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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - A Hard Lesson To Learn

"I am so hungry that I could eat a whole elephant!" Ian said.

Mac began to laugh. "Thatís pretty hungry, Ian. I take it you want to go and find something to nibble on?"

"Oh yes. Earlier today, when we were down near the village, I heard Jock McTavish saying that he was having a party this evening. That means lots of leftovers going out to the rubbish. Yum," Ian said, licking his lips.

"Well then, off to Jockís house we go," Mac said. The raccoons climbed down the tree and headed toward his house. The sun had set several hours ago and it was a dark night. There was no moon and clouds hid the stars. "Say, Ian, doesnít Jock have a beautiful flower garden? Iíve heard its his pride and joy."

"He does. Iíve seen the garden. Itís filled with roses the size of melons, begonias, peonies and chrysanthemums. Itís absolutely beautiful!" Ian replied.

"Too bad weíll not see them tonight. Itís too dark. Come on. Weíre almost there. Be careful hopping over the stone wall," Mac cautioned.

"Wow! Look at all this food!" Ian smiled. Without saying another word, he began to eat the leftover stovies, cold sausages, pork and beans, half eaten slices of bread with butter on them.

"Make room for me," Mac said. "Iím hungry too!" He ate a few pieces of chocolate cake with thick, rich, chocolaty icing. "I love cold pizza," he said, pushing a slice into his mouth. "Ian, itís not an elephant, but this food is delicious anyway!" Mac laughed.

"Hey! Raccoons in my garbage? Get out of here!" Jock screamed. He threw a stone at the raccoons.

"What? Whatís going on here?" Ian asked, angry at being disturbed during his feast. He climbed out of the trashcan and looked up.

"I said get out of here. Leave my rubbish alone!" Jock said loudly.

He threw another stone. It hit Ian on the leg. "OUCH!" he cried.

Mac ran over and helped Ian out of the trashcan. "Come on, Ian. Weíd better get out of here before Jock hits us with another stone. They climbed over the wall and ran into the woods.

"And donít you come back!" Jock called after them. He went inside and shut the door.

"Mac, I was enjoying a sausage. There was so much food in there. Why doesnít he just let us eat it instead of it rotting? Why did he throw a stone? Heís not very nice," Ian sighed, rubbing his sore leg.

"No, heís not. I didnít get to finish my pizza either. Weíll have to get even with him for this. Normally Iím not a revengeful raccoon, but that was uncalled for," Mac said. He thought for several moments and then added, "Ah. Iíve got an idea."

"What? What is it, Mac? Are we going to tie him up and leave him for the bears to eat?" Ian said.

"No. Thatís not nice. Iíll tell you in the morning. Get some sleep and before the sun rises, youíll find out," Mac snickered.

The sky was beginning to redden when Mac woke up. He had a huge, devilish grin on his face. "Ian, wake up. Itís time to go."

Ian yawned. "Itís still dark outside."

"I know, but its time to put our plan into action," Mac reminded.

"Oh yes. Jock McTavish," Ian said, rubbing his leg.

"Come on, but be quiet. If he catches us again, heíll do more than toss a rock at usÖ"

They ran through the woods and climbed quietly over the wall. "What are we going to do, Mac?" Ian whispered.

"Follow me," Mac urged. They walked into the flower garden. "Start picking the petals off every single flower. Jockís prize garden wonít be so prized in the morning. Hee hee."

"Put the petals in this bag," Mac said.

"I didnít see you carrying a bag," Ian said, surprised.

"Itís dark, Ian. How could you? Trust me, just put the petals in here," Mac said, handing the bag to Ian.

They picked every rose petal, every peony petal, every marigold and every other petal they could find. "Smells kind of nice here. I like the scent of flowers," Ian said.

"It smells nice right now, but there will be nothing to smell in a few minutes. Hee hee," Mac chuckled. They finished picking the flowers. "Now, letís hide over there, behind the wood pile and when Jock comes out to water his flowers, well, weíll see if he likes that!"

Ian carried the bag of petals and they hid. A few minutes later the back door opened. "There he is," Ian said, raising his head above the logs.

"Be careful not to let him see you," Mac said. He looked too. "Hee hee. Hee hee."

"Where are my flowers?" Jock screamed at the top of his lungs. "Who stole my flowers?"

"Hee hee. Hee hee," Ian laughed. "Thatíll teach him to throw rocks at us!"

Jock stood, staring at his flower garden. "My flowers," he sighed. He looked very sad.

Ian and Mac stopped giggling. They saw how sad Jock looked. "I feel bad," Ian said, frowning. Suddenly it didnít seem so funny any more.

"I feel bad too," Mac added. "I was so mad at him for throwing rocks at us and making us leave all that good food behind that I thought this would make us feel better. But it made us feel worse." Mac looked at the bag of petals. The two raccoons slinked back to the tree and didnít speak a word all day. Both of them thought of how sad Jock looked that morning.

"Iíve got an idea," said Ian, jumping up and down on the branch. "We canít give him back his flower petals, but we can do something good for him." They spent the next few hours crushing the petals into small pieces. Ian ran down the tree and came back later with some mosquito netting and some string. They ripped the netting up with their claws and made little bags, tied neatly with the string. "There. Now heís got potpourri. His house will smell like flowers all year long."

"Good idea, Ian. Letís take this to his house and leave it on the porch," Mac said. They waited until the sun set and it was dark. "Put them here," Mac said softly. They set the potpourri bags down, knocked on the door and ran.

Jock opened the door and looked down. "Whatís this?" he said, picking the small bags up. "My roses! My peonies! My flowers!" He took them inside.

"Hee hee. This feels much better, doesnít it? I get a warm fuzzy feeling to do something nice for someone, donít you?" Mac asked Ian.

"I feel good. Letís go home. Iím tired," Ian said.

After a few weeks, all the flowers were back on the bushes. The roses seemed prettier as did all the other flowers. Ian and Mac often took walks past Jock McTavishís house, but never again did they pick his flowers or get into his rubbish.

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