Making Book Charms

Book charms are adorable and readers love them. I’ve bought them in the past from Etsy vendors, but when I realized I needed at least 100 of them for Romancing the Capital in August 2017, I d…

Source: Making Book Charms

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YEAH, STARTING TO FEEL BETTER!

Hi All,

Yesss! Finally starting to feel better. Now hopefully it will be back on writing schedule and getting caught up on admin work. That will be started first on list. Then fixing edits on first chapters of 3rd book, then starting new ones. Still want to make that March deadline I have set.

Thank you to all of you that have checked out my Facebook page and THE SQUIRREL TALES SERIES!!! I hope you have found it as wonderful as others have. I appreciate all of you.

If you have read one or both books in the series, please leave a review. We writers depend on those. It doesn’t have to be long, just whether you liked it and maybe why. That would be awesome!!!

Okay, all of you have a great holiday, I hope the weather will be great for you. Take care and feel free to leave a note!

Laters, KATT KAY

LOUSY WEEK

Okay,so you have things to do on your list. Have things lined up on importance. That’s taken time to sort out and your ready to go, feeling good, asked for backup help so that things will hopefully run smooth as much as possible.

You go to bed that early morning satisfied that you have things as good as they are going to get. Then you wake up with a raging headache, head filled with 50 pounds of heavy cotton, your nose is clogged, your throat is scratchy, and your chest is tight. Then you cough, ugh! Then it’s sneeze time, Run for tissues but are in a sort of foggy slow motion. Yep, your sick! Fine one day and feeling like death the next . Your dog wants to go for its morning walk,you need the restroom, something to drink, Tylenol, the dog is running around saying, hurry up let’s get going!

Okay, first things first, sorry dog you have to wait a little longer or use the potty pad. You, on the other hand search for Kleenex, then the bathroom,um Kleenex bathroom, you would think, but the foggy head is fogged! So you finally reach across the bed and get some Kleenex, you know you brought a bottle of water with you to bed, so you search that out and take a drink, thank God your mouth isn’t a desert anymore. You look around trying to get your bearings. My God it’s your bedroom!! Wherevelse would you be?

Then that water you drank hits and it’s bathroom time! Now getting there, even knowing it’s just around the other aide of doorway. You struggle to stand, wobble wobble but don’t fall down, another thank God! Make it to the bathroom, and sort of collapse onto commode. So your business, by this time your sweating because, yippee the fever has hit along with ears stopped up and aching along with everything else.

You grab your bottle of water, luckily you brought with you, grab the large bottle of Tylenol, shake out a couple, grab the muzinex cold/sinus meds, shake out two and swallow them down, then just stand there looking at yourself in the mirror and hope it doesn’t crack at what you see! YIKES!!!

YEP,alrighty, your sick, can’t think, hardly see, so any plans you had for however long are put on hold and God is in control! All your plans just went down the old drain. You want to take your head off, hang it outside on your shepherds hook pole to drain and dry out and put the reszt of you down on bed, cover up, and just sleep.

Sorry babe, that wonderful, happy, fun, dependent dog is still walking back and forth between the door and you wanting a potty walk! Ugh, heaven help!!To make a long story short, your life is going to be hell for the next week and that’s the gist of it. No writing, no working, absolutely nothing but sitting or laying around, EXCEPT FOR DOG WALKS EVERY 3 TO 4 HOURS!!

 

Hope YOUR ALL DOING BETTER THAN ME!!!

HUGGS,

Kathy

Yikes!

Still no closer to setting up MailChimp and now I have a Book funnel account that is also fighting me! Can’t they make these things child proof?.

I think I am the dumbest of the dumb trying to get these things set up. My granddaughter could probably do it better!

So much for moving forward today.

PULL HAIR OUTFOR mailChimp!

I don’t know if I will ever get mailChimp to work. I start on first step and next thing I am 3 steps ahead, missing all the other steps!!!! Grrr, I hate being Frustrated!

I hope no one else has this much of a problem when it’s supposed to be so step by step easy.

Thursday the last one in January 2017

Hey!

I have my second book written for my Squirrel Tales Series! Yesss, Abby’s Flower Garden is done. Now it’s in proof reading stage then hopefully last edit and then into book covers and publishing. Keeping fingers crossed for next month release!!!

This I one is a few chapters longer but it has a lot more detail. Anyway it’s freezing here still. Well we did warm up into the 30s for a few days, now it’s back to 20s  and below zero is coming. Ugh!!

Even Ebony, my dog, doesn’t stay out as long on walks, thankfully!!!

Okay well I hope your warm and keeping active. If you get the chance check out the first book in the series, “THE SECRET ACORNS” on Amazon for $2.99 or in Kindle Unlimited for free. Please leave a review, they are so important!!!

 

Until next time,

Kathy (KATT KATHY, AUTHOR)

New Book In Works

Hey Everybody,

I have started the second book for the Squirrel Tales Series. It’s called, “ABBY’S FLOWER GARDEN”.  I hope you will take the time to check out her story on her page right here on my Penscratch.

Leave a review or whatever about it once you have read it. Remember it is just in the first draft, so forgive grammar and mistakes.  LOL

I am so enjoying this series.  My first book, THE SECRET ACORN, is out and live on Amazon for $2.99 or Kindle Unlimited.  I would appreciate any looks, pickups or purchases. Leave a review good or bad.  Preferably GOOD!!

Sorry it’s been awhile since I have been on here, but have been busy writing and trying to do admin work.  Thank you for sticking with me.  Hugs to all. Hope you enjoy the story!1

 

Thanks

Kathy/KATT KAY, Author

 

THE SECRET ACORNS

BY:  KATT KAY

Chapter 1     

Candy was a very curious young squirrel. She would spend most of her days outside exploring, collecting acorns, and playing. Yep that’s right. Now we all know squirrels love acorns and gather them as soon as they start to ripen and fall from the trees. Squirrels collect them and store them in their tree houses for the long cold winters that will come.

Although, this is not why Candy collected them. She collected them because she likes them. She likes how they look. The acorns couldn’t have cracks or missing their shell or even a part of it. The acorns had to be just right! Candy would collect them as soon as she could start. She would hide them in big bunches in secret places where no one else would look for them. It took her all Spring, Summer and part of the Fall to find the special acorns and the right secret hiding places.

This was a special thing to do, just for her. Candy didn’t let anyone else help. The other young squirrels would spend the time playing games; like hide and seek, chase, tag, and of course tree climbing races. It was important to be able to get away from anything or anyone that could hurt them or catch them.

Now Candy was a young squirrel too, so she played these same games, but she always took time out of playing to search for her secret hiding places to put her collected acorns in. She had to find just the right places. This meant she had to look for places where no one would think of looking.

CHAPTER 2

Candy’s little sister, Abby also liked to tag along when the young squirrels played. Abby was a little younger than the rest of them, but she liked to be included in the play time. Hide and seek, chase and tag were her favorite games. She could run, hide and catch most of the young squirrels. She was fast.

The one game she didn’t really like was the tree climbing races. Abby didn’t like high places. They scared her. This didn’t make sense because she had to climb the family tree house, and their door was up pretty high, but this never bothered her because she knew her family was always close and it was home. Plus her older sister, Candy, was always right there with her when it was time to go home each day.

Their home was always nice inside. It was warm and got sunlight through the doorway and two windows further down the hallway. The living room was on the left side of the door and the kitchen was to the right. The bedrooms were down the hallway. Abby’s parents room was first on the left, then hers was next on the left and Candy’s was on the right not far from the back door. The storage room for winter foods was on the left side next to the back door. There was a big porch outside the back door on a big tree branch.

Sometimes after supper the whole family would sit outside and listen to the night sounds, look up through the tree branches and watch the stars shine. Abby liked these family times together. Candy and Abby would play guessing games or try and think of new games to try out the next day. Their parents would quiet them down and they would take turns reading them a story before bedtime.

Chapter 3

Sunshine and a warm breeze woke Candy up this morning. It was time to get moving, she had things to accomplish today. Today would be her first scouting of the old hiding areas, plus new ones she knew she could find. Candy always left acorns in each of her old hiding places, this was to see if anyone else had found it and taken the acorns. This way she knew not to use that spot again.

Candy lifted her nose and smelled acorn pancakes, she just loved pancakes! She went to see if Abby was up yet and ready for breakfast. Abby was just finishing washing up when Candy poked her head into her room. Abby took a long sniff and down the hallway she went, trying to beat Candy as usual, but as usual Candy made it to the table just before Abby.

Mom was at the stove finishing the pancakes, Dad was reading the local paper, The Woods Press. He liked to keep updated with what was happening in the community. Mom brought the platter of pancakes to the table and took her seat. Dad closed his paper and put it aside. Then he said grace over their meal and asked for blessings on the family.

Everyone dug into their pancakes to soften their hunger, and mom asked what everyone was doing today. Dad of course was off to work. His job was very important. He was the overseer of all acorns and their readiness for harvesting. Mom was going to visit with her Women’s Squirrel Aid group. They had a few projects to work on for later in the year for the holidays. They helped out families in need.

Abby planned on hanging out with the younger squirrels to play and practice, especially the tree races. Candy had decided to go exploring. She told her mom and dad about her plan for exploring. She could go as long as she was home by supper time. Candy finished her breakfast and took off to her room to get the supplies she would need.

Chapter 4

It was still a little early when Candy stepped outside with her explorer pack. The other young squirrels were still sleeping in or finishing breakfast. She climbed down to the ground, looked around to decide in which direction she would go today. Candy didn’t want to get caught by any of the other squirrels, so she decided to go towards Uncle Flick’s tree and see what was around in that area.

Uncle Flick was big, loud and funny. He told stories and jokes all the time. His biggest thing that made everybody laugh was him trying to sing. When he would start to sing or say he was going to sing, or even ask if he should sing; everybody told him NO every time! It could be the adults or the young squirrels, but it was always agreed that Uncle Flick wasn’t allowed to sing.

So Candy headed off across the park like town where everyone lived, out past to the big patch of woods on her left. There was a big green section of beautiful grass in the middle of their town.  There really weren’t any streets just paths that ran through and around their town. Some squirrels lived close to the grass, like Candy’s family. Then there were others who lived further away in the trees a little further out and others that lived alot further out like Uncle Flick. They preferred the country quiet to the hustle of the main green area.

Chapter 5

This area had some of the more colorful older squirrels. They all had interesting piles or stacks of things just sitting around not being used for anything. Candy always thought these could be good hiding places for her secret acorns. With this in mind, she took off skipping down the path towards Uncle Flick.

As she went, she also searched for acorns. She would check around the big oak trees first to see if any acorns had fallen to the ground. Some would still be in their green soft shells that hadn’t fully ripened yet but they would make perfect acorns to hide. Then she would pick up any she found and put them into her explorers pack to sort through when a hiding spot was picked.

Sometimes she would have to climb up a tree to gather more green and brown acorns but they were worth the extra work. After she collected many of these, Candy moved on still looking for the best acorns she could find. She needed to find some that were ripened and perfect.

She found a patch of acorns that had already ripened. Their green shells had split open so the brown acorn inside was visibly ready to be snatched up to be included in her collection. She would finish shelling them and the other green ones later on. Into the pack they went.

Chapter 6

Candy was getting close to Uncle Flick’s tree and was looking forward to maybe finding the first secret hiding place there. He always had neat places to hide things. Once she found an old empty metal case. It was deep in his throw away stock pile, and he never, never threw anything away. Candy had left some of last years secret acorns in the case. She wanted to check if they were still there or if someone had found them. If they had, it wouldn’t be a good place to use again this year. 

She scampered over things in the pile to reach the case. When she got to it she slowly reached out to open it hoping she would see acorns inside. Up the lid went and Candy smiled. Her first hiding place was found! The secret acorns from last year were still inside, so Candy added the new ones to them. She knew she would have to come back soon to take the new acorns out their green shells so the pretty brown and tan perfect ones would be special. The acorns would be perfect! After looking around, Candy closed the case, gathered up her pack and headed out to gather more acorns.

When she scampered out of the throw away pile she ran into Uncle Flick. He smiled and laughed! He always knew she was up to something, but never asked what. Uncle Flick offered her some acorn and peanut soup. It was getting close to lunch time, so Candy accepted. They went up into his tree house right to the kitchen. He had a nice pot of soup ready to eat. Candy washed her paws then took a seat at the table.

Uncle Flick placed a small bowl of soup, a spoon, napkin, and a cup of juice in front of her; then got himself some too. As they sat at the table eating, Uncle Flick asked what she was up to. Candy told him she was out looking for acorns as usual. He smiled, told her of a big oak tree further down the lane he lived on that had a lot of acorns on the ground under it. 

Candy smiled, said thank you and that she would go take a look while she was already out here. Uncle Flick smiled and told her not to take to long because time was moving fast so she wouldn’t have long before she needed to get home. Candy knew he was right, she had to be home in time to play with Abby along with some of her friends. It was time for racing, tag and having fun! She had a good day finding some acorns with hopefully more under the big oak tree Uncle Flick had told her about.

When lunch was over Candy helped Uncle Flick to clean up, grabbed her pack, kissed his cheek, and they headed outside. Uncle Flick watched her climb down his tree safely, flicking his tail telling her goodbye. That tail flicking was his way of waving. Candy always wondered if that was how he got his name. 

Chapter 7

It didn’t take Candy long to find the big oak tree Uncle Flick told her about. He was right, there were a lot of acorns already on the ground. She was excited that there were so many. She started looking at them finding just the right ones, the special ones. With her pack ready, she started to search through them. Many of them had already started to crack, or the shell tops were missing from falling such a long way down. Then over to one side she found what she was looking for. These acorns were just right. When they had fallen they landed in nice soft grass or piles of leaves. Candy reached out picking them up one at a time to make sure they were special enough.

The first few were cracked, but many were special. She placed those in her pack. She kept searching finding more and more until her pack was full. Candy looked up and noticed time had passed. It was time for her to be heading back home. She was going to have to find another hiding place on the way back. As she turned to head back home down the lane, she kept her eyes searching for a special hiding place. It had to be well hidden.

All of a sudden to the right of the lane was an old tree stump. It didn’t really look like anything special until you looked closer. Hidden behind some lose bark was an opening to a nice sized hole. It was deep enough and could be covered by the bark so no one would even know it was there. Candy did a little hop and jump, she was so excited! 

This was going to be her second secret hiding place. She got up close and checked out the stump for tracks of other animals or if it was used by someone else as a hiding place or home. It didn’t look like it had been used by anyone at all. So carefully Candy moved the bark to the side and started emptying her special secret acorns into the hole. When she was done, she closed the bark over the hole, moved back so she could make sure no one would see or notice the opening. It looked good and she couldn’t even tell where it was. Then it was really time for her to head back home.

Chapter 8

Candy made it back home just in time to join in on the tree racing games or some tag. She laid her pack on a bench closest to home then went to find Abby. It took a few minutes but she found her with Mindy and Annie, a couple of preteen squirrels. They were usually nice but sometimes they made trouble. It seemed that Annie the oldest of the two, really had attitude problems. She got bossy and wanted things her way. She even would take Abby to other houses without getting permission. That was wrong and she had gotten in trouble for it more than once. Mindy was pretty okay most of the time.  She took good care of Abby but she did make up stories at times that got her into trouble along with Candy if she wasn’t careful. Candy didn’t like that when it happened because she would get grounded or she got a talking to.

For right now everything seemed to be good. The girls were playing on the jungle gym set to one side of the playing area. Abby was climbing up the slides and then sliding back down. Mindy and Annie were climbing the metal rope ladders and talking. Candy skipped over to join them and see what was up. Soon they were all talking about music and going over to the slides to join Abby. They all decided to play tree racing games for awhile. They knew Abby needed more practice plus it would be fun.

There was a certain tree that was used for the races. It had a small bell attached to it at different levels with the hardest one high up on the tree near one the higher branches. This was the bell every squirrel needed to reach. That was the top goal! There were other bells at lower branches so you had to work your way up.  The girls all lined up to practice. It was fun to go racing as fast as you could towards the tree and climb as fast as you could up to the bell you picked to reach.

Since Annie was the oldest she went first and made it to the second highest bell. It wouldn’t take much longer and she would make it to the top bell. Mindy went next and made it between the second highest bell and the one below it. She was getting better too. Now it was Candy’s turn and off she went. She flew across the ground and up the tree. She made it past the lowest bell, then the next one, then the next one and was looking towards the next which would have made her on the same branch with Annie but her claws slipped and she had to stop where she was. She had made it to just below where Mindy stopped. She had done very well and was pleased by her race.

Now it was Abby’s turn. All three of the older girls climbed down and went to help her. She was scared of heights, which no one understood because she was fine going up her family tree, but when it came to the race tree she was scared to climb very high. Abby looked around and fidgeted. She knew she had to do this, that as she got older she had to climb higher, but she was scared and didn’t want to climb higher than the second lowest bell. Candy came over to her and told her she only had to go as high as she could in this first race. Then she could try and do better in the second round. Abby looked at her and frowned. Candy told her she was doing a lot more stuff now on the jungle gym. She told Abby that she was now climbing all the way to the top of the metal ladders and could walk up the side bars from the bottom to the top platform on the gym. She was stronger and had better balance, grip and courage.

Abby looked at her for a couple of seconds, then looked at the gym, she then turned around and took off for the racing tree. She didn’t slow down, she didn’t stop but kept right on going until she made it to the bell she had in her sights. The next thing she knew she was sitting on a branch and ringing the bell!!! Abby had made it to the branch Mindy and Candy had past that day. She had done it!  As Abby looked down at the  other girls and her sister, she grinned because they were all cheering, especially Candy who was jumping up and down with her hands in the air with the I love you sign on both hands.

By the time the girls finished practicing the race game, moms were calling them in for supper and nightly routines. Candy grabbed her exploring bag, joined Abby in saying bye to their friends and scampered home. Abby told her mom and dad all about her day, especially about how well she had done at the races. They were very proud of her and Candy both. They had come a long way from earlier in the year. Finally Candy told about her exploring , seeing Uncle Flick and finding just a few really good acorns. She always brought a few good ones home to show. Although she never told anyone how many she ever really found and hid away!

Chapter 9

The next day was another bright sunny day. Candy woke up later than usual, so she hurried to wash up and get dressed for her day. It was after all another day to explore. She wanted to find another hiding place and of course more special acorns! She was thinking about all the acorns she had found under the big oak tree the day before. There were still a lot more there and she was wondering if she went there again if she might be able to find another hiding place; plus she wanted to bring some plain every day acorns home to her mom. So with that in mind she headed to the kitchen.

Mom was already there and gave her a big hug and kiss. Candy got herself a glass of juice and sat down at the table. Mom had made toasted pine nuts along with cornbread pancakes. Candy took the tongs and placed three pancakes on her plate, she added pine nuts on top with maple syrup poured all over everything.

As Candy ate Abby walked in right to mom for her hug and kiss. She then climbed up to sit at the table waiting for her food. Mom came over to the table with Abby’s juice and made up her plate so she could start eating.  Candy talked to her mom about going exploring today and if her mom would like her to bring some acorns home since she would be out.  Mom liked that idea but told her to be careful and asked if Candy was going to be out towards Aunt Debby’s tree.

Candy laughed because she already knew what was coming. Mom wanted her to take Abby over there for a little while today so Abby could practice her writing of her alphabet.  Since Aunt Debby lived on the way to the big oak she wanted visit she told her mom she was. Abby swallowed the food in her mouth wanting to know if she could go to Aunt Debby’s. Mom smiled at Candy and winked, then told Abby that she could go as long as she finished her breakfast then washed up. Abby was excited, she loved her Aunt Debby and the fun that they always had together. Candy said she was done eating and she was going to wash up, grab her pack, some paper for Abby to take, then she would be ready to go. Hearing this Abby ate the rest of her breakfast then got down to go wash up. She had to get a couple of pictures she had drawn for Aunt Debby.

In minutes the girls were ready to go. Mom checked to make sure they had everything, told Abby to wait at Aunt Debby’s until she came and got her after she got her running done for the day. Mom also reminded Candy to be home before supper. Both the girls agreed then headed out the door. Candy went slower than usual so Abby could keep up plus they were going to pick some wild flowers for Aunt Debby on the way.

Aunt Debby lived two lanes before the lane to the big oak tree, so it was no trouble taking Abby.  Candy had fun with Abby skipping along picking flowers and she was also keeping her eyes open for  another hiding spot she might use. You never could tell when one would be found. Just around the bend in the lane to reach Aunt Debby’s tree, Candy spied an old tree log laying on the ground. Now that was interesting, she would check it out after she dropped Abby off.

When the girls reached Aunt Debby’s, she was outside tending to her flowers. She could grow anything, at least that’s what everybody said. She had a really green thumb! Abby used to ask all the time where the green was on her thumb, Aunt Debby would tell her it was in the dirt and the flowers.  Candy giggled at the memory. Of course Aunt Debby knew they were coming and was standing waiting for them. Abby went running ahead and ran right into Aunt Debby’s arms then handed her the flowers they had picked. She hugged Abby then grinned at Candy. She gave Candy a hug too plus a thank you for bringing Abby and the pretty flowers . Candy smiled back, told her it was fine because she was headed over this way to go exploring. She was going to be bringing back acorns for her mom and wanted to know if Aunt Debby wanted some also. Aunt Debby did, that would be great if she found enough and if her pack would be big enough. Candy nodded her head, grinned then headed back down the lane. She wanted to check out that downed tree.

Chapter 10

When Candy went back around the bend in the lane she was watching for that tree. It was harder to spot from this direction so she almost walked past it.  As she left the lane to get closer to the tree, she saw that it was really a forked tree branch that had fallen down off a big tree. The branch was bigger on one side of the fork than the other. This might be interesting if she could get into one or the other fork. She was hoping that she could get to the inside where the forks met. If one side was open and the other wasn’t, she might be able to make this another secret hiding place.

Candy turned around and looked back at the lane. It was far enough away that most people wouldn’t be looking for it and most animals wouldn’t be interested because it was to large to move it or take to much time to cut it up. It was the same for people, to them it would be to small for them to really use.  Now the couple of things Candy was worried about was if she could cover up the side you could see coming from the other direction and if she could get inside and out again. Plus she had to see if any other animal had been using it, that was a worry. She didn’t want to trespass or disturb anyone else’s place.

Slowly Candy walked up to the branch to check it out a little better. She looked for fresh tracks, smashed down grass, and sniffed the air.  There were old tracks, the grass wasn’t smashed down anywhere close, and the air didn’t hold any recent scents. So she went all the way up to the branch to check out all the possible openings. The trunk where it broke off from the main tree was jagged but solid. The right fork had a small opening she might fit through just fine and it looked like it went all the way to the meeting of the fork part. The left side of the fork had a bigger opening that looked rotted out, there was a smaller opening where a smaller branch must have been at one time. You could see light shining through into this side of the fork. The small hole wasn’t big enough for anything very big to fit through, maybe a small mouse, but not something close to Candy’s size.

Candy decided to go inside the left fork leaving her pack outside. She edged inside slowly being careful. As she let her eyes adjust to the change in lighting, she could see rather well. While looking around, taking steps inside, she noticed that this might have been a home for someone a few years ago. There were old pieces of broken furniture, smaller than what they had at home, so she decided it must have been left after the branch had fallen by the family who had lived here.

As she reached the end of that fork there was a door. It was big enough for her to fit through if she could manage to get it open. Since the tree was laying down, the door when opened would fall downward towards what would have been a wall. Candy reached up and grabbed the doorknob and turned. The door opened and fell towards her fast because it was above her.  It wasn’t big or heavy enough to hurt her so she let it down to lay on what was now the floor. Candy wanted to make sure she could close it again before she went through it, so she lifted it up and pushed it until it clicked shut. Then she reached up and opened it again. As she took a few steps onto the door she poked her head inside.

Her eyes opened wide at what she had found! This looked like a secret room. Maybe it had been a closet or storage room before. Across from where she stood was what looked like another door. That would mean she was at the bottom of where both sides of the fork met. She went across to the other door, the knob for this door was at the bottom or would have been if the branch had been standing up or still on the big tree! When Candy pulled it open there was another empty room with just a little bit of light shining in. That light must be coming from that small opening in the right fork.

As she went into this room there was nothing in it at all. While she looked around she noticed where the light was coming from. It was a very small circular hole. When she followed the path of the light coming through the hole it shown on a small mirror directly across the room from the hole. The light bounced off the mirror and lit the room up as if there was a bigger window or hole! When Candy bent down to look through the small hole there was a little bit bigger hole further up the right fork. It seemed that there was a tunnel in the right fork of the tree and the holes got bigger letting in more light the closer you got to the end of the branch!  Candy had found what the adults used to call a safe room!

Chapter 11

These rooms were once used to protect families if larger animals tried to come into the tree house. The family that used to live here would store food and other supplies here in case they needed a safe place to hide. Candy looked at the door again and noticed there was a lock and a bar that fit into a notch so the door couldn’t be opened from the other room. She was excited! This would be a perfect secret hiding place. She could store acorns in both rooms with more in this last room and fewer in the first.

Now all she had to do was take the tunnel in the right side of the fork to see if she could make it all the way to this room. She would want to figure out how to make the little hole bigger so that she could get in the second room to lock it after she filled it with her special acorns. Candy couldn’t widen it to much or others could get into the room also. Candy went back out and closed the safe room door. She studied it again to see if there was anything else she hadn’t noticed. She did notice that the knob wasn’t as big as a normal knob. Then she noticed that there was a little latch inside a slit in the wall. It had taken her a few minutes to find it. It looked like it was just a piece of wood broken off about four inches from the doorway. Candy opened the door again and compared it to the inside lock and bar. It took a few minutes to figure it out but then it came to her! The slit with what looked like a latch was in fact a way to open the door from outside the safety room. You would pull the latch out and up and that would release the bar and spring the lock of the doorknob!

Candy stood there studying it and then shut the door again. She was trying to figure out why the hidden latch would be needed if the family was inside. It finally hit her! If the family was inside except for one of them or another family member or friend who knew about the secret latch, they could come let them out after the danger was over. This was going to be the best secret hiding place ever for her special acorns!  Now all she had to do was see how far and how big the tunnel was.

She ran out shutting doors behind her and ran around to the right fork. She went to the opening and crawled through. It was big enough to fit through easily. She kept crawling noticing that the tunnel was getting smaller as she went. She was thinking that an adult had made the tunnel and since she wasn’t full grown, she should be able to make it all the way to the smallest hole without much trouble.  She did make it to the smallest hole but the tunnel did tighten up more than she thought. She wasn’t to worried, she thought that she could use this place for a couple of years at least if not longer. Candy was very happy with her find.

She backed out of the tunnel and took a look around. Time was going fast and she still had to collect acorns for mom and Aunt Debby. Candy thought that she had enough time to make some long grass covering for this side of the branch so it wouldn’t be  seen coming down the lane. Then she would go collect acorns for the family, then wait until the next day to start collecting special acorns to put in the secret room. She had plenty of time to gather lots of acorns for this hiding place. She began collecting long grass to put over this side of the branch to help hide it. When that was done, she stood back to see how it now looked. It was perfect, nobody would notice the branch now.

Candy ran around to the left fork grabbed up her pack and headed to the big oak tree to gather acorns for the family. She wanted to make sure she had a whole pack full so she could share some with Aunt Debby. She was so happy that she didn’t even stop at Uncle Flick’s. She just waved and called out hi as she skipped past. If she had time on the way back, she would spend a little more time visiting Uncle Flick, but acorns first.

She started gathering up acorns as soon as she got under the big oak. There were still a lot of normal acorns to gather. This was such a nice place. It had been a long time since she had found so many acorns in one place. Plus as she worked to gather up regular acorns she spotted special acorns and moved those over to the grass and leaves to keep them out of the notice of anyone else. Candy was planning on coming back here again and again until she had all the special acorns in her secret hiding places.

Chapter 12

Candy was busily gathering acorns when she finally looked up to judge the time. She didn’t have much left since she wanted to say a proper hello to Uncle Flick then head back to Aunt Debby’s and get home on time. She looked in her pack and it was full almost to the top so she gathered a few more acorns and headed to Uncle Flick’s tree. He was outside working on something as usual. She was being very quiet, she wanted to see if she could sneek up on him. The next thing she knew an arm wrapped around her and tickled her! Uncle Flick had heard her coming and surprised her first. Candy gave him a big hug and offered him a few of the acorns out of her pack. She told him she was gathering them for her mom and some for Aunt Debby. He smiled and took a handful, thanked her and sent her on her way.

Candy was thinking about the forked branch and the hiding rooms as she headed back to Aunt Debby’s tree. As she went past where the branch was laying you couldn’t really notice it unless you knew it was there. She had done a good job with the long grass to cover it. When she arrived at Aunt Debby’s tree she knocked on the door and let herself in. Aunt Debby was glad to see her and asked if she had found enough acorns. Candy showed her the full pack and started laying acorns on the table. She wanted to make sure that Aunt Debby had plenty. When she had put quite a few double handfuls on the table, Aunt Debby said that would be enough to last her for awhile since it was just her and the rest would be needed for Candy’s family.

Aunt Debby offered her some water to drink and a sandwich since she knew Candy had been working hard. Candy accepted, washed her dirty hands then sat down at the table. She found a peanut butter sandwich and her glass of water. She was really hungry but ate slowly. When she finished she thank Aunt Debby and decided she better head home. Time was short and she wanted to have some play time after giving her mom the rest of the acorns. Candy hugged Aunt Debby again said she would visit again soon and she headed home.

As Candy got close to home she could hear the other young squirrels already playing so she skipped a little faster to her family tree. When she came through the door her mom was in the kitchen getting things ready for supper so she knew she still had some time to play. Mom looked up and smiled when she saw Candy and her pack with all the acorns inside. The pack was bulging. Candy handed the pack over to her mom, gave her a hug and asked if she had time to play for a little while. Mom smiled, took the pack and waved her out the door to go play.

When Candy got to the playground she looked for Abby first. She was riding her tricycle around on the paths while Mindy rode her bike with her. Annie was hanging on the bars of the jungle gym so Candy went to join her. Annie asked her where she had been all day, so Candy told her about taking Abby to their Aunt Debby’s, then going to collect acorns for Uncle Flick, Aunt Debby and her mom. It had been a long day but Candy had enjoyed it. She told Annie how she tried to sneek up on Uncle Flick but he had caught her and tickled her! Annie laughed. They decided to get their bikes and ride with Abby and Mindy. Maybe they could race their bikes over some of the paths that weren’t busy.

It wasn’t long before Abby started to get tired, she’d had a long filled day. Candy was getting tired too so all the girls decided to sit down on one of the picnic tables and listen to music. They all knew that their moms would be caling them in for supper soon. They listened to some good tunes, sang along, did some dance moves and laughed a lot. It was nice to have friends to spend time with. Candy saw her dad come home from work and knew that soon it would be time to go inside. The light was fading and the sun was going down. She knew that it wouldn’t be long before the days would start getting shorter, but for now she enjoyed the nice days and nice friends. Most of all she was glad she could go exploring to find her special acorns and their secret hiding places.

All the moms started calling kids inside to get ready for supper. Abby was hungry so she took off towards home shouting bye to all her friends. Candy laughed, said bye as she got up to follow Abby home. She grabbed her bike and Abby’s tricycle to head home. Mindy offered to help with the tricycle since they both had their bikes too. It turned out to be fun trying to guide their bikes with the tricycle between them. Candy thanked Mindy for her help and headed inside for supper.

Mom had supper finished, Dad was just getting ready to sit at the table, Abby was coming from washing up and Candy headed to the bathroom to do her washing up. When she got back to the kitchen she took her seat. They all said a prayer thankful for the food and their family. Then they dug in! They all took turns talking about their day; mom talked about her errands, Dad talked about his good day at work, Abby talked about her time spent with Aunt Debby, and Candy shared her day about gathering acorns, seeing Uncle Flick and giving him some acorns, then back to Aunt Debby’s for lunch and sharing acorns with her too.

After supper was eaten, the table was cleared, the food put away and the dishes were done. Candy and her family went to watch the last of the sunset out on the back porch. It was a warm night with sounds of crickets and other families settling in for the night. Soon the stars were popping out and dad started reading a story. Abby fell asleep on mom’s lap so mom took her in to put her to bed. Dad closed the book gathered Candy on his lap and told her thank you for all the work she had done today by gathering acorns and sharing with the family. Candy hugged him back told him she loved him plus all her family. She liked exploring and sharing the acorns she found. Dad hugged her one more time and sent her off to say good night to mom before bed. Candy found mom coming out of Abby’s room . She told her mom she loved her, thanked her for dinner and headed to climb into her bed. She was tired and knew she would need her rest before her next adventure to look for her secret acorns.

THE END