Estimated read aloud timing: 5 minutes
Flapjax flew through mall with the speed of…well, a tiny stuffed bear on two short, stubby legs. So, not that speedy at all. But Flapjax knew he was not that speedy. What he lacked in speed, he knew he could make up for in brains.
But the human boy was quickly catching up…
Flalpjax wasn’t stealing the phone! He just needed to borrow it for a few minutes! It was times like these when Flapjax really grew to appreciate Libby’s mind-reading abilities. He was sure that if he could just communicate with the boy, he would understand! But the longer the chase continued, the more unlikely that seemed. Flapjax felt like the bad guy, and he didn’t like that feeling. He needed to call Libby and then get the phone back to its owner ASAP.
Flapjax streaked past a window and turned just in time to escape into a heavily-scented store filed with shelves and shelves of…soap?
(This was something Flapjax didn’t get about humans…they sure loved their baths.)
The boy turned into the store and was quickly in snagging distance. Flapjax leapt up onto a pile of big, baseball-shaped soaps that smelled like flowers and began his climb to the top. Unfortunately, as soon as one innocent paw shifted the tower of soaps, Flapjax knew he was in big trouble. He tried to scramble up the slippery slope, but things just got worse. A second later, the entire pyramid of soap balls was cascading down to the ground…and Flapjax with it…
The boy ran towards Flapjax, ready to grab the phone out of his paw. But all of a sudden, the boy was on the ground too, lying face-up surrounded by the soap balls and looking very confused. Flapjax took that opportunity to quickly jump up and dodge the rolling soaps on his way out of the store and back into the chaos of the mall.
Flapjax ran past shop after shop of toys and candy, but he kept running. He even ran past the cookie shop that smelled so delicious he thought–just for a second!–that he’d be okay with being stuck at the mall forever if he could have those yummy cookies every day. But no, he had to get home to Libby.
He kept running.
And then he saw it. A sight so interesting, he couldn’t NOT stop to stare. It was a factory. A BEAR factory.
Machines were actually stuffing and sewing bears right in front of him! He looked down at himself, and then back up at all the bears lining the walls of the factory. They were all so different! Each one was a different color or size or wore a uniform or a bowtie or a hat.
And that’s when Flapjax had a brilliant idea.
He tip-toed into the bear factory, careful not to alert the humans who swarmed aroundthe many stations. The machines looked terrifying, and he wanted nothing to do with those long needles that were being used on the poor bears with stuffing coming out of their seams. (Mom had had to sew him back together a few times, and it was never a pleasant experience. He couldn’t imagine being stitched without Libby by his side to hold his paw.)
Flapjax shimmied over to a bin on the far side of the factory. He quickly scrambled out of his dress disguise and into a doctor’s uniform with a white coat and stethoscope. And with one quick glance in the mirror to see his mastery, he headed back out the door.
At that very moment, Flapjax spotted the boy running past the factory. He hadn’t seen Flapjax. Success!
Flapjax headed back the other way towards the store he had been in with Libby and Mom. He figured his best chance of rescue was there, he just needed to call Libby.
With a few seconds to spare, he held the phone out in front of him as he simultaneously ran and nosed the digits until the number he knew by heart was on the screen. But before he could hit SEND, he tripped on the long costume coat, and he was back on the floor, staring up at a very angry human. Wait, no, two humans. And one was wearing a uniform.
Flapjax gulped. He was in serious trouble…
Come back next week to see how Flapjax fares in mall jail!
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