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Ch. 11, Post 1: Flapjax’s First Day of School

One morning early in September, Flapjax and Libby stood in line with many other human and stuffed animal children to wait for their first day of Kindergarten to begin.

Flapjax was not nervous at all, but Libby was…he could tell. She had not slept at all the night before and had crushed Flapjax several times while tossing and turning in bed. (He was lucky he was made of cotton padding and fur.) And now she was squishing him in her arms as they waited in line. Flapjax wanted to be free to explore and meet all of the other children, but he was fiercely loyal to Libby and would never leave her side.

Eventually, a lady with curly black hair and a big smile on her face came to the door.

“Hello, everyone! My name is Mrs. B, and this is my classroom. We’re going to have so much fun this year. Come on inside, and we’ll get to know each other,” Mrs. B held the door open and one-by-one the children went in – some running in excitement, others shuffling nervously, looking back for an escape.

Flapjax jumped out of Libby’s arms and was trying with all his might to pull her quickly into the classroom. He wanted to get the best seat, the one closest to the snacks he spied in a clear bin near a big desk in the back. But Libby was pulling against him, trying to go back Mom and Dad. She did not know this grown-up with the curly hair, and she looked kind of scary!

Just as Flapjax was about to give up and go back with Libby to their parents, Mrs. B approached. Libby looked up at her fearfully. Flapjax jumped back into Libby’s arms to protect her.

Mrs. B. knelt down beside them and smiled. “Hi there,” she said to them. “What’s your name?” she asked Flapjax.

“Th-this is Flapjax,” Libby said shyly, clutching Flapjax tightly to her chest.

“Hi Flapjax. You look like a very smart bear,” she said, smiling at him. Libby couldn’t help but smile back, knowing Flapjax would be quite proud of that compliment. “And what about you?” the woman now asked Libby.

“Libby.”

“Well, Libby, I have the perfect seat for you, right near me. Would you like to come sit and get to know your new classmates?” Mrs. B. held out her hand, and Libby grabbed onto it, tucking Flapjax safely under her other arm.

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But to Flapjax’s disappointment, Mrs. B. led them to the front of the room, on the opposite side as the snacks. Libby sat down next to Mrs. B. and the other students in a circle, still squeezing Flapjax as tightly as she could. He tried to wriggle out of her arms, but she only squeezed tighter.

They all went around the circle, each saying their name and telling everyone else what they had done that summer. When it was Libby’s turn, she told everyone about Flapjax getting lost in a bakery on vacation. Eventually, Libby’s grip on him relaxed, and Flapjax slid out of her arms. She didn’t even notice Flapjax had left, she was too busy with her new friends.

Flapjax made his way to the back of the classroom and scoped out the scene. He spied a row of backpacks hanging up along one of the walls. Out of one backpack poked something orange and furry.

Flapjax looked to see if anyone was watching, then when he was sure he was safe, he crept slowly to the bag, looking back over his shoulder for trouble every few steps. Finally he made it to the wall, but even on his tippy-toes, he couldn’t reach the backpacks. He looked around for something to use and saw a crate not too far away, filled with board games.

Flapjax dragged the crate over to the bag he had spotted, jumped up, and grabbed the zipper. It came open quickly, surprising Flapjax, who fell to a heap on the floor, along with the contents of the bag.

Flapjax grunted as he tried to push something heavy off of him.

“Hey, stop shoving me, ouch!” a voice cried out from on top of him.

Flapjax gasped. Whatever it was, it was alive…

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Ch. 10, Post 3: Home Alone

Flapjax was King of his castle, and it was THE BEST! He had the whole place to himself and no one to tell him to stop causing trouble or to go to bed. Of course, he also had no bed…or TV…or snacks…or his best friend, Libby. But as long as he didn’t think about those things, he was okay.

When it got dark out and Libby still hadn’t come back to get him, Flapjax panicked. He ran all around the big, empty house that used to be filled with his family and all of the things they loved. He looked for anything he could use to survive being home alone.

Luckily for Flapjax, his humans had forgotten a few things particularly useful to a stuffed bear trying to make it on his own…

papa-lukes-pizzeria-menuFlapjax was rooting around all of the kitchen drawers (at least the ones at bear height), looking for something to quell the rumbling in his tummy, when he made his first discovery: the menu for Papa Luke’s, their favorite restaurant, where every Friday they went for a big, cheesy pizza. Flapjax knew that menu like he knew his favorite book—or at least he knew the picture of the pizza on the front of it like he knew the red hat and blue coat of his idol, Paddington Bear.

But how could he order pizza without a phone?

Flapjax dug through closets and opened cabinets, and that’s where he found it—an old cellphone. He tried to turn it on, but it was dead. He climbed into the cabinet and jumped excitedly when he felt the long, thin cord of a plug that fit perfectly into the phone. He plugged the charger into an outlet and grinned with joy when the little red light on the phone lit up, telling him it was working. He was saved!

But when he typed in the numbers and waited for the dial-tone, nothing happened. He frowned with frustration and kept typing and pushing all the buttons on the phone. Finally…success!

“Town Police Department,” a voice spoke hurriedly on the other side. “What is your

emergency?”

Flapjax wasn’t sure exactly how to communicate this exact emergency. Did a hungry tummy count? Or maybe being left behind by your humans?

Before he could think of what to do, the human at the other end spoke again.

“Hello? Are you still there? Are you unable to speak?”

Flapjax stared at the phone in awe. She was reading his mind!

“Okay, I have the address where you are calling from on your phone and will send a unit over. Stay with me, now!”

Flapjax grinned. He would be waiting!

Continue reading “Ch. 10, Post 3: Home Alone”

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Ch. 10, Post 2: The Attic Escape

Flapjax gulped. He stared out of the little attic window at his family as they drove away to their new home.

He was in SERIOUS trouble.

Sure, he had been on his own before…but always around humans of some sort! And always with access to snacks! Now he had neither. He was stuck in the attic of a big, empty house, and even if he could escape the attic, he had watched Mom pack up the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets earlier, so he knew there would be no food!

He paced a long wooden beam that ran across the attic. He paced slowly at first, getting faster and faster as his panic began to grow. And then…

Whoops!

Suddenly Flapjax was falling, but instead of hitting the hard wood of the attic floor, he fell with a springy crunch on something scratchy…and then he kept going. Before he knew it, he was falling through the attic and crashing onto the hard floor of what had once been Libby’s bedroom.

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Continue reading “Ch. 10, Post 2: The Attic Escape”

Ch. 10, Post 1: Moving Day

It was the worst day ever…worse even than that time Flapjax got bearnapped by a pirate, or that time he got left behind at a bakery (okay, so the second one hadn’t been that bad…).

Flapjax sat at his post on Libby’s bed, staring with horror as empty boxes began to fill up, and slowly but surely the cozy room around him started to disappear.

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Flapjax didn’t want to move. He loved his home! It was his first real home, and he had been so happy there ever since he had been brought home from the store on his Adoption Day.

Libby didn’t want to move either. She carefully packed up her precious belongings, putting each toy delicately into a box, sniffling back tears with each one. She loved her bedroom and her house with its big backyard and Downtheback. Oh no! They’d never get to explore Downtheback again!

A big, blue truck grunted and whined as it pulled up to the front of the house. Flapjax and Libby raced to the window to peer out at the truck that would carry everything to their new home.

Dad jumped out of the driver’s seat and raced up the steps to the house. “Kids! Time to go! Are you ready?” he called up the stairs to them.

No! They were not ready…they would never be ready! If they were never ready, they wouldn’t be able to move…

Flapjax and Libby grinned at each other as they hatched their brilliant plan.

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Continue reading “Ch. 10, Post 1: Moving Day”

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Ch. 9, Post 3: The Rescue

While Flapjax lay inside his apron pocket dreaming of Libby, Libby was wide-awake all night worrying about him.

The day before, Libby, Mom, and Dad frantically searched all over hoping to find him. They realized they must have left Flapjax somewhere during their trip, so they returned to all of the places they had visited, thinking maybe Flapjax had slipped from Libby’s hands or had possibly been bear-napped!

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They drove to a flea market they had visited, walked up and down the rows of used trinkets and old books, piles of worn clothes and antique furniture.

No Flapjax.

Thinking maybe he had been accidentally thrown out with the trash at the end of the day, they dug and dug through the scraps, but still no Flapjax.

They went back to the river where they had splashed around under the sun, but there was no Flapjax to be found. Libby prayed he hadn’t been caught in the current and swept downstream!

Then Libby remembered something: the bakery, delicious chocolate all over the place, Flapjax pouting in the corner.

They quickly drove down the mountain, passing the many farms and the cows grazing in pastures, but Libby was so worried about Flapjax that she didn’t even notice them. She was afraid that she would never see her best friend again.

When they parked in front of the bakery, Libby and the grownups eagerly looked out the window. Libby sighed and leaned back, tears streaming down her face. There was a “closed” sign in the dark window of the bakery door.

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Continue reading “Ch. 9, Post 3: The Rescue”

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Ch. 9, Post 2: The Great Bakery Sleepover

Flapjax was generally a good bear, until it came to sweets…boy, did he have a sweet tooth!

So while Libby was enjoying her hot chocolate and pancakes, Flapjax was focused on getting his paws on all of the yummy treats surrounding him. When the rest of his human family left the bakery, Flapjax quietly hid in the corner of their booth until the old woman in the apron with the silver hair finally turned off the lights for the night and left the shop empty. Empty…except for Flapjax, that is.

With the bakery completely dark, Flapjax tippy-toed across the floor and used his nose to lead him to all the tasty treats. A few sniffs and he found his way to a chocolate cake filled with raspberry jam and covered in goey chocolate frosting. After a few pawfuls, Flapjax moved on to a moon-shaped shiny bread, which he discovered was crispy outside but fluffy and soft inside. Heavenly.

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Flapjax licked his paws clean and moved on with his search. Soon, he stumbled upon a thick metal contraption with hoses and wheels poking out every which way. On top of this strange machine were containers filled with a dark brown bead. Flapjax was very curious. It smelled yummy and looked like crunchy chocolate. He grabbed a handful with one paw and stuffed it into his mouth. He crunched down, expecting something sugary sweet.

Yuck!

Flapjax spit it out. He looked at the bins holding the crunchy substance and noticed the letters on the metal machine: “C-O-F-F-E-E”. He wondered what that spelled. Whatever it was, it was definitely not candy!

Continue reading “Ch. 9, Post 2: The Great Bakery Sleepover”

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Ch. 9, Post 1: Summer Vacation

In the middle of one hot, sticky summer, when Libby and Flapjax were starting to run out of new backyard adventures, their parents decided they would all go on a trip far away in the mountains.

They spent a whole day driving past forests and farms where they saw all kinds of animals: cows and horses in fields and ducks floating in little ponds.

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Then they came to the mountains, where there were signs telling them to watch out for moose crossing the street. Libby and Flapjax searched the woods, hoping for a glimpse of a moose family.

After many long hours of sight-seeing, playing car games, and singing along to the radio, they arrived at last at a little house in the woods.

For days, Libby and Flapjax explored the forest. They visited the animals they met on the neighboring farms and went on bike rides through the countryside. Libby’s bike had a nice basket attached on the handlebars, so Flapjax had a front-row seat!

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There was even a river to swim in, cold from the mountaintops with slippery smooth rocks on the bottom.

Flapjax had never learned how to swim; he disliked the feeling of wet fur. His monthly baths were bad enough. So he chose to watch from the bank of the river as Libby showed off her paddling skills.

Watching Libby happily splash in the river and noticing how wonderfully refreshing the water looked on such a hot summer day made Flapjax almost change his mind about swimming. He took a few cautious steps toward the river’s edge, slowly moving along the sand until he reached the rocks peeping out on the water. One step, two steps…ewwww! Slimy rocks! Gross. Flapjax ran back to his towel on the sand. Watching would do just fine.

Continue reading “Ch. 9, Post 1: Summer Vacation”