Hi people! I don't know why I chose this title for this story some 5 years back. I guess I was really impressed with the word 'elite' and so I decided to use it. :) I wrote this story on a suggestion between my cousin and me. We decided on 2 titles to choose from: The Rock and Beyond the Stars. I chose the latter, but changed the title (we sort of laxed the rules!) to elitemeadow. This story is about my toys, and the addition of a new member. You can read about my toys in my journal. There is one more thing I should mention before I leave you to enjoy the story: As I said in the beginning, I wrote this 5 years back, and my english was not what it is now, so please excuse the lapses in quality, grammer and punctuation! I am posting the story as it was then.
“I know! Let’s go pick fruits and nuts in the forest, tomorrow morning. We can cook some for supper, and we could have a picnic there!” cried Miffy excitedly. “Yes, Let’s do” said Greenfy earnestly, who was anxious to please Miffy. He was promptly backed up by the others: “Pleasee? We’ve not had a picnic in ages,” and they all sat looking up at Tiger.
“Please Tiger, it would be so much fun to go berry picking again this summer. The berries are ripe, and Miffy makes such nice cakes and muffins with them. Besides,” he added, “If we don’t collect them soon, the Friskies will.” begged Greenfy. At this, the whole ‘family’ roared with laughter at the last few words. Everyone knew that the Friskies were Greenfy’s enemy, for they had taught Greenfy a lesson that he would not soon forget. “Hmm, I don’t know,” said Tiger looking amused, “ you might make a good snack for the bears, Greenfy. You look like a plum juicy little bunny!” Here, everyone except Greenfy started laughing again. “Oh, please don’t tease me. We’ll be good, truly” pleaded Greenfy. “
“Please?” cried everyone. “Oh, alright, I see that I’ve no choice. Only, you must promise me not to go into the Bears Territory. Theirs paws are very dangerous,” said Tiger seriously. “Oh we’ll keep out,” everyone promised.
“Good! Now, Miffy will prepare the picnic for tomorrow with Greenfy’s help. Spotty, come with me to see and set the boundaries for tomorrow. While we are away, Brown bear, guard the house, and let none of the others stray from the house. Jumbo will keep you company. If anything happens, send Jumbo to call me immediately,” instructed Tiger. At this the two cats bounded away to the forest to catch supper, and to set the boundaries for tomorrow.
Miffy retired to the kitchen to prepare, but the rest stayed at the front lawn. Here, I will proceed to tell you a little bit about our friends.
Tiger is a beautiful white Siberian tiger with black stripes and blue eyes. As the oldest, she is the head of the ‘house’. Everyone in the family looks to her for leadership and comfort. She is a very strict but just disciplinarian, as you will find out later. She is Greenfy’s friend and comforter most of the times.
Jumbo is the next oldest. He looks somewhat like "Dumbo". The only difference between them, is that Jumbo is a mouse. “Dumbo” is an elephant. He is small in size compared to his big ears, which is his transport most of the time. He can fly. Although he is a very quiet family member, he is the most faithful. He obeys all orders almost instantly.
Although Brown bear is the third oldest, he is big for his age. Brown bear loves, and is attracted to honey like a bee. Brown bear eats a lot, which accounts for his size. He is therefore, being chosen as guard of the house. He too obeys orders without question.
The next in age is Spotty. He has both cheetah and leopard blood in his veins. He runs very fast as well as he climbs trees. He is another member who rarely shouts in the house. He is Miffy’s confidante and transport, because ‘he acts like a gentleman’ as Miffy would say. This makes Greenfy very jealous of Spotty. Right now, Tiger is teaching him how to hunt like an expert.
Greenfy is the ‘unlucky’ one who was always being teased by the others because of his size. He didn’t mine being teased by Tiger, but he got very hurt sometimes if the others, especially Miffy laughed at him. He used to be fat, but careful management of his diet by Tiger helped him reduce his ‘fat’. When he was hungry, which he always was, he would gobble down his share of food, to Miffy’s disgust.
Miffy is the youngest of this present group. She is regularly called: “The lady of the house”, because she had, in her bearing, both elegance and grace in speech and manner. Whenever anyone got hurt, or was in trouble, (which was very rare,) Miffy was the person to go to. She had a heart full of compassion for people. Yet, she was still a regular mischief loving little bunny. She got into more trouble than the others, including Greenfy. She was the best cook at the present, and a very good one she is too! She made very yummy muffins, cakes, sandwiches, and many other things fit to eat. She is the most spirited and excitable family member present.
Such is the little family who occupies the den of Elitemeadow.
Now to return to the story: Miffy had gotten everything together without Greenfy’s help. She surveyed work, nicely decorated with flowers in the picnic basket with immense satisfaction. There was meat for Tiger and Spotty, with a little leftover for Brown bear if he wanted; water in abundance; honey in plenty; carrots and lettuce for Greenfy and herself; and last of all cheese for Jumbo. Thinking to herself: “We’ll have the fruits we pick as dessert,” she went out. She found her friends lying down, snoozing in the grass.
Sitting down on the grass, She said to herself, I’ll wait for Spotty.” 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed, but still no sign of them. Presently, she thought to herself: “ What’s keeping them? They’re usually not so long. I wonder what has happened to them?” Another 20 minutes passed. Suddenly, an idea occurred to her: “ I know! I’ll look for them myself! After all,” she reasoned, “I know my way around here.” Without thinking of the consequences of her action, she went into the house, took her water bottle, and was off before anyone woke up. She went off without even a word to anyone ……
Presently, the group on the grass woke up. They felt hungry, so they sent Greenfy in to ask Miffy for something to munch on. But, you can imagine their surprise when Greenfy came out a moment later, not only empty handed, but with a troubled look stammering: “I …I can’t find Miffy anywhere! She’s… she’s g…gone!” “ GONE!” Brown bear exclaimed:
“What do you mean?”
“Just what I said!”
“Are you sure she’s not hiding?”
“Yes, very sure. I even shouted for her.”
“Call and inform Tiger right away.”
“There’s no need. They are here,” intervened a voice from behind. The startled group spun around to face Tiger and Spotty. “What’s the matter? What are you crying for Greenfy?” demanded Tiger. “S…She’s dis…disappeared,” sobbed Greenfy. “WHAT? WHO? Tell me Brown bear,” commanded Tiger.
When Tiger finally learnt the truth, she was frustrated and angry. “Have you any clue where she’s gone?” growled Tiger. “No” came the nervous reply. “Bother Miffy, bother everything! Jumbo, fly ahead and keep a look out for Miffy. Meet us at the forest when dark.” At this, Jumbo flew away in haste. “ Now we’ll break up into two search parties. I’ll take one and Brown bear will take the other,” said Tiger much to the disappointment of Spotty. “Greenfy will come with me. We will search the east, near the river. Brown bear will take you Spotty to the west, the forest. You will search for her there. When the sky is dark, we’ll meet you there.”
At this, the group dispersed.
Meanwhile, Miffy was wandering around in the forest, at the mercy of illusions. She was not used to it. “Where are they?” she would think to herself. Then just at that moment, she thought she saw Tiger’s stripes, and would rush toward it. Reaching there, it would disappear, or turn out to be rows of berries. Then again she would hear the rustling of the trees, and run towards it. Then she would find out it was the wind. Shortly after, she happened to see a little lane. After following it, it would end up now where. There were many of these sorts of illusions. But one thing remained the same: She was always disappointed.
Finally, she gave up and looked around her, and for the first time, a feeling of horror rose up in her. She didn’t recognize the place she was in.
In other words, she was lost ……
Tiger paced up and down. She and Greenfy had seared every nook and cranny of the east. But there was no sign of Miffy. The sky was growing darker and darker every minute. It would soon be night.
In the West, Spotty and Brown bear were tired and hungry. They wanted to go home. They, too, had searched almost every place they knew, but sadly, it was of no avail. They choose a place and sat down, waiting for Tiger and Greenfy. After awhile, they fell asleep.
Miffy wanted to cry. She wished she had not left home. She had no idea where she was, and the thought of spending a night alone in a cold unknown forest, sent shivers down her back. She sat down and cried in despair.
After awhile, when she regained her composure, she stood and looked around. The sky was dark now, but she was not worried about that now. It was what she heard. Something likes a cry in the still, silent air…
Spotty woke up to hear Tiger talking to Brown bear, who woke up before him because he was less tired. Spotty who was anxious for his friend had searched more than Brown bear. He walked over to hear what Tiger had to say: “No, we didn’t find her either. She is not there.
“Couldn’t she have gone home? We could have missed her.”
“Hmm…not thought of that. Very unlikely, Brown bear, but it’s worth a try.”
Here, Tiger called Jumbo and explained to him their plan. Jumbo agreed to do it immediately although he was very tired. They sat down to await the news.
Miffy shivered as the cold wind blew. She walked towards the sound, as if mesmerized by it. Somehow, it expressed what she felt. Although she did not understand it, she somehow ‘understood the feeling’. It was a mournful sound coming nearer and nearer as she walked. A sudden rustling of leaves above her made her stand still. She thought of owls, eagles, lions, foxes, stoats and other animals, which hunted for rabbits at night. She was alone in a dark night. The sound was now right behind the bush that she was standing in front of. She slowly crept around, her heart beating with terror. What she saw made her heart turn in spite of herself. A huge female bear lay within a few feet from her. She gave a little jump and was about to turn around and run blindly, when a tiny movement caught her attention. She stared hard in the dark, at the bear. It appeared to be asleep. Nevertheless, she walked towards the bear silently. Just beside the mother bear, lay a little cub. But why stay in the open where danger was?
Then, the moonlight appeared just above the fir trees, and revealed the answer: The mother bear was dead. The cub was homeless, and lost, in a dark cold night.
Feeling sorry for the little bear, she walked confidently, yet quietly and slowly towards the cub, so that she would not frighten it. “It’s alright little bear. Come on, I won’t hurt you, I’ll take good care of you…” With soothing and comforting words, she gently drew the bear out. It was much bigger than she thought. Probably about a month old she thought. She carried it to a shady tree and sat down, with the bear in such a position, that it acted like a water bottle to Miffy.
Very soon, the moonlight shone on a little bunny with a bear cub in her arms, fast asleep beneath the starry sky ……
Tiger was very worried. Jumbo came back to confirm that Miffy was not at home. She sighed: “I don’t know what to do. Shall we…”
Spotty meanwhile, was a little distance away from his friends. Far enough so that no one could see him, but also near enough so that he could hear them. He was pacing up and down, sniffing. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw ……Miffy’s water bottle! He gave a little cry, which caused the others to come running over, saying breathlessly: “Oh Spotty, what hap…” but they got no further, for the minute they saw the water bottle, they too, fell silent. Tiger was the first to recover saying: “SEARCH!” Everyone searched far and wide, but did not see anything, for Miffy had dropped the bottle when she heard the sound. They did not think of looking behind the bush.
Again, they gathered, but before anyone reported anything, Jumbo squeaked: “Look! Footprints!!! True enough, it was Miffy’s paw prints. It could be seen clearly against the mud background ……
Miffy awoke to the tickling of whiskers. It was Spotty’s. Everyone was so glad at finding her that they woke her up with all the hugging and crying tears of relieve. Spotty was the happiest. “Hush!! The cub’s asle…” but she did not finish it, for she saw the cub safely tucked away with Brown bear. There was great jubilation and relieve as they went home. A tired but contented group.
When they arrived safely back home, Tiger ordered everyone into bed at once. Tiger brought into Miffy’s room a little basket and blanket for the newcomer to sleep in.
Soon, everyone was asleep under the moonlit sky. All was still and silent.
At last, dawn came, and the joyful rays of the sun bathed the air. Miffy was the first to awake on this sunny day. Not because she was less tired than the other, no! But because the little cub had tried to wake her up by climbing on top of her face. It was then that Miffy remembered the events of the day before. She ran out to the kitchen to get some breakfast of the bear cub, when she saw the picnic basket just as she left it yesterday. “Oooh!! Picnic!” She exclaimed. “Not for you,” came a stern voice behind her. “Why, please?” She inquired as she spun around. “Because you …” came the reply. Tiger definitely said a lot more than that which no one knew, and will ever know. Later, however, everyone knew the outcome of the talk when Spotty called out: “Miffy!! Hurry up! We’re goin…” Tiger promptly quenched him by saying: “Let her alone. She is not coming. She will be taking care of the cub for the day, at home. Spotty was stunned, and so was Jumbo. “But, but…” they stammered, ‘you don’t intent to punish her this w…”
Miffy spent most of the morning thinking of the consequences of her action, and a name of the cub. She wasn’t even sure Tiger would let her keep it. She would ask, she decided, when Tiger came home.
She was tidying the house when a cry from the cub made her rush to the door in panic. She found Tiger carrying the cub away. “No, NOO!!!” She screamed. Tiger looked back but continued to walk away from her. “Please let me keep him, Please!” She cried as she ran to the room, and slammed the door. She spent the whole afternoon in the room crying bitterly, for she felt sorry for the cub that had no home. She couldn’t bear to part from the cub. Her affection for the cub had grown strong during the day.
Just before the sun was about to set, Miffy received a knock on her bedroom door. Miffy opened the door, expecting it to be Tiger, but to her surprise, it was Spotty. She invited him in cordially, but without a word. Both sat on the floor at the end of the room, facing each other. Spotty was the first to speak: “Miffy, I’m sorry you didn’t come today. I’ll tell you about it. The nuts and grapes weren’t really ripe yet. It was just the berries.” Here, Spotty hesitated to go further, knowing that Miffy loved to pick berries the best of all the fruits. Miffy, knowing what was in his mind said: “Go on please,” trying to speak with dignity, but failing utterly. Spotty sighed with relieve and continued: “the berries were in abundance, especially the black berries, blue berries and the boysenberries. They were really lovely, together with the food you packed. Thanks.” “It’s alright,” replied Miffy with a quiver in her voice. For a while, they sat in silence, staring at each other, both feeling uncomfortable.
All of a sudden, Miffy burst out passionately: “I want to keep the cub! Oh, I want to keep him!!!” Spotty replied calmly, as if prepared for this. “Miffy, Tiger knows what to do with the cub. She will find him a good home.” “ NO!! This is a good home. I will take care of him, if you don’t want to. It’s not fair that get punished twice.” “No. Tiger knows what is best.’
“Indeed I do,” replied a solemn voice from behind. Miffy turned to see Tiger walking toward them. “Tiger, please don’t take him away, It’s not fair” she cried, making on last desperate attempt. “It’s not fair to punish me twice for yesterday!”
“I’m not punishing you twice Miffy, therefore…” Tiger stepped aside, and to the astonishment of Miffy, brown bear brought up a basket saying with a grin: “Open it.” Miffy opened it, but with a voice full of disappointment, she said: “Blueberries?” It was all she managed to say, for in looking in the basket harder, she saw a pair of black beady eyes peering out at her, from under the layer of blueberries. Squealing with laughter, she picked up the bear soaked from head to roe in blueberry sauce. When the others saw it, they too rolled over in laughter. They had planned to surprise Miffy by putting her favourite blueberries, and her beloved pet, in the picnic basket. The naughty bear however, had a plan of his own, and in trying to eat the blueberries, he squashed ¾ of them, and only managed to get ¼ in his mouth. Of course, he was covered in sticky berry juice.
When the general excitement was over, Jumbo asked meekly: “What will you name it?” “Blue bear” was the somewhat subdued reply he got. Miffy smiled shyly as she said: “I treasure this precious gift from all of you, and I want to thank all of you for it!”
The next morning, the sun never rose as beautifully as it did now, as if expressing its joy at seeing such an unusually fine day.
A fine day it was indeed, as the little group gathered again once more on the lush grass in front of the house. They gathered together again on this beautiful summer morning, to celebrate the addition of one more member: Blue bear.