The first couple of sentences just popped into my head one day when my daughter, who lived out West at the time told me, as we were talking on the phone, about the latest trouble her cat, Umpy, had gotten into. This time, she had pulled a toenail almost completely off.
The last thing I expected was to write a story about it, but words just kept popping into my head until I just had to write them down. Before I knew it, I had a whole story!
I so much enjoyed the experience that before long, I had dozens of stories! My mind just wouldn't quit! I loved reading my stories to my grandchildren and even my grown children, my husband, and a few other family members and friends. Almost everyone told me and have continued to tell me through the years that I should get them published.
I finally listened! So here are just a few of my favorites.
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And Other Tales
By Mary J. Foster, Joshua Allen
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Mary J. Foster
All rights reserved.
A Calico Cat Tale
Umpy's Toe had disappeared come one shiny day. It was not where it should be for it had gone away. "Who took your toe?" When she came in, her mother was heard to say. "Was it a mouse, a bird, a dog, or a rascal come to play?" Umpy's toe was gone alright, she sat and stared at the spot where once there had been a pretty pink toe and where there now was not. Where could her toe have possibly gone? Poor Umpy was confused. The more that Umpy thought about it the more she got the blues. Should she go and look for it? But, oh where would she start? In the backyard near the old oak tree or under the garden cart? And what if she should find it? How would she put it back? And if it didn't fit back right, would it leave a crack? Poor Umpy's mind was in a spin, she couldn't figure it out. It was enough to make her cry or just sit there and pout. But she knew that very soon some action she must take before the empty spot on her foot would really begin to ache.
An aching foot! The thought of it just about made her cry. She'd rather have a runny nose or a crusty cold in her eye. And so she jumped up on all four feet, a decision she must make but as she jumped on her four feet, she'd jumped herself awake! "Why, I've been dreaming" Umpy thought as her eyes looked down at her feet where all four paws and all sixteen toes were all there nice and neat! She checked her paws, she checked her toes, indeed they were all there! Umpy'd had an awful dream, it had given her quite a scare. No longer would she ever take her toes for granted again. Nor the paws from which they grew where her claws could hide within. As Umpy checked and rechecked to make sure she had all her parts, she was sure glad she wouldn't have to search under trees and garden carts! Umpy was a grateful cat and a happy cat, no doubt, for Umpy still had all her toes. No need to cry or pout. As she sat and washed her pretty pink feet by the window in the sunlight, she was so grateful and she was so glad that her toes were all on tight!
The Frog and the Toad
As the moon rose high in the midnight sky, the frog and the toad sat eye to eye. "I can do things that you've never seen," said the handsome frog of emerald green. "I don't believe you but try if you may" said the lumpy toad who was brownish gray, and was also quite handsome in his own "toady" way. The frog gave the toad his best level stare, as his croaky voice rose in the warm night air. "I can jump so high I can nearly touch the sky. I can see far and wide with my big bulgy eyes. I can grab a bug right out of the air. I can sneak up on you and give you a scare. I'm the best looking and that's a fact, and many lady frogs I can attract. I eat the best cause with my long tongue I can even grab a bee without getting stung. And at the end of the day when darkness comes I can sing the sweetest song that's ever been sung. You can hear my voice on the warm summer air deeply croaking to all the ladies fair. I can hang upside down by my sticky feet and I'd win the hopping race if we were to compete. I can puff my throat out bigger than you. I'd be the main attraction if I were in the zoo. When it comes to swimming I am the best, better than you and all the rest." The toad had listened to the frog without a flinch. Then he started his own spiel, he didn't budge an inch. "I can dig the best hole in which to hide with a tiny little tunnel on either side. I blend right in with the colors all around, underneath the bushes and leaves on the ground. I'm good for the garden, so humans say, keeping the bugs and the beetles away and the sweetest chord of music is mine to play. I fare better than you on a sunny day, and, for longer than you in one place I can stay. I roll better with the punches, come what may. My skin is rougher and tougher than yours which makes me better at being outdoors. I can go without water longer than you, and I look better sitting in the morning dew. And the lovely lady toads wouldn't even look at YOU."
When they'd told each other all that they could do, the frog said to the toad "I can't argue with you. For I must confess you are the best, at least at the things that toads can do." The toad himself knew that it was true, that he had to fess up and give the frog his due. He said, "You have convinced me, you do what you do best, and in the land of "frogdom" you have passed the test." As the frog and the toad parted ways on that beautiful moonlit night, they each had learned a valuable lesson, that each of them was right. That no matter what time of the year it was, whether the sun shined, it rained, or it snowed, the frog did all of his frog things best, and the toad was best at being a toad!
The Rabbit and the Cat
Bonita Bun - Bun was a rabbit. Her fur was rusty red. Her ears, they grew together straight up over her head. Her best friend was Matilda. Matilda was a cat. What was different about Matilda was she always wore a hat! They had met by chance one day out under the maple tree where it just so happened they both just happened to be. Coming from different directions, each one was unaware, caught up in their own activity, that the other one was even there. Bonita was eating around the tree where the grass grew green and high. Matilda, wearing her favorite hat, was chasing a butterfly. They bumped into each other as they came around the tree from their opposite directions, knocking each other off their feet. They looked each other over and then they laughed with glee as they stood and stared at each other under that old maple tree. Bonita brushed her ears off while Matilda adjusted her hat and, from that day, they were best friends, the rabbit and the cat. They spent lots of time together starting that very same day. They shared their lunch time and nap time and plenty of time to play.
Excerpted from Umpy's Toe by Mary J. Foster, Joshua Allen. Copyright © 2015 Mary J. Foster. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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