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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - A Warm Summer Day

"Thereís nothing like lying in a field of bluebells on a warm summerís day, is there?" Ian asked his friend, Mac.

Mac picked up a blade of rye grass and put it in his mouth. He looked up at the lazy clouds floating by against a background of blue. "Nothing better."

"I donít like the bees. There are too many of them. They buzz all around my head and annoy me," Ian scowled.

"Just ignore them. They arenít interested in you, Ian. They want the pollen from the bluebells. There are butterflies and dragonflies too. Did you see that one fly past a few minutes ago? It had blue wings and a green body and was very pretty," Mac said.

"A butterfly or a dragonfly?" Ian asked.

"Butterfly. Say, Ian, weíre being a bit lazy today. Letís go down to the glen and see if auld Mr. Johnstonís chickens have laid any eggs. Iím craving eggs right now. What do you say?" Mac suggested.

"Eggs? That does sound good," Ian said, jumping up. "Iíll beat you down the hillside." He ran as fast as his short, raccoon legs could take him.

Mac followed. They ran until they came to the fence surrounded Mr. Johnstonís back garden. Huge sunflowers surrounded it. "More bees," Ian sighed.

"Shhh, Ian. Somehow weíve got to sneak past the windows without being seen, get into the chicken coop and get the eggs, without the chickens clucking too loud. Any thoughts?" Mac asked.

"If we walk right under the windows until we reach the side of the house, then we can run quickly to the coop. We can hide behind those rose bushes if we need."

"Good idea," Mac said. He surveyed the back garden. The small house sat about twenty feet from the chicken coop, which was at the very back part of the garden. A few chickens were pecking seed from the ground. "Do you think auld Mr. Johnston has gathered the eggs already? Maybe weíd better wait until morning?"

"He might have. The sunís high in the sky. Iíd hate to get all the way there and find out there are no eggs. Letís spend the rest of the day behind the wood pile and we can sneak up to the chicken coop before sunrise and be ready to snatch the eggs," Ian said.

"Good idea. I am hungry though. What will we eat? We canít sit all day behind the woodpile. Weíll starve," Mac said, his tummy growling.

"Mac? Is that you thinking about food? Itís usually me whoís starving, like I am right now! Around front thereís a vegetable garden. I think he grows carrots and turnips," Ian said.

"Carrots and Turnips it is then," Mac said and the two raccoons ran around to the front of the house. Much to their horror, auld Mr. Johnston was sitting on his front porch, rocking back and forth in his chair. "Yikes! Another plan foiled today. We canít get to the carrots and turnips with him watching."

"Iíve another plan. There are three cows in the field. I saw them as we ran by. Two of them are ready to milk. Maybe if we are really sneaky, we can lie under the cow as it grazes and suck some of the milk out, or at least let it drip into our mouths," Ian suggested.

"Are you mad? The cows arenít going to let us do that or anything else near them, but fresh cream does sound good. Weíll give it a try. Iím hungry enough to go through with it," Mac said.

They snuck through the tall grasses and came within a few feet of Patches, one of the cows. She turned her head and looked at them but didnít seem to mind them being there. They crept a little closer. "MOOO!" Patches called out but didnít move.

"Right, weíre here. You grab her teat and squeeze the milk into my mouth," Mac commanded.

"What? I say you grab it and I get the first milk," Ian complained.

"Me first," Mac said sarcastically.

"No, me first," Ian retorted.

So it went for half an hour. Patches, seeing the arguing raccoons wandered off, unnoticed.

"All right. You can go first," Mac sighed. "Letís go then."

They turned to get some milk. "Whereís the cow? Whereís Patches?" Ian asked.

"Sheís walked away over there! If you hadnít been so stubborn and just let me have the first milk, sheíd have stayed here!" Mac said angrily and headed back to auld Mr. Johnstonís house.

Ian stayed in the field mumbling and stomping his feet! "Why, Iíll show him! Iím going to go and get the eggs right now!" He ran right to the chicken coop.

Mac had just settled down behind the woodpile when he heard chickenís squawking. He saw Mr. Johnston jump up from his chair and head into the back garden. Mac looked at the coop. There was Ian; his arms filled with eggs and all around him feathers were flying. Chickens were clucking and pecking at his paws. "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!" went Ian.

"Whatís going on there? Whoís in the chicken coop?" Mr. Johnston called. He spotted Ian. "A raccoon? Leave my chickens alone. Drop those eggs or else," he said, picking up a three pronged pitchfork.

"YIKES!" Ian cried, dropped the eggs and ran towards Mac. "Help! Help! Help!" he called.

Mac watched as Mr. Johnston picked the eggs up and took them into the house. "Weíd better get out of here while we can. Come on, Ian," Mac said and the two raccoons ran and ran and ran, and didnít stop until theyíd reached their tree.

"Whew! That was close!" Ian said, breathing rapidly.

"Well, now we have no eggs, no milk and no food, thanks to you Ian," Mac said rudely.

Ian knew heíd been at fault. He looked at Mac and ran off into the forest without saying another word. Mac, still angry, climbed the tree and fell asleep on the branch. A while later, Ian shook Mac until he was awake. "Whatís going on?" he yawned. Ian sat on the branch next to Mac. His arms were filled with two huge blocks of cheese and a loaf of bread. "Where did you get that?" Mac asked, smiling.

"While auld Mr. Johnston was out guarding his chickens, I snuck in the front door and found all this cheese and bread," Ian laughed.

"Hee hee. Thanks Ian. Now we can eat. Iím sorry for being angry before. I was just very hungry," Mac apologized.

"Itís all right, Mac. Letís just eat the cheese and bread," Ian said.

The two of them feasted on the food and ate every last crumb of bread and cheese. Delicious!" Mac said. "I still want to get those eggs though. Hereís my plan for tomorrow morningÖÖ." They stayed up half the night planning their early morning raid, friends again.

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