Where did all the unicorns go?

An oldie to celebrate #starbucks #unicorn frappucino!

Where did they go?  Are they like the dinosaurs and just became extinct over time?  Well, I am about to answer that age old question for you.

This is the story of Eunice the Unicorn.  It is a sad tale, and you might shed a tear or two for poor Eunice, so have you handkerchief ready.

Eunice was a sweet unicorn but a little shy.  Her friends were always trying to get her to go out more.  They finally decided to set Eunice up on a date.  Oh no!  It wasn’t like she had never been on a date before.  She knew how awkward those dates could be.  Eunice’s best friend had set her up before as a fourth to their third wheel, it was only with the best intentions of course.

How bad could it be, you ask?  Oh, it could be bad.  Let’s start out with her date’s name, Varmit.  Varmit!  What kind of name was that for a unicorn?  Then the got separated from the other couple.  Wait.  This was supposed to be a double date, what happened?  Varmit was not the Romeo she hoped for, and luckily that evening ended early, very early.

It took a lot of convincing for her to agree to repeat that embarrassing fiasco.  But they finally wore her down and she agreed to give it one more try.

Eunice was to meet him at this new place called The Ark.  It was ‘the’ place to be seen and that was the main reason she agreed to be set up again.  You see, she heard that only couples were allowed into The Ark.  No singles were allowed entrance.  So, desperate times called for desperate measures.

The night of the big date arrived and Eunice’s stomach filled with butterflies.  She took extra care to brush her mane out until it shone.  Her hooves were painted a demure pink, and her horn was polished to a fine sheen.  She arrived at The Ark and stood patiently by the entrance ramp watching all the other couples go on board.

An awkward 30 minutes passed by as Eunice nodded to the horses, mules and other couples as they went by.  Smiling nervously, she kept peering around to see if she could spot her date over the large crowd.

Noah, the owner of The Ark, came out and shouted All Aboard.  “All aboard?  Wait, my date isn’t here yet!  Oh no, what do I do now?” Eunice thought in a panic.

As Noah slowly pulled up the ramp, a fine rain began to fall.  Eunice the Unicorn stood there as the rain grew heavier.  Her mascara ran down her face and her mane hung limply. Boy, this was the definitely the last time she would agree to go on a blind date!

A Walk at the Cave

Late afternoon sunlight dances across your face as you step down the winding trail

The rich, earthy smell of mud drying in the shallow pools of the lake compete with the scent of blooming wildflowers

You hear the faint hum of insects and occasionally catch a fleeting glimpse as they fly by

Turtles lined up so tightly on a fallen log that you are unsure of where one ends and one begins

As the sun warms them, they drop off into the lake with a soft plop to cool off, the next one taking his place in a seamless ritual

Runners as they pass, their shallow breathing and slap of their feet beating out a steady rhythm

A small, green snake lies stretched out on the path, confident in its supremacy, showing no notice of your startled gasp

Ducks take flight with a loud squawk, followed by a soft swoosh as they stretch their legs to meet the water once again

Determined plants finding the one place on a rock wall on which to grow and thrive

Small rivulets of water work their way down that rock face, wearing creases over time

A welcome coolness brushes against your skin as you approach the cave entrance, drawing you even closer

Deeper along the path, sunlight sparkles thru the trees and the lake appears to have diamonds scattered along its surface

A heron moves with the grace of a ballet dancer, feathers of azures and teals blend together as he bends

Dragonflies with iridescent wings perch delicately, oblivious to the swaying of the leaves

Baby ducks swim behind their mama, like a small army of soldiers following their leader

Swallows’ nests tucked up high in the rafters, their flights a delicate balance as they feed their young

The white clapboard visitor center gives you a glimpse into the cave’s varied history, snapshots of time long gone

A calmness soothes your spirit as you are able to appreciate the simple beauty of God’s design and marvel at its intricacies

Kimberly Caldwell

 

Little Red Riding Hood or how I tried to help out Grandma

Hi, it’s me again, Fred.  What, you don’t know anyone by that name?  How about Frederick Von Wolfhausen III?  No?  Well, okay, maybe you will recognize me by this horrible nickname:  The Big Bad Wolf.  Oh, so that one you know?  I really don’t like that name, it hurts my feelings.  I have been trying very hard to change everyone’s opinions of me and having to use that name doesn’t help at all.

It is all those awful little pigs’ fault.  Blow down a couple of houses that were only held together with sticks and straws and I’m the bad guy.  Does anyone ever mention how poorly those houses were constructed?  No?  I didn’t thinks so.  I bet just knocking on their front doors probably would have been enough to topple them over.  But that is a story for another day.

I have spent the past year trying to prove that I am not that guy.  I am not ‘big and bad’.  I am really soft, fluffy and friendly, actually the nicest wolf you could ever hope to meet.  At least that is what my Mums and Pops tell me.

I have been very busy doing good deeds around the forest, trying to prove how kind I really am.  I rescue little animals that get trapped in the thickets.  I work hard to free them, but then what happens?  The minute they are loose, they run away screaming “it’s the big, bad wolf!”  Why would they do that?  Didn’t I just rescue them?

I pick up baby birds and put them back in their nest too.  But then their mom chases me away like I had plans to eat them for my next meal or something.  It’s just not fair.  I only want to be friends.

And yesterday, this happens.  I was walking through the woods, minding my own business, when I saw Grandma Gertie working in her garden.  I went over to say hi and to see if she would like some help.  What do you think happened when she realized it was me?  She jumped up, pretty fast for a grandma by the way, and ran screaming into the woods yelling “the wolf, the wolf, the big, bad wolf!”  “I just wanted to help you”, I yelled after her.  So, with nothing else to do, I kneeled down and began pulling up weeds from the garden.  Her garden looked pretty pitiful and it seemed like the least I could do.

After a few minutes, I began to hear whistling off in the distance.  Yay, Grandma must have calmed down and decided to come back.  In desperation, I wondered if maybe Grandma saw me dressed like she was, then she wouldn’t be scared.  So I grabbed some clothes off the clothesline and changed into them.  I put on an old gown and slipped a lace cap on my head to cover up my ears.  Now, I that I look more like her, I bet she will seee me as a friend.

grandma-wolf (dragged)

As the whistling grew closer, I saw that it wasn’t Grandma after all.  It was a little girl in a red cape and hood.  She was skipping toward the garden carrying a picnic basket.  Oh boy, a picnic.  I love picnics.  They are so much fun!  Lemonade, sandwiches, cupcakes, oh my!

When the little girl came close enough to see me, I noticed she was squinting.  Oh, maybe she lost her glasses.  This may be my chance to help her and she can tell everyone how kind and helpful I really am.  As the little girl skipped even closer, she tripped over a rock on the path.  She reached out to grab me to stop her fall, but she accidentally stuck her hand right in my mouth, gross!  But being the polite wolf that I am, I didn’t say anything.  “What big teeth you have,” she said.  (How rude I thought, but did I say that?  No.)

“Umm, the better to eat that picnic with”, I replied.  I never, ever said the better to eat you with, I promise!

After wiping her hand on her skirt, she reached down into the picnic basket.  I thought she was bringing out the cupcakes, but no, she pulls out her glasses.  As her vision focused, her eyes widened and she let out a ear splitting scream.  The basket fell to the ground as she ran screaming off into the woods.  What just happened?

Not knowing what else to do, I sat down and looked in the picnic basket.  Hey, she left it sitting there and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  But please don’t tell my Mums, she gets upset if I eat too many sweets.

By the time I got back home, the story was already being told that ‘the big, bad wolf’ had scared Grandma Gertie away and then had tried to eat Little Red Riding Hood.  Why would she say such things?  I don’t eat pigs and I don’t eat people.  I like cake, birthday cake to be precise.  And maybe ice cream too.  But people, yuck!

So now I am asking for your help.  Please help me spread the word about what really happened.  And if you are ever out this way would you mind bringing me some birthday cake?  I have a feeling I won’t be getting invited to too many parties anymore.

The Big Bad Wolf & the Three Little Pigs

I know, I don’t like that name either.  It just makes me so angry.  There is absolutely nothing ‘little’ about those three pigs!  No, I know, it’s that ‘Big Bad Wolf’ name that gets everyone so upset.  I am trying to get a retraction or a re-write, but so far no luck.  Maybe if you hear my side of the story, you might help me get the word out to everyone else?

You see, my name is actually Frederick Von Wolfhausen III, but my friends just call me Fred.  Though after those silly pigs get through telling their story, I may not have any friends left!

The Big Bad Wolf & The 3 Little Pigs picture

I grew up an only child to Martha Louise and Frederick Von Wolfhausen II.  So although I was spoiled terribly, I would get so lonely at times.  It’s hard to get a lot of wolves together for anything.  A wolf pack is all fun and games until someone steps on a tail, and then the fights begin.  Eventually, Mums and Pops had enough and moved us out to the country.  That way we could avoid most of the wolf pack meet ups.  So there I was, stuck out in the country with no friends nearby.

Until one fall day, while out skipping stones in the creek, I heard splashing and laughter coming from around the curve.  What do you think I saw splashing around there?  Yes, two not-so-little pigs.  They were playing tag in the water, yelling ‘you’re it’, then swimming away.  What fun!  I stood nearby on the bank and waited for them to catch their breath, before clearing my throat.  They turned slowly toward me, then looked back at each other and winked.  I didn’t know then how much that wink would cost me.

“Come on in and play” the biggest pig offered.  “Tag is always more fun with three.”

Oh, joy, they want me to play?  You bet!  I jumped right in the water and we laughed and played until the sun began to set.  The two pigs, Percival and Phineas, invited me back again tomorrow to play.  So for the next few months, we met at the creek and played.  It was wonderful to finally have friends nearby again.

As the days grew cooler, Percival and Phineas would often talk about how much they dreaded the winter.   It seems they had put up their houses rather quickly, using straw and sticks, and the wind seemed to blow right through the walls.  It sounded terrible to me.  But when I asked them why they didn’t fix them, they laughed and said they had rather play and have fun.  They would worry about the cold later.  I was secretly very glad that Pops had made sure our house was nice and cozy, and I didn’t have to worry.

One cold day near the end of November, the pigs asked me to come over to their houses and play.  Mums said it was okay as long as I was home before sunset, so off I went.  I have to say, their houses looked so rickety that I was afraid to even go inside either one.

Phineas said he had a new game for us to play.  We were going to take turns to see who could blow the most leaves off their roofs.  That sounded harmless enough, since I wouldn’t have to go inside at all, so I agreed.  Percival set up a ladder in front of his house, climbed up, took a deep breath and blew.  Three leaves fell to the ground.  Phineas was next.  He only managed to blow off two.  I was going to win this game hands down!  I didn’t really need to stand on the ladder, but they insisted.  Once I was up there, I drew in my breath and prepared to show them how it was done.  But just as I blew out, those mischievous pigs rocked the ladder and I fell right off onto the roof!  As I tried to sit up, the roof began to shake and suddenly I was sitting in the kitchen.  I was horrified.  What do I do now?

Percival just laughed and said he would fix his roof tomorrow and moved the ladder over to Phineas’s house.  They each blew off a couple of leaves, then said it was my turn.  Well, no ladder for me this time!  I stood on my tiptoes and blew as hard as I could and the whole straw roof blew off.  I don’t think it was held down very well at all.  Once the roof was gone, the walls caved in.  How awful!  Did anyone else see that coming?  I sure didn’t.

Before I could apologize, Percival and Phineas began screaming at the top of their lungs.  They ran over to a nearby brick house and started banging on the door.  “Let us in, Brother.  A Big Bad Wolf has huffed and puffed and blown both our houses down.  We will surely be eaten if you don’t let us in!”  The door was jerked open by a very large angry pig.  “Pomeroy, Pomeroy, as our older brother you have to protect us.”

Pomeroy motioned them in, then glared at me while slamming the door.  I ran over and politely knocked.  “Oh, Percival, Phineas, please explain to your dear brother that we were only playing a game.  I would never knock over your houses on purpose.  And what is that you said about getting eaten?  That is ridiculous.  My Mums always has dinner ready for me promptly at six o’clock every night.  I couldn’t dare eat now.”

No one answered, so I went around to the back door and tried knocking again.  They ignored me, so I went around to a window.  I had to yell to be heard through the window, but I had to explain.  As Pomeroy walked over to pull the curtain closed, I saw Percival and Phineas pointing and laughing at me.  Their brother yelled at me to go away and never come back.  At this, those tow awful pigs stuck their tongues out at me and turned around to sit by the fire.

I waited around until sunset, hoping they would come back out, but at last I gave up and headed home.  I was crying when I walked in our door and Mums and Pops rushed over to find out what was wrong.  Mums sat me down, brought me a hot cocoa and asked me to tell them everything.  After I finished, Pops banged his fist on the table in frustration.  “Those sneaky pigs were not very good friends Fred.  I think they came up with a plan to spend this winter in their brother’s warm, cozy house and used you to accomplish it.  I’m sure their brother didn’t want them to stay with him because they were lazy.  Their plan got them sympathy and a warm home.  I don’t ever want you to hang around with that group of pigs again.  They are no good.”

After a few days, I ventured into town with Mums.  All afternoon, we heard murmurs of “There he is.  That’s the Big Bad Wolf that blew down poor Percival and Phineas’s homes.  You know they have to live with their brother, Pomeroy, now.”  People even crossed the street to avoid speaking to us.  It was terrible.

Mums took my hand and we quickly headed home.  But not before she looked those people right in the eye and said “His name is Fred, and those horrible, lazy pigs wanted their houses blown down.  Fred was framed and one day you will realize it for yourselves!”

My Mums is my biggest fan, and my bestest friend!

 

A New Kind of Mother’s Day

Your Mother’s Day takes on different looks as your kids grow up.

The first ones—all glowing because they are so little and your day is filled with cuddles and kisses.

A few more years go by—the handmade cards or a handful of flowers picked from your yard.

A few more years—maybe they’ll fix you breakfast and then leave the kitchen a mess,

High School—treat you to lunch and pay for it with the money from their first job (or they’ll leave the tip while you pick up the check).

College—a phone call or maybe the first card they picked out by themselves just for you.

But this year, I am finding out what it means to be the mom to two grown men and I have to say, I am loving it!  No, I won’t be able to actually be with them on my day, but you know I realized something this year-it is just a day out of the year and any day can be Mother’s Day when you get to spend time with your kids.

Already this year I got to spend a week at my oldest son’s home in NC.  He had picked out places for us to go where I could take pictures to my heart’s content.  He even met me at the airport with a sign that said ‘cool mom’ just because I had always wanted someone to be waiting for me when I got off a plane with a sign and my name on it!  We took his dogs to the beach and walked them around Carolina Beach State Park.  He didn’t mind driving me all over town, stopping the car so I could get a good picture, or even circling the block a couple of time so I could get just the right angle.   And for the first time in a long time, we just took time to hang out, sit around and talk.  No rushing around, no schedules, no agendas.  I enjoyed getting to know my son as the grown man he has become.  And I am so proud and humbled by the man he is today.

This past weekend, I got to hang out with my youngest son and his new wife.  They came down to spend the day with me for an early Mother’s Day as they’ll be busy moving the next few weeks.  They forgot my present, (2nd year in a row i might add), and I am beginning to think it is now hanging on the wall of their apartment!  They apologized again and again but what they gave me this weekend was more precious than any present they could ever buy in a store.  They gave me hours of just us three sitting around, no TV, no distractions, just sitting around the den, talking, laughing, looking at pictures, and connecting.  They are so busy starting out in their new lives, that uninterrupted time to just talk is almost non-existent.  But that day, we discussed childhoods, family, dreams, religion, trips, moving, you name it-we discussed it-and I couldn’t have been happier.  Not only did I get to see how they are learning to interact as an old married couple, but I was able to connect to them as a couple.  I know, sounds silly, but it is hard to go from seeing your son as a little boy, now turned into a grown man with a wife.  But that day I was able to relax and get to know my new daughter better.  I love how she makes my son a better man and how she welcomes me to be a part of their family.  I love how she feels at home here.

I will always love my boys, but I also like the grown men they have become.

So no, I won’t be able to spend the official day set aside to honor us moms actually being with either of my kids, but what I’ve learned is that you have to change and adapt.  You have to grow up as they do.  You have to learn to respect that they have their own lives now.  Just as past Mother’s Days changed as they grew up, you have to change too.

Any day you spend with your kids is a Mother’s Day.  Every day is special and should be treasured.  As they grow up, we may feel less important, but that’s not true.  You are the person who is always in their corner, who is there when they need a shoulder to cry on or the encouragement to keep trying.  You are the representation of home, no matter where you may be.  You are the one who has loved them at their worst and loved them at their best.  You are their mom, and while it is only 3 little letters-it represents so much more.

Happy Mother’s Day to us all-every day of our lives.

None of the candidates won?

This was our writer’s prompt for tonight, it was such fun I just wanted to share!

None of the presidential candidates won the election.  

Everyone sat in stunned silence as the final count was read.  Hillary stood up, grabbed Bill’s arm and stomped out of the room.  Donald flipped his comb over out of his eyes, screamed ‘you are all fired’ and huffed out.

The only one left on the podium was Elmer Fudd.  As the flashes went off, he slowly rose to his feet.

He stood at the podium, waved his hand at the audience and said “Th-th-that’s all folks” and left the stage.

elmer