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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”

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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.

Continue reading “Ch. 8, Post 3: Flapjax and the Great Arcade”

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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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Continue reading “Ch. 8, Post 2: Flapjax and the Queen”

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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.

Continue reading “Ch. 7, Post 3: Flying Flapjax”

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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.

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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…)

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

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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”