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Tag Archives: children’s literature

When You Are Away, The Dogs Play! – Introducing Through-the-Keyhole Pet Cartoons!

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that our pets are so smart that they make us think that we are smarter than them. There’s a lot of stuff that they don’t do in front of us, and then we come back from wherever the heck we had gone and where (in their opinion) we shouldn’t have gone – we see stuff that astonishes us. We then talk to other confused humans and try to figure out, how on earth did our innocuous little pup accomplish it all in that little window of time?!!!

To put all our wild conjecturing to rest, I talked to my dog, and under her expert remote supervision on Skype, I’ve put together an array of cartoons that leave little to imagination.

Here’s the first in the series. I did some experimentation with the keyhole frame – the ornamentation is to prove that dogs are royalty.

When you are away your pets play - dog, cat, pet cartoons jokes humor fiction children's literature author bobby elhans

Aha! I finally get the whole bed to sleep in…

 

I’d also like to introduce two new furry friends here.

More “When You Are Away” Cartoons coming soon.

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Chapter 5: Zoe, Ben, and the Furry Lady of the Righteous Path.

<<<Chapter 4: From the Apple Grove to the Knoll – Becoming Anon and Rescuing Cubby the Terrier Pup (Part II)<<<

When the rain had stopped, Zoe had pulled herself out of the tree-hollow and checked out the place. A few noses-full of the air had told her that there was a water-body nearby. The air smelled of fish, and fish meant water. This place was hundreds of miles away from the sea, and so it had to be fresh water.

Zoe’s mouth began to water. She was famished.

She sniffed again.

The air that carried the smell was blowing southward, which meant that the water-body was up north.

The anticipation of food made her forget her injuries and prompted her to run, but as her muscles tensed, the pain flared up once again. She yelped and turned to check her bruised leg. It was her left hind and it looked a little crooked. She licked it, hoping that the licking would reduce the inflammation and bring the pain down.

Her thoughts returned to the family. Unbidden thoughts came swarming into her mind.

Did they miss her?

Nobody talked to her; nobody gave her treats; nobody cuddled up with her, except little Johnny, but whenever his mom saw him with Zoe, she dragged him away.

She shook her head and tried to drive away those dark memories, but there weren’t any brighter ones to take their place, so they kept slipping back in place.

Splash!

A sound of something falling into water broke the eerie silence of the place.

The water-body was close. Very close!

This motivated her.

She stood up again, careful of not putting her weight on her left hind, instead redistributing it on the other three. Slowly, she followed the scent. The ground was uneven and every step that she took sent waves of pain through her broken leg, but she persevered. She went around the huge rock that the hollow tree had fallen against. The undergrowth here was rather high. There were shrubs that left you bristling if you brushed past them and there were trees of all kinds, but most of them were pines. The ground was covered with dried-up pine needles.

Zoe carefully found her way through the jungle, wincing with every step, but continuing nevertheless.

In about an hour, she collapsed at the side of the creek. As she sat there and took it all in, she realized that right where she was, a group of boulders had formed a tiny pool.

She dragged herself closer and peered in.

There was fish in the water.

adventures of the whistling woods - a book by bobby elhans - zoe the injured labrador pup finds fish.

She managed to catch three after seven misses. Terrible performance. But after she had caught one and devoured it with a hunger that she had sustained for almost forty hours, it became easier; and yet, every time she leaped into the water to catch one, the pain that shot through her leg made her yelp.

The pain was bad, but the yelp was good, because it brought her to Ben’s attention.

Ben, who was tying up his catch fifty yards upstream of where Zoe sat, heard Zoe scream.

This was the first time in four years that he had come this far and in all the times that he had been in this place, this was the first time that he had heard a dog. The Whistling Woods, as the outsiders called this forest, were intimidating and forbidding, and nobody ever came in this far. Yet, today, the rain had played havoc and it was impossible to fish in the swirly muddy waters downstream. So he had climbed up to reached this place in search of relatively still water.

When he heard Zoe, he was preparing to leave. But now he couldn’t. Not without checking upon the pup.

So he walked along the western bank of the creek, crossing the ruins of the stone-bridge on his way. It was odd that there used to be a bridge in the middle of these woods. Possibly someone lived here once, he thought absently.

There it was. A yellow Labrador pup!

“Yooohoo!” He called out and waved at Zoe.

Zoe looked up and saw a bearded man waving at her. He wore a hat. She squinted. The hat looked like a woman’s hat. That’s strange, she thought. Here experience told her that humans were generally finicky about what they called fashion, and a man wearing a woman’s hat was definitely being unfashionable.

adventures of the whistling woods - a book by bobby elhans - zoe the injured labrador pup is rescued by Ben, the man in the ladies' hat.

But it didn’t matter. Right now she just wanted to be rescued, and she couldn’t care less if her rescuer was wearing a dress instead of that grayed out overcoat. The man had a ragged backpack throne on his back and a reeled-in fishing rod in one of his hands that were covered in tattered leather gloves.

She sniffed the air.

The man wasn’t a threat. He was friendly.

All this processing took Zoe less than a second, and she wagged her tail. The delay was imperceptible to Ben. He had no idea that the pup had already analyzed and categorized him. The wagging tail, he knew, was a friendly gesture. Ben had never owned a dog. He was not that kind of a man. He hadn’t married, had no kids, and for the entire world, he was a good-for-nothing bum on the streets.

Today, for no logical reason, he found himself drawn towards the pup.

He stepped over the stone and held out a hand. Hold your hand out, palm up, he had read somewhere. Dogs felt threatened when a stranger approached them and held out a hand palm down.

Zoe looking into his eyes, and held up a paw.

Ben took her paw into his hand, little realizing that his action had forged a bond of friendship between them. He didn’t know it yet, but their souls had connected.

In the forest that people knew as the Whistling Woods, nothing curious had happened in seven long years – then in a single day, two pairs of lives crossed paths and two friendships were formed.

The Furry Lady of the Righteous Path had brought them together.

As Ben bent down to pick Zoe up, she smiled upon them through the canopies of the trees that whistled and sang to celebrate the moment.

——— ¤¤¤ ———

Just outside the Whistling Woods, forces dark and evil were gathering momentum, and the Furry Lady of the Righteous Path knew that she had to hurry.

 

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Chapter 3 (Continued): The Nameless Boy and the Cave that wasn’t (Part II)

<<<Chapter 3: The Nameless Boy and the Cave that Wasn’t (Part I)<<<

(Continued from Chapter 3 – Part I)

But it would be dark inside, he thought.

There were a few candles somewhere in the cave, perhaps in the kitchen – he remembered how his mother used the lighter to light them up. Fortunately, the light-lever always worked and he never had to use them, so they must still be there.

He found the candles in one of the drawers near the sink. He took one, lighted it, and carried it back into the bedroom. Then he pulled out the brass key that he wore around his neck, and pushed it in the keyhole of the door that had tormented him for the last seven years.

He tried to turn the key in the lock, but it refused to budge. He tried again, clockwise and counter-clockwise both, but it nothing happened.

His heart sank. Perhaps it was the wrong key, but he couldn’t give up without trying, could he? The need to look at what lay behind the door gained strength from his inability to open the door.

He placed the candle on the desk to free his other hand.

He tried again, but failed. Either the key didn’t belong to this lock, or it didn’t open the lock the regular way.

Not the regular way?

His parents never did anything the regular way. Perhaps there was another way. The boy was uneducated but smart. He checked the space around the lock. Sure enough, this wasn’t a regular lock. There were twelve tiny holes around the keyhole.

He had an idea.

He ran back into the kitchen and brought back a small screwdriver. He inserted the screwdriver into one of the holes. It touched something, perhaps a disk that got pushed back by a few millimeters. He held the screwdriver in position, tried turning the key again. The key didn’t demand any effort from him this time, and he heard the lock open with a soft click.

He smiled to laud his own victory.

He pushed the door open. It was a heavy door made of metal. It opened into total darkness. The boy had no idea how deep this room, or recess, or whatever it was, was.

He was glad that he had thought of the candle. He picked it up and entered.

His heart beat faster as he looked around. The room was about thirty feet deep, and there were things that he had never seen before. Wooden shelves lined with books cast scary looking shadows on the walls, a huge table that was almost treble the size of the kitchen table stood in the middle, overflowing with books, parchment, lamps, and other objects that he could barely recognize.

Gingerly he walked around the table and reached his father’s chair. He placed the candle down upon the surface of the table. Oddly enough, there was no dust on the surface.

Then he lowered himself into his father’s seat.

Open in front of him was a handwritten, leather-bound notebook. He looked at it mesmerized. He couldn’t read, but he knew that it belonged to his father, and that made him feel sad and happy at the same time. He reached out and touched the pages of the notebook. Then he whispered one of the few words that he knew.

“Papa,” he said, his throat parched and his eyes stinging.

chapter 3 - pen and ink artwork - father's leather-bound notebook that the boy finds behind the locked door - artwork, illustrations.

He sat there for a long time, turning the pages of the notebook, looking at the drawings and the writing of his father. He wished he knew how to read and write. Faint images of his mother teaching him how to write faded in and out of his mind.

He pulled himself away from the notebook, leaving it where it was. Then he got up and walked around the table, trying to peer through the glass-doors of the cabinets. He wished there was light in there.

Perhaps there was, perhaps there was a lever somewhere. The way there was a lever outside for lighting up rest of the cave.

He came back to the table, picked up the candle, and starting checking the walls.

There it was, right next to one of the cabinets. It was smaller than the one outside. He pushed it down, and the place flooded with light.

He stayed in the room for a long time. He looked at the objects – glass containers, metal-strips, an extendible metal tube with glass at one end; he looked at the books and diaries, most leather-bound, some monogramed with an eagle.

He didn’t realize how long he had been there until he heard a rumbling sound. It took him a moment to recognize it as the sound that he stomach made when he was hungry.

There won’t be fish for dinner, but he could find something else – perhaps collect some berries or find some fallen fruits.

He knew that he wouldn’t sleep that night. His fear of the unknown room had disappeared completely. Now he didn’t want to leave it. With a heavy heart, he switched the light off and left the room.

——— ¤¤¤ ———

The nameless boy had no idea that his destiny was about to change, and that he was also going to get a name…very soon.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Chapters, Super-heroes, The Heroes

 

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Chapter 1: Zoe

(Introducing Zoe…)

Zoe awoke with a start.

She took in the unfamiliar surroundings. Curled up in a hollow of a fallen tree trunk, all she could see from the opening in the trunk was a collage of green.

.

Chapter 1 - Zoe The Lost Labrador Pup Finds Shelter in a fallen tree-trunk - A Middle-grade superheroes adventure saga by Bobby Elhans

She pushed her snout out of the opening and sniffed the air. It smelled of wet dirt and mushy leaves. Nothing smelled like food. Her stomach grumbled. She hadn’t eaten for a long time. If she excluded licking that empty ice cream sconce, she hadn’t eaten anything for the last thirty-six hours.

Her stomach grumbled. She ignored it.

Thirty-six hours ago, Zoe had run away from the only home she had known. She had done everything that’s expected of a good dog, and yet they had never really been a family to her. She loved them still, despite the flung shoes, the missed meals, the beatings that she didn’t deserve but got when she spoiled the rug because they hadn’t let her out for thirteen straight hours. If she were human, she would have hated them, but she was a dog and dogs loved their families, no matter what.

And yet, when they had left that gate open, she hadn’t been able to stop herself from exploring. Zoe was a year old – an adolescent and naturally curious about the world outside. She hadn’t strayed far, and had they come looking for her, they would have found her – but they hadn’t; and then curiosity had pushed her farther, until she had lost herself.

Deep within she knew that they wouldn’t come looking for her. The only family member who really cared for her was Johnny. But Johnny was three, and three-year old humans weren’t as smart as three-year old dogs. There was no way for him to find Zoe if his parents didn’t help, and she was sure that they won’t.
Sitting in the hollow, cold and hungry, Zoe missed home.

Things had never been worse.

“Woooooooooo,” she wailed, and then stopped. Someone was wailing back. That was odd.

“Woooooooooo….oooo,” she wailed again, and then perked up her ears to hear the other dog. She heard the voice. It sounded exactly like hers.

Zoe was a smart dog. She changed her howling pattern and tried again, and again.

After twenty or so tries, she understood. The voice that called back was an echo. The way she saw herself reflected in the mirror at home, for some reason she was hearing the reflection of her own voice. It must have something to do with the place.

That plunged her spirits into darkness once again.

She was alone here. There was nobody else, neither man nor dog. She was overcome by a strong wave of pain as she tried to change her position. Something wasn’t right with her left hind-leg.

She looked out of the hollow. There was no sign of any human anywhere. She could bark and howl all she wanted, but there was nobody who would hear her.

Zoe realized that fretting about the situation would only make it worse, so she squared her shoulders and considered her options.

——— ¤¤¤ ———

At exactly the same moment, about a mile away from Zoe, another pup was hurtling down a thirty-feet deep vertical shaft. 

>>>Chapter 2: Cubby>>>

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Chapters, Super-heroes, Zoe

 

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