Maggie and the Flying Saucer, Part 2

Maggie and Tabby flew along in the saucer, down out of the mountains, over the plains and finally toward a deep canyon. Maggie felt her tummy flip-flop as the saucer dropped down into the canyon at full speed, but it came to a rest at the bottom as lightly as a cat landing on its paws.

Tabby jumped out of the saucer just as lightly. Maggie followed him into a nearby cave.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“To Lava City,” said Tabby. “It’s down here a ways. Just around the corner you can see the glow.”

Maggie thought that lava city sounded a little more dangerous than Snow City. She was already starting to feel very warm. The bottoms of her feet were burning a little. Then she turned the corner and her mouth dropped open. She was standing on the edge of a drop off, and at the bottom a river of lava was flowing. All along the cliffs on both sides of the river, stone houses, glowing with heat. It was beautiful. Scary, too. But even though at first she was afraid she might fall over the edge, she quickly saw that there was a tall guard rail all along the walkway where they were standing. Wide steps led down the side of the cliff, also bordered by a secure wall that reached almost to Maggie’s shoulder.

Maggie was just about to start down the stairs when Tabby stopped her. “First we put on shoes,” he said. “The ground is quite hot down there.” He turned and showed her a set of cubby holes in the wall to their right. Each little cubby held a pair of shoes made out of what looked like rock.

“I’m already wearing shoes,” said Maggie.

“Why, so you are!” exclaimed Tabby. “Extraordinary. Still, unless they are made of flint or something stronger, you will probably want to change them. Lava city can be very hard on the feet.”

Maggie changed her shoes for a pair of rock shoes. She thought they would be very heavy and hard to walk in, but surprisingly they were quite light. Just wearing them made Lava City seem more wonderful and not scary at all. She followed Tabby down the stairs smiling. About halfway down to the lava river, Tabby turned off the stairs and went into a little cafe built right into the cliff. There were no windows in the cafe, but it was all lit up with red light that came from its own mini river of lava running down one wall and along a groove in the floor. Tabby chose a stone table and ordered up two hot chocolates.

To say that the hot chocolate was hot didn’t begin to describe it. When the stone mugs arrived at their table, Maggie couldn’t even get close enough to blow on it. She leaned back and waited, watching the spirals of steam coming off of her hot chocolate. When she did finally taste it, though, she could see why Tabby brought her all this way. It was like drinking the most delicious chocolate bar she had ever eaten. It was not too sweet and perfectly creamy. When she was finished, she wanted another, but when Tabby asked her if she’d like to stay for dinner, she suddenly remembered that she was supposed to be home for dinner. She hoped it wasn’t already too late. Her mother hated it when she was late for dinner.

“I have to go!” said Maggie. “My mother expects me at home.”

“Of course!” said Tabby. “Right away.”

They both leaped up from the table and dashed back up the stairs. In just a matter of moments, they were both in the saucer and taking off for Maggie’s house. Maggie could see the sun going down, and she would have been worried if she hadn’t been so amazed at how fast the saucer was flying. They were going at least twice as fast as they had before, and the world whirled away below them. In no time at all they were back at the tree where Tabby had found Maggie.

“Thank you so much,” said Maggie as she climbed back onto the branches and down the tree. “I’ve never had so much fun in my life.”

“It was my pleasure,” called out Tabby. “We’ll do it again sometime!” The saucer was already soaring up and disappearing into the clouds as Maggie ran toward home.

She was just in time. Her mother was putting the plates on the table when Maggie dashed in. Without even looking, Maggie’s mother said, “Take your shoes off and go wash up, Maggie.”

Maggie looked down at her feet and gasped. She had been in such a hurry to get home…she had forgotten to change her shoes! As quickly as possible, Maggie slipped off the stone shoes and hurried to her room. Her mother never saw anything. With a grin, Maggie stashed them under her bed. It was just as well, she thought, as she went to wash her hands. She would be needing some more of that hot chocolate soon.

Buzzette

I love knowing creative moms! Thanks, Kim, for giving me the idea for this one.

Buzzette was a very, very busy bee. She spent her days drinking juice from flowers and carrying the extra back to the hive to use for making honey. In the middle of summer the bees worked hard to make enough honey to last through the winter, and there were so many flowers to visit that Buzzette never stopped from morning to night. No bee worked harder than Buzzette.

Buzzette’s only problem was that she didn’t look where she was going. She would get so busy, thinking all the while about where she was going next, and she just wouldn’t notice what was right around her. She would bump off of trees and get lost in the grass. But somehow, in the end, she would always find her way back to the hive.

Until the fateful Sunday when she headed for the violet patch on the other side of the freeway.

She was flying along, thinking of how lovely violet juice is, when suddenly THWAP! She flew headlong into a sheet of glass. Without even noticing it she had gone right through an open car window and now she was trapped in the car. Panicking, she turned around and tried to fly back the way she came. She was half way to freedom when she heard a “Skeeeeeeeeee!” and a hand came up and knocked her down. For a few minutes everything was confusion and yelling and giant stamping feet. Then Buzzette managed to crawl away under the seat. One wing was a little bruised and she was scared out of her mind, but otherwise she was fine. The humans above her in the car seemed to have concluded that she was gone because they settled down again, and for a while everything was quiet.

After a while the car stopped, and there was much scrambling and talking and laughing and banging of doors. Then everything was quiet. Buzzette waited for a moment and then crawled out from her hiding place. The people were gone. For once in her life, Buzzette looked very carefully around her. She spotted the open window. Two minutes later, she was out in the open air and buzzing with relief. She looked around for the violet patch. It wasn’t there!

Buzzette was so confused that she didn’t know what to do. She flew this way and that, looking for the violets, then looking for the hive, then looking for anything at all that she recognized. There was nothing. No apple orchard, no happy little pansy bed, no nothing. Where had the whole world gone?

Now, you and I know that while Buzzette was in the car, the car had driven her miles and miles away from her hive and stopped in a part of the country she had never seen before. But bees do not understand things like cars and miles. All Buzzette knew was that the whole world was different. And also that she was very, very thirsty.

Fortunately for her, there were several dandelions in the grass nearby. Dandelion juice was not her favorite, but she was much too thirsty to be picky just then. She buzzed over and began to drink.

“Hey!” came a voice from behind her. Two big, fat bumblebees came into her view. The biggest one was flying dangerously close. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded. “These are our dandelions. You’re not from our hive. You’re not welcome!”

Buzzette stepped back in alarm. Of course, she wasn’t paying attention to where she was, so she stepped right off the edge of the dandelion and tumbled to the ground before she could get her wings to work. The new bees laughed as she quickly flew away.

For a while, Buzzette just flew around thinking about her problem and not paying attention to anything. Then she heard a familiar buzz and noticed a rose bush not far away. Bees were zipping in and out of the roses. It looked like a wonderful party, and Buzzette couldn’t resist going closer to see if anyone she knew was there. No sooner had she landed on a rose bud, however, when the noise around her stopped. She looked in every direction. All the bees were frozen in place, just staring at her. No one said anything. No one drank anything. No one moved. Buzzette instantly knew two things. First, none of these bees were from her hive, and second, she was not welcome on their rose bush. Somehow the silence was even worse than the laughter of the rude bumblebees. Buzzette buzzed off. She wanted nothing more than to get as far from that rose bush as possible.

But that was the problem. Buzzette knew where she didn’t want to be, but she didn’t have any idea where she did want be. The world was so strange that home seemed like something from a dream. Where was it? How could she get there?

The only thing in all that wide open space that she recognized at all was the terrible car that had changed everything. Tired, thirsty, and lonely, Buzzette flew back through the open window and crawled under the scratchy seat. Maybe if she went to sleep for a while, the car would change everything again. After a while, she heard the noises that she knew meant the car was full of people again. She tried not to move. It was a very, very long time before the people left again. Buzzette needed to stretch her wings, so she flew up to the window, wondering if the world was back to normal yet.

Her heart fell. She didn’t see anything that looked familiar. She did see something that looked quite wonderful, though. Stretched out before her were row upon row upon row of daffodils, cheerful and yellow and delicious. Daffodils were Buzzette’s favorite flower. She felt afraid of what she would find, but daffodils were too much to resist. Glancing carefully in every direction, Buzzette flew toward the field of daffodils. She buzzed down inside one delicate cup…and nearly landed right on top of another bee! Buzzette leapt back, careful this time not to fall.

“I’m so sorry!” she said. “I didn’t know this was your flower.”

“It’s all right,” said the strange bee with a smile. “There are so many flowers here that no one worries about whose is whose. Help yourself.”

Buzzette could hardly believe her ears. But the other bee stepped aside to make room, so Buzzette leaned forward and took a long, long drink. “Thank you!” she said.

“Of course!” said the other bee. “I’m Buzzella. What’s your name?”

“Buzzette.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No, I’m afraid I’ve lost my hive,” Buzzette said, suddenly wanting to cry again.

“That’s very sad,” said Buzzella. “I hope you find it again.” She started to buzz off, then stopped. She looked back at Buzzette’s sad little face. “In the mean time, you can come and stay in our hive. There’s plenty of room for more.”

Buzzette thought she had never been so happy in her life. And maybe she hadn’t. You have to be really really unhappy at least once before you can be as happy as it is possible to be.

And Buzzette stayed happy. And she stayed in the daffodil field. She never did find her way back to her old hive. But she did eventually find that she was home.