The Story Shell: A Tale of Friendship Bog

BOOK: The Story Shell: A Tale of Friendship Bog
8.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





“Another wonderful tale of adventure and friendship that young children will enjoy.” ~Book Moms






Chapter 1. Where's Leeper?

Chapter 2. Tell-tale Sand

Chapter 3. Mischief?

Chapter 4. Pink Ears

Chapter 5. The Shortcut

Chapter 6. Need a Plan

Chapter 7. Crazy Black Dog

Chapter 8. Zip

Chapter 9. Pulley Question

Chapter 10. Best Ever

Map of Friendship Bog

Frog Photos



Chapter 1
Where’s Leeper?

Four days had passed. Too many days! What could have happened to Leeper?

Maybe he’d stopped to visit their old friend.

Pibbin climbed up the side of Gaffer’s tree and knocked on the door.

Skitter opened it. The perky brown lizard held a broom in one paw, and that didn’t surprise him. She was always cleaning —except when she was making good things to eat.

He sniffed. Cookies!

“Come in, come in,” she said. “I just spilled redbugs all over the kitchen floor, and the mess is driving me crazy.”

She hurried up a steep staircase, and Pibbin hopped after her.

“It would be so nice if you could sweep up those bugs for me,” she said. “I’ve got cookies to finish.”

The whole kitchen smelled good. Trays of cookies stood on the table. Bowls of spicy spider dip, plates of mushroom chips, and three kinds of muffins waited on the counter.

The dried redbugs on the floor looked like tiny dark pebbles. Skitter handed him the broom, and he began to sweep.

“Have you seen Leeper?” he said.

He had asked her the same thing yesterday. And the day before. She didn’t seem to mind.

“No.” Skitter gave him a kind glance. “If I had a big strong friend like that, I’d miss him too.”

She mixed chopped redbugs into the cookies she was making. “Did he go over to Wild Bog to see one of his uncles?”

“Yes. Uncle Zee needed some help. I just thought he’d be done by now.”

Pibbin swept the redbugs into a pile and picked them up. They looked good, but he’d wait for the cookies.

“It’s such a long way to Wild Bog,” Skitter said. “I hope he gets back in time.”

“Is Gaffer excited about the party?”

“It’s hard to tell. He’s been quiet today. He’s working on the presents.”

In Friendship Bog, a birthday party was the time to give presents to all your friends.

Zip, the squirrel, had given jars of pine-seed butter. Uncle Hud, the jumping mouse, had given baskets made of tiny sticks and lined with soft, dried grass. Ma Chipmunk had given boxes of acorn pancake mix.

“I hope I can get everything ready in time,” Skitter said. “I’m trying out an apple-and-cheese pie for the mice.”

Pibbin saw the fried termites, and he smiled. “Looks like we’ll have plenty.”

Lots of people would come to the party. No wonder! Gaffer’s friends lived at Friendship Bog, and all along the Toop River, and far away in Wild Bog.

They liked to gaze at the beautiful story shell and listen to Gaffer. “His stories warm the heart,” they always said.

“Is Gaffer here?” Pibbin asked.

Skitter reached for a cookie sheet. “He’s up in the green room.”

Pibbin hopped up another set of stairs.

Gaffer’s rooms were stacked one above the other, all the way up the inside of the tree. It seemed just right for a treefrog’s house.

Gaffer sat in the middle of the room. All around him were piles of sticks, and frames made of sticks, and pieces of bark.

Some of the bark was brown. Some was smooth and grayish-white. Some was so dark that it looked black.

He must be giving picture frames trimmed with bark.

Pibbin liked the cedar bark best. He picked up one of the reddish-brown strips and lightly touched its pale green streaks.

“These are going to be nice,” he said.

Gaffer looked up and smiled his gentle smile. “The other day, Uncle Hud showed me a picture that his oldest boy had drawn. I thought it would look good in a frame.”

He held out a square frame that was almost ready for its bark covering.


BOOK: The Story Shell: A Tale of Friendship Bog
8.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Shake the Trees by Rod Helmers
Blood Sacraments by Todd Gregory, Todd Gregory
Sex on Tuesdays by June Whyte
The Complete Enderby by Anthony Burgess
Controlling Interest by Francesca Hawley
A Pigeon Among the Cats by Josephine Bell
Elaine Barbieri by Miranda the Warrior