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”

Flapjax-on-toy-shelf

Chapter 5, Post 1: Flapjax for Sale

Estimated read aloud timing: 5 minutes


You’ve met Flapjax, right? Well, Flapjax – our extremely lovable and cuddly bear buddy who just occasionally gets into sticky situations – is what his human parents like to call “impatient”. Libby, his human best friend says he just likes activities (she gets him).

Sometimes, Flapjax and Libby have to do things they don’t especially like to do (but you’ve read about Flapjax at church, so you know all about that). Luckily even in the most boring of situations, they still had each other, and that was usually enough to get them through.

Usually.

However, if there was one thing Flapjax couldn’t stand, it was the horrendously, astoundingly, mind-numbingly boring task of shopping for new clothes.

For one thing, Flapjax was perfectly happy with just the occasional hat. For another, his weekly church suits were itchy enough to make him almost want a bath afterwards. (Almost.) And if that wasn’t bad enough, teddy bears were everywhere at the shopping mall. Flapjax much preferred to be one-of-a-kind.

Yankee-Flapjax

And have you ever been to a mall? Unfortunately for Flapjax, malls were everywhere in New Jersey, where he lived with Libby and his parents. Malls are also very large. Flapjax was very small. Walking across very large malls with very small legs is exhausting!

So when Libby snagged Flapjax up from a delightful nap and told him they were going shopping, he knew he was in for a difficult day.

Once in the children’s department, Mom went right to work rummaging through the racks of clothes while Libby and Flapjax bee-lined for the toy section. But it wasn’t long before Mom’s voice rang out to them.

“Libby! Flapjax! Let’s go to the fitting room, come on.”

Libby rolled her eyes at Flapjax, but like the good daughter she was, she scrambled up and ran to join her mother for the terrible task of trying on clothes.

Continue reading “Chapter 5, Post 1: Flapjax for Sale”

Tattood Pirate Flapjax

Chapter 4, Post 3: The Great Escape

Post timing: 6 minutes

(Have you read Chapter 4, Post 1: Flapjax and the Fancy Pants yet? If not, we recommend starting there.)

The evil sea captain, Tommy Bananas (Libby’s cousin and enemy pirate), flashed Flapjax a menacing grin. Flapjax did not grin back — he might have been forced to join the ranks of Tommy’s notorious pirate crew, but he did NOT have to like it. And once he had the chance, he would escape.

Pirate hat

Unfortunately for Flapjax, Tommy Bananas had other plans in mind.

Tommy let out a low, wicked laugh as he tied Flapjax’s paws down to a wooden table lined with colorful markers.

“Yesssssss,” Tommy Bananas sneered, rubbing his hands together with excitement. He uncapped the red marker and poised it above his fluffy canvas. “I have plans for you, Flapjax…”

The pirate laughed and laughed as he began to draw.

*****

Libby paced the little island she was now stranded on. How dare Bananas. How dare he kidnap her best friend. If he hurt Flapjax, Libby would never speak to him ever, ever again. She wracked her brain to come up with a rescue plan, but her mind kept wandering back to poor Flapjax.

What if Tommy did hurt him? What would she do without Flapjax?

She paced some more, and then she started to cry.

Continue reading “Chapter 4, Post 3: The Great Escape”