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The Boy With Orange Hair

by Bill Bowler

Table of Contents
Chapter 2 appears
in this issue.
for John

Chapter 1

The adventures of a boy with orange hair, a friendly groundhog, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as they chase arch-villains Crabby Crayfish and Q.Q. Quigley III from Mt. Everest, to outer space, to Idaho, to Miami Police Headquarters, to the Bermuda Triangle, to the Forgotten Sea, to the Land of Little, to Molecule World, to Earth-2, through the space-time continuum, to the bottom of the ocean, to Mrs. Groundhog’s house, to the Oval Office, making friends, rescuing people, having fun, in hot pursuit but never quite catching up, until right at the end...

Once upon a time, a beautiful tree stood near the edge of the playground in Central Park. A boy with orange hair was kicking a ball nearby and something caught his eye: a bright red dot flashing in the sunlight. He looked closer and saw it was a ripe cherry hanging from a branch. The boy loved cherries and ran towards the tree.

At the same time, circling high above the park, flew a hungry black crow. The crow had sharp eyes and he also noticed a red dot flashing in the leaves and swooped down to get a better look.

At the same time, a hungry caterpillar with one hundred legs was hurrying along the branch of the tree, heading straight for the big bright red juicy dangling ball of cherry.

The boy saw the crow and began to run faster. The crow saw the boy and swooped down faster. And the caterpillar pumped his hundred legs faster and faster, racing along the branch to reach the cherry first.

Just as the boy’s fingers were reaching to pluck the cherry, and the crow’s beak was closing to bite the cherry, and the caterpillar was climbing down to the stem of the cherry, suddenly, the sky grew dark as night, though it was the middle of the day.

A gust of wind yanked the cherry off the branch and carried it through the air, across the Hudson River and twenty-five miles northwest to some woods in New Jersey where the wind died down and dropped the cherry onto the tail of a white tailed deer grazing at the edge of a meadow.

The sudden gust of wind was so strong, it had also lifted the boy with orange hair, carried him through the air, over the river, and dropped him on the same meadow.

The deer looked up, saw a boy running towards him, and dashed off with the red cherry bouncing on his tail. He ran from the meadow and along a path that bent and turned and curved deeper and deeper into the woods. The boy was right behind him.

As the deer made a sharp turn, he stumbled on a tree root and the cherry flew off his tail, bounced three times, and rolled into a brook that ran along the edge of the path. The cherry plopped into the water and landed on the back of a fish, who was startled by the splash and darted away up-stream.

The fish swam and swam and finally jumped up out of the water, twisted in the air, and dove back under the waves. In mid-air, the cherry flew off the fish’s back and landed in the soft wet mud on the brook bank right in front of Mrs. Groundhog’s house

When the boy reached the spot, he searched but could not find the cherry as it had gotten buried in the soft wet mud. (Ten years later, a cherry tree stood right on that spot.) The boy heard a rustling sound, looked up and a little groundhog squirmed out of a bush onto the brook bank.

“Hello!” said the groundhog. “My name’s Gerry.”

Proceed to Chapter 2...

Copyright © 2007 by Bill Bowler

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