The Surprising Story

I would like to share some smiles for you to start your week off right.

As we were writing, “The Odessa Chronicles”, Colin came up with one of his creative ideas. He suggested that we visit Moonbeam Farm! Sounded like a great adventure to me. Little did I know what a surprising adventure it would turn out to be!

Here is an excerpt from the story that Colin shared on his blog last week. There is a lot more to this story, so if your curiosity is peaked, just click on the cover of “The Odessa Chronicles” in the right column. You will be able to purchase a copy of the book and enjoy your own visit to Moonbeam Farm, where friendship and laughter abound!

The Surprise Visitors

The man-servant, Odessa, Jaxon, and Dewey were all in the farmhouse late one evening, chatting and generally relaxing, when there was a knock on the door. They all looked at each other. Odessa turned to the man-servant. “Are you expecting a visitor?”

“No,” said the man-servant. “Are you?”

Odessa rolled her eyes. “My visitors are unlikely to be knocking at the door. Come on, Man-Servant, you do have the ability to rationalize, so please use it, and I will save you some embarrassment by assuring you that neither Dewey nor Jaxon have friends who would knock on the door either. That has to be a human on the other side of our door.”

The man-servant was smiling at Odessa, as he got up from his chair and walked over to the door. He opened it, and the other three heard him say, “Well … this is a surprise. What are you guys doing here?”

A male voice with an English accent said, “Hi, Joshua! We thought that we could come to visit you guys, and see Moonbeam Farm for ourselves.”

“Well, you had better come inside and meet the others.” said the man-servant.

When the visitors had made themselves comfortable on the sofa, the man-servant turned to the others. “Well, guys … allow me to introduce two people who know us a lot better than we know them. Meet Carolyn and Colin.”

Dewey stared at the visitors. “You’re the two who write our stories … right?”

“Yes!” said Carolyn.

Jaxon moved closer to the sofa. “So, you knew that you were coming here long before we heard the knock on the door?”

Colin looked at him. “Well yes, Jaxon, this visit was planned some time ago.”

Odessa was just looking at them both, but did not say anything.

“Don’t you have any questions, Odessa?” asked the man-servant.

Odessa stared for a brief moment, but then spoke up. “Given that you guys created Moonbeam Farm, so you know what it is like, why are you here now? And … if you guys really write our stories, and given that you are here now … who is writing THIS story?”

Dewey suddenly jumped up. “How rude of us! We have not offered them a drink.” He turned to Colin and Carolyn. “Would you guys like a drink? Do you both drink tea?” Colin and Carolyn both told Dewey that a tea would be lovely. He turned to the man-servant. “You heard them. Two cups of tea! Chop! Chop!”

While the man-servant was making a pot of tea, Odessa was waiting for some answers to her questions. It was Colin who responded. “Well, Odessa, let me try to explain this. We may have created Moonbeam Farm, but we have never visited it before. We’ve never seen it, so here we are.”

Then Carolyn added, “Yes, and as for who is writing this story? Well … we are.”

Odessa was looking a little perturbed. “How can you be writing stories about us, and yet be here?”

“That’s really not difficult,” said Carolyn, “because we quickly got used to being here and there at the same time.”

Odessa rolled her eyes. “You’re sounding just like the man-servant … generally confusing and incomprehensible.”

As Carolyn and Colin were drinking their tea, Odessa kept glancing around at Carolyn, and suddenly said, “Would you please stand up, Carolyn?”

Carolyn put her tea down and stood up facing Odessa. “Now what?” she asked.

Odessa was pacing backwards and forwards in front of her, and watching her. “Jaxon! Dewey! Come over here and look at Carolyn, and tell me if you notice anything unusual.”

Dewey looked at her. “Well, she is a little bit bigger than you, Odessa.”

Jaxon had been studying her also. “She’s smaller than other humans we have met.”

“That’s the whole thing, isn’t it!” Odessa said. “Are you fully grown, Carolyn?”

Carolyn laughed. “I can assure you, Odessa, that I am fully grown.”

Odessa was deep in thought for a moment. “I heard a saying once, that good things come in small packages. Is that true?”

Carolyn smiled. “Well I think so but then, I guess I am rather biased. Of course humans, like cats and dogs and other creatures, come in all different shapes and sizes. Wouldn’t it be really boring if we were all the same?”

“You are right.” Odessa then turned to Colin. “When did you and Carolyn meet each other?”

Colin laughed. “Not too long ago. We met in Greenwoods at a car rental place.”

Dewey was now sitting next to Odessa and staring at Colin. “When did you start writing our stories then?”

“Oh,” said Colin, “that was a long time ago now.”

Dewey and Odessa stared at each other for a moment, and then Odessa stepped closer to Colin. “There is something wrong with all this. If you have been writing our stories for a long time, and as you two only met each other earlier today, don’t you see a bit of a problem?”

Carolyn decided to try and explain the situation. “Well Odessa, you have to understand that we didn’t have to meet in order to write your stories. We both had lots of ideas and so the stories just happened. Does that help?”

Odessa was struggling to understand that. “Tell me how stories just happen for two people who do not know each other.”

“Well Odessa,” said Colin, “while Carolyn and I had never met before today, we were in regular communication regarding story ideas for you guys. Once the stories started to be written, they then took on a life of their own. I should also mention that even at the time of this story being written, we had not met each other.”

Odessa looked rather stunned at this. “Wait a minute.” she said. “Are you telling me that you meeting Carolyn at Greenwoods is only a part of this story, and you have never really met each other?”

Carolyn decided to intervene. “Listen carefully Odessa. Colin and I only met each other in this story. In our other world, which is a world in which you guys only exist in writing, we have yet to meet each other.”

***  *****  ***

 

 

The Horse Race

The week-end is here and we are off to the races!

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Well perhaps not literally! I am inviting all of you to the races.  You can come but still stay in the comfort of your own  home. Yes, you guessed right, we are headed to Moonbeam Farm. Another fun story from the book that Colin and I are working on.  I thought I would give all of you a little treat, since you answered trivia questions about our Moonbeam Farm gang on Thursday. If you missed seeing the answers, here is a link to my post yesterday. Friday’s Super Short Stories and more.

I have always enjoyed horses. They bring back such sweet memories.  I remember visiting my Aunt and Uncle when I was young, and they  had several horses in their barn. Seeing them and going for a ride was always the highlight of the visit. I can still smell the scent of the hay when I would walk into the barn and I remember the joy I had at feeding them. The fun memories of childhood. I think it was the Kentucky Derby that my Uncle would go to each year. Not to place bets at all, just to enjoy an exciting  race of beautiful horses. They really are magnificent creatures.

Get ready to enjoy an exciting race now! You can place bets in your mind of who is going to win, just try not to get the horses names confused. I can guarantee that you have never heard horses with names like these! The creativity with the  horses names did come from Colin,  need I say more.  I feel confident that following this horse race, will give your brain some exercise. Enjoy and may your horse win!

The Horse Race!

Every year, the town held a Founders Day celebration which always included a horse race around a local field. This year, it was being run in the field on the other side of the barn at Moonbeam Farm. The Man-Servant, while not a gambling man, would always watch the race and place friendly bets with Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey.

Dewey had dozed off after breakfast, and suddenly woke up to an empty farmhouse! It was unusual for the Man-Servant not to be around at this time, so he went over to the barn and saw Jaxon rearranging the straw on his bed. “Hey… Jaxon! Have you seen the Man-Servant?” he asked. “It is horse race day today.” said Jaxon. “He’s probably in the field trying to find a good place to watch the race!”

Dewey went out into the field and saw the Man-Servant sitting on a low branch of a large oak tree, and just above him was Odessa. “Hi guys!” said Dewey. ‘Isn’t it a bit early for the race?” The Man-Servant looked down to where Dewey was standing. “The race starts in thirty minutes, and Odessa and I wanted a good place to watch. Are we going to bet again this year?” They have bet in previous years with the winners being waited on for a day by the losers.

Jaxon just then arrived, so Odessa flew down and picked him up. She then placed him on the branch next to the Man-Servant, while Dewey just climbed up the tree trunk to where the others were now sitting. “Okay.” said the Man-Servant. “My bet is on Second Chance to win!”

Odessa just laughed. “Second Chance? Really? Don’t you remember him from last year? My pick is Third Strike!”

Dewey and Jaxon looked at each other and burst out laughing. Dewey turned to them both. “You’re kidding right? You honestly think that either Second Chance or Third Strike can win this race? Are you both totally out of touch with reality?” The Man-Servant smiled at Dewey. “We’ll soon see won’t we? Who are you picking?” Jaxon decided to get involved in the conversation. “I am going to pick the winner!” he said. “I am picking Seventh Heaven!” Dewey just looked at Jaxon and rolled his eyes. “I am in shock.” he said. “There are only six horses in this race and you guys are picking Third Strike, Second Chance and Seventh Heaven? Incredible! You guys will soon all be waiting on me for a whole day because my horse is First Choice! It’s going to be the winner!”

As the race was about to start, the Man-Servant got his binoculars out of their case. While Odessa could see across the field really clearly, the Man-Servant needed his binoculars. He could also then give Dewey and Jaxon a commentary when the horses were furthest away from them.

The race started from the far side of the field and, as in previous years, it consisted of four laps. As the horses came around the bend and down the straight which took them by the tree, it was First Choice who was leading! Dewey was jumping up and down on the branch. “Look guys! He is already out in front! Get ready to be my servants for a day!”

As the horses went around the curve and headed for the start/finish line area, the Man-Servant gave his commentary. “Okay guys. First is now second. Seventh first. Third and Second have just been passed by Knot Like Lee and Lou Zher is picking up the rear.

Dewey just looked at the Man-Servant. “What?” he said. “Do you mean that First Choice is now second, or that Second Chance is first?” “Hold on Dewey.” he said. “They’re just coming round the bend towards us again!” They all watched as the horses went thundering past their tree. Odessa was happy because Third Strike had managed to get into second place behind Seventh Heaven. They all watched intently as they went around the curve and headed down the straight to complete the second lap.

“Right!” said the Man-Servant. “As they start lap three, Third is still second but Second is now first!” Dewey looked at him again. ‘Do you mean that Third Strike is in second place, or that Second Chance is in third place, but then who is in first place?” The Man-Servant was too excited to answer!

“Finishing the third lap, Third is fourth, Second is first, First is third and Seventh is second!” said the Man-Servant. Dewey and Jaxon were exasperated as they did not understand what he was talking about.

“This is the final lap guys, and they’ll soon be near us again!” said the Man-Servant. Dewey and Jaxon were all standing on the branch now, and Jaxon was jumping around when he saw Seventh Heaven was in the lead, with Odessa’s Third Strike right behind it. Dewey was shouting “C’mon First Choice! Get moving!” The Man-Servant was also shouting at Second Chance to go faster as they went round the bend for the final time and headed for the finish line, all six horses were very close.

Dewey kicked the Man-Servants leg. “This is the end of the race Man-Servant so commentate clearly so we all know what is happening!” “Okay Dewey.” he said. “As they start the straight away down to the finish line, First is third. Second is first…”

At that moment, Dewey bit the Man-Servant’s leg. “Man-Servant! You really suck as a commentator. We have no idea what is happening out there!” The Man-Servant looked down at him. “The race is over Dewey! Lou Zher sprinted to first place with Knot Like Lee right behind him!”

Jaxon looked up at the Man-Servant. “So none of us won?” “No Jaxon.” said the Man-Servant. “Our horses came in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th!

Odessa picked up Jaxon from the branch and placed him on the ground, where he was soon joined by the Man-Servant and Dewey. Odessa then flew up and on to the Man-Servant’s shoulder, and they all headed back to the farm.

“Tell me Man-Servant.” said Odessa. “Why did you pick Second Chance to win?” “Well,” said the Man-Servant, “I liked the name. I liked the idea that it was getting a second chance. Why did you pick Third Strike Odessa?” Odessa looked at him, and rolled her eyes. “My horse’s name was not Third Strike Odessa, but just Third Strike. I picked it because I like the attitude behind third strike. It’s like a polite threat that something was going to happen… as in three strikes… third strike… get it?”

Dewey had been listening. “I picked First Choice because… well… it’s First Choice!” Jaxon was smiling at all the comments. “You guys are so not clued in at all about horse racing are you! You don’t pick a horse based on its name. You study the form of the various horses, and then make an educated decision based on everything you learn. That way there is a very good chance that your horse will do well.”

The Man-Servant, Odessa and Dewey were thinking about what Jaxon had said, and then Dewey asked. “So why did you pick Seventh Heaven?” Jaxon didn’t answer, but suddenly started racing towards the open farm gate. The others chased after him, and caught him at the door to the farmhouse. He was laughing so much that, for a moment, they did not know what to say.

Then the Man-Servant took charge. “Okay Jaxon. Why did you pick Seventh Heaven?” “I told you!” said Jaxon. “You have to study their form, and Seventh Heaven looked very good.” The Man-Servant shook his head. “Oh… Jaxon! I know that is not true because I did check the horses and Seventh Heaven was running her first race!” Odessa looked at Jaxon. “Tut! Tut! Jaxon. You are not telling us the truth are you?”

“It was my magic.” said Jaxon. “I consulted my magic as I thought that it could make Seventh Heaven win, and you guys would have to spoil me for a day!” Dewey looked at him. “You mean you tried to cheat?” Jaxon turned around to face Dewey. “You would have cheated if you knew how!” “Well yes,” said Dewey, “but I’m a cat!”

The Man-Servant was shaking his head. “You two are so bad! It‘s not nice to cheat.” Odessa turned to look at him. “Really? Really? I saw you talking to one of the horse owners yesterday, and heard something about owing you a favor. What was that all about? Am I the only one here that has any integrity?”

Just at that moment, Florence and Hermione flew into the yard and landed near Odessa. “It didn’t work.” said Florence. “We tried to distract all the horses like you said, except Third Strike, but those horses were really focused on the race. Sorry! We’ve got to dash!”

As soon as Florence and Hermione had flown out of the yard, the four of them just looked at each other, and then burst out laughing at what they had all tried, and failed, to do!

Dewey in the Spotlight!

Happy Saturday! The week-end is here! To start your week-end off right I thought I would share an interview that Colin had with one of our wonderful friend’s from Moonbeam Farm! If you missed seeing how Dewey came to Moonbeam Farm, here is the link to the story.  Once Upon A Time (part 3) and Once Upon A Time… Part 3b. You will also find links to Odessa and Jaxon’s stories, if you missed them. How did these Adventurers find each other?

Dewey is a very special cat and he of course could not let Odessa( the barn owl) be the only one in the spotlight! He felt that he needed an interview as well, so Colin was nice to oblige.

Out of simple curiosity do you have a favorite friend from Moonbeam Farm? If so, feel free to share who and why. Would be fun to know. Now we better get the interview done, before Dewey falls asleep!!

 

Dewey Interview – General

Colin: Hi Dewey. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. Where should we start?

Dewey: Given the amount of air-time that Odessa has been getting, I was wondering when my interview would be coming but, before we start, I have a question for you!

Colin: Okay Dewey… go for it!

Dewey: I brought my favorite bowl with me. Would you mind putting some food in it for me?

Colin: Not a problem Dewey but while I am…………………..

Dewey: Sorry to interrupt old buddy, but can I have one of my cushions here… appropriately fluffed up of course, as this carpet is rather… well, not my first choice of some place to chill!

(A few minutes later)

Colin: Okay Dewey. Tell me what you think about your origins in the stories.

Dewey: Well, I am obviously indebted to Odessa. I have no idea how I got into that log at such a young age because you chose never to disclose that in the story. I also know nothing about my Mom and Dad. Do I have any sisters or brothers? I think that you owe me an explanation!

Colin: To be totally honest Dewey, there are many aspects of all four of you that have not been explained. That is just a very easy way of “leaving the door open” for more stories.

Dewey: So do I have a Mom and Dad?

Colin: That has not been decided yet.

Dewey: Do I have any brothers or sisters?

Colin: That has not been decided either!

Dewey: Do you have any more food because my bowl seems to be empty again?

(A few minutes later)

Colin: Well Dewey, we don’t have a lot of time so why don’t we just focus on Odessa. How do you feel about having a bird as a friend?

Dewey: In general… not a lot, although (don’t tell Odessa) I kind of like having her around.

Colin: Can you explain that for our readers?

Dewey: Of course. Odessa is like a big sister to me, except better!

Colin: In what way is she better?

Dewey: Well… to start with she is big! She can fly so well and totally intimidate small creatures on the ground, just like I do sometimes. Oh… and she has a very sharp beak, and a wicked set of claws. If I had to pick somebody to be on my side in a difficult situation, then I would pick Odessa!

Colin: What you think about Jaxon?

Dewey: Oh I love Jaxon. He is a cutie. He really doesn’t say too much, although I love it when he tries to communicate with Odessa… and his magic is fun, and concerning, at times. Can we talk about the Man-Servant?

Colin: Of course.

Dewey: Well… our first meeting was fun because although he was wide awake when we first met, his behavior was so “unhuman” that I knew that there would be an awakening later. You should have seen his face when he suddenly realized that him and I could communicate!  That was so much fun, and even when he dropped his cup of tea and made a mess of the floor, I just had to laugh. I also had to make sure he knew that I expected him to clean up after himself! In general, we get along pretty good and he is very entertaining when trying to talk with Odessa!

Colin: Our time is out Dewey, so thank you so much for sharing some of your thoughts. I’ll let you have the last few words here, so what would you like to say?

Dewey: Well Colin. I think it odd that you can overlook the obvious at times, but do you see my food bowl? Can you see anything in it?