yesterday, t went to school to discuss Being An Illustrator to h's 2nd grade class as they are writing their "young authors" books. he got there at 12:30 and called me at 1:30 saying um? henry feels sick and looks green? and i'm on my bike? so off i went to school, grabbed the boy, went to warn the girl that the boy wouldn't be on the bus with her (she worries) and she burst into tears over her snack of donuts so i took them both home. half an hour later, h got the chills, a fever of 102 and started barfing. he proceeded to sleep, barf again, then wake up at 10:30 pm asking for pancakes and sausage. i agreed to the pancakes, but NO WAY was i gonna clean up partially digested sausage. he's feeling much better today, but we skipped dance class today... JUST IN CASE. anyhow, the following is h's story, and i'll post the illo once it's done.
it's a southwestern retelling of "jack in the beanstalk," and i love all the exclamation points.
Jack Rabbit and the Giant Cactus Stalk
By H L Edwards
There once was a poor family that only held Jack Rabbit and his Mamma. It was a hard year in the desert. One day, Jack Rabbit went off into the desert. Suddenly, he saw something pokin’ out of the sand.
“What in the tater sauce is that!” explained Jack Rabbit. He RAN over to see what it was. And it was a… coyote skull! Then he picked it up and started hoppin’ down the bunny trail to his home. When he got home he shouted out, “Mamma! Mamma! Loooook at what I found!”
“What is it this time?!?” said Mamma.
“I found a coyote skull!” said Jack Rabbit. “We could sell it for some money!”
“That’s wonderful!” said Mamma. “We could sell it to the tree lizard antique collector!”
“Okay, I will, Mamma!” said Jack Rabbit as he started hopping all the way to the antique collector.
When Jack Rabbit found the antique collector he spoke: “If I give you this coyote skull could you give me some money?”
“Oh, you don’t NEED money!” said the antique collector. “How about I trade you some Magic Cactus Seeds?” said the antique collector in his deepest southern accent.
“Okay, I’ll take ‘em!” said Jack Rabbit, unsure about this. He gave the antique collector the coyote skull, and the antique collector gave Jack Rabbit the Magic Cactus Seeds. Jack Rabbit the twelve-year-old bunny started hopping home.
When Jack Rabbit showed his seeds to his mom, she threw them out the window, saying nothing. Jack Rabbit heard his Mamma crying. He felt bad for her. Jack Rabbit thought they might help. It wasn’t his fault. So, Jack Rabbit was sent to bed without supper.
That night, when Mamma and Jack Rabbit were sound asleep, a stem started growing in their yard. Then it got prickly. After that, there was a saguaro cactus in the blink of an eye! Then it grew taller and Taller and TAller and TALLEr and TALLER! And at that time, it touched the sky!
Jack Rabbit could not sleep. He got up to get some fresh air and then he saw that cactus. He couldn’t believe his eyes! The seeds had worked!
“Hmmm?” thought Jack Rabbit. “Maybe there’s some gold and money up there!” But how could he climb a cactus?
So… Jack Rabbit got four big stones, found some prickly pear fruit, and splattered it on each stone. The four stones were sticky now! Jack Rabbit put both of his feet and paws on one of the stones. When he started climbing, the quills of the saguaro cactus were falling off! About two hours later, Jack Rabbit had touched the clouds! He thought it was worth trying to walk on the clouds. Jack Rabbit put one foot on the cloud then another… and good thing he was standing on the clouds. But in a far distance, he could see The Biggest Castle he had ever seen!
Jack Rabbit decided to walk up to it. When he got to the door it was HUGE!
Jack Rabbit was curious, so he creaked open the door and went in. Creeeek! But then…Jack Rabbit heard a “Tee Tie Toe Tum! I smell the blood of a Western Rabbit!”
Jack Rabbit hid behind the giant stove. Jack Rabbit peeked out from behind the stove and saw… A Giant Desert Tortoise! The Giant Desert Tortoise was going to look behind the stove! Jack Rabbit ran quietly to behind the giant green sofa!
“There’s nothing there,” groaned the Giant Desert Tortoise.
But then, Jack Rabbit heard a squawk! Jack Rabbit followed the sound while the Giant Tortoise fell to sleep. Then Jack rabbit came to a room of roadrunners trapped in cages!!!!!!!!!!
“P l e e e e e a s e let us out of here!” whispered one of the roadrunners.
“Where’s the key?” whispered Jack Rabbit.
“The Giant Desert Tortoise has it!” explained another roadrunner.
“Alright!” whispered Jack Rabbit. “I’ll get the key!”
“But you might never return!” whispered another one of the roadrunners.
Jack Rabbit left, not saying anything!
Soon, Jack Rabbit was in the Giant Desert Tortoise’s bedroom. Quietly, Jack Rabbit crept up to the Giant Desert Tortoise’s chest and quietly picked up the giant key and hopped down off of the bed.
Jack Rabbit ran instead of hopped to the room with the roadrunners! He unlocked every cage and the roadrunners ran out! One of them gave Jack Rabbit a ride!
Suddenly, the Giant Desert Tortoise came running down the hall! “Give me back my roadrunners!” yelled the Giant Desert Tortoise!
The roadrunners got down the cactus in five seconds. It didn’t hurt their feet because Jack Rabbit knocked the quills off on the way up. But then the Giant Desert Tortoise accidentally fell off the cactus instead of climbing! The Giant Desert Tortoise exploded at the bottom!
The roadrunners gave Jack Rabbit enough money to buy food for five years! They then lived happily ever after!