I have a treat for you faithful readers. A guest appearance by one of my favorite authors, Sand Ra Leigh. She is a good friend of my historian, Sandra Leigh Jett Ball. Her speciality is back stories to those so familiar fairy tales. I think you’re going to like this.
Hay (no I didn’t spell that wrong, play on words, read on) easy readers, Sand Ra Leigh here. Ready for a story? You’ve come to the right place. Get cozy and let’s begin.
Once upon a time. Nope. That phrase is seriously over rated. Okay. It was a dark and stormy night. Geez, that’s not any better. Fine. Fine. Hold your horses, I’ve got it.
This is a story and not just any ordinary story. You’re about to see another side of nursery rhymes. I am going to take you into the everyday lives of some of your favorite characters. They let me tell their stories because they are very happy with the way I faithfully recorded Wellington’s saga without changing a thing. Let’s start at the very beginning. I know that one’s not new either but it fits.
Bo Peep was spitting mad. “Blue has done it this time,” she fumed. “Lost my best sheep and just because he partied all night and then fell asleep on the job.”
“It’s not like I didn’t warn you Peep,” Muffet looked up from her bowl of porridge. She took another bite. “Sure you don’t want some?” she offered.
“No!” snapped Bo Peep. “I want my herd back. Now.” She grabbed her crook and started down the lane. “Are you coming or are you just going to sit there and feed your face?”
Little Miss Muffet sighed and pushed her bowl aside. Peep was her best friend and BFFs stick together no matter what. Muffet warned Peep that Blue was not to be trusted but Peep wanted to give him a chance after Farmer Dell fired him for practicing his new bugle on the job. Never mind that it caused the cow milk to curdle. It made for an awesome new cheese.
“Peep, wait up,” Muffet was not nearly as fast as her fleet footed friend. “Maybe Blue has a good reason,” she grasped at straws. The ones that were conveniently sticking out of the haystacks they were scurrying passed. Straws always helped her think better. “He’s always looked after the sheep and the cows for Farmer Dell. And why would Dell be so upset with Blue anyway. Isn’t he supposed to use his horn to bring everyone in from pasture.”
“Yes,” Peep called over her shoulder slowing down enough for Muffet to catch up. “Blue only said that Farmer Dell told him not to bother showing up for work ever again.”
“But he’s worked for Farmer Dell since forever,” Muffet chewing on her straw. “Something’s not right.”
Bo Peep stopped dead in her tracks. “Muffet, do you think Blue is in trouble?” She forgot all about her missing sheep.
“Like what exactly?” Muffet gave Peep her tell me more about what you’re thinking look. It was her speciality.
“I dunno,” Peep stalled. She had no clue about why such a random thought would just pop into her head. She took off her bonnet and fanned herself. “That’s better,” she needed to think with a clear head. Her bonnet was such a bother, but her mom made it and she was sure it had magical abilities so she faithfully wore it everywhere. “Wait. What if Farmer Dell is the one in trouble? And he didn’t want Blue to get caught up in it!”
“Did your bonnet tell you that?” Muffet got right to the point.
“Maybe,” acknowledged Peep. She really did believe that it was magical. She confessed that to Muffet one time when they were divulging their deepest secrets to each other. Ever since Muffet always gave the bonnet credit for every clever idea Peep came up with. “The bonnet doesn’t know everything,” Peep wanted to believe that she had good ideas too.
“You’re the one that told me it was magical. Can we move on? The sheep are still missing and more importantly so is Blue.”
Peep put her bonnet back on, “You’re right, but I’m sure that Farmer Dell is at the bottom of all this. Let’s talk to him.”
Suddenly an awful indescribable sound blasted through the air. Both girls clasped their hands over their ears and added to the cacophony by screaming. And just as suddenly Blue appeared racing toward them at breakneck speed. And dashed right past them not even slowing down.
“Blue! Wait, Blue!” Peep took off in a flash after him. Muffet just stared after the two friends her feet glued to the ground. And so it was she that got to see a very strange sight indeed.
“Toot! Toot!! Toot!!!” with a great deal of rumbling and roaring a huge train was barreling down on poor Muffet. She barely had time to react.
“Stop!” she threw herself in front of the train. Not the best offensive plan but she had no time to think.
“Screeeeeeeeeeech,” with a positively magical maneuver the train somehow came to a complete stop right before it would have bowled Muffet over and made her flatter than Flat Stanley.
“WHO are you?” the train bellowed, black smoke rising out of its smokestack.
“Who are YOU?” Muffet snapped back, she was not one to be scared so easily.
The train sniffled. “Didn’t I scare you?”
“No, you are too ugly to be scary.”
The train started to really cry then, “I only wanted to help,” he said between sobs. “The Little Engine That Could cannot get over the mountain and Christmas will be ruined for all the girls and boys. He used to be able to get over the mountain but something happened and he’s stuck midway up. I was coming for help. My name is Tootle.”
“Tootle, why aren’t you on the tracks? Do you always make your own way?”
“I don’t like the tracks. They’re so ordinary.”
“Roger that,” Muffet liked space talk. She had read all about it in one of her favorite books. “How can we help?” She was sure that Peep would be on board. “And why was Blue running away from you?”
“The boy with the horn?” Tootle looked at her with an intense stare. “That boy tried to tell me his horn was better than mine. But then when he found out why I was tooting my horn with such urgency, he took off running. Is he weird?”
“Blue is as solid as the earth. If he took off running it means he has a plan. You’ll see.”
to be continued