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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Pretty Pottery

"What country did Vikings come from?" Bonnie asked.

Bruce fluttered his wings and answered, "They came from Scandinavia."

"Well, whatís that? Whereís that?" Bonnie asked again.

"It means they came from places like Norway and Denmark. They were sometimes called the Danes. Why do you ask?"

"A lot of the places weíve visited lately had connections to the Vikings. I was just curious," Bonnie replied. She looked down. "What a lovely loch! Itís so close to the sea."

"Itís Loch Broom and that village is called Ullapool," Bruce said.

"Ullapool? How funny."

"Itís where people can catch ferries to the Western Isles," Bruce said.

"Uh, oh. I feel a history lesson coming on," Bonnie sighed.

"This used to be a fishing village. It was built in 1788 by a man named Thomas Telford. He built it for the fishing trade. There were a lot of herring and mackerel in these waters."

"I donít see many boats now, just a few Russian trawlers," Bonnie said. The butterflies fluttered down to one of the ships that were docked in the loch. "I see theyíve been busy. Look at the shellfish!" Bonnie said, gazing down into the hold.

Just then a huge net came up over the side of the boat. Water gushed all over the deck as the net spilled its catch into the hold. "Watch out!" Bruce shouted. The butterflies barely got out of the way. Tons of fish, shellfish, and seaweed sloshed all over.

"Did they catch those in the loch?" Bonnie wondered.

"Yes. Itís a sea loch," Bruce said. "This is dangerous here. Letís head into town."

Off they flew. They landed on a signpost, announcing the name of the village. "There it is, Ullapool. Quite nice little place, isnít it?" Bonnie said.

"The Picts settled here long ago. They were partial to places like this, up north in Scotland, where there are mountains and lochs and the sea. There are so many stones about. I like the way the houses and shops face the water. Very lovely. Hungry?" Bruce asked.

"Starving," Bonnie drooled.

"I noticed a patch of heather back there a bit, just out of town."

"Weíre not going into town then?" Bonnie questioned.

"Do you want to? Oh, look, Bonnie," Bruce pointed. "Itís an eagle!"

"Do eagles eat butterflies?" she worried.

"I think they prefer mice."

It didnít take long to explore the town. It was small, yet beautiful in its own way. They flew past a few shops. "Oh, look, Bruce. Pottery. Isnít it lovely? Itís called Highland Stoneware. How sweet. There are poppies and puffins and fish and sheep on them. I like this!"

"You know we canít have pottery, Bonnie. How would we carry it around?" Bruce explained.

"I know, but I can drool over it, canít I?" she scoffed.

A railing was built into the seawall and they spent the rest of the afternoon watching the boats coming and going. "I like it here!" Bruce said. "Letís stay a while longer." Just then several seabirds came swooping down. "Yikes!"

A little boy was tossing bread and chips into the air and the birds were catching the bits before they hit the water. "Birds! They might be nibbling chips but soon theyíll want to nibble us. Letís get out of here," Bonnie said. The butterflies flew away as fast as their wings could move. "Now, where was that heather?" she asked, after they were safely away from town and heading back into the mountains.

"Over there," Bruce showed her, "near that fallen log."

"Whatís that? Is it a bunny?" Bonnie wondered. "It looks like a bunny."

"Shhh. It is a bunny. Come on, but be quiet," Bruce said.

Pretty Pottery

They landed on some tall leaves. "Look how its nose twitches," Bonnie giggled. "It must smell carrots or turnips."

"Donít be so silly. There are no carrots or turnips up in the mountains. It must smell us," Bruce decided.

Just then the bunny hopped away into the bushes. "You were right. It did smell us. But weíre so tiny. Oh well. That heather is going to taste good," Bonnie said, rubbing her tummy. "I just thought of something. What if the eagle sees the bunny? Eagles eat rabbits, donít they?"

"Yes. That might be why it ran off."


"Thereís the eagle now," Bonnie said, pointing high above their heads. Itís circling. Oh, I hope it doesnít get the bunny," she worried.

"Iím sure the rabbit is in its burrow by now. Come on. The heatherís not too far away." They spent the rest of the day in the heather, but always had their eyes open for birds, especially eagles!

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