How It All Began

This is the sequel to The Secret Hiding Place] my post from Saturday.

He closed the journal with his mind still wondering at all he had read. In the beginning he had wanted to stop reading due to rolling his eyes about her so called, “big secret.”  The secret was how she was falling for the guy whose eyes were deep brown, like her horse’s mane. Her faithful horse, Chestnut.

Princess Amaryllis was in love, but it wasn’t with Prince Edwin. Not the guy who she had been promised to. What would she do. He typically didn’t go for love stories but this one had intrigued him.

Ryan yawned. He had been up half the night reading. Turning off his bedside lamp he pulled the covers over him and was asleep within seconds.

In his deep sleep he found himself back in time. He worked for the Princess Amaryllis and her royal family.

Amaryllis tried not to move anymore in her chair. Her mom was giving her stern looks, but she did not think she could endure listening to one more minute of Princess Seraphina’s song. She really wished that the glass chandelier would shatter from Seraphina’s squeaky high notes, now that would be exciting!

Finally the song ended. Her misery was over. She jumped up from her chair so quickly , causing another glare from her mom. “Amaryllis, be ladylike. Where is the fire?”

“Sorry Mother, but I have to go, my horse is waiting.”

Shaking her head, her mom waved her off. “Go ahead dear, enjoy.” She smiled at her one and only daughter. There was no stopping that girl. Oh, how she adored her horse, Chestnut.

His heart did a cartwheel inside of him. He saw her from afar. His golden sunbeam, with the yellow hair that bounced on her back, as she ran to him. They embraced, kissing, savoring the moment in time. Until Chestnut started neighing, letting them know she was impatient for some attention.

He helped the Princess get on Chestnut and then he got on Midnight, a jet black horse.

“Race you to our tree!” Shouted Amaryllis and they took off at a full gallop. Chestnut won by a mile. She was the fastest horse ever.

Amaryllis was laughing as Midnight and Stefano rode up to her. “That makes three times now that I beat you!” Her eyes twinkled with delight as she gave him a teasing smile.

“I would be careful about laughing at me Princess, you never know what I may do.” He raised his eyebrows challenging her.

“Oh, how I tremble. ” She joked and took off galloping once more across the lush green meadow.

The hour together went too fast. Amaryllis didn’t want to say goodbye, but she had an appt. Always appointments. Frustrated she vented to Stefano.

“All I want is to be with you. When can we be married ?”

Stefano tenderly caressed her cheek. “I am only a simple stable hand. Your parent’s will never agree to a marriage.”

“But I don’t want to marry Prince Edwin! I don’t even know him! I don’t want to be a Princess, going to Balls, and teas all the time. Thats not a life. I want to make a difference to someone, do something that brings smiles to children around the world.”

“You have such a caring heart, my fair sunbeam.’ Her heart melted whenever he called her by his nickname for her.

“I will talk to my parent’s tonight, no more secrets!” They kissed once more and with fierce determination off she rode.

“Stefano! You are in love with Stefano?”Her mom shrieked, and her dad laid a comforting hand on his wife’s arm.

“She has found true love. Is that so horrible? Honestly I couldn’t be happier.” Amaryllis raised her eyes in shock. Was her dad really defending her? Hope began to beat in her heart.

“But…But…Prince Edwin and his entourage arrives in a month, what will we do?”

“We need a plan. Let me think.’ The king stroke his white beard, as he thought. He was a kind hearted, jolly fellow. He never liked the idea of Princess Amaryllis not being able to marry who she wanted. Prince Edwin’s family would be enraged, but enough was enough. He would make the change or at least do all that he could, he promised Amaryllis and happy tears spilled down her cheek.

“Dear Diary..Father is talking to the wizard about how we can escape. He likes Stefano! He sent a message to Prince Edwin’s dad and the dad reacted angrily. He threatened violence if we didn’t keep our promise. I am so scared.”

Buzzzzzzz…..! The alarm shrilled to Ryan’s annoyance. What a dream. The journal had come alive. He had to hand it over to his boss today. How he wished he knew what happened. Did they escape or did they all meet their untimely demise. Would they find more clues?

Far, far away in a land of ice and snow a girl sat by her window, writing once more in her journal. A practice she had started as a young girl and still kept it up.

Today she had gone back in time, replaying the past. What memories.

Life was good! She and her parent’s and her friends were making children around the world happy! Making dreams come true. The wizard had done an amazing job in saving them all and taking them far, far away!

They changed their names and they knew they would never be found. Who would ever guess that Santa Claus and his elves were once a royal family, servants and all. They had lived in a land once upon a time. Lived their happily until the King stood up for his daughter. Stood up for love!

The man who used to be a King fit his new role as Santa Claus perfectly. Mrs. Claus still enjoyed her tea parties and she cherished the fact that her daughter beamed with happiness.

Candy Cane put down her pen and ran to the stables where Stefano, known as Snow was feeding Midnight and Chestnut.

“Hello, my fair sunbeam.” Wrapping his arms around her, he held her tight. Candy Cane closed her eyes. One never knows when magic can happen, she thought, with a sigh of contentment.

Up in The Azure Blue Sky

This is the conclusion to Monday’s post, The Call of the Bell

Todd and Timmy looked around in astonishment. Where were they?

“Mr.Hogan did some cool science experiments in science class where we saw colorful smoke, but nothing ever like this! We found our own time machine Todd!” Timmy was ecstatic.

“I wonder how far back in time we are? Perhaps we will meet up with a live dinosaur!”

Todd’s eyes got as big as saucers, “That would be the most incredible thing ever!!! Don’t lose that bell. Who knows where we can go next, maybe the moon! We could be the first boys on the moon!”

“In school, Silly Sally always tells me that she wishes I would fly to the moon. Wouldn’t she be shocked if I really did!”

They kept walking down the dusty road as they talked. It felt like they were in the middle of nowhere. One moment by the creek and the next moment they were by the side of a road.

Where did this road lead? They imagined all of the different adventures they could take with the magical time machine bell.

Sweat was starting to run down their faces. For a moment Timmy wished he was back in the cool creek, but he had dinosaurs to find.”

After some time passed, a weary Todd spoke up. “How far are we going to walk, shouldn’t we have found some dinosaurs by now?”

Timmy didn’t know what to say. He was growing weary as well, but they couldn’t stop. They hadn’t met up with anyone yet. No dinosaurs and no Lone Ranger or Tonto. His dad had told him all about the Lone Ranger. Perhaps the Lone Ranger could help them find dinosaurs.

Timmy got poked in the arm. “What is that?” Todd pointed to something lying on the side of the road straight ahead. They ran up to it.

“Who would leave such a large carpet by the side of the road?” Timmy sighed, having hoped that it was something better.

“It is quite stunning. The carpet at our house looks nothing like this. It has jewels on it!”

“They are emeralds.” Timmy replied. “My mommy has an emerald necklace.” He said with pride.

The emeralds were all around the edges of the azure blue carpet.

Feeling tired they both sat down on the carpet. All at once the carpet started to rise up into the air.

“Its a magic carpet, we are flying!” They yelled in excitement and a little fear as tbey held onto each other.

“Mommy will never believe this!” Timmy was in awe to be up in the clouds.

Meanwhile down below, a young woman stared hopelessly up into the sky, watching her magic carpet disappear.

“Well, do you believe me now?” She asked, looking at Mr. Tippner. “I told you I had a magic carpet. You all thought I was crazy!”

Tippner felt embarrassed, “Blame Cara, she was the one who thought you were crazy. Mason and I believed you the whole time, why do you think I came out here with you?”

Stephanie squeezed his hand. “Thanks Tippner, I knew I could count on you.”For the first time ever Tippner felt himself tongue tied. Stephanie was attractive and she hadn’t let go of his hand.

Up in the sky the boys were having a once in a lifetime moment. Timmy got so excited that he shook his hand up and down, the one with the bell. Pink and purple smoke swirled around them and they soon felt themselves going down.

They landed on their feet and heard the sound of water. When the smoke cleared they realized that they were back at Timmy’s creek.

As captivating as it had been to be in the air flying, they were rather glad to be safely back.

“We better go home, our Mom’s are probably worried about us being gone so long!”

“Bye Todd! Sorry no dinosaurs, maybe next time. “

“Maybe!! But I am really hungry now, see you later Timmy.”

Off they ran and were surprised to find that their Mom’s weren’t worried at all. Barely any time had passed.

Timmy had been so caught up in the excitement of everything that he didn’t realize he had dropped the magical time machine bell when they were up in the air. He was disappointed, but oh well. Dinosaurs may be quite scary anyway.

Don’t Insult an Alicorn!

If you are wondering whether poor Alabaster and Snowball ever arrived at the North Pole on the back of their alicorn, here is the conclusion to my earlier post, The Gift of the Unicorn 

Santa’s cottage was feeling quite cozy with the fire blazing. Alabaster and Snowball were so glad to be back home to the North Pole at last! Snowball felt like his head was still spinning. Alabaster was stretched out, lying down in the plush carpet, trying to regain a sense of balance. 

Candy Cane, was sitting across from Santa, shaking her head and laughing still about the watermelon that had got broken over Alabaster’s head. Who knew that fairies could be so tricky. She couldn’t stop laughing for she remembered what had happened before they left for their little trip. They had been teasing CandyCane some, for they knew she had wanted to go along on the trip. 

She gave them a smug look. “I am feeling really glad that I didn’t go with you guys, and now maybe you know the truth behind the words, “What goes around, comes around.” she said. “Tell us about your ride on the alicorn, you both looked so pale when you first got here.” 

Snowball groaned, putting his head in his hands, and a moan arose from Alabaster who still had his eyes closed. “Alabaster called it a unicorn and I think it was insulted. The wild ride was his fault. Do alicorn’s get mad?” 

Santa winked at CandyCane. “Alicorns are fun and playful like unicorns. it wasn’t mad, but I do believe that it decided it would teach you a lesson.”  Snowball made a face, as Alabaster let out another moan. 

“With the way you are moaning Alabaster, one would think you are old, have some achy bones? Oh, wait, you will soon be older, won’t you?” 

Snowball and CandyCane smiled, “That’s right, a birthday may be around the corner. Santa knows all!” 

“Pftttt!” was Alabaster’s reply, he was a humble elf, who never wanted much fuss made about his birthday. “Weren’t we talking about Snowball and how he had us in a tailspin up in the air?” 

“Hey, it wasn’t my fault, it was the alicorn who was spinning around and going side to side as we hung on for dear life. I never thought we would land!” 

“So what was the magic word that finally made the alicorn land?”

Alabaster was sitting up by now and he and Snowball looked at each other. They winced at the memory. “We yelled HELP and maybe some other gibberish. We were so ferhoodled, we couldn’t speak coherently. We had slid off and were holding onto the alicorn’s neck!”

Santa looked at them with compassion, though CandyCane was still smirking. “I am sorry, and sure that it was scary, but you didn’t need to fear, you were in good hands. The alicorn would not have let you fall.”

Then with a teasing glint in his eyes, “Would you like to take another ride tomorrow?” 

“NO!” They both shouted. 

Santa smiled broadly. “We are glad you are back safe and sound, and Snowball you arrived just in time. It is your turn to help Chef Salvo in the kitchen tomorrow for lunch.  Get good night’s rest tonight and my sincere thanks to you both for bringing me my alicorn.” Santa gave them each a big pat on their shoulders and bid them goodnight, sending them back to their cottages with cups of hot peppermint cocoa. 

Snowball and Alabaster had to repeat their story the next day at breakfast for all the other elves to hear. There was good natured teasing again, but everyone was glad to see them back. Especially their pals, Jinx, Jangle and Tink. They had also been envious of Snowball and Alabaster getting to go on their little trip, but considered themselves fortunate now that they didn’t go. Getting trapped by fairies and a wild ride on the alicorn, yeah, it was better that it happened to Snowball and Alabaster. 

“Hi Chef! So what are we making for lunch?” Snowball walked into the kitchen later that morning and Chef Salvo inwardly sighed. He liked Snowball, he was a fun elf, but oh, he could be scary in the kitchen. He could barely even boil water. Fortunately today’s menu wasn’t too difficult, maybe all would be fine. 

“We are having grilled cheese, think you can handle it?” 

“No problem.” 

“So you know how to make it? No questions?” Chef Salvo eyed him warily. 

“How hard can it be to grill cheese?”  

“Good. Then I will let you do that, while I work on dessert.” Chef Salvo walked away and Snowball stared at the stove and the frying pan. Well first he had to get the cheese, he knew that much. He opened the fridge and pulled out the packs of cheese slices. Now he was ready to begin. 

Hmmm… this was turning out to be harder than he had thought it would be. The cheese was sticking and turning into a big glob in the pan. Smoke was rising. 

SNOWBALL! What did you do?” 

“I am grilling cheese like you said, I think I may have turned the burner up too high.”

Chef Salvo felt his temperature rising, but to be fair, he hadn’t said sandwiches, he had only said grilled cheese. He had forgotten that he had to specify things very clearly to Snowball. 

Sadly he looked at all the burnt cheese stuck to the frying pan. He pulled out another frying pan, not saying a word. Got a loaf of bread and butter and set it in front of Snowball. “Grilled Cheese sandwiches is what I want. You butter both sides of each piece of bread, put a slice of cheese in and fry it until its light brown and the cheese is melted. Think you can do that?” 

“I won’t let you down Chef!”  

“Thanks Snowball!” he whispered a prayer as he walked away. 

Fortunately his prayers were answered, the sandwiches looked perfectly toasted and ready to be served. Chef Salvo felt relief pour over him. 

“Great job Snowball!” He patted him on the back and Snowball beamed, feeling proud. 

Everyone was guzzling water like crazy! Why were the grilled cheese sandwiches so spicy! 

Snowball’s face was red and he was coughing as well when Chef Salvo came over to him. “Did you add something to these sandwiches?” 

“I just wanted to add a little extra flavor, I saw the hot sauces on the counter so I may have used them.” he said with a sheepish look. 

“How much did you use ?” 

“Wellll I did make lots of sandwiches so several bottles …  perhaps.” 

Chef Salvo sputtered, “It only takes a drop or two in a sandwich, just a little splash. The sandwiches aren’t supposed to swim in it!” 

It was a long time before Snowball ever helped Chef Salvo in the kitchen again. 


The Gift of the Unicorn

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The tiny elves watched from their hiding place in awe! Wow! If only their friends could see this delightful spectacle.

Never had they seen something so magical, well besides the North Pole of course. Their home was the the most magical place on earth, but this may be the second most magical place ever.

Alabaster and Snowball were silent, they had no words, which was rare. Usually one would say something and the other one would have a witty reply. But now they were entranced and could only focus on the dazzling unicorn.

“Can you imagine us having our own unicorn?”

“Candy cane would be so jealous.” Alabaster laughed in agreement. “She sure would.”

They watched the fairies flying around the unicorn, wondering how they would feel about giving up one of their unicorns. The kind elves didn’t want them to be sad.

“Are you going to gjve them Santa’s message?”

Snowball put his hand in his pocket and then the other pocket and oops his hand went straight through! Feeling like a doolally, he made a face at Alabaster.

“I ummm … lost Santa’s message… it fell out of my pocket.” He put his head down again as Alabaster looked at him in disbelief!

“You lost the special autographed note from Santa! Now what do we do??”

Snowball shrugged his shoulders, he was clueless.

“I guess there is only one thing to do. We just need to convince the fairies that we are Santa’s elves and that he sent us to get their unicorn.”

Alabaster shook bis head, “yeah, riiight, no problem!”

Snowball mumbled a retort, he would show him. “Watch me, all you need to do is talk sweetly, put on the charm and Voila! They are eating out of your hand.”

“I can’t wait to see the expert at work. I will be right beside you soaking in your wise ways.”

Rubbing his chin Snowball felt proud as he turned his head away and started walking towards the unicorn. He didn’t see Alabaster’s smirk. He couldn’t stop thinking about Alabaster’s words. “His wise ways”, He felt a little taller as he walked to confront the fairies.

“Hello beautiful, stunning fairies!” The fairies looked up startled by the elves and their blue suede shoes.

“Don’t be afraid we come to give you wonderful news. Santa wants your unicorn! We unfortunately lost one of the reindeer and thought how a unicorn would make a lovely addition to the team. What do you say lovely one?” Snowball flashed his charming smile at the one fairy.

Before they could understand what was happening the poor elves found themselves thrown into a cage!

“Wellll…. you sure put on the charm! Glad I took notes. ” Alabaster joked and Snowball gave him the evil eye.

Alabaster hoped they would bring them some food. He was hungry. Just because they were holding them captive they wouldn’t withhold food, would they?

“Hey Miss. Fairy, could I have something to eat please? Some watermelon would be good.” He thought it would be helpful if he made a suggestion. Alabaster always tried to be helpful.

Snowball looked at him shaking his head. “You really think you are going to get food from them?? You are funny or maybe just crazy.”

Alabaster looked past Snowball and a smile spread across his face. “And you were saying..”

Snowball stared in shock at a fairy carrying a watermelon.

“I have a magical charm too, its my luxurious hair of course.”

CLICK! The cage opened up and PLOP went the watermelon on top of Alabaster’s head. CLICK! It shut again

Alabaster’s face turned red from embarrassment and from watermelon juice running down his face. Snowball tried to hold in his laughter but …

Oh, what a fine kettle of fish they were in! Snowball sure hoped the fairies called the North Pole soon to verify who they were and that they could fly in the sky on the back of their unicorn.

Meanwhile they leaned that fairies laughter sounded like bells as they flew around the cage looking at the two poor elves, who were caught in a trap, due to the fairies suspicious minds.

CLICK! They had dozed off and jumped at the sound of the cage opening.

“You are free to go, we talked to Santa. We are so sorry, but had to make sure. Our unicorns are special to us, we don’t give them to just anybody.”

Alabaster and Snowball were thrilled to be out of the cage and so forgiveness came easily. Soon they were up in the sky on the back of Stardust. It felt amazing! They were going home.

“Hey Snowball whats the word we use again to tell Stardust to stop once we get to the North Pole?”

“I can’t remember but I wrote it down, its in my … pocket.” He said “pocket” softly as he stuck his hand through the hole once again.

Beauty made from Tears

This is the continuation of The Helpful Stitches

Mallory was thrilled. Her bookclub ladies were becoming quite the seamstresses ever since they helped make blankets to save poor Estelle from losing her shoe.

Now they were looking to Mallory for another project to do. She was think, think, thinking like Pooh Bear. Perhaps a little bit of honey would get her thinking unstuck. It seemed to work for Pooh.

Meanwhile the ladies were working on dresses and some were quite impressive. In fact Donna”s dress was blowing everyone away with how gorgeous it was. Mallory may have been a little envious with how quickly she had picked up the art of sewing. It was like she was a natural.

The ladies enjoyed getting to know each other better as they bonded over coffee and donuts, in spite of disagreeing about the best kind of donut.

Mallory insisted that cream filled was heavenly, while Donna said it didn’t compare at all to the various jelly filled donuts that there were.

Miss Kelly snubbed her nose at both kinds saying that glazed donuts were the best. That made Mallory roll her eyes, but Miss Kelly drank her coffee black too, so she was a strange soul.

Then there was Mrs Holly Jo that would only eat powdered donuts. But no matter everyone’s different tastes, they did really like each other’s company. Friendships were born, with happiness sewn into each stitch.

Donna shared about how lonely she had been. She had been an only child and her parent’s had both died not long ago in a horrible accident. Many tears fell onto Donna”s dress as she stitched and shared with her new friends.

As she talked about the memories of her parent’s everyone listened, not saying a word. They laughed at the time her Dad was dancing a jig and fell into a hole and at how her mom once forgot to put in the chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookies! No one ever trusted her to make cookies again!

The days went by. More tears fell onto the dress, Donna just couldn’t help it when recounting the nights that she had been on tbe streets. Her life was a remarkable story, and in telling her story others were encouraged to share.

One night everyone had gone home except for Donna. She was almost finished her gown, she couldn’t go home betore it was done.

Mallory let her stay and was in total awe at the dress. The dress that had become more like a ballroom gown!

“Knock knock!”

Mallory jumped. Who could be at her door? Upon opening it she got an even bigger shock. There was a short wonan standing outside. She reminded Mallory of someone’s grandmother and there was a radiant glow around her.

The woman didn’t wait for Mallory to say anything.

“I need your help! I need a gown fit for a ball!”

She walked right in looking around and spotted Donna’s newly made gown!

“This would be perfect! Can I please have it?”

Donna was flustered, what should she do? Was that gold that the grandmotherly woman was offering to give Donna in exchange for her gown? A gown sewn by tears and love.

Mallory was staring at Donna in as much bewilderment as she was.

“You can have it.”.

The woman clapped her hands. “Thank you so much! You just saved the night, now I have to get going. Bpppity Bibbity Boo.”

The gold was in Donna”s hands and the grandmother suddenly vanished into the air! Where did she go?

Cinderella’s eyes sparkled in utter delight at the gown in her fairy Godmother’s hands.

“Boppity Bippity Boo! Now hurry quick, step into the carriage and get going. Don’t be late.”

That night Cinderella was the most exquisite one at the ball. Many tears had been shed before but tonight beauty and happiness shined bright!

After the Storm

Thanks to Jason for some more wonderful photos which helped give me inspiration. See more of his photos at

The storm clouds were hovering. Dexter watched the bison from a safe distance away. If it wasn’t for the real storm clouds brewing in his life Dexter would be better able to enjoy the view.

What was he going to do? When Lester had first asked him to partner with him in business he had been thrilled. If he had only known what a bumpy ride it was going to be. He wished he could go back in time. Never would he have signed the papers, but it was too late now.

His twin brother, who he had trusted, was involved in shady business dealings. Dexter tried to get out but it was too late. He had only been a scapegoat. That was why his crooked brother had wanted him to partner with him. Dexter had taken the fall for his brother, who was now vacationing at some Swiss chalet, with money that he had transferred to a Swiss bank account.

Raindrops started to fall. Dexter better start hiking back, before got soaked. He made it back right before the storm clouds opened up. Perhaps that was a good sign? His lawyer Saul told him not to worry that he would see to it that his brother would be held accountable. Dexter wished he had half the confidence of Saul.

He stayed in the truck watching the sky throw a tantrum. The thunder roared as tears fell from the angry clouds.

It was quite the storm but fortunately the sky’s temper had subdued itself rather quickly.

Dexter laughed. He wished his three year old son’s temper tantrums would be as short. He sighed. The thought of jail devastated him for one main reason and that reason was his world. His three year old son! To not get those sticky kisses any more, or feel his pudgy, short arms around his neck. The thought was unbearable!

Saul better be as good as his ads said he was, Dexter was counting on him, and more importantly so was an adorable little boy, who needed his Daddy.

Well, no more pity party, he was going to push back his fears now and enjoy the rest of the day. The sun had come out, time to explore.

Oh, the ground was muddy now, after the rain. It was a good thing that he had bought another pair of shoes along to change into once he was finished hiking. His socks would be soaked.

Wow! All Dexter could do was stare back. How cool, the bison was looking right at him!

Now Dexter wasn’t an emotional guy usually but he felt moved by the bison and how beautiful everything was. He loved nature. The thought of not being able to enjoy nature, but to be surrounded by four walls instead was just too much and weighing him down. His eyes filled up with water.

He walked around some more trying to breathe. Maybe jail wouldn’t be so bad. He would get three meals a day and …and … he couldn’t come up with a second thing.

Dexter used to pride himself on being able to look on the bright side. But … instead he kept hearing his little boy’s voice in his head. “Daddy, look at me! Daddy come play!”

Dexter looked at his watch, he needed to get home. This evening he was taking his son out for ice cream and then they would go to the park. If his days were numbered with his little boy, they were going to be the best days possible!

When back in his truck he looked at his phone. There was a missed call from Saul. His heart dropped. Was it bad news?


“Its about time you call! Are you sitting down?”

“Yes.” Dexter felt the pressure rising in his chest.

“You are free! Your brother turned himself in. He shocked everyone by just showing up at the police station, out of the blue. That Swiss air must have done him some good! Lester claimed full responsibility, telling them of your innocence.”

Dexter couldn’t speak. Unashamed, he let the tears roll down his cheeks. Everything was going to be alright!

Three months later he visited his brother in prison. His brother was trying hard to make amends. Dexter was in shock, what had made the change in his brother? He had asked him but he always hesitated and would change the subject. Today he would try once more.

“What happened Lester? Why can’t you tell me?”

Lester looked down at the table between them.

“You won’t believe it!”

“Try me. I am used to hearing your crazy stories.” He smiled.

“Well one day I was sitting outside, at my fancy chalet and suddenly there was this cow. It was right in front of me … and around her neck she wore a silver, shiny cowbell…”

*For my new followers who haven’t met Betsy yet, she is an extra special cow. She shows up at unexpected times in my stories due to her magical cow bell. And sometimes the magical cow bell shows up without her. When there is trouble, Betsy does her best to fix things. The magical cow bell can whisk people away just by ringing it three times.*

Lending a Helping Hand

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Little Sadie Mae loved the ducks and the new baby ducklings were so fun to watch. She made sure to come see them every day. Sometimes it would be for only a few minutes, but other times longer.

Her mom found it so endearing that she would even visit them in the rain! Sadie Mae most definitely loved her animals.

If her mom took in every stray animal that Sadie Mae found, they would be overrun with them.

As Sadie Mae grew, her love for animals continued to grow and into the forest or down to the lake she would go to visit them.

Some friends jokingly called her Snow White because of all the woodland animal friends she had. She was Snow White without the dwarves. Who needed funny, little men? In fact who needed men at all? Yes, she could live alone in the woods and be perfecly happy, with her animal friends.

Over the year her poor parent’s tried many times to set her up with the most respectable gentlemen they could find. But Sadie Mae managed to find a fault with each one. She was content being single and someday her parent’s may come to understand.

One day sbe was cleaning her little bungalow and there was a knock on her door. Sadie Mae thought tbat was strange, rarely did she get unexpected company.

When she opened it there was a tall woman standing there with jet black hair almost down to her waist! Ruby red lipstick decorated her lips and her smile intrigued Sadie Mae.

“Hi! May I help you?” Sadie Mae asked.

“I certainly hope you can, the lady brushed her aside walking into the bungalow without an invitation. Sadie Mae didn’t know what to think!

“I heard that the animals talk to you.”

“Excuse me, what did you say?”

The lady spoke slower, “That…. the…. animals…. talk …to.. you.”

Sadie Mae shook her head in confusion, clearly befuddled. This lady actually believed in talking animals! What kind of nut was she?

“I am close to all the animals, they visit me for food. They are my friends but ummm…can’t say that any of them have talked to me. “

The lady’s face fell and she took a seat on the forest green couch. “But are you sure that none of them ever tried to talk to you? I need to find my sister!”

Sadie shook her head, she was beginning to think that this lady got lost on the way to the Funny Farm. “What does your sister have to do with talking animals? “

“She is one of them!”

Now Sadie Mae needed to take a seat, before she fell down. “I must not have heard you correctly. Did you say that your sister is an animal?”

The lady wrung her hands standing back up again and pacing the floor as she spoke. “Yes, she was put under a spell and I been trying to find her for so long!”

Tears fell upon her cheeks. “There was an evil fairy queen that cast the spell on her. You are Snow White, correct? You must have some magic spells that you know about. Please you have to help me find her!”

Sadie Mae looked into her pleading eyes and her heart felt for the poor woman. How could she tell her no? Sitting down beside the lady, she touched her shoulder. “I will try my best, but first tell me more about your sister and how she got put under an evil spell.”

To be continued .. on Monday.

Lucy’s Wishes

Painting by Tom Sierak – Pinterest

Daylight was beginning to fade, but Lucy was in no hurry to leave. This was one of her favorite places to come sit as she dipped her feet in the cool water. It was peaceful here, watching the ducks swim across the lake. Hearing nothing but the sounds of nature. Soothing to the soul and refreshing to the spirit. Yes, by the water, the perfect place to be.

What was that? Lucy bent her head down closer to get a better look, though at the same time being careful not to fall in. There were bubbles rising up from the water. What was making the bubbles? Instinctively Lucy pulled her feet up and scooted back some as she kept her eye on the bubbles.

“HI! My name is Sir Sergio the 4th, at your service, who are you, fair maiden?”

Lucy screamed and jumped to her feet. Speechless, she stared at the thing that had just popped its head out of the water.

“No need to be afraid, I am harmless. This is your lucky day!”

Still feeling scared out of her skin, she timidly said,”What are you and why are you in the lake??”

The thing smiled, “I am Sir Sergio. Didn’t I already tell you that? So what is your wish?”

“My, my wish…?”

“Yes, I am the magic water genie!”

Lucy was feeling so confused, though not quite as scared anymore. But she had never seen something that looked so weird before! It was like a huge grayish color blob with eyes that weren’t blue or brown but a strange purplish green color. Why she didn’t run, she didn’t know. Its like she was enraptured by it. “A magic genie, you are not trapped inside a lamp, how can you be a magic genie?”

“I told you I am the magic water genie! Make three wishes, I grant them and POOF! I turn into a handsome Prince.

“I thought only bullfrogs turned into handsome prince’s. That’s what all the fairy tales say.”

“You can’t believe every fairytale you read, you know.”

Lucy didn’t know what to think anymore, except that perhaps she should really head for home. But three wishes? What if it really did have that power? What if she missed her chance at wishing for anything she ever wanted and having the wishes come true!

“So I tell you three wishes and you make them come true and then POOF! You are a handsome Prince?”

“That’s right, you have nothing to lose!” It smiled, and oooh its smile looked half friendly and half mischievous.

Lucy thought for a little bit. This so called water genie may be a doofus, but he was right, what did she have to lose?”

“Okay, Sir Sergio the fourth, I am going to take my chances. I will come back tomorrow with my wishes. A lady needs time to think and ponder. I want to make sure I pick the best three wishes. Will you be here tomorrow?”

Sir Sergio gave his half creepy smile again and promised to be back at six o’clock tomorrow. “But please, please do come back. I have been in this lake for 20 years and I am longing to be a Prince!” His purplish green eyes looked at her in hopeful expectation.

“I will return, I promise.”

She watched him go back under the water and swim away and walked back home slowly. One moment she was pondering what to wish for and the next she was pondering her sanity.

Later that night she laid awake, staring at the ceiling, not able to sleep. It would be divine to be with a handsome Prince, she was quite lonely all by herself, but this was real life not a fairytale! Or was it? She had held a conversation with a strange blob like creature who called himself a water genie. If her mom knew she would be here first thing in the morning to doctor Lucy up, thinking she must have surely lost her mind. Probably force all kinds of homemade remedies on her plus castor oil, for according to her mom castor oil cured everything!

By noon time the next day Lucy had made up her mind and she was anxiously waiting for it to be six o’clock.

She was on the dock 15 minutes early, sitting with her feet in the water, waiting with anticipation. Would Sir Sergio really return or had she been in some kind of weird trance yesterday?

At six o’clock on the dot she saw the bubbles forming and POP! He sprang up out of the water!

His eyes bulged when he saw her which grossed out Lucy a little. Oooh he better turn into a handsome Prince.

“I am so glad you returned. Do you have three wishes for me, fair maiden?” There was a bright gleam in his eyes, giving Lucy a funny feeling, which she tried to ignore.

“I do. For my first wish I would like a castle right near this lake.”

POOF! Lucy shouted in glee seeing a castle appear right in front of the lake. It was the most splendid castle she had ever seen.

Now she was excited, this was really happening! Clapping her hands together she said, “For the second wish I would like to have a maid for the castle.”

POOF! A lady was standing in front of the castle with a mop bucket in one hand and a mop in the other. Oh, Lucy could not believe this. What a charmed life she was going to lead!”

Sir Sergio spoke up, “Think very carefully fair maiden, for you only have one more wish.”

Lucy felt so giddy, soon she would be living in a castle with her own maid. “OH its easy, every castle needs its own cook!” She dreamed of how she would enjoy sunning by the lake and going back to the castle for a gourmet meal. The charmed life for sure!

“As you wish!” POOF! Sure enough, the water genie kept his word, a man with a chef’s hat stood by the maid. So perfect. Lucy caught her breath. In her excitement she started running for the castle.

“Stop! Come back, fair maiden, I have something to tell you.” Lucy stopped in her tracks. Did he have more surprises for her? Why yes,how could she have forgotten? He was supposed to turn into a Prince.

She ran back to him still bobbing in the water. “How can I thank you! This is amazing, you are amazing! So are you going to turn into…” POOF!

Lucy stopped mid sentence, stunned! She was staring into the eyes of the most handsome man No purplish green eyes, but bright sparkling blue eyes, smiling back at her!

“Wow!” That was all she could say.

Sir Sergio spoke up to tongue tied Lucy. “Well, it looks like I have you to thank! I made out better than I ever imagined! Thank you so much for the castle, and my own maid and chef. I do feel like a handsome prince.”

Lucy’s smile turned into a frown, “Wait… what.. what do you mean? That is my castle, and my maid!”

The Prince gave her a condescending smile. “Sorry lass, its all mine! You never read the fine print.”

“Fine print? You never gave me anything to read!”

“Oops! I guess i didn’t, well you know you never should trust a water genie.”

Poor Lucy was about in tears, “You said I could make three wishes and you would grant them.”

“Exactly, but I never said they would be for you. That’s the difference between a water genie and the magic lamp genie. Go look for a magic lamp, I am off to enjoy MY castle. Farewell!” and with a smirk, and echoing laughter he walked away.

The Troublesome Mountain

I was inspired again by one of Jason’s photos from the sand dunes. It looks like you can reach out and touch them. Enjoy! And Thanks Jason for the inspiration.


Digging in dirt was his job and he could think of nothing else that he would rather do. It was an adventure, never knowing what one may find. Ever since he had been in third grade he had known that he wanted to be an archaeologist. His parent’s had bought him little archaeology kits to play with and books about archaeological digs for presents while he was growing up. Little Ricky would read the books cover to cover several times, but his parent’s still thought it was just a childhood passion that would pass. As he got older though they could tell that it truly was a passion of his and nothing would stop him.

He worked hard and earned scholarships, graduating at the top of his class, Magna Cum Laude. HIs parent’s were so proud. Over the years he had traveled many places to go on archaeological digs. Sometimes the digs uncovered treasures and other times it was just another day of digging in the dirt. Every archaeologist knew that the majority of the time you didn’t find amazing treasures, but even the little things that were uncovered were important. Every object was a piece of history.

One of the most special treasures that he found was what they believed to be Europe’s oldest map!

Not everyone gets to seee their childhood passion come true, and Ricky felt blessed that he was one of the fortunate ones who truly loved his job. But even those who love their jobs still enjoy a break from time to time. This week Ricky was enjoying his break and looking forward to exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

After a hearty breakfast the next morning of some breakfast burritos and strong coffee he made his way out to the dunes. The weather was cool, and the view of the mountains was amazing. Taking off his sneakers he walked through the sand barefoot for a little, it felt good. It reminded him of how often he would go barefoot as a child, running through the lush meadow of his Pennsylvania farm. Then wading in the creek.

But after a little while of enjoying the sand he put his shoes back on. He knew that the sand would get hot soon from the sun and he didn’t want to burn his feet. When he was a child in certain parts of the meadow he had to put his shoes on as well, for he didn’t want to accidentally step in any cow pies. He had made that mistake before as a child, and learned pretty quickly.

Stopping on top of a mound to put his shoes on he rested for a while. It took more energy then the thought climbing these sand dunes. Reminding him that he may not be as young as he liked to think he was.

After a nice break he walked around a little more and then decided to start down. Not many people were aroound, he was pretty much on his own. He didn’t mind that a bit. Solitude was something he relished and made the best of the moments when he got it. Ricky was in no hurry to get down from the dunes so he took his time.

He kicked at the sand a little and uncovered something silvery. Just part of it was sticking out. What could it be? Probably nothing. How many people had walked up and down these dunes, could there really be anything valuable that hadn’t been uncovered? Not expecting much but being curious he squatted down to uncover it fully. A silvery cowbell? What was a cowbell doing here? He knew that there were not cows in the Great Dunes National Park that roamed around. If this truly had belonged to a cow before it had to be really old.

He inspected it. There were words on it, but the cowbell was old and weathered, the words were too faded to read. Had other people found this cowbell before and just let it stay here in the dunes, wondering what they would do with a cowbell? Did the ringer even still work? He guessed there was only one way to find out, but right before ringing it he had a strange feeling come over him. What was going on? Shaking his head he rang the bell, amazed that it still rang quite well. He rang it again. Hmmm… maybe he could think of a use for it. Seemed a pity to let a perfectly good cowbell just lay here to be destroyed by the weather. Maybe he could shine it up and find a way to figure out the inscription. Yes, he would keep it. He went to put it in his pocket, ringing it once more.

POOF! Purple and pink smoke filled the air as he spun around. When the smoke cleared Ricky was bug eyed with astonishment as he looked around. Where was he and what had happened! it was like he had traveled back in time. He was in ancient times, had to be. The question was what ancient city was he in? He noticed a mountain in the distance and something struck him. A feeling came over him that he couldn’t quite describe. Smoke was coming from the mountain, but people didn’t seem to notice.

People passed him by not seeming to pay him any attention which he thought was strange, for he must have stuck out like a sore thumb with the way he was dressed. Then he looked at his clothes and received another shock. He was dressed just like the others. No wonder no one seemed surprised to see him.

Walking in the bustling city he passed tool maker’s shops and bakery’s with kilns and furnaces. There was also a sea port nearby. He couldn’t even think about how he got here, for that was just too much for his brain right now. All he had done was ring a simple cowbell. Maybe he had fallen asleep on the sand dune and was dreaming. But still he wanted to know where he was. Oh, there was a man on the street corner trying to sell his wares He was yelling to everyone. Rick moved closer so he could hear. “Welcome everyone to the great, rich, city of Pompeii!”

Ricky gasped, Pompeii!! If this was Pompeii then, OH NO, that mountain was Mt. Vesuvius! Was this the day that Mt.Vesuvius erupted?? He pulled out the cowbell, he still didn’t see how a simple cowbell could transport him back in time. But right now that didn’t matter, he just wanted to get out of this doomed city! He rang it once and closed his eyes, nothing happened. Oh come on, he rang it again, and still nothing. He saw more smoke billowing out of the mountain, holding his breath he rang it once more. POOF! Pink and purple smoke swirled through the air.

The Wedding Surprise

Pinterest image

Soon this picturesque meadow would be filled with a white tent, chairs, and tables. A large gathering of people, all there to support a special couple. A couple with stars in their eyes for each other, or maybe not.

Angie knew that things were not how they appeared. The groom may only have starry eyes for the bride, but she knew the feeling wasn’t reciprocated.

The love that the bride once had for the groom may have been like a glowing star but now it more resembled a fallen one.

Midnight confessions had been made to Angie by the bride at her bachlorette party! At first Angie thought she was just babbling nonsense. Figured she had a little too much to drink.

But then she remembered the bride had barely drank anything and she had a rather somber mood about her.

It had struck Angie as odd behavior for someone who was getting married the next day. Angie had felt like she should do something, but what? The bride wasn’t even a friend of hers. Angie was only the caterer! Why hadn’t Bridget, the bride, told one of her closer friends. Oh, maybe because they were all drunk.

After Bridget poured out her heart, Angie said the only thing that had come to her mind. “You need to tell him.”

The bride had recoiled like she had been struck. ” You want me to break his heart? How mean of me that would be!”

In shock, all Angie could stammer out was. “But, but, you don’t love him.”

Bridget had rolled her eyes, “Haven’t you ever heard of charades? We are going to Bora Bora for our honeymoon. You think I am going to pass that up? Are you crazy??”

Angie could barely sleep that night. She felt so bad for the groom. Bridget was just using him til she found someone else, then she would drop him like a worn out shoe. Nobody deserved that! She may just be the caterer, but she had to do something.

Four hours later everything was ready. The ceremony was set to begin. Angie was standing in the back listening to the Wedding march, but no bride was coming.

The baffled look on the groom’s face made Angie feel a little bad, but she had saved him trouble in the long run. He would get over it. Angie’s silver enchanted cowbell had come to the rescue again! Bridget had shaken it three times, and the cowbell dropped to tbe ground as Bridget disappeared. Who knew where she was now.

All the guests were talking among themselves and speculating on what had happened to Bridget. Angie wondered just how long she should wait until she gave the groom a call. Humming the Wedding March, she started cleaning up with stars and dreams in her eyes.