For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages


Feeling very dizzy, faster, spinning ever faster on the ground, arms up-reaching and out-stretched to that big open sky.

"Olly Olly Oxen Free,” in fine musical tone.
“Olly Olly Oxen Free."

Luke couldn't find his sister.
She could always find him.

Crystal wasn't ready to come out yet. She had found a really good hiding spot and didn’t mind giving her brother a hard time, like he always gave her.


Hands open and inviting, eyes clenched, speaking just loud enough so that only she could hear, “What magic will you open my eyes to see? What magic will you open my eyes to see?”

Whirling in place, repeating over and over 'till she fell down hard on her behind.

Earlier this morning, their Mom had taken them to the state fair, and Crystal had watched the carousel go round and round, the music blaring.

She had a ride on that pretty, white, painted pony, eyes closed tight, asking with all her might, “What magic will you open my eyes to see? What magic will you open my eyes to see?”

 Everything just felt different, today. When they came home from the State Fair, pulling into their driveway, it looked like the trees were bending over to welcome them home. Their little one-horse town was dotted with lots that were old family farms and wooded wetlands. They shared their lives with lots of animals, trees, brooks and open fields. Although they were not too far from the city, it seemed another world away.

There was still some time before dinner, so Luke and Crystal went outside to play hide-and-seek.

Still flat on her bottom, recovering from twirling around like a top, she wiggled her toes, opened her eyes and right there in front of her, buzzing like a honeybee, was what looked like a small tornado... no, really it was more like the blur of a merry-go-round.

Each color blended into the next, faster and faster, until poof, it collapsed into a small reddish brown and white puppy, all-glistening in the sun.


Shaking her head, not believing her eyes, her heart beat so loud; she was all out of breath and panting.

The little puppy came over and jumped on her lap rapidly licking her face, Crystal could barely speak or breathe but it felt good….

"Luke! Come here, quick!" Crystal called.

He followed his sister’s voice, tracing the sound to where she had fallen.

"Where have you been, I've been calling for you, hey, what the heck is that?"

Lots of questions but no answers.

"Who does she belong to?"

"I don't know, she just appeared out of nowhere."

“No collar or tags?”

Noting that the puppy had very long hair, Crystal checked around the neck.


“Nope, nothing, I’ll call her Maya."

“Why Maya?”

“Not sure, it just popped into my head, just like she just popped in.”

Feeling very sure of themselves, Crystal grabbed Maya and tucked her under her arm as they ran home to where their Mom was washing the dishes.

"Mom, may we keep her, p_l_e_a_s_e_?"

Mrs. Winsted could see how much they wanted, even needed this little puppy. Just a few months before, their elderly Shih Tzu, Sammy, had died. It was very difficult for the family.

Sammy had been with Crystal and Luke their whole lives. He was there when they came home for the first time, and whenever a friend was needed, Sammy was there, all the time.

For over 15 years Sammy had also been a big part of Mrs. Winsted’s life.

Crystal had taken it the hardest.

In a wise caring voice, Mrs. Winsted said "Okay, let’s put up flyers and get her to the Vet, and if no one claims her, yes, we can keep her."

No one ever did claim her, so Maya became theirs, or should I say... they became hers.

There was a sparkle, the kind of sparkle that grabs your attention and holds on.

The kind that you see when looking up into the cool, dark, clear, night sky.

Crystal got on her knees to look into Maya's eyes, and saw stars - like the Milky Way galaxy spinning - again she felt dizzy but could not look away.

When Crystal and Luke took Maya back outside to play some more, she took off like a shot.

They tried to keep up, but for someone with such little feet, she sure was fast.

Then, in a huff and a dust, she stopped.

As they caught up to her, Maya turned to the children and said “Shhhhhhh, there is magic to be found."

Crystal saw a mother deer, a doe, lying near.

“WHAT? You can talk?”

“There are lots of things that I can do.”

Luke heard her too.

“Speak softly, and she will hear you” Maya whispered, nodding towards something ahead.  

Over Maya’s head, she could see the same colors that she had seen just before Maya first appeared, and they were forming a rainbow.

Like notes in a song, the sun warmed, as the breeze cooled, suddenly, two baby fawns came ‘whooshing’ by in an awkward scamper.


Remembering Maya’s instructions, Luke and Crystal spoke in a gentle voice in tune with the winds.


They laughed and seemed to call to the children as the fawns invited them to dance.

Then off they went to play.

 Along one side of the Winsted's long driveway was a wooded area. Along the other was the start of grassy open fields with gentle rolling hills.


As the children continued their game of hide-and-seek with their new friends, Crystal ran to hide, and so did Luke.

The fawns found him right away; he’s not very good at this game.

Crystal hid in the same great spot where Maya first appeared – no one could find her.

“Olly Olly Oxen Free," Crystal heard an unfamiliar voice call in the distance.

"What magic will you open my eyes to see?" echoed back in her mind

Peeking out from the bush, she saw everybody waiting in the open field that their neighbor had cleared in front of his house several years ago.

A mysterious umbrella shaped rainbow, which seemed to be coming from Maya enveloped Luke and the fawns.

A bubble of bright, transparent color splashes and what looked like a shiny, thin spider web connected everyone.

 Even the dry weather couldn’t prevent dewdrops from winking and twinkling like diamonds in the late afternoon sun, while dangling on silvery threads.

Crystal's jaw dropped and her eyes bugged out in delight at such a sight. Excited and anxious to join the party, she ran towards them, tripped on her shoelaces and lost her sneakers as she tumbled down the hill like a bowling ball into the crowd where they all hugged and laughed out loud.
The fresh cut grass under their backs, kicking their feet in the air, one of the fawns tickled her by sticking her nose between Crystal's toes.

A giggle and a roll, then on the attack, Crystal tickled her back, and found that round fleshy spot right behind her ear.

 Crystal could feel what the fawn was feeling, and it felt magical. Maya and the doe joined the fun and before they were done the trees and flowers danced with them, the squirrels and birds too. Off in the distance, Crystal could see the neighbor’s smile as he watched through his kitchen window.

Maya got up, grabbing their attention with a whole body waggle and abruptly walked towards the driveway; she was making a sweet ‘hoo, hoo’ sound.

“Luke, Crystal, dinner is ready,” their mother’s melodic holler confirmed that Maya did indeed know when it was time to go.
The littlest fawn came up to her smiling, and as Crystal bent to kiss the fawn's forehead; Crystal realized that her scent was that of the grass and of the earth, and when the fawn licked Crystal back, she realized that she smelled that way too.

Crystal felt a strong connection and with tears in her eyes as they said their
goodbyes, she saw a rainbow and a wink and a twinkle, shimmering on the silvery threads between them.

Everything all around her, started to look and feel like magic.

After dinner, Crystal and Maya lay in bed, thinking about the day. They were both snuggling and nuggling, making little noises back and forth between them as Crystal kissed Maya’s pink belly while Maya gurrrr gurrrr gurgled back her approval.

Crystal embraced Maya with both arms, and whispered, "I love you."

Then, rubbing her head all over and up and down Maya’s velvety chest, she wondered dreamily, what new adventure might be in store for them.

More magic, no doubt, Crystal thought to herself.

“More magic, indeed." Maya replied.

Maya could read her mind.

  That night everybody in the house, had the same dream, and Maya was in it.

Maya by Richard Okun
Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

About the Author/Illustrator: Rich Okun lives in Bethany, Connecticut with his wife, Kathleen, 3 cats, and Maya, as well as many other animals on the property. He has spent most of his career in various corporate positions, and currently runs an online retail store. Rich finally thinks he has an answer to the question he has asked himself all of his life - "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He has found his calling, and is now pursuing writing children's stories with the loving help of Maya. You may write to Rich at

Maya is a member of the Shih Tzu breed. (Say it aloud:"Sheeed-Zoo"). A Shih Tzu is one of the "ancient breeds" of dog. The Shih Tzu is considered very beautiful with its long silky hair, most often found in a range of colors, which may include various shades of gold, white and brown. Shih Tzu dogs typically weigh anywhere from 8.5 to 16 lbs. The breed originated in China, and according to DNA analysis, the breed is the closest known descendant of the prehistoric Chinese wolf, the "Senji." Shih Tzu were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. The name Shih Tzu translates as Lion Dog, so named because the dog was bred to resemble "the lion as depicted in traditional oriental art," such as the Chinese guardian lions.


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Re: Maya's first story From: "Rich Okun" ( Date: Tue, April 3, 2012 11:42 am Here is the submission email that we finalized the first story with - I am resending it with this paragraph for express authorization "I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the requirements for inclusion as specified on the SUBMISSION INSTRUCTION page. If my submission should be selected, I grant permission for its inclusion." Thank you Rich