Flapjax-in-suitcase

Chapter 7, Post 1: Stowaway Flapjax

Libby took really good care of Flapjax, and Flapjax was a good friend right back…well, usually. Sometimes he got them both into trouble, but that was never purposeful! And Flapjax loved his human parents. They watched over him and let him have really good snacks, and they were pretty fun most of the time (as long as they weren’t forcing him into a bath).

So, when Flapjax found out that Mom had to go on a work trip to a place far away – so far away that she would have to go on an airplane to get there – Flapjax knew his duty to the family. He was a cuddly bear, but he was also a protective bear, and he would be there to protect Mom on her trip and make sure she was cozy and comfortable the whole time.

Plus, Flapjax would get to fly…

Flapjax dreamed of flying, of seeing all of the fun places they usually only got to see on the map placemats that caught their spilled Cheerios, and he was pretty sure the states were not really pink and purple and blue and yellow. But if he could fly, he would know for sure. And this was his chance!

Unfortunately for Flapjax, Mom said he and Libby had to stay home with Dad. That meant all kinds of treats like staying up late, watching movies way past bedtime, and eating all the popcorn they could gobble down, so Libby wasn’t too disappointed. But Flapjax had his heart set on flying.

That night, after all his humans had gone to sleep, Flapjax tip-toed to Mom and Dad’s room, found Mom’s suitcase in the dark, and carefully, quietly unzipped it before hopping in and burying himself in a pile of clothes.

Flapjax-in-suitcase

Continue reading “Chapter 7, Post 1: Stowaway Flapjax”

Flapjax-falling-into-water

Chapter 6, Post 3: Fa-bewm!

Estimated read-aloud timing: 5 minutes.

(Have you read Chapter 6, part 1: Downtheback yet? If not, we recommend starting this adventure there.)


Flapjax fixed his ivy hat and grabbed his bow and arrows from where they had landed after his dive from the railroad tracks, and he followed the voices of the neighbor boys to a fort in the middle of the island.

Fort

There was Libby, sitting on a cut-up log on the side of the fort. She was busily drawing away on her notepad. Flapjax smiled. It was just like Libby to be focused on her mission while captive.

The neighbor boys were busy gathering sticks along the edge of the water. Flapjax didn’t know what the sticks were for, but he didn’t want to stay to find out. He crawled over to the fort then tip-toed around, edging along the side of the little fort until he was right behind Libby. He pulled out one of his arrows and gently tapped Libby’s back with the end of the stick. She screeched and jumped, turning around in all directions to find her foe.

“Flapjax!! What are you doing here?” She looked at Flapjax’s muddy face and her eyes grew very large. “You are filthy! Mom is going to flip out!”

Flapjax put his paw to his lips and pointed toward where the neighbor boys were playing beside the water.

“Are you here to rescue me?” Libby asked with a crooked smile. “You’re so brave, Flapjax!”

Flapjax stood up a little taller, proud of his accomplishment.

“But we can’t escape…they have weapons! We’ll be shot!

Flapjax grabbed dirt from the ground around him and threw it at Libby, covering her with mud and bits of leaves. Good, now she was camouflaged too!

“FLAPJAX! What are you doing? Now I’m going to be in trouble, too!”

First Flapjax needed to get them off the island and away from the enemy boys, then he would worry about what his punishment would be. (He was sure it would involve a bath at the very least…)

ivy

Continue reading “Chapter 6, Post 3: Fa-bewm!”

camo-flapjax

Chapter 6, Post 2: Flapjax Finds a Way

Estimated read aloud time: 4 minutes.

(Have you read Chapter 6, part 1: Downtheback yet? If not, we recommend starting this adventure there.)


Flapjax dove into the brush on the side of the woodchip path, narrowly avoiding another whooshing arrow.

How could he rescue Libby? He couldn’t even stand up without getting an arrow shot at his stuffing.

Flapjax belly-crawled along the path, ignoring the woodchip splinters and bugs along the way. He was no longer afraid of all the creepy crawly creatures that lurked under every leaf. He had more important things to think about, like rescuing Libby. Flapjax made it to safety behind a big, fallen tree trunk and paused to catch his breath and think.

Flapjax peered out from behind the tree trunk. The neighbor boys were using a big wooden plank to cross a rushing stream to an island on the other side. Once they made it across, they pulled the plank bridge back with them, out of the reach of any paws.

Flapjax was mad. They couldn’t take his best friend, not without a fierce Flapjax following in their tracks! He was a bear after all, and bears were expert trackers…

But first, he needed ammunition of his own. He searched the ground for a good branch, and he found it in a pile of old, wet leaves. It was nice and bendy, perfect for a bow. Then he picked a bunch of loose twigs and put them in his pack. Bow and arrows, check!

He also needed camouflage, otherwise the neighbor boys would easily spot his bright white fur. Flapjax grabbed a handful of mud and ran his dirty paws across his face and tummy and down both arms. Then he tied together clusters of ivy and stuck them on top of his ears for a finishing touch. Camouflage, check!

camo-flapjax

Flapjax stole a look at his reflection in a little pond beside the path. He looked pretty intimidating, if you asked him.

Next, he needed to find a way across the stream to the island. Continue reading “Chapter 6, Post 2: Flapjax Finds a Way”

Libby-and-Flapjax-exploring

Chapter 6, Post 1: Downtheback

Estimated read aloud timing: 5 minutes.


Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a magical land called Downtheback. Downtheback wasn’t on any maps. If you asked most people, they wouldn’t even know what it was. But Flapjax and Libby knew, and they knew how to get there.

flowersOn one particular springtime day, Libby and Flapjax packed their bags and prepared for their next adventure: a mission to explore Downtheback.

Libby, who was extremely organized and careful, packed things like band-aids, a water bottle, and her notepad and pencils. Flapjax packed some snacks.

And then they were off!

Flapjax and Libby quickly made their way through the backyard. At first, they passed landmarks Flapjax knew, like the fishpond he had encountered on a previous backyard adventure. But before long, Flapjax couldn’t recognize anything. They walked around a massive tree and then down a big hill, and suddenly they couldn’t see the house anymore. Flapjax panicked for a moment, but Libby grabbed his hand and they continued on, looking around for a set of wooden steps that would lead them into Downtheback.

Libby-and-Flapjax-exploring

Continue reading “Chapter 6, Post 1: Downtheback”

Flapjax-new-friend

Chapter 5, Post 4: Finding Flapjax

Estimated read aloud timing: 4 minutes.

(Have you read the other posts in Chapter 5 yet? If not, we recommend starting the adventure at Chapter 5, Post 1: Flapjax for Sale.)


The two humans glared down at Flapjax as he lay sprawled out on the mall floor, holding the hijacked phone in one exhausted paw.

Security-guardThe big human in the police uniform knelt down beside Flapjax. She picked the phone out of his paw and held it up to the human boy. Flapjax tried to grab it back, but the woman held him in a tight grip, so he could barely wiggle let alone escape.

The boy looked at the phone and then back at Flapjax. He had an odd expression on his face, almost like wonder.

“You typed in a number!”

Flapjax nodded. He had been so close!

“But you can’t type! You can’t talk! You can’t read!”

Flapjax shrugged. What did it matter what the boy thought he could or couldn’t do? He knew he would have found a way to get back to Libby. He just needed a few more seconds with the phone!

The boy looked at him curiously. “Who are you?”

Flapjax maneuvered in the officer’s arms until his tail was facing the boy, and then he bent over.

“F-L-A-P-J-A-X,” the boy read the letters stitched across Flapjax’s bottom.Flapjax-tush-tag

The uniformed human picked Flapjax up and looked at his tail where Mom had sewn those letters back when Flapjax had first been adopted. She had also sewn in numbers below it. A phone number. It was almost like Mom knew Flapjax would need rescuing…

“Well Flapjax, I think it’s time we get you home. What do you think about that?”

Flapjax stared up at the human with teary eyes, nodded his head, and gave her a big bear hug.

Continue reading “Chapter 5, Post 4: Finding Flapjax”

Chapter 5, Post 3: Runaway Flapjax

Estimated read aloud timing: 5 minutes

(Have you read Chapter 5, post 1 and post 2 yet? If not, we recommend starting the adventure there.)


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?

Odd.

(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…

Flapjax-falling-bath-bombs

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.

Continue reading “Chapter 5, Post 3: Runaway Flapjax”

boy-chasing-Flapjax

Chapter 5, Post 2: The Trouble with Being a Bear

Estimated read aloud timing: 4 minutes

(Have you read Chapter 5, Post 1: Flapjax for Sale yet? If not, we recommend starting there!)


Flapjax was in a bit of a pickle…

He had meant to play a fun joke on Libby. Now he was stuck high up on a shelf with a bunch of other stuffed bears who wouldn’t even talk to him. And to make matters worse, he was in his least favorite place in the entire world (the mall!).

Bears-on-shelf

Worst of all, Libby was gone. He glanced around at the bears around him and pouted.

Why were they so mean? Couldn’t they see he was upset and needed help? But they just sat there and watched the humans walking around the store.

How was he going to get home? Or was Libby coming back for him?

He couldn’t just sit around and wait like all the other bears. He needed to find Libby.

Flapjax couldn’t drive–humans wouldn’t give a bear a license. In all fairness, he couldn’t reach the pedals, nor could he see over the steering wheel, so that was probably the right decision. But it made getting home quite difficult!

He had to get to a phone. He would dial his phone number and his humans would know it was him…they would have to!

But where could he find a phone? Flapjax pondered his options as he watched all the humans come and go. Most of them were on their cellphones, typing away with speedy thumbs. Flapjax didn’t have thumbs, but maybe, just maybe, his paws were small enough to hit the right places on the screens.

He had to at least try.

Continue reading “Chapter 5, Post 2: The Trouble with Being a Bear”