I was wrong, I didn’t want to hurt Juniper’s feelings…

sm 09 - Something to Share

“Wren,” I whispered, “something seems a little bit off about her.”

“She’s just a little confused. She got swept up by a storm. After a few days, I’m sure her memory will come back to her. Then we can help her get back home.”

“No!” I said, a little more urgently than I meant to.  Meikiko looked over at us, though the girl continued sipping her tea peacefully. I lowered my voice. “No. I mean, she’s different…”

Wren frowned at me, like she was about to tell me off for being rude, but I persisted. “It’s her…ears.  They’re not normal. They’re pointed, like a…like an elf’s. And she’s so small. What if she’s not really human?”

sm 10 - What Do You Think

Wren gave me another look, one of those are-you-out-of-your-mind? looks  But she also looked at Juniper for a bit, long enough for me to begin thinking that maybe I was right.  Then she shook her head and smiled and gave me a little hug.  I ducked the pat on the head.  Wren told me that not everybody is shaped the same way.

I know that. I know she thinks I’m being silly. But I’m telling you: there’s something not quite human about Juniper, something…otherworldly.  And maybe that’s not a bad thing. But I’m gonna keep an eye on her.  I’ll find a way to show Wren the truth.

sm 11 - Juniper Having Tea