**** Authors Note – the birthday date can be changed to the
child’s birthday who is hearing the story. ****
It was late morning and all the chores were done when Susie heard Gracie arguing with their brother, Scotty or ‘KFC’ his new name of choice. “KFC, Ha Ha Ha, more like DFC – Dumb Fu Cat!! Look at my dress, there is mud all over it.” Gracie and KFC were wrestling in the front yard and dirt and fur was flying around.
“Stop fighting. You two are driving me crazy.” Susie yelled from the front porch. All three siblings were worried and nervous and getting on each others nerves big time. Their Mother should have been back from town two days ago. She went to take care of her sister and only planned to be gone overnight. With all the excitement of helping rescue the kidnapped baby farm animals, the three siblings really didn’t start to worry until last night. Neither Gracie nor Susie slept well and kept waking up, worrying why their Mother had not returned home. “We need to stick together and figure out what to do.” Susie stood on the porch with both hands on her hips and ordered, “Gracie, go change your dress and I’ll fix us some cookies and milk and then we can decide how to find Mother.”
Gracie and KFC rolled apart and stood up and Gracie tried to knock the mud from her dress. KFC started to climb on the porch and yelled, “Did you see that?” He whirled around and pointed in the direction of the barn. “See what?” asked Susie as she went toward the old barn. “Something ran behind the big tree.” KFC told her. Susie squinted hard at the large tree in the yard but did not see anything. Susie shook her head; her brother was at it again trying to trick her and Gracie just so he could say ‘made you look’ and laugh at his stupid joke. Susie turned and walked inside to get their snack, wishing Mother was home and everything would get back to normal. Gracie sat down at the table in her second clean dress of the day. She held a pad of paper and pencil to write down any ideas that would help find their Mother.
Once the three siblings were seated at the table Susie passed out the cookies and said, “We are all worried about Mother, but fighting with each other doesn’t help.” She looked pointedly at both KFC and Gracie, then lifted a cookie from her plate and took a bite. She worried out loud while she ate. “Mother should have been home yesterday at the very latest and she always keeps her word. She would have let us know if she was going to stay longer.”
KFC pushed one of his cookies in his mouth and reached for a second. “Did you see that?” He exclaimed, spewing cookies bits all over the table. KFC leaped up and ran to the window and looked out. “Something just raced across the yard.” He turned and looked at the girls with a frightened expression and uttered, “It was a really big black shadow.”
“Oh great – now he’s seeing shadows running across the yard.” Gracie groaned. She picked up the pencil and wrote:
Things To Do To Find Mother
She paused and looked around the table waiting for suggestions to make a list. “We need to find Uncle Smoky.” Susie suggested and then added, “He will know where Mother’s sister lives in town.” Gracie said, “Good idea.” and wrote:
1. Find Uncle Smoky
“I can find Twitter and see if he knows where to find Uncle Smoky.” KFC added; he was getting excited thinking of a new adventure. Gracie wrote:
2. Send Twitter to Town
“We will have to wait until Twitter finds Uncle Smoky before we know what to do next.” Susie sighed loudly and then admitted, “This worrying about Mother is the hardest thing ever.” “Scotty,” Susie looked at her brother, “Go find Twitter and bring him here.” “It’s KFC.” Her brother mumbled stuffing the last cookie in his mouth and looking more like a chipmunk than a cat. KFC climbed down from the table to go and look for the strange bird.
The girls wiped up the crumbs from their snack and went outside to wait on the front porch. They waited and waited until finally Gracie loudly exclaimed, “How long does it take to find one agitated bird! We’ve been sitting here over an hour.”
Susie pointed and said, “Here comes K – F – C, but no Twitter.” KFC shuffled up the path dragging his feet, pushed open the gate, and flopped down on the porch beside his sisters. “That is one crazy bird. He made me follow him all over the pasture and mumbling something like – no time now or not time now. Then he told me to go back home and he would come here when it was time.” The girls weren’t happy to have to sit and wait for Twitter, but what else could they do.
“Look over there by the tool shed.” KFC jumped up shouting and pointing, “Did you see that?” Both girls turned and looked where KFC was pointing and still didn’t see anything. “He is driving me nuts.” Gracie moaned and slumped down on the porch step next to Susie. “Don’t believe me, but something strange is going on. I just can’t figure it out.” KFC turned and faced the girls, daring them to say something.
Susie started to say she had not seen anything, but decided to go inside and wait and not argue with her brother. She got up and all of a sudden the hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. She froze in place like a freeze frame game. She had just seen a blurry figure race across the back of the yard.
“Gracie – KFC – get inside and hurry.” Susie’s voice shook and from the frightened look on her face, Gracie and KFC jumped up ran inside. Susie was right behind them and quickly shut and locked the door. With her back to the door she admitted in a shaky voice, “KFC is right. Something or Someone is sneaking around the farm.”
KFC held his head in his hands and groaned, “I told you, but you didn’t believe me.” Gracie hurried to the window and pulled the curtains together so no one could see inside. She turned around and asked in a frightened voice, “What should we do?”
KFC ran to his room and came out with his baseball bat. Seeing his sisters puzzled looks he exclaimed, “We may need protection.” Then he took a big swing with the bat and hit the lamp causing it to fly off the table. Susie quickly jumped and grabbed the lamp before it hit the floor and broke into a million pieces.
“Put that away before you kill someone.” Gracie yelled at her brother. Bang – Bang – Bang. Something or someone was hitting the door and the three cats almost jumped out of their fur. The walls vibrated and the window shook. Three scared cats huddled together – not moving or making a sound. “Open the door.” A high-pitched voiced called out followed by more pounding. Susie was sure the door would come flying off its hinges. From all the tension in the room you could almost feel the static electricity causing their fur to stand out straight. Again the voice screeched, “Open the door.” Suddenly like a light bulb had been turned on, Susie realized the high-pitched screaming was none other than one crazy bird – Twitter. Susie exhaled the breath she was holding and opened the door to see Twitter awkwardly hopping from one foot to the other. “Twitter you almost scared us to death pounding on the door like that.” She told him.
Twitter stuttered, “It’s time. It’s time. Follow me.” The more excited Twitter became the more he hopped back and forth causing white feathers to fly around. Gracie stepped out the door and looked around. “Twitter, clam down. It’s time for what?” She asked. Twitter seemed confused, which wasn’t unusual. “To the barn, you have to come to the barn. NOW.” He squawked and then turned and hopped off the porch and wobbled out the gate.
“Now what?” Gracie moaned, concerned because of all the strange things happening today. It seemed like she was forgetting something important, but with shadows sneaking around the yard, their Mother missing, and now being summoned to the barn by Twitter, it couldn’t be good. Gracie and Susie grabbed each other’s hand and ran after the wobbling bird with KFC was close behind.
Twitter disappeared into the large barn and when the girls reached the barn the door was closed. Why did that crazy bird shut the barn door on them? The big barn door was always left open. Behind them, KFC panted, “Hey – what’s going on?” The girls shrugged their shoulders; they didn’t have a clue. It took all three of them pushing hard to open the heavy door. They stood in the doorway unsure what to do because the inside of the barn was pitch black. They waited for their eyes to adjust to the blackness and silently wondered at the quiet – not a single sound could be heard. Hesitantly they crept inside and with small steps they inched forward. It was scary dark and way too quiet and where was Twitter?
Suddenly the barn lit up like someone had turned on a gigantic spot light causing them to close their eyes against the bright glare. It seemed like a hundred voices from all around them shouted. SURPRISE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACIE, SUSIE, AND KFC!!!! Shocked the three cats leaped straight up into the air and their tails puffed out three times bigger. Once their hearts stopped pounding and legs stopped shaking, they looked around and saw all their friends grinning back at them and two very large tables. One was piled with brightly wrapped presents and on the other table sat a huge decorated birthday cake. Balloons and streamers decorated the barn and a large piñata in the shape of a butterfly was hanging from the rafters. But the best surprise of all was their Mother standing by the cake.
“MOTHER!” Gracie, Susie, and KFC yelled in unison and ran and encircled her with hugs. Mother was laughing and gave each of her children a big birthday kiss. Uncle Smoky was standing next to Mother enjoying the happy reunion. “We’ve been so worried.” exclaimed Susie and Gracie. “Ah. Not me.” KFC puffed out his chest and said, “I knew you were OK.”
The girls started to glare at their brother when someone asked, “Think it’s time to solve the mystery of what’s in all those presents?” Master Sleuth and Sergeant stepped out of the shadows. A deep rumbling voice from above said, “Maybe they could use some help.” KYF looked up and yelled, “It’s Old Thunder.” And he jumped up on the hay bales and gave his new friend a big buffalo hug. “Let the party begin.” Mooed Jersey Girl and then with a Moo Moo Moo to get everyone in tune, she led all the animals in a chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
When the song ended Susie laughed and said, “Thank you. With all the excitement of the past few days, we totally forgot today was February 4, and our birthday.” “It was everyone coming to the party that we saw sneaking around today. You sure had me fooled.” KFC finally admitted causing everyone to laugh. Then the large barn was filled with happy noises — Cut the cake — Pass the punch – Open your presents.
Mother came up and gave each one a special birthday present and told them, “I am so proud of each of you. Helping to find the kidnapped baby animals and being so responsible while I was away.” She brushed a tear from her eye and look at them with a proud Mother’s smile.