Flapjax-bakery-counter

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!

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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.

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Ch. 8, Post 3: Flapjax and the Great Arcade

After the ocean scare, Flapjax and Libby decided they were done with the beach for the day. So, after a quick trip to the hot dog stand for lunch, Flapjax and family made their way to the arcade.

Have you ever been to a beach arcade? They are the GREATEST. Hundreds of games and prizes, right on the boardwalk! Giant stuffed bears hung from the rafters…the ultimate goal for a girl and her furry best friend. All they needed were a few (thousand) tickets, and they could win one of those big bears.

They had $5 of Libby’s hard-earned chores money (Flapjax totally helped earn that) and one whole hour before they would be hauled off home for the day. Could they do it?

Libby liked the Jurassic Park game the most, so she beelined to the prime seat in the Libby-sized plastic Jeep. Flapjax stayed away from the racing games — they made him so dizzy! — and eyed the machine that would be his way to glory: the skee-ball machine.

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There was a row of skee-ball machines. Flapjax took his place in the lineup of human children, eyeing those on either side of him. They looked down at him and laughed…how could this little bear play skee-ball?

Flapjax inserted his quarter into the machine and waited as it groaned and spat out a line of mini bowling balls his way. Then, with a deep, calming breath, Flapjax lifted a ball out of its place and hurled it down the runway towards the bullseye.

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Flapjax-bear-lifeguard-stand-beach

Ch. 8, Post 2: Flapjax and the Queen

Flapjax was having the GREATEST DAY EVER.

Not only was he at his favorite place (the beach), but he had made friends with the queen of the beach. He glanced over at his new human friend as she regally reigned from her position on the lifeguard stand, and he smiled. This was much better than being stuck in a pile of sand!

The lifeguard blew her whistle with authority and motioned for swimmers to come closer. They kept trying to go out past the jetty, which was not allowed, not in her kingdom. Flapjax stood beside her on the lifeguard stand and helped her direct them. He was pretty good at assistant ruler, and he couldn’t wait for Libby to see him in his new job.

All of a sudden, the lifeguard queen jumped down from her throne and started sprinting across the sand, calling for her fellow lifeguards to join her. Someone was in trouble in the water.

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Flapjax-bear-in-sand

Ch. 8, Post 1: Beach Bum Flapjax

Life doesn’t get much better than summertime at the Jersey Shore. There is just something so glorious about baking on the beach, running around and getting sand in your fur, speeding in bumper cars, winning prizes for being the best at water guns, and eating all the ice cream a bear could want. As long as he stayed away from the crashing waves and the rolling tide of the ocean, Flapjax was in Heaven.

One hot, sunny day, as Libby and the grownups were splashing around in the waves, Flapjax was avoiding the water like it was his job. Baths were bad enough, but add slimy ocean creatures and sticky salt to that, and it was Flapjax’s nightmare. So instead of swimming, Flapjax passed the time building sandcastles and rummaging through the snacks Mom had packed for them.

After devouring a bag of homemade cookies, Flapjax yawned. He was desperately tired. Castle-building was tough work! And the sand was so soft and pillowy. Flapjax sprawled himself out on a beach towel under a big, colorful umbrella, laid his head down, and immediately started snoring.

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Flapjax-and-Pilot

Ch. 7, Post 3: Flying Flapjax

Flapjax gulped. A tall woman in a dark suit with gold bands along the sleeves and a cap that looked very official stared down at him.

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“Well, hello,” she said, kindly, bending down to pick Flapjax up. “What are you doing here?” Flapjax proudly pointed to himself and then to the rows and rows of soundly sleeping humans behind him. “Ahh, so you’re a helpful bear?” she asked, and Flapjax nodded seriously. He always tried, at least. “Well then, how would you like to help me fly the plane?” Flapjax nodded again excitedly. Boy, did he ever!

The pilot carried Flapjax into the cockpit and sat him down next to her while her co-pilot stared at Flapjax curiously. She strapped them both in safe and sound with a thick seatbelt. Buttons, dials and levers covered the dashboard in front of them. But Flapjax wasn’t looking at the dashboard, he was staring out the windows that covered the little room. They were on top of the clouds! He couldn’t even see the ground!

Flapjax was scared at first, but the pilot patted his back until he had calmed down. She had everything under control. Flapjax stared at her as she navigated their big plane with ease. He was in awe.

Flapjax watched with wide eyes as the world got bigger and bigger out the windows. They were almost there…although he wasn’t quite sure where “there” was. He had to get back to Mom.

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Flapjax-flying

Chapter 7, Post 2: Flapjax Saves the Day

Turns out, this flying thing was a bit more complicated than Flapjax had imagined.

Flapjax groaned as he threw up again in the bathroom at the back of the plane, where he had conveniently landed after his initial take-off adventure. He had been so excited for his trip, but now all he could think about was getting back home to Libby…that and flat, unmoving ground.

A throat cleared in the doorway. Flapjax turned to see a tall man in a fancy suit looking at him curiously. The man bent over and handed Flapjax a cup of something bubbly. Flapjax took it gratefully and gulped it down. Ginger ale, yum.Flapjax-plane-passenger

“So,” the man began, picking Flapjax up gently, “are you going to tell me what you’re  doing back here?” Flapjax shrugged. He wasn’t too sure himself. “Okay,” the man continued, “well I have to go bring snacks to everyone else. Can you be good and sit here by yourself until I get back?” The man pointed to a padded chair at the back of the plane. Flapjax nodded, but he had stopped listening at “snacks.” He snatched a bag of pretzels before settling down into his new seat. The man laughed then walked away down the aisle, pushing a heavy cart filled with sodas and juices and drawers and drawers of snacks.

Flapjax liked this man. He was clearly important. And he hadn’t made fun of Flapjax for being sick, which was nice of him. But as much as he liked the man and wanted to be a good bear for him, Flapjax was Flapjax, and it was only a matter of time before he got too fidgety and needed to find an activity.

He spotted a boy in a seat not too far from him. The boy looked a little older than Libby, and he was wide awake and awfully nervous.

Without a second thought, Flapjax was off to save the day!

*****

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