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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Oh Holey Night!

Ian and Mac lay in their tree, listening to the sounds coming from the woods. "Thereís a lot of noise tonight, isnít their, Mac?" Ian said.

"Och, itís a loud one. Iíll be lucky to get to sleep tonight," Mac replied.

"What is all that noise anyway? I hear crickets, an owl, a fox, and the crunching of leaves and twigs. What do you think is walking about?" Ian asked.

"It might be a bear; then again, it might just be Mrs. McGregorís cat. Letís try to ignore it and get to sleep. Youíll need your blanket tonight. Itís going to be a cold one," Mac suggested, pulling his up around his neck. "Winter is here."

Ian grabbed his woolen blanket from inside the tree trunk. He wrapped it tightly around his furry body and curled up in a ball. He couldnít get comfortable for some reason. He stretched and moved about. His leg was feeling stiff so he stretched it and his claw went right through the blanket. "Och, no!"

"Whatís the matter, Ian?" Mac asked.

"Iíve gone and poked a hole in my blanket. Now cold airís going to come in," Ian sighed.

"Well, move the blanket and put the part with the hole underneath you, silly," Mac laughed.

Ian did just that. He rolled around on his branch and when he stretched again, another claw tore the blanket and made a hole. "Och, no! Iíve done it again!"

"What now?" Mac asked.

"Iíve made another hole. Thatís two holes in my blanket. Maybe I need to clip my claws," he muttered and tried to go back to sleep.

All night long, whenever Ian moved, his claws tore a hole in the blanket. All night long, Mac had to listen to Ian complain. All night long, Mac had to listen to Ian shivering and his teeth chattering because he was cold. When they woke up, Mac looked over at Ian. "Look at the holes in that blanket. What did you do, Ian? Chew it up? I think itís time you cut your claws," Mac said.

Ian looked at his blanket. It was full of holes. "This blanketís no use any longer. Iíll have to get a new one or sew this one up." While Mac went out to find breakfast, Ian sewed up his blanket. It was hard for the raccoon to sew, but he sewed every hole up.

That night, Ian stuck his claws through the blanket and made more holes. "You canít keep sewing them up, Ian. Youíve got to cut your claws!" Mac said, tired and fed up with Ianís restless nights.

Ian sewed up the other holes the next day. When he went to bed that night, his blanket was nothing but holes. After tossing and turning again, Mac insisted Ian clip his claws. Ian spent the morning down at the river cutting his claws. When he came back to the tree, Mac said, "Ian, Iíve got a surprise for you, but first, did you cut your claws?"

Ian showed him his shortened claws. "What is the surprise, Mac?" Ian asked.

Mac reached into the tree and pulled out a brand new blanket for Ian. "Thereíll be no more holey nights for you. Hereís a new blanket. Itís tartan. I hope you donít mind. I borrowed it from Mr. McFarlandís wash line."

"Thank you, Mac. At least tonight Iíll get some sleep," Ian said.

"Yes, me too," Mac mumbled.

That night Ian and Mac crawled under their blankets. Ian wrapped his around him and was toasty and warm. Mac stretched and yawned and stuck his claw right through his blanket. RIP! "Och, no! My blanket ripped this time!" Mac complained, looking at the hole.

"Time to trim your claws, Mac," Ian laughed and fell asleep. Mac tossed and turned all night and kept ripping his blanket. The next morning he went down to the river and cut his claws. When he came back, Ian was smiling. "What are you smiling for?" Mac grumbled.

Ian pulled out another tartan blanket. "Mr. McFarland had another blanket out on his wash line," Ian laughed. Mac started to laugh too. From that night on, both raccoons made sure they kept their claws cut and slept cozy under the tartan blankets.

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