Family Fiction posted November 30, 2017

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Relax: Make Yourself At Home

Frill On Strawberry Hill

by rhonnie69

It was a cozy sunny day in early spring on Strawberry Hill.
Betty bear, Eddie bear, and I, Teddy bear,
were playing in the green grass near a trickling stream.

Mother bear stood in the middle of the stream fishing.
She caught a big fish.
It wiggled, and it squirmed.
But it couldn't break free from mother's claws.

Mother splashed out of the stream,
and dropped the fish in the grass at our feet.
It flipped and flopped, and flopped and flipped.

Betty hopped on top of it.
But it squirted from under her tumbling body:

and, "PLOP!"

It landed on my head.
My little paws couldn't hold it.
It was too slippery and too big.

Eddie couldn't catch it.
It twisted too much, and flipped too fast.
We stumbled and tumbled every which of way.
But we just couldn't catch that slippery fish.

As we bounced about, elbowing, and kneeing each other,
Mother clapped her hands and laughed.
"Go Betty. Go Eddie. Go Teddy." She said with a chuckle.

It took the three of us together to catch the fish and hold it.
And it took all three of us to eat the big fish.
Then we took a refreshing drink from the stream.

After lunch we followed mother back to our cave.
Poppa bear was at work.
Mother bear curled up into a giant-sized ball of fur and fell asleep.

"Sleep, sleep, sleep," cried Betty, "we slept all last winter.
Welcome sweet spring time.
I want to go out and play and have fun now."

"Yeah, me too," I agreed.
"Me three," said Eddie.

I ran outside and looked across the stream to the horizon.
"Hey, Let's go over there, to where the sky touches the grass," I suggested.
"I want to see where Mr. Sun ducks to hide from the dark."

"Me too," said Eddie.
"Me three," said Betty.

"I wonder what he's looking for when he's peeking through our window,
and smiling at us," said Eddie.
"Let's go ask him," I said, "I'll go."

"Me too," said Betty.
"Me three...wait. We're not going to cross the stream. Are we?"
asked Eddie. "Mother said we should never..."

"We're all, nine," Betty said, "and we're as big as all day and as old as all night.
Nine, is old and big enough. Let's go."

Eddie glanced over at mother who was fast asleep.
He lowered his voice.

"Does that mean we're big and old enough to go out without Mother with us?"
"Oh, Absitively, I mean, posilutely, or...well...what ever..." exclaimed Betty,
"As long as we're home before Mr. Sun ducks where the sky touches the grass
to hide from the dark, Mother won't mind."

"How do you know that?" I asked.
"I know lots of stuff."

"Oh yeah? What makes you know so much?" asked Eddie.
"I'm clever, because I'm a girl, like Mother.

"Yeah. But Mother is a big girl." I said.
"Oh, that's only because she stuffs herself with all sorts of yucky food.
Then, she's too she passes up her desert.
Plus she takes naps, when she can be out running and having fun.

Eating all her food off her plate, and doing boring stuff, has her all puffed up.
Hey look. If you two are coming, follow your leader. I'm going.
I'm out. See ya',"

Betty started running to where the sky touches the grass.
"Yo! Wait up. I'm going too," I said chasing after Betty.
"I'm going three," said Eddie racing at my heels.

Mr. Sun looked like a smiling face in the sky
as he watched us scamper across the trickling stream,
up...and to the very top of Strawberry Hill.

We hadn't run but a hop, skip, and a jump,
before we saw a beehive.
We had heard Poppa bear tell us
scary tales about beehives, but we had never seen one.

We crept closer to get a better look at it.
"Whoooah!" said Eddie, "this looks like a..."
"Bee's hive?" I asked.
"We better scram," said Betty.

"Wait." I said, "poppa bear said there's honey in these things."
"Yeah," said Eddie, "I wonder if..."
"We better scram," said Betty.

Eddie reached out and touched it.
"How does it feel?" I asked.
"We better scram," said Betty.

"Should I stick my finger in that little hole in it?" asked Eddie.
I looked at Betty.
"Should he stick his finger in tha..."
"We better scram," said Betty.

Eddie plucked the hive with his thumb.
It wobbled...but just a little.
"We better scram," said Betty.

Lucky for us, the bees were away. But to our surprise.
"Hi there," a friendly voice called.
Suddenly out of the hive buzzed a baby bee.

"My name is Bumble. What are your names?"
"Teddy," I replied.
"I'm Betty."
"And I'm Eddie. Wanna' play with us?"

"Sure. But I don't think that would be a good idea." Bumble answered.
"Why? You're friendly," I said.
"Oh yes. I am. But my folks are not."
"We better scram," said Betty.

"Your folks aren't friendly? Why?" I asked.
"They're not really unfriendly.
They just don't trust anyone who comes near the hive.
So...they chase them away."

"We better..."
"Shhhh, BETTY," I said.
"Where are your folks now?" I asked.

"They're out collecting nectar from flowers so we can make honey."
"WOW!" said Betty. Honey? May we taste some? Please.
Do you have any you can spare?"

"Sure thing. We've got plenty honey, right here in the hive.
Help yourselves."

We scooped up the honey and licked it from our paws.
"Yummy! This is delicious! Thank you, Bumble."
"You're welcome, I'm sure,"

"What do you do for fun?" asked Betty.
"Mommy says that I'm too little to go with them so...
I just... stay here and wait for them to return."

"That doesn't sound like very much fun," I said.
"It isn't. I'm really glad you guys came today.
You're my friends. You're fun. I wish you could stay all day."

"Okay," said Eddie, "wish comes true. We stay and play all day."
"Ooooo, how wonderful," said Bumble,
"but you'd better leave now, while there's still time.
When my folks come...they come quickly."
"We better scram," said Betty.

"Let's play just one game before they return." said Eddie.
"Super," Bumble agreed, "what'll we play?"
"Let's play, dash around the tree," I suggested.
"How do we play?" asked Bumble.

"You, Eddie, and Betty dash around a tree." I said.
"I'm, IT. I chase behind you.
The one that I catch, becomes IT, and becomes the chaser,
because they got caught."

Bumble laughed gleefully and buzzed swiftly around the nearest tree.
Eddie ran behind Bumble.
Betty giggled and darted behind Eddie
I dashed behind Betty chasing closely in her footsteps.

We played until we were out of breath.
Then we all fell down in the grass.
Everyone was huffing, puffing, and laughing.

"You're fun," said Bumble, "where do you live?"
"We live with Mother," said Betty.
"Here," I said, "on Strawberry Hill."
"We live in a cave, just over the stream," said Eddie.

"Wow," said Bumble, "You guys certainly have a fine fun family.
I like. I like."
"We sort of like you too, Bumble," I said.

"Wow!," said Eddie, "your hive is real neat, Bumble.
May we take a closer look?"
"He means can we have a look inside," said Betty.

"Of course," said Bumble, "but you must hurry, and...wait...
maybe you should go. NOW! LOOK!" Bumble cried.
"They're coming! RUN! HURRY! While there's still a little time."

Away we all scurried, a zillion buzzing bees swarming and chasing after us.


We raced right into a ducks' pond.
In our excitement, We never saw it.
Suddenly we went from dashing to splashing.
The bees turned back. and disappeared.

With our feet hopping in the mud at the pond's bottom,
our heads bobbed above the surface of the water.

"WOW! That was close," a friendly voice cried.
We saw a duckling floating in the pond.
"Hello," he said, "my name is, Lucky. What are your names?"

"She's Betty, he's Eddie, and I'm Teddy. Hello, Lucky."
"You guys are lucky. What was all that about? I mean, the bees."

We dragged ourselves out of the pond and stood dripping in the grass.
"We were over at Bumble's place. The bees chased us away." I replied.

"Bumble? Who's...?
"He's a baby bee, our friend.," said Eddie.

"I see," said Lucky, "let's all be friends."
"Don't forget about me," Bumble called, buzzing into view.
"Are you guys okay?"

"Not really," I replied, "we're soggy, wet and all. We're muddy.
And there's honey stuck in our fur.
Mother's going to get bent all out of shape."

"What will we tell Mother? I cried.
"And it's got to be good." said Eddie.
"And it's got to be a lot," said Betty.

"I've got a great idea," Lucky offered,
"you can all take a bath, before your mother sees you."

"Ugggh, take a bath. I don't know that that's such a great idea." I said.
"If Mother sees us like this," said Eddie, "she gives us a bath."
"And she'll scold us," said Betty. "She'll scrub us,
and wash behind our ears. OW!"

"You know Mother too," I said, "I say we take our own bath,
before she sees us.
"Teddy has a better idea than letting Mother do it," said Betty.
"Let's go home and sneak a bath."

"Teddy's right." buzzed Bumble.
We all agreed and went home to sneak a bath.

We crawled through the bathroom window,
and slid into a tub of warm soapy water. Sploosh! Splish! Splash!

Somehow...I suppose...we used a bit too much bubble bath soap.
Bouncing bubbles filled the bathroom.
We couldn't see each other.

After giving and taking a few awkward poking elbows I said lowly.
"Something tells me we've goofed up here."
"I'll open the window," said Eddie,
maybe some of these bubbles will float out."

Eddie climbed up on the window sill to try and slide the window up.
Betty cautioned. "Watch out for the..."
Eddie accidentally knocked a flower pot off the window sill.
It went smashing to the floor. CRASH!!!

"Never mind," said Betty with a sigh.

"Dear me," exclaimed Mother, "what was that?"
She opened the door and saw all the bubbles.
She fanned enough of them out of her face,
to see Eddie up on the window sill.
She heard splashing in the tub.

"My!" she cried, "It's nice to see that you've chosen to take a bath on your own.
I'm proud of you.
But, Eddie, why are you up on the window sill?"

Mother helped us with our baths.
While she was bathing us I told her everything that happened.
Then I asked...

"Are we in trouble, Mother?"
"You tell me," she answered, "if you think you are, tell me why.
Maybe I can help you."

"I guess you can, Mother." I replied.
"You can help me too," said Betty.
"Me three," said Eddie.

Mother started saying stuff like she always say after we've goofed up.
"You've told me the truth. Great. You were smart enough,
to try to get out of trouble on your own. Wonderful.
But you must always remember, children."

"It's better for you to let Mother know,
when you get yourselves into trouble.
That way, it is easier for her to help you get out of trouble when we all work together:
kind of like a team."

If I counted how many times Mother told us stuff like that,
I would need all of my fingers, and I'd need both my thumbs,
and I'd need your fingers too.

"We're having a party," Mother said, "All of your friends are invited.
Tell your friends that they will all get a chance to tell how they get into trouble.
And how they try to get out of trouble on their own.
And then, tell everyone what happens next."

We three all somehow asked the same question at the same time.


We all looked at each other. Then we looked at Mother.

"A party? For all our friends and us too? Really, Mother?" I asked.

"This way," said Mother, "we can learn things from each other,
that will help us all get out of trouble, together."

Mother reached out and took all three of us in her arms.
She hugged us close to her. She felt always.

"There will be a surprise for the one who can eat the most cake and ice cream."
"I can," said Betty.
"I can," said Eddie.
"I can," I said eagerly.

We'll see," said Mother. "Now.
We'll all have to chip in and clean up this mess that we've made,
before Poppa bear comes home from work. Won't We?"

"I'll help," Betty said.
"I'll help too," Eddie said.
"I'll help three," I said.

When Poppa bear came home from work our bathroom was cleaned.
Betty, Eddie, and I were clean and fluffy like huggy bears.
So Poppa bear hugged us and Mother bear in one big family hug.

At our dinner table we told Poppa bear what happened to us,
on Strawberry Hill that day.

"Sooo," said Poppa bear.
"Today your troubles were like bubbles. You popped them with ease."

Poppa bear laughed with Mother bear. We laughed too.

"Our children deserve a party, Dear," said Mother bear.
"Yes," said Poppa bear. "And they may invite all of their friends."

Everyone came.
Even Mother bear and Poppa bear.

A Furry Tale contest entry

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by helvi2 at

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