There once lived a farmer, and Boise was his name. Together, he and his wife, Alice, brought five beautiful children into this world. The family had a small farm with cows, chickens, and a few goats in the remote area of West Valley.
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There once lived a farmer, Boise was his name. Together he and his wife Alice brought five beautiful children into this world. The family had a small farm with cows, chicken, and a few goats in the remote area of West Valley.
Boise loved and enjoy caring for his animals it was his passion. Every morning he woke up very early leaving his family asleep to attend to his animals before sun rise.
Oh, the animals on the farm adored him for being such an excellent farmer to them all. He was kind and every day he made sure there was enough food and fresh water to drink. The animals on the farm worshiped Boise for being kind to them. The farm dogs who were not too friendly with the animals showed him their appreciation for his kindness.
One day Alice and the kids awakened early from sleep to find her husband missing. She felt guilty for sleeping so late in the morning, while her husband Boise woke up and left the house early every day to take care of the animals all by himself.
"Those children are so lazy." replied Alice softly to herself. They didn't like getting their hands dirty but as of today enough is enough! Boise needs our help. All they did was feed the ducks and gather the eggs from the hen house.
Alice immediately came up with a secret plan. She would rise at six every morning and start singing a special song quite loudly, a song she enjoyed very much. One by one, the kids woke up confused, with one eye half open, and the other shut tightly.
Ryan and Bryan were always the first two children out the door, singing along with their mother, "Today is the day, it's a beautiful day, it is daddy day and Mummy says, no playing today."
Margret and Elizabeth came out shortly after singing, "Today's another day. What a cloudy day! It's raining outside, and we can't play there today,
Devin soon yelled, "Tomorrow will be a windy day. I dislike it on those days, but mummy say we are needed today. La la la la, la la la la, la la la loooo."
On Elizabeth's seventh birthday her god mother gave her a duck named Stella. She was hoping to teach Elizabeth about responsibility but for some reason Elizabeth never liked the farm life. Early one morning Elizabeth woke up with tears in her eyes because she didn't want to care for Stella any longer. Elizabeth cried all the way to Devin's room early that morning and asked him if he wanted her duck, Stella.
Devin was the youngest of the five children on the farm, and loved all the animals especially the chickens. What Devin did not realize was that Stella was about to become a mommy when she came to the farm.
Oh, Stella was scared to be with a strange family and felt so lonely on the farm. It was a very hot day when Stella calmly walked to the side of the farm house and jumped into the pool. The water felt just right against her body as she cleaned her beautiful feathers on that hot day. "Oh, that feels so good." said Stella quietly.
Boise and Alice didn't care for Stella one bit but Devin had no regrets - he loved Stella unconditionally. Every morning Devin woke up at the crack of dawn to care for his feathered friend. It was his routine both before and after school.
Every day while Devin was away at school Stella was busy building her nest. She had three beautiful eggs and was about to have another. Living at this home wasn't bad at all. Stella got along well with all the animals but she was a little scared of the dogs. Sometimes they were very mean to her and she stayed out of their way when Devin was not at home to protect her. Devin sang to her every night before he went to sleep. He made sure that she was comfortable both day and night especially before he goes off to school in the morning.
One day it rained very hard and continued raining throughout the night. Stella was very cold and wet when suddenly she began shivering over her eggs. Devin once again came to her rescue and gave her a towel to dry off her feathers. He immediately found her and her eggs a dry place to rest for the night. He promised to build her a home for herself and her family. Devin was up very early that morning because he did not have school on that given day. He had enough wood and nails to make Stella a new home before her eggs hatched. It was about six thirty that afternoon when Devin called Stella to check out her new home. "Oh, Master you made me the happiest duck on earth today. How can I ever repay you for everything you have done for my family and myself Master Devin?"
"Who said that?" asked Devin as he looked from left to right with a suspicious look on his face.
"It's me, Master Devin." said Stella.
Devin dropped the hammer in his hand and ran inside. He didn't think about going outside for the rest of the night.
He went to Stella's home early the next morning but she was already standing and waiting for him at the door. "Stella, I believe I was too tired yesterday. I thought I was hearing voices, which scared me because you and I know ducks don't speak!"
How could Stella tell her master that it is possible for ducks to speak because she can talk. Stella laid quietly for a moment and decided that she must tell Master Devin the truth, keeping some secrets could be very bad.
"I must get Devin far away from the rest of the animals so I can talk to him alone," thought Stella. She walked away from her home to the other end of the farmhouse and sat in the grass for quite a long time.
Alice and the kids saw Stella but didn't pay her any attention. She had to get her master to come to her, it was the only way. Stella did not move a feather for hours until Devin came out calling her name, "Stella!" Devin yelled,
"Oh, my master, he is looking for me. I want him to come to me." Stella said softly to herself.
Devin looked in and around Stella's home but she was not there. He walked around the farmhouse and found her lying in the grass. "Oh Stella, my dear friend, what happened to you? Are you feeling well?" he asked very gently.
Devin suddenly started singing, "Today is Sunday, what a beautiful day, it is Jayden's day, please feel better I say!"
Tears were running from her eyes as Devin kept on singing, "Tomorrow is Monday, it's a working day, please say that you'll feel better, okay?" Devin sat there wondering what could be done to make his feathered friend happy again.
"My friend, are you sick?" Devin asked sadly.
"No master, I would like to speak to you alone." Stella continued quietly, "I don't want you to be afraid of me."
Devin stood up at once. "Master don't be afraid of me please. I have a special gift. I can speak." said Stella as she looked around to see if the animals did not hear what she was saying.
"Stella, you can really speak." said Devin with a broad smile that registered on his face.
"Yes sir," replied Stella, feeling a little more confident in herself.
"Please don't call me sir and master. My name is Devin. Call me by my name please." he responded gently.
"Devin are there any questions you would like to ask me or are you still afraid of me?" Stella replied with a shy look on her face.
"No, I'm not." Devin said joyfully, "But we have to keep this a secret from the rest of the other animals. I will have to let them know but not just yet. I have a funny feeling they wouldn't be too pleased." Devin said in a very soft tone.
Stella quietly walked away to tend to her eggs and made an exciting discovery. Her eggs had just finished hatching and the little ducklings were so adorable. "Oh Devin, I have five little ones!" said Stella but as she looked at them closely she said, "Oh Devin, they are so beautiful I'm very excited at this moment."
"Is there anything I can do for you?" Devin said to his friend Stella. "Yes, we'll have to name them." Stella replied.
"I love the song you sang to me. What do you think about the name Jayden and Brianna?"
"How many girls and boys do you have?" Devin asked gently.
"One girl and four boys," said the proud mother. How about the names of my brother's, Bryan, Brent and Ryan?" Devin said softly.
"I love those names! Especially Jayden and Brianna, Bree for short."
"I like all the names especially the song you sang to me, the one with Jayden. I love that name! Thank you Devin. Are you leaving so soon?" Stella said with a surprised look on her face.
"No, I'll be right back. I'm going to get you fresh water for the ducklings and something for you to nibble on," Devin said. He left in a hurry along the side of the farm house singing his special song.
Stella and all her ducklings were healthy and doing fine. Every morning Stella sang quietly to her babies. Every time Stella sang to her ducklings, it made them happy. She loved her family so much and they meant everything to her. She felt blessed because her five ducklings were all that she had.
One morning Devin fed Stella and her ducklings and left for school. A farmer and his wife came to the farm in West Valley to buy produce. Devin's father Boise believed if he sold Stella and her five duckling to the farmer Devin would pay a little more attention to his school work. That afternoon when Devin returned home from school he began singing his special song with the intention to place a smile on Stella's face. There was a quietness in the air because Stella and her five ducklings were nowhere to be found. He ran to the house after Stella couldn't be found and said to his father, "Dad I went to Stella's home but I can't seem to find her anywhere. Did anyone see her after I left for school this morning?" Devin asked with a fearful look in his eyes.
"Yes son, said Mr. Boise to his youngest child Devin. Your mother and I thought it was best to sell Stella and her ducklings this morning.
Devin was sad and speechless. He cried a lot that afternoon. Oh, how he missed his feathered friend Stella.
Devin became very quiet and withdrawn but every night before he went to bed he said a special prayer for the duck family. One day Devin came up with a plan and decided to save the money that his parents gave him as pocket change so he could visit the farmer who bought Stella and the five ducklings.
A couple of weeks went by when one bright sunny morning, one of Devin's cousin's, Peter, came to pay a visit to Boise and the family. Peter asked why Devin looked so sad and very unhappy. Boise told Peter about the farmer who visited the farm and that Stella and her five ducklings were sold in the process.
Peter asked Alice and Boise if Devin can spend the weekend with him in the city. Luckily for Devin, his parents agreed. Peter winked at Devin and it was the first time he smiled in two weeks.
Early Saturday morning Peter came and was supposed to take Devin to his home but instead they went straight to the farmer's house instead.
Devin was thrilled and excited that he was about to see Stella once again.
Peter was told by the farmer that all the animals on his farm ran away including Stella and her ducklings. The farmer said to Peter early one morning that he woke up and all the animals were gone.
There was nothing Devin nor his Cousin Peter could do for Stella. They could not help her because she could not be found.
Devin was sad and felt so helpless for the months that went by. Stella took her ducklings and ran far away from her new home. The farmer who bought Stella and her family fell very sick and was unable to care for the animals on his farm. Sometimes, she didn't have anything to eat for days. She saved the little food that she had for her family and would go hungry for days.
Stella taught her ducklings to speak, read and write. She loved playing the guitar for them. She made sure they were all educated. Stella had to save her ducklings so she took them and flew far away. She felt very tired and landed near a pond to rest when little Ryan said, "Mom, I hear a funny sound like someone is crying."
"I heard it too son," she said.
They all went for a closer look, when they saw a woman sitting and crying next to a pond. "Hello madam, is there anything I can do to help?" asked Stella in a gentle tone.
"Oh my God! I'm a very crazy old woman. Lonely and crazy," cried the old woman. The woman continued sobbing.
"Who said you were crazy?" asked Stella. "Duck, who told you it is ok for you to speak to me?" said the woman. They too, were sad and lonely without food and needed a warm place to call home. Stella began to sing, "Today is Wednesday, what a gorgeous day. It makes me want to sing and shout and sway". The woman dried her eyes and said, "I do need help, ducks are singing sweetly to me."
Stella continued singing, "Tomorrow is Thursday. My family and I are lost in this place, with that beautiful smile, say you'll show us the way."
The old woman got up and began to laugh. She said, "Lord I am dreaming or something because there's a mother duck and five ducklings singing and smiling at me. Somebody pinch me please."
Ryan flew up at the woman and pinched her using his little beak. The old woman stood up immediately and yelled, "Why would you do something like that?" Shouted the old woman.
"Because you asked," said Ryan.
The little old lady said her name was Yvonne. She became friends with the feathered family and invited them to stay with her. She said that she also had a farm and needed some help around the house. She hugged Stella and took them to their new home. Stella was pleased that her family had a warm and dry place to sleep. She was up very early that morning to make breakfast for Yvonne was very surprised to learn that Stella can also cook. She smiled brightly and said Stella, "You can cook too?" asked Yvonne. "Sure," Stella replied.
Ryan and Jayden suddenly began to sing. "Today is Friday, it's a windy day, but it Yvonne's day, and we're here to stay."
Yvonne began to sing, "Tomorrow is another day, I am thankful for Today, that my wonderful friends, are going to stay, la la la la, la la la la, la la la la la la la la."
When Devin was about ten years old he dreamt about living in the United States of America. Living on the farm was all Devin knew and he wanted to experience something different.
When he reached the age of eighteen, he went to live with his aunt who migrated to America. Devin enjoyed singing, he never forgot the song he sang for Stella and she never forgot how kind he was to her and her ducklings. She would sing the song for her family every morning and before bed time, always wondering what became of Devin.
The farm was prosperous and once more, every animal lent a helping hand.
One day a farmer came with two ducks and a rabbit for sale and asked Yvonne if she would like to have them. Stella looked at the ducks and remembered the day the farmer came and bought her and her ducklings. She was sad and Yvonne noticed. She paid the farmer for the rabbit and ducks. The farmer told Yvonne that he believed the rabbit is about to become a mother. Stella is my name and this is my family: Bryan, Ryan, Brent, Jayden and Brianna. This is our boss, Yvonne.
"My name is Cecil and this is my cousin Dorothy," said the newcomer.
"Mr. Cecil, Stella' the real boss," Yvonne said proudly. Stella and her ducklings are the ones who run the farm. Cecil worked very hard to repair and improve the farm houses. Even the bunny lent a helping hand and enjoyed every moment of it.
Dorothy enjoyed living on the farm because this was the only home she felt most wanted.
One day Stella went to the pond for a swim and she began to sing. Cecil fell in love with the song that was coming from the pond. He was working on a farm house close by. He dropped the hammer and jumped into the pond to join Stella. Together they began to sing.
"Oh, for the first time I can say I'm happy. Thanks Stella." Cecil said to her and kissed her gently on the cheeks. Stella kissed him also but on the left cheek and ran out of the pond all the way home.
"Yvonne, I'd like to speak to you immediately."
"Are you okay, Stella?"
"No. Oh yes, I mean no. Yvonne, I just kissed Cecil on the left cheek."
"Why would you do that?" asked Yvonne while smiling directly at Stella. Ryan and Bryan walked into the room they overheard their mother mention the kiss. They immediately walked out saying "mom has a boyfriend, mom has a boyfriend."
"He's not my boyfriend," Stella snapped.
"Oh yes he is, they insisted." They then began to sing, "Today is the day, what a beautiful day, our mommy say he's here to stay." Cecil went for the guitar and every one joined in. They all sang and danced the evening away. When the fun was over Cecil walked Stella to her door and told her how much he admired and cared about her. Before he wished Stella goodnight he gave her a lovely bouquet of flowers. Mr. Cecil wasted no time in asking Stella to become his bride. Soon enough they became Mr. and Mrs. Day.
Excerpted from "Stella and Friends in West Valley"
Copyright © 2017 Ferrer West.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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