I outta be out picking shrooms for the witch.  Or at least finding them. But it’s raining!  Been raining for days and days.  And I don’t mind getting kinda wet. Getting wet is fun. Unless it’s cold.  But the rain these past few days has been hard and blinding. Sheets of water came pouring out the sky.

Juniper said it’s good mushroom weather.  I just gotta get out to find ’em.

This morning, the rain didn’t seem so hard.  So I tugged on my boots and trekked out, hoping maybe I’d find something.  And maybe some other stuff to set up defenses.  If it didn’t all get washed out to the river with all the rain!

I found a few already!  Not done looking yet, but it’s a good start.  ‘Shrooms sure do like water.  I hope these are what the witch wants.



Shrooms are pretty cool.  I’m gonna start paying more attention to them now.  Not sure whether or not to thank the witch for that.

So nervous. I think tonight is the night to go ask questions.  Hope the witch is feeling helpful.



Monster Sighting

I am such a bad big doll sister.

Last night, we had little Kitty over at our place.  I wanted to see if she could get some sense of what the monster was, since we didn’t have much of a clue yet cuz the witch won’t talk to me!!  So, after dark, we went downstairs to wait.

I didn’t leave Kitty alone.  I wouldn’t do that. I’m not that mean.  Cuz I’d be sorta scared too if I was waiting alone for a monster. Kitty’s just a Little.  I sat with her on the bed, lights on, waiting.  Together.


Everything was quiet for a bit.  Then Kitty sat up straight, looking into one of the corners.  “You hear that?” she asked me.  She hopped down off the bed and stopped, listening hard.


“Yeah.  There it is again.  You hear that?  Come on.”  And she set off across the room, headed into the dark corner.  Kitty has guts!  I followed her, stick at ready.  I didn’t know what we were looking for, but Kitty seemed interested in a pile of rocks by the wall.


She was kneeling there, looking around the rocks for a bit, then she jerked her head quick, like she heard something, and that was it.  She let out an awful scream, and I heard this weird rippling sound and saw some little sparky flashes down by the rocks.  Then Kitty ran out of the room.  I was worried she’d gotten hurt, so I followed after her.  Found her in the main room curled up with Wren, crying her eyes out.


I checked the bedroom again, but nothing was in there.  I think some of the rocks might have been moved, but I wasn’t sure if that happened because Kitty got out of there in a hurry or if something snuck in while we were out.

None of us could get Kitty to talk that night, but this morning, she let us know:  there, next to all the sparks, had been a huge, glowing yellow eye.



Access Denied

Ok.  So I hiked over to Dolli Lane this morning with my trusty pink rain boots on my feet (and a good thing too: the path was full of puddles from the overnight rains!)  Aqua answered the door and dragged me off to see their rocking horse.  I had to watch her rock for a bit, and Angel and Lily were in another corner of the room, playing pat-a-cake.  It was a happy way to spend time.  The Littles always make me smile.

But I went looking for Nim after a while, when I could get away.  Found her upstairs with Poppy and Kitty, reading a book.  I didn’t want to interrupt, so I sat down.  They were reading Surviving the Applewhites. Nim even passed me some of the reading, and the Littles enjoyed listening, even though I wasn’t as good as Nim.  By the time I looked up, the crowd of Littles was two or three kids deep.  Wow.

I like that book!  It makes me think we should set up a creative school for all of us.  I’ll have to talk about it with Nim and Wren later.

But back to my mission.  When we set the book aside, I told Nim I needed to speak to the witch.  She gave me a funny look.  I know nobody talks to the witch, but it doesn’t mean we can’t.  We just don’t.

Then there was a little tug on my sleeve.  When I looked down, Winter was standing just beside me.  She said that she didn’t think the witch was accepting visitors today.  It wasn’t the right phase of the moon or something.  Made me scratch my head. What kinda person only talks to other people when the moon is one shape or another?  Then she said maybe I could get in if I brought the witch a gift.

Yeah.  No.  I told Winter thanks, but I was gonna go talk to the witch.  We need answers.  So I marched up the rickety attic stairs and knocked on the door at the top.  At first, there was nothing. I was gonna knock again, when a voice from the other side asked “Who’s there?”

“Kestrel,” I said.

“Kestrel who?” the voice said.

“Kestrel me.  Let me in, please. I gotta ask you about monsters.”

“The witch is not taking visitors today.  Come back in two days, when the moon is but a ghost.  And bring a mushroom.  It will appease the spirits.”

“That’s crazy.  We need help now.  The monster won’t wait for the moon or mushrooms.”  And I knocked three more times.  But the witch wasn’t there.  And the door was locked.  So I went back down.

Nim didn’t have the key to the attic anymore.  She says she thinks the witch took it.  Which is a shame, cuz the kitchen for Dolli Lane is in the attic.  They’ve been eating lots of salads lately, which is ok.  The veggies come from the garden, and they can get water from the pump.  And Vega’s got a nice firecircle out back where she puts pots on to boil to make tea or to boil eggs or something.  But it’s gonna be harder in the winter.  I hope the witch lets them in then.

So now I gotta go back home to tell Wren that we still got nothing, because the witch won’t talk until the moon is a ghost and she gets mushrooms.  Ugh!!  Witches.

While I was writing this on Vega’s computer, I checked on my Facebook page and saw a picture that gave me an idea.  My friend Sippie posted a picture of her and her new friend Riki.  And I remembered that Sippie comes from a long line of vampires, even though she’s a vegetarian and only drinks O-neg.  Vampires are kinda like monsters.  Maybe she an’ her family can help us figure out what kinda monster we got and how to make it go away for good.

But mushrooms…where’m I gonna get mushrooms? Does she want them for her soup, or for a spell?  And what kinda mushrooms?!

Ok.  Sippie first.  Then home with the bad news.  Then mushroom hunting.  Then back to the witch.

Wish me luck.



I lost my boots, my beautiful pink rainboots.  The monster ran away with them, or ate them, or played a mean game of find-the-mouse with them.  I’ve looked in places where I’d normally find boots (like by the back door or under the bench or by the stove, drying.  No luck.

I asked Meikiko for help, since she’s the smallest of the Littles (she and Rosie are about the same size, but I didn’t want to make Rosie walk all the way from Dolli Lane just to help me search for boots! Not when I needed them to get to Dolli Lane).  Meikiko was so sweet.  She just said “Yeah!” like it was gonna be a great game and set off.

She poked around the house, looking in corners and under things.  She crawled out of one place with cobwebs in her hair!  I picked ’em out before Wren saw her.  She’s sure to corral us all into cleaning the place if she sees what’s going on (she mentioned cleaning the other day after she saw some of my pictures, so I know it’s coming…)  (it’s kinda like the sock-sorting basket: hard to escape!)

When she got to the bed, she asked me to hold up the sheets cuz it was so dark under there.  Then she tried to crawl under, because she said she could almost sort of see something pink down there.


Even though she’s so little, she didn’t quite fit.  So then I was down on the ground too, and both of us were trying to squeeze under and reach further.  I guess maybe this is what sardines feel like!!


Yay! My boots!  I gave Meikiko a hug and a kiss.  She did a good job!  We didn’t find the ‘puter, but I’m wondering if maybe the monster ran off with it.  My boots for sure were too small for it to use.  And not at all tasty.  But a ‘puter….shucks.  Even people with super big hands use ‘puters, right?


Next: the witch.


(don’t tell Wren I went in the sock basket! She’ll make me sort ’em.  I wish the monster would take that away instead.)

Weapons testing: Chopsticks

More weapons testing: Wren found these great big sticks.  They look kinda like chopsticks, but big big big. Taller’n me!  Hazel said she thought maybe they were as big as pocky sticks.  So we tested ’em out. Wren was ok with using them as weapons, so she helped this time.


They were lots stronger than the pocky sticks, too.  They made a great big crashing sound when we crossed ’em.  And I felt the whack all the way down my arms!  It was wild.  So I think it’ll be a good weapon.  Plus, if the monster gets close enough, maybe we could use the long sticks to jab it in the eye or something.  (nobody got jabbed in the eye during testing, though).


When I was looking back at the pictures, this one of Wren made me laugh.  She looks so fierce!  She needs to get a battle skirt now.


But, no matter how good the testing session with weapons went, we’ve still got this other question left: what’s our next step?  How can we make the monster go away?  We’ve got good weapons to drive it away, but not good ones to kill it. And I’m not sure I want to kill anything, anyway.  It seems pretty scary too.

So we sat down and talked.  It didn’t go very far. I kept asking “What’re we gonna do now?” and Wren kept saying “I don’t know…”  It seemed pretty hopeless.


Then suddenly a voice piped up from around the corner.  “I have an idea…”  Juniper had been listening to our conversation. We didn’t even know she was there!  She’s super quiet, like a… like a… well, like a quiet thing.  A dandelion puff, or a spring breeze. (Wren doesn’t want me to talk any more about my other ideas about Juniper, so I’m not bringing’em up here).

No matter how weird I think she is, she got our attention.  None of us have known what to do, not one bit. So, if she had some ideas, I was gonna listen good.  She suggested that we go talk to the witch, the one over at Dolli Lane.  She said the witch probably knew all about monsters and creatures from the upside down that might be able to move in and out of rooms without needing a door or a hole.

When I tried to ask her more about the upside down (I mean, what is that? where is it? and how did Juniper know about it?), she wouldn’t say anything else.  Nothing.  She just turned around and went back the other way, round the corner to wherever she’d been before she gave us that idea.  After that, Wren and I just kinda looked at each other.  We knew what the next step would be.


I’m gonna need to find my boots.  I can’t go talk to the witch barefoot.



I felt so bad about using the pans and making Wren mad/sad that I woke up early this morning and tried to make a pie. I should probably not do this again…  I made a big mess, and I’m not good at baking anyway.  The end result? Disaster.


Thankfully, I got the mess cleaned up before Wren could see it (and I am not sharing that! The amount of flour that got out was just embarrassing! And I still can’t figure out how I got cherry juice on the ceiling… I’m hoping she won’t notice it. I couldn’t find a chair tall enough).

But I did show her the pie.  First she said “Oh my…”  That was ok.


Then she said, “Kestrel,what is that?”

I will not be making any more pies.


Weapons: Frying pans

My friend Pip suggested I try frying pans as a weapon.  She mentioned cast iron pans, but we only have these shiny copper pans.  They’ll have to do as a test.

Note: Wren objected to this experiment from the beginning.  She refused to help me, too.  She said we shouldn’t use cooking stuff for weapons and she didn’t want to think about the dents it’d cause.  Hazel helped me instead.  But cuz I didn’t want to make Wren too mad, I didn’t do a lot of hard banging.

Still, I needed to know if they’d be good weapons, so I had to test them.  I tried the biggest one first.


It was nice. It was solid. I was heavy!  Oh my gumdrops, it was heavy!  I didn’t want to actually hit anyone to test it.  I didn’t want to hurt my friends.  But it made a really loud sound when I smacked it against the bench, so I think it’d make a good weapon.  But I’d have to get awfully close to the monster itself to use it…

Then I tested the smaller frying pan.  It was much lighter and easier to hold and swing, but it has a shorter handle, so I’d have to be even closer to the monster to use it.  Plus it didn’t make as big a sound when I smacked the bench with it. I think that means it’s not as strong.  Maybe it’d be good for one of the littles, though.  I don’t want them fighting a monster.  But they should have a way to defend themselves if they ever get attacked and I’m not there to save them.  So it’d be good for them.


Hazel tried out this big wooden spoon we have.  It’d give good reach to someone who was fighting, and I bet you could use it to knock a monster silly if you smacked it on the head with that thing.  But it’s not sharp, and it’s not pointy, and it’s not heavy.  Big wooden spoons are only sort of an iffy weapon, then.


Later that night, we were trying to decide what to read before bed when we heard the monster rampaging through the bedroom downstairs.  It howled and growled and hissed. We didn’t leave the room where we were. I know I should have taken up the frying pan and put it to use, but I was scared.  So I held it ready at the door, in case the monster broke in where we were.  Meikiko cowered on the floor, hugging her bunny.


The sounds stopped suddenly about an hour later.  We still didn’t go down to the room but slept in the chairs and on the bench.  None of us wanted to see the monster. But that can’t last. We have to get rid of it somehow. Weapons are good, but we need to know what it is too and why it’s coming here and how to make it go away (in case we can’t kill it).

Frying pans won’t kill it, I don’t think.  So more thinking.  We need to find a monster expert.

Pocky Sticks: Weapons or Sweet Treats?

We’ve been looking around the house, trying to find weapons to fight the monsters.  Picking weapons is tough when you don’t know what you’re fighting, so a lot of it is guesswork.  We started of with these things called Pocky Sticks.  I mean, a stick sounds like it’d make a good weapon, right?  Sure, there aren’t any pointy parts or sharp blades, but Hazel pulled up youtube videos showing monks that fight with little sticks, and they do a lot of damage!  These pocky sticks are pretty long. One of them is taller than me!  We could beat something back with them. No doubt.


The stick is so big, it took two of us just to get it out of the box!

It took a bit of work, and some careful maneuvering, but we finally got two sticks out–one for each of us–and in hand.  If difficulty was a good measure for how well a weapon worked, this was gonna be perfect!  We hiked the sticks up in our hands.  Then we tried not to fall, because not only were the sticks big and awkward, they were pretty heavy too!  But we each raised our stick, tapped them against each other’s ends, and prepared to duel.


Um…yeah.  It was interesting.  Here, I’ll show you the whole thing.  The first move was tap one to get us started, kinda like knights crossing swords out of respect.  We wanted to bow, but we were both afraid we’d drop the pockies or land on our heads or something.


Our second move was to whack the sticks against each other.  It was a really good blow.  Or I guess it would have been, if the weapons had lasted.  After that first hit, the sticks kind of…exploded.  There were pocky pieces everywhere in the bedroom!  Wren and I just looked at each other and sighed.  Clean-up time.

Pocky sticks do NOT make good weapons.  Remember this.

Hazel passed by the room while we were cleaning.  She helped for a little bit before vanishing.  We found her finally in the main room, nibbling on part of a pocky stick.  She said they were really tasty!  I think she was a little surprised that we caught her in the act, but then she shared what she had.  We forgave her for ditching us .


Pocky sticks make terrible weapons, but really awesome sweet treats.


Most people have monsters under their bed, or in their closet, or somewhere safe like that.  It’s just the fear of being attacked or grabbed that makes their heart pound as they cower beneath the quilt.  But the creaking floorboard turns out to be the house settling in the night, or the strange banging sound is water moving through the pipes.  Right?

I wish that was all we had to worry about.

The other night, a monster came rampaging through our house.  It was giant, and dark, and furry.  It tossed the furniture about and knocked Wren halfway across the room out of her bed.  It was terrifying.  I caught sight of it as it was leaving.  It was so big, it barely fit through the door.  It left claw marks along the floor. Its eyes gleamed like fire.

We don’t know how it got in.  The windows were shut. The doors were locked.  It was too big to squeeze through a crack–wasn’t it?  What a horrible thought! Could something that big and strong creep through a crack beneath the door?

Wren was so worried, she stayed up the rest of that night.  I stayed up with her, straightening the place up after the attack.  It’s been tough for her–for all of us–to sleep since. We haven’t seen any sign of the monster since, but we’re all so worried it’s gonna come back. We’re trying to find ways to protect our house from invasion, but it’s hard. We’re just kids.

Maybe Wren will reconsider letting me have a dog.