The Pre-meditated Plot

Shoo fly pie (Pinterest)

Have you wondered how Cara has handled her runaway cow ride and Shoo fly pie prank by Mason? Should she call it even, since she did have fun fooling him about talking to the lamb, or … is he in trouble? Enjoy the following story to find out what happened, and if you missed the post leading up to this story, here is a link, Mason’s Prank.

Cara looked in the mirror one more time, checking her hair. She sighed. Her hair looked fine, she had to stop feeling nervous! She had stayed in her house for the past several days, but she had to return to work today. She would have to wait on customers today, which meant facing people that probably saw her wild cow ride through the middle of town!

OOOh what a day that had turned out to be! Her face had been so red when Bard had finally managed to stop Clarabelle and helped Cara down off of her. She was so thankful for his loving help, though she couldn’t help but notice that he was trying awfully hard not to laugh! Once she got off Clarabelle she saw Mr. Tippner and Fuzzywhistle and Mason all standing together, trying to hide the mirth on their faces. She made a face at all of them, especially at Mason. This had been all his idea! What was she thinking listening to him, about taking a picture while sitting on Clarabelle! Some grand idea that was!

Amazingly enough she had managed to keep hold of the pie, and not fall off Clarabelle on her ride. Apparently she had more balance than she thought she did. She had asked Mason if she could pose for pictures another time, since she wanted to get away from all the townspeople as quickly as possible. He had told her that the picture he had taken would probably be fine to use, no other ones were needed. She was relieved to hear that. She had been ready to get home and out of her Grandma outfit into some comfy clothes. Once she got home, she was going to enjoy a nice, big piece of pie.

She did just that when she got home, and then there was a knock on her door. Cara cringed, who could be at her door? She wished Bard was home, but he had to run back into work. Wiping her face, making sure there was no pie crumbs on it, she went and opened the door. She was pleasantly relieved to see Sarah there, and invited her in.

Sarah couldn’t stay long, but she had to share with Cara, what she had overheard. after Cara went home. Mason was talking to Tippner about the prank, he was feeling a little guilty, because of the unexpected cow ride that happened. A prank! Cara couldn’t believe it! Sarah had told her how there was no Gooey Sweets and Treats Company and they didn’t want her Shoofly pie recipe, even though it was delicious!

Cara had been speechless as she looked at Sarah with big eyes. She had fallen hook, line and sinker for that prank! She was shaking her head, oh Mason Picklefoot was one sly guy! This was payback she figured for the joke about Creampuff the lamb. Hmmm….he was good. She smiled, yes, she perhaps could consider them even now, but … she felt that Mason still had the upper hand on how his prank turned out. So Cara’s mind started turning and she came up with a plan, that she was rather proud of.

Looking at her watch, Cara saw that she had to go. She might be a little nervous about seeing some of the townspeople again, but she was eager to put her plan for Mason into action. With that thought she laughed, and there was an extra bounce in her step as she left her house.

People kindly smiled at her as she walked to work. She would be fine, it was a nice group of people that lived in Bittersweet Creek. They liked to have fun, and she was sure she would be teased about her ride for awhile by certain people but she would okay!

The bell jangled as she opened the door to the coffee shop.

“Cara! Hi! Welcome back!” Mason said with a grin. He held out a large cup of coffee for her.

Cara looked at him, “What kind of coffee is this?” She wasn’t going to fall for something again.

“its a new flavor I got in that I thought you would like. Banana mocha.” Cara was surprised, he couldn’t stand any of the sweet, flavored coffees.

“Well thank you! What a nice surprise!” She took it from his hand and took a sip. “This tastes great!”

Mason made a face, but said, “Glad you like it. I have another surprise for you too. I have decided that you really are a good worker here. The customers missed you being gone, and I was stuck serving the “candy coffee”, so I missed you too!”

Cara laughed. “its always nice to be missed.” she said.

“I have decided to give you a $2 dollar an hour raise.” Mason said with a smile.

Now Cara really was shocked! First the new Banana mocha coffee and now a big raise, what was he up too?

“I…I… don’t quite know what to say. You are just full of surprises today, but thank you very much!”

Mason smiled, “Welllll… there is actually something else I kind of need to tell you.”

The bell rang again, as the door opened. Sarah came in, for her usual cup of coffee to start the day. While Cara got Sarah’s coffee ready, she said, “So Mason, you said you had something you needed to tell me?” Mason looked at Sarah and Cara saw that he looked a little uncomfortable. Yes, she thought to herself, he is going to spill the beans about his prank. OH Sarah needs to hear this! She winked at Sarah and whispered to her to stay when she handed Sarah’s coffee to her.

“I have something to confess.” he said with a guilty look on his face. Cara almost felt sorry for him.

“Oh wait, did you send my picture off yet to the Gooey and Sweets company? Don’t want you forgetting. I told my Mom about it, she is so excited for me.”

Sarah almost spit out of her coffee, trying not to laugh.

“Ummm… well, about that…you see…”

“Hey, sorry to interrupt, but my sister was wondering if maybe Gooey and Sweets would like to hear about her special dessert. She was typing up a letter to send to them. She of course was going to mention me in the letter, hoping that would help to persuade them.” Cara said.

“Oh is it that Peach, raspberry crumble dessert that your sister makes? That is really good. I bet they would love it!” Sarah said.

Cara fought to compose herself while watching Mason’s face.

He looked down at the floor and up at the ceiling, and then sighed as he said, “I know I am going to be in big trouble, but I may as well, just say it, it was all a prank! There is no Gooey Sweets Company.”

“NO!” Sarah yelled. She yelled so loudly she made Cara jump, and Mason’s eyes got big!

“How could you deceive Cara like that? Oh Cara, you must be so upset.”

Cara tried to look upset, but she just couldn’t do it, and she burst out laughing, which sent Sarah into giggles.

Poor Mason stood there looking so confused.

“Well that’s not the reaction I expected!” he said.

“I already knew Mason, Sarah told me, she heard you talking with Tippner about it.”

Mason’s face got red now. “You knew all this time!”

“Yup!” Cara said with a smug look. She put out her hand. “I have to hand it to you, that was a creative prank! I’ll call it even … for now that is,” she said with a mischievous grin. “You were nice enough to order that Banana mocha coffee for me, and thanks again for the raise!”

“Yeah, I am too nice.” Mason said, and Cara rolled her eyes.

Sarah laughed, “Have a great day you guys, I gotta get to work.” Sarah said, while going out the door.

After Sarah left, Cara turned to Mason, with a conspiratorial smile. “You know, Sarah really is a nice lady. She really looked nice in her cute dress today, did you notice?”

Mason dropped the paper cups that he was stacking, but didn’t say a word as he headed to the back of the store.

Cara smiled to herself, yes, she was pretty sure that he had noticed. She knew Sarah noticed his brown, wavy hair, she talked about it all the time.

The bell jangled again, as 3 customers walked in. She would think about matchmaking later, and she guesses her plot would be put on the backburner for now. She couldn’t possibly do it now, after he just gave her a raise, but she was sure the chance would come up again.

A New Dawn

Image from Pinterest

There was stillness in the early morning twilight hour. The only sound was the call of the lone raven, from his perch in the tree.

The lady woke up before dawn. She poured herself a cup of tea, grabbed her jacket and walked out into the cool morning air. The tea warmed her as she stood by the lake, listening to the raven’s call.

The man reached over and felt the empty space next to him. He opened his eyes and looked groggily at the clock. It was barely the crack of dawn, where was she?

His wife heard his footsteps behind her. Soon she felt his arm wrapped around her shoulders. Gently he put his hand on her belly, feeling the baby kick. She put her hand over his and they marveled togethet at the new life growing inside of her.

The old man was sitting in the boat, listening to the call of the raven. There was no rush, he had no where to be. He could simply enjoy the peace. He didn’t know how much longer he had, each day was a gift, and he was going to enjoy it. He rowed into the morning’s light.

She put her head on her husband’s shoulder and smiled. They watched the rising sun’s reflection over the water.

A new day was dawning and hope was stirring, as she felt the baby kick again. No words were said. The only sound was the raven’s call, welcoming the dawn.

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday! One day before the Inauguration of a new President, for the US. I know I am not alone in hoping and praying that tomorrow can go smoothly and peacefully! That our Country can make a start of coming together. 

May the following quotes touch your heart and bring you smiles! Thanks for reading, for I do really enjoy posting them. 









Yes, I am dreaming of summer!




Through the Eyes of a Child

Cherie was looking out of the window on the bus. Being the last stop, she always had a long ride home, but she didn’t mind. It gave her  plenty of time to think. Usually she was planning on what she and her friend Cindy would do when she got home. Plotting more tricks to play on Charlie and the twins, was typically at the top of their list. Today though, she was distracted, her mind was on the lesson they had learned at school. 

Miss. Clark had told them about a man who had a dream. A man, Dr. King,  who dreamed of peace and tried his best to share his dream with the world. Cherie didn’t understand why some people didn’t like his dream. She was confused. She had friends whose skin color was different from hers, but she didn’t care, and neither did they! 

Her friends were all different from each other. Johnny was really good at running, nobody could beat him, and Chris could climb a tree almost as fast as a squirrel! Lori, loved to sing, and she did almost all the time, until her brother Charlie would bop her on the head to be quiet. Charlie was the best at thinking of new games that they all could play and Cindy could kick a ball farther than any of them! That drove the boys crazy, but made the girls laugh. Talking about laughter, the twins usually kept them all in stitches with their wisecracks. Cherie was the animal lover in the group. She was the first to spot animals in the woods, and everyone loved playing with her dog, Buffy.  Cherie  could also out jump rope any of them! 

They all had different things that they excelled in and Cherie was glad about that. She wouldn’t change a thing about her friends. They didn’t all like the same things. The twins loved to eat spinach, which just made them crazy in Cherie’s eyes, but they were welcome to all the spinach they wanted. She was thankful for being able to give them the spinach that her Mom sent to lunch with her. Whose Mom sent spinach to lunch? Her Mom said spinach helped one to grow, so Cherie felt like she was doing a good deed in helping the twins grow! 

Lori always gave away her peach pie that her Mom would pack in her lunch. Who didn’t like peaches? Cherie thought Lorie had to be the only one, and she was so happy every day that she got picked to have a slice of the coveted peach pie. Cindy was more on the shy side, but that was okay with everyone. They needed someone that was quiet, for Lori tended to give them all a headache! Oh and when any one of them needed an answer to a math problem Charlie was the one to ask, he could give you the answer in a flash! If you needed to know how to spell, just ask Chris. He could spell Mississippi! 

They all were different, it was true, but when it came down to the important things they all were the same. They all cared for each other. They had made pinky swear promises about their friendship and no one dare break them. They all loved to laugh and have fun. The twins you really had to watch for they could be sly. Boys could be so full of mischief thought Cherie, but sometimes the girls were able to outwit them. 

The bus was slowing, the time had gone fast. Cherie hoped that Dr. King would  someday have his dream come true, for not liking someone just because they are different from you, would never make any sense to her! 

Oh, there was Cindy, waving at her from the curb, and Oh No, the twins were sneaking up on her with something behind their backs!  Cherie bet they had water balloons. The bus stopped and she ran down the aisle and out the door, “Cindy, LOOK OUT!” 




Mason’s Prank

When I wrote Finding Creampuff yesterday, I didn’t know that it wouldn’t be the end of the story. Creampuff found her home, so I thought all was well. But, Jason, felt sorry for poor Mason Picklefoot, so he added more to the tale. Cara had done a very good job of pulling the wool over his eyes and making Mason believe that he was going crazy by hearing Creampuff talk. It was a fun joke, but there is one lesson that one should always remember with jokes, and one that Cara is about to learn. There are always “paybacks!”  Enjoy Jason’s tale. 


                                                                                            Mason’s Prank

Mason had fallen victim to Cara’s prank with the talking lamb and he had to admit that it was funny but he felt the need to pull a prank on her just to even things up. As he walked into the coffee shop he could see that his plan was in motion.

“Oh look what came in the mail!” Cara said excitedly. “It is a letter from the Gooey Sweets and Treats company. They heard about my shoo-fly pies and want to sell them with me on the label. I will get 15% commission on each shoo-fly pie they sell.”

“That’s wonderful, Cara.” Mason said “ This is quite an honor for you.”

“They do have sort of an odd request though.” she said “They want me to look more like a little old grandma on the farm for my picture on the label. They want to know if I can model for a picture sitting on a farm animal and send that in.”

“That is a bit odd.” said Mason doing his best to keep a straight face “But I can grab my camera and we can arrange with Mr. Fuzzywhistle to have a photo session over at his farm if you like. Maybe you can put together a grandma outfit and meet me there this afternoon with one of your pies. It’ll give you a chance to see Creampuff again as well.”

Later that day, after the coffee shop was closed for the day, they gathered for the photo shoot at Fuzzywhistle’s farm. Cara was dressed all up like a grandmother with a gray wig, reading glasses, frumpy clothes, and even a bonnet. Mason was there with his camera and ready to make some memorable photos of the occasion. Mr Tippner had even brought his Jenny along to add to the ambience.

Mr. Fuzzywhistle brought out his prize winning cow Clarabelle for Cara to sit on. “She’s a gentle cow and won’t mind you sitting on her back for the picture.” he said. “Here’s a stool so you can climb on up.”

Cara was giddy as she climbed upon Clarabelle’s back all dressed like a little old lady. Mason handed her the delicious looking shoo-fly pie that she had prepared for the occasion.

Mason stood back to take the picture and counted down “3, 2, 1…” and flash, the moment was immortalized. But the flash spooked Jenny and she accidently kicked poor Clarabelle. Clarabelle was so startled that she bolted out the gate and ran down main street with poor Cara on her back. All of the townsfolk came out to investigate the commotion and saw poor Cara dressed like a grandma and riding old Clarabelle down the street.

Mason smacked his head. He hadn’t intended for the prank to go this far, but he couldn’t help but join Fuzzywhistle and Tippner who were bent over laughing. Even Creampuff was laughing or so it seemed; it is hard to tell with sheep.

Bard rushed off and calmed Clarabelle and rescued poor Cara from her embarrassing cow ride through downtown Bittersweet Creek.

“Boy am I going to pay for this.” Mason thought to himself.

Finding Creampuff

Image from Pinterest

Mason Picklefoot was in his back yard when he heard a small voice say “Hi!”

He turned around and saw a cute, little white lamb. Where did it come from, he wondered. Looking around he didn’t see anyone else, so he didn’t know who had said “Hi” to him. He petted the soft white lamb and was thinking about what he should do with it when he heard the voice again. “I am looking for my Mama, can you help me?”

Mason shook his head, had he really seen the lamb’s mouth move? He looked from side to side, and back at the lamb again. “My name is Creampuff, what is your name?” the little lamb asked.

There was no mistake, the lamb had spoken, Mason was looking directly at it. His voice trembled some as he answered the lamb.

“I am Mason.” he didn’t know what else to say, he really wasn’t too good at holding a conversation with an animal, not like he had much experience at it!

Creampuff didn’t seem to mind, she made up for his lapse in conversation. “HI Mason! Can you take me to my Mama? Do you want to run and play? I am hungry, can I munch on some of your grass here?”

Mason was beginning to think that perhaps Cara had been right. She said if he drank too much bitter, black coffee that he may start to go crazy. That he needed the sweet coffee that she drank. He looked at his watch, he needed to get to work. He couldn’t let Cara there too long on her own, for who knows what kind of disarray the place would be in if he did.

Looking at the lost little lamb, he kind of hated to leave it. He couldn’t believe what he was about to do, but he looked at Creampuff and said, “Would you like to come with me? I need to go to work, but you are welcome to graze in the grass behind the shop, if you would like.”

Creampuff did a little jump in the air. “Sure, I will come, lead the way.” Mason looked at the coffee cup in his hand. He poured out his black coffee, maybe there was something in those extra dark roasted coffee beans that he had bought. How could a lamb be talking to him?

Mason started walking the 2 blocks to work. He was glad that it was early in the day, so that people would not be out and about yet . He could just imagine what some would say if they saw a little white lamb walking beside him.

They walked past the bicycle shop and Mason groaned, he had forgot that Mr. Tippner would be at his shop bright and early getting ready for business. Mr. Tippner was unlocking his door and Mason was hoping he wouldn’t turn around, but he did.

“HI Mason! How are….?” He paused in mid-sentence when he spotted Creampuff. “Well isn’t that a cute little lamb. Where did you find her?” Mr. Tippner asked, bending down to pet her.

“She was in my back yard this morning, she told me she lost her Mama.” Mr. Tippner raised his eyebrows at him, with a grin on his face. “She told you that??”

Mason flushed, he hadn’t meant to say that, but perhaps his friend could help assure him that he wasn’t going crazy. Maybe Creampuff would talk to Mr. Tippner too.

“Yes, she really did speak. The strangest thing you ever did see. Go ahead, ask her a question, I will show you I’m not crazy!”

Mr. Tippner was trying his best not to laugh. “How late were you out last night Mason?”

Mason ignored him, “Just ask her.”

Creampuff’s eyes shined with mischief as Mr. Tippner bent down and said, “Are you looking for your Mama?”

“BAA! BAA!” replied Creampuff.

Mason looked at her. “Hey, its OK you can talk to him, he is my friend. Go ahead, tell him what you told me.”


“Stop it Creampuff, just speak!” Mason said.

“Creampuff? Cute name. If you named it already, are you sure you aren’t planning on keeping her?” asked Mr. Tippner.

“I didn’t name her, that’s her name, she…” Mason caught himself before making more of a fool out of himself! Unfortunately, it was too late. Mr. Tippner figured it out, as his eyes sparkled with fun.

“Ahh! Yes, let me guess, she told you her name. You know, perhaps you should let Cara run the store and you and your little friend go back home and you go back to bed.”

“BAA! BAA!” went Creampuff.

Mason rolled his eyes, and started walking towards the coffee shop once more. He could hear his friend laughing as he walked away. Oh, he would never live this down!

When they arrived at the coffee shop, Mason took Creampuff around back to the little yard. “Here you go, graze all you want.” he said.

“Thank you!” said Creampuff.

“Sure, now you talk” said Mason, giving her a look. Creampuff only smiled and started grazing on the sweet grass. Mason did have a kind heart for animals, so he couldn’t be mad at her.

Mason walked into the shop and started making the coffee. He looked at the clock, Cara should soon be here. He wondered what she would say about the little lamb, she usually entered from the back, so she would be sure to see the little, white lamb.

A few minutes later Cara burst through the back door. “Mr. Picklefoot, did you know there is the sweetest lamb behind the shop? She is sooo cute and we were having a fun conversation.”

“You were talking to her?” Mason asked.

“Well of course, I talk to all animals”, said Cara.

Finally someone else that heard Creampuff. He had known Cara was crazy! But wait, he had heard Creampuff too, so what does that say about him? Oh, he wouldn’t worry about that now, he was just relieved he wasn’t the only one.

“What did she say?” asked Mason.

“Who?” said Cara.

“Creampuff of course!” Mason replied.

“Creampuff? Who is Creampuff? Oooh the little lamb in the back? That’s a cute name that you picked.”

“I didn’t pick it. That’s her name.” he said.

Cara looked at him a little strangely and said, “Okay.” and continued to work at baking her specialty pies for the day.

“So what did Creampuff say to you. I didn’t know that anyone else could hear her talk, besides me.”

Now Cara really did look at him strangely.

“You want me to tell you what I actually heard from Creampuff?” she asked.

“Yes, please! Let me know I’m not going crazy hearing what I did when she opened her mouth. ”

“Welll….I am not sure what all you know about animals Mr. Picklefoot, but Creampuff seems to be a typical lamb to me. She went “BAA! BAA!”

Mason mumbled something as he went to the back room and Cara was doing her best to control her laughter, when the first customer walked in. It was Sarah from the Flower Shop.

Cara greeted her with a smile, ” Good Morning Sarah, how are you?”

“Doing just fine, thanks! How are you?”

“Feeling great, do you want to see something really cute? I want to show you what is out back behind our shop.”

Sarah’s curiosity was raised, “Sure, what is it?” She followed Cara through the back room and out the back door.

“Aww, what a cute lamb?” Sarah said.

“isn’t it!” They stayed out there a little, chatting about life, and watching Creampuff frolic in the grass. Then Sarah said she needed to get her coffee and go and Cara knew she needed to get back to work as well.

“Cute little lamb that you have, Mr. Picklefoot,” said Sarah when they entered the store.

“Thanks, but its not mine. It just wandered into my yard. I think its lost. ”

“Did it tell you that?” asked Sarah, with a sly smile at Cara.

Cara laughed while putting her pies on the oven.

Mason made a face, and went back to counting the money in the register.

Sarah got her cup of coffee from Cara and walked out the door, as Mr. Fuzzywhistle was walking in.

“Hi!” said Mason to his friend. “What can I get you? You look a little sad, is something wrong?”

“One of my lambs seems to have wandered off. I don’t know where she could have went.” he replied.

Mason smiled. Why hadn’t he thought of Mr. Fuzzywhistle before? He didn’t have a big farm, but he did own a cow, the one that had taken the Grand Prize at the County Fair this year. Mr. Tippner was still upset that his donkey had lost, but he would get over it. Mr. Tippner was sly though, and Mason was pretty sure that he was already plotting on how to make up some contest to throw, so that his donkey could win the trophy back from Mr. Fuzzywhistle!

“Come, follow me out back for a moment.” said Mason to Mr. Fuzzywhistle, ” I think I can make you smile again.”

Mr. Fuzzywhistle followed him and was delighted to see Creampuff in the yard.

“Oh thank you! How did you find her?” Mr. Fuzzywhistle asked.

“She found me. She was in my backyard this morning, when I went to leave for work.”

“So glad you took care of her!”

“No problem, but I have a question for you.” Mason thought he might regret asking, but what did he have to lose? Cara and Mr. Tippner already thought he had lost his sanity.

“Does Creampuff ever talk to you?”

“Talk to me?” Mr. Fuzzzywhistle gave him a quizzical expression.

“Yes, you know, does she ever say anything? I know it sounds really strange, but have you ever heard words come out of her mouth?”

Mr. Fuzzywhistle stroked his beard as he looked at Mason and he didn’t speak for a few minutes. “She goes BAA! BAA! and my cow speaks to me too, she goes “MOO!”

Mason’s face felt hot as Mr. Fuzzywhistle kept staring at him. “I think you need some more coffee, my friend!”

The day passed quickly, and before Cara knew it it was quitting time. She was really glad that Mr. Fuzzywhistle had found Creampuff before she came to any harm, by being out on her own. She would have to make a point to go visit Mr. Fuzzywhistle’s farm, so she could talk to Creampuff again. Cara laughed to herself. Poor Mr. Picklefoot, thought he was going crazy. She was going to admit that Creampuff had talked to her, but it was more fun to just say “BAA!” She found it interesting that Mason had heard her. She wondered if he had ever heard any other animals talk. She wondered if he could talk to cows?

Friday’s Super Short Stories!

When you may not always agree with your young adult child, but you enjoy the deeper conversations. 

When the pictures in your phone are finally being set free! Love making Shutterfly books! 

What is on your anti-bucket list? Something that you tried once, and won’t do again! Or something you have no interest in trying. I can assure you bungee-jumping is something I have no longing to try! 



You know how memories can just suddenly pop in your head. That happened to me tonight and I thought, hey, I could make a post out of it. So take a trip down memory lane with me. It just may bring a chuckle! 

Parenting is hard, there is no question about that! The teen years especially! The years where they want to see what all they can pull over on Mom and Dad. It happens to all parents, where our teens do manage to pull the wool over our eyes, but then there are also the times where they get found out! 

It was several years ago now when I was at Walmart, standing in the Customer Service line to return an item. A lady called my name, and I turned around. I saw the parent of one of my daughter’s friend coming towards me. We greeted each other and she asked how my husband was doing. I said he was fine. Then this is the conversation that followed. 

Other Mom: “Is he out of the hospital now? What did the Dr. say?” 

Me: “The hospital?”

Other Mom: “Yes, your husband was in the hospital last weekend, right?” 

Me: “Umm…No.. he wasn’t. ” ( looking very confused!) 

Other Mom: “Well I thought that’s why my daughter spent the weekend at your place, to help your daughter not worry about him.” 

Me:  (Looking even more perplexed) “Your daughter wasn’t at my place this past weekend.” 

Other Mom: (looking like a deer in headlights) “Are you sure?” 

Me: ( figuring things out now and trying not to laugh at that question) “I am positive that your daughter was not at my house any time this past weekend!” 

By now the customer ahead of me and the one behind me were both hiding smiles as it was dawning on everyone what was going on. The Mom I had been talking too, just looked at me as her face started changing expressions, and our conversation came to a quick end, as she started walking very fast. I kind of felt sorry for her daughter. I also couldn’t wait to get home and ask my husband how his hospital visit went, when my daughter was in the room! 

So does this bring back memories of your childhood, and times you got caught? Or times you caught your children in the act? Like little toddlers, when they have chocolate smeared all over their face, and say “I didn’t have a cookie!” 

The Winning Hand

Ethan wiped beads of sweat off his brow. How had he got himself into this predictament? First he was just playing a friendly game of cards and then the guy wanted to make a bet. Ethan thought he was on a winning streak so he said sure. But he had been so wrong!

He had come out to LA again for business. The last time he had been here was when Jade and him were on their honeymoon.

Missing Jade, he was eager to leave for home tomorrow, but his stomach started turning when he thought of how big a bet he had made. He had been so sure that he would win! He regretted the last drink he had, made him make a dumb move and now he was about to lose all his money!

Ethan’s brain was scrambling as he looked at the cards in his hand, wishing they would magically change!

“Are you going to lay down your cards or not, I don’t have all night, you know.” said the man with the brown scruffy beard and beady brown eyes.

“My wife Henrietta is waiting for me at home, she is going to be so happy with my winnings. Now I can get her that diamond necklace that she has been wanting. Just in time for her birthday. So hurry up young man.”

Henrietta, thought Ethan, where had he heard that name before? Suddenly it struck him why he recognized the name and a plan began to form in his mind! It was crazy but it might just work!

“How about one more bet. Double the money?” Ethan asked.

The beady eyed man leaned forward in his chair. “You want to lose more money?”

“Oh, No, I plan to win!” said Ethan. “What would you say if I told you that I could provide some singing entertainment for you from a hippo?”

The man almost fell off his chair from laughter!

“A singing hippo! How many drinks did you have? I would gladly pay you double to see a singing hippo, and I will be even more glad to take your money from you! So sure go find me a singing hippo” and the guy convulsed in laughter once more.

Ethan didn’t waste any time leaving. He stepped out into the fresh air snd quickly took off in his car. He could just go back to his hotel, the guy didn’t know where he was staying. At least he didn’t think so, but what if somehow he did. The last thing Ethan wanted was to be woken up in the early morning hours by an angry guy wanting his money.

He had to find Henrietta the hippo. Driving down the road he hoped that he had remembered correctly where Jade and he had met her before.

It didn’t take too long to arrive. He parked his car and entered the woods. Ethan walked in the woods with a knot in his stomach, he just had to find her. He walked for quite a while and he began giving up all hope of finding her.

Then be found himself at the river and there she was, playing in the water. Relief flooded through him. He would be OK!

“Henrietta!” he called, walking towards the river. “Its me Ethan, I need your help.”

There was silence as Henrietta smiled at him. Why wasn’t she talking, he thought.

“Hi Ethan! Nice to see you back.”

Ethan turned around to see Bobo the bear. He sure was glad that he knew Bobo was harmless or he would have fainted!

“Hi Bobo, how are you? I would love to chat but I am really in a hurry and need Henrietta’s help. I called out to her but she just keeps playing in the water, like she doesn’t hear me.”

“I am sure she heard you but she won’t speak to you. She has a bad case of laryngitis. She has been singing her heart out this week and her voice is now totally gone!”

Ethan groaned and covered his face with his hands. “Oh No! I am doomed! This is awful!”

“Awful? Actually all of us here in the woods have been enjoying the peace!” said Bobo.

Shaking his head, Ethan filled him in on his problem.

“Well I can’t sing but I bet I could make that guy forget all about your bet!” Bobo said with a chuckle.

“How?’ Ethan asked and then, a smile spread across his face.

“Oooh yes, I do believe you could!”

Ethan and Bobo planned it out. He would bring the guy to the woods to see Henrietta, but Bobo would make a sudden appearance! He told Bobo where to meet them and he couldn’t stop smiling. This would be good!

Jade was waiting for Ethan at the airport. She was so excited to see him and be back in his arms once again.

Later that night Jade turned to him and said. “I still can’t believe you stood up to a bear and scared him away! You could have been killed!”

Ethan wrapped his arm around Jade and said, “Remember our walk in the woods when we were on our honeymoon and that awful lady robbed us?”

“Yes, how could I forget, but why are you bringing that up?” Jade asked.

“Remember Bobo the bear”, Ethan asked with a gleam in his eye.

“Yes, he scared us so badly at first but then…” she looked at Ethan as understanding began to dawn on her.

“So my brave knight, that ferocious bear that you encountered,did its name happen to be Bobo?”

“What a smart woman you are!” he said, leaning in and kissing her soft pink lips.

Jade kissed him back, stretching her hand across the bed to turn off the light.