The sun was just peeking over the horizon when the earliest birds began to twitter. Lavinia Mudwallow yawned and thumped her tail. Lavinia, a Labrador Retriever, loved mornings. It was the very best time to go outside and roll in the dewey grass. Sometimes she rolled long enough to turn the grass to mud. Whenever she did that she was promptly marched off for a bath. Lavinia loved baths almost as much as she loved rolling in the grass.
Lavinia leaned against the side of the bed and pressed her cold wet nose against the soft warm cheek of 6 year old Amanda Grey, who was still sound asleep.
Startled out of her sleep, Amanda opened one eye and found Lavinia Mudwallow nose to nose with her. "Ick," said Amanda. "Your nose is wet. Shoo! Shoo!" Lavinia smiled to herself and planted a gentle kiss on Amanda’s ear. "Ooog," said Amanda.
|Amanda roused herself just long enough to make a quick funnyface at Lavinia before throwing herself back onto the soft pillow and pulling the covers over her head.|
"I’m not getting up yet, Lavinia," Amanda mumbled drowsily,"...so you can just go away."
Nighttime is the time to sleep, reasoned Lavinia Mudwallow, and this is morning. Morning means we can get up and play.
Lavinia tiptoed around to the foot of the bed, and seeing a small foot sticking out from under the covers, she gave it an affectionate lick. "Yeeek!" squealed Amanda, and the little foot quickly disappeared beneath the blanket.
|Lavinia Mudwallow wagged her tail. Taking a small corner of the blanket gently between her teeth, she began to back away from the bed, dragging the covers with her.||
Amanda made a quick grab for the disappearing blanket. "Laaaavinnnnnia!" she wailed, "I’m NOT getting up yet! Go back to sleep!" she commanded. Amanda wrapped the remaining covers around her like a cozy blue cocoon.
There are things to be done, child, huffed Lavinia. Up, Up, UP! and with that, Lavinia Mudwallow gave the covers a mighty tug, sending Amanda and her blanket tumbling off the edge of the bed and onto the carpet.
"Ouch!" came a small voice, struggling out from under the blue heap on the floor.
Ouch? thought Lavinia Mudwallow, Oh, dear! and she promptly covered the every visible part of the small form with great wet kisses.
"Eww, Eww, Eww ... gross!" howled Amanda, scrinkling her eyes shut and wrinkling her nose. "I’m OK, Lavinia, cut it out!"
There was the smell of fresh coffee brewing and a voice called out from the kitchen, "Amanda dear, time to get up. Breakfast is ready and the school bus will be here soon!"
Amanda crawled out from beneath the covers on her hands and knees, and then impulsively threw her arms around Lavinia Mudwallow’s neck. "I just love you a bunch, Lavinia," she said softly.
Lavinia’s tail wagged and her eyes sparkled happily. She gave Amanda a great wet smootch on her ear. "Bleeeaah!" laughed Amanda, and off she went to eat breakfast. After breakfast, she carefully made her bed and reminded Lavinia, "No fair sleeping on my bed while I'm gone, Lavinia! You have your own bed," she said, pointing toward the soft round dog bed in the corner. Lavinia just wagged her tail that much harder.
A short while later, a bus filled with children's voices rolled away, taking Amanda off to school, and then the house was quiet.
Except, that is, for a softly droning snore, punctuated occasionally by a series of delicate little woofs. Sure enough, the sound was coming from the middle of Amanda Grey’s freshly made bed.
| Lavinia Mudwallow chases butterflies in her sleep.|
Lavinia's Treasure -"What the heck is THIS?" young Timothy Grey demanded of Lavinia Mudwallow, tailwagger extraordinaire, who at the moment was looking extraordinarily pleased with herself. She had just plunked her somewhat soggy treasure right smack in the middle of Timothys lap. "Oh Wow!" Timothy's sister Amanda exclaimed excitedly, "Lavinia found a...a..." She paused, and her eyes grew really wide. Timothy shook his head. "I don't THINK so," he said levelly.
Suggested Age Group: For any age.
Reading time - Approximately 6 minutes.
Suggested Age Group: For children ages 7 through about......oh...say,
Chairman of the Board or thereabouts.
Reading time - 7 nights worth - Easy places to pause midway. But you probably won't want to.
About the Illustrator for Lavinia Mudwallow
Jonda Eicher is currently living in Iowa. She is a mother, freelance illustrator and graphic artist.She can be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her webpage.
About the Author:
Cynthia Gurin lives in South Florida with her husband Bob, a quartet of cats, two dogs, a remarkably wise duck, and a teddy bear or two. She has achieved recognition in both the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal for innovative marketing techniques. She considers the Personal Ad, through which she met her husband, to be her most rewarding literary endeavor. She holds a senior corporate position in the real world. Send Mail
Other stories by Cynthia Gurin:
Lavinia Mudwallow Greets The Day
The Flying Lesson
U.S.S. Starship Treehouse
The Adventures of AG Bear
Profound Quotations. Or Not.
Featured under "Stories Worth Talking About":
The Rainbow Bridge - For Michael
Dear Mr. Crayon Person
I Won't Forget There's More Than Me
Grandma Speaks Fluent Duck
they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot (1819-1880)
'Tis education forms the common mind:
To have a respect for ourselves guides our
Cultural enrichment lies in learning to speak