Category Archives: Garden Stories

Opportunities

When it rains it pours
The storm clouds rear
The lightning fierce and fast

The droplets plop
The thunder rolls
The skies turn dark and masked

The sun bursts through
Shiny, strong
Its rays pierce through the gray

All things are sparkling
Fresh and new
A bright and glorious day

Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 2

(For Chapter 1 click here.)

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Chapter 2

The next morning, Jake sat on the edge of his bed staring at a pair of socks.

Chickens can’t talk. Can they?

Of course not!

And yet…

Shaking his head, Jake finished dressing and headed down for breakfast.

“Good morning Mom!”

“Morning sweetie,” she said as she poured him a glass of juice. “What did you dream about?”

Since he could remember, Jake and his mom started the day sharing their dreams. Sometimes they were silly, sometimes scary and sometimes just plain weird.

Of course! It must have all been a dream!

With a sigh of relief, Jake launched into his dream, attacking his plate of eggs.

“Thanks for breakfast, Mom! Can I go out and play with the chicks?”

“Just be careful and don’t squeeze them too hard,” she said smiling.

Jake bounced out the garage door and peeked into the large tub that was the chicks’ temporary home.

“Morning girls!” he murmured cheerfully.

I told you, I’m NOT a girl!”

So much for it being a dream.

Jake reached in and picked Pecky Greenleg up. All the other yellow chicks scurried from his hand. Not Pecky, she–er–he stood his ground.

Hey! Stop tickling me!

“Sorry! I just don’t understand what’s going on here? Why can I hear you in my head?”

Pecky shifted uncomfortably in Jake’s hand.

“Pecky?”

I’m not sure. Where I come from we can all understand each other. These birds just cheep, eat and sleep.

“What do you mean where you come from? Aren’t you all from the same farm?”

Pecky glared at Jake and ruffled his feathers.

No! We do not ALL come from the same farm. I’m from…from…well, I’m not sure. But I know it’s not from the same farm as these other chicks!

“You don’t know where you came from?”

Well I’m only a few days old, you can’t expect that I know everything.

Jake slowly shook his head.

“I guess we’ll have to start with the hatchery we ordered you all from to figure this out.”

I doubt very much I came from a hatchery. 

“We’ll see.”

Yes. We will.

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Spring Showers

Pitter, patter, pouring down
Stormy skies, dark clouds
Soaking in the marshy ground
Thunder booming loud

Drippy, droppy, raining sheets
Wind roars through the trees
Whipping everything it meets
All the critters flee

Spring arrives this afternoon
Lightning booms and shouts
Warmer weather coming soon
Helping all the sprouts!

Mischief Makers: Breaking News!

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North Pole Gazette

Reported by Sparkly Sprinkles

December 25, 2021

After a turbulent year, Pixie Powder and Figgy Frost are happy for some downtime at the North Pole. But these two Mischief Makers are in for a real surprise. 

A source who is familiar with the matter told this reporter that Frost and Powder are going to head up a new task force in the Mischief Maker Program: The B.R.A.T.T. Correctional Crew! 

B.R.A.T.T., or, Big Rowdy Association of Tiny Tyrants is an old division of the North Pole that, due to a series of in-home kerfuffles, has recently come back into service. Frost and Powder’s mission: assemble a team to target Tiny Tyrants and whip them into shape.

And here they come just out of Santa’s office! While Frost’s smile seems a bit forced and Powder’s giggle a little nervous, Santa knows these Mischief Makers are up to the job. 

Where will they go next? 

This is a developing story. 

Mischief Makers Day 24: The Final Farewell?

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You put us through the wringer
Our nerves were taut and frayed
We almost gave up several times
Your challenge was well-played

Goodbye all you dear children
We enjoyed? your little tricks.
Although we won’t be back next year
You won’t be in a fix.

We’ll send you someone special.
A team who’s stern, but fun.
They know all about you
Your trickster days are done!

Mischief Makers Day 23: Shocking Secrets

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“Figgy, Pixie!” Lil panted. “Don’t do it!”

Nim and Lil came streaming through the kitchen with Glitter hot on their heels. 

Pixie and Figgy frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Nim and Glitter looked around the room while Lil caught her breath. They saw the snack laden kitchen table and stack of games set up, ready to be played. 

“Oh,” sighed Glitter. “Good.”

Nim laughed nervously. “Whew! We thought for sure you were set to go out with a bang.”

“Well,” said Figgy. “We were just discussing livening this game day up a bit with some sparklers and fireworks.”

“NO!” Glitter, Nim and Lil all yelled at once.

“Jeez you three,” laughed Pixie. “Figgy is just kidding. We were only arguing about which game we should add to the pile. Quirkle or Mancala. Any votes?”

The new arrivals sighed in relief. 

“What’s going on?” asked Figgy. For the first time, he noticed the worried expressions on Nim and Lil’s faces and the serious set to Glitter’s head. 

Nim and Lil looked at eachother, communicating with eyebrows and head nods. 

“Wow you guys,” said Glitter. “Not too subtle, are you?”

Nim sighed. “We overheard Santa and The Director talking about you both.”

Figgy gasped. “The Director?” 

Lil nodded.

“What am I missing?” asked Pixie. “Who is ‘The Director’?”

“Sorry, Pixie,” said Lil. “I forget you were originally under the Birthday Beagle Brigade. The Director is the Head of Operations at the North Pole.”

“I thought Santa was the COO?”

“He is…sort of,” said Glitter. 

When Pixie still looked blank, Figgy filled her in. 

“The Director is in charge of the entire North Pole. All programs and events…even Santa.”

“And,” added Nim. “When there are problems that can’t be solved by traditional means, The Director sends a crew in to help.” 

“What problems have we caused?” asked Figgy. “We had a really rough start this season, but we managed to straighten out the Malloys ok.”

“Yeah,” added Pixie. “They’re absolute angels compared to the beginning of the year.”

“Righhhht,” said Glitter. “But it’s not just them. The Director had to re-enstate B.R.A.T.T. this season due to other…overzealous charges.”

“But that’s not our fault!” said Figgy. 

“I know,” said Lil. “We’re not exactly sure what is going on. We just overheard Santa and The Director talking and we heard your names and words like ‘too many messes’ and ‘re-assignment’.”

“Just who is The Director and why does he have so much power!?” spluttered Pixie.

She,” said Lil. “And she has so much power because she keeps the North Pole running smoothly. Santa would be lost without her help.”

Pixie’s eyes widened as realization dawned. “Mrs. Claus? She’s The Director?” 

Nim nodded while Figgy spluttered. “B-but does that mean…we won’t be coming back here next season?”

Lil gulped. “I’m afraid it may be worse than that.”

“That’s right,” said Nim. “We think Santa is pulling you two from the program.”

Mischief Makers Day 22: Manic Minutes

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Figgy and Pixie waited patiently for Nim and Lil. They were supposed to have met them at Candy Cane Cafe so they could all fly to the house together. Glitter had showed up and told them that Nim and Lil would just meet them at the Malloy’s. 

“Where are they?” asked Pixie for the hundredth time. 

“Santa must have needed them for longer than I thought,” said Glitter with a frown. 

“We really need to start setting up the games,” said Figgy. “I don’t think we can wait any longer.”

“Too bad, they were so excited to help tonight,” said Pixie. 

Glitter gazed at the sky, hoping to see the pair zooming toward the house. “Well, let’s get moving.”

“How many solo cups do we need?” asked Figgy as he pulled sleeve after sleeve after sleeve out of the giant bag of supplies. 

“Twenty-one per kid,” said Pixie. 

“Ok, that’s 21 times 12…carry the one, add the 2…the square root of 56 is…”.

“Geez Figgy, it’s 252,” said Pixie with a shake of her head. 

“Right. I knew that.”

“What about the ping pong balls?” asked Glitter.

“10 per kid,” said Pixie. 

“120 ping pong balls comi–.” 

Bddddddmmmmm! 

“Oh no!”

Ping pong balls spilled out over the floor rolling here, there and everywhere. 

Pixie and Figgy couldn’t help laughing as they watched Glitter canter around trying to gather them all back together.

“You could help me, you know!”

“Oh but it is so much more fun to watch,” said Pixie. At the glare from Glitter, Pixie relented and flew over to help collect them. 

“I’ll get the dice ready while Glitter plays ping-pong,” said Figgy. “How many do we need again?”

“Six per—72 Figgy. We need 72.”

“And 12 pairs of chopsticks!” Glitter shouted from the basement.

All three minute-to-win-it games were set up and still Nim and Lil were not at the house. 

“What did you say Santa needed to talk to them about, Glitter?” asked Figgy. 

When Glitter didn’t answer, Pixie prodded. “Glitter, tell us what you know.”

Glitter, who always seemed to be on top of all the North Pole news, didn’t answer at first. 

“Glitter?” Figgy folded his arms.

Turning to face Figgy and Pixie she admitted. “This time…I honestly have no idea. 

Mischief Makers Day 21: Clown Craze

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“Where in the North Pole is Pixie?” Figgy paced in front of Santa’s Workshop. “It’s getting early and we won’t have time for the balloon wall if she doesn’t get here soon!”

Lil looked up at the clocktower. “She’ll be here soon. She wanted to stop by Holiday Hair for a quick trim.”

“She wears a hat all the time, what does she need a trim for?? And why now of all times!?” 

Frantically, Figgy flew to Holiday Hair where he found a purple-haired Pixie smiling wide with sparkling eyes. “Well, what do you think?”

“Er…,” said Nim.

“Well…,” said Lil.

“What the holly happened to you, Pixie?” Figgy exclaimed.

“So…you don’t like my hair?”

“Your hair color is fine, but…well, look for yourself.”

Pixie peeked in the mirror and gasped. Her hair was a gorgeous violet shade, but the style was…big and circus-y.

Nim suspiciously fell into a coughing fit while Lil looked at Pixie sympathetically.

“It’s ok Pixie, it’ll grow back and settle down and–”.

“I LOVE IT!” shouted Pixie, twirling in the air. “It’s so…puffy! And FUN!”

“Come on, Pixie,” said Figgy, shaking his head. “Let’s get to the ring—I mean the Malloy house.” 

“Wait!” said Lil as the two started to take off. “I have an idea to go along with your balloons and Pixie’s new…style. You guys go ahead and get started, Nim and I will be along shortly with the rest.” 

* * *

Figgy and Pixie had been putting up the last of the balloons on the balloon wall when Nim and Lil showed up. 

“Great job with the balloons you guys!” Lil zipped through the window with Nim close on her heels carrying a bag of supplies.

“What’s in the bag, Nim?” asked Figgy.  

“Oh, just a few supplies.”

Nim and Lil reached into the overflowing bag and pulled out four clown costumes.

“No way,” said Figgy, already knowing what they were planning.

“But it’s the perfect complement to your balloon wall!” said Lil.

“How are clown costumes the perfect comp–oh.”

Nim, in the manner of a game show host, flourished supplies for making balloon animals. 

“Wonderful idea you two!” Pixie grabbed a nose and some shoes…she already had the hair covered.   

Figgy, resistant to the idea of dressing up like a clown, had to be gently persuaded to participate. 

“It’s alright Figgy, you’ll get used to the wig,” said Pixie.

“And the nose,” added Lil. 

“And the shoes,” said Nim. 

Grumbles were their only response. 

Bring in the clowns
Hang upside down
Dance ‘round the tree with me
Figgy don’t frown
Bring in the clowns!

Mischief Makers Day 20: Cat Ca-Choo!

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“Ouch! Get off my toe, Figgy!”

“I wouldn’t be on your toe if I could get through the window!”

Figgy and Pixie stood on the ledge outside the kitchen window, struggling to get inside. They’d flown back early to make amends for missing a night of mischief only to find their usual entry locked. 

“I guess we’ll have to use the cat door in the garage,” said Pixie.

Figgy froze. He was not a big fan of cats. Not only was he allergic, he had also had a terrible experience last season with Joe and Jake’s cats

Pixie noticed Figgy’s terrified expression. “It’ll be fine, Figgy. We haven’t seen any signs they still have a cat. I’m sure the door is old.”

Reluctantly, Figgy followed Pixie to the side door where a small flap allowed for cats, or elves, to come and go as they pleased. 

It started as soon as they were inside the garage.

AACHOOO!

“Hm. I guess I was wrong. They still have a cat.”

“MEOW! PRRRRR!”

“Er, three…four, five. Wow, there must be at least–.”

AAAAACHOOOOO!

“Ab dozen. Ab dozen cabts.”

“Oh. That makes sense. One for each kid. C’mon Figgy, let’s get you out of here.”

They pushed and prodded the door into the house until it finally gave way. Figgy tumbled into the hall covered in cat fur and sneezing.

“Poor Figgy,” sighed Pixie. “Did you bring your elfie pen?”

“Nohl. I porgot ibt.”

“Iced chocolate covered cherries dipped in sprinkles and drizzled with syrup then.”

“Bwhat? Dats not ab cure.”

“I know,” smiled Pixie. “But it will be a great pre-game snack!”

While Pixie busily made them a midnight snack, Figgy, miserable and sneezing, looked around trying to find the best place to set up the glow balloon forest. Something seemed…off. 

“What are you looking at, Figgy?” Pixie floated down to the floor next to Figgy, a small tray of chocolate covered cherries in her hands.

“Do you see anything…different?”

Pixie looked around and had the same feeling that something was not quite right in the living room. “I hear a rattling sound. Do you hear that?”

Figgy nodded. “Yes. What could it be?”

RRRUMMMBLLLE!

The elves turned in the direction of the sound and saw an avalanche pom poms bursting out of the tree. 

“RUUUN!” shouted Pixie. 

Too late. In a matter of seconds, the elves were covered in pom poms of every color and size. A small chorus of voices echoed from a recordable ornament under the tree. 

Welcome back!

The movie was really funny! 

But please…NEVER LEAVE US AGAIN!

Mischief Makers Day 17: Cozy Campers

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“Congratulations team,” Santa boomed. “You have saved Christmas at the Malloy home.”

The four elves cheered and danced and high-fived one another. 

The letter worked. Santa had received a note from the Malloy parents, retracting their last letter and thanking him for sending his Mischief Makers to remind them of what Christmas is about.

“But!” Santa interrupted. “You both need to be on your very best behavior for the rest of the season. Mischief, not messes. Ok?”

Pixie nodded. Figgy saluted. 

“We’d better get going, Figgy. Tonight’s set-up is going to take awhile.”

Watching the pair fly off through the starry sky, Santa . “I hope ‘tonight’s set-up’ is a nice, simple, not-so-messy activity.”

“Oh I’m sure it’s fine, Santa.” Nim glanced at Lil with a worried frown. “Maybe we should head there too. Just in case.”

“Good idea,” said Santa. As they took off, Santa smiled and chuckled. “Because I do know what they have planned.” 

* * *

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost snipping at your nose
Your tired carols, being sung by a —

“Figgy?”

Figgy stopped singing and turned to Pixie. “Yes, Pixie?”

“Did you just say ‘your tired carols’?”

Figgy nodded. “Yes, ‘your tired carols being sung by a choir’.”

Pixie giggled. “And…what was that about Jack Frost?”

“‘Jack Frost snipping at your nose?” 

Pixie giggled harder.

“What? That’s how it goes…isn’t it?”

“Hi guys!” Nim and Lil landed next to the small campfire and tent. 

“Wow!” said Lil. “Are you guys camping?”

“Yep! The Malloys are big campers so we thought it would be fun to try it out!” said Pixie.

“We are glad you guys could make it!” said Figgy. “We told Santa what we were doing and asked if he could send you along to join our cozy campout!”

“That sneaky Santa,” laughed Lil. “He tricked us!”

“Well, we told him we wanted it to be a surprise,” said Figgy. 

“We love camping!” said Nim. “There’s only one small problem.”

“What?” asked Pixie, looking around to see what they’d forgotten.

“There’s no tent for the Malloys!”

Figgy and Pixie looked uncertainly at Nim.

“We are trying to obey Santa and not create a huge mess.”

“Yeah,” added Pixie. “We were afraid if we built the Malloys a blanket tent, things might get out of control?”

“Out of control,” said Lil. “How?”

“Well,” began Figgy. “It might turn into a—.”

“PILLOW FIGHT!” yelled Nim, throwing a big, fluffy pillow directly at Figgy.

“Exactly,” said Pixie. 

It didn’t take much before all four elves were engaged in a massive pillow fight. Pillows covered the floor when they finally ceased. 

“At least there were no feathers,” said Figgy when he caught his breath. “That would have been a big mess.”

Nim looked around at the destruction. “Yeeaah, and this is just a little mess?”

Figgy shrugged sheepishly.