by Paul Olsen
© copyright 2004 Paul Olsen


Pussyraptor was on her morning berry round, dispensing her morning berries to one and all. She bop-toddled through the apple orchard to give the cider ducks their morning berries. "Ber-ry, gwack-gwacks?"
The ducks all came quacking up to her and waited for Pussyraptor to pop a berry in each one of their mouths.....Pussyraptor liked feeding the ducks, "Gwack-gwack-gwack!" she gwacked. After all, as you know, Pussyraptor was once a duck....or thought she was, until she found out she was really a Pussyraptor! But that's another story.
While Pussyraptor was in the apple orchard, she bop-toddled up to Meerkat's hammock. "More-rings, Meer-kas!" said Pussyraptor brightly.
"GoodMorning,Pussyraptor!" said Meerkat.
"Ber-ry, Meer-kas?"
"Oh,YesPlease,Pussyraptor! ILoveYourBerries!" said Meerkat, and gulped his down, GULP! just like that. What a great way to start the day! He reached in his rucksack for a nut. "Want aNut,Pussyraptor?"
Pussyraptor's eyes lit up. "Sank yoos, Meerkas!" and she popped it into her mouth.
"You're welcome," said Meerkat.
Pussyraptor then bop-toddled over to Fingers' tree house. She called up to him, "More-rings, Fings! Ber-ry?"
Fingers peeked out of his tree house, yawning. "Good morning, Pussyraptor! How are you this very fine day?"
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor.
Fingers smiled. Everyone in the forest loved Pussyraptor. She took care of them all, more than anyone realized, and never asked for anything in return. She was always happy and always there for her friends. "I would love one of your berries," said Fingers, pointing to Pussyraptor's berry basket.
Pussyraptor brightened and handed Fingers a berry. "Thank you," he said.
Pussyraptor blushed and said, "Well-comes Fings," and went *blink-blink* and then bop-toddled off to Poyyo's tree house. Well, actually, she bop-toddled off to Poyyo's tree where he was BUILDING his tree house, though he never seemed to finish it because it kept falling down!
Poor Poyyo.
Fingers watched Pussyraptor disappear into the forest, and had an idea....
While Pussyraptor was making her way to Poyyo's tree, Fingers hot-footed it over to Deeta's.

Deeta was outside, sweeping her porch. She was always up early, to give Pussyraptor her berry basket and watering can, and tie new ribbons on her horn-thingies.
"Deeta! Have you got a minute?" asked Fingers, as he came up her steps.
"Of course, Fingers," said Deeta. "What's on your mind?"
"Well....Pussyraptor came by this morning with her morning berries, and it started me thinking. She is always there for us, she takes care of us, she's a faithful and loving friend, and she always gives from her heart."
"Yes she does," said Deeta. "We are all very lucky to have her for a friend. She's very special."
"You're right, Deeta, Pussyraptor IS special, and I think we should do something special for her, to show her how much we love her, and how much we all appreciate the way she takes care of us," said Fingers.
Deeta smiled, "Why that's a WONderful idea, Fingers! .....but what can we do????"
"I don't know," said Fingers, "but I'm sure if we think about it, we'll come up with something."
"You're right," said Deeta, "maybe we ought to get everybody together and knock around some ideas. Let's meet here at lunchtime, shall we?"
"OK," said Fingers, "I'll tell Meerkat and Poyyo," and he headed off.
"Don't forget Sarah Dactyl and the cider ducks!" called Deeta.
"OK!" shouted Fingers over his shoulder.
As Pussyraptor came closer to Poyyo's tree, she could hear him banging and sawing, BANG! BANG! BANG!--SAW! SAW! SAW! She got a glimpse of her tail out of the corner of her eye and suddenly spun around, WHISH! WHISH! WHISH! in rapid circles, chasing it. On one of her spins, her tail thumped Poyyo's tree, shaking it, and his house came down, CRASH-KABOOOM!! with Poyyo in it.
Pussyraptor froze.
The pile of wood that used to be Poyyo's almost-tree house began to move, as Poyyo struggled to climb out of it. "What happened?" he said, looking at the destruction all around him.
Pussyraptor's heart was pounding "Ber-ry, Poy-yo?" she said, her voice quaking and her knees wobbling.
Poyyo looked at her. "Huh?"
"Ber-ry, Poy-yo?"
"Oh! Thankyou, Pussyraptor! I could really use one of your berries now!" he said, and gobbled one down. "Mmmmmm, that was terrific! Thank you!"
Pussyraptor blinked, *blink-blink* It didn't look like Poyyo was too mad at her for knocking his house down. She certainly didn't mean it. Pussyraptor left Poyyo to contemplate his fallen house and headed for Deeta's to give her a morning berry, bop, toddle-toddle.
"DEEEEE-TAAAAA!" called Pussyraptor.
Deeta popped her head out the kitchen window. "Good morning, Pussyraptor!"
"More-rings!......Ber-ry, Dee-ta?" asked Pussyraptor, holding out a berry to her.
"Oooohh, yes please, Pussyraptor. Thank you!"
"Well-comes, Dee-ta," said Pussyraptor *blink-blink* Pussyraptor bop-toddled off on her morning berry round, making sure everyone had their berries to start the day.
Deeta watched Pussyraptor bop-toddling off and thought that Fingers had really hit the nail on the head (Poyyo wasn't the only handyman around here!)....Pussyraptor really was special, always happy, always doing for others, and they were all so lucky to know her and have her as a friend. Deeta was looking forward to the lunchtime gathering to see what they would come up with.
Everyone arrived at lunchtime and they all sat down and started throwing out ideas. The cider ducks kept going "quack-quack," and no one could make much sense of their suggestions, but Fingers thought they could all club in to get her something.....but what? Pussyraptor had simple tastes and had everything she needed.
Or did she?
Maybe they could do something for her. But what? No one could come up with anything. In fact, they were all sitting around wanting to do something, but no one had any suggestions.
Poyyo spoke up, "Maybe we're thinking about this the wrong way," he said. "What have we all got that Pussyraptor hasn't?"
Everybody looked blank. "What are you driving at, Poyyo?" asked Deeta.
"Where are we now?" asked Poyyo.
Fingers looked at Poyyo like he was nuts. "We're in Deeta's house, of course," he said.
"Yes, and.....?" said Poyyo.
Meerkat was lost, but Deeta and Sarah Dactyl smiled, and Deeta said, "I know what you're thinking, you Jurassic chicken!"
Fingers and Meerkat both said, "What?"
Deeta said, "We all have houses to live in, and yet the most deserving of us all has nothing.....she just sticks her head in the sand and goes to sleep. Yet she's happy with her lot. It's disgraceful that we haven't thought of this before!"
"What?" said Meerkat and Fingers again.
"Quack-quack-quack?" quacked the ducks.
Sarah just smiled, knowingly.
"A house!" said Poyyo, "Let's build Pussyraptor a house---a really beautiful house with lots of sturdy furniture, and pretty pictures on the walls, and lots of flowers in the window boxes!"
The ducks jumped up and down and quacked quackingly, and everybody's face lit up and they all said, "OH, YES!" It was a wonderful idea.
Deeta said, "The house will have to be very sturdy and strong, too, case Pussyraptor thumps in it!" They all laughed, but Deeta was right.
Meerkat started racing around the room, very excited, and Fingers was thinking of all the bits and pieces he could acquire to make Pussyraptor's new home really nice. Sarah would help with the decorating and donate some of her things, and Deeta could make the curtains and put pretty fabric on the furniture. Poyyo would be the main builder of the house, and Meerkat would oversee the whole project, organizing everything and making sure it all ran smoothily. The cider ducks would provide the cider to keep everyone refreshed while they worked on Pussyraptor's house.
"Now, we HAVE to keep this a secret, so it's going to take some planning to hide everything. Where shall we build the house, Poyyo?" asked Deeta.
"Well, it has to be near her berry patches, but we have to hide it while we build it, and we can't work on it while Pussyraptor is tending her berries, 'cause she'll hear all the sawing and banging. It also has to be near a donking tree for Donk," answered Poyyo.
"Hmm....tricky," said Sarah, "we'll have to be very careful."
"WeCanDoIt!" said Meerkat. "It'sAChallenge,ButItWillBeFunToBuildTheHouseRight UnderPussyraptor'sNoseWithoutHerFindingOutAboutIt!"
"Yes, it will be fun, Meerkat," said Deeta, "A real challenge for all of us! Let's start making our plans."
A couple of weeks later Pussyraptor was tending her berries when Fingers walked by with a bagful of something over his shoulder. "Hi, Pussyraptor!" said Fingers, as he headed deep into the woods.
"Hi-lo, Fings!" answered Pussyraptor. She watched him disappear. Strange. Oh well. She went back to her berries, when Poyyo came marching by with his toolbox and some boards.
"Hi, Pussyraptor!" said Poyyo, and he disappeared into the woods as well.
"Hi-lo, Poy-yo!" called Pussyraptor after him. What was going on? Well, Pussyraptor had important things to do and got back to work, but she had a lingering niggle.
Sarah Dactyl soared overhead carrying lots of pretty material in her beak, and Deeta came walking through the woods carrying more material. "Hello, Pussyraptor!" she said.
Pussyraptor looked up, puzzled, but pleased to see Deeta. "More-rings, Dee-ta," said Pussyraptor, smiling and blinking, *blink-blink* Pussyraptor looked at the material and said, "Prit-tee."
"I'm glad you like it," smiled Deeta. "See you later!" and Deeta went off into the woods, with Pussyraptor staring after her.
When Pussyraptor made her evening berry rounds recently, it seemed that everybody was tuckered out these last couple of weeks, so she started giving them two berries each. Something seemed different....something had changed, but she couldn't think further than that.
Fingers had drawn up the plans, and they all mucked in building Pussyraptor's new house in the woods every spare minute they had. The cider ducks kept everyone refreshed with their apple cider and everyone put maximum effort into their work. It was tricky hiding all their comings and goings from Pussyraptor, but they managed it, thanks to Meerkat's superb organization.
When at last they were done, they all took the time to admire their work, both inside and out. They really had outdone themselves and built a beautiful house. Sarah Dactyl paid them the best compliment of all by saying that in all her travels, she had never seen such a beautiful house, it was even more beautiful than her own, and Sarah's house was nothing to sneeze at!
The cider ducks had been extra busy because they not only provided all the cider for the building crew, but they also provided all the feathers and down to fill Pussyraptor's furniture, and make her big feather bed and the comforter and pillows that went on top of it all soft and fluffy and warm.
Poyyo smiled and said to everybody, "Well, gang, we did it. It's all done, and I think we all did a wonderful job for our dearest friend."
Fingers piped up, "It's not quite finished!" and he tacked up a sign over the front door that said, "Pussyraptor & Donk" and had a picture of her on it, with Donk on her horn-thingies.
"There," said Fingers happily, "NOW it's finished!"
They all smiled at each other and the cider ducks poured a round of cider for everybody to drink a toast to Pussyraptor, "Hip-hip, Hooray!"
"Not quite," said Deeta.
What? Everybody turned to look at her.
Deeta took a beautiful wood carving out of her bag and asked Fingers for Poyyo's hammer. She stepped up to Pussyraptor's front door and tacked the woodcarving on the door. It was a doorknocker in the shape of Donk!!!!
Everybody laughed, and had to try Pussyraptor's new Deeta-Donk door donker, DONK-DONK-DONK! Pussyraptor's house was REALLY complete, now! They all squaffed their cider happily.

The next day, while Pussyraptor was busy tending her berries, Deeta came through the forest and sat down on a log near Pussyraptor. Pussyraptor stopped what she was doing and said, "More-rings, Dee-ta!"
Deeta smiled and said, "Yes, Pussyraptor, it's a very good morning!"
Then Poyyo wandered by and sat next to Deeta and said good morning to Pussyraptor.
Then Meerkat and Fingers came through the forest together, followed by all the cider ducks, quack-quack-quack.
Sarah Dactyl glided out of the sky and landed right next to them and said, "Good morning, Pussyraptor!"
They all sat there and looked at Pussyraptor, smiling.
Pussyraptor didn't know what to do, so she offered everyone a berry. Maybe they were going to have a party. Then Deeta stood up and said, "Pussyraptor, why don't we go for a walk?"
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor.
Deeta took her by the hand and said, "Come on, let's all go for a walk in the woods," and off they all went, with Pussyraptor toddling along, very puzzled. Something was up.
They had walked a little way and came to the clearing where Pussyraptor's new house was. Pussyraptor knew the woods very well, but she had never seen this lovely house here before. There were flowers in the window boxes, and flowers all along the path and surrounding the house. Where did it come from? Who lived in such a beautiful house?
Deeta said, "Why don't you go inside?"
Pussyraptor looked at everybody, and they were all beaming huge smiles at her. She looked at the front door and saw the picture of her and Donk. She touched the picture and said, "Prit-tee!" Poyyo showed her the Deeta-Donk door donker and donked it, DONK-DONK! Pussyraptor clapped her hands and went "GWACK!!" He then opened the door and motioned for Pussyraptor to step inside.
Pussyraptor held her hands to her mouth when she saw all the beautiful things inside....the big mirror, the pretty pictures all over the walls, flowers everywhere, the big fireplace, and the lovely, overstuffed furniture. What a gorgeous house this was! Whoever lived here was very lucky, indeed!
Poyyo showed her through the doorway into the bedroom that contained the biggest, most comfy-looking bed Pussyraptor had ever seen! She looked at Poyyo, with everybody squeezing in the doorway to see what was going on.
Poyyo said, "Why don't you sit on the bed and see how comfortable it is!"
Pussyraptor said, "Huh?"
Poyyo patted the comforter and sat her on the bed and smiled and said, "Do you like it?"
Pussyraptor felt the softness and warmth of the comforter and the featherbed. She smiled and said, "Good-ses, Poy-yo!"
Poyyo laughed and said, "You mean I'm not 'Bad Poyyo' anymore?"
Pussyraptor was very confused. Deeta stepped up and gave Pussyraptor a big bouquet of flowers and said, "Pussyraptor, this bed is yours," she gestured in the air, "this whole house is belongs to you!"
"Gwack?" gwacked Pussyraptor.
"Yes, you!" said Deeta.
Pussyraptor was really confused now. She said, scrunching up her eyebrows and thinking hard, "Dee-ta....miss-takes, hou-ses!"
"No mistake, Pussyraptor....this is your house. We built it for you....all of us," and she gestured to everybody, who were all smiling at Pussyraptor.
Pussyraptor didn't know what to do or say.... she couldn't believe such a beautiful house could be hers, or that her friends had built it for her. She looked at Deeta, and Poyyo, and all the others.....their faces told her that what Deeta said was true.
Poyyo said, "Look, Pussyraptor, we've built your house snug up against a donking tree that has a hollow bottom!" Sure enough, the tree formed part of Pussyraptor's bedroom wall. "Donk can scamper up the inside of the tree and out the hole in the top, where he can donk to his heart's content!"
Pussyraptor looked at the hollow in the tree next to her bed and Donk immediately flew into the hollow and up to the hole in the top of his new donking tree, DONK! DONK! DONK! His donking sound was carried by the tree right down to Pussyraptor's bed, which would wake her up perfectly! She clapped her hands and smiled.
Fingers said, "And we've even made your house thump-proof! You can thump and thump and THUMP! and nothing will fall down!" They all giggled. Pussyraptor blushed, *blink-blink*
Pussyraptor got up and looked all around the house again, touching everything, taking it all in, sitting on the big, soft bed, opening and closing the chest of drawers and the cupboards....she still couldn't believe that all of this---that this lovely house and everything in it----was hers. She looked at all her good friends with tears just forming in her big, blue eyes. She blinked, *blink-blink-blink* because she had never had tears in her eyes before, and the look on her face said, but....why?
Fingers smiled at her, stepped forward and held her hand and said, "Why, Pussyraptor? I'll tell you why....we built this house for you because you take care of us."
Meerkat stepped forward and held her hand too, and said, "WeBuiltThisHouseFor YouBecauseYouAlwaysThinkOfOthersFirst."
Poyyo stepped forward to join the others and said, "We built this house for you because you bring us all happiness by just being you."
Sarah Dactyl stepped forward and hugged Pussyraptor and said, "We built this house for you because you have taught us all what is really important in life.....caring for, and loving our friends."
The cider ducks ran around Pussyraptor's feet and went "Quack-quack-quack!" and Poyyo said, "The cider ducks are saying we built this house for you because you are unselfish and loyal."
Deeta stepped forward and gave Pussyraptor a big hug, and kissed her on the cheek and said, "But most of all, Pussyraptor, we built this house for you because.......because we love you."






by Paul Olsen
© copyright 2004 Paul Olsen


Pussyraptor woke up slowly for the first time in ever she could remember. She was in her brand new feather bed in her brand new, very own house, built for her by her very best friends. Donk was still alseep at the foot of her bed. Her bed was so soft and warm and comfortable! Mmmmmmmmm! She looked around her bedroom at all the pretty pictures, her mirror, her chest of drawers, and her vanity table....and the bunches of balloons Fingers had blown up for her and placed all around her room. She couldn't believe she lived in such a lovely house. Surely there was no one in the whole world as lucky as Pussyraptor!
She sat up suddenly, and scared Donk awake. Berries! What time was it???
Pussyraptor panicked....Donk always woke her up at the break of day so she could go to Deeta's for her watering can, basket, and her ribbons, come back and pick her morning berries and hand them out to everyone for the start of their day. Now she had overslept, and all her friends who had been so good to her, were without their berries!
This wouldn't do!
Pussyraptor jumped out of bed, jump-toddle, and dashed out her door, dash-toddle! Sitting on her garden swing were Deeta and Poyyo, who both smiled and said, "Good morning Pussyraptor! Did you sleep well??"
Pussyraptor stopped and blinked, *blink-blink,* and smiled and said, "More-rings.....BER-RIES!!!" and pointed towards her berry patch anxiously.
Deeta stood up and said, "Relax, Pussyraptor.....this is your day enjoy your new bed, and to enjoy your new house. No berries today....this is YOUR day."
Pussyraptor said, "Huh?"
"No!" said Deeta, and pointed to her house. "Enjoy your new house." Deeta walked up to her and tied some new ribbons on her horn-thingies.
Pussyraptor understood, and said, 'Sank yoos, Dee-ta." Donk flew out the door and landed on Pussyraptor's horn-thingies, looking very dashing in his new jacket.
"Good morning, Donk!" said Poyyo and Deeta.
"DONK DONK-DONK!" Donked Donk on Pussyraptor's head.
"Ow-eee, Donks!" said Pussyraptor, screwing her eyes up to look crossly at him.
Poyyo and Deeta turned to go, and Pussyraptor said, "Bye-gones, Poy-yo! Bye-gones, Dee-ta!"
They waved goodbye and wandered down the path into the woods.
Donk flew up to his donking tree, and Pussyraptor went back inside her house and wandered around, opening all her drawers, looking at her teacups and her glasses and plates and tablecloth and setee and her pictures and flowers and.....such a beautiful house, and so many nice things! She was so happy---well, she was always happy, but now she was extra-special wonderful-splunderful happy!
Hey! Now that she had her very own house, she could have parties, and have her friends over for tea and games, and.....THAT'S IT! She would have a housewarming party for all her friends!
"Donk-see!" shouted Pussyraptor.
Donk came flying down his tree and fluttered to a stop on the kitchen sink, looking at Pussyraptor. What did she want?
"Donk-see," said Pussyraptor, "Hous-es par-tee! Loons!!!" and Donk jumped up and down in excitement, his eyeballs rolling around as he nodded his head rapidly.
This was exciting! Now, what did she need to do for a party? Pussyraptor had never had a party before....but she had been to one! She screwed up her brows in concentration and bit her lip. Let's see.....she needed cakes and cookies.....and scones, and balloons, and berries, and cider....but she didn't know how to make cakes and cookies and scones!
Well, she would learn how! That's all there was to it!
Pussyraptor began hanging out at Deeta's, watching her bake, trying to figure out what she was doing. While Deeta was making some scones and Pussyraptor was looking over her shoulder, Deeta said, "Are you interested in baking, Pussyraptor?"
Pussyraptor clapped her hands and said, "GWACK!"
Deeta smiled, and then showed Pussyraptor how to make dough and knead it, and how to drop little balls of dough onto the baking pan, making sure the baking pan was greased and dusted with flour, and then how to pop the scones in the oven to bake them!
Pussyraptor was concentrating very hard. It all seemed quite simple, really, but it was also very confusing, because she had never done anything like this before.
Deeta showed her how to make cookies and cakes, too. Pussyraptor was a bit clumsy, but she helped Deeta and did the best she could. She thought she had the hang of it.
The next day, Poyyo came up to Pussyraptor's house and donked on Pussyraptor's front door, using her Deeta-Donk door donker, DONK-DONK-DONK!
Pussyraptor said, "Donk-see?"
"No......Poyyo!" shouted Poyyo, outside her door.
Pussyraptor bop-toddled to her door and opened it. "Hi-lo, Poy-yo!" said Pussyraptor with a big smile, *blink-blink*
"Hello, Pussyraptor!" said Poyyo, smiling. "Deeta asked me to bring you this stuff," and he handed Pussyraptor a big bag.
"Sank yoos, Poy-yo!" said Pussyraptor, as she took the bag. Poyyo galumped off, towards his tree house, which he was just finishing. Pussyraptor looked inside the bag and saw Deeta had sent her some milk, and some flour, and some eggs, and some sugar, and some raisins, and butter...and all the things she would need to bake!
Pussyraptor went into her kitchen and put all the ingredients out on the table, just like Deeta showed her. Now, what else did she need? Oh! She needed a mixing bowl, and a big spoon, and a pan to bake in. Pussyraptor looked in her cupboards, and got out all the things she needed. Her friends had thought of everything! She looked at all her ingredients, and all her baking untensils....but something was missing.
"Tay-shuns!" said Pussyraptor. Of course! She couldn't have a party without invitations! She got out some paper and cut it into little squares, and then took her crayons and scribbled some scribbles on each 'invitation,' concentrating really hard. Pussyraptor didn't know what writing was just scribbles, wasn't it? She could scribble real good!
Her party would be this afternoon, and she would hand out her "invitations" as she made her morning berry rounds. Then she would come back to her house and start baking!
Pussyraptor gathered up her invitations and bop-toddled over to Deeta's to get her ribbons, berry basket, and watering can.
"Dee-ta!" called Pussyraptor, as she snurfled against Deeta's window.
Deeta opened her door and said, "Good morning, Pussyraptor!"
"More-rings, Dee-ta," said Pussyraptor. Pussyraptor proudly handed Deeta an "invitation" and said, "Tay-shun, Dee-ta. Par-tee, my hous-es!" *blink-blink*
Deeta took the invitation and looked at Pussyraptor's scribbles and smiled....what a sweetheart she was. "Oh, Pussyraptor! Thank you!" and she gave Pussyraptor a big hug and a kiss. "I would love to come to your party! How exciting!"
Pussyraptor was thrilled that Deeta was so excited to come to her party. It made her very happy and anxious to get all her invitations out to her friends.
"Here's your basket and watering can....and I'll tie your ribbons on for you," said Deeta. She looked in Pussyraptor's ribbon cupboard and selected some sparkledy ones. "How about these?" she asked.
Pussyraptor clapped her hands....they were very pretty ribbons! This was going to be a very special day! Deeta tied the ribbons on Pussyraptor's horn-thingies, and then Pussyraptor bop-toddled happily off to her berry patch, bop, toddle-toddle, bop!
Deeta looked at Pussyraptor's "invitation" and giggled at her scribbles. Then she thought, WHEN is the party?
When Pussyraptor had gathered her morning berries, she headed for Meerkat's hammock. "Meer-kas?" called Pussyraptor.
"Yes,Pussyraptor?" said Meerkat, as he peeked over the edge of his hammock.
"Ber-ry, Meer-kas?" asked Pussyraptor.
"Ohhh!Yes,Please,Pussyraptor." He gulped it down, GULP! "ThatWasYummy! ThankYou,Pussyraptor!
Pussyraptor blushed and blinked, *blink-blink* Then she shyly held out an invitation to her party. Meerkat took it and looked at it and said, "What'sThis?"
"Tay-shun, Meer-kas," said Pussyraptor.
He looked at her scribbles. "AnInvitationToWhat?"
Pussyraptor pointed to her scribbles, as if Meerkat was a dummy, and said, "Tay-shun to par-tee! My hous-es!!!"
"Ohhhh!" said Meerkat, pretending he understood how silly he was being. "ThankYou,Pussyraptor! IWouldLoveToCome!"
"Well-comes, Meer-kas," said Pussyraptor happily.
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor.
"Party. WhatKINDOfParty?"
"Oh!" said Pussyraptor. Of course! "Hous-es-hot par-tee, Meer-kas!"
"Huh?" said Meerkat.
"Uhhhh," Pussyraptor screwed up her eyebrows, thinking hard. "HOT-hous-es par-tee!" she said, triumphantly.
"AHothouseParty?" said Meerkat, flummoxed. Then the penny dropped. "Oh!YouMeanAHouseWARMingParty!" said Meerkat, brightly.
Pussyraptor clapped her hands and said, "GWACK!"
"You'reANut,Pussyraptor," said Meerkat, smiling. "SpeakingOfWhich,WouldYou LikeOne?"
"Huh?" said Pussyraptor.
"NeverMind,Pussyraptor. ThankYouForTheInviteToYourParty!"
Pussyraptor smiled and blushed, *blink-blink* "Well-comes, Meer-kas," she said, demurely. "Fings now!" she bubbled, and off she bop-toddled to Fingers' tree house, leaving Meerkat holding her invitation and chuckling. What a lovely friend she was, he thought.
Woops! When was the party? Meerkat forgot to ask Pussyraptor. Oh well, Deeta would know.
"FINNNNNNGS!" called Pussyraptor, at the bottom of Fingers' tree house.
Fingers popped his head out the window and said, "Good morning, Pussyraptor! You look really pretty today! And look extremulatingly handsome in your new jacket!!"
Pussyraptor blushed deeply, and kicked the dirt with her foot, twisting this way and that, *blink-blink* "Sank yoos, Fings," she said, sweetly. Donk stood extra straight on Pussyraptor's horn-thingies, very proud of himself. Pussyraptor liked Fingers. "Ber-ry, Fings???"
"Yummy! I would LOVE one of your berries, Pussyraptor! In fact, I would love TWO of them!"
"Yo-kay, Fings," said Pussyraptor, smiling, and handed him up two berries. Pussyraptor took one of her invitations and handed it to Fingers. "Tay-shun, Fings!"
"An invitation? For me?" said Fingers.
"Gwack!" gwacked Pussyraptor.
Fingers looked at her invitation, and her writing scribbles, and smiled. Pussyraptor really was the sweetest, nicest, most loving friend any of them had. "Oh, Pussyraptor....this is the most beautiful invitation I've ever seen! Thank you! I'll pin it up on my wall!"
Pussyraptor was very pleased that Fingers liked her invitation....but she was so embarrassed, she didn't know what to do or she just stood there, looking at the ground, blinking her big blue eyes, and shuffling the dirt with her feet.
Fingers climbed down his tree and stood in front of her. He had an idea what Pussyraptor was up to, and asked her, "So what kind of party are you having, Pussyraptor?"
Pussyraptor brightened and got all excited, and blurted out, "Hot par-tee, Fings!"
"A hot party, huh? Well, I wouldn't miss THAT for the world!" he laughed.
Pussyraptor wasn't sure she had got it quite right, but she was very happy that Fingers was so excited about coming to her housewarming party.
It was time to toddle off to Poyyo's. "Bye-gones!" she said to Fingers, as she headed for Poyyo's tree house.
Fingers watched her toddle off towards Poyyo's, and then thought, when was this party? He forgot to ask! "Oh, well," he said to himself, "Deeta will know," and Fingers headed over to Deeta's to find out.
BANG-BANG-BANG! Poyyo was building again! This was what.....his tenth tree house? Pussyraptor couldn't count, she just knew this was Poyyo's something-eth tree house. Poyyo was silly, thought Pussyraptor. "POY-YOOOO!" called Pussyraptor.
BANG-BANG! "Huh?" said Poyyo, as he looked down.
"Ber-ry, Poy-yo?" asked Pussyraptor.
"I would love a berry right n-----"
One of the boards Poyyo was hammering came loose and was going to fall on Poyyo's head! Pussyraptor thumped in her excitement, and before the board fell on Poyyo's head, his whole house came crashing down, with him in it---again! CRASH, CLANKETY-BANG-KABOOM!!!
Donk took off.
Well, at least Pussyraptor saved Poyyo from being hit on the head!
"Poy-yo?" said Pussyraptor, as she gingerly cleared away the pile of wood to get to Poyyo. He emerged from the wreckage, completely confused, and Pussyraptor said, "Yo-kays, Poyyo?"
"Huh?" said Poyyo.
"Yo-kays?" said Pussyraptor, very concerned for him.
"Uh-h-h-hh....what happened?" said Poyyo, looking at what was left of his house.
"Hous-es go BOOM!" said Pussyraptor.
"It sure did," said Poyyo. He must have done something must be the new design of the floor he was putting in.....
"Poy-yo?" said Pussyraptor, holding out an invitation to him. Maybe it would make him feel better to be at a party with all his friends. "Tay-shun, Poy-yo?"
"An invitation? To what, Pussyraptor?" as Poyyo tried to read her scribbles. He couldn't see too clearly right now. What did it say???
"Hot-hous-es!" said Pussyraptor, proudly.
"Hot house?" said Poyyo, thoroughly confused, now. His head hurt. Come to think of it, his whole body hurt!
"Gwack!" said Pussyraptor, with a big smile on her face, *blink-blink* Pussyraptor had to get over to the cider ducks and she made sure one last time that Poyyo was OK. "Yo-kays, Poyyo?"
"Yes, I'm OK, Pussyraptor....thanks!"
"Bye-gones!" said Pussyraptor as she bop-toddled off.
Poyyo sat there, in the midst of all his house wreckage, still trying to figure out what happened. Hey! When was Pussyraptor's party? And what was a hot house party, anyway?? Oh, well, Deeta would know. He was going to go to her house now for some tea and sympathy.
"Your house came down AGAIN!!??" said Deeta. "You jackalope!" she added, as she rubbed Poyyo's back. Poor Poyyo.....he just wasn't having ANY luck building his house! "Have you ever thought of giving up on the idea of building a tree house?" she asked. "You have to admit, Poyyo, you're not doing too well with it."
Poyyo turned to look at her. "I'll get that tree house built if it kills me!" he said, emphatically.
"That's what I'm afraid of, just MIGHT kill you someday!" said Deeta.
"Well....I'm not a quitter, Deeta. I'm not giving up. That tree house WILL get built!" insisted Poyyo.
"Whatever you say, Poyyo," said Deeta. "By-the-way, did Pussyraptor give you an invite to her party?"
Poyyo pulled it out of his pocket. "She sure did....what a cutie! Do you know when her party is?"
"No, I forgot to ask. I'm sure Meerkat or Fingers will know," said Deeta.
"And what's a hot house party?" asked Poyyo.
"You dope," said Deeta. "It's a houseWARMING party, OK?"
Just then, Meerkat and Fingers showed up, both asking when Pussyraptor's party was. Deeta said, "I thought you guys would know!"
Fingers said, "We thought you would know, Deeta. You know everything that's going on around here."
"Oh dear," said Deeta. "How are we going to find out? We can't hurt Pussyraptor's feelings by asking her, because she 'put' all the information about the party on her invitations! But it's all just scribbles to look like writing! What to do?"
"OneOfUsWillHaveToFollowHerAroundTodayToTryToGetAClueAboutWhenHer PartyIs!" said Meerkat.
"Good idea," said Deeta, and Meerkat popped his goggles on and took off, ZOOM! electing himself to do the job.
Meanwhile, Pussyraptor dash-toddled back to her beautiful house, after giving everyone their morning berries. She was anxious to get baking!! Donk was anxious, too...this was going to be fun! He could help Pussyraptor in the kitchen.
Pussyraptor took the apron that Deeta made for her off the hook on the back of the kitchen door, and put it on. Donk flew over to the sink, so he could be of assistance. Pussyraptor couldn't tie the apron strings, so she had to leave them hanging loose. Her ingredients were all out on the table, along with her mixing bowl, big mixing spoon, and pitcher.
Pussyraptor picked up the bag of flour and Donk opened the top with his beak, ZIP! What a team they made!! This was easy! And fun! She poured some flour into the mixing bowl, and a whole lump of it spooshed out, FLOOP! Flour went everywhere, making a big dust cloud! Pussyraptor started coughing, and Donk started sneezing, WA-CHOOO! Donk's sneeze knocked him off-balance, and he fell into the bowl, BOOOF! He panicked, and fluttered his wings to try to get out, throwing flour all over the kitchen!
Pussyraptor couldn't see a thing, as she heard Donk's mad flapping to try to get out of the bowl. "Donk-see! Donk-see!! No-see Donk-see!!!" called Pussyraptor, as she felt around for him, coughing.
"SQUUUAAAAAWWWWK!" squawked Donk, in a complete tis-was. Pussyraptor found him and lifted him out of the flour. He sneezed again, which threw him against Pussyraptor's face, and she jumped, tripping on her apron strings, and fell over backward, kicking the underside of the table and causing it to tip over the other way, sending everything on the floor, CRASH-BAZOOGLE-DE-BLONK!!
"GWAAACK!!! gwacked Pussyraptor. Oh dear! What a mess! Donk was fluttering around the kitchen, trying to settle down somewhere, while Pussyraptor got up and surveyed the damage. She picked up the table, and then the bowl and pitcher and her spoon. She got out her broom and dustpan and cleaned everything up. Luckily, most of the eggs didn't break, and the milk container hadn't burst open, and there was still plenty of flour in the sack. Whew!
Right. Time to start again! Pussyraptor thought she might start with the milk first, this time. She carefully opened the milk and poured it into the bowl....but it came out too fast and went down one side of the bowl, and up and out the other, WHOOOSH-GUSPLURGLE!!
After she cleaned THAT mess up, she thought, right, I have to be VERY careful...just like I am with my berries. This baking business is trickier than it looks!
Meerkat had been looking in her kitchen window and laughing so hard that he almost wet himself. Poor Pussyraptor....she was trying so hard....but she was learning! He better get back to tell everyone what was going on.
Pussyraptor carefully spooned out flour into the bowl. Then she slowly poured some milk into the flour....she was real good at making mud pies when she was a little Pussyraptor, and her mud pie skills came in handy, now. She sprinkled some raisins into the bowl and spooned in some sugar. So far, so good!
Now came the tricky bit: the eggs. She had seen Deeta easily break eggs by cracking them against the side of her mixing bowl. The inside of the egg just popped out and into the bowl like magic. It looked easy enough. Pussyraptor took an egg and held it the way Deeta did, and then cracked it against the bowl. The egg broke alright, but some of it went in the bowl, some of it dribbled down the outside of the bowl, and most of it ended up in her hand! Gwack!
Pussyraptor wiped her hands clean on her apron and tried again. Crack! Blooey! "GWACK!" This was no good. It wasn't working.
"Donk-see! Helps, pleas-es!" called Pussyrpator. Donk alighted on the edge of the bowl, while Pussyraptor held an egg over the bowl. Donk cracked the egg expertly with a single donk! and the egg blooped into the bowl perfectly.
Pussyraptor mixed in the ingedients with her big spoon, and then began to knead the dough, just as Deeta had shown her. Trouble was, the dough stuck to Pussyraptor's was real gooey! Something was wrong.......BUTTER! Of course! Silly Pussyraptor!
She wiped her hands on her apron again...but they were still very dough-y, then she took a pat of butter and went to put it in the bowl, but it squished out of her hand like a wet fish and landed, SPLAT! on the floor.
Oh dear!
Pussyraptor wiped her sticky, greasy hands on her apron AGAIN and cleaned up the butter mess. She was more careful the next time, and the butter landed on the dough. She mixed in the butter with her spoon and then kneaded the dough again, adding milk and sugar to get just the right consistency and taste.
Right. Time to bake!
Woops! Pussyraptor forgot to light the fire in the oven! She got the oven going, then while it was warming up, she dolloped out the dough on her baking tray, SPLOP-SPLOP-SPLOP! This was exciting! Soon, she would have her first-ever scones!
She slipped the tray into the oven and then wiped her hands again....they were all sticky! She tried to wash them, but the water just ran off the dough and didn't clean her hands. Help! She had to lay the table, yet!
Pussyraptor wiped her hands as best she could, and began to put out the plates and knives and forks and spoons and glasses. How many were coming? She couldn't count, so she put out ALL her plates....surely that would be enough, wouldn't it? There was hardly enough room on her dining room table! Her hands were slippy and gooey, and two plates and one glass slipped out of her grasp and broke on the floor.
Oh dear again!
Pussyraptor didn't know it, but all her friends were outside her windows, peeking in, watching Pussyraptor get ready for her first-ever party.
Pussyraptor cleaned up THAT mess, and dashed back into the kitchen to check her scones. They looked perfect! Yippee! She grabbed her apron and took the tray out of the oven to cool. Then she dashed into the dining room again and poured all the cider, and then dashed back out to the kitchen to put the scones on a serving dish.
The scones wouldn't come out of the baking tray. They were glued to it!
Oh no! She forgot to grease and dust the pan with flour so they wouldn't stick!
What could she do? Donk-see! "Donk-see?"
Donk fluttered to her side and donked the table, DONK-DONK! He was ready to help. Pussyraptor showed him how stuck the scones were to the pan, and he got to work, donking them loose. It was a bit messy and crumbly, but he managed very well. Clever Donks.
Pussyraptor made some cookie dough hurriedly, and popped them in the oven, remembering to grease the pan this time. She wouldn't have time to make a cake....and after all the trouble she had already, she didn't think she was ready to tackle a cake!
Loons! She forgot all about the balloons! She got out all the balloons and tried to blow them up, but couldn't. Donk came to her rescue and stuck his beak inside each balloon, while Pussyraptor squeezed him like a bagpipe, holding the balloon snugly round his beak with her other hand. It worked perfectly!
But, how to tie them?
Pussyraptor stretched the bottom of the balloon, and Donk twizzled the stretched bit into a knot with his long beak, and presto! Loons!
Pussyraptor was dashing around her house, making sure everything was right, wiping her hands on her apron, then dashing back into the kitchen to get the cookies....which came out great! AND, they came off the tray!
When it looked like Pussyraptor was ready, Deeta whispered to everyone, "I think now is the right time....shall we all go to the front door?"
They snuck up to the front door, and Meerkat donked the Deeta-Donk door-donker, DONK-DONK-DONK!!
They heard Pussyraptor inside call to Donk, "Donk-see?"
"No,It'sUs!" shouted Meerkat through the door.
Pussyraptor clapped her hands, and opened the door for her friends. There they all were...Deeta, Poyyo, Sarah, the cider ducks, Fingers, and Meerkat.
Pussyraptor still had her apron on, and it looked like more scones and cookies were on her apron than on her table! Donk flew atop Pussyraptor's horn-thingies to say hello. He was all covered in flour. It was all Deeta could do not to giggle!
"Well-comes!" said Pussyraptor, as she ushered everyone inside. They were all carrying presents, and went into her bedroom and put them at the base of the Donking Tree. Then they went into Pussyraptor's big room where her table was all set.
They were all very impressed at the spread Pussyraptor had laid out for them. Deeta said, "Do you need any help, Pussyraptor?"
Pussyraptor blinked and said, "No-nose, Dee-ta....yo-kays!" She was very proud of herself. "Down-downs, pleas-es," said Pussyraptor, as they all sat down. There were too many plates put out, but no one said anything.
Pussyraptor disappeared into the kitchen and brought out the cookies, which she placed next to the scones. Meerkat was eyeing the scones hungrily, but Deeta shot him a warning look that said, 'don't even think about it!'
Fingers stood up and donged his glass with a his knife to get everyone's attention. "I would like to propose a toast to our hostess and best friend, Pussyraptor!!!"
Everyone stood up, and Pussyraptor blushed with embarrassment and went *blink-blink* "Pussyraptor, on this very first party---your housewarming party---on your very first day in your new house, on behalf of all your friends, I wish you happiness and good fortune!" Fingers lifted his glass, and they all gulped down their cider.
Pussyraptor didn't know what to say, so she looked at all her friends and said softly, "Sank yoos!" *blink-blink* Then she reached for the scones to pass them around and said, "Scone-ses?" and everyone dived in.
Deeta was very impressed with Pussyraptor's first baking efforts....her scones were GOOD! The scones disappeared like that (even without Meerkat's help!), and Pussyraptor passed out the cookies, which were yummy, too. Then Fingers stood up again and tapped his glass.
"Pussyraptor, here's a little housewarming present for you," and he brought out all the presents from her bedroom, handing her a box with pretty bows on it.
Pussyraptor clapped her hands and smiled, and held the box for Donk to open....he was a whiz at undoing ribbons and knots. Inside was a little bedside candle holder and candle that Pussyraptor could use to read her picture books in bed!
Pussyraptor blushed and said, "Sank yoos, Fings!"
Then Meerkat handed her a brightly wrapped present, and after Donk undid the ribbons, Pussyraptor opened it carefully. Inside was a doormat that said, "Well-comes!" Pussyraptor couldn't read, but she liked the mat. "Sank yoos, Meer-kas," she said, *blink-blink.*
Then Sarah handed Pussyraptor a big, flat present. Donk and Pussyraptor opened it, and it was a big breadboard. "Sank yoos, Sarah," she said. That would come in handy for her baking!
Deeta gave Pussyraptor a big, soft present. Inside were beautiful curtains that Deeta had made for Pussyraptor's bedroom and her kitchen. "Ohhh, Dee-ta....prit-tee!" said Pussyraptor, as she held up her new curtains all decorated with pretty flowers. "Sank yoos, Dee-ta!"
"You're very welcome, Pussyraptor....I'll help you put them up later," said Deeta.
The cider ducks then dragged their present into the room, and Donk and Pussyraptor opened it. Inside was a small cider barrel that Pussyraptor could keep her cider in! She had just the place for it in her kitchen. "Sank yoos, gwack-gwacks!" she said, and gave them all a hug, gwack-gwack-gwack.
It was Poyyo's turn. He handed Pussyraptor a big box. She and Donk opened it, and inside was a cuckoo clock in the shape of Pussyraptor's house that had a tree growing out of it, just like hers, and on the tree was Donk, and in the tree, was Poyyo's tree house! Pussyraptor was looked so cute! Poyyo said, "Here, Pussyraptor, let me show you how it works," and he banged a nail into the wall, BANG-BANG! and hung the clock. He started the pendulum swinging, and set the time for the cuckoo to come out. Everyone was watching Poyyo, and couldn't wait to see what this clock did.
The clock chimed, BONG! and the little cuckoo door opened, and the cuckoo came out and went, "cuck-koo!" Then 'Donk' went, "donk-donk!" and then....AND THEN...Poyyo's house came crashing down! So the clock went, "Bong, cuck-koo, donk-donk, CRASH! Bong, cuck-koo, donk-donk, CRASH!"
Everybody laughed, and Pussyraptor clapped her hands....what a wonderful clock! She couldn't tell the time, but that didn't matter....the clock would tell the time for her!!! She couldn't wait for another hour to go by!
Everybody stayed late into the night and had a wonderful time at Pussyraptor's. That girl really knew how to give a party!

Pussyraptor © copyright 2004 Paul Olsen & Andrea Smith




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