This story is reflective of what many young people cope with during adolescence. This thought-provoking adventure provides focus to a serious issue in a candid, yet whimsical way. The negative effects of peer behavior become countered with authentic self esteem and empowerment to take responsibility. Readers will be drawn to root for Patrick and Allie, the Clumsy Camel to find success and happiness.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.11(d)|
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Once Upon a Daydream
The Story of Patrick and the Clumsy Camel
By Tom Farmer, Ramir Quintana
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 Tom Farmer
All rights reserved.
Once Upon a Daydream
The Story of Patrick and the Clumsy Camel
Patrick's alarm clock had gone off twenty minutes ago. He knew he'd have to rush breakfast and hurry to make it to his first class. This was becoming a pattern for Patrick. What kept him in bed was knowing he wouldn't have to pass by the schoolmates who would make fun of him and tease him about every little thing—his clothes, his backpack and the books in the backpack. It was almost something new each time they saw him. But today was Friday, and what made him very happy was knowing that tomorrow was zoo day.
Every Saturday morning, Patrick couldn't wait to go to the zoo. As he entered the gates, Mrs. Addison, the zookeeper, called out to Patrick. "Hurry," she yelled. "Look at the bears."
"Wow," said Patrick, "that bear is pushing the little cub right up the tree."
"They're brothers," Mrs. Addison pointed out, "and they help each other."
"My brother did help me over a fence once," Patrick replied. "Only, I wasn't trying to get over the fence. It was more of a push to get rid of me," Patrick said sadly. "He's so embarrassed of me," he added.
"Now how do you know that, Patrick?" Mrs. Addison asked.
"Because he says, 'You embarrass me!'" Patrick cried out. "Mrs. Addison, I sure wish I could be like you, a zookeeper. You love what you do."
"You may not believe it," Mrs. Addison said, "but I wish I could be like you. You're young and have your whole future ahead of you."
"Hey, wouldn't it be neat if we could trade places and see what it's like to be each other?" Patrick suggested.
"That would be awesome," agreed Mrs. Addison. Just then, her cell phone rang. "Patrick, I need to head over to the snake pit," Mrs. Addison said. "I'll be back in a minute."
As she left, Buddy, Patrick's big brother, and two of his skateboarding friends showed up. Patrick grabbed a book from his backpack and tried to hide behind it.
"Hey, Buddy, look what we have here. It's Poindexter, your little brother," quipped one of Buddy's friends. The boy took the book "All About Animals" from Patrick. "You read this stuff? Get a life kid."
"My name is Patrick. Please give me my book back," he growled.
"Can't you go one day without embarrassing me?" asked Buddy.
Mrs. Addison came back from the snake pit and saw Patrick being teased. She felt bad for him.
Buddy told his friends to meet him at the park, and they left. "Patrick, do you really want people to keep treating you like this?" Buddy asked. "You need to put the books down and chill out. All you do is read, spend time at the zoo, or talk to that stuffed camel you carry around. He doesn't talk back, does he?"
"No," Patrick said quickly. "Buddy, all I can be is me. I'm sorry that's not good enough for you."
"Little brother, I'm just trying to help you out," answered Buddy. "Look, I need to split. Mom, Dad, and Amy will be here after Amy's soccer game. Tell them I'll be home later."
Patrick saw his family and couldn't wait to tell them about the bears. "Mom, you should have seen the bears today. A little cub was having a hard time getting up a tree—"
Patrick's dad interrupted him. "Patrick, your little sister scored two goals today. She's leading the team again," he boasted proudly.
Amy tried to ask Patrick about the bears, but his dad kept talking. "What have you been doing all day?" his father asked. "Reading your books and watching the animals again?" His father shook his head. "I need to get home and work with Buddy on his speech. This speech could make the difference in the student body election," Mr. Walker added.
"What's his speech about?" Patrick asked.
"It's about getting involved and making a difference," his father answered, "just like I did."
"When did he write it?" asked Patrick.
"He didn't, I did. It may be my best speech ever," Mr. Walker announced. He then left to get the car.
"Mom, does that make any sense to you?" Patrick questioned. "Buddy wouldn't write a speech like that. Those are Dad's words, not Buddy's."
"Well, your father only wants the best for Buddy," Mrs. Walker explained. "He thinks this will help your brother get into a good college."
Amy came up to Patrick and said, "Tell me about the bears. I want to hear the story."
Mrs. Walker interrupted them saying she and Amy needed to get home.
"By the way, Amy, congratulations on the soccer goals. I'm proud of you," Patrick said.
"Thanks," said Amy.
Patrick went back to the bench and pulled out his stuffed camel. He looked around to make sure no one was watching and looked down at the camel and said, "You've got it made. It's tough to be a kid. My parents would love for me to score goals in soccer or make fancy speeches. But I'm just me. Do you understand? I know, you're just a stuffed animal." The little camel slipped out of his hands and fell to the ground. "Aren't you a clumsy camel?" Patrick laughed.
Patrick put the camel in the backpack. He was so tired that he closed his eyes. He listened to the wonderful sounds of the animals. It sounded magical, and Patrick felt so calm and relaxed. A cool breeze soothed across Patrick's face, almost like it was blowing away any thoughts of being teased. Usually for Patrick, when he slept, he would have bad dreams and feel very sad. But not this time, something was different. Before long, he was fast asleep with a big smile on his face.
After what seemed like a long time sleeping, a strange noise startled Patrick. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around. "Where am I?" he quietly asked. It was a beautiful meadow. He looked to the left and saw palm trees and sand. To the right, Patrick saw a forest with waterfalls. For a moment, he thought he was in a new part of the zoo.
He quickly realized this was some place very different. Patrick heard another sound and hid behind a big rock.
"Well, that was a good workout," said a strange voice.
"Yeah, I think we've got a good chance to win the event this year," announced another.
Patrick peeked out to see who was talking. He couldn't believe his eyes. He saw two raccoons, an elephant, a skunk, a kangaroo, a cheetah, a snail, and a frog wearing sunglasses.
Patrick pinched himself. Suddenly, one of the raccoons spotted him.
"Hey, who are you?" shouted a raccoon.
"Are you a spy from the other side of the Great Land?" asked the other raccoon.
"No, I'm Patrick," he said slowly.
"What's a Patrick?" asked the kangaroo.
"Patrick is my name," he replied. "I'm a boy from California."
"Where?" asked the elephant.
"California, in the United States," Patrick answered.
All the animals looked confused. Patrick shrugged and said, "It's over the hill."
"Oh," the animals exclaimed.
Excerpted from Once Upon a Daydream by Tom Farmer, Ramir Quintana. Copyright © 2013 Tom Farmer. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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