by Paul Olsen
© copyright 2004 Paul Olsen
Deeta rang the "Hey, Everybody!" triangle that hung
on her porch, DINGA-DINGA-DINGA-DINGA-DINGA-DINGA-DINGA!
And sure enough, everyone came running to find out what was going
on. Well, almost everyone. Pussyraptor came bop-toddling along,
as she always did....except when she pshoom-ed. Deeta only rang
the "Hey Everybody!" triangle on very special occasions,
so this must be something very special!
As always, Meerkat was the first one there, screeching to a halt
and throwing dust all over Deeta as he did so, making her cough.
He said, "What'sUp?Huh?Huh?Huh?"
Deeta dusted herself off and looked askance at Meerkat while she
waited 'til everybody gathered round, and then she held up a beautiful
card and said, "Look what the Mail Duck brought us this morning!
An invitation from Sarah Dactyl to one of her famous tea parties!!"
Everyone jumped up and down and said, "Yay!"
Well, everyone but Pussyraptor. She just stood there, with Donk
on her horn-thingies, looking very Donk-like, and cocked her head
and said "Huh?"
Deeta looked at Pussyraptor and said, "Tea Party, Pussyraptor!"
Pussyraptor scrunched up her eyebrows and thought real hard. "Tee-Par-Tee?...huh?"
Deeta smiled and said, "Party, Pussyraptor! We've all been
invited to a party!"
Pussyraptor clapped her hands and said, "YAY!.....Loons????"
"Well, I don't think there will be balloons at this party,
Pussyraptor, but I'm sure Sarah Dactyl won't mind if you bring
some balloons, seeing as you like them so much," said Deeta.
"It IS a party, after all!"
Pussyraptor clapped her hands again and said "Loons! Yay!"
and everybody joined in again. Well, everybody but Fingers. He
knew he was going to get stuck with blowing up Pussyraptor's balloons,
and it always made him dizzy, cause Pussyraptor liked LOTS of
balloons of all different colors. The red ones were always the
hardest to blow up.
Donk liked balloons, too....but for a different reason.
"Now, everybody," said Deeta, sitting down on her porch
steps, "Sarah Dactyl goes to a lot of trouble to put on her
very special parties, so we should go to some trouble too, to
look as nice as we possibly can, AND be on our best behavior,
They all nodded. Pussyraptor nodded too, though she didn't quite
understand what Deeta was saying. When Pussyraptor nodded, Donk
got a real good ride and had to hang on tight with his feet, causing
Pussyraptor to go, "Ow-eee, Donks!"
"This gives us all a chance to wear our very finest things,"
said Deeta. "If any of you need help with your outfits, just
come and see me and I'll sort you out, OK?"
"OK!" they all chorused....except for Pussyraptor, who
Everybody went away all excited, making plans for the big party.
Deeta had some very special polka-dot ribbons she was saving for
Pussyraptor....this would be the ideal occasion for her to wear
them. They would go with her balloons perfectly!
Meanwhile, Sarah Dactyl was putting the finishing touches on her
preparations for the tea party. When she was finished, she sat
on the setee in her lounge, calmly taking in the surroundings.
Everything was, as usual, in spiffing order. She smiled as she
looked at the vases of freshly-cut flowers, the immaculately laid-out
table, the crisp linen tablecloth, the silver centerpiece (her
pride and joy), and all the napkins carefully folded and ironed
into fans and placed on each seat. The silverware was all polished
and gleaming, and the teacups and saucers were sparkledy and squeaky
clean. Little bowls of expensive sweets and treats were dotted
around the table. There was a rose in each water glass, and a
little present at each place setting.
Yes, Sarah Dactyl thought, everything is just PERfect! She was
very pleased with herself, as she always was, for being so thorough
and meticulous..... and so correct. No one could give a magnificent
party like Sarah!
Sarah wandered around the table and checked everything one more
time and then floated off to her boudoir to get ready. She opened
her hand-carved armoir and surveyed her collection of filmy, pastel
silk scarves. With a discerning eye, she carefully selected JUST
the right one and draped it over her shoulders. Very chic.
It was almost time. Sarah Dactyl would put on a party no one would
While Sarah was preparing for the party, Deeta was rushing around
trying to get everyone ready. Fingers was going nuts trying to
tie his tie, so Meerkat offered to help. "Here,Fingers,LetMeHelpYouWithThat!
I'mGreatAtTyingTies!" and Meerkat grabbed the tie and went
ZOINK! strangling Fingers, and turning him purple because the
tie was so tight.
Fingers reached out and put his hands around Meerkat's throat
and croaked, "Are you trying to KILL me!!?? Well FINALLY
I've got you in my clutches, you scrawny nincompoop, and I'm gonna
strangle YOU!" and he shook poor Meerkat silly, as Meerkat
gasped and coughed and went "Arrrgghhhh!!!!!"
"Boys!" shouted Deeta. "Stop that silliness! Look
at you both, you look a mess! Shame on you."
Fingers released Meerkat, who collapsed in a heap on the floor,
gasping for air.
Pussyraptor leaned over to Meerkat and offered him a berry. "Ber-ry,
"Caaaggghhh!" went Meerkat, still struggling to breathe.
Pussyraptor popped a berry in his open mouth, almost choking him.
"There-theres!" Pussyraptor said proudly, and patted
him on the head.
Poyyo helped Fingers get his tie sorted out, and Deeta rescued
Meerkat and tidied HIM up, for once. When Deeta straightened out
Meerkat, she said, "Pussyraptor, look what I've got for YOU!"
and she held up the big polka-dot ribbons. Pussyraptor clapped
her hands and blinked happily, *blink-blink*
Deeta tied the ribbons on Pussyraptor's horn-thingies and then
told her to look in the mirror. Pussyraptor bop-toddled over to
the mirror and held her hand to her mouth and said, "Ohhh!
Dee-ta! Sank yoos!!" *blink-blink*
"You're very welcome, Pussyraptor. You look VERY pretty!
Well, you'll be the prettiest one there!" and Pussyraptor
"Right, what else do we have to do?" said Deeta. "Oh!
I know! Fingers, have you blown up Pussyraptor's balloons yet?"
Fingers groaned....his throat was still sore.
"What did you say, Fingers?" asked Deeta.
"Uhh...I said 'no,' but I'll get on it right away,"
Pussyraptor looked over to Fingers and said sweetly, "Sank
Fingers smiled....Pussyraptor was so sweet, he loved blowing up
her balloons, really, even if he did have a sore throat. He would
take care of Meerkat later.
Poyyo looked around. Everyone was ready to go. Fingers had blown
up Pussyraptor's balloons, and she proudly held a big bunch of
them, which Donk was watching like a hawk. Or like a Donk.
"Right! Is everyone ready? Have we got everything?"
asked Poyyo. Deeta had on her best party dress and was just brushing
her hair. "I'm all ready," she said.
"OK," said Poyyo, "let's go!" And off they
went to Sarah's, all looking very smart and all looking forward
to the fun they were going to have at the tea party.
When they arrived, Pussyraptor went up to Sarah's door and leaned
over so Donk could go "DONK-DONK-DONK!"
Sarah was draped across her loveseat, awaiting her guests, when
a loud DONK-DONK-DONK! on her door made her jump. "That MUST
be them!" she thought, and got up greet them. She swept open
the door dramatically and said, "Welcome, friends, to my
humble home! Thank you all for coming."
Deeta smiled and said, "Thank you for inviting us, Sarah.
Everybody is really excited about your tea party!"
"Well, come in then! Come in," said Sarah, as she stood
aside to let them in.
Meerkat made a dash for the door, but Fingers grabbed his tail
and said, "Oh, no you don't, you fast-talking stick insect!"
and held him in place as he walked through door regally, treading
on Meerkat's foot.
"Oww!" said Meerkat.
"Boys! Shhh!" admonished Deeta, as she smiled at Sarah.
"They squabble a lot. You know what boys are like!"
She stepped inside.
"I'm afraid I do," said Sarah, disapprovingly.
"WouldYouLikeANut,Sarah?" asked Meerkat.
Sarah simply looked down her nose at him.
"IGuessThat'sNo,Huh?" said Meerkat.
Sarah sniffed, and turned away.
Fingers looked around the room in awe, eyeing all the wonderful,
shiny things in Sarah's house. Deeta shot him a look that told
him to be on his best behavior.
Poyyo came in next and doffed his hat. "Hello, Sarah,"
"Hello, Poyyo.....so glad you could come!" said Sarah,
"I've really been looking forward to seeing the inside of
your house, Sarah....maybe I'll get some ideas for my tree house!"
"Hmmmm, maybe you will," drawled Sarah. She didn't approve
of tree houses.
Pussyraptor bop-toddled up to the door and smiled and blinked,
Sarah looked at Pussyraptor's balloons and said, "Oh....balloons.
How very, uh......nice."
Pussyraptor smiled, not realizing that Sarah wasn't happy about
Pussyraptor bringing balloons, and said, "Sank yoos, Sar-rah!"
As a gift from the entire Troupe, Pussyraptor presented Sarah
Dactyl with a basket filled to the brim of her best tea berries
and said, "Ber-ries, Sar-rah?"
Sarah had the wind knocked right out of her sails. Pussyraptor
was so sweet and charming. Sarah smiled graciously and said, "Why,
thank you, Pussyraptor! How very thoughtful of you! I've heard
so much about your wonderful berries! These will go PERfectly
with my scones!"
Pussyraptor blushed and blinked, *blink-blink* Behind Deeta, she
wondered what a scone was while Fingers' eyes began to rove. "You
must tell me your secret for growing your berries so successfully,"
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor, not understanding Sarah. "Ber-ry?"
"Oh, come in, Pussyraptor, come in," said Sarah.
Pussyraptor stepped over the threshold as Deeta shouted, "Duck,
Pussyraptor!" Donk went DOINK! straight into the doorjamb.
Pussyraptor stopped and said, "Duck-ees? GWACK?" she
liked ducks and looked around for them, "Gwack-gwack-gwack?"
'No, not ducks, Pussyraptor, DUCK!" said Deeta.
Pussyraptor looked at Deeta like she was nuts. "Duck-ees?
GWACK! Duck-ees! GWACK-GWACK!" She couldn't see any ducks.
What was Deeta going on about?
Deeta laughed and said, "Forget the ducks, let's rescue Donk!"
"Donk-see?" said Pussyraptor, and looked cross-eyed
up at her horn-thingies. "GWACK! Donk-see!" and she
stepped back through the door to pull Donk out of the doorjamb,
They both fell down the steps, KALUMPETY-BOOM! and everybody tried
not to laugh.
This is a great start to the party, thought Poyyo.
Deeta ran down the steps and helped Pussyraptor and Donk disentangle
themselves, and then she whispered in Pussyraptor's ear not to
forget to duck again. Pussyraptor said, "Huh? Gwack???"
and Deeta started giggling. She helped Pussyraptor up the steps
and through the door.
Sarah was a little ruffled, but she composed herself. "Would
everyone like to sit down?" she asked, guiding everyone to
The chairs were finely carved, and very dainty. Pussyraptor went
to sit down and the chair gave way under her weight, CRASH!
"GWAAACKK!" gwacked Pussyraptor as she fell over, BOOM!
Donk fluttered away just in time and landed on Sarah Dactyl's
Pussyraptor took the tablecloth with her as she fell backwards,
and all the cups and saucers and bowls of candy and glasses with
roses in them and EVERYTHING landed in Pussyraptor's lap, SKABLANGLE-KABLONKLE-KATINK!
Sarah was in shock.
Donk was on Sarah.
Poyyo was giggling.
Fingers held his head in his hands and groaned.
Meerkat jumped up, and dashed around the table, ZOOM! SWISH! ZOWIE!
And before anyone could say "Snurgleblurfer!" Meerkat
had tidied everything up and found a bench for Pussyraptor from
the garden. He sat down, breathing heavily, and said, "GreatParty,Sarah!"
Sarah didn't know what to say, so she asked Poyyo if he took sugar
in his tea.
"Yes, please," said Poyyo. He had something of a sweet
Sarah went round the table serving everyone, and Deeta thought
they were doing very nicely, except maybe for Meerkat, who asked
for TEN sugars in his tea.
Pussyraptor sat quietly, not sure what to do with herself. She
watched Deeta for clues. Sarah put out Pussyraptor's tea-berries,
and Pussyraptor knew what to do with those, but she wasn't sure
about the tea and the other things on the trays. And what was
wrong with the sandwiches? She had seen Poyyo eat sandwiches before,
but they were big, sloppy ones with salami and cheese and schnockenblockens
hanging out of them. These sandwiches were itsy-bitsy! Did Sarah
know her sandwiches had shrunk?
Meerkat wasn't concerned about shrunken sandwiches, he had a whole
plate of scones in front of him, and he gobbled them up, GULP-GULP-GULP!
Yum! He ate his food like a vacuum cleaner, SLUUUURRPPP!! Very
Meerkat looked up, a scone half hanging out of his mouth, and
realized everyone was watching him. He smiled weakly and slurched
the last bit of scone into his mouth and gulped, trying to think
of something suave to say. For once, Meerkat was at a loss for
words. "NiceScones," he said, hopefully.
Sarah looked down her nose and said, "Thank you for telling
us, Meerkat. Now everyone else will know how good they WERE."
Pussyraptor was still staring at the sandwiches, her horn-thingies
twirling in thought. Donk was beginning to get dizzy and tightened
his grip, which startled Pussyraptor. "Ow-eee! Donks!"
She twitched her horn-thingies and Donk flew off and plopped right
in a bowl of orange marmalade, SPLOOOSH!
"Woops!" said Pussyraptor, giggling.
Poyyo laughed and reached over to pull Donk out of the marmalade,
but Fingers, being the fastidious raccoon that he was, snatched
Donk and began to wash him in the finger bowl---it seemed appropriate---just
like he washed all his food. Donk squawked in protest, and when
Fingers let him go, Donk flew back to Pussyraptor's horn-thingies
and dried himself off with her ribbons, frowning at Fingers.
Sarah raised an eyebrow, tut-tutted, and adjusted her scarf. Oh
my. I certainly have my work cut out for me here, she thought.
Etiquette lessons will start tomorrow!
Donk was eyeing Pussyraptor's balloons. They were right next to
him. He turned and donked the nearest one, BANG!!
Pussyrator dropped her cup of tea and it splashed all over her,
"GWAACKK!" she gwacked. Tea was HOT!
Fingers was in the process of slipping the shiny sugar spoon into
his pocket when he jumped and the spoon went flying.....SPLURK!
right into the bowl of berries for all to see.
Meerkat had just taken a gulp of tea when the balloon popped.
He jumped, and the tea went down the wrong way and he started
coughing uncontrollably. Deeta was pounding him on the back.
Poyyo was talking to Sarah and yelled, "WAHAAA!" scaring
Sarah, and her glasses slid off her nose, PLOP! right into her
Pussyraptor was using the napkin to dry herself and everyone looked
at everyone else and was very quiet.
Sarah retrieved her glasses with as much dignity as she could
muster, took a deep breath, and said, "Well, shall we open
Meerkat and Fingers reached for the same one and began fighting
over it. Fingers grabbed Meerkat's tail and gave it a good yank
while Meerkat put Fingers in a headlock. "Give me THAT!"
said Fingers, choking.
"It'sMINE!" said Meerkat, and they fell on the floor,
"Boys!" commanded Deeta.
They both stood up, looking sheepish. "There's a present
for each one of you," said Deeta.
"ButIWantThisOne!" said Meerkat.
"So do I!" said Fingers.
"Stop being silly, you don't even know what's in them. Here,
Meerkat, you take this one, and Fingers, you take this one. There,
it's settled," said Deeta.
Sarah took a deep breath, this party wasn't going at all the way
she planned it. "Uh....Deeta, why don't you open your present
first?" she said.
Deeta opened her present and held up a pretty clasp for her hair.
"Oh, thank you, Sarah!" she said.
"You're quite welcome, my dear," oozed Sarah. "Poyyo?"
Poyyo opened his present and held up a shiny screwdriver. "Just
what I needed, Sarah! Thank you!" He admired his new screwdriver
and couldn't wait to use it. He now had a saw, a hammer, AND a
new screwdriver! He was thinking of all the wonderful things he
could build with them.
Fingers opened his present and pulled out a bag of colored marbles.
"Wow! These are GREAT, Sarah! Thank you! I love marbles!"
Meerkat tore open his present and pulled out a pair of goggles.
"DOUBLE-WOW!!!" he wowed, and put them on. "HowDoILook???"
"FANTRABULOUS!" laughed Deeta.....everyone loved Meerkat's
new goggles, and he really camped it up, lowering his head and
scanning his eyes around the table, looking very silly, causing
everyone to crease up with laughter.
"Sarah! those goggles are PERFECT for Meerkat!" enthused
Poyyo, and everyone agreed.
"ThankYou,Sarah!!!!!" said a very pleased Meerkat.
"You're very welcome, Meerkat. When I saw them, I knew they
were for you," said Sarah, happy she scored a bullseye.
Sarah smiled and looked at Pussyraptor. "Pussyraptor?"
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor.
"Present?" said Sarah, pointing at Pussyraptor's present.
Pussyraptor clapped her hands and carefully undid the ribbon and
handed it up to Donk for safekeeping, and then slowly took off
the pretty wrapping paper and opened her present. Inside was a
silver compact mirror on a chain that Pussyraptor could wear around
her neck so she could see how pretty she looked in her ribbons
whenever she wanted to.
"Oohhhhh!" she said, as she held her hands to her mouth.
Pussyraptor smiled and blushed and blinked, *blink-blink* and
said, "Sank yoos, Sar-rah!" *blink-blink*
Sarah got up and undid the chain and put the compact around Pussyraptor's
neck. "There," she said, "You're very welcome,
Pussyraptor." She popped open the compact and held the mirror
up so Pussyraptor could see herself. "See how pretty you
look?" said Sarah.
"GWACK!" gwacked Pussyraptor, looking at her ribbons,
Sarah turned to everyone and said, "I'm so glad you all liked
your presents....I had so much fun picking them out, trying to
decide what everybody would like! It's MUCH more fun giving presents
than receiving them."
"NoItIsn't," said Meerkat.
Fingers grabbed him and pushed his head in the marmalade. "Yes
it is, you weasel!" he said.
Deeta looked crossly at Fingers, and he let go of Meerkat and
started playing with his marbles on the table.
Everybody jumped. Donk had donked another balloon.
Sarah said, "Oh! I almost forgot! Donk, there's a present
for you as well!"
Donk donked all the rest of Pussyraptor's balloons, BANG! BANG!
BANG! BANG!!!! and jumped up and down on Pussyraptor's horn-thingies
in his excitement. Donk had never been given a present before.
Sarah beckoned Donk over to her and she put his present in front
of him. Donk undid the ribbons expertly with his beak, and then
the paper....he didn't know what the present was, so Sarah held
it up and said to Donk, "Here's a studded, black leather
jacket for you with the sleeves cut out for your wings!"
Sarah then turned it around, and on the back was emblazoned "DONK."
Donk's eyes lit up as Sarah put the little jacket on him. He looked
very fierce and very handsome, and everybody clapped their hands
and said, "Wow!"
Fingers couldn't stop looking at it, with all the sparkling studs.
"Donk, you look fanTAStic!" he said. Everyone agreed.
Donk was very proud and very happy. He flew back atop Pussyraptor's
horn-thingies and posed for one and all, pleased as punch. He
Deeta said, "Sarah, thank you so much for inviting us to
your wonderful party and for being such a gracious host. We will
never forget your kind hospitality."
Sarah Dactyl smiled and blushed and said, "Thank you, Deeta.
You know, I didn't know what to expect, and the party certainly
didn't go the way I planned, but I've had a lovely time in your
company, and I've learned that if everything always went the way
we wanted it to, or planned for it to go, life would be very dull.
You are all welcome in my house any time. I've really enjoyed
having you all here."
Poyyo stood up and lifted his glass. "A toast to our host!
Hip-hip, hooray!" and they all toasted Sarah, who realized
she had made some wonderful new friends.
Pussyraptor © copyright 2004 Paul
Olsen & Andrea Smith