Sugar ran out the front door to go to the barn. She was very excited because she was getting her two horses today. They were both Tennessee Walkers. One of the horses was black, and the other was white. She had to get the barn ready for her horses. She swept and cleaned the stalls out. Then she put out fresh food, water and hay in the two stalls. She had just finished when the horse trailer pulled up. Her horses were so beautiful! She named her white horse Jewel, and she named her black horse Stud. She had brought some carrots with her from the house. She gave each horse a carrot as a treat. They loved their carrots, and they ate every bite of them. She spent the rest of the day petting and brushing Jewel and Stud. She walked both of them all the way around the barn.
Her father had taken her to a horse farm the day before where she had picked out the horses she wanted. While they were at the horse farm, they got to witness a white foal being born! It was awesome! There was also a tiny black foal that was only two days old. Both of the foals were so adorable.
Sugar loved to go horseback riding, and she could not wait to ride her horses. She had always dreamed of having a black horse ever since she was a little girl. Now her dream had come true. She gave her father a big bear hug for buying her the two horses. They were his gift for her graduation from the ninth grade. She went to sleep that night and had sweet dreams about her two beautiful horses.
The next day, Sugar got up bright and early to begin doing her chores on the farm. She went to gather eggs from the chickens and feed them. She gathered all of the eggs and put them in a large bowl. She was hurrying so much that she dropped one of the eggs on the ground, and it busted open on the way to the house. She went into the house, and she washed all of the eggs. Then she put them in the refrigerator.
She had another chicken coop with several newly hatched chicks. Sugar walked out to that chicken coop and played with some of the fur babies. She thought they were the cutest little fur balls. Then she fed the chickens in that coop.
Sugar had a beautiful Collie named Biscuit who guarded the farm. She also had a huge spotted black and white Great Dane named Giant. She fed Biscuit and Giant their dog food and gave them fresh water. Biscuit and Giant protected everyone on the farm and all of the animals. She also had two donkeys named Pancake and Waffle that protected all of the animals from wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. She fed Pancake and Waffle, and then she went to feed her two cats named Diamond and Stone. Diamond was a white cat with stunning green eyes, and Stone was a gray cat with pretty blue eyes.
Sugar had a white alpaca named Blondie. Blondie had the cutest face. The thick blonde curly hair on her head always made her look like she had just been to the beauty shop! She was very sweet and gentle.
She also had two goats. She had a black goat named Soda and a brown goat named Pop. She had a gray rabbit named Popsicle, and a black and white rabbit named Cookie. There was also a sheep named Buffy. There were four cows named Tic, Tac, Toe and Uno.
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Charlotte brushed her shoulder-length, golden blonde hair away from her face, tucking it behind her ear while the sea breeze tried to blow it back. Her heart leapt at the sight of a ship out at sea as it rolled in the swell of the rising tide. Could it be a pirate ship? Why hadn’t she been more vigilant? If they came ashore there would be little chance of escape.
She spotted a smaller boat rowing towards her, heading straight for the beach. Her breath caught in her throat. What should I do? Is there enough time to save my little sister? Beth looked oblivious to the danger, chasing after a feather that blew away in the wind. By the time she reached her sister, they would be in clear view. Maybe I should save myself. At least one of us might survive. No. She couldn’t possibly leave Beth to the mercy of those murderous pirates.
Time ran out. It was now or never. The boat reached the shore, and its dubious occupants began to clamber out.
The loud cry made her jump. She snapped back to reality and spun around.
“Are you daydreaming again?” Her mum let out a frustrated sigh. She placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and steered her in the direction of the car park at the edge of the beach. “Can you help take some of this stuff back to the car, please?” She handed her an armful of bags stuffed with damp, sandy towels. “We’ve still got a lot of things to do before we go home tomorrow, and you haven’t even bought anything for your friends yet. If you get your skates on, you’ll have enough time to pop into the shops across the road.”
Charlotte wrinkled her nose at the thought of their holiday coming to an end, and cringed at the prospect of going back to school the following week. She scooped up her own towel and trudged through the sand, mumbling how unfair it was making her do all the work even though she was only ten. “I notice Beth’s not helping.”
Her dad grinned as she struggled to the car. “We’re going to grab some food. Take-away, nothing but the best for the last day,” he said as she reached him.
“Not McDonald’s again, Dad,” she remarked with a hint of sarcasm, dumping her load on the floor.
“No way! Fish and chips tonight.” He wore his silly grin that never failed to make her smile.
“Whatever!” She smirked. “Mum said I could have a quick look at the gift shops just across the road.”
He put the discarded bags into the car and slammed the boot. He slid his sunglasses up to his receding hairline, slipping his hand into his jeans pocket. “Do you need any money?”
“Nah, it’s okay. Mum gave me some yesterday.”
“Are you going to take Beth with you?”
She folded her arms and shifted her weight to one leg. “Do I have to?” She loved her six-year-old sister to bits, but she was the most annoying person in the whole world. “I’m not going to get much shopping done with Beth tagging along.”
His face brightened with a grin. “I’m only pulling your leg.” He nudged her playfully. “We’ll take Beth with us and meet you back here in ...” He paused to gaze at his watch. “Let’s say, in about fifteen minutes, okay? Don’t go far!”
She sighed with relief. “Okay. See ya later.” She left, fumbling through her pockets to check she still had her money.
Crossing the road, Charlotte admired the pretty seaside town lined with buildings all the way to the top of a hill, overlooking the sea. Interesting old houses displayed colourful shop fronts, and a local market filled any spaces in between. She ambled along the well-worn paving stones, not really paying attention to the task of buying gifts for her friends. With her hands in her pockets, she wandered past stalls that spilled out across the path, packed with beach balls and buckets and spades.
She paused for a moment outside an arcade, drawn by the sounds and flashing lights that filled the air around the neon-lit building. Fighting the urge to spend the last of her money on a teddy-grabbing machine, she continued to trudge up the hill, losing interest in her mission with every step.
Halfway along the road she stopped, stepping into an alley to shelter from the glare of the sun. She leaned her back against the bright-red tiles that decorated the archway. Each one contained a small figure. They reminded her of characters from a fairy tale. She turned to examine them closely, running her fingers over the textured surface. Something about them held a strange attraction.
She gazed into the alley. It led a fair way back, but in the gloom she could see the front of a grubby-looking shop with a large ‘Sale’ sign in the window. She strained her eyes for a better view, and wondered if she should have a look just in case she could pick up something unusual for Mum. After a moment’s thought, she decided she had nothing to lose and wandered a little closer, checking over her shoulder as she went.
Reaching the glazed shop front, Charlotte stood on tiptoes to see over the half-frosted glass that obscured her view of the inside. Despite being taller than most kids her age, the contents of the store remained a mystery. She paused at the door before giving it a shove and peering through the gap. Inside, it looked much smaller than expected, with tall shelves standing against the outer walls, each laden with an assortment of objects that appeared better placed in a junk shop.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, but curiosity urged her forward. She stepped inside. An old-fashioned till perched in the centre of a small counter at the far end of the shop. Behind it hung a set of drab curtains with tiny pinholes, allowing slivers of light to seep through. The whole place had an air of gloom and smelt musty and damp.
“Hello. Are you open?” Charlotte called out.
When no one responded, she browsed the shelves, discovering some odd, hand-carved figures, similar to the characters on the decorated tiles around the archway outside. She picked up one that resembled a garden gnome and turned the carving around, searching for a price label. Nothing. That’s not much help. She placed the grotesque figure back down.
A bright flash caught her eye when she turned to leave. She stared at a small bookcase resting against the back wall beside the counter. A gentle glow of green light illuminated the shelves, tempting her to venture further and take a closer look. She crept through the aisle and bent down to examine a small, glass snow dome nestled amongst a variety of clay pots. It looked out of place with the other articles displayed in the shop.
She reached out and touched the surface with the tips of her fingers. The cool surface tingled, a strange yet alluring sensation. With a quick check over her shoulder, she picked it up and tipped it upside down. She cupped the delicate item in the palm of her hand and held it close to her face. No snow.
Inside the crystal orb, a tiny globe like a miniature planet revolved in slow motion, casting eerie shadows against the dreary walls. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered.
“Yes, it is beautiful,” a gruff voice sounded.
She spun around and stumbled back a step. Behind the counter stood a large figure wrapped in a gray cloak, similar to the drab curtains that hung behind him. From what she could see of him in the gloom, his scruffy, charcoal hair hung down to his shoulders. Dark eyes peered out below bushy eyebrows, making his thin face look gaunt and pasty. She shuddered. He gave her the creeps, popping up from out of nowhere and staring at her as though he had never seen a customer before.
“I am sorry if I surprised you. I did not mean to make you feel uncomfortable,” he said, as if reading her mind. “You are very welcome here.”
She put down the small ornament and walked along scanning the contents of the shelves, picking through the strange collection of knickknacks. The entire time, she sensed the old man’s stare following her. She considered leaving, yet the eerie glow from the snow dome kept drawing her gaze back to the bookcase. The temptation from its hypnotic light got the better of her, and she walked back to pick it up again. “How much is this?”
A broad smile lit up the man’s face. “Take it, child. I have no use for it in my shop.”
Her eyes widened. “What, for nothing? I must give you something for it. I’ve got money, you know.”
The old man shrugged. “Well, if you are that keen on striking a deal with me.” He raised one of his bushy eyebrows. “All I will ask is for you to take great care of such a beautiful item. Promise me you will be good and always tell the truth.”
“I always tell the truth anyway. I hate liars!” she declared, a little puzzled by such a strange request. “Is that it? Is that all you want?”
He bellowed with laughter.
She placed one hand on her hip. “What’s so funny, then?”
“I am sorry.” He leaned closer across the counter. His weather-beaten face creased with concern. “Telling the truth is not always an easy thing to do, especially when you find yourself in trouble.” His expression lightened. “I am Goffer, the shop keeper, and if I am not mistaken, you will find yourself in trouble if you do not hurry. Time is getting on.”
Charlotte glanced at her watch. “You’re right!” She rushed to the door in a fluster, but stopped before leaving. “Thank you! Thanks a lot. That was really nice of you.”
Goffer stood motionless, barely visible in the shadows. “I would not be so quick to thank me just yet.”
There was a powerful storm, and giant waves were crashing onto Mystic Island in the middle of the sea. A large ship was torn apart by the huge storm, and items from the ship started washing up on the beach of the magical island. Mystic the mermaid lived on the island along with three other mermaids. After the storm passed over, Mystic looked towards the sea and saw a crib floating. Then she heard crying coming from the crib! She swam out to the crib and found a little baby girl there. She swam back to the island holding the crib. All of the mermaids gathered around the baby. They thought the little baby was so sweet, and it was a miracle that she was alive.
Two of the mermaids swam out to look for the ship and see if there were any people lost at sea. They could not find the ship because it had already sunk. They did not find any people in the sea. They swam back to the island.
When Mystic was on the island, her tail would split and turn into human legs! When this happened, she could walk like a human. Mystic was very beautiful and had long green hair. Her pretty green eyes would sparkle in the sun. When Mystic was swimming in the sea at night, her tail would glow green in the dark! All of the tails of the other mermaids would glow in the dark too! The mermaids could all walk when they were on land. Each mermaid looked different. One mermaid with dark red hair, green eyes and a green tail was named Mena. Another mermaid with blue hair, pretty blue eyes and a greenish blue tail was named Eva. The other mermaid had black hair, green eyes and a silver tail. Her name was Zanita. All of the mermaids were very beautiful.
Mystic named the little baby girl Ava. Mystic raised Ava on the island. She taught Ava how to swim when she was very young. All the fish and creatures of the sea that lived close to the island knew that Ava was Mystic's child. The sharks would not harm Ava when she swam in the sea as long as she was with her mother or another sea creature. Ava's mother had always told her to never swim alone. Ava had a favorite friend that she loved. He was a dolphin named Kissimmee. Kissimmee would pull Ava all around the island while she held on tight to his fin. Kissimmee would put shows on for Ava all the time. Kissimmee would jump up out of the water and then dive back down. He could swim super fast too! Kissimmee was very sweet and gentle.
Ava loved swimming in the sea. She had a lot of friends in the sea. Ava swam in the sea with her friends every single day. She became a very good swimmer.
At night, the sea would light up with all the different colors of the sea creatures that glowed in the dark! It was so beautiful! Some of their lights would even blink on and off. That was Ava's favorite time to swim in the sea because she loved watching the light show. She could not believe the different sizes, shapes and colors of all the jellyfish.
Sea Tiger the tiger shark and Kissimmee the dolphin would always try to protect Ava from any sea creatures that might come from far away. Ava thought that Sea Tiger's stripes were so pretty. There was a huge whale shark that Ava would always see swimming around the island. The whale shark had pretty white spots on it. The whale shark would let Ava pet it! Ava loved to watch two large killer whales that would come around every now and then. The killer whales were black and white, and Ava thought they were so beautiful.
One day, Ava snuck out by herself to go swimming on the other side of the island when she came upon a large group of jellyfish. One of the jellyfish stung her! She screamed and swam back to the island crying. Her mother rubbed some sand from the island on the wound. The wound stopped hurting her, and then it disappeared! The sand from the island was magical and had healed her! After that happened, she always swam with her mother or Sea Tiger and Kissimmee.
Kahuna is a great magician who lives on a beautiful island in Hawaii. Kahuna means "a secret" in Hawaiian. He performs magic shows every night for the local Hawaiians and the visiting tourists. He has a huge secret that he is keeping from everyone. He is not only a magician; he really does have magical powers. That is why his magic shows are so incredible. They look so real, because they are real!
He paints his face, chest, and legs with black and red stripes before every magic show. He can breathe fire and twirl circles of fire without getting burned! He performs an amazing fire dance with two fiery batons. He can swallow a sword without getting cut! He can make himself invisible and also float high up into the air. A white tiger will suddenly appear on the stage out of nowhere! Then he will make an elephant appear and disappear! He always has a huge two-headed snake that he uses in his magic act. He taps the snake on its head with his magic wand and says, "Abracadabra!" POOF! The snake will crawl out of a huge puff of white smoke, and then one of the heads will disappear. Kahuna also stands on the stage in front of everyone. Then he waves his hands up into the air. POOF! A huge puff of white smoke appears, and he disappears! Suddenly, he is standing in the back of the crowd. He brings a white kitten out on the stage. He taps the kitten on its head with his magic wand and says, "Hocus Pocus!" POOF! A huge puff of white smoke appears, and the kitten turns into a huge white lion! He folds up a white handkerchief and places it in his hand. He closes his hand and throws his hand into the air. A white dove comes flying out of his hand! Then he pulls a white bunny out of his black magician's hat!
One of his magic tricks that he often performs is called "Fists of Fire." He puts his fists into a burning fire and opens up his hands. The flames do not burn him! He shows his hands to the crowd after he pulls them out of the fire. Everyone is always very shocked!
He uses fire a lot in his shows. Another show he always performs that stuns the crowd is when he sets himself on fire! He wraps himself in cloths and sets the cloths on fire. Then he runs down the street past the crowd, and someone sprays him with foam to put the fire out. He calls this show "Man on Fire."
Another magic trick that he performs is called "Fire Walker." He walks on a bed of hot coals. Then he shows the bottom of his feet to the crowd. There are no burns!
Kahuna performs another magic trick; he walks on a bed of sharp pointed nails. Then he shows the bottom of his feet to the crowd. There are no wounds! This magic trick is called "Bed of Nails."
When people leave his magic show, he shocks them every single time. They hate when his show ends, and they want to see more of his magic. He always hears someone say, "How did he do that?" The children always say, "Wow!" In his mind he always laughs because he is the only one that knows that it is real magic. He always stays after his shows end to sign autographs for people in the crowd. People love him, and he is very famous.
When Kahuna was twenty years old, a huge bolt of lightning struck him on his head during a severe thunderstorm in Hawaii. Someone saw it happen, and they called for help right away. An ambulance came and rushed him to the hospital. The doctors were all amazed that he survived such a bad electrical shock to his body. He had severe burns all over the bottom of his feet, and all of the hair on his head was burned off! His head was black, and he was completely bald! The doctors told him that it was a true miracle that he lived. His brown eyes turned black! His voice changed and became very deep. When his hair grew back in, it was solid white! He never cut his hair again. His hair became very long, and it was still very white. He grew a long white beard and moustache. He never cut his beard or moustache either. His beard and moustache grew and grew. Many people thought he looked just like Merlin The Magician.
Mama and Dad, you used to be nice.
Now you’re not and I’m paying the price.
Mama and Dad, you used to live together.
Now you don’t. You’ve left each other forever.
Life is so hard, now that I have to choose.
If I choose your house Dad, will Mama lose?
It’s never easy when a kid has to pick.
If I choose your house Mama, will Dad’s heart be sick?
Think about me and how I feel.
Divorce is not pretend. It’s for real.
Can’t you get along and once more be friends?
Can’t you love each other again the way God intends?
Once upon a time there was a white wolf named Frost who lived in The Enchanted Forest of Rising Moon Lake. Frost was the leader of the entire forest. There was even a fire-breathing dragon that lived in the forest! He was a baby blue dragon and he could not breathe fire yet. He just was not old enough to produce fire. The little dragon's name was Sparky. Sparky flew around the forest with the other birds.
There were several birds in the forest. There was a bald eagle named Freedom, a hawk named Jet, a wise old owl named Hooter, a turkey buzzard named Buzz, a bat named Creepy, Woody the Redheaded Woodpecker, and Raven the crow. There were also two swans that lived in the lake by the forest. There was a black swan named Knight and a pretty white swan named Queenie.
There were many animals in the forest. There was another gray and white wolf named Timber. There were also three black wolves that were troublemakers named Dark, Dusk, and Shade. There were two mountain lions named Prowler and Sky, a possum named Hanger, Blackie the Black Bear, Boomer the Buffalo, Snort the wild pig, Howler the coyote, Lizzy and Tizzy the two deer, Wonder the raccoon, Foxy the Fox, Scooter the skunk, and Poker the Porcupine.
There was also a little lizard named Dusty and a beautiful black, yellow and white striped caterpillar named Chewy. Chewy could not wait to turn into a butterfly so he could fly around the forest.
There was a little glass frog that you could see through! You could even see everything inside of him! His name was Shiny. He had a little green tree frog that was his best friend. The tree frog was named Moss. Moss could glide from tree to tree. He had web-like feet that had skin between the toes. This helped him to glide, and he looked just like he was flying!
There was a magical tree in the center of the forest named Magic. Magic was alive! He had the face of a man, and he could talk! He was always watching over the forest and protecting it. There was a magical dust in the branches of his tree that was very powerful.
Sparky was practicing hard trying to breathe fire. He was able to produce one little spark! Sparky tried again. This time he was able to produce two sparks. He tried again. The third time he produced fire! The forest was very dry because it had been so long since it had rained. Sparky didn't know how to control his fire yet. His fire hit the dry leaves of the forest and started a forest fire, which spread very quickly. Sparky flew to Frost very scared, and he told him what he had done. Sparky was very sorry and told Frost he did not mean to start the forest fire. Frost took off running towards the fire to see how bad it was. It was very bad! Frost yelled for everyone to leave the forest right away and head for the lake. Everyone started running and flying to the lake.
Scooter the skunk got trapped in the fire! The fire was getting closer and closer to him. Suddenly, a forest ranger pulled up in a jeep and jumped out. He ran over to Scooter and picked him up. When he did, Scooter sprayed him with his stinky skunk spray! Scooter didn't mean to spray the forest ranger. He was just very scared. He knew that the forest ranger was trying to help him. The forest ranger made an ugly face and covered his nose with his hand. He drove Scooter to the lake and quickly released him. Then the forest ranger jumped out of his car and ran into the lake. He started trying to wash the skunk smell off of him as fast as he could.
Some of the other animals were trapped in the fire too. Frost yelled for all of the large birds to fly around and to find any animals that were trapped in the fire. They could swoop them up and rescue them. Freedom, Jet, Hooter and Buzz took off flying. They were able to rescue Hanger, Wonder, Dusty, Shiny and Chewy. Everyone was safe at the lake now.
Frost told Sparky to fly to the magical tree in the center of the forest. He told him to ask Magic for some branches with the magical dust in them to stop the forest fire. Sparky took off flying to the center of the forest. When he got there, the fire was getting very close to Magic! Magic told Sparky to hurry and break off two of his branches with the magical dust in them. He then told him to fly over the fire and drop the branches on the fire. He told him that the magical dust in his branches would put the fire out. Sparky broke off two branches and flew over the fire with them. He dropped them into the fire. Suddenly, the fire died down and went completely out. Sparky had started the fire, but he had also saved everyone from the fire!
Sparky returned to everyone at the lake. He did not know if everyone was going to be mad at him or not. They were not mad at him, and they all cheered for him. They all knew that he did not mean to start the fire. They already knew that Sparky felt so bad about what had happened. He promised everyone that he would be more careful with his fire next time.
Prowler told everyone that she had some good news. She said that she and Sky were going to have some little cubs very soon! About a month later, Prowler gave birth to two little mountain lion cubs. She had a male and a female. She named her cubs Harley and Hazel.
The next day, Queenie told everyone that she was going to have babies very soon too. Everyone was so excited. About three weeks later, Queenie had four little baby swans! She named her baby swans Bubbles, Boo, Sue and Lou.
One day, Dark, Dusk and Shade were up to no good. They had planned an attack on Frost. They wanted to be the leaders of the forest. Suddenly, they jumped Frost and started a fight with him. It was three against one! Frost was a very strong wolf. He could probably even fight two of them off. There was no way he could win a fight against three wolves at the same time. Suddenly, all of the other animals of the forest started helping Frost. They all wanted Frost to be their leader, not the three black wolves. The three black wolves finally gave up after getting beaten up by the mountain lions. They ran off into the forest. Frost yelled at them as they were leaving. He told them not to ever come back. There was peace in the valley again. Dark, Dusk and Shade were from another forest. They had also been kicked out of their forest. Frost had welcomed them to The Enchanted Forest a few years earlier, and told them they could stay as long as they did not cause any trouble again.
When an attempted hijacking rattles a sleepy California coastal town, teenage detectives Dalton Fraser and Maddy Kane spring into action. With the help of a super-smart dog and a trained U.S. Navy dolphin, the teens investigate mysterious clues that lead them to uncover a smuggling ring. After their story is declared unbelievable by the small-town sheriff, Dalton and Maddy form a daring plan to catch Nico, the notorious ringleader, and lead the sheriff to his arrest. But the plan backfires and the young teens find themselves in more trouble than they bargained for, and Nico doesn’t want witnesses!
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Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought , the blog on wordrefiner.com . Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones.
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Periodically, ForeignCorrespondent participates in virtual book tours that allow authors to showcase their books to a broader audience. Today I am hosting fellow RRBC/RWISA author