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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
We Missed the Bus

Harriet and Penelope loved to do things together. Best of friends for many years, the two spent most of their time with each other. They went to tea parties, movies, brunch and shopping.

Penelope smelled of moth balls and peppermint drops. Harriet reeked of cheap lavender perfume which she generously dabbed behind each ear.

“Harriet, since it's such a lovely morning, would you like to go to the zoo?”

Harriet smiled. “That would be heavenly. I'd love to see the tigers and elephants. We'd have to take the bus. It's too far away to walk.”

Penelope patted Harriet's hand. “We'll take the bus.”

They packed their handbags and headed for the bus station. “There it is, Penelope. It's the bus that goes straight to the zoo.”

The drive to the zoo was uneventful. They spent the entire day going from cage to cage, watching the flamingos and rhinoceros. As the afternoon sun lowered in the sky, the two ladies walked back to the bus station.

“Oh my, Harriet. It seems as though we missed the bus. There's another one coming in an hour.” Penelope sat on a bench.

“I'll just read my book,” Harriet said.

After a day of fresh air and sunshine both ladies found themselves fast asleep, leaning against each other for comfort. The bus came and the bus left. Another bus came and another. Three hours later Penelope woke up. “Harriet! Harriet! We've missed our bus.”

Harriet sat straight and yawned. “What?”

“The last bus has gone. We're stuck here at the bus station. We fell asleep!” Penelope frowned. “How will we get home?”

Harriet picked up her book and walked to the pay phone. She made a call and then sat next to Penelope. “Not to worry, Penelope.”

A few minutes later old Mr. Ingalls from around the corner drove up in his car. “You ladies need a ride?”

Penelope blushed as the man opened the car door for them. “Thank you, Larry.” She sat in the back next to Harriet as Mr. Ingalls drove them home. Her elbow nudged Harriet in the side. When Harriet looked, Penelope smiled.

Once they arrived home, Harriet and Penelope invited Mr. Ingalls in for some tea. He parked the car and joined them while they told him of their adventures at the zoo.

“It's a good thing you've got each other for friends, isn't it?” Mr. Ingalls grinned.

“Yes, it is.” And Harriet sipped her tea.

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