Bartholomews Adventure

‘Bartholomew? Is that you?’

pant pant

‘Bartholomew, its hard enough to get six babies to have a nap after Sunday School without you coming home late. This floor shook all the way through the singing. The entire ruckus has given me a headache.’

pant pant ‘When I catch my breathpant匈ll explain.’

‘Were you chased by the janitor?’

‘Mildred, hes on to us again.’

‘Well its no wonder. Your snooping around those Sunday School classes is going to get us into trouble one of these days.’

He ignored his wife and continued. ‘I got right up close to the piano. It was awesome. They were singing Jesus loves me; my favourite. I managed to sneak in behind the young ones going into class. Mildred, their new Sunday School teacher, Miss Cooper, is delightful.’

‘I thought you were going to find us some Sunday lunch, not check out the girls.’

‘I did. Anyway, I was captivated by the way she presented the Noahs Ark storypictures of the ark, birds, animals, even Noah. Young Tommy asked if there were any rats on board and everyone laughed. Miss Cooper assured Tommy that if there are rats around now; they wouldve been on the ark. She spoke with enthusiasm about our Maker and His promises. Oh Mildred, youd have loved it. It was a perfect morning.’

‘So why were you panting?’

‘I was coming to that. You see, Billy was about to leave the room with his Bible still on his chair.’

‘Again? His parents must have replaced his Bible a dozen times.’

‘I know, and I thought if I could get someones attention before they left, theyd see it and return it to him.’

‘So, what did you do, scare poor Miss Cooper half to death on her first morning?’

‘No, I simply marched over to the Bible and stood on it only I didnt see the janitor passing the door with his broom. He saw me about the same time as Billy did. Billy stood between the janitor and me so I could get away.’ He chuckled. ‘You shouldve seen me run. I slipped out the door as quick as a flash with that broom coming mighty close.’

‘OK, so wheres lunch? Maybe we can enjoy some of His gifts before the babies wake up.’

Bartholomew removed the pack from his shoulder and began to unload his findings. ‘I found a couple of potato crisps in the foyer. A gummy bear with his head removed in the cry room and a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the Sunday School Hall. All while they were busy singing themselves silly.’ He chuckled again.

‘Oh, this is great, Bartholomew. We wont go to bed hungry tonight.’

‘ILL FIND YOU, RAT!’ A voice bellowed through the walls.

Mildred began to shiver. ‘Bartholomew’

‘Mildred, take the babies through the side door to the end of the stage. Take the underground route to Uncle Moses and dont stop until you get there.’

‘Bartholomew, dont leave us. Where are you going?’

‘Its all right. Ill distract him and meet you at Uncle Mosess later. Ill be fine. GO!’

‘WHERE ARE YOU, RAT?’

Bartholomew scurried back through the hole and across the stage. His feet skidded beneath him on the varnished boards, causing him to slide sideways and crashing into a pile of electrical cables. He scanned the stage and the hall just as one of the cables hit the floor below.

‘I HAVE YOU NOW.’

As fast as his little legs could carry him, Bartholomew scampered into Miss Coopers classroom, raced past Noah and the ark and up the drapes on the other side of the room.

There he waited.

It was dark when Bartholomew reached Uncle Moses place, tired and hungry. He listened, but there was no sound. He tapped lightly before entering.

‘Bartholomew, where have you been? Ive been worried sick. The babies wore out poor Uncle Moses. Theyre all curled up with him on his bed.’

‘Im fine. I told you Id be fine. I know that place blindfolded. We can return in a few weeks once the exterminators have gone and the air is clear again.’

‘In the meantime, Bartholomew, you can help me with the babies. When we return home, I want you to take them to Sunday School, but no more adventures.’

‘All right, Mildred, no more adventures for me.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

Detective Crystals Investigation

Clutching the wooden spoon tightly and shaking it at my younger sister, I began my investigation. OK, who did it? Who licked the mixing spoon?

Not me. Madison answered, not looking up from the table.

Did too. Who else would have done it?

Did not.

Did too.

The back door closed with a thump. Mum came in with her arms loaded with towels.

All right you two, break it up.

But Mum色

Madison crossed her arms tightly. I did not lick Crystals spoon.

Did too.

Girls, thats enough!

I tossed the spoon into the sink. Mum, you promised that if I peeled the potatoes last night, I could lick the spoon when we baked the cookies this morning. It was my turn. I glared at my seven-year-old sister.

She poked her tongue out and I stomped out of the kitchen.

When I returned a few minutes later, notebook and pencil in hand, Mum and Madison were busy removing cookies from a baking tray.

OK Mum, what happened when I left the kitchen to use the bathroom?’

With an audible sigh, Mum opened the oven door and placed another tray onto the top shelf. Well, after we finished mixing the cookie dough, I went outside to bring the towels in from the clothesline. If Madison licked the spoon, I didnt see her.

Madison added a fairy-shaped cookie to a large plate and then turned toward me. I did not lick your spoon.

I noted her statement. Madison, what were you doing while Mum was outside?

Colouring in my book.

Before that, stupid.

Please Crystal. Mum intervened. You can play your detective games but please dont be rude to your sister.

Madison pushed a tiny candy bow into the icing on the top of a pink fairy before she continued with her defence.

I didnt touch the spoon. Mum said it was your turn to lick it so I went and got my colouring pencils and book from my bedroom.

Sandy, Madisons kitty brushed against my legs. Where was Sandy? I crouched down and checked the kittens paws and mouth.

She followed me outside, Mum replied, then handed Madison the container of sprinkles.

Well, it couldnt be Sandy. Madison added not looking at anyone.

I added my notes about Sandy then poked the pencil behind my ear and placed the notebook onto the table. Can I help decorate the cookies?

Wash your hands and show Madison how to use the icing gun.

Obediently but aggravated, I moved to the sink and washed my hands. I still think Madison did it. I kept my eyes on miss goody two-shoes while I turned on the tap.Little sister seems to always avoid punishment.

Did you come to any conclusions, Mum asked.

My attention remained focused on Madison. I took a small spoon from the drawer to use to fill the icing tube. Well, if it wasnt Madison or Sandy, who else could it be?

It wasnt me! Madison announced her innocence again. You always blame me.

Momentarily, I concentrated on filling the tube.

Well, Mum was saying. If you did Madison, no one would be mad at you for it. Its the lies that I dont tolerate.

Madisons lips quivered. I didnt.

A noise from the living room caused me to turn suddenly. Whats that?

Mum glanced up at the doorway as Dad entered.

Madisons frown disappeared. Daddy, youre home early.

I placed the icing gun on a clean plate. How long have you been home, Dad?

I grabbed my notepad and drew the pencil from behind my ear. I tapped my foot. Well?

Well好ice to see you too. Dad laughed.

I approached Dad and leaned forward. There on his loosened tie, was a tiny blob of chocolate. Dad you didnt. How could you?

Do what?

Mum pointed her finger. So, youre the culprit.

Dad bent down to kiss my forehead.

Da地d, your lips are sticky.

Dad just stood there and grinned. Yeah, I came in to see my beautiful girls before I put my briefcase away. No one was here so I licked the spoon. He grabbed a paper serviette and wiped his mouth. I guess you found me out.

You licked the spoon? It was my turn!

Mum came over and touched my shoulder. I think you have an apology to make, Detective Crystal.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

The Moon and His Friends

Jenny sat on her window seat staring into the night sky. Stuffed animals snuggled in round her patiently waiting for a bed time hug. The night light by the bed gave the room a soft glow and the moon lit up the window.

I wonder if there is someone on the moon, Jenny whispered into the ear of Jerry the monkey that had curled his long arms around her neck.

There was no answer of course but Jenny continued to speak softly. One day I want to fly in a rocket ship and visit the moon. He looks so lonely way up there. Her voice faded and her eyelids drooped.

Will you take me with you?

Who said that?

Me!

Jenny turned to see all the animals smiling at her.

Which one of you can talk?

All of us, they said in unison.

But youre not real!

Yes, we are. Jerry loosened his hold and slid to her lap. Why do you think the moon is lonely?

Jenny blinked rapidly before answering. Well, look at him. He just hangs there all night every night. I never see anyone out there with him.

Just like us. He nodded to his friends who quickly nodded back.

Betsy the cow mooed loudly. We sit and watch the moon all night every night.

Why?, Jenny wanted to know.

Jerry answered. Because you only take one of us to bed.

But theres no room for all of you. I dont want anyone to fall out while Im sleeping.

Oh, its OK really, Marty the rhino replied. We like watching the moon too. Were his friends.

They were all watching the moon when Jenny heard another voice.

Its time you were in bed.

Can I take my toys?

Mum kissed Jennys forehead. Not all of them. The moon needs his friends.

Jenny smiled but didnt open her eyes as her mum place her in her bed and left the room.

Good night Mum. Good night moon.

And the animals on the window seat just watched the moon.

穢 Chrissy Siggee – 2019

Archived in: Children’s Corner

Fields of Laughter

The sun was warm on the sombre faces of ten-year-old twins, Holly and Steve. Their legs swung carelessly over the edge of the old rustic fence. Aunt Mary shuffled past with her black veil held tightly against her chin, barely noticing the children.

Steves voice was solemn and quiet. ‘Holly, do you remember last summer when Grandpa fell into the river trying to reel in that big trout?’

Holly laughed unexpectedly. ‘Yes, my sides hurt from laughing while he was explaining to Mother how he got so wet.’

Uncle Peter hurried past with his weeping wife and two protesting young children tagging along behind. He glared at Holly and shook his head in disgust before hurrying up the drive. Steve and Holly tried to stifle their giggles as they watched the small family group approach the house.

Holly laughed again as she remembered. ‘We never did get to eat fish for tea that night.’

‘Hello Holly. Hello Steve.’

The twins smiled and waved back to their cousin Gerald. His father grumbled and prodded Gerald in the direction of the house.

Quite a few relatives lived nearby and sometimes they walked the short distances between the farms and their community church but visits werent common. They were all busy with their own lives, their own farms.

Holly frowned. ‘Do you think Grandpa ever found out I was the one who hid his tobacco?’

Steve grinned at his sister. ‘Probably, he always said he had eyes in the back of his head.’ He threw his head back and snorted, almost losing his balance in the process and sending them both into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Mr Snyder, the owner of the farm that adjoined theirs, drove his rattling pickup truck in the direction of the open gate and stopped almost directly in front of Steve. ‘You children should have more respect for the dead. For pity sake, I can hear you from my front door.’ With that, he accelerated toward the grass area where other vehicles were parked haphazardly under trees.

The twins were silent for a few moments before Steve spoke again. ‘I dont think Grandpa ever liked Mr Snyder.’

Holly smiled, trying to smother another giggle. ‘Remember when Mr Snyder let our cows out of the back field and Grandpa chased him with his shot gun?’

‘Yes, that was funny, especially since Grandpa had forgotten to buckle his trouser belt before leaving the outhouse.’

The twins were continuing their banter when they noticed their father strolling up from the barn toward them. Work still needed to be done, even if Grandpas funeral had been held earlier that morning.

‘Hey you two. Whats the joke?’

‘Holly and I were talking about Grandpa. Sorry Dad.’

‘Dad, why is everyone mad at us?’ Holly asked sadly.

‘Because, my sweet child, no one knew Grandpa like you both did…and like I did, for that matter. Even your mother could tell you a story or two.’ He leaned up against the fence between the twins and nodded in the direction of the house. ‘Not one of these guests will miss Grandpa after today.’

‘They didnt really know him.’ Steve said this more as a statement than a question.

‘No Son, they didnt.’

‘Thats sad’, Holly concluded.

Their father looked up and scanned the fields.

The children turned their heads to follow his gaze.

‘I remember when I was about your age,’ he began. ‘Your Grandpa worked the farm completely on his own. One day, Mr Snyder let his cows into our corn field. Your grandfather decided from that day on, he would get revenge. It was never anything serious. They both got over it soon enough. Grandpas funny antics were really something to witness.’ He finished with a short, choked laugh and wiped his hand across his eyes.

Holly and Steve jumped down from the fence and walked hand-in-hand with their father back through the gate. The trio didnt enter the house full of mourners. Instead, they headed for the corn field which was now ready for harvest, and then on to the fields beyond. Their laughter echoed across the farm.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

Abigails Special Birthday Gift

Abigail Hyatt was almost seven and her daddy let her choose where to have her birthday party. It had been a sad winter and a party was a good idea.

‘Can we have it at the park?’ Abigail asked.

‘Which park, Abigail?’

‘The big one, the one Mummy loved. You know… the one where we threw the rose petals after her funeral.’

‘If thats where you want it, then thats where we will have it.’ He kissed the tip of her nose.

Abigail smiled. ‘Ill help with the invitations but we have to invite Grandpa and Grandma Lawson. Do you think theyll come, Daddy?’

‘You can ask them. They would like that.’

Her smile faded. I wish they didnt live so far away. Do you think Grandpa and Grandma miss Mummy too?

‘Im sure they do. I would miss you, my darling daughter, if you had died. Now, lets not be sad. Mummy would want us to enjoy your party.’

‘I want to wear the party dress Mummy bought me last year.’

‘Abigail, honey, I dont think it will fit. You have grown so tall. Why dont we go to the mall tomorrow after school and see what we can find?’

‘Okay Daddy.’

Finally, the party day arrived. It was a sunny day and the park had lots of spring flowers growing in the gardens. Abigail could see her grandparents at the end of the short path that led to the playground. They were tying balloons on swings and trees. There were two picnic tables. One had lots of party food on it and the other held a huge birthday cake with pink icing.

‘Grandma! Grandpa!’ Abigail called and ran to meet them.

‘Abigail! You look so grown up and your party dress is so pretty,’ Grandma said, smiling.

‘Its Mummys favourite colour. Do you think shed like it?’

‘I think its perfect, Grandpa said.’

‘Abigail.’ Daddy spoke quietly. Your friends have arrived.’

She looked up at her father to ask him to greet them for her, but he was wiping something out of his eye. Grandma hugged Abigail. Abigail knew Grandma was crying too so she hugged her as well. ‘Oh Grandma, I miss Mummy soooo much, but she would want us to enjoy the party.’

Grandpa hugged them both. ‘Yes, she would. Now go and meet your friends and enjoy the afternoon.’

Abigail greeted her friends and opened her presents. A clown skipped into the playground, making the children laugh. He twisted balloons to form the shape of little animals, stood on his hands and spun hoops on his feet. Abigail thought it was the best party ever.

Abigail was too excited to go to bed that night. After her bath, she dressed in her new summer night gown, and sat on Grandpas knee while he read her favourite story. She knew it almost by heart because her mummy had always read it before she went to sleepsometimes twice.

Daddy entered the room carrying a glass of milk. Grandma and Grandpa Lawson want to talk to you.’

Abigail felt suddenly afraid. Daddy had said something like that when Mummy got sick. She remembered that Mummy was crying and Daddy told her they would be okay. Abigail climbed off her grandpas knee and went to her daddy.

‘Its all right. Grandma smiled at her. Everything is OK.’

‘You see, Daddy said, lifting Abigail onto his knee. We all miss Mummy very much and…’

‘What your daddy is trying to say, is that we miss your mummy, too. Grandma added. But we also miss you and your daddy.’

Grandpa sat on the floor in front of Daddy and Abigail reached down to hug his neck.

Grandpa took a deep breath. ‘Grandma and I want to move in with you and Daddy, at least until we get a house close by. Your daddy and I talked about it a lot and we think your mummy would like it. What do you think?’

‘This is the best birthday gift ever! Can they live with us, Daddy please?’

‘Abigail, this is your birthday gift. Its up to you.’ Daddy was laughing now. He hadnt laughed for a long time.

She jumped off her fathers knee and hugged her grandpa and her grandma. ‘Please come and stay Ill even let you call me Abby. Mummy always called me Abby.’

Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Childrens Corner

Haunting Wails and the Seashell

Multi-coloured seashells lined the shelf in Sophies spare room. They had always fascinated her nine-year-old granddaughter, Emma. Each shell had its own special story. Today, Emma had asked to hear about the big shiny spotted one, which twisted and curled to a little holey point.

Emma carefully lifted the shell from the shelf and sat on the bed as Sophie entered from the kitchen, wiping her wet hands on her apron. She smiled down at her granddaughter holding the shell gently in her lap. I suppose you want to know about this very special seashell.

Where did you find it, Nanna? Its so pretty.

It is prettyas pretty as the beach I found it on. But this shell has a sad story to tell. The memory will live forever in here. Sophie placed her hand over her heart before continuing.

Poppa and I were visiting a place far from here on the west coast for a holiday back in 1992. It was our holiday of a lifetimejust after your mother finished college. It was a summer. We were staying at a resort village and Poppa and I spent the evenings walking along the cooling sand. On the third evening there was a full moon and we were about to head back up the beach to our bungalow when we heard a pitiful moaning. It seemed like it was coming from the ocean. The sound lingered like a haunting wail that echoed. I have to admit, I was afraid. Im not one to believe in ghosts, but that night I would have believed anything.

Oh, Nanna, that must have been soooo scary. What did you and Poppa do? What was it?

Sophie traced the contour of the twisted shell to the point, holding her finger in mid-air for a moment before continuing. Well at first we just stood there trying to work out what it was. Some of the resort staff came running down onto the beach yelling, Save them! Save them! It was then that we realized there were black mounds rolling in the surf. They looked like huge boulders. Some were closer to us on the wet sand; water lapping around them from the incoming tide. Some of the people started running into the waves. Poppa grabbed my hand. The boulders were actually whales. Some had already beached themselvesothers splashed about a little offshore where waves crashed around them.

Tears ran down her cheeks as she recalled the events. People were trying to persuade them back by yelling at them. Others just stood, staring, as one by one they beached themselves. It was an awful sight.

Did they go back into the water? Emma asked, her eyes reflecting her anguish.

Unfortunately, most of them didnt. I guess its part of nature. We never did find out why those whales beached themselves. We tried to help by keeping the whales wet. We even tried to encourage them back into the water. Sophie shook her head. Four days later the beach was covered in dead and dying whalesfifteen in all. I remember I sat in the shallow water beside a mother and her calf and wept for them. Poppa and I took turns taking short naps and taking time out for meals provided by the resorts kitchen. We continued our vigil for four daysthe remainder of our holiday. Weve always considered it a small sacrifice. We managed to get three whales back out into deeper wateronly three, but we were relieved we were able to help in a small way.

Oh, Nanna, this is the saddest story of all. But, where did you find the shell?

Sophie picked up the shell and blew into the small hole at the point. It made a howling sound, like the wind. She handed it back to Emma so she could have a blow, and continued her story.

About mid-morning on the last day, men with hoists came and loaded the dead whales onto the back of trucks to take them awayfor burial. I suppose we were too exhausted to ask where. When they lifted the calf beside me, I noticed something lodged in the wet sand. Poppa used his hands to dig it out and held it up to look at it more closely. One of the helpers from the night before took it from Poppas hands and washed it in the seawater. He lifted it to his lips and blew it, long and loud. It sounded almost like the mournful cry we had heard the evening before. The man handed it to me and walked away, back up the beach to the resort where he worked. Ill never forget those whalesor the beach.

Emma blew into the shell. The haunting wail lingered like the memories on the shelf. Sophie sat beside her in silence for a few minutes. Emma traced her finger around the shell before placing it into Sophies hand. She too, traced her finger to the point then placed it back in its place on the shelf.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

My Granddaughters Fairy Train – Update

Update: July 13th 2019.

More fairies have moved in and a few homeless elves took refuge in the garden over the past few months. We’ll be replacing some of the annual herbs soon and the paint work will need a touch-up but overall it’s growing well.

September 29th 2018

I have been working with my five-year-old granddaughter Amelia for the past few months to create this fairy train for her and her baby sister, Ellora. It’s finally finished.It won’t be long until they are well supplied with strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and…of course fairies.