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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Stew And a Warm Bed


"I..I..I..Iím c-c-c-c-cold," shivered Ian. "This is one of the worst winters I..I..I..Iíve ever seen. Brrrrrrrr."

"Itís a cold one, Ian. We raccoons arenít supposed to feel the cold, are we? But living, up here in the highlands, I feel it," Mac said, rubbing his furry arms. "Maybe we should find somewhere warmer. Lying in the bushes isnít very sensible. There must be a cave around here somewhere."

The two raccoons stood up. "I..I..I..I..I..I canít feel my feet," Ian complained.

"If we walk, then at least weíll get the blood circulating. Come on. Letís find a cave," Mac urged. They walked deeper into the forest.

Theyíd been walking for a few minutes when Ianís nose started to twitch. "Whatís that delicious smell? It smells like roast beef, my favorite."

Mac sniffed the air. "Youíre right. It does smell good, but I think its beef stew. I can smell cooked turnips and tatties."

Suddenly Ian wasnít as cold. "Iím starving as well as freezing. There must be a cottage around here somewhere. Where is it?" he asked, looking around.

"Over there. There is smoke. Just follow your nose," Mac laughed at Ian. They ran towards the billowing smoke and soon came to a cottage. They walked over to a window and peeked inside. "Itís stew. I see the pot bubbling on the stove."

"Stew? Is there hot bannocks to go with it?" Ian asked, pushing Mac out of the way so he could see in the window. "Ah, there are some. Weíve got to get inside. Not only that, but thereís a roaring fire. We could get warm."

"We canít just walk into a house. Theyíd shoot us. Weíve got to go from window to window and see whoís in the house," Mac said. "You go that way and Iíll go this way. Weíll meet around the back by the woodpile."

Ian peeked in the windows. He could see a room with chairs and a dining room table and there was a big hutch filled with beautiful china. "Thatís lovely," he sighed. The next room he saw had a big bed in it with a fluffy down comforter on top. "Oh, a bed. Imagine how warm and cozy it must be." He didnít see any people inside.

Mac peeked in the window and saw a library. There was a leather-bound chair and a lamp for reading. The next room he saw was a couch and two chairs and a television. Sitting in one of the chairs was an elderly man. Lying next to the chair was his dog. "Yikes!" Mac whispered. He ran around the back. "Ian. Ian. Where are you?" he called softly.

"Iím here, behind the wood pile. Can we go in? I saw a soft cozy bed," Ian began to speak.

"Well, donít get your hopes up. Thereís an elderly man and his dog in the living room watching the telly. So much for the stew and warm fire," Mac sighed.

"What? Youíre giving up? If they are in the living room, surely we can sneak into the kitchen and have some stew and get warm. My paws are nearly blue with the cold. Come on, Mac. Letís go inside," Ian begged.

"I am a bit cold and very hungry. Weíve got to be very quiet," Mac cautioned. Ian nodded and they walked to the back door.

"Open it," whispered Ian.

"Shhhhh. Iím trying to," Mac said.

He pushed the door open. It gave a little squeak. He stopped and looked at Ian. "Itís all right. They didnít hear. Just open it a little bit more and we can squeeze through." Mac pushed it open and the two slipped inside. He turned around and shut it. It squeaked softly.

"Itís warm in here," Ian smiled, rubbing his freezing paws.

"The stew smells even better from inside. Come on, but quietly," Mac said.

They walked into the kitchen. "Thereís the stew. Grab the pot and put it on the floor!" Ian said, excitedly.

Mac reached up and grabbed the pot by the handles. He set it down on the floor and opened the lid. "Oh, look at the big juicy hunks of beef, pieces of carrots, turnip and tatties, and even peas. Find us a spoon," Mac said.

Ian opened the drawers. One had hot pads. Another had aluminum foil. Finally he found the spoons. "Here we go." He handed one to Mac. "Dig in."

They ate spoonful after spoonful. Ian reached up and pulled a few bannocks off the plate. They dipped them into the stew. "This is delicious," Mac said. He had stew all over his whiskers and fur around his mouth.

"Mmmmm," Ian said, with a mouthful of gravy covered beef. After theyíd eaten the whole pot, Ian said, "I think I need a nap after that big meal. Thereís a comfortable bed in the other room. Heís still watching the telly. Letís have a lie down."

"Yawn. I think thatís a good idea," Mac agreed. They tiptoed down the hall and went into the bedroom. They climbed up onto the bed, pulled the blankets down, and climbed under the sheets. "Oh, this feels good."

But Ian was already sound asleep. It didnít take Mac long before he joined Ian in slumber.

BARK! BARK! BARK! Ian and Mac jumped up. At the foot of the bed stood the dog; itís long brown ears bouncing up and down with each bark. It snarled at the raccoons. "Uh oh," Ian said. They were both too afraid to move.

"What have we here?" the man asked. "Raccoons in my bed? I suppose you two are responsible for eating my pot of stew. Am I right?"

Mac and Ian nodded their head yes.

"Thatís what I thought. Now, what am I going to do with you? You eat my stew, you sneak into my house, and you sleep in my bed, which, I might add, I just put clean sheets on. What do you think we should do with them girl?" the man asked the dog.

BARK! BARK! BARK!

"Thatís what I thought too," he said. The man walked over and picked the raccoons up by their necks.

"Heís not going to chop us up and use us for stew, is he?" Ian cried.

"I donít know," Mac said.

The man headed for the back door. He looked around and saw a huge pile of snow. He tossed Ian and Mac into it. They sunk down to the bottom. "I donít want to catch you back in my house again. If you do, Iíll let my dog eat you; bones and all."

"Gulp," went Ian.

The man shut the door. Ian and Mac stuck their heads out of the snow. They could see the dog at the window barking. They climbed out of the pile and ran as fast as they could to their tree and climbed it to the top. "At least we had a good meal and a wee sleep," Mac said, trying to look on the bright side.

"I..I..I..Iím cold," whined Ian.

Mac just shook his head.


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