Dating Wisdom

The screen was blank again, but this time Devin didn’t have a knot in his stomach. This time he was on a roll, and the words flowed like a river. He was making steady progress on his thesis.

Brooke was singing along to the radio. A lot had happened in the past 6 months and she couldn’t be happier.

The timer went off and she pulled the fresh, baked Shoo-fly pie out of the oven. Devin would be there for supper at 6 tonight. She would make the beef tenderloin, mash potatoes and gravy closer to the time.

Gratitude filled her heart for the special letter she had received a few months ago.

The letter from her dear friend had turned things around for her. She had given tips to Brooke about how to get Devin’s attention and it was working!

Gone were the days of her standing in the middle of the road. Her friend Cara had been quick to tell her that there were much better ways to attract a guy’s attention.

Brooke had been surprised when Devin had shown up at her house a few days after the bike incident. She was especially surprised that he had brought flowers with him.

The sweet fragrance of the purple hyacinths was so pleasant. He brought them to thank her for bandaging up his knee and to apologize for the way he had abruptly left last time.

When he asked to take Brooke out the next week, ahe had called Cara desperate for her advice on how to keep his attention.

Cara had sent Brooke her recipe for her winning Shoo-fly pie. Brooke had made it and Devin was very impressed.

Among the tips in the letter that Cara had given, one of them was about how to keep a man’s attention while talking. That one had really come in handy. No longer did Devin drift off while she was talking. She kept a tiny, shrill whistle in her hand that she would blow whenever he got a distant look in his eyes.

If Devin was at her house and just had to see the basketball game, there was a  sure fire way to distract him. Her little black dress was in the closet for those times when she needed to stand in front of the tv. If that didn’t work, she just would take a match and set off the smoke alarm.

When out on a date, make sure to order dessert! Life is too short to not order dessert and it helps make the date last longer. Sip your coffee slowly as you gaze into his eyes. Compliment his hair and other fine features and he will never notice you ordering a 2nd dessert.

Cara also had shared with  Brooke how to get the guy to notice your hair, what not to bring up in conversation, and 101 other tips of wisdom.

Brooke was indeed grateful for all the tips had paid off. Devin was wanting to see her practically every night!

Looking at the clock she realized she better run to town before she ran out of time. She  had an appt with her beautician. Anticipation filled her wondering how Devin would like her hair. She was trying another one of Cara’s wise tips.

Devin looked at the time. Soon he would have to get ready for his date with Brooke. He wasn’t only excited about the date but also thrilled that once the date was over he should be able to write the conclusion to his thesis.  “The Fascinating Science Behind How a Woman’s Mind Works!”

Catching a Husband!

Beads of perspiration were breaking out on Devin’s face. How long had he been staring at the blank screen in front of him?

He kept writing and then deleting. A few lines he would get down and then he would delete them and the blank screen would mock him once more.

The end was in sight , all he had to do was write a Master Thesis and he would graduate with his Master’s degree in Science.

Sighing he smacked his head on his desk. He loved science but writing papers was not for him!

Getting up from his computer chair he decided he needed a break. All his muscles were cramped by sitting so long and being so tense.

Walking outside he hopped on his royal blue bicycle and took off down the road.

He was thankful for back country roads to ride on. The wind at his back pushed him on as he sped up, feeling energized.

Down the hill he flew and … he tried to brake hard. Swerving to miss the girl in the middle of the road, he ended up in a ditch. It had rained the night before so he found himself landing Kerplop in the mud!

Brooke covered her face with her hand and ran over to Devin.

“Are you OK? I couldn’t believe it when I looked up from my phone and saw you swerve into the ditch!”

Devin brushed himself off, wanting to ask if she always walked in the middle of the road.

“I live nearby, why don’t you let me take care of your scraped knee. Its the least I could do.”

Looking down he saw the hole ripped in his jeans and his bloody knee. He would have rather just gone home, but his knee was a mess.

“If you are sure its no trouble.” Devin had always been a polite guy, not wanting to cause trouble.

“No problem at all!”

Devin limped along as he followed Brooke to her house while pushing his bike. She was right about it being close, only 3 houses away.

Brooke was smiling and singing as she doctored him up. She sure seemed to be in a good mood, he thought.

It didn’t take her long. Her smle grew wider at the up close sight of his tan, muscular legs.

After cleaning up his knee, she cheerfully asked, “Can I tempt you with some mouth watering peanut butter fudge?”

Not wanting to be rude he felt like he had no choice. “Sounds like a tasty treat that I can’t resist.”

Brooke gave him an innocent smile.

While cutting a piece of fudge for him, she secretly wondered if this time would be a success. So far she managed to avoid getting hit by unaware bikers and drivers but … Butterflies danced inside her, hoping this would be the one.

Walking over to the table she handed him the plate. “Here is a piece of fudge for you. I hope you like it. So tell me, how would you like….?”

“I am so sorry, but I have to run!” Devin handed back the plate to her. An idea for his dissertation popped into his head and if he didn’t get it down, he was afraid he would lose it!

His knee was sore but he managed to get on his bike and head home.

Brooke sighed,watching him go. Catching a husband sure wasn’t easy! There had to be another way besides standing in the middle of the road.

Pictures and Chuckles

“A little more to the left, now a little more to the right …. there, now you got it.”

Nurse Julie hammered in the last nail for the pictures on Arthur’s wall.

Arthur smiled at the one picture of him with Mason and Grayson. He nudged Nurse Julie. “Who is the most handsome between me and my cousins?”He raised his eyebrows waiting for an answer.

“Oh how can those 2 young, handsome fellas have anything over you.”

Arthur puffed out his chest and stood up a little taller.

“After all how can their luxurious, wavy hair compete with your…your…Can you tilt your head a little more, I think I can see my reflection.”

Arthur scowled at Julie’s laughter. Once she stopped laughing Arthur said, “Next time your guy comes to visit I want to have a chat with him. Who is it now, Alex, Tanner, Hal??”

“His name is Curtis but Oh No, you aren’t allowed near him yet. I just started dating him. I am not so sure that would be wise …! Have a good evening Arthur. “

Julie walked out with a smile on her lips knowing she was not going to let Arthur talk to her new guy, if sbe could help it.

Arthur watched her go down the hall, with a smirk on his face. Little did she know he had already talked to her guy the other night. She was distracted by Charlotte and Arthur took the chance to introduce himself. Oooh yes, they had a nice chat. Rubbing his hands together, he thought of their plan. Nurse Julie had no idea what was coming.

He chuckled to himself looking up at the wall of pictures again. He focused on one in particular.

Hanging from the rafters like monkeys in a net. Yeah, the ladies had outdid themselves with that one. They were clever, but no one got the best of Arthur, he somehow would make sure of that.

“Yoo-Hoo! Oh Arthur, are you in there?” There was knocking on his door.

“No,” he.replied, Charlotte opened up the door. “You are such a tease. Why aren’t you dressed?” She gave him a disapproving look.

“I am dressed! I have clothes on you crazy lady!”

“But not clothes for ballroom dancing lessons. We have to be downstairs in 15 minutes so hurry up.”

Arhthur frowned, “But I don’t…” then he saw Charlotte holding up a Cherry Crumb pie, and his mouth began to water.

“I will be ready in a flash.” He started for his room. Maybe sometimes certain people did get the best of him, he thought, pulling his dress shirt and pants out of the closet.

Walking on Clouds

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The fiery red canopy of leaves were shimmering in the breeze.

Tara was enjoying lying on her back on the soft grass, pretending that she was in her own little world.

Everything was almost perfect. The only thing wrong was that instead of wearing her favorite, snuggly warm hoodie, she was wearing a t-shirt. It wasn’t supposed to be 80 degrees in the Fall. But it is what it is, at least she could still enjoy the beauty of the leaves.

Most of all, she couldm’t deny the joy of the floating sensation that had filled her heart since last night. It felt like she was walking on cotton candy clouds.

Closing her eyes, she let the memories dance through her mind again.

Going to the club had been Shannon’s idea, Tara wasn’t thrilled about it, but she had nothing else to do so why not. It turned out to be the best decision she had made. When the 6ft guy with the enchanting smile walked up to her at the table and asked if he could sit down, all she could do was simply nod.

Her heart had begun skipping beats and it was not like her to fall for someone so quickly. There was just something about him. His name was Trevor and conversation flowed so naturally. It didn’t feel like they had just met, it was like she had met him before, but where?

They had talked and danced into the early morning hours and he was a true gentleman the whole time. Tonight she would be seeing him again. Who knew what this could be the start of. All she knew was that she was ready to get started!

For the past year she had been so ferhoodled over guys. The identical twins Clay and Ray had messed with her head. They were such schnickelfritz’es. Always switching places with each other, and driving her crazy!

She had been dating Clay but Ray had filled in different times until she finally wisened up to their tricks and left them both broken hearted.

They were in her past now and she was ready to be swept away by someone new. Someone tall, dark and handsome. Yes, just like the movies, but this was real life.

Standing up she twirled around with the red and gold leaves swirling in the air, anticipation rising in her heart.

**the terms ferhoodled and schnickelfritz are fun Pa.Dutch words meaning confused and troublemaker.**

The Conniving Cousins

“Are we there yet?”

Julie rolled her eyes. ” You are as bad as a child. We only left 15 minutes ago!

Arthur gave an impish grin. He was in a good mood. The warm breeze was blowing through the open window as Nurse Julie drove down the road.

“Ahh! Feels so good to be free from that…”

“Don’t you dare call it a prison again!”

“Me? Never! But the food does leave much to be desired.”

Julie was quiet, she couldn’t argue with that, but she refrained from giving him the satisfaction of agreeing with him.

“I am right, aren’t I? Your silence says it all.” He smirked at the look on Julie’s face. Then he reclined his seat to take a snooze.

2 hours later he woke up. ‘You woke up just in time sleepyhead. Are you hungry?

I thought we would stop at the diner straight ahead. Your cousin told me that it was the best diner in town, and that they have a spectacular pie.”

Arthur’s ears had perked up at the word pie. His taste buds started tingling. “What kind of pie?:

“Shoo fly pie!”

Arthur made such a face that made Julie bust out laughing, as she pulled into the parking lot.

“Such a strange name for a pie! I do remember Mason mentioning it to me before.

He said he didn’t know what to think when his crazy waitress wanted to sell it, but that it turned out to be a best seller. The pie has been making good money. Another money maker has been a new coffee flavor that she had encouraged him to sell. As a Thank You to Cara he recently sent her and her husband to Hawaii. He is too nice. I would have just given her a gift certificate for a free meal.”

Julie shook her head. “Oh Arthur you are “toooo kind”. ”

“I know, it runs in the family. ” he said, with a gleam in his eye.

The place was busy, so Arthur decided the food must be good, but he was still staying away from the Shoo fly pie!

When Arthur and Julie walked in, they saw Mason was busy at the register so they just took a seat at a corner table.

“Good afternoon! Can I bring you something to drink?” Cara’s smile shined bright. She had just come back from her coffee break, so she was feeling re-energized.

“I will take a beer please.” Arthur said, without looking up from the menu.

“Sorry sir, we don’t have any beer.”

“No beer, what kind of place is this.” Arthur grumbled. “This table is a little sticky, did you wash it young Miss? Are you going to tell me that you don’t have wine either? ”

Cara stood there, feeling her face grow warm, not knowing what to say.

Julie kept her face behind the menu, feeling for poor Cara. Mason was watching, trying to hold back his laughter at Cara’s speechlessness.

Arthur put down his menu and looked at Cara straight in the eye. “Is it true young Miss that you enjoy wearing Gooney bird feathers in your hair?”

Cara’s face turned bright red and then she saw Mason laughing, as he stood watching everything.

He walked over to them, still chuckling. “Cara meet my cousin Arthur.”

“You have my permission to dump a cup of ice water on him Cara! Hi, I am Julie and I think you will have your hands full while Arthur stays with Mason for a week.”

Cara raised her eyebrows, “A week! Maybe I should go back with you for the week Julie! Please!”

They all laughed and then Arthur said, “It is very nice to meet you. I hope you asked my cousin for a raise. You deserve one, oh and do you know the secret to his luxurious, wavy hair? Come closer and I will whisper it to you.”

Cara got closer and her eyes widened at Arthur’s words. “NOOO!”

“Go ahead, try it!”

“Mason bend your head down for a moment please.” He did and Cara grabbed a hanful of hair and pulled.

“OUCH!” Mason stood back up quickly.

“Oops! Guess that is my other cousin with the toupee.” Cara was laughing and Julie looked at Mason. “He is all yours. I think I better leave before you change your mind about him staying.”

They put his luggage in Mason’s car and Julie wished them well as she headed down the road, laughing at crazy Arthur. She actually was going to miss that guy. He livened things up at the retirement home.

Mr. Tippner and Old Man Fuzzywhistle walked in while Mason and Arthur were talking. Cara was busy waiting on tables.

Mason made the introductions of Arthur to them. Cara rolled her eyes walking by. With that group of stooges there was bound to be trouble just waiting to happen.

Into the Great Beyond!

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The glowing lights looked pretty cool. Looking around she was proud of how it all had turned out. They had worked a long time in designing and constructing it.

“What do you think? Are you ready to try it out? Just don’t go too far without me.” Her eyes held a spark of playfulness in them.

Kevin smiled. “We make a good team! Its awesome. Good work partner! Thanks for helping. I think we should have one,” he said, with a wink.

“You are welcome, it was fun and …. I will collect my payment for my hours of work, don’t worry.” Her face began to blush at the broad smile on his face and light in his eyes.

“1….2…3…! Takeoff!” Brody shot his birthday rocket into the air as his friends cheered.

They all sang Happy Birthday and the alien cake looked so cool! Brody was beaming! This was the bestest birthday yet.

If only he could figure out how to send his pesty sister into the air like his rocket, then it would be perfect!

Brody spent all afternoon playing with his friends dressed in a spacesuit costume. He knew what he was being for Halloween! Or maybe he should get an alien costume and try to scare people. That would be fun, especially scaring his little sister. Girls scared so easily. Yes, he had to ask his Mom for an alien costume, just to hear his litrle sister squeal!

After a birthday supper of hot dogs and mac and cheese they played some games and then watched one of Brody’s favorite Outerspace movies.

“Bedtime Birthday Boy!’ His Mom nudged him awake. He had fallen asleep on her. His Dad carried him up and his Mom followed. When they entered his room he shot up in his Dad’s arms.

“Wow!! A spaceship bed!”

Brody jumped on the bed. This was sooo cool!

“I LOVE IT! Thanks Mom and Dad!”

There were hugs and Brody even let himself be kissed. He was a big 10 year old now! He and his spaceship were going to rule the world!

Turning to his co-pilot he asked, ‘Are you ready?”

She raised her hoof in the air and they were off, headed for dreamland! Brody and his spacecow! No other astronauts had a spacecow. He was sure NASA would be calling soon. They would offer him a … ZZZzzz…..

The Magical Ride

Making the last match made Molly’s face light up. She threw her hands in the air knowing she had won. Memory was becoming a favorite game of hers and Kimberly didn’t mind losing. Though she liked to act like she did.

“You beat me again! How dare you?”

Molly giggled and Kimberly made a facs making her laugh harder.

“You win and then you laugh at me? Seems to me that TM may need to pay a visit to a little girl.”

Jumping out of her chair Molly ran across the hardwood floor, trying to escape. Kimberly picked her up making her squeal and tickled her belly.

Kicking her bare feet Molly couldn’t stop giggling.

“Oh I see some little piggies”, and Kimberly grabbed her foot, tickling her some more.

Then she wrapped Molly into a big bear hug. “I love you, precious one.”

Molly laid her head against Kimberly’s chest giving her as tight of squeeze as her little arms could. Kimberly’s heart was melting once more. She was attached to Molly, no doubt about it.

She may still have a lot hidden in her heart but day by day she was making progress. Her nights of waking up crying were becoming less frequent and little words would slip out occasionally. Kimberly learned to cherish each small moment. Molly was coming out of her cocoon and Kimberly just knew she was going to shine like a beautiful butterfly when the time came.

After a snack of Mint Chocolate Chip icecream and a story which turned into 2 stories, it was time for bed.

Jacob had just arrived home, he had a late night at the office. Molly ran into his arms when he walked in. He swung her around which she always loved.

Molly rode horsie on Jacob’s back towards her bedroom as she waved goodnight to Kimberly. Watching them go down the long hallway together, Molly bouncing on Jacob’s back made her heart full. Her 2 favorite people in all the world. Each one had stolen her heart and she couldn’t be happier.

All was quiet. Molly woke up and rubbed her eyes. What was that sound? She sat up in bed and looked around. Spotting something at her window she jumped out of bed.

Wow! She was in awe! For a moment she stood there looking at the majestic sight and then she couldn’t take it any longer. Opening her window she crawled out.

The amazing Pegasus greeted her. “Hello Miss. Molly, would you like to join me for an adventure tonight?”

“Yes!” Molly shouted.

The Pegasus bowed down so that Molly could climb on and soon they were off. Rising high into the midnight blue sky.

Little Molly was thrilled and she only shivered a little as the Pegaus flew with Molly hanging on tightly to its neck.

In no time at all they were landing. Now Molly was really cold but ooh the lights! So many pretty lights! Was it Christmas time?

“Hi Molly, welcome to the North Pole!”

Santa! Was she going to see Santa! Her eyes sparkled with delight.

“I am Candy Cane and here is a nice warm purple coat for you. ”

Molly put it on and could not stop grinning from ear to ear. Her face was lit up like the sun.

“Hi Molly, I am Alabaster. How did you enjoy your ride on our special Unicorn?”

“Unicorn? Thats not a Unicorn you doolally, its a Pegasus.” Snowball lightly punched him in the arm, “You need to learn your animals.”

“Well I know all about gooney birds”, Akabaster said, “and long necked hippos.”

Candy Cane rolled her eyes, those 2 were hopeless. Molly was giggling over the word gooney bird.

While Alabaster and Snowball were discussing Cuckoo and Dodo birds, Jinx and Jangle walked over to Molly and introduced themselves.

“I bet you would love to see the toy shop!”

Molly clapped her hands together in glee. “Oh yes, oh yes I do!!”

All of the elves followed her to the Toy shop. Jinx opened the door and “HO! HO! HO!” Santa was standing in the middle of the room. Molly shrieked with joy and ran to him, throwing her arms around his legs.

Santa rubbed her head and then scooped her up into his arms. “I am so glad you came to see me Molly, for you are one mighty special little girl and here is a little gift for you.’ It was a stuffed bunny! Molly hugged it close to her. How she loved bunnies!

Molly’s cheeks glowed with pleasure. She had the time of her life playing with all the different toys in the shop.

Jangle played catch with her and a red rubber ball and Jinx made music with her on an xylophone. Alabaster and her posed for funny pictures with the toy camera and Snowball jumped on pogo sticks with her. Tink enjoyed showing her how a abacus toy worked. Molly never stopped smiling.

Then Candy Cane brought out water balloons for Molly and her to throw at the other elves. Molly laughed so hard, especially when one balloon busted in Candy Cane’s hand spraying her.

After all the excitement Molly had crawled into Santa’s lap and closed her eyes. The elves let her sleep while they cleaned up.

Splat! “Heyyy!” Candy Cane turned around. “Who threw that? I thought all the water balloons were gone.”

She looked suspiciously in the direction of Alabaster and Snowball who suddenly seemed to be in deep conversation.

“Those crazy stooges!” she said to herself.

Molly rubbed her eyes and looked around. She was back in her bed. Grabbing the stuffed bunny beside her she smiled with contentment. Drifting back to sleep, while visions of Santa and funny elves danced in her head.

A Place to Belong

“Ladies and gentlemen I am sorry to inform you that we will not be hearing from Henrietta, the Singing Hippo tonight.”

Big, crocodile tears rolled down Henrietta’s cheeks. She heard Mike’s loud, boominy voice echoing through the building. She would miss Mike, he had always been nice to her.

Where she was going to go she didn’t know, all she knew is that she couldn’t stay.

She was tired. Always performing night after night. Henrietta loved to sing, so at first this had been a dream job. Who would have thought that she would ever tire of singing and she knew that deep down she wasn’t tired of singing. No, she was tired of performing!

She was tired of being criticized if the audience wasn’t big enough or.they didn’t clap enough. The owner Claude was all about numbers and money and when his expectations weren’t met, it was Henrietta who suffered.

Enough was enough! She had finally stood up to Claude and his response was to fire her. She had only wanted to cut back her hours and be treated better but maybe this would be for the best. It was time for a change.

The night was dark as Henrietta plodded down the street not knowing where she was headed. Her picture on the billboard glared down on her and she was sad , but also a little excited. Who knew what the next adventure in store for her would be.

Henrietta was getting hot , she had ro find a river to cool off in soon. She had been walking for awhile and was tired.

What was that sound? She was glad to see a swamp ahead of her, but what was wrong. It looked like there was a girl dressed in a beautiful gown and crying.

When Henrietta got up to the girl she asked her what was wrong.

Isabella gulped at seeing Henrietta and hearing her talk. But should she be surprised? Why not add a talking hippo to this mixed up night!

“I thought I was headed to a grand ball, but I am stuck at this muddy swamp!”

Croak,Croak! The bullfrogs song was the only sound of the night.

Henrietta wasn’t quite sure what to say and then the girl spoke again.

The crazy magician was supposed to turn one of.these frogs into a Prince but he ended up turning himself into a frog! Now I have no way to get anywhere for the Jackalopes ran away with the wagon.” Isabella started to cry again.

Wow! Henrietta thought that she had problems, but magicians that turned into bullfrogs and runaway Jackalopes! Poor Henrietta wasn’t sure what to think.

They both sat and stared into the swamp at the frogs jumping around and one bullfrog in particular seemed very agitated! It wouldn’t stop jumping!

Henrietta pointed to it. “Do you think thats the magician?”

Isabella looked and then started to laugh and she kept laughing. She laughed so hard that tears rolled down her face again, but these were happy tears.

Henrietta started laughing as well, for laughter is contagious. Oh it felt good to laugh.

After a few minutes she tried to compose herself enough to say. “HI, I am Henrietta, the singing hippo.”

Isabella was wiping her cheeks, she had stopped to catch a breath.

“You sing??”

Henrietta opened her mouth to sing and Isabelle couldn’t believe it. As if this night could get any crazier, she once again found herself overcome by laughter. The bullfrogs provided back up music for Henrietta. One poor bullfrog though wasn’t croaking. It was still jumping frantically all around the swamp.

Seeing Clearly

“A,D,Z,H…” The eye technican was growing more concerned by the minute. The patient was getting all the letters wrong. He wasn’t even close!

Reading his chart he wondered how someone’s eyes could get ao bad so fast! His vision was wonderful last year.

The door opened and Dr. Dunner walked in. Sighing with relief the technician spoke up right away. He called the Dr over to him and spoke in a low whisper.

“I am afraid that this patient is going blind. His vision was so good last year but is atrocious today.

Dr. Donner smiled, and didn’t say a word. He walked over to the patient and clapped him on the shoulder. “How are you doing, still up to your same tricks I see. ”

Arthur hung his bead, trying to look sad. Dr. Donner shook his head. “Read this line for me.” Arthur read it perfectly, and same with the next screen of letters. The technician stared with an open mouth in amazement!

“Tanner meet Arthur!” Dr. Dunner was talking to the tech.

“He will keep you on your toes, but its all in fun.”

Arthur laughed. “You did well young fellow at maintaining your composure. ” Tanner rolled his eyes at Arthur and Arthur cooperated for the rest of the examination.

The Dr double checked some things and then gave him a clean bill of health. Shaking Arthur’s hand goodbye he told him to take care and to stop scaring away his new techs! Arthur chuckled as the Dr. walked out of the room.

Later that day the dilation was finally wearing off of Arthur’s eyes and he could see clearly once more. He sat in his room wondering what he could get into now.

He wanted to go to Vegas again, but wondered if he could convince Nurse Julie to take him again. Maybe he could offer her half his winnings.

If he did like last time she would find herself with enough money to buy 2 large coffees!

Oh what was that sound??

Arthur covered his ears. Miss. Treetie was practicing her opera again. His ears would never be the same!

Thinking back to when he had been in Vegas he thought of something. He guessed that it was good that they missed out on the Vegas show when there. It may have sounded like this! For how could a singing hippo actually sound good! He still wouldn’t believe it until he saw it. The billboard had advertised in lights, but Atthur just shook his head.

A hippo that sang? CRAZY! It couldn’t be …. or could it?

The Mixed Up Night

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A small gray bunny scurried across the path. Isabella almost didn’t see him, for he was quick. It looked like a gray blob that ran in front of her.

She was proud of how big her pumpkin had grown. This was the first year for her pumpkin patch, so glad to see such positive results from it. Surely Miss. Matilda would be beaming with pride over her. Dare Isabella hope that she would get a raise from her employer, for the grand pumpkin?

Oh, she should have known. No raise for her. Miss. Matilda tried to act like she wasn’t impressed, but Isabella had seen the genuine look of surprise in her eyes. Only for a frw seconds but it had been there and that small thing helped Isabella to find her smile again.

Miss. Matilda could act however she wanted too, Isabella knew the truth. Matilda was impressed with Isabella’s green thumb, but paying her a compliment was something she would never do.

Isabella had been working 2 years for Miss. Matilda. The closest she ever got to receiving a compliment was Matilda saying that at least the food that Isabella made didn’t taste like dog food.

Later that evening while Isabella was sewing new clothes for Miss. Matilda she heard something.

Geabbing her jacket she walked outside. She was struck with amazement at what she saw!

There were 2 giant jackalopes pulling a …. wagon.

A chubby little man with a scruffy beard stood by the wagon waving a wand and speaking gibberish. He gasped in surprise at Isabella.

“Oh you are here already. I was just trying to perfect my chant for white horses, but looks like you are stuck with jackalopes instead.”

Isabella’s head was spinning. “Who are you?:

“Well I am your own private magician.”

“What happened to my fairy Godmother? Isn’t it she who should be here? “

Isabella’s head started clearing. No wonder things were all messed up, A man was messing with magic! Who knew what could go wrong. When you give a man a magic wand, watch out!

“Ala kala mazoo!” The magician spoke, pointing the wand at Isabella.

She felt excitement stir, was she going to have a new, sparklibg gown like Cinderella?

“What did you do?” She yelled. There was no dazzling gown. Not anywhere close! She had a flannel shirt and jeans with high heels!

“Oops! Did I do that?” The magician blushed as he looked at Isabella.

“Well you got one thing right, high heels, but….!”

“I will try again.”

There was more gibberish coming from his mouth and then ZAP! Now she was on a skateboard in high heels. Was he trying to break her neck!

ZAP! Now she had cowboy boots on with a gorgeous ruby red dress.

Isabella twirled around, he was getting closer.

ZAP! Yes, she had matching shoes, but her ride was in a wagon full of hay!

The magician was sweating profusely he hadn’t known how hard a wonan’s , the fairy Godmother’s job was!

Taking a deep breath he yelled in words no one understood and POOF there was a carriage. Only problem was it was still being driven by 2 giant jackalopes.

Oh well! Isabella was in a hurry, she wanted to get away before Miss. Matilda got home. This was her chance to escape a life of hard work for a grumpy boss.

Jumping in the carriage she yelled “Go”, and hoped that the jackalopes understood English. The jackalopes took off so fast she almost fell off her seat.

She couldn’t wait to dance the night away with a handsome prince. That had to be where she was going. It might have been a rough start but the magician was finally getting it right. She was Cinderella!

Closing her eyes she settled back for the ride.

The carriage stopped moving and she opened her eyes, letting out a gasp. They were right in front of a swamp! A muddy swamp. Isabella yelled as the fancy heel of her shoe sank into the mud and with her next step her bare foot stepped into the sticky mud!

Oooh what was going to happen? The bullfrogs started croaking. There was obviously one lesson from tonight that she would be sure to always remember. Do NOT let a man dabble in magic!