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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Youíre No Michelangelo!

"Shhhh. Be very quiet. Iím not sure if anyoneís here," Mac cautioned.

"It smells like someone is here or just left. I smell lunch. I think he hadÖsniffÖsniffÖ.stovies, and shortbread for dessert," Ian smiled.

The two raccoons crept in through the front door. They tiptoed around from room to room. "Nobodyís home," Mac sighed with relief.

"Letís check the kitchen. Iím starving. If weíre lucky, thereíll be a pot of stovies bubbling away on the stove," Ian said, running into the kitchen. "Aha. Heís left a bowl of it in the refrigerator. Delicious." He began to eat with his paws.

Mac looked in some of the other rooms. He came to the studio. "Well, I see Jamie likes to paint. Look at all of them. There must be dozens of paintings. Wow!"

Ian came walking through to the studio, nibbling on some shortbread. Mac looked up. "Found some on the counter. Want a bit?" he asked.

Mac shook his head. "Look, Ian. Jamie is a painter and a good one at that. See this," Mac said, holding up a painting of a bowl of fruit.

"Looks good enough to eat," Ian laughed.

Mac started rummaging through the stacks of paintings, examining each one carefully. Ian walked over to the easel. "Hmmm. Interesting. It looks like heís started painting something, but I canít tell what. I think Iíll finish it for him." He picked up the paintbrush, dipped it in the paint and started painting.

Mac continued looking around. "All these paintings are stamped and ready to go to the McPherson Galleries in the village. Jamie must be doing a show of his work. Good lad, Jamie." He didnít notice Ian was painting. Mac stood up straight and turned around. "Ian! What are you doing?" he shouted.

"What? Iím just finishing the painting," he said, not sure why Mac was shouting at him.

"You canít do that. You mustnít do that. Itís Jamieís canvas. Oh my. What shall we do now? When he comes back and sees what youíve done, heís going to raise the roof!" Mac was afraid. "I know. Weíll wrap it up in paper like these others, stamp it, and he can think its one of his finished paintings. Quick, Ian, put another canvas up on the easel and help me."

They wrapped the painting, hid it behind the others and ran outside. "Oh, wait a minute," Ian called, running back inside. He came back a moment later with a handful of shortbread. "In case we get hungry," he said. The two raccoons ran back to their tree.

Jamie returned home a few hours later with the man from McPhersonís. "Take them all. Iíll be down tomorrow to make sure youíve set them up right," Jamie said. The man put the paintings in his car and drove off.

Ian and Mac spent the rest of the day hunting for acorns, nuts and berries. After a good meal, they fell asleep. When the sun rose the next morning, itís warmth shone down on their soft gray fur. "Mac, letís go into town today. Itís been a long time since weíve been to the village. I know that the bakery is making tarts. They do every Tuesday. Iím craving a tart. Arenít you?"

Mac yawned and stretched. "A tart would be nice," he agreed.

They ran into town. "Maybe we could stop by the dairy first for some fresh cream. I know Mrs. Kerr leaves a bowl of it out each morning for that annoying cat of hers, Fluffy. Can you believe such a name? Whoíd name a laddie cat Fluffy?" Ian and Mac had a good laugh over that. They found the bowl of cream, luckily before Fluffy came home. The bakery smelled delicious. The raccoons could smell the donuts and biscuits baking from down the street. "I smell Mr. Hamiltonís tarts," Ian grinned.

"Me too. I canít wait," Mac said, hurrying a bit faster. They found a tray of tarts sitting on the counter. Mr. Hamilton and his pet cat were nowhere in sight. "There they are," Mac whispered. "Grab them before that cat comes back."

"Why do they all have cats? They get all the good stuff; cream, fish and even tarts," Ian sighed.

"Just grab a couple of tarts and letís go," Mac ordered. Ian picked several up and they ran out the back door and down the street. "Delicious," Mac said, biting into a strawberry.

Ian agreed.

They walked down the main street of the village. Suddenly Ian stopped. "What is that? Look!" he shouted, dropping his tart on the ground.

Mac looked down. Ian dropped his tart? Thatís not like Ian. He looked to where Ian was pointing. "Itís the art gallery, McPhersonís. What about it?"

"Itís my painting. See? Itís in the front window!" Ian said.

They ran up to the window. "It is your painting. It says Jamie painted it. They must have thought it was pretty good to put it in the front window. Itís the only one!" Mac said, patting Ian on the back.

"It is a good painting, isnít it? But why should I let Jamie take credit for it?" Ian pouted.

"Because you werenít supposed to be touching his paints and canvas and because we werenít supposed to even be in the house! Ian, youíre no Michelangelo. Itís only a painting of a few trees," Mac reminded.

"Och, youíre right. Still, itís very good," Ian boasted.

Every day Ian and Mac walked by McPhersonís Gallery to look at his painting. Ian was very proud. Jamie was shocked to see the painting with his name on it. He had no recollection of painting it in the first place. Presuming that he just must have forgotten that heíd painted it, took the credit. He was never sure about it though. Whenever Ian and Mac saw Jamie, they smiled, knowing the truth.

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