Friday, August 28, 2009

Wright Island Tale (part 1)

Walt strode purposefully north along the white sand of Wright Island, a cherry red surf board tucked under one arm and a blanket under the other. It was early morning; the sun having been up only a couple of hours. Too early for the tourists, not that they ever came up to this part of the island.

The northern part of Wright Island was too narrow to build on. At high tide, the water would rise up to a narrow ribbon of sand dunes covered with sea oats. The dunes, only 50 yards wide, was where Walt was headed.

It was a mile and a half walk; very isolated where it would be only him and an occasional seagull.

But now with low tide. There was plenty of room to walk along what appeared to be a wide sandy beach. But that beach in reality was just a sandbar the was laid bare by the tide. The only hint of what the high tide would bring were the tidal pools that dotted the landscape.

Walt occasionally stepped on a shell and cursed under his breath. He got off work just a half hour earlier. He worked the nightshift at the local mill back in town spending his nights bundling rebar and stacking it to be sent to construction sites.

He didn't care about his job though. All Walt cared about was surfing. He took the night shift to free his days so he could stay on his beloved beach.

Keeping his boards on the top of his car with a couple of swimsuits in the trunk, he was always ready to hit the beach.

After walking for half an hour, Walt spotted the place he would stow his blanket. It was a valley between two dunes, above the high water line, but out sight of any boat that might pass. He leaned over to spread the blanket on the ground and tossed his t-shirt on top.

When he stood up, the sun glinted off his bronzed skin. He looked like a perfect statue. Years of paddling out to catch waves had broadened Walt's shoulders. His back formed a perfect V pointing down to his narrow waist. His baggy shorts hung low on his hips showing dimples just above the waist band.

He turned toward the water to survey his ocean. It was glassy with two foot waves. "The tide's too low for any decent waves," he thought. But he decided to take a quick dip in the water to wash off the dust from the mill.

He abandoned his spot in the dunes taking a walk back down to the water's edge. After wading in up to his waist, he dove head first into a two foot wave. He was a natural in the water.

Arching his back, his head bobbed back to the ocean's surface. He tilted his head back to keep his hair out of his face. The water dripped from his sun streaked brown locks that were a little too long to be stylish, but Walt didn't care.

He imagined himself to be a true surf bum; a rebel without a care. But the reality was that he held down a full time job. It didn't pay much, enough to pay for his boards, baggies and keep his old car running. He had a little apartment on the sound side of the beach that rented cheap because it was above a pizzeria.

He left his parents house 2 years earlier, tired of their nagging him to go to college. He'd never been one for books. All he needed to know was the right way to cut back on a wave to ride it all the way into shore. He wanted to go pro; surfing on the international circuit and with more practice and a few winters in Maui, he thought he stood a chance.

Today, though, there were no waves hitting Wright Island. But he figured when the tide started coming in, he might just see 6 to 9 foot swells. But the tide wouldn't come in for another couple of hours. His work night beginning to weigh on him, Walt went back to his blanket for a quick nap.

Since the wet baggies felt cold to his skin, he pulled them off to dry in the sun. "No one around to see me," he thought as he lay face down on the blanket.

The sun felt warm on his bare skin and the gentle waves crashing on the shore lulled him to sleep.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One more

Relaxing bunny

pictures part 2

Buddy enjoying his room service plate. This was so nice of the hotel to do. He got on the plate with his front paws, just munching.

Going to try to repost some pictures part 1

Don't know what happened. The pictures didn't post. Going to try again, maybe 2 at a time.

Home Again

We just got home from our trip to Baltimore. The hotel was nice. They have a few bugs to work out, but the staff is great.

Room service delivered a lovely fruit, vegetable and bread plate for me, the king bunny of the hotel.

The humans went downstairs to the restaurant where they raved about the rockfish.

I've included a few of the pictures. Hope you enjoy. We're all going to go take naps now. Was a long ride.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A night in Hell

I’m old. I don’t stay up until 2:00 AM any more. Not even on a vacation, which we are on in lovely Baltimore.

We’re staying in a new hotel, Hotel Monaco, only open a few weeks. Sure there have been a few growing pains associated with any new hotel. The mini-gym isn’t open yet which didn’t please me much. But it has been a pleasant stay.

But back to not staying up too late. 2:00 AM is not a time I’ve seen in a long time. I barely stay awake through an entire episode of “Law and Order.”

What can I say, my dears, but I’m old.

Last night was no exception. I did see the end of the 10:00 PM program, but just barely. At 2:00 AM, I was happily dreaming of performing. A big stage; bright lights; a full house.

A Greek comedy filled with hunky, shirtless men acting their butts off to an adoring audience. And, did I say, I was the star?

Yes, I was the star. It was the final scene and I was about to deliver my final soliloquy when…
Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; “A fire has been reported in the hotel. Please exit the building. Do not use the elevators.” Beeeepppp!

“Who is this person stepping on my lines?” was all I could think. “They are ruining my performance. Don’t they know this is the climax?”

Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; “A fire has been reported in the hotel. Please exit the building. Do not use the elevators.” Beeeepppp!

I noticed the flashing strobe light. “Greek comedy didn’t use strobes!”

Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; “A fire has been reported in the hotel. Please exit the building. Do not use the elevators.” Beeeepppp!

About this time, I realized that the real world had intruded on my dream world. My life partner sat up in bed. “What the hell is this about?” he demanded.

“They say to exit the hotel,” half yelling to be heard over the noise.

We threw on our clothes from the day before. “Where’s Buddy?”

We started looking. We combed through the suite, quickly looking behind and under every piece of furniture. Finally, we found him cowering under the king size bed; center near the head board. We couldn’t reach him and he was too scared to come to us when we called.

We had two choices, leave the rabbit to perish in the fire or move the bed. We moved the bed.
2:00 AM, we moved a king size bed; tossing it to the side is if it were a dirty t-shirt. Buddy’s sanctuary ruined, decided to run. We caught him, tossed him into an oversized carrier we bought special so he would have plenty of room while traveling on this trip.

Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; “A fire has been reported in the hotel. Please exit the building. Do not use the elevators.” Beeeepppp!

We stumbled into the hall; fully awake now; adrenaline pumping; realizing that we were on the top floor. The fourteenth floor had such great views, we couldn’t resist. I told my partner at check in, “you know that this is really floor 13 and nothing good could come from staying on the 13th floor.”

Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; Beeeepppp; “A fire has been reported in the hotel. Please exit the building.
Do not use the elevators.” Beeeepppp!

We obeyed. We found the stairs. Other bleary eyed people were making their way down. We started walking carrying an oversized pet carrier with a hyperventilating rabbit.

It took about 10 minutes from the first note of the fire alarm to the time we hit the sidewalk.

Firemen were in the building looking official; making sure we got out safely.

I heard the manager ask one of the firemen, “Did you see smoke coming from a floor of the building?”

Maybe this was real after all. My brain started to flash on the things I left behind. I didn’t even put on shoes, being more concerned with Buddy. “I’m going to be walking around Baltimore without even a pair of shoes. I’ll starve; ‘No shirt; No shoes; No service.’ I’ve seen the signs.” My thoughts were coming fast and furious.

But then my brain flashed on my phone. “I can’t live without my phone and it fell off when I picked up the pet carrier.”

2:38 AM. We had been on the sidewalk for what seemed like an eternity. My partner stroked Buddy trying to calm him down. “But he had shoes on,” I thought.

Someone from the hotel came out and said something, but I couldn’t hear a word. He was too far away. Some people started to walk back into the building. “Is that it? Is it over?” I thought.
We all moved back into the ground floor. The staff provided little explanation beyond, it was a false alarm.

We got back to our room by 3:00. We set the bed back up; let Buddy out of the carrier and continued to try to calm him.

3:38 we got back in bed. “You think you can sleep?” my partner asked.

I was tired, but the adrenaline was still pumping. “I don’t know.”

We snuggled until about 5:00, finally dozing off. But at 7:30, the damn fire alarm woke us again. This time, I wasn’t having pleasant dreams of being the star of a Greek comedy.

Like old pros, we exited the building. This fire alarm thing is not something I want to get the hang of.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I've got to keep Dad off the computer. He's going to upset may anipals.

Thought I'd upload a couple of pictures today. Hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A rant concerning an email

I got an email concerning the health care argument going on in the US. Supposedly Obama was asked if he would give up his health care for a Universal Health Care option. I think the entire email is a total lie.

First, Universal Health, also known as Single Payer, is not on the table. The proposed system would be in addition to private insurance.

Second, I think we have to look at this a little different. The government is
already in the health insurance business. It runs the Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicaid, paid for solely with tax dollars, provides for the health care of
millions of poor children. Do we ever hear about Medicaid being over
charged? Yes, but there is insurance fraud in the private sector too. The
government through the court system has to enforce all insurance fraud
whether public or private.

Medicare is the largest provider of health insurance to people 65 and over.
It is the number one provider of payments of services such as hip fractures.
How often does a person have to wait a long time for a broken hip or even
have to get prior consent for treatment? It looks like a pretty well run
program to me.

I, on the other hand, have private insurance with a very large provider. I was diagnosed with
a hiatle hernia a few years ago. My insurance provider would not pay for the surgery to fix
my hernia. Instead, they ordered the doctor to give me medication that I
took for 2 years. I had trouble sleeping. my provider again denied the surgery. I
was told to elevate the head of the bed and sleep on extra pillows. I was
miserable. Finally, I developed a pre-cancerous condition which forced my insurance company
to allow the surgery. I've had no problems since.

We have to look at the insurance companies as a bureaucracy that is in
business to make money. They make money only as long as they don't pay for
medical services.

As for the email's argument, President Obama's health care, as are all the
senators and representatives' health care, is publicly provided by the US
government. Our elected leaders' health care has been called, "Second to

My goodness, I want some of that!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My take on the health care argument

Buddy’s dad here.

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of angry words regarding health care in the United States. I saw a photo of protests in my local newspaper and a picture of a man shouting at his representative during a town hall meeting.

It got me to thinking. What have these people got against their fellow citizens that can’t afford health care?

In reality, I don’t think they have anything against them. What I think is at issue, is that they feel that they are paying for their own health insurance and health care so others should be responsible enough to do the same.

The US was founded on the idea of one’s pulling himself up by his own boot straps; of heading out into the wilderness to carve out the good life for himself and his family.

There is nothing wrong with this. But just as we wouldn’t go to fight a war with another country by sending only one man, we can’t always tackle every problem on our own. Sometimes we have to pull together and help each other out.

A few years ago, a hurricane hit my city. Trees fell on homes, power was out for days, water scarce. Neighbors joined together to cut up trees; put tarps on roofs; we got together in homes with gas stoves to boil water and provide communal meals. No one asked, “What are you providing?” We all just pitched in and helped each other. That too is the American way.

When a member of our community gets sick, that too is an emergency. It’s just as much an emergency as when that hurricane hit. Health care reform is a life and death emergency.

I’ve heard that there are 48 million Americans without health insurance.

Some say they can’t afford to buy it. I understand that. I remember when I first started working and only made minimum wage, I couldn’t pay for health insurance. I barely made enough to pay for rent and food.

Luckily, I was young and healthy; staying so until I got my first professional job where health insurance was provided.

There is a second group, however, that can’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. They have or have had some illness that makes them unattractive to the insurance companies.

Now, I don’t even blame the insurance companies for not wanting to insure them. You see, the insurance company is in business to make money. It only makes money when the premiums coming in are more than the money going out to treat sick people.

The more sick people it insures, the more money it spends on their medical care. The ideal person for the insurance company to insure is the person who is healthy as a horse and doesn’t ever go to the doctor.

But what about those 48 million uninsured Americans? Don’t they get sick?

Of course they do. Everybody gets sick from time to time.

But if they can’t afford health insurance, how can they possibly pay for a doctor’s visit, medical tests and medicine?

In reality, many get treatment and never pay the bill. So who does? Does the doctor take a loss on his salary? Does the lab eat the cost of those medical tests? I think not.

So who pays?

The reality is that everyone that has health insurance or is self insured paying their own medical bills pays for the people that don’t have health insurance and don’t pay their bills.

Let’s pretend that five people need a medical procedure. The procedure costs $100. The provider feels that four out of five will pay either through insurance or pay direct. The medical office needs $500, so it will charge all five $125. Only four will pay, so the office gets its $500 and the four will in reality pay for the fifth that doesn’t pay.

I know; I know. This is pretty cynical and very simplistic. But when we’re talking a bunch of numbers, simple works best, in my brain at least.


So let’s start thinking about this in a different way. The government doesn’t have to operate with a profit. So it can sell its health insurance for less than a company that has to operate at a profit. This new government insurance could be sold to people at a much lower cost, maybe on a sliding scale making health insurance available to all.

Second, if everyone had health insurance in some form, the doctors know they will be paid and can lower the cost of medical procedures for all. Remember that $100 procedure that the doctor had to charge $125 for? The cost can go back to $100 because all five of the patients will pay for it.

Did I just hear "But I pay my health insurance. What’s in it for me?"

If doctors, knowing they will get paid, lower their prices for all, the insurance companies pay a lower cost for the procedure, as well, and pay out less money. It should be able to lower the cost of premiums.

But what will keep it from just keeping the extra cash and sending it out to share holders? Well, it is now competing with the government which doesn’t have a profit motive. If it keeps all the surplus money, it will loose customers who opt to go to the public plan.

If the insurance company is to survive, it has to cut its premiums to be competitive.

Ok, now I hear you asking, "What about our taxes? Won’t they go up?"

I think taxes will go up a bit, but would be more than covered by the decrease expenses in insurance premiums and lower medical costs in general.

Besides, our taxes already go to public sponsored health insurance in the form of Medicaid and Medicare. Medicare is the leading payer for such procedures as hip replacements. It really does a very good job. How many of our elderly have been denied or even had to wait long for this procedure?

So the end result of the government sponsored health care is:
  • Everyone has insurance and health care provided;
  • Doctor/hospital fees can be reduced because they are assured of getting paid;
  • Insurance premiums can be reduced because less money is going to pay inflated provider prices that cover the uninsured;
  • There is pressure on premiums to stay low to compete with the public option.

As I see it, the public health care insurance option is a win-win that will help us all; even if we don’t directly use it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let's go to the movies!

We went to see "Julie & Julia" over the weekend. I know! I know! We should have known better than to go opening weekend. The theater was PACKED!

We sat on the back row finding two seats on the aisle. You know, it’s easier to get to the restroom.

But I digress. We really enjoyed the movie. Meryl Streep was amazing, but she can do no wrong in my humble opinion.

My only complaint? Not the movie! All the way through the film, the ladies beside us chattered. I bet they didn’t hear 10 minutes of the dialog.

The theater was too crowded for us to move and did I mention aisle seats and proximity to the restroom?

I don’t understand why anyone would pay money to talk during a movie and not watch the film.

Just a thought. This little post won’t change anything, but it helps a bit to vent. Thanks for your time. Hopefully next time I’ll be more positive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Buddy Adventure Finale (part 8)

At that moment, Buddy’s life flashed before his eyes. His home with his human family where every day he received love and attention was so clear he could imagine being rubbed. His long walk through the woods where he got advice from the animals appeared. His gentle kisses from Lil felt warm on his lips.

He knew he was going to die in the monstrous beak of the hawk. He knew that that beak was going to tear the flesh from his bones and eat him.

The mighty hawk reached again to grab Buddy. Buddy shook off his visions taking a quick hop back. The mighty hawk lifted his massive wings trying to fly, but stayed firmly on the ground. He reached those mighty talons trying to grab Buddy, but the rabbit was just out of reach.

The hawk could only run after Buddy and did so, screeching and snapping with each step. But running was not something the hawk was very good at.

Buddy cried out, "Chatter, run!" The two heroes took off toward the castle. The hawk grew tired of the chase being ill equipped to catch its prey while running along the ground.

Buddy and Chatter ran as fast as they could, not knowing the hawk had already given up.

As he ran, Buddy stashed the feathers in his belt to show the king. They retraced their path back to the castle, finding the streets once again filled with small animals. Wearily Chatter and Buddy entered the castle and asked to see the king.

The two entered the king’s chamber and walked down the long red carpet. The king noticed that they were dirty and clumps of fur were missing from Buddy. "Rabbit, I didn’t expect to see you again."

Buddy laid the tail feathers on the carpet at the king’s feet. The king recognized what they were immediately.

"So the hawk won’t return?" the king questioned.

"No, your highness; your kingdom is safe. I owe a great debt to my friend, Chatter. Without him, I couldn’t have done this."

The king gave a nod to Chatter. But before he could say anything, Princess Lil hopped into the chamber and immediately rushed to Buddy and Chatter. Seeing his battle injuries, she softly began to nuzzle him and clean his fur.

The king saw this and grew angry. "What’s the meaning of this?" King Bunbun demanded.

The princess sensing danger simply said "I saw him in the garden and fell in love at first sight. Besides, he is injured and needs my care."

King Bunbun calmed a bit, but still was suspicious.

Buddy decided to press his luck, "King Bunbun, I too saw your daughter from the garden. I fell in love with her at first sight so I come to you for the second time to ask for her hand."

The king loved his daughter deeply and was hesitant, but he saw the love in Buddy’s and Lil’s eyes. He knew Buddy had gone to great peril risking his life for Lil’s hand and to protect the kingdom.

Being a bunny of his word, King Bunbun granted their marriage.


One year later...

Lil and Buddy married soon after the king gave his permission. Buddy moved into the castle with his bride and their love continued to grow. On occasion, Buddy and Lil would venture back to see his human family, but never stayed too long, for the kingdom needed them.

The animals quickly learned of Buddy and Chatter’s bravery in freeing them from the wicked hawk. They held the pair in high regard, creating songs in tribute to their bravery. Chatter, who could observe and remember patterns, became an advisor to the king, helping in times of danger.

Shortly after their marriage, the king started grooming the Buddy and Lil to be the eventual rulers of the kingdom. Together, the couple gained the wisdom and strength to guide the animals with a firm but compassionate hand.

The hawk never returned and was never seen again.



The story left off with me clipping the last tale feather just as the string snapped allowing the hawk to get free. I wonder if I'll survive?

Mean ol' hawk!

My heart's pounding just thinking about it.

I need to take a break today from the story to get my thoughts together.

In the mean time, I posted a picture; one of a series when I went out into the snow for the first time. Too cold!

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buddy Adventure (part 7)

"We have to do something, Chatter," Buddy whispered.

"We? I’m little! What can I do?"

"I’ve talked to animals in the forest," replied Buddy. "I think there is a way, but first we have to find the hawk. Let’s go into the woods in the general direction that the hawk flew. Maybe we can find him."

"Find him! I don’t want to find him!" exclaimed Chatter.

"But together we can defeat the hawk," Buddy patiently explained.

Chatter didn’t need further convincing. He knew that the hawk would keep coming and someone would have to stand up to him. The only question was would it be now or later. At least now, he had Buddy at his side.

Buddy and Chatter headed out into the forest keeping an eye out for the hawk. Buddy explained along the way that the hawk couldn’t fly without his tail feathers. To keep the hawk from swooping in to capture the animals, they just had to get those feathers.

After a great while, our duo spotted the hawk sitting on the ground eating. It was their chance to make their move. Buddy took the hedgehog’s quill and tied the string to the end. He planned to toss it to Chatter entangling the hawks feet.

Quietly, they got into place; one hiding on each side of the hawk. As the hawk lifted his ugly head to swallow, Buddy tossed the quill and string to Chatter leaving the string across the front of the hawk’s legs. With the hawk’s next bite, Chatter tossed the quill behind the legs back to Buddy. They continued several more times without the hawk noticing.

Both Buddy and Chatter tied the ends of the string to nearby trees, not only ensnaring the hawk’s feet, but making sure he wouldn’t go anywhere.

Buddy started moving closer to the hawk but the hawk heard his hops. The hawk flapped his mighty wings, rising a few inches off the ground, but the string held tight. Angrily, the hawk began to snap at the string with his hooked beak trying to break it. Buddy drew closer pulling out the pocket knife.

The blade connected with a tail feather snapping it off. The hawk turned to Buddy, using his bill to try to grab him, but Buddy was too quick, hopping back.

The hawk tried to turn and face the rabbit, but couldn’t free himself from the string. Buddy moved in again, clipping a second feather. He didn’t notice that the hawk had turned his head. The hawk tried to grab Buddy again with his massive beak, but only connected to the rabbit’s fur. He pulled out a clump and Buddy winced, jumping to safety.

"One more feather," Buddy thought as he went in again. Simultaneously, the feather snapped as the string snapped.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Buddy Adventure (Part 6)

He turned to exit the king's great hall holding his ears high. But the trip back down the red carpet felt twice as long as the first time he traveled it. He acted brave until he exited King Bunbun's chamber and the door closed behind him.

As soon as he was out of the king's sight, Buddy's head hung low, ears fell to his back. He felt as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders. For a moment, he debated returning home to his human family where he was safe, warm and well fed. They loved him and provided for every need.

"What am I doing?" he thought as he hopped out of the castle and into the streets of the kingdom.

Buddy was so single minded of purpose when he was on the way into the castle, that he didn’t notice much about the kingdom. But as he exited the castle, he was overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of a bustling city.

He looked around and saw many different types of animals. All small and furry. There were not just other rabbits, but beavers, possums, ground hogs and every type of furry animal that he could imagine.

The streets were filled with food carts where small animals busied themselves eating and talking. Buddy stood on his back legs to take in the view. There were so many animals moving along the street, that small puffs of dust rose from their feet and hung in the air.

Buddy debated trying to clean himself to get some of the dust off when he felt something bump into his side.

“Hello,” Buddy said to a small chipmunk that now lay at his side.

“So busy; must hurry,” replied the chipmunk.

“Slow down little guy. What’s the big rush?” Buddy extended his paw to help the chipmunk up.

The chipmunk looked at Buddy’s paw; massive in comparison to his own, but reluctantly took it. The chipmunk, back on his feet introduced himself, “Chatter’s the name. I must get to my home to hide. About this time each day the hawk appears. You should hide too.”

“I’ve made note that the hawk appears early in the morning. He grabs some poor creature from the kingdom. I shudder to think what happens next.” Chatter continued. “No one else has noticed the pattern, but I have. I notice things. We must hide.”

Sure enough, just as Chatter finished, the horrible, piercing cry of the hawk sounded in the distance. The animals on the street began to run for cover.

“Come!” Chatter commanded. Buddy followed to a small alcove. It was almost a box, tiny and covered with ivy, just big enough for the two to squeeze in.

From a small slit in the side, Buddy could see the shadow of a large bird circling above. Soon, the shadow grew larger as the hawk swooped down, moving at incredible speeds to grab an unlucky field mouse off the street. The massive, scaly talons completely encircled the unfortunate mouse and with a flash, he and the hawk were gone.

“The horror! The horror!” cried Chatter, trembling in fear.

Buddy had never seen anything like it. But after seeing the hawk, he knew that he would somehow have to find a way to protect the kingdom.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A new picture.

We're relaxing. I started writing a little more of the adventure and plan to post Monday night.

Thought I'd put up a picture for now.

Buddy Adventure (Part 5)

“Would you like to share this apple?” Buddy asked. “It’s very good.”

The lady bunny nibbled daintily.

“You haven’t told me your name.”


“The… the princess?” Buddy stammered.

“Yes. But it’s terribly lonely being the princess. My father makes my suitors go on a quest. Either it’s too difficult or too dangerous. None have returned.”

“Well I shall return,” Buddy stated flatly.

Tears welled in Lil’s eyes. “I fear you will meet the same fate as the others.” She moved closer to him. They rubbed noses and kissed gently under the apple tree.

They munched the fruit, played in the garden and fell deeply in love that warm summer day. Near the end of the day, Lil retired to her home, the castle. Buddy slept under the hawthorn, content with the knowledge that soon he would have Lil’s hand in marriage forever.

Buddy awoke early the next morning and went straight to the castle. He asked for an audience with the king. Escorted to a grand chamber filled with lovely tapestries, Buddy hopped down a long red carpet toward the throne of King Bunbun.

He asked for Lil’s hand in marriage hiding the fact that they had already met the previous day.

The king laughed at Buddy saying, “What makes you think you’re worthy of my daughter’s hand? First you must prove yourself. The rabbit to have my daughter's hand must find a way to keep the hawk away from the kingdom.”

Bravely Buddy replied, "I'll find away to keep the hawk at bay if will earn me Lil's hand." But secretly Buddy feared this task. He didn't want to have to face the hawk.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Buddy Adventure (part 4)

The next morning before Buddy left, the hedgehog whispered, “Friend, you need to have something to help protect you from the dangers in the woods. Take one of my quills and use it to poke an enemy if he approaches.”

With that, the hedgehog pulled a quill and Buddy slid it into his belt. “Thank you, my friend. But now I must continue on my adventure.”

Buddy hopped away feeling sad about leaving his new friend. As time passed, the dew under his feet dried as the day grew hot and dry. He traveled a great distance. The sunlight filtered in through the trees, but Buddy kept to his travels.

Suddenly, he saw the shadow of a bird on the ground in front of him. The bird flew in lazy circles, but Buddy saw the shadow grew larger. He stopped in terror. The bird flew to a nearby branch, cocked his head and laughed, “Caw Caw.”

Buddy turned to the bird and queried, “Are… Are you the hawk?” Buddy was prepared to run.

“No, not a hawk; a crow. The hawk is my mortal enemy.”

Buddy began to relax. “Can you give me any advice to ward off the hawk?”

“The hawk can’t fly with out his tail feathers. You just watch out little rabbit. The hawk is not one to mess with.”

The crow eyed Buddy for a moment before dropping some string. “Take this string. I use it in my nests, but you too might find it helpful.”

Buddy thanked him and continued on his way toward King Bunbun’s castle and the fair maid, Princess Lil.

Buddy traveled for a long time and finally arrived at a small garden beside the king’s castle. The garden was filled with all manner of delights. Fresh asparagus, all manner of lettuces and the trees were hanging heavy with apples. Buddy began to nibble an apple that lay upon the ground.

“Who goes there?” a female voice called.

“Just a weary traveler who stopped for a morsel. No harm intended. I am just having a bite of this apple that had already fallen.” Buddy looked around but didn’t see the person to whom the voice belonged. “Will you not come out to greet me?”

From the shadow of a hawthorn bush, hopped the loveliest bunny that Buddy had ever seen. Buddy introduced himself with a deep bow. The lady bunny was silent.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Buddy Adventure (part 3)

“Hand over your valuables!” insisted the raccoon.

“But I’m just a poor bunny.”

“What do you have there? I’ve never seen a rabbit with a belt. You must be a special rabbit. I’m sure you have valuables on you.”

“Let me pass!”

“Why should I let you pass?” questioned the raccoon.

“I know,” replied Buddy. “I’ll race you to that old hollow tree,” pointing to a distant stump. “If I win, you must let me pass, but if you win, I’ll give you my only possession.”

“Deal,” said the raccoon. Being sneaky, he took off immediately waddling toward the old hollow log as fast as his stumpy legs would carry him. But Buddy was faster. With a few quick leaps, he easily beat the raccoon to the finish line.

“So, Bandit, I’ve won our race. You must let me pass,” Buddy teased the raccoon.

But the raccoon surprised Buddy by saying, “Rabbit, you won so I’ll pass along a little information to you. King Bunbun rules this land and he wishes to find a suitable hand for his daughter, the lovely Princess Lil. You should seek her hand.”

Buddy thanked the bandit raccoon and hopped toward the castle.

He hopped and hopped until he bumped into a spiky creature. “Auwh! You stuck me. Who are you?”

“I’m a hedgehog” was the reply. “I have spiky fur that helps defend me from attack.”

Buddy looked around anxiously. “Are there bad things in these woods?”

“The worst I’ve seen is the hawk. He’s big and swoops down from the sky carrying off small animals to eat them.”

Buddy didn’t like the sound of that and he looked around nervously. “I’ll look out for that mean hawk.”

The hedgehog invited Buddy to stay the night and they feasted on fresh fruit from the forest and told stories until late into the night.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buddy Adventure (part 2)

He hopped beyond his yard to the great wood. He had never ventured into the woods before having heard stories about fierce animals with sharp teeth that liked to eat bunnies for breakfast. But he mustered his courage and set out for the great unknown.

He hopped a long time and decided to rest under the limbs of a great oak tree. The dappled sunlight warmed his fur as he stretched and yawned. He leaned on a rock thinking he’d nap for a short time before continuing. But the rock moved! Buddy jumped and thumped in surprise.

Out from the rock popped a head, a tail and 4 legs. “I’ve never met a rock that is alive,” shouted Buddy.

“I’m not a rock, you crazy rabbit. I’m a turtle.”

“Well, Turtle, I’m Buddy and I’m on an adventure.”

“An adventure? You look ill equipped for an adventure. I predict that your only adventure will be dinner with some fox and you’ll be the entre.”

The turtle rustled through some leaves searching for something. “Here,” he said in a gruff voice as he handed Buddy a small pocket knife. “Some hunters came through here a few days ago. They tripped over me and dropped this. As a turtle, I can hide in my shell and be safe, so I’ve no need for this. But a rabbit, you’re more vulnerable. You take this knife and use it to protect yourself.”

“But I have no way to carry a knife.”

The turtle looked around. “Over there is a willow tree. Gnaw down some of the branches, weave them into a belt and carry the knife inside your belt.”

Buddy chewed the willow until it was soft and pliable. He carefully wove the branches into a belt, tied the belt around his waist and hid the pocket knife in his new belt. He looked around to thank the turtle for his gift and good advice, but the turtle had already wandered off.

Emboldened by his new weaponry, Buddy continued to hop northward toward his new adventure. He hadn’t traveled far when he came upon a masked bandit, a marauding raccoon intent on stealing anything of value.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Part 1 - Buddy Rabbit Adventure

Buddy Rabbit was a happy bunny living comfortably with his family. He had all the attention a bunny could ask for; head pats and belly rubs galore. Games of chase and bunny sneak attacks filled his days. His tummy was always full of vegetables along with treats of apples and blueberries. Yes, he was happy.

It was a good life until one fateful day when Buddy was outdoors doing his morning jumping jacks. A robin flew up to a feeder hanging nearby.

“Good morning, Mr. Robin!” said Buddy.

“Not now, Mr. Rabbit! No time for frivolity. I have to eat so I can fly away,” replied the robin.

“But where are you going?”

“I must travel north for my next great adventure,” the robin replied.

“Adventure? What’s an adventure?”

“Adventures, Mr. Rabbit, are doing those things you don’t think you can do, but you do them anyway. I am going north to find my true love. I’ll search far and wide but hope I find the one my heart longs for.”

This was most puzzling to Buddy, but started him thinking. “Is there more to life than rubs and a full belly?”

He pondered this question for several hours before deciding that he needed to leave his home to seek his own adventure.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Diet day

Buddy’s dad here.

Ever have one of those days where you’re hungry? Not just any hungry; the kind of hungry where you want to go to Wendy’s and order everything on the menu twice.

I started a diet about 7 weeks ago. I’ve been charting my food and exercise on the Live Strong website. I’ve done well with the diet losing about 10 pounds; not all reflected on Live Strong because I dieted several weeks before learning about the site.

Haven’t had any problems controlling my eating until today. But today’s been tough. I’m borrowing Buddy’s blog instead of going to get something from the office vending machine.

My hope is that I can fill my time with an activity during the last few minutes of the day to get my mind off this empty belly. Just have to make it until 4:00 when I have a 17 mile bike ride scheduled. Once on the bike, I’ll be golden. The pain in my old knees will make me forget, as Pooh Bear used to say, “the rumbly in my tumbly.”

I’m sorry about this post. I know no one will want to read such a narcissistic rambling. Most people have dieted and gone through hunger pains. Hell, there are millions around the world where hunger is a daily occurrence.

We’re lucky, in a way, here in the US that we have the luxury of needing to go on diets. But for me, this is an uncomfortable feeling that I really don’t like very much.