Bump onna roof: Dragon

I couldn’t let the dragon stay, even though all my friends were safe now. Safer. A dragon inna area was bad news. So Cooper’n’me loaded up with stuff an’ went back. We kept eyein’ the sky, in case it was flyin’ over. But we found it still sittin’ onna roof where we’d left it. So we snuck back inna house, hopin’ for some cover while we figured out how to make a dragon go away.

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Cooper sat down an’ opened the Monster Cryptology book from Pip. It had a bit bout dragons, so we were lookin’ for ideas (like maybe they didn’t like mistletoe or somethin’).

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While he read, I checked my weapons. My sword was sharp, but the dragon was up so high, it probably wouldn’t be much help. Bow an’ arrows would be loads more useful. They were sharp too. Good.

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But I wasn’t sure if I could shoot it high enough. I mean, houses are awful tall. Maybe I could climb onna roof, though. I wished I hadda big net or chain or somethin’, someway I could keep it grounded.

While I was thinkin’ bout roofs, Cooper sighed.

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“I am not sure whether your weapons will suffice to defeat a dragon. This book seems to suggest that the only weapons that will defeat dragons are magical in nature.”

”Magic?” I echoed. “ I don’t got none. Where do you get a magic weapon?”

He looked down atta book an’ ran a finger along the page. “ You might find one while on a quest to a magic location. Fairies have some. A strong magician can make one, or might have one in his collection. They sound rare.”

I sighed too. “So we don’t gotta chance?”

“Well…perhaps not to kill it. But your weapons should be enough to engage it and perhaps to drive it away for a time.”

Long enough, maybe, to figure out a real fix. That’d have to be good enough for now.

But it also meant I needed to get closer. Lots closer. Rooftop closer. The windows didn’t open big enough for climbin’ out. There wasn’t no attic. I was gonna hafta climb. But carefully. Vale’d taught  me a li’l bout climbin’ careful, an’ she’d given me some rope an’ harness an’ that thing you throw up with a rope attached. I forgot it’s name, but I could use it ok. It was easier to throw far cuz it was heavy-ish. Easier’n lobbin’ an arrow up onna roof, at least (weird, how it was hard to throw a light thing very far, but easier to throw somethin’ heavy…but not too heavy).

I fetched the stuff an’ had Cooper help me with alla buckles an’ things. He was right good at gettin’ ‘em tight so I wouldn’t slip. Once I was strapped in, I picked up alla weapons an’ hung ‘em on myself. Fingers crossed I didn’t drop nothin’. Then it was time for goin’ up!

Climbin’ a house sure is tough. There’s sorta handholds, if you count stuff like doortops an’ window ledges an’ all, but then there’s great big flat places too where the only way up was to grab onna rope, plant feet against the wall, an’ walk, hopin’ the rope was caught good on whatever was up top so I wasn’t gonna go fallin’ back down. Cooper was onna ground, watchin’, but I think, if somethin’ had given loose, alla good he woulda done was get hurt too.

Thankfully, the rope held.

After lotsa lotsa pullin’, I grabbed onna roof edge an’ pulled up.  An’ then…oh my gumdrops, but it was big!

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It didn’t see me or hear me at first, which was good.  I dunno how it didn’t hear me.  I sure was breathin’ hard, an’ I’m pretty sure my heart was poundin’ loud enough to wake some dead things.  But it didn’t seem to notice me.  So I pulled one leg up over the roof edge an’ slipped the other up, tryin’ get my feet somewhere stable.  Roofs are an awful lot steeper’n’ they look from onna ground.  Gettin’ stable was hard!  I decided I wanna stay by the roof edge an’ use the bow.  Goin’ in with a sword swingin’ sure didn’t seem like a good idea from up here.

Then one of the metal clips used to attach onna rope slipped off.  It fell chunk against a shingle an’ dropped down down down to the ground, where dust puffed up round it. Gulp.  I didn’t wanna fall that far!

But that was nothin’ compared to what I saw when I looked up.

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Gulp!

I went all fumble-fingered, tryin’ get my bow un-slung an’ an arrow outta the quiver.  I didn’t wanna look ‘way from the dragon, but I hadda look at the bow cuz the arrow kept slidin’ off.  Finally, I got it up tight an’ raised the bow an’ sighted down the arrow…

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I dunno what happened.  That dragon couldn’t’ve been scared of my one li’l bow, or the arrow I had knocked in place.  I was close enough to hit it, sure, but chances were pretty good the arrow wouldn’t go past its scales.  An’ I was too shook up to aim for the eye or some other soft spot dragons got.

But maybe this dragon didn’t know that.  Maybe this dragon’d had run-ins with people before.  Strong people that had magic weapons an’ things. Or maybe it was young an’ scared.  Whatever happened afore, it took off when it saw me pointin’ my bow.  Let out a big, mighty roar, flapped its huge wings, an’ flew off over the forest. I hadda grab onna roof’s edge so I didn’t go slidin’ off from alla wind it made.

I watched it for a bit, makin’ sure I knew which way it was goin’, then I started climbin’ down.

Onna ground, Cooper helped me take stuff off an’ put it up.  Climbin’ a house was hard work.   I let him know that the dragon was alive still an’ it’d flown off deeper inna forest.  I was pretty sure we had somethin’ more to do bout it too.  We hadda follow the dragon.

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Cooper took a deep deep breath, picked up the bow an’ quiver an’ book, an’ put on his  brave face.

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“Okay then.  Let’s go track a dragon.”

My brother’s the best.

~Kestrel

Bump onna roof…

Recap:
There was a big BUMP (kinda a small BOOM) onna big white house roof while we were recreationing inside.  We all went, “What the gumdrops?”

The story continues…

I grabbed up my sword.  I wanted it nearby in case somethin’ bad was afoot.

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Big bump/booms like that usually mean bad things.  Cooper grabbed up his shovel, too, cuz it’s got a wicked sharp edge (kinda like a saw).  I figured we all got our favorite sorts of weapons.  If a saw-shovel keeps my brother safe, then he’s welcome to it.  He stayed in with everybody else while I went out to check on things.

I stepped out.  I looked up.  GULP.

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I went back inside, fast.  Dragon.  A real, live dragon was perched onna roof.  Oh gumdrops, this sword wasn’t gonna do any good…

My heart was thumpin’ hard.  I tried to remember what I knew. Most dragons wanna eat dollies for snacks.  Loads of ’em breathe fire, too, an’ a wood house mixed up with a dragon’s breath seemed like a bad idea.  My friends were inside.  Double bad.  Buncha dragons breathe acid or frost instead. When Pip an’ Amalynn an’ Smidge an’ Voir an’ alla we were in Arkansas, I met dragon parts, an’ baby dragons, an’ alla them were nice.   But they were babies.  Babies start off nice, with treats an’ all.  Without treats, tho, maybe alla big dragons would be mean. Some dragons are nice. Some dragons are mean. No dragons wear signs sayin’ which one they are.

I needed more information. I needed better weapons. I needed to get my friends out of danger.  Alla sudden, I hadda plan.

I went back upstairs.  I could hear thumpin’ onna roof from the dragon’s feet, an a draggin’ sound from where its tail kept rubbin’ over shingles.  When I came up inna room, everybody started babblin’ at me.  The thumping onna roof stopped, an’ I could just feel that dragon listenin’.  It was like ice down my neck. I put my finger over my lips, an’ everybody went real quiet.  They gathered close round me, an’ I let ’em know there was a dragon onna roof, and we hadda go.  It might be a good dragon, but I didn’t know, an’ I didn’t wanna try an’ find out with everybody here.

Nobody made much noise after that, which was good.  Cooper kept his shovel. I didn’t think it’d do much good against a dragon, but maybe he could scoop dirt over some fires.  Falcon went to Meikiko’s room to get her.  He coulnd’t find her at first.

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But he called her name, real soft, an’ she leaped out from under the blankets, into his arms.  Poor thing.  She was so scared, she didn’t even ask about none of her dollies or toys or nothin’.

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We all grouped up again an’ headed for the door.  I figured it’d be best if we got everyone back home before I tried doin’ research.  The Hittys joined us goin’ out the door. I was proud of ’em for keepin’ quiet, even tho they didn’t really know what alla fuss was about.  At least, I didn’t tell ’em, an’ I should’ve.  I hope Cooper or Lark did. We made up a line so we could watch each other.  Cooper went in front, with the shovel.  Then our friends inna middle.  I brought up the back so I could keep an eye on the dragon, in case it decided it wanted to follow us.

The dragon didn’t pay us any mind, which was good.  It just kept lookin’ out from its perch onna roof.  It was lookin’ forward, though, an’ we all went out the side.  Maybe that’s why it never saw us.  But I didn’t stop watchin’ it til we were far outta range.

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Alla we got home safe.  I let the others know what happened.  Wren got all sortsa worried.  If a dragon was at the big white house, maybe it’d come to our main house too.  An’ it might.  We decided we were gonna keep everyone inside for a bit, even Riley an’ the goose.  I was gonna go back to the big white house with weapons an’ books so I could figure out more.  Cooper said he’d come with me.  Brave brother.  I was glad he said he would, cuz I was straight up scared.  Dragons are no laughin’ matter.

After makin’ the plans, I grabbed my bow, an’ Cooper brought the books an’ a big metal spear we had.

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We both took deep breaths an’ set back out to the big white house.

… to be continued…

~Kestrel

Halloween Party!

I’m late with my writing, but I promise I didn’t forget.

The day of Halloween, Wren showed us all what she’d been workin’ on.  She an’ Sparrow didn’t wanna dress up in costumes, but they both had pretty Halloweeny dresses, hers with cobwebs an’ Sparrows with bones (an’ paws, but don’t mind alla paws.  They’re just there for extra cute).

Cooper an’ me gotta be Victorian steampunk monster hunters!!  I’m super excited.  I love our hats, an’ our capes, an’ I get to carry a sword.  So if anybody comes playin’ tricks, or if any monsters come inna house, I can take care of ’em right quick.

An’ Falcon an’ Meikiko got costumes, too.  Theirs match up too!  Lately, Meikiko’s been watchin’ a show about a girl that fights crime.  Her name’s Ladybug Girl.  An’ she has a friend who fights crime too.  They’re friends as super heroes, but they dunno each other in real life.  His name is Cat Noir.  Wren made Meikiko a ladybug costume (kinda different from what Ladybug Girl wears, but Meikiko liked it better) an’ made Falcon a black cat costume!  When Falcon said the other day that he thought we outta get a black cat, it made me giggle.

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We finished putting out alla decorations, movin’ the pumpkins around, an’ gettin’ cobwebs set up.  Before long, there was a knock, an’ the Littles arrived!  They came in, some walkin’ with a friend, some walkin’ alone: Aqua an’ Rosy an’ Poppy an’ three kittens, an’ a couple girls I dunno, an Nim an’ a baby.  Our whole room was filled up!  Vega an’ Hazel an’ the other new girls didn’t come, an’ I’m kinda glad, cuz I dunno if there’d be room for everybody.  I mean…wow!

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(Wren says next year, we gotta find somewhere else for a party)

I think it surprised the rest of the flock, too, cuz Falcon’s eyes got kinda big, an’ Sparrow just kept blinkin’.  An’ yea, it’s a lot.  Alla Littles make a big crowd.  But they’re fun, an’ happy, an’ it was good to see ’em all here again.

An’ then the party began!

The Littles kinda did their own thing.  Poppy was dressed up like a DJ an’ had a radio, so she played alla music for the night.  She had spooky sounds an’ good dance music an’ all sortsa fun stuff for a party night.

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The Kittens got inna mischief fast, messin’ round with Mr. Bones inna corner.

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There was apple bobbin’, an’ Meikiko helped the new girl nab her apple before she got one for herself, too (I dunno why we didn’t put water inna bowl first).

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An’ New Girl an’ the baby played ball with an eye, pushin’ it back an’ forth a bit.

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After a bit, I noticed that lotsa the big kids were missin’.  First I missed the boys, then I didn’ know where Sparrow’d gone, then Wren was gone too…  Wren leavin’ surprised me.  But the Littles were bein’ awful noisy.  They were havin’ fun, but it was noisy fun.  I looked over at Nim an’ asked if she knew where the others got to.

She didn’ know.  I didn’t know either.  But we giggled an’ slipped off, lookin’ for the others.  The Littles’d be ok, Nim said.  They did all sortsa stuff on their own without gettin’ hurt too bad.  We’d cleared out alla sharp swords (I put ’em inna closet before the party), an’ we’d moved the rocks away.

We found the others hidin’ inna bedroom.  Cooper an’ Falcon were playin’ dinosaurs, an’ Wren an’ Sparrow were talkin’ onna bed about just how many Littles were inna other room.  Nim joined the girls, an’ I sat down with Riley to cuddle.  Even the bunnies were hidin’ out.

Out inna main room, tho, the party raged on.  New girl found some rock candy.  The kittens got mixed up with a ouija board.  Rosy an’ Aqua started makin’ some witchy brew (I cleaned it up after–man, was it nasty!).  An’ the baby was playin’ with a pumpkin, kinda suckin’ on her thumb too.

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The kittens even started a game of monster tag!  I could hear ’em runnin’ round.

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There was only the tiniest bit of danger, when Aqua got ahold of a sword.  I dunno if it’s the one Cooper was usin’, or if I left mine behind.  But she got it, an’ she brandished it, an’ things were lookin’ kinda scary.

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Meikiko stepped in real quick, tho, an’ told em they hadda put it down cuz a sword’s not a toy.  Not that kinda sword.  I was a bad dolli for not makin’ sure alla swords were picked up afore I snuck off.  I’m glad everybody was ok.  Go Meikiko!  Ladybug Girl to the rescue!

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But they all got worn out.  Nim said they would.  We found ’em sitting quiet, kinda lookin’ sorta dazed.  The baby was asleep, curled up round a pumpkin.

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We spread out some blankets an’ set out pillows an’ made ’em all comfortable.  It was too late to be trekkin’ alla Littles back through the woods to Dolli Lane.  So we hadda sleep over with a lotta little friends.  It was kinda hard to tiptoe round ’em all, but they were safe an’ warm.  It was a good night.

Hope everybody else had a fun, happy Halloween too!

~Kestrel

Happy Halloween!

We’re all abuzz!  Wren’s been busy sewin’, an’ we’ve been busy decoratin’, an’ today is Halloween!!!  (Juniper says it’s “Samhain,” though, an’ we’re calling it all wrong? An’ we need a bonfire?  I dunno bout that.  Littles are…well…little.  They might get hurt near a big fire, since we don’t got a good setup here like Smidge’s got.)  Anyhow!  We’re still settin’ stuff up.  As soon as it all seems done an’ ready, there’s somethin’ else inna corner that really has to be put out too.  I haven’t had much time for pictures, but Wren made me’n’Cooper stand still while we were tryin’ on the costumes she made.  An’ they’re awesome!  Cuz we’re twins, she made us twin outfits.  We’re Victorian steampunk monster hunters.  I forgot to grab my sword for the picture.  I’m sure we’ll take more later.  Wren’s the best, though.  I think she has fun makin’ costumes!

If I don’t get back to share more pics today (an’ I might not, cuz it’s gonna be B.U.S.Y.!), hope everybody has a super fun, spooky cool Halloween!!

(Falcon says we need a small black cat.  He cracks me up!  I’ll show you why later)

~Kestrel

Research Phase

 

When we got in, I went an’ gotta book for researchin’ monsters.  Started in the winged section.  Dragons, Pegasi, Harpies, Phoenixes…  Hmm.  Not much good there.  None of ’em looked anything like what I’d seen.

I sat back with a sigh.  Cooper looked over at me an’ asked, “What’s wrong?”

So I showed him the pictures I’d taken.

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An’ I described the dead monsters an’ the live monster an’ alla what it’d done.

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“That’s not a monster, sis,” Cooper said.

I just kinda looked at him an’ raised an eyebrow.  Sure looked like some sorta monster from where I was standin’.  Sittin’ now.  But he hopped up an’ gotta computer.  He typed some stuff inna search page an’ brought up some pictures.

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“Those are cicadas.  They’re large bugs, but they’re not monsters. Or aliens.  The nymphs that hatch drop down and burrow underground, where they can spend years growing and digging before they finally emerge from underground.  They come up in cycles–some cicadas come up every year, some every thirteen, and some every seventeen.  They come above when they’re ready to transform from nymphs–or grubs–into adults.  What you called dead monsters are really just the husks of the insect as it grows bigger and changes from one form to another.  Insets don’t have skeletons, like us.  Instead, they have a really hard shell.  So every time they grow or change, they have to shed their skin.  And they change form as they grow older, too.  So the nymph is kind of like a caterpillar or a worm but, as it gets bigger, it develops things like wings.”

Cooper pointed from picture to picture, showing me cicadas in different stages.  It was makin’ my head spin!  But ok.  Insects.  Just insects.

“So…you’re sayin’ they’re just bugs?”

“Yes.  They are just insects.  Probably these holes were made by the nymphs when they crawled out of the ground.  But they aren’t dangerous.  There is nothing here that you need to fight.”

“Really?  Nothin’?  Not even like…the centipede?”  I showed him the picture again, in case he had forgotten.  “It almost bit Perdita!”

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“Oh…sis…”

~Kestrel

 

 

 

Holes 2

Perdita’n’me went out to check on those holes again.  Left Riley behind:  didn’t wanna disappearing dog again.  Poor pup!  We took a whumping stick an’ a nice sharp sword, in case somethin’ hadda get messy.

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Perdita poked inna hole.  Nothin’ much happened, ‘cept two centipedes came crawlin’ out.  One of ’em looked like it was gonna crawl up Perdita’s leg (she didn’t see it), but then it took off  another way.  I didn’t say nothin’ bout that.  The other one turned round an’ crawled back inna hole.  Not a very deep hole. Or maybe the deep of it caved in when whatever it was crawled out?

We walked ’round a li’l bit, explorin’, an’ came across somethin’…weird.

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Not just weird.  Creepy weird.  Alien-monster weird.  I mean, what in the world???  It’s huge!  It’s got these massive legs (piercin’ legs, too, with points onna end), an’ stumpy wings, an’ it was sorta see-through!  When I poked it, tho, it didn’ move none.  Maybe it’s dead?

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Perdita didn’t much like it.  She stayed with me, cuz she’s got an Adventure Bear’s heart, but she wasn’t real happy.  I wondered if whatever it was came crawlin’ outta hole inna ground?  But it was so big…  too big to fit inna hole we found.  We left it behind an’ kept lookin’ round.

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We found another hole.  An’ another near that.  An’ some more dead alien monsters.  Loads of ’em.

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They didn’t move when Perdita poked ’em, neither.

We stumbled on a whole bunch of ’em, clinging onna tree root.

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But right near alla dead ones was another monster.  It wasn’t dead.  Repeat:  it wasn’t dead.  An’ it had huge wings.  An’ huge eyes.  An’ a huge body.

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Perdita really stayed back then.  But I hadda get a closer look.  I mean, if it was dangerous, I needed to know. Cuz then it’d have to die.

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So I poked it with my sword.  Maybe not so smart, but it seemed like a good idea then.  It made a loud, buzzing sound, flicked its wings, an’ took off inna sky.  It was an awful loud sound, an’ made me jump back some too.  But it flew off high inna tree, an’ I watched it go.  When it landed up inna tree, it continued to make its loud, buzzing sound.  The noise got louder an’ longer, sorta inna series of waves.

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I’d never seen anything like it.  Perdita hadn’t, either.  But after that sorta fright, I figured I was done lookin’ for the day an’ wanna go home.  Seemed like a good time for doin’ research.  Were the dead monsters connected to the hole or to the live monster?  Was the live monster gonna come back an’ attack us?

I kept an eye onna sky as we walked back.  More when I find out what I can.

~Kestrel

 

 

Holes

We gotta new friend.  Her name’s Perdita.  Wren says it means “little lost one,” but I dunno if that’s true.  I mean, if she’s here, she’s found, ain’t she?  So she ain’t lost no more.  But I guess a name’s a name, an’ it ain’t gonna change who you are now no matter what it meant before.

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Anyhow, Perdita’s pretty an’ blue, an’ she’s gotta bell, so it’s hard to lose her now.  Grammy Happy sent her to our house.  I think she’s gonna go help with Dolli Lane an’ alla Littles too, but she’s gotta work up some nerve first (she ain’t worked with Littles before).  She helps me walk Riley inna morning so she gets to know what’s round here.  She said she came from a group of bears called “Adventure Bears,” an’ now we’re parta her adventure.  That’s pretty cool, cuz I do like adventures.

So Perdita an’ me were walkin’ Riley inna mornin’, an’ we found somethin’ inna ground.  A hole. A couple holes, actually, sorta together in an area.  An’, yeah, there’s lotsa different holes what might be inna ground:  golf holes, sink holes, man holes, drain holes, pot holes, snake holes, worm holes, fox holes, mole holes…  But it wasn’t none of those holes.  Since Perdita’s an adventure bear, I asked her if she’d seen ’em before.

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“Hmm…” Perdita said, in her slow, thinkin’ voice.  Most everythin’ she does is kinda slow.  But that’s ok, cuz she’s careful too.  “No,” she said. “I haven’t seen those.”

I hadn’t either.  We stood, starin’ atta holes for a bit, thinkin’ bout what mighta maybe made ’em.  Maybe a baby giant playin’ onna pogo stick?  Or maybe they’re tent pegs for a giant’s pup tent?  Maybe there’s giants inna woods!  I started lookin’ round a bit through the trees, wonderin’ if giants come out at sunrise or at sunset.

Riley had different ideas, though.  She wanted to know more bout the hole too.  So she got closer…an’ closer…

Then, alla sudden, yank! snap! Riley pulled the leash outta my hand and popped herself inna hole!

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“Riley!” I cried.  An’ I was all sortsa panicked.  What if she went inna hole but never came back out?  What if she came back out an’ ran off? What if whatever made the hole was down in the hole wasn’t a silly giant but a mean monster an’ it ate her?  Then Riley’s li’l feet disappeared inna dirt, an’ all I could see was her leash rope.  Then it too slid away.  I wanna grab it tight, but if Riley was gettin’ pulled, pullin’ back might get her choked or somethin’.

PANIC!!!

Perdita put her paw on my arm an’ said I hadda calm down.  Riley was gonna be ok.  Even if there was somethin’ down inna dirt, she was strong an’ a good fighter an’ she’d be ok.  At least, I think Perdita said alla that.  It was in my head, at least.  I kept callin’ for Riley, askin’ her to come back.

Then the ground moved, an’ I held my breath.  Somethin’ black was wrigglin’ outta dirt.

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Oh, my gumdrops! It was Riley’s nose!  I grabbed Riley up an’ held her close.  No more holes.  No more holes, please.

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Perdita used a stick to try an’ find out more bout the hole, like maybe how deep it was or whether there was somethin’ down in there.

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But she didn’t find much.  I was too worried after Riley’s disappearin’ act to explore holes more, so we headed back home.  We’ll go walkin’ other places where there aren’t holes tomorrow.  An’ maybe Perdita’n’me’ll come back sometime without Riley to learn more bout the holes.  But not today.  That was enough for today.

~Kestrel