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Fins, Feathers And Furs
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Spider's Wonderful Garden
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Fins, Feathers And Furs
A children's short story.
H E Gurlitt
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Fins, Feathers And Furs
H E Gurlitt
Mrs. Little has straw inside her house. Everywhere. Because she has done too many clean-ups after her pets. Now she has little to do, she just pets and feeds them. No wonder folks call her Mrs. Dolittle. It is very fitting, don't you think?
You see, most of the chickens, pretty near all of the rabbits, and a half dozen pink piglets had been born right in her kitchen. And so were six puppies and twice as many cats-plus one. The woolly llama was born in the bathtub. So the minute these critters came into the world, opened their eyes and saw Mrs. Dolittle, they thought she was their mama. From that moment on they followed her wherever she went.
All her birds can come and go--they are free. She does not know how many she has. By the way, she takes her three goldfish for a walk on Sundays.
She also has a spider monkey, a cute little thing who is in love with the long feathers of Christo, the ostrich. Both sleep on a pile of logs next to the wood-stove. Those piglets I told you about are so used to her cuddling, they sleep in her bed. All her hamsters, ferrets and gerbils like it dark--so they stay under the bed and under the floorboards. An anaconda and some of her relatives had made a nest in the headboard of the same bed.
The six puppies are named Inky, Binky, Dinky, Slinky, Rinky and Finicky. They all feel at home in the chicken house. So it comes about that the hungry fox, who comes calling at midnight whenever there is no moon, is utterly confused--he just can't get used to the idea of chickens barking.
The cats sleep wherever they want--since they are very picky. All kinds of critters crawl among the hay, you know by now it covers all the floors in the house. This sure makes it hard for the littlest critters to get around without tripping over the humps of turtles. Then there is Igly, an iguana, his backside as prickly as a cactus--is hard to walk on, especially with bare paws.
Mrs. Dolittle often puts on a very high, but friendly voice, to remind everyone to look before they leap, or run, or even walk --and to pick up each of their two, or four legs. Every day she has to tell the forgetful spider monkey to lift up its long tail, because the snapping turtle may think it is a worm--it is so nearsighted. Of course, she warns all the fast-crawling critters, and the low-bellied pigs, to remember Big Bonny's accident. You see, one time, the mother of all the baby bunnies had run real fast to get to the bathroom. That is where her babies called her from--from under the four-legged tub. So, as I said, she ran so fast, tripped over a box turtle, breaking two of her four legs. Mrs. Dolittle had to transfer all Big Bonny's little ones to the kitchen sink, until both of her knees were healed and she could unwind the bandages and remove the Popsicle sticks, too.
From the ceiling in the kitchen, as well as in the big front room, hung twelve bird cages of different sizes and shapes. Not one of them has a bird in it, neither have the cages any doors.
Bobu, a baboon, lives in number one. Camy, the chameleon in cage two. Bugsby, a bush baby, a distant cousin of the spider monkey, in number three. Honey, a sweet faced bear, in four. Lizzy, a lonely lizard in number five. Mogsy, the mongoose in six, who has a hard time with Ocky, the octopus, who won't keep his arms to himself, even though he has enough room--since he occupies cages seven and eight. His neighbor, Peggy, the porcupine residing in number nine, has no problems whatsoever. Next to Rack, a shy raccoon in number ten are Squire and Squack, two chatty squirrels in cage eleven. Zazza, a baby zebra lives in zippy harmony all by himself in number twelve, the widest, longest cage in the house.
Can you imagine? At six in the morning all these critters start to make such a racket, that no one can sleep in, not even on a Sunday mornings? There is teeth shattering rattling, crackling and cackling; beastly screeches, slurps and burps, some ringing and some singing, some yells and many bells. Closer, louder, till I hear--what really rouses me is... my alarm clock. Oh, dear!
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"Delightfully funny! Should be a great read to kids--activate their imaginations!" -- Helen G., Skagit County, Washington, USA.
"Of found it very interesting in the story that all these creatures who are so different can live in harmony. Also the names of the animals were pretty funny." -- Jen Shanders, Normal, Illinois, McLean.
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© 2000 H E Gurlitt
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