Sunday, May 1, 2011

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

May 2011

So here we are in the month of May. Poets promise May flowers and the weather forecasters say May always has the highest number of Tornadoes of any month. Several bad ones have already devastated many areas from the Canadian border down to the Gulf of Mexico during April. Though the poets also mentioned April showers, none fell in our part of Texas nor has there been rain in the last seven months. Needless to say that set up Texas for the wild fires which have raged from the Southwestern mountains near the Davis Observatory to the Eastern edges of Possum Kingdom Lake, wiping out most of the State Park at the Lake.

One of the poems opines on the true cause of these fires ("Texas Fires") and you will find "The Bubble Bath Way," and the based on truth 76 line "Monster in the House," all by yours truly. A bit of self indulgence, perhaps, (one line per year) but this is natal anniversary month for self and Leo C. Helmer, our cooking columnist. ("Cookin' With Leo.")

We are introducing Joanne Sprott aka MuseLady11, a poet new to our pages with four of her compositions: "The Silence," "Balance," "Open the Eyes of Your Heart," and "A Texas Fall." Yes, she lives in Houston and three of the poems have been previously published on her blogspot, but she hopes to get some critique through our publication with a new audience. A creativity coach, herself, she is always striving to develop new venues for expressing her talent.

John I. Blair's poetry finds itself being written even when he is sedated (see "Hospital Hawks.") His other poems for this issue are: "Ramping Up," "Sometimes The Sun, " "How Comfortable," "No Leg To Stand On," and "Feeding The Birds by Starlight." Our songwriter Bruce Clifford sends along three poems: "The Ocean is Warm," "Without You," and "Look at Us Now."

Mattie Lennon brings us another excerpt from It Happens Between Stops by the author Declan Gowran in his column "Irish Eyes." Thomas F. O'Neill's column "Introspective" discusses the importance of teachers and teaching.

Eric Shackle shares the article lauding the examples of two dogs, "Sarbi and Horrie: Two Brave Dogs" while his regular "Eric Shackle's Column" tells us about two widely separated events, a whistling contest and an ocean cleansing cruise. Check out the "Mail Bag" for a link to some important safety information which is shown on the blog version of our ezine.

In addition to introducing a new poet, we are able to bring Denise Sebastian to Pencil Stubs Online with her romantic short stories she calls 'trysts.' Living in Oregon, she discovers she finally has time to indulge her writing hobby and has submitted "In the Clouds" for May. We hope to show more of her work in the future.

The continuing story, "Rabbo Tales," adds Chapter 9 of this adult fantasy by Mark Crocker.

See you in June.

Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

We invite you to become a fan of our publication at FaceBook.

Mail Bag

Where to Go During an Earthquake

Remember that stuff about hiding under a table or standing

in a doorway? Well, forget it! This is a real eye opener.

It could save your life someday.



My name is Doug Copp I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster

Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ),

the world's most experienced rescue team.

The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with

rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in

several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams

from many countries.

I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years,

and have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985,

except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City

during the 1985 earthquake.

Every child was under its desk

. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones.

They could have survived by lying down

next to their desks in the aisles.

It was obscene -- unnecessary.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the

ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes

these objects, leaving a space or void next to them -

NOT under them.

This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'.

The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact.

The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater

the probability that the person who is using this void for safety

will not be injured.

The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television,

count the 'triangles' you see formed.

They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see,

in a collapsed building.


1) Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when building

collapse are crushed to death.

People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position.

You should too in an earthquake.

It is a natural safety/survival instinct.

You can survive in a smaller void.

Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large

bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be

in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the

force of the earthquake.

If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created.

Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight.

Brick buildings will break into individual bricks.

Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs,

simply roll off the bed.

A safe void will exist around the bed.

Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes,

simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room

telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom

of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by

getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the

fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings

collapse is killed. How?

If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or

backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above.

If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway.

In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs.

The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency'

(they swing separately from the main part of the building).

The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump

into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place.

The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up

by the stair treads - horribly mutilated.

Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs.

The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged.

Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake,

they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people.

They should always be checked for safety, even when the

rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible -

It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior.

The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building

the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road

above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is

exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the

Nimitz Freeway.

The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside

of their vehicles.

They were all killed.

They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting

or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived

if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them.

All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except

for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper

offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact.

Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life...

The entire world is experiencing natural calamities, so be prepared!

'We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly'

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology

to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul ,

University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated

to film this practical, scientific test.

We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside.

Ten mannequins did 'duck and cover,' and ten mannequins

I used in my 'triangle of life' survival method.

After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble

and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions , relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the 'triangle of life.' This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

Subject: Save your life with "The Triangle of Life"

"Triangle of Life":

Without listening or reading, simply by looking at the following

self-explanatory photos, you can learn more than in a thousand

words about how to protect yourself during a major earthquake...





If you are inside a vehicle, come out and sit or lie down next to it.

If something falls on the vehicle, it will leave an empty space

along the sides. See below:







: 國 際救援小組(ARTI), 網址:
American Rescue Team International

is said to be the World's most experienced rescue team

and disaster management-mitigation organization.

The Bubble Bath Way

By Mary E. Adair

Cast your cares aside
And midst the bubbles hide
From all the problems and toil
That make your blood roil

Let the warm water flow fast
The more bubbles, longer they last
And soak in aroma sweet
Immersed from chin to feet

Empty your mind of every thought
Don't ponder things that should be bought
Think about floating worry free
About all the sights you'd like to see

Be only mindful of this time and space
And the bubbles forming patterns like lace
The steam rising into a light haze
And believe this'll be one of your better days

Let your words soften and even fade
As the bubbles do in the bath you've made
And things should go smoother in your day
So bask in the afterglow of the Bubble Bath way.

©4-20-2011 Mary E. Adair
Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

A Texas Fall

By Joanne Sprott

When the pale blue Norther finally
Pushes the heavy, wet air back to
The Gulf from whence it came in April,

We know relief, and open windows,
Ah, real air, not metal-smelled, but
Clean-scented soul conditioning.

Our pale green leaves turn vapid yellow,
Fool's gold compared to the great North
With her ruby maples and aspen glitter.

Living soil still holds tropical heat,
To grow fall color in clusters of
Purple and gold Chrysanthemums.

Browned grass and bare branches,
Temporary mortalities, remind us
Of the longer death in other climes.

Far into the frost and snow fall
Of the North, we swing on verandas,
Savoring this second, sweeter, summer.

©2009 Joanne Sprott
Previously published at her blogspot

Click on Joanne Sprott for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Hospital Hawks

By John I. Blair

Like a chrysalis cocooned in cotton
I lay upon the gurney in my socks and gown
Waiting for my colonoscopy,

Staring fuzzily without my spectacles
Through the windows on the seventh floor,
Contemplating clouds,

The distant treetops, distant buildings,
Thinking distant thoughts about mortality.
But then two shadows drifted past my vision,

Lifting lazily along the tower’s side,
A pair of peregrines at play with updrafts.
I was invisible behind the mirrored glass;

And even if they’d seen,
I had no meaning to them,
Lacking movement, usefulness.

But for me they meant the world persisted,
Lived, transcended pain and fear,
Panic and uncertainty.

So I prayed them take my soul in tender talons
Even while my body slipped
Into its dreamless anesthetic sleep.

©2011 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By Joanne Sprott

It was purple in its redness,
Cut from sustenance of soil,

Light, wind, and rain,
To draw empty water
From a slender vase.

Every petal is doomed
By the cutting of green stem
From rose root.

Too, we are cut from our roots
Now and then, to slowly die.

Our petals droop like blood
Suspended from our wounds,

To fall onto the tablecloth
As fragrant stains.

Petals cling to life.
Petals rest in pain,

Until, desiccated by time,
They blow away,
Their velvet beauty
Pressed only into memory.

©2000 Joanne Sprott
Previously published in her blogspot

Click on Joanne Sprott for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Eric Shackle's Column

By Eric Shackle

From ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 Posted by shack at 7:54 PM

Expedition to Rid Oceans of Plastic Pollution

An expedition called The Five Gyres is about to leave Valdivia, Chile, in a ship called the Sea Dragon, to sail the South Pacific in search of plastic pollution.

(A gyre in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements).

Sea Dragon is a 72ft (22m), 90,000lb displacement steel hulled sailing vessel built in the UK in 2000.

Its departure from Valdivia was delayed in case a tsunami from last week's disastrous earthquake in Japan might reach the coast of Chile.

"Although one could argue every single thing on the planet is related, ocean plastic pollution seems to have little to do with the recent 8.9 magnitude earthquake and trunami that hit Japam last week," says Paula Alvarado, a Buenos Aires journalist who is a passenger on the Sea Dragon.

"Yet, the subject has been strangely present in the days prior to our departure with the 5 Gyres project to take part in the most extensive study of ocean plastic pollution undertaken till now."

Alvarado says that in 1960, Valdivia was hit by a more powerful earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale, as against the recent 8.9 in Japan.

"The city was severely damaged by the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960 — the most powerful earthquake ever recorded", she says.

"Debris and destroyed buildings from the earthquake can still be found in the suburban areas — land subsidence and sediments make navigation of the local rivers complex, with some ruined buildings still adjoining the water."

Here's a video showing the extent of the devastation:

Why are they so concerned about pollution of the oceans?

The short-term convenience of using and throwing away plastic products carries a very inconvenient long-term truth.

These plastic water bottles, cups, utensils, electronics, toys, and gadgets we dispose of daily are rarely recycled in a closed loop.We currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce.

What happens to the rest of it? Roughly 50% is buried in landfills, some is remade into durable goods, and much of it remains “unaccounted for”, lost in the environment where it ultimately washes out to sea.

In this video, Marcus Eriksen is not really fishing. He is catching plastic in the Atlantic Ocean. Eriksen and his wife, Anna Cummins,want to publicise the growing buildup of plastic waste in our oceans and to study its effects.

Cummins also explains that trawling gathers plastic particles from surface waters only. Different kinds of plastic may be suspended at different depths – a dreadful rainbow of rubbish spanning the ocean from top to bottom – but no one has done the research to find out.

For more about The Five Gyres expedition, visit:

And for a progress report from Paula Alvarado click on: on-the-way-to-possible-great-south-pacific-garbage-patch

And another, sent from Robinson Crusoe's Island: 5-gyres-tsunami-ruins-impossible-nature-surroundings-robinson-crusoe-island

Let's Whistle While We Work!

Sunday, 24 April 2011 - From ERIC SHACKLE in Sydney, Australia. Posted by Eric Shackle at 22:32

The world would be a happier place if we all whistled lively tunes while we worked ... and at other times as well.

Two years ago, Luke Janssen, CEO of a Sydney firm, was acclaimed as the world's best whistler, when he won an intenational contest held annually in Louisburg, North Carolina (pop. 3000). It's ironic that he's better known in the US than in Australia. Last week he was featured in articles in the New York Times and the Arabic news agency Al Jazeera.

"Luke Janssen wants to make whistling cool again," Erik Olsen wrote in the New York Times.

"Sitting in a chair in his Williamsburg apartment, Mr. Janssen, who is from England, whistled along to a blues song as he strummed his guitar. But his is no ordinary warble. In fact, Mr. Janssen, 35, is considered one of the world's best whistlers. And he may also be one of the more controversial.

"Mr. Janssen, who is chief executive of a mobile applications company based in Sydney, Australia, was in vigorous practice mode in his apartment, preparing for a return to Louisburg, N.C., and the International Whistlers Convention, which was held this month and is considered the whistling world's most prestigious competition."

The Al Jazeera story said: "Whistlers often talk about the need to "pucker-up" but oh boy do they need to have rubber lips and flexible tongues to do it.

"I dunno if you saw that but that's how it's done," said competitor Luke Janssen, baring teeth, tongue and epiglottis to demonstrate his own special brand of trilling.

"Luke was a champion whistler two years ago and he came for his crown once again ... but the competition was stiff."

Last week, whistlers from 25 US states and 14 countries competed in Louisburg. Damariscotia Helm of Rocky Mount, North Carolina was judged best female whistler, and Terry Rappold, of New Orleans, Louisiana won the men's section.

Luke Janssen is CEO and founder of TigerSpike, a technology driven personal media company. He took part in the 2004 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

* You can hear (and see) Luke Janssen's remarkable whistling style in this

Click on Eric Shackle for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Open the Eyes of Your Heart

By Joanne Sprott

Open the eyes of your heart.
You will see the truth in everyone,
The angel disguised in flesh and bone,
The shining saint cloaked in fear, alone.

Open the eyes of your heart,
And fall into the darkened mirror.
Meet your soul at the crossroads of life,
Give her a kiss for me, in starlight.

Open the eyes of your heart.
Gaze in wonder on the roses of love
That bloom in the garden of your delight.
Their sweet scent blows away the fear
In a dancing cloud of sun-pollen bright.

Open the eyes of your heart.
And all those around you will marvel
At the golden one that shines anew,
The saint uncloaked, the angel revealed,
The illuminated power of You.

©1999 Joanne Sprott
Previously published in her blogspot

Click on Joanne Sprott for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

A few months ago I told you that I had edited a collection of transport-workers' writings, It Happens Between Stops.

I gave the readers a little sample of the contents and a number of people have emailed me asking for more.

Well here goes:


By Declan Gowran.

You know what they say about men with big feet? They have to get their shoes specially made by the cobbler. Made to measure from toes to heels to insteps to ankles with the appropriate allowances made for the type of sock to be worn. This factor of course would also depend on the seasons and whether the wearer’s feet were prone to sweating. Style might also enter the equation; but at the time that I’m going to talk about, the good old- fashioned leather brogues were the boots to be seen in. These brogues were all leather tops, soles and heels with indented patterns and overlapping strips that suggested a sturdy bulkiness that would suit the cobbles of the farmyard or the polished floor of the Ceili House.

The only trouble was it was expensive to have your own shoes made especially if you happened to be a bus driver back in the Hungry Sixties.

During the Sixties the first OMO buses were introduced. These were One Man Operated and came with a premium of an extra 20% over and above the basic wages of the day. Some new routes like Coolock started off as single-deck OMO operated services while others like the North Wall were developed. Because of the extra wages involved the more senior of the drivers were to be found manning these OMO routes on a marked-in basis while others might work a rest-day as an OMO if they had undergone the training.

About this time a driver in Clontarf called Footsie found himself working on the North Wall. Footsie was aptly named because this guy had massive clogs for feet. Footsie was big in other ways too. He was a particularly big hit with the ladies who were attracted by his dexterity around the dance floor. He would literally sweep them off their feet by standing them up on his huge insteps as he glided round the floor. They were equally impressed on the walk home afterwards particularly if there was any lovers’ lane handy on the route where Footsie might demonstrate some other of his big attributes.

Footsie used to have his boots specially made. This was an expensive business so much so that Footsie could only afford to have one pair of brogues to be made at one time. These boots were always black so that they would match his uniform. As a consequence most of his civvies were in darker colours to go with the boots. It was always Footsie’s dream and ambition to have a pair of brown brogues so that he could expand his wardrobe. If only he could afford the extra pair. It may have been one reason why he worked OMO.

Just after Christmas one year Footsie was working the last North Wall. He had a fair load on for the B&I Boat as many of the emigrant workers and navvies were heading back to Blighty after spending the Christmas with their families. After pulling into Clontarf Garage and parking the bus Footsie, while making his cursory last check for lost property, discovered a big hunk of a country lad crouched into the corner of the back seat dead asleep to the world and obviously a bit worse for wear from the drink. Cradled on his lap in his arms was his bag of belongings. The bag rose and fell like a gentle tide with his steady breathing.

“Wake-up son!” Footsie called out as he shook the young lad. “You’ve arrived whether you like it or not!”

The young lad, startled by Footsie’s massive shake, blurted out:

“Have we landed then…show me the way to the London train…”

“'Tis a long way from London ye are son, more nearer to Tipperary in fact!”

“Wha! Where am I? Where’s this?”

Footsie calmly explained as the young lad got unsteadily to his feet.

“Ah no!” The young lad sighed: “ Wha’ time is it? If I miss that boat McAlpine’ll have me life! Please ye got to help me! Get me to the boat on time! I’ll give ye anything! Name yer price! Pleaaaase!”

Footsie looked him up and down. He felt sorry for the poor bugger. Then he noticed the young lad’s feet or more properly the lovely spanking brand new brown leather brogues that the young lad was wearing.

“Here!” Footsie commanded: “ Ger up and stand beside me for a minute…”

“As I thought.” Footsie grinned with satisfaction: “Sure I’ll get you to the boat, son, but just on one condition.”

Footsie pulled the bus out of the garage and drove hell bent for rubber to catch the B&I Boat for the young navvy. They made it with minutes to spare before the gangplank was raised.

“I’m mightily obliged to you, sir!” The young lad said gratefully before parting.

“Sure it’s nothing son,” Footsie replied, feeling a little guilty: “So 'tis alright about the shoes then….”

“No bother!” The young lad said sincerely: “Think of them as a belated Christmas present!”

The young lad boarded the boat; but nobody seemed to notice that he walked up the gangplank in his stocking feet.

When Footsie got home he couldn’t wait to try on his new Christmas brogues:

“Just as I thought,” He smiled with satisfaction: “Made to measure! A perfect fit!”

For more information on
It Happens Between Stops

Click on Mattie Lennon for bio and list of other works published by
Pencil Stubs Online.

The Silence

By Joanne Sprott

In the silence, I walk,
Until you whisper to me
From dampened leaves.

Steeped in leaf-fall am I;
A chill fog rises past my lips;
I sense your cool kiss.

Glowing drops warm my skin,
Until you surround me,
And soak yourself in.

Your touch is gleaming;
You slide off my fingertips,
Drip onto the soil, steaming.

Our love flows behind starlight,
Wavers under street lights,
And slips past the moon.

Our love rests in silence,
Beyond sight, beyond sound;
Only touch matters.

©2008 Joanne Sprott

Click on Joanne Sprott for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Texas Fires

By Mary E. Adair

The wind is the culprit
The announcer said
But he failed to mention
Why everything's dead

Dried up because of lack of rain
Not even a good dew
And the brush is like tinder waiting
For a spark or two

Lightning can start what soon
Becomes a blaze
And the firefighters will be after it
For several days

For the firetrucks and firemen
Form a congregation
Whenever, wherever conditions foretell
Such a conflagration

And though the work's dangerous
As many have found
They swear allegiance to fellow fighters
'Til they're beneath the ground

And it takes such bravery
When the fires spread wide
Moving so rapidly sometimes
Even rabbits can't hide

Burning all in their path
Of heavy smoke and flame
And believe me when I say
The wind's not only to blame

For the rancher won't plow
As loosened dirt will fly away
And they're not allowed controlled
Burns on their property they say

So once again regulations made
By those not in the know
Lack of common sense is why
We see burned areas grow

OK, I'll admit the wind does its
Part of sending the fire along
But lack of prevention should be
The name of this sad song.

©4-20-2011 Mary E. Adair

Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

How Comfortable

By John I. Blair

How comfortable
To vote with pain;
No one dares
Denounce it.

The vote is held
In darkness
Where numbers
Can’t be seen.

Pain always keeps
A veto power,
Doesn’t need
A quorum;

And victory’s
By volume
Or you’ll call the vote

©2010 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Monster in the House

By Mary E. Adair

One day Daddy came through the door beaming
Who knew twas the prelude to future screaming,
He'd found a solution to save Moma time
As I'll try to explain in this little rhyme

With full skirts the fashion before permanent press
And the aim of his daughters to neatly dress
He'd noticed that ironing was quite the big chore
Though we'd not given much thought to that before

Ironing day followed washing day as a matter of course
Though getting me to the ironing board took some force
The bulk of washing day always fell upon me
So on ironing day I thought that I should be free

After dragging the benches to where the tubs would sit
(Without three rinses, clothes were considered unfit)
And hauling hot water the washing machine needed
Using a hose to fill the rinse tubs was lightly heeded

The wringer was a marvelous progress Moma said
As wringing out by hand she would forever dread
But instead of a machine to make washing fun
Daddy had improved ironing, or thought he had done

Introducing the 'monster' he rolled into the house
As "The Mangle" even left Moma quiet as a mouse.
He plugged it in to the socket in the wall
And my sisters came running when they heard Daddy call

"I'll show you," he said, "just what this will do"
And he asked Moma to hand him a sprinkled shirt or two.
For the dry clothes from the clothesline were dampened again
Before being ironed, and were rolled tight and packed in a bin

If you didn't get them ironed in a day or perhaps two
They'd sour and you would put them with washing to do
Later when freezers were the new appliances to buy
You could freeze the damp clothes to last til you die.

But now this mangle promised results with speed
And getting everything ironed that you'd ever need.
So he tested the curved metal surface to see if it was hot
Then spread the buttonhole side of the shirt Moma had got

Pressing with his foot, the metal dropped down
And the muslin covered roller went round and round
The buttonhole edge fed through as Daddy showed what he'd found
Keeping the cloth taut as we watched without a sound

Smoothly flattened as it fell off the rollers back
Daddy pulled it to him to take up the slack
The button edge was next, "Buttons down," he advised,
Then pedaled it to go again on this machine he prized.

The collar was next and it went fast as zip
As through the mangles roller it took its trip
He draped one shoulder top over the roller end
Daddy pressed and released and did the second one then

The shirt front was spread without any bother
And both fronts and the back were pressed from one edge to the other.
He smiled and reached up to pull out a rod from the top
So you could hang things right up and not have to stop

He showed us wire hangers he'd picked up from the cleaners
Long before recycling, my folks were real gleaners
Smiling he asked who wanted to try the next shirt
But no one volunteered so his feelings were hurt

Then Moma smiled her smile and said "Maybe I can try."
And he grinned because it was for her that he'd made the buy.
Before many days had passed we felt like experts
Ironing pillowcases, blouses, and those billowy skirts.

We ironed the cuptowels, our gym shorts, and tops of sheets
And even learned how to do Moma's nice dress with the pleats
We ironed everything we could get to fit through the space
Between the muslin roller and the pressing plate's face

For awhile it was a novelty and even friends wanted to try
Then the magic wore off and Sister burned her hand with a cry
Really a scream it was, as she was our drama queen
And swore she'd not again be using that monster machine.

So after the monster had been in residence about two years
And we all had conquered our reluctance and dried our tears
We began to ignore it, and it stood quietly to one side of the room
And finally Moma covered it with an oilcloth to hide its gloom

And I never saw Daddy sit down at the Mangle any more
And mostly we started using the iron and board as before
Because we only needed to touch up each brand new dress.
As all of them were made from the new permanent press.

©4/28/2011 Mary E. Adair
Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Sarbi and Horrie: Two Brave Dogs

From ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia.
Sunday, 10 April 2011 Posted by Eric Shackle at 20:16

Sarbi the Bomb Sniffer has saved many lives on both sides of the war in Afghanistan, and

Horrie the Wog Dog probably saved many lives in Egypt in the second world war.

Sarbi received an award for bravery at a formal ceremony at the Austalian National War Memorial in Canberra last week.

RSPCA president Lynne Bradshaw presented Sarbi, who went missing in action in Afghanistan for 13 months, with the medal at a ceremony attended by Chief of the Army Lieutenant-General Ken Gillespie.

"I think there is no doubt that Sarbi has shown an incredible strength and resilience that should be recognised," Ms Bradshaw said.

Sporting a new coat in the bright green of her Special Forces unit and with two campaign medals pinned to her side, Sarbi was presented with her Purple Cross in front of the Animals in War Memorial at the Canberra Australian War Memorial.

The labrador's adventure began back in 2008 when she was separated from her handler in a battle that left nine soldiers wounded.

The story made headlines around the world.

In London, in 2009, The Guardian reported

A highly trained Australian special forces combatant who disappeared during a firefight in Afghanistan has been found safe, well and waggy-tailed after surviving for more than a year in the desert.

Sabi, an expert in detecting improvised explosive devices who also happens to be a four-year-old black labrador, went missing 14 months ago during a battle in which nine Australian soldiers, including her handler, were wounded. Months of searching revealed nothing and the dog, on her second tour of Afghanistan, was officially listed as missing in action.

Last week, however, a US serviceman known only as John spotted Sabi wandering in a remote area of the southern province of Oruzgan and, knowing his Australian counterparts had lost a bomb-sniffing dog, tried out some commands to which, Lassie-style, the labrador responded.

Back at Tarin Kowt base, Sabi was a little grizzled but otherwise unharmed. Her trainer checked she really was Sabi by means of the tennis ball test: he nudged a ball to her; she picked it up. "It's amazing, just incredible, to have her back," the trainer said.

Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who was coincidentally visiting his country's troops during a brief visit to Afghanistan, posed for photographs petting the dog, alongside US General Stanley McChrystal, overall commander of the US and Nato missions to Afghanistan. Rudd declared Sabi "a genuinely nice pooch".

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sabi showed no signs of stress after her ordeal and greeted strangers "with a sniff and a lick".

It is not known whether the dog spent the past 14 months eluding Taliban forces in the area, as befits a special forces combatant, or whether she was captured and held as a prisoner of war, but the fact that she was in good condition when found suggested she had been well looked after, military spokesman Brigadier Brian Dawson, told reporters in Canberra.

She is now being tested for disease, with a view to returning to Australia, although Rudd suggested that passing quarantine tests "might be the greatest challenge".

Trooper Mark Donaldson was awarded a Victoria Cross for his part in the battle in which Sabi disappeared in September 2008, when a joint Australian-Afghan patrol was ambushed. He declared her return "the last piece of the puzzle.

"Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us [who] served with her in 2008. It's a fantastic morale booster for the guys," he said.

Horrie the Wog Dog was owned by a WWII digger, Jim Moody. His cousin, Neil Moody, was a colleague of mine on the staff of the Sydney Daily Telegraph in the 1930s.
And here's the Australian National War Memorial's tribute to Horrie:

Early in 1941, Private Jim Moody, VX13091, 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion found a puppy in the Ikingi Mariut area of the Western Desert, Egypt. He became the unofficial mascot of the battalion, travelling with it from Egypt to Greece, Crete, Palestine and Syria then back to Australia in 1942.

Horrie was intelligent and easily trained. He acted as a guard dog and many times gave early warning of the approach of enemy aircraft. He survived the sinking of the Costa Rica on which the unit was being evacuated from Greece to Crete, wounding by a bomb splinter in Crete and the effects of the severe cold in Syria.

Ion Idriess, in his book Horrie the wog-dog: with the A.I.F. in Egypt, Greece, Crete and Palestinepublished in 1948, related the entertaining story of Horrie written from the diary of Jim Moody. Horrie is also mentioned briefly in the book The long carry: a history of the 2/1 Australian Machine Gun Battalion 1939-46 by Philip Hocking and published by the 2/1 Machine Gun Battalion Association in 1997.

The Memorial has on display Horrie's uniform shown in the photograph as well as Horrie's travelling pack. This pack, lined with wood and with slits cut in the back for ventilation, was used to smuggle Horrie back to Australia in 1942.

Here he survived for three years before being discovered by Quarantine officials after being exhibited in a Red Cross charity appeal. Following Quarantine Regulations Moody was ordered to surrender Horrie to be shot.

Instead he found a look-alike dog at the pound and surrendered it. This dog was duly shot and Horrie was sent to live out his life near Corryong, Victoria.

Horrie wearing his uniform in Syria
Horrie in Syria. He is shown in his uniform
provided to give protection from the cold.
AWM 076877
Let's put aside sentimental thoughts about Sarbi and Horrie, and reflect
on this:
Are dogs truly brave, or do they merely respond obedientlyto the commands of their very brave handlers?
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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

My Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother’s Italian Pasta Soup

Well now, it ain’t often that my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother visits me more than a few times a year, but this year she has been around pretty often. And just the other day while the weather in Texas has been so damn hot and dry and I was sitting in the shade just to cool off, she fluttered on to the patio.
“Good gosh, Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, what in this world would bring you to Texas with all the fire and smoke here? I know you are not a resident of hell but you sure came to it.”
“Oh be quiet, you no in any hell yet, and if you get there you sure gonna’ know it.”
“Maybe so Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, but West Texas has been hell since before last Christmas, and if we don’t get some rain soon this whole damn state will burn off the face of the earth.”
“Don’t worry you gonna’ get rain sometime before next Christmas.”
“Gee, is that a promise?”
“No promise, just a fact.”
“OK so who made you the chief meteorologist?” I asked with a bit of sarcasm.
“Don’t worry I know everything and you gonna’ get rain here before June come around.” She forecast.
“Well I hope your predictions are correct.” I snorted.
“Hey, li’l bambino, you know you can depend on your Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, she know everything.”
“Maybe so, but every church in West Texas has been praying for rain and by now many folks have turned to voodoo and wild incantations, whatever and nothing works.”
“Well if I say it gonna’ rain here before June, you just believe it the same as you believe in my recipes I give you and make you world famous chef and cook book writer.”
" OK, Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, I won’t doubt you, so what have you got for me today?”
“ Oh, I gotta some nice Italian pasta soup for that rainy day.”
“ OK, I like soup on rainy days, so let’s have it!”
Will I ever learn to not say ‘let’s have it” to my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, she is too good at letting me have it with that magic wand of hers. Slam, bang, and she was gone again but now I have a recipe for a rainy day in Texas,

Italian Pasta Soup

Here is what you need so check out everything as a lot goes into this:

  • 2 tblspns Olive Oil, look for the kind with the picture of the Virgin on the bottle.
  • About 6 oz. Prosciutto chopped, that’s Italian Ham in case you didn’t know.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 midium stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can 16 – 18 oz great northern beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 cans 16 – 18 oz diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2/3 cup ditalini pasta
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

And here is how you do it:

Heat the oil in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Add the Prosciutto, onion and garlic. Cook stirring constantly until the onion is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrots, and broth, Cook until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pot. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer 5 minutes more. Mash the beans and stir in with the tomatoes. Cover and stir occasionally and f let cook for 5 minutes, only stirring to keep anything from sticking to the bottom. Add the Pasta Cover and heat until the Pasta is tender but still firm. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stir in the parsley and serve.

Some nice red Italian Wine will go with this, and stay out of the rain.

Take Care Now, Ya’heah!

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Look at us Now

Look at us now
We got here somehow
In a mixture of dust
All of this a must

Taking it slow
The game and the show
We ask for some more
Then we even the score

So many hours waiting just to hear a voice
So many hearts are breaking and are given no choice
Too many souls are trying, but dying on the vine
Too many dreams are broken without a reason why

Take a look at us now
We got here somehow
All the space in between
The corners of every dream

Static is the glow
All the memories you should know
Each box opens up with the wind
Time takes energy to spin

So many hours waiting just to hear a voice
So many hearts are breaking and are given no choice
Too many souls are trying, but dying on the vine
Too many dreams are broken without a reason why

I break down and I cry

I break down and I cry

©4/6/11 Bruce Clifford

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In The Clouds

By Denise Sebastian

As she sat in her bedroom wondering what life was going to bring her next the thought of him crossed her mind. She had a secret.

This secret consisted of a man that filled her life with joy, but if she said anything he would disappear. She didn’t want that. He was her life, her love that made her whole. The problem was he was not of this world.

She had fallen in love with someone that only appeared in her dreams. The first time she saw him she was dealing with a lot of life transformations and couldn’t seem to pull herself together. He would talk to her and listen when she needed him too. She enjoyed the way he made her feel; desired.

She felt safe entwined within him. She knew she was a hopeless romantic, but it did the trick. When they were together nothing else existed. They went where they wanted to did what they wanted to; within her dreams.

He was tall and handsome. He had long wavy dark hair that cascaded beyond his shoulders. His eyes were a deep sapphire blue. And when he spoke it was like music she had never heard. He was everything she could have ever imagined. It seemed like he could not exist, yet here he was. When she woke from her dreams she could smell him as if he were there. She felt his touch even after she awoke. How could that not be real? How could this just be a dream? It just did not make sense to her.

Her only desire in the world was to stay with him all the time. He told her that this could not happen and if she told anyone about their adventures he would disappear forever. This scared her beyond feelings. She couldn’t lose him she would die inside.

It was night once again and she couldn’t wait to get to sleep. It had been a long day at work and everything was buttoned down for the night. As she began to doze the phone rang. She got up and answered the call, it was her mother. Her mom was worried because she knew her daughter had been going through a lot of stress and wanted to make sure she was ok. She carefully rushed her mom off the phone and went back to bed to begin her adventure.

She began to doze off. She was wondering where her mind would take them next. She was on the top of a mountain looking out over the ocean on the right and a velvet green valley on her left. It was so breathe taking that she almost forgot why she was there. She looked around and he was standing next to a tall pine tree. He was leaning on it holding it up and if he left the tree would fall down. She giggled to herself at the thought.

He was wearing a blue pair of jeans that were snug in all the right areas. He had a blue dress shirt half tucked in and unbuttoned half way down. You could see his chest ripple out from under the shirt. His hair draped just down the side so it hung just over his shoulder. As he looked at her she was breathless. Once she looked into his deep blue eyes it felt as if she was floating.

He began walking to her and as they met he took her into his arms and put his lips to hers. He began to kiss her as if there was no tomorrow. It was soft yet with enough force that she knew how he desired her. He pulled her deep into him as if he wanted her within his every being. She began to lose her footing, but he had her. She embraced him and knew she was where she wanted to be.

They began exploring the forest and surrounding pathways. The sun was almost down and the fog or clouds begun rolling in just below them. She couldn’t imagine anywhere else she wanted to be. She felt that her dreams and fantasies were coming true. He gazed at her and asked if she had ever walked on the clouds. She laughed and responded, “No”. It was not possible to walk on the clouds. He told her that anything was possible.

He took her hand and led her towards the clouds. On the horizon the sun began its decent to bed and below the ocean played its music.

She was terrified she would fall. He told her to trust him he would never let her fall. She closed her eyes and thought, “Put all worldly thoughts away and be with him, trust him with her life.” She held his hand as tight as she could and took the first step.

She did not fall. She felt light as a feather. Yet, she could feel her stomach rise to her throat from fear. Every step she took that fear began to diminish. They walked out to the end of the cloud where they could see the sun’s reds and pinks as it was setting. The ocean was swirls of purple, blue and white below them.

He gazed into her deep green eyes and reached down to kiss her. Her lips were soft and tender. She was all he required. He wanted to have her outside of this dream realm, but he couldn’t. She didn’t know it but he was her creation. She was making him real by believing in him as strongly as she did. He felt as real as she was. He had feelings, fears and desires. His yearning right now was her. She made him feel whole.

As he pulled her close she began to moan her approval. She wanted him to take her into him. The passion began to grow as his hands moved down her back gently sending a tingling sensation from her head to her toes. She grabbed his arms as they lay down in the clouds. She reached up to caress his face. He leaned into her hand. She felt this was the most perfect moment of ecstasy.

All of a sudden she heard it in the distance, an alarm was going off. No, she didn’t want this to end. Her fantasies were coming true. She looked up and his face began to fade. “NO!” she screamed as she awoke in bed tears rolling down her cheek.

He was gone!

Click on Denise Sebastian for bio and list of other works published by
Pencil Stubs Online.

Without You

I must be out of touch
Because I think of you so much
Maybe I don't want to face the truth
But I can't live my life without you

I must be losing my mind
Because you're with me all the time
I'm always trying to make things right
I wish you could help me through the night

I can't live without your smile

Without you I would never see your smile
Without you I would not want to live even just for a while
Without you my heart would never be the same
Without you I would rather just melt away

I must be living in a dream
With nothing left for me to believe
It's too hard to face the truth
I can't go on without you

Without you I would never see your smile
Without you I would not want to live even just for a while
Without you my heart would never be the same
Without you I would rather just melt away

©4/28/11 Bruce Clifford

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Feeding The Birds by Starlight

By John I. Blair

My life is such a skein,
When others toil, I sleep,
Blocking the blinding sun
With drapes drawn tight.

And when, at night,
Ghosting around the house,
I think to fill the feeders
I’ve hung from porch and post,

I work without a lamp
Where window light is lost
In deepest shadow,
Finding my way by memory

Of how it looked at noon.
Bucket of seed in hand
I squat and fill each tube
Up to the brim,

Sensing repletion of the bin
By touch alone, my fingers
Feeling fullness;
Then hook them up again.

On darkest nights,
With only stars for watchers
And the neighbor’s woofing dog
As company, I know

This is as near as I will get
To touching birds
I can only see by day
Through dusty panes.

©2011 John I. Blair

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No Leg To Stand On

By John I. Blair

Just because
You have no legs
That does not mean
The merely lame
Don’t suffer too.

©2009 John I. Blair

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Ramping Up

By John I. Blair

Sturdy forty-somethings,
Newly proud and nervous
With our first purchased house,
Up concrete steps we clambered
To the narrow porch,
Its ugly Astroturf a souvenir
Of someone’s golf course contacts.

At fifty four with broken leg,
I teetered at the top,
Half-terrified to think
Of swinging stiffly down,
Balanced on my crutches,
Trusting in shaky skill,
Braced by your belief in me.

Sixty two left you wheelchair-borne,
Brought low by crunching joints
And other ills that flesh inherits.
We got a bargain on a ramp
That looked so much a gangplank
We joked about a bosun’s mate
Piping us aboard.

Fast approaching seventy
We find our ramp defining,
The only one along our street.
“Ours has the ramp” we say;
And after all, we’d earned that ramp.
In sweat and pain,
Fears and tears.

Now it’s a part of who we are,
Still captains of our fates,
Pilots of our argosy,
Steering toward a goal
We can’t quite see,
But confident in our course,
Finding comfort in companionship.

©2011 John I. Blair

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

Learning from the lessons of life

I graduated from Shenandoah Valley high school in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 1981 before most of my students here in Suzhou, China were born. In my high school days there was no internet, computers, and spellcheckers on cell phones. The things that make this dyslexic coal cracker appear so much more intelligent than I could possibly be. The ability to instantly communicate is something we now take for granted and it is only a shadow of the technology yet to come.

I can’t help but to imagine how much easier today’s technology would have made my college days. I sure could have used this technology back then. On the other hand, the more this technology is advancing our society the more it would appear our society is dumbing down. Our ability to send instant messages and to text others in real time diminishes our communications in some ways and we take less time in making our communications accurate and concise.

I once heard a high school teacher say as long as the meaning is properly conveyed in the student’s report that is all that matters. That is why I can’t entirely blame some of our youth in our American schools for their inability to spell and construct grammatically correct sentences. I have to put most of the blame on the school system. It has also become easy for most teachers in the U.S. to put the blame on the student for their failing grades and their lack of respect for the education system. In most cases though respect from the students’ needs to be earned.

Most Chinese students respect their teachers and that respect is vital for their overall education. When you truly care and respect others you will find that others will truly care and respect you. When a teacher takes the extra time to reach a struggling student it is perceived in China as an act of kindness.

Our American students just like students from all over the world put great emphases on getting into the right colleges and earning the right degrees. Education after all does provide us with boundless opportunities and an educated society enhances the overall well being of its nation. If a teacher takes the time to positively impact a student’s life they are changing the world one person at a time. That kindness will be remembered long after the student’s lesson plans are forgotten because it leaves an indelible imprint in one’s heart and soul.

A teacher’s kindness cannot be bought, sold, or acquired academically; it can only be freely given from one heart to the other and that can be their greatest legacy. Teachers are not only teaching they are being taught by the lessons of life. The greatest teachers throughout history were also the greatest students when it came to those life's lessons.

Always with love from Suzhou, China.
Thomas F O’Neill

    Phone: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

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Sometimes The Sun

By John I. Blair

Sometimes the sun,
That star of stars
To which we owe our lives,
Reminds we’re here entirely
At its mercy, and there’s none.

©2011 John I. Blair

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The Ocean is Warm

The ocean is warm
The ocean is cold
I made up my mind
I might never grow old

I don't know what to do
When I'm without you

The motion of tide
The chaos of the slide
I try to reach out
Each day comes with doubt

Tomorrow I could do without if you are not here

The ocean is warm
The seas are like glass
In the eye of the storm
Nothing will last

Nothing could last
It all goes too fast

©4/26/11 Bruce Clifford

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Rabbo Tales - Chapter 9

By Mark Crocker

The Village

    Rabbo awoke to being in something dark and being bumped up and down and side to side. He was not sure where or when he was other than it was dark and he was in something big heavy and soft. Rabbo pictured Athena in his mind and called her on the private telepathic mode “help I’m in something big black soft and it’s moving from side to side and up and down”.
    The motion stopped and two hands reached down and pulled him out of the back pack.
    “You were still sound a sleep when we got up and you would not wake so dad put you in his back pack. We did not mean to frighten you” said Athena as she hugged Rabbo close.
    They had just walked out of the woods and Cat was close at hand leading the way and cutting back and forth in front of them. Sometimes Cat would rush ahead and then wait for them. Athena sat Rabbo down on a rock and looked around. “We have a long walk and we should make it sometime late this afternoon”
    Rabbo set off followed by Merwyn Athena and Bastet. Cat was out in front following the pathway and sniffing as he went. “Do you think it’s safe for me to be in the village” asked Rabbo full of worry that the people in the village might think he was something to eat.
    “Don’t worry Rabbo I will make you seem like an owl to them so that they will leave you alone. You will just have to stay close to us that all so no sneaking off on your own. As I don’t want you ending up on someone’s table as dinner” said Athena with a smile on her lips.
    They walked until the sun was high overhead and then sat under the shade of an olive tree and eat lunch. Then after a short nap they continued down towards where the village was. They were coming up out of a valley when Rabbo smelt something different in the air. It has a kind of salty smell that Rabbo had never smelt before. His nosed twitched as he sniffed and sniffed. Then he saw a stone wall and was about to run to it when Athena stopped him.
    “There are people in that field now stay close. Better yet let me put you on my shoulder and make you look like an owl” said Athena.
    “Good idea sweetie. We don’t want stewed Rabbo” snickered Bastet.
    Merwyn looked over and Athena and Bastet. “I think you two should put on longer skirts now. And Bastet put the cloak on with the hood they might not like your face. No offence meant. Just a woman with a cat face might upset them”
    “Good point dad. Bastet you best do as dad said”
    Bastet stuck her tongue out at Merwyn as she pulled the cloak out of his pack and put it on pulling the hood up over her head so that her face was concealed. Athena pulled her short toga off and stood naked for a moment as she pulled a long toga out of her pack. She winked at Bastet and then pulled the long toga over her head and down her body.
    They continued to walk passing more stone walls and sinking down into more valleys and the smell that Rabbo had smelt got stronger and stronger until he started to sneeze at all the salt in the air. Rabbo sat or rather floated on Athena’s shoulder and at last he could see where the smell of salt was coming from. Rabbo could see a huge body of blue water stretching off as far as he could see and below him was a huge village with a building on a hill that was being built. Around the huge village was a stone wall much higher and thicker than those that they had passed along the way. And below the huge village further away was a harbor.
    Merwyn turned looked first at Athena then turning to Bastet said “Welcome to Athens. Named in honor of the hero who drove the raiders into the sea.”
    “Oh my you never told me that, darling” said Bastet to Athena.
    “It’s something I am not proud of something I wish I had never done. But it’s done, it happened, and I have to live with it.” said Athena looking down at the ground.
    They walked up to a huge gate that was built into the wall and walked down between two other walls that were a little lower and had towers at each end. Merwyn walked up to a man dressed in a chest plate of bronze holding a long spear. “Where is the senate my good master at arms” asked Merwyn.
    The guard suddenly had a glazed look in his eyes and looked at Merwyn without seeing him. He raised his arm and pointed down a wide road.
    “Thank you my good man” said Merwyn.
    “What did Merwyn do?” asked Rabbo on Athena’s private telepathic mode.
    “He read his mind. Now we know all we need to know to blend in and be safe.” replied Athena.
    “Ok Athena you go and warn the senate and I will escort Bastet to he ship.” “Ok dad and I will meet up with you at the ship. Oh you best take Rabbo as I won’t be able to hide him when I warn them.”
    Rabbo was passed over to Merwyn and Athena suddenly faded into nothing that Rabbo could see.

    Athena walked invisibly up the pathway to the temple in her honor. She walked past half finished walls and outer buildings before she entered the roofless temple. She looked around to see stone masons and construction workers busy at work sweating hard while moving blocks of marble around and carving them into shapes and pillars. Athena sat down on a huge stone table and thought for a moment. It was the silence that made her look up from her deep thoughts. She looked around and all the masons and construction workers where standing looking at her.
    “Oops” she thought to herself. “Dad would be very upset and me doing that.”.
    Athena stood up and looked around. She spotted a young woman holding a baby in her arms come running towards her. Athena smiled at the young woman “don’t fear me, my child.” she said in a soft voice.
    The young woman stopped bowed low and walked up to Athena.
    “May I look at your daughter” asked Athena.
    The young woman handed over the baby girl to Athena and bowed low.
    “Stand up my child and sit next to me and tell me what you have been doing since you visited the home of the gods?”
    In a weak hoarse voice the young woman spoke “I am no longer high priestess to you, my goddess. But I was here and saw you appear so I came while the high priestess is brought before you”.
    “You are staying off those leafs I hope” said Athena.
    “Yes, my goddess. I am doing as you told me”.
    “Good and please you can call me Athena not my goddess. After all you are my child”.
    “Yes my um Athena”
    “Good now tell me what you have been doing since last we talked”.
    For the next thirty minutes the young woman told Athena all that she had been doing since she had visited Athena at the house.
    Athena looked up and saw another young woman who was swaying unsteadily on her feet. Athena beckoned her forward and noticed that her pupils were very dilated. They were so dilated that Athena felt that all she had to do was reach into her pupils and she could touch the retina.
    “You are my voice” asked Athena of the new high priestess?
    “Yes, my goddess” slurred the new high priestess.
    “Then tell the people here and in the village that the sea raiders are coming. They will be here the day after tomorrow. Tell them that they need to arm themselves and be ready to fight” Athena said.
    The new high priestess turned and weaved side ways and spoke but her voice was so slurred that none could clearly understand what she was saying. Athena looked at her disappointed. She then looked at the young woman handed her back her daughter.
    “You better stand back a little” Athena said softly to the young woman. “When I am done we will talk some more”.
    Athena moved to the center of the huge stone table and let herself seem to grow tall until her head was above where the roof would be when the temple was finished.
    “You have done well my beloved people. I am much pleased with what I see” Athena’s voice boomed out over the temple and down into the village. “In return I bring a warning. Arm yourselves as the sea raiders will be here the day after tomorrow. They come in five great ships. So to arms and prepare yourselves for battle”.
    Athena shrunk back to her normal size. She turned to the people in the temple and pointed at the young woman and said. “This woman is a child of Athena. Honor her protect her and her blood. She is blessed by me.” Athena looked at the young woman and beckoned her to join her back at the altar.
    Athena sat back down next to the young woman who had been standing at the top of the stairs leading to Athena’s altar. Suddenly there was a gasp and everyone in the temple started to look around.
    Athena giggled softly as she sat next to the young woman and her baby daughter. “That should give them something to talk about”.
    “What happened” said the young woman.
    Athena giggled “I made you and me invisible. They can’t see us. Let’s go to your house and talk”.
    As they walked invisibly out of the temple Athena spotted Cat weaving his way though the crowd that was heading to the temple.
    “Over here, Cat” said Athena.
    “Can’t see you. You not seeable” said Cat
    “Towards the wall at the end” Athena told Cat.
    Cat turned towards the top end of the wall and started to walk in that direction.
    “Other end, silly cat”
    As Cat got close Athena made herself visible to his eyes only and then made Cat invisible to the people around him.
    “The cat of the gods” hissed people that had witnesses Cat turn invisible.
    The house of the young woman’s was small and a little untidy. But what Athena noticed most was that there was very little food in the house.
    “You don’t have much food here do you” asked Athena.
    “You are hungry” asked the young woman?
    “No just that your daughter needs you to eat better as she is not getting the milk she needs from you” said Athena.
    “Since I am no longer high priestess at your temple food has been hard to come by. I try to make money for food but I have a baby and well I can’t afford much”.
    “Where is your husband” asked Athena.
    “He was killed defending our house when the sea raiders came last time” said the young woman almost breaking into tears.
    Athena’s heart went out to the young woman. “Well food won’t be a problem now will it”?
    There was knock at the door and the young woman opened the door and a man with a basket of bread stood in the door way. Behind him was another man with a basket of fresh vegetables. And behind him stood a woman with fresh fish wrapped in a cloth and behind her another young woman with a basket that had a jug with milk and butter and cheese.
    When the people saw Athena sitting in the young woman’s house they muttered and bowed to the young woman.
    “I better go” said Athena. As she walked to the door followed by Cat she stopped and turned. “You will have the pick of any man you want you know”.
    The young woman looked sad “The only man I want is dead. I will have no other man in my bed until I join my love in Hades. I made an oath to him as he died in my arms that I would have no other man in my bed apart from him”.
    Athena bowed her head. “I understand”

    Rabbo, Merwyn and Bastet arrived at the ship just as Athena’s voice boomed out over the village. Merwyn turned and looked up at the hill that Athena’s temple was being built on and shook his head. “I guess it the only way she could get the news out fast” muttered Merwyn to Rabbo.
    A man dressed in a white heavy kilt stood at the top of the gangplank and looked down.
    In broken Greek he asked “Who below there”.
    Bastet pulled her hood back “I am here now so knock off the formalities”
    “Oh, Bastet, we have been waiting for you. My daughter is asleep in your cabin but your son is awake in my cabin. I will go get him for you” said the man in the kilt.
    “Who’s that” asked Merwyn.
    “He’s father of the captain and master of my body guard. Don’t worry he knows the truth of what we are. All my crew does. They don’t look at me as anything more than one of them”.
    Rabbo wriggled on Merwyn’s shoulder as sitting up high and not moving was starting to make his body ache and hurt. Merwyn but Rabbo down and he hopped up the gangplank onto the deck of the ship. He looked around and all the wood and rope.
    Bastet walked up the gangplank and bowed to the few sailors that were sitting around talking.
    “This is Rabbo. He is not to be hurt or eaten” said Bastet to her crew.
    “Pity a nice large fat rabbit would make a great stew” said one of the sailors as he licked his fingers.
    “Try to harm me and I will pee in your water and bite your arms off.” said Rabbo trying to sound tough and unaware that the sailor was joking with him.
    Merwyn and Bastet started to laugh as did the sailors on deck. “He is joking with you ,Rabbo.” said Bastet
    A young man walked up on deck and looked around. As soon as he spotted Bastet he ran over and threw his arms around her and hugged her tightly.
    “I missed you mom” said the young man.
    “Mom” asked Merwyn.
    “A long story. I am not his real mom. The captain of this ship is. But he is like a son to me so he is my son without all the pain I will be going though of giving birth to him.”
    “I understand” said Merwyn.
    Bastet lead the way below deck followed by Merwyn and very close on Merwyn's heels Rabbo followed behind. They walked into a large room where a woman was sprawled out on a huge bed.
    “Shhh she is still asleep. Most likely she has not slept in days”. Said Bastet
    “Tell me about the young man. There is an air about him that is different than almost every human on this planet Bastet. Did you do something to him” asked Merwyn.
    “I did not need to. His father’s gene and his mother’s gene are different. His genetic back ground is the same as the humans on this planet. Yet at the same time different. I did nothing to him. I did not need too as it was already there in his mother and father. All I did was make sure that his mother and father shared the same bed so that he could be. I was hoping for a girl but we got a boy instead not that I minded”.
    “Is his father still alive or did Ra get to him” asked Merwyn.
    “Yes he is very much alive. He is the master of my body guard” said Bastet.
    “Father Daughter pairing” asked Rabbo. “That’s inbreeding and Athena tells me that is bad”.
    “Not always” said Athena.
    “Where are you Athena” asked Bastet?
    “I’m not sure. I see buildings with lots of things in them all kinds of stuff in them. But this dam wall keeps blocking my way” answered Athena.
    “Project a picture of what you see” said Merwyn.
    “Ok keep going and you should see an arch way go though that and then come back down. We are the only ship that has a bowsprit” said Bastet.
    “Oh ok. Well as I was saying and Bastet will back me. Inbreeding is ok if the genes are clean with both parents of the child and that there are no negative reinforcements. If both parents have clean gene and are willing it can be gone but the normal method of delivery. Or it can be done by artificial insemination. Myself I much prefer the normal delivery method” stated Athena.
    “Oh yes I agree totally not that I would let a man touch me in that way” replied Bastet.
    “I see your ship Bastet. Yes well its better when a baby is made with love” said Athena. “Don’t you agree dad”
    “Well yes my dear daughter. It’s the only way” replied Merwyn to Athena.
    “I’m here and the man at the top of the gangplank won’t let me up” said Athena.
    Bastet Merwyn and Rabbo headed back on deck to greet Athena who was waiting on the dock with Cat sitting at her feet.

    That night after the feast of greeting Merwyn and Rabbo retreated down into the master cabin and sat down ready to make that nights astral travel trip. Partly as the continuing training lesson for Rabbo and partly to check on the small fleet of ships heading towards the village of Athens.
    Rabbo and Merwyn watched from on high as the five ships sat at anchor in a small cove of an island. Each ship had sixty warriors and oarsmen armed with bows spears and swords for a combined force of three hundred warriors.
    Before they had headed off to check on the fleet Rabbo and Merwyn had traveled to where the villagers force was being mustered and had count over four hundred men with weapons that were ready to defend the village.
    Rabbo had pointed out to Merwyn that the village was too large but the definition that he had learned from Isis and the term city would be a better description of what Merwyn and Athena called the village.
    Merwyn pointed out that when they had first arrived it was a small collection of huts with a rammed earth wall surround the huts. But over the few hundred years that they had been there it had grown and could be called a city but Athena liked to call it “the village” as that was how she knew it.
    Rabbo and Merwyn descended lower to have a closer look at the warriors camped on the beach. It seemed that most of the warriors had only light armor and weapons that had seen many battles.
    “These men are possible very skilled with their weapons so it might be quite fight for the villagers even if they do out number these men camped her on the beach. Let’s look at the ships and see what they have to help them” Merwyn stated to Rabbo.
    As the moved from ship to ship it became clear that while the men were very possible well trained that they did not have the weaponry for an attack on a well defended location.
    Rabbo and Merwyn returned to the beach and started to drift from camp fire to camp fire listening to what was being said and how each warrior was acting. It soon became very clear that they thought that the villagers would run and hide as they had in the past and that the raid would not last more than a few hours. Rabbo and Merwyn moved towards the only tent on the beach and listened to one warrior how had real armor.
    “If their goddess shows up I know how to deal with her. They say that a spear to the eye will kill a god or goddess and I have brought a special spear that I had made as I want revenge for my brother that she killed.”
    Another warrior sitting by the fire looked over “think you can get that close without being killed my lord”?
    “I prayed to great bull that she would be made weak if she is there so that I can slay her. And I will. I will put her head on my spear and show these people that we can wipe them out at anytime and that their goddess is nothing next to the great bull.”.
    “Yes, my lord, and I know that you can. After all she is only a woman. A goddess maybe but still just a woman”.
    The others sitting around the camp fire laughed.
    “I plan to capture myself a virgin when we attack” said another warrior.
    Again there was laugher around the camp fire.
    “They make small talk as they are over confidant” said Merwyn to Rabbo. “See how they laugh and joke and none looked worried or are checking their weapons or armor. Listen how the talk as if victory is already theirs. And see how they eat as if the expect there to be plenty of food to haul away”.
    Rabbo felt himself start to drift upwards and back towards the main land and the village.
    Rabbo opened his eyes to see Merwyn slowly stand up and look around the cabin that they had been using for their astral travel trip. Rabbo sat still on the bed checking his body to make sure that his heart rate was coming back up to normal when Athena walked in.
    “Dad what news of the fleet” asked Athena?
    “They are over confidant but one plans to kill you with a spear though your eye.”
    Athena laughed “as if they could get that close. Beside I am not planning on being at the battle anyway” stated Athena flatly
    “Go to the council and inform them of what I saw. Make it sound like you saw it and what you heard.” said Merwyn.
    Rabbo watched as Athena closed her eyes and rocked on the heels of her feet as Merwyn projected what they had seen and heard while they had been at the beach where the warriors had been camped. Athena left the cabin so Rabbo hopped up close to Merwyn. For some reason Rabbo felt chilled to his bones and could not get warm.
    “I am cold” said Rabbo. “Oh yes I forget sometimes that you are still learning about astral travel and don’t know all the tricks yet. And I forget too that because you are covered in fur does not mean that you don’t get cold” said Merwyn.
    Rabbo felt warmth start to spread though out his body gently warming him from his stomach out to his feet and ears. Once Rabbo was warm he curled up to sleep on the huge bed.

    Rabbo awoke to the sun coming though a porthole and warming his head. He slowly opened his eyes and lying in the bed was Athena, Bastet and the ships captain and Cat.
    Rabbo slipped off the bed and hopped over to a small table that had a low rail around it. He reached over pulled the cover of the water jug filled a glass and drunk. He then hopped over to the door and reached up to pull the lever down so that he could leave the cabin. But the handle was just out of reach. Even standing on tiptoes he could not reach the lever so he looked around for something he could push over and reach the lever.
    Rabbo spotted a small wooden box and hopped over and pushed it to the door. Then he stood on the box reached up and started to pull the door handle down. But the door handle seemed to be either locked or stuck. So Rabbo used his whole weight to pull the handle down and still it did not move. Rabbo tried pushing it upwards and still it would not move.
    Rabbo looked at the door to see if there was some kind of lock that locked the door handle but he could see none. So he closed his eyes and looked into the door handle but could not see anything that would make the door handle not work. Rabbo moved his head real close and looked carefully at the door handle to see if there was something he could do to open the door.
    He rested his paw on the handle to think and the lever came down making Rabbo fall of the box and land on the floor in a heap. From the bed he heard soft giggling and saw Bastet’s cats eyes watching him closely. Rabbo pushed the box back to where he had got it from hopped to the door and turned and looked at Bastet. He stuck his tongue out and turned and hopped out of the cabin.
    Up on deck Rabbo saw Merwyn looking at the buildings that the people kept all the stuff that the ships brought to the village. Without turning Merwyn spoke to Rabbo “I think while we are here we should do some shopping for things that we need like seed grain, wool, herbs and tiles”?
    “Tiles why tiles” asked Rabbo.
    “Well I will have to build an extra room as a nursery for when Athena’s baby is born as it would not be health for the baby once it’s old enough for it own room to sleep in the same bed or room as Athena”.
    Rabbo nodded and moved to where he could look though the scuppers at the buildings on the wharf. Rabbo noticed that there was a lot of coming and going as people came and took things from the buildings in behind the walls of the village. He noticed that there was a lot of carts being loaded up and pulled inside by many men who all seemed very busy.
    “Soon they will have it all secured behind the walls and be ready for when the fleet arrives. Last night Athena told them what we saw and gave them a battle plan so that they could defeat the raiders” Merwyn paused and looked down at Rabbo “They should arrive at about noon time tomorrow. I did see a guard mounted on that high hill over to our left so that they can keep a watch for the fleet”
    “Will we be here for the battle” asked Rabbo rather worried that Merwyn and Athena might have to fight.
    “No sweetie we should be gone by noon time today” said Athena’s voice drifting into Rabbo and Merwyn's head.
    Rabbo looked around and it was clear that the sailors were busy getting the ship ready to sail.
    Athena and Bastet came up on deck holding hands.
    Cat walked behind them his tail swishing from side to side.
    Athena had Merwyn’s back pack and the cloak that Bastet had wore as she walked over to Rabbo and Merwyn.
    Athena turned and kissed Bastet before she walked past Rabbo and Merwyn and started down the gangplank towards the wharf with Cat close on her heels.
    Merwyn reached down and picked up Rabbo and followed Athena down onto the wharf. The four of them stood there watching as the sailors started to cast off, and the ship drifted away into the harbor. Then a wind sprung up out of nowhere and filled the sail pushing the ship around so that its bow pointed out of the harbor.
    Athena stood waving at Bastet as the ship pulled out into the sea. She then turned to Merwyn and Rabbo smiled weakly and brushed away the tears that were streaming down her cheeks.
    “Let’s go straight home, dad. I don’t want to shop I just want to go home” Athena said sadly.
    As they walked though the village they saw many signs that the people were preparing themselves for battle. It seemed at the end of each street there was piles of arrow’s ready to be moved to the walls. Also there were many large amphora’s lining the street filled with water. But when they got to the walls the amphora’s were filled with thick heavy olive oil also at the walls were fires burning with sand in huge copper pots.
    “Why are they heating sand, dad” asked Athena.
    “To pour on the raiders. It gets down under the armor that they might be wearing and will burn and make them back off”.
    “To me it looks like they are expecting the battle to last many days” said Rabbo
    “I am glad you remembered not to talk out aloud Rabbo” said Athena.
    “I hate being an owl” said Rabbo. “My skin itches and the feather hurt every time the wind blows”.
    As the walked up the track they had to step aside often for carts with people moving into the village. Many of the carts were piled high with the belongings of the people pulling the carts. Often there were small children sitting on the top of the pile of belongs crying and weeping.
    At the top of one hill Athena turned back and looked towards the village. “It’s more of a town now. I guess it’s stupid of me to refer to it as a village”.
    As they started down the back side of the hill an old woman and an old man walked towards them pulling a small cart. “Why are you leaving Athens? It is safer than being outside the city. Come with us to my son’s house you will be safe there when the sea raiders arrive”.
    “Thank you for your offer but our home is up beyond the hills near the mountain” said Merwyn.
    “You live near the mountain of the gods. You are very brave. I could not live that close to the gods. They say that the goddess that comes down from the mountain warned the city that the sea raiders were coming. They do say that she appeared in her temple as tall as the temple itself. They do say that she told those there how to beat the sea raiders. And that she blessed the old high priestess” said the old woman almost breathlessly.
    “Yes I was there I saw her bless the young woman and her daughter” said Athena.
    “Walk with us and tell me all about it” said the old woman trying to get Merwyn and Athena to return to the city with her.
    “Thank you but we must head to our home near the mountain. We will be safe there and far away from the sea raiders” said Athena.
    The old woman turned and looked at Merwyn “may you and your wife be blessed by the great goddess Pallas Athena”
    Merwyn bowed his head to the old woman and her husband. “May the great goddess bless you and watch over you”.
    “Dad that is too funny. If they knew the truth” Athena’s voice laughed in Rabbo’s Merwyn’s and Cats heads.
    After many hours of walking they turned off the track down a path that led up towards the mountain. They had not stopped for lunch as they could see clouds building over their mountain and Merwyn was worried that they might get caught in a thunder storm.
    Rabbo had gotten tired so Merwyn had placed him in his back pack with the top open so that he could ride and see what was going on.
    As they walked though the woods Rabbo closed his eyes and stepped out of his body and traveled a little ways ahead so that he could see what the woods where like as Merwyn and Athena had told him to stay out of the woods.
    Rabbo saw the wild cat with her kittens sitting in a small meadow playing in the rays of sun light that was coming though the trees. Towards one end of the small meadow stood a deer with her fawn feeding from her and at the other end were small birds up in a tree. And below the birds in a hole in the trunk of the tree was bee’s a beehive. The bees were buzzing around in the meadow visiting the flowers that bloomed all over the place.
    Rabbo started to come back towards Merwyn and Athena and saw a pile of bones of some small animal. But what really caught his eye were the glows that surround both Merwyn and Athena.
    Both Merwyn and Athena glowed so brightly that the cast a golden glow that seemed to surround them and join them. Rabbo noticed a duller glow weaving from side to side. He zoomed in closer at the duller glow and noticed that it was Cat.
    As Rabbo watched Cat sunk down and started to stalk a bird that was feeding from a low bush. Cat crept slowly forward moving in on the bird until he was almost right behind the bird and ready to leap up and grab the bird. The bird hopped down onto the floor of the woods and moved backwards towards were Cat had stopped.
    Then Cat pounced forward onto the bird and bit down killing the bird so fast that it was dead even before it had a chance to squeak in alarm. Then Cat walked off with his tail held high and the bird in his mouth. Cat headed towards the small meadow where the wild cat was sunning her self with her kittens.
    Cat walked into the meadow and straight up to the wild cat. He dropped the dead bird down at her paws and sniffed her. He then walked over to one of the kittens leaned down and licked the kitten gently.
    The kitten turned and reared up on his hind legs and spat and hissed at Cat. Cat batted it down and started to roll around in the meadow with the kitten.
    Another kitten watched then bounced over though the grass and pounced on Cat. The third kitten walked slowly over and looked at Cat. It meowed plaintively at Cat and lifted it paw up.
    Rabbo noticed that the paw glowed a sickly yellow color and that there was something clearly wrong with the paw.
    Rabbo returned to his body and sat up looking out of Merwyn's back pack.
    “Cat is with some kittens and one of them has a hurt paw” Rabbo said.
    “Can’t be helped” said Merwyn.
    “Dad it’s a kitten and is hurt”
    “Its nature taking care of its own my dear daughter” said Merwyn.
    “Yes but it’s innocent”
    “If you helped every hurt animal in the woods we would have a zoo at the house” said Merwyn in a gentle yet firm tone.
    As they walked along Cat popped out onto the pathway and walked up towards them with something in his mouth. As Cat got closer it was clear that Cat had a small kitten in his mouth and that he was walking as slowly and as gently as possible as to not hurt the kitten.
    “Help son. Paw wrong. Son hurt. Please fix” said Cat to Athena.
    “Oh that’s different. It’s family” said Merwyn.
    “Oh because it’s family that makes a difference” said Athena with a tone of pure ice in her voice.
    Merwyn sat down on the ground and slipped his back pack off and took the kitten from Cat. Merwyn looked at the kittens paw and gently touched the paw.
    The kitten let out a squeal in pain. And then started hissing and spitting at Merwyn. Suddenly the kitten froze in Merwyn’s hand.
    “Hmm the paw is broken and he has an infection. This is not good, Cat. But I think we can help him a little”. Merwyn turned to Rabbo. “Hop out of my pack and reach into the lowest side pocket. My first aid kit is there. Bring it to me”.
    Rabbo reached into the lowest pocket and pulled out a wooden box. He then hopped over to Merwyn on his hind legs still holding the box in his front paws.
    Rabbo closed his eyes and looked at the bones in the paw. The bones were all flat and squashed as if something big had stepped on the paw making it flat. Rabbo focused his mind and started to realign the bones so that they were in a more normal position. As he did that he noticed that the bones were becoming un-flat and looking more like bones in a paw should. As Rabbo worked he saw a silver glow surround the paw and the red swelling started to go down. After about 30 minutes Rabbo opened his eyes and saw that Cat was busy licking the kitten who was sitting between his legs shaking.
    “Nice team work there” said Merwyn to both Athena and Rabbo.
    Cat looked at Merwyn then Athena and lastly at Rabbo “Thank you. Son be well now”?
    “He will have a better chance now of making it, Cat, so don’t worry” said Merwyn.
    Cat picked the kitten up in his mouth and with his tail held high Cat walked up the pathway until he came to the spot that he had entered the path way.
    “I had forgotten that Athena and Bastet had been training you to heal, Rabbo. Nice job by the way.”
    “Thank you. I did what I could but you filled the bones back up all I did was make them straight.” said Rabbo.
    “Nice job to Athena strengthening the kitten’s immune system. Now he has a fighting chance to get better”
    Merwyn put his back pack back on and they started up the pathway again. As the came to a larger meadow Rabbo saw dark heavy clouds overhead and heard a faint rumble coming from far ahead. They walked fast as they were still a few hours from the house and the storm looked like it was coming down off the mountain and towards them and that it could be a big thunder storm.
    About an hour down the path Cat popped out and sat waiting for them under a tree on the edge of another meadow.
    “Cat, is the kitten ok” asked Rabbo
    “Son sleeping next to mother” answered Cat
    “Why did you not tell us that you had a family” said Athena
    “I not think about it. Mother feed them. Mother clean them. I just bring food when can” answered Cat
    “If your son makes it bring him to the house so that I can take a look at his paw” said Athena.
    They met up with Cat and hurried faster down the pathway. But about thirty minutes from the house they felt the first drops of rain start to fall. Merwyn looked up and though the trees he could see very dark and heavy clouds. Then there was a loud rumble that made Cat and Rabbo jump.
    Merwyn reached down and put Rabbo into his back pack without looking and started to jog. Athena also picked up the pace and jogged alongside Merwyn.
    As the came out of the woods they could see the house disappear behind a sheet of rain that was moving towards them. Merwyn sprinted up the garden path moving as fast as he could he turned and looked at Athena as the rain started to come down hard around her.
    Merwyn put his back pack down so that Rabbo could hop out. He then turned looked at Athena and closed his eye.
    When Athena reached the house Rabbo was very surprised to see that while it had been raining hard on her she was almost completely dry other than her hair being a little damp.
    “Dad threw an umbrella over me” said Athena looking down at Rabbo and noticing his confusion.
    “A what” asked Rabbo?
“I’ll explain later Rabbo. But first I think I need a bath.” said Athena.
Watch for June's continuation of "Rabbo Tales."

Click on Mark Crocker for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.