The J Story

It was time for a friendly competition of playground games. They called it a playground playoff

for prizes. Jenny chose Jessica and Jill chose Jayla for their teammates. They decided to have it

at The Johnson Park Playground on the first weekend in June. They would compete in jump

rope, jacks and jumpsie. The jump rope would be single, double dutch, and music jam. The

snacks would be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, jam cookies with seven jugs of juice. They

would wear jeans and green tee-shirts with yellow jello tennis shoes. They would jump for

jacks, jewelry, and jigsaw puzzles. They even would compete with their jump rope rhymes!

Jerrie and Jan would be the judges of the games.

Jayla said,”I’ll make the flyers and Jill, you can help post them.”

Soon flyers were hung, prizes packed, music selected, sandwiches made and shopping was


The first weekend of June had finally arrived. The weather was sunny, warm and bright. The

Johnson Park Playground was packed! The whole neighborhood was there to see the jump

rope playoff. The judges, Jerrie and Jan, were sitting at their table. Juno, Jenny’s older sister,

used her old cheerleading megaphone to announce the start of the playoff games. The single

jump was the first competition with Jenny, Jill, Jessica and Jayla. Jenny won first place for

jumping rope five minutes without stopping, Jayla won second place and Jessica won third. The

girls won jewelry and jawbreakers as prizes.

Everyone took a break and had peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, strawberry jam

cookies, with jackfruit and juice. They chatted and rested under the trees for awhile then the

games began again. This time Juno announced the start of the double dutch playoffs. Juno

started the music on the jam box, the neighbors clapped to the beat, and the girls started to

jump to their rhymes.

……”jump so high you can reach the jet passing by”….

….”jump so fast, you pass the jeep on the 57th street overpass”…

They rotated the jumpers until all were through. Then the judges decided that Jill’s team had

won the match.

“Yeah! That’s how we do it!”, yelled Jill.

“Last but not least, will be the jumpsie playoffs!”, announced Juno.

All the neighbors gathered around to see which girl would win the jumpsie playoff.

Someone turned on the boom box and played an old familiar song with a loud beat. Each girl

went far with jumpsie, but it was Jayla who won when she used some of her gymnastic moves.

All the neighbors clapped and cheered.

Juno announced the end of the competition and the crowd cheered the winners.

The neighbors lifted the girls above their heads and carried them down the streets, home

yelling, “Hip Hip Hooray! What a wonderful way to end the day!”



Noodle Oodle Poodle


Noodle Oodle was a big blond poodle with fur that was so curly, it looked like her favorite

 food, noodles.

Her fur curls with glee when she eats macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, ziti

and tomato sauce, fettuccine, and alfredo, linguine and marinara, vermicelli and ragu,

bowtie and chili, fusilli and regatta, but not in one sitting.

She forgot she’s French and has moved to Italy.  

She dreams of chefs in her sleep, like Giada de Laurentiis, Gino D’Acampo, Michael

Chiarello and of course, Chef Boyardee all preparing her pasta the best way they can be.

The hot oozing sauces dripping over the al dent pasta. A trip to Florence, Venice, Sicily or

Rome to dine on oodles of noodles is a bucket list delight!

Noodle Oodle Poodle is the canine queen of the noodles.


The L Story

Last lunar month, Leki Lemur and Lacy Ladybug finished their last long lab lesson and

decided to plan a large lawn lunch at the sandy lagoon to celebrate learning their last laws

of science.

“Let’s send invitations by lighted letters to our classmates and friends. The lunch menu

will have lettuce, leaves, leeks, lobster, lasagna, liver, ling, lotus root, links, lemonade and

lime and lemon drop ice cream topped with licorice lollipops.”, said Lacy Ladybug.

“We’ll have Lyn Lamb the master chef cater the whole lunch.”, said Leki Lemur.

“I’ll ask the Leaping Loud Laughing Lamp Leg Llama Rock Band to provide some music for

the lunch.”, said Lacy. “This will be easy to plan and it will not take long!”

The last day of the lunar month came lickety split!

Everyone left the lab and headed to the sandy lagoon for the last laws of science


The Leaping Loud Laughing Lamp Leg Llama Rock Band played and sang at the top of their

lungs and Larry Lizard leaped and danced shaking all four legs. Leki Lemur liked the lunch

so much, that he ran a lap and lost his lime green lid somewhere on the lawn. Lacy

Ladybug led the lightening bugs to the lip of the lawn lamp with the Left Lyra Land dance.

Happy the laughing hyena was the last to leave the lunch after she climbed the long link

ladder that led to the bottom of the tall live oak tree and looked into the dark log that led

to the home of Lisa the leery lemming. Last but not least, everyone helped lock the leaky

laboratory for the long summer.

I bet you can’t wait to have a school year end like that!

The M Story

“Good morning Mac! What are you doing today?”, asked Mike Mouse and Marsha Monkey.

“ I’m packing for my vacation to the moon.”, said Mac  Moose.

“ Mind if we come along?”, Mike and Marsha asked.

“Sure you can! Just help me plan and pack for the trip! We will be staying for a month!”,

said Mac.

“First we will pack our food. We will need milk, melons, muffins, mushrooms, muenster

cheese, mangoes, macadamia nuts and maple syrup for our menu. Are we taking the

mirror stove and microwave?”, said Mike.

“Yes, we will!”, said Mac.

“Next we will need our supplies for our trip. We will need masks and mittens for our

moonwalks and our motorcycle module to ride on the moon once we get there.”, said


“Let’s look at the map and my magazine I got in the mail Monday, and decide on our

motel, movies, and museums we will visit while we are there.”, said Mac.

“We will leave the first Monday in March and land on the Mare of Nectaris and will stay

one month at the Half-Moon Motel.  While we are there, we will ride our motorcycle

modules, watch movies, order pizzas from the Comet Pizza menu, visit the Tycho Crater

Disco and dance the moonwalk to the music and visit the moon rock museum and

planetarium.”, said Mike.

“I’ll call and make all the reservations!”, said Marsha.

Marsha called the space travel agent and made the reservations with agent Molly Mole.

“ You should be ready for blast-off on time by Monday, March 1st.“, assured Molly Mole.

“Make sure you have your masks, mats, mops and misters for your trip. It gets mighty

dusty on the moon and your misting will make plenty of mud.”, said Molly. “Oh, and don’t

forget to take a few magnets for any floating items you may lose on the way there or on the

way back.”, Molly reminded them.

“We can’t wait for our trip!”, screeched Marsha. “Thanks for everything Molly!”

That first Monday of March, Mike, Marsha, and Mac climbed aboard Mac’s spaceship in his

backyard. Mac sat at the controls and Mike sat at the desk with the maps to navigate the

trip and Marsha was the co-pilot of the ship.


Mac, Mike, and Marsha were off to the moon for their month long vacation!

The S Story

Speedy Cheetah was taking his daily run through the field when he passed his longtime

friend a the watering hole, Shelby Snail.

“Hey Shelby! When are you going to run against me in a race?”, asked Speedy.

“I don’t know.”, slowly said Shelby. “I have to think about it.”

“You say that everyday!”, said Speedy. “I will make it really sweet and make you want to

race. Let’s race for a meal!”

“If you win, you will get a spinach, strawberry and sunflower seed salad with a sassafras

soda and I will make it for you. If I win, I will get sixteen savory smothered steaks with a

small strawberry shake.”

“Sounds good so far. When and where will it be?”, asked Shelby,

“Let’s have it on Saturday, September seventh at six A.M. We will run six short miles

through the savanna. I am sure I will run circles around you,win the race and get my

sixteen steaks!”, said Speedy.

“Don’t be in such a hurry to name the winner of the race.”, said Shelby. “It has not started

yet. So much can happen between now and Saturday, September seventh at six A.M!”

Speedy continued to sail past Shelby on his daily short sprints at seventy miles per hour.


Saturday, September seventh at six A.M. came very quickly and with a few surprises. There

were several short showers the night before, so the savanna was slightly soggy at sunrise

that morning.

The sables, servals, sitatungas and springhares were all lined along the race trail through

the savanna to support the race. Sammy the elephant shrew came in this best striped suit

to referee the race. Shelby came out from under a palm leaf that morning and slowly

slithered to the starting line.

Speedy sauntered stealthily to the starting line. “I know this race is clearly mine!”, he


“We will see.”, said Shelby.”The day is early and six miles to go, the savanna looks great

for a snail in a race.”

Sammy the elephant shrew said,” You are running a six mile loop around the savanna this

morning. The first one to finish will win either the salad and soda or the smothered steaks

and shake. May the best one win! On your marks! Get set! GO!”

Speedy took off in a flash from the start and slipped and slid along the muddy race trail,

but he still had the lead.

Shelby was slow and steady. “The mud, slime and slippery savanna is just my speed!”, said


When he reached the middle of the trail, Speedy has some problems and fell.  The trail was

muddy, lumpy and slick and his paw got stuck in a rut and he tumbled off the path and

rolled down a small hill into a deep, wet hole. The hole was so deep that Speedy could not

climb out by himself. He would really need some help.

Several hours passed and Shelby was at the end of the trail at the finish line. The sables,

servals, sitatungas and springhares cheered Shelby at the line. Sammy the elephant shrew

announced the Shelby the winner of the race.  Sammy asked hours later, “Where is

Speedy? He should be back by now!”

They all looked for Speedy and finally found him and helped him out of the hole.

“I guess I’ll have to get that spinach, strawberry, sunflower seed salad with the sassafras

soda.”, said Speedy.

“I will get you a strawberry smoothie for being a gracious loser!”, said Shelby. “Remember

when you plan a race, don’t forget to include the weather. The wet, the mud and the slime

help me slither and that is how I became the winner.”