Cooper’s Eyes: birthday, 2018

I didn’t really want to admit it, but I’m a little bit sad about today. It is my birthday,  but it’s also Kestrel’s birthday (after all, we are twins). But Kestrel was invited to an isolated South Pacific island by her friend Vale, a cyborg from England (though, to be honest, I’m not clear about Vale’s nationality). Anyhow, Kestrel has an adventurous spirit, so off she went, with only a bag over her shoulder. I believe they intend to camp and forage for several days?

I am glad she went. I would not want to hold anyone back from an experience like that. After all, I should hope nobody would keep me back if I was invited to an island getaway! But I do sort of wish that I could have gone too. A weekend in the sun and sand sounds lovely.

Instead, I am here alone, surrounded by snow and bitter cold temperatures. Our friends are doing special things to make me feel better, though. Sparrow says she’ll bake a cake soon. And Falcon agreed to a game of chess with me.


Lark watched, having played the game before. She seems an astute player and suggested several good moves during the game. I tried to let Falcon win, but he tried to do the same for me. Lark left us, frustrated by our lack of vigor, and we ultimately called the game a failure as our  kings chased each other slowly round the board without ever making a conquest. We were laughing at the end and finally agreed that we would actually play next time.

oh! And since Kestrel is not here to object, I am going to share a picture of her trying on her bathing costume prior to leaving for the island! I don’t believe she say me take the picture. And I am certain she would not want me to share it if she had a voice in making the decision!


So, happy birthday, Kestrel! I hope you’re having a wonderful time. Catch a fish for me. But leave the birds alone. The Kure Atoll is a nature preserve, and the authorities would be vexed if you ate one. While I would love to visit the South Pacific, I don’t want to do so because I need to bail you out of a Hawaiian jail!


ps: Sparrow’s birthday cake gift! Thanks, my friends.


New Places, New Faces?

I was sittin’ there, watchin’ alla Littles play again today (cuz we still ain’t taken ’em back to Nim, but we gotta soon, cuz we’re kinda sorta out of food) when Hazel came in, all pink an’ outta breath.  It’s cold as ‘cicles outside! She said she had somethin’ she wanna show me.  I tucked my new sword inna belt loop an’ found a hat an’ followed her out.


Oh, gumdrops, I dunno if ‘cicles is cold enough to describe the weather.  Was more like alla air was frozen, an’ we hadda swim through it!  But there was no snow, so it was cold without a good reason.  We walked through the woods a ways, down a path I don’t use so much, an’ down a trail I always thought deer made.

Partway down, there were some noises from behind.  I pulled Hazel offa road, an’ we hid behind some bushes.  I pulled my sword outta belt an’ got down inna fighting stance.  Then the thing makin’ the noise came inna view, an’ I stood up straight, steppin’ back out onna road.  Things were ok.  It was just Falcon.  I wasn’t even mad he made me worry.

“I wanted to see it too,” he said.  An’ the three of us kept goin’.

Not too long later, the trees opened up inna clearing.  Inna middle was a big white house.  The windows were boarded up some onna first floor, though, an’ there were lotsa dead weeds round the place.

“It’s a nice house?” I said, waitin’ for Hazel to lemme know why were were here.

“It is,” she agreed.  She walked through the weeds an’ up onna porch an’ pushed the door open.  It swung in.  The door didn’ squeak like I thought it might.

Falcon an’ I followed her to the door an’ peeked in.


It was a nice room, with a li’l bitta furniture covered by sheets.  Falcon an’ me came in a bit further, lookin’ inna corners an’ stuff.  “Why’re we here?” I finally asked.  “It’s a nice house, but somebody else owns it.  We ain’t supposed to go inna other people’s houses.”

Hazel smiled.  “No, we’re not.  When Vega and I found it last month, she tried to research the property records, but we got stuck.  Cooper helped us find its owner.  Turns out the house belongs to Gramma Happy.  We talked to her.  She said she didn’t realize this house was so close to our Home but that, since she didn’t have anybody using it now, it was ok for us to use it.  Cooper is working on getting the Government to recognize this as an extension of our Home so they can send Gramma Happy some extra money too.”

Grammy Happy is so super nice!  I was feeling really excited now.  What else was in the house?  We could clean it up an’ have plenty of room for the whole Flock now.

Upstairs, we found another big room like onna first floor.  It had some chairs an’ a nice long table an’ some benches.  An’ a bookcase.  Falcon’s eyes lit up when he saw the long table.  He started talkin’ bout gaming an’ science an’ all sortsa things we could do there.  It sounded pretty cool.

We kept goin’ through.  We came to a room with lotsa little-sized yellow furniture, an’ Falcon started talkin’ bout how Meikiko would love livin’ inna room that had stuff her size.  An’ there were two beds, so she could always have a little friend over, too.  I hadda agree: it was perfect.


Hazel said there were some issues with the place.  It couldn’t never be its own stand-alone Home, cuz there wasn’t a kitchen.  But it could be a sorta overflow place, where kids could come an’ play an’ maybe sleep, cuz we were sorta runnin’ outta room–or at least runnin’ outta beds.  I was really glad, tho, that we couldn’t make it inna its own second house, cuz I liked our Flock bein’ together.

We stepped inna last room.  It was a bedroom for big kids, with nice bunkbeds an’ a li’l dresser table.  There was a window facin’ out to the woods.  It was cozy an’ friendly.  But there was one small problem…

“Who’s that?”


There was a girl sleepin’ inna bottom bunk bed.  She woke up alla sudden an’ stared at us, her eyes big like moons.

“I don’t know,” Hazel confessed.  “She wasn’t here before.”

She leaped outta the bed an’ stood afore us.


“I–I–I’m sorry,”  she stuttered.  “It’s so c-c-c-cold.  I just wanted to sleep somewhere warm.  I’ll be going now.” An’ she turned, like she was gonna just walk out inna cold.

But she didn’t have shoes.  Or a coat.  Or anythin’.

“Wait,” I said.  An’ they all turned an’ looked at me.  I knew I shoulda kept my mouth shut.  Now I’d be the one makin’ decisions.  Oh boy.


But I knew it was wrong–like, super-duper wrong–to send a kid without shoes inna cold like we came through.

I took a deep breath.  “My name’s Kestrel.  This is Falcon an’ Hazel.  We live inna house nearby…an’ maybe now here too.”

“I’m…Lark,” she said, all quiet-like.

“Do you have a home or parents?” I asked.  This felt strange.  I’d heard Wren ask questions like this, but I hadn’t done it afore.  She just shook her head a li’l bit.  “Maybe you can stay with us, then.  Alla we are orphans too.  We all work hard to keep it goin’, but there’s always somethin’ else needin’ doin’.  We gotta talk with Wren first, but wouldya maybe wanna think bout joinin’ us?”

Lark smiled super big then.  She didn’t hafta say a single word.




Merry Krissmiss!

For Krissmiss, Wren wanted to give Nim a special gift.  She wanted to give Nim a li’l break an’ offered to take the Littles for Krissmiss Eve.  A few stayed with Nim (Rosy an’ one kitty), but we had most of ’em over.  Lotsa floor sleepin’.  Littles don’t mind.  After we fed ’em dinner an’ read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, an’ hung up a couple stockings, everybody got ready for bed.


We were all cozied up an’ most of the Littles stopped whisperin’ when Meikiko gasped an’ hopped outta bed an’ went runnin’ for the main room.  She forgot to get Santa’s cookies an’ milk ready.  Real quick, she got out some cookies an’ poured a mug of milk an’ set it out onna side table.


Then back to bed an’ sleep an’ sugarplum fairies an’ eight tiny reindeer an’ kerchiefs an’ alla that.  (I couldn’t get alla them in one picture.  There were just too many!)


Inna morn, the Littles woke with such a ruckus an’ a bluster, cuz it was Krissmiss an’ all!  Oh my gumdrops!  I never knew Nim hadda handle so much at Dolli Lane.  Halloween ain’t seemin’ so bad now.  We all trooped out to the main room an’ found Santa had visited inna night.


Oh, the noise! the chaos! the happiness!!  The Littles were all sortsa crazy, divin’ inna things left under the tree.  There was no blood, so we kinda let them have at it.  There were dollies, an’ bears, an’ li’l toys here an’ there.  There was even a picnic basket (which Aqua squealed over, so I think maybe that was her biggest wish-for), an’ a kayak!  I dunno if the Littles keep the kayak, or if maybe that’s for one of us bigger dollies.


There were some presents left for us bigger kids too, like the kayak.  There was a sewing machine too for Wren an’ a kitty cat that immediately hopped inna Falcon’s lap (it wasn’t a sweet black kitty but a li’l striped orange kitty).   As noise as alla Littles got, though, it was awful fun to watch ’em playin’ with their toys!


There were some little wrapped gifts too for the Flock of bigger dollies.  I gotta shiny new sword, an’ Wren got a pretty li’l heart box from Nim.  The boys got a fun science kit, an’ a chess game.  Sparrow an’ me asked if they’d teach us to play chess, cuz we dunno how.  Cooper promised he would.  An’ there were some dice for a game.  Sparrow says the game is about tellin’ stories an’ makin’ characters.  We need a book first an’ some pages, but she’s gonna teach us all how to make it happen.  The dice are very pretty an’ green an’ all sortsa different shapes.

I gotta say, it was nice gettin’ an givin’ gifts, but the best part was actually watchin’ alla Littles get so excited an’ happy.  We all kinda got a li’l bit overwhelmed by the Littles an’ their energy, but it was pretty awesome inna end.  If Nim’s ok with lettin’ us host ’em next, year, I hope we getta do it again.  Meikiko was so happy havin’ all sortsa li’l friends over to share the day, an’ it was nice for us too.  Wren hadda really good idea.

I hope alla you hadda really great Krissmiss too, an’ gotta spend time with family an’ friends!



Last one

The cold took out the whole pumpkin plant. It’s sad. Really, really sad. It all crisped up an’ wilted an’ fell down flat onna ground. I don’t wanna picture. I ain’t gonna share that kinda pain.

But I found one last pumpkin! It’s kinda sorta huge. I almost couldn’t wrestle it inna kitchen, but I got it in!


It was hard work. I was pretty proud of what I did! Ok, so maybe I didn’t think it all the way through. I mean, it is an awfully big pumpkin…

An’ that’s pretty much what Wren said when she saw it. She was sure I’d worked hard an’ it was nice I’d found it when the cold killed the whole plant, but we hadda move inna house too an’ it was just too big. It had to go back out.


But…pie an’ soup an’…uh…whatever else people do with pumpkins.

Nope. There was no swayin’ Wren. Nobody’d eat that much pie. So I rolled the pumpkin back outside.

Best hope is it makes more pumpkins inna  spring. That’s a long way off, tho! My pumpkin’s gonna have a good hibernation  an’ some sweet dreams. (I’ll put a li’l blanket on him when Wren’s not lookin’)



Finally! I woke up inna mornin’ an’ stepped outside an’ BAM! I hadda close my eyes an’ open my arms an’ hug alla cold air like it was a long-lost cuzzin. It was amazing! Winter is coming after all. Weather’s been somethin’ crazy, with fires an’ floods an’ hurricanes an’ skies lit up yellowy-red, but winter ain’t gonna desert us yet.



Oh, I’m so happy!!!!  Last night, when we went to bed, there was nothin’ onna ground.  This mornin’, I woke up super duper early an ran to check an’–sure enough!–there was snow onna ground!!


Oh, how I love snow!  I shoulda waited for everyone t’get up, but I couldn’ do it.  I yanked on some boots an’ put on m’ hat an’ grabbed a coat an’ ran outta door.  SNOW!!!!



It was super deep.  I was standin’ there one second, an next I was gone up t’ my waist.  Thought for sure if I took another step maybe I’d be over m’head inna drift!  It wasn’t quite that bad, but it was enough that I tracked back the way I’d came an’ grabbed m’ sled an’ made for a hill.


I had fun for a bit, but I wanna get Wren an’ Cooper an’ Meikiko out there for buildin’ snowmen an playin’ snowball fights an’ stuff, so I didn’ stay out too too long.  Dunno what Cooper’s gonna do, tho.  Alla footstuffs he’s gots are these tennis shoes.  An’ I dunno if Meikiko’s got shoes at all.  We’ll figure it out tho.

But I’m so happy!  Yesterday was my birthday, an’ today there’s snow!!  Hope alla dollies’re havin’ fun too.