For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

Maya Book II - The Dream


Crystal awoke in a rush, rubbing her eyes and looking around for Maya. She found her at the foot of the bed, all stretched out; her warm, furry little body was molded tightly against Crystal's legs. Crystal let out a sigh of relief, and with a contented smile, she lay back down.

Crystal's brother Luke awoke in a sweat. He was a little disoriented, and very

Their mother, Mrs. Winsted, had been tossing and turning in her own bed. She awoke with a start, that annoying glare of the bright green clock light flashing 1:17AM.

She sighed, and rolled on her side, but try as she might, she still couldn't get back to sleep.

It was at the breakfast table when everybody realized that they'd all had the same dream.

Maya lay quietly under the table, resting her head on top of Crystal's feet.
Unlike many dogs that are around the table during a meal, Maya didn't seem particularly interested in begging for handouts or scraps. She seemed to enjoy just hanging out.

As Crystal poured milk over her Cheerios, she casually mentioned that last night, while snuggling and nuggling with their new pup, Maya had given a great big yawn, and Crystal noticed something interesting. “Maya’s tongue isn’t rounded on the end like other Shih Tzu’s, it has a slit on the very tip,” she stated with authority.

"Oh my..." Mrs. Winsted, was startled and then said. "Well, that’s certainly interesting. I had a dream last night, and in it, I noticed that Maya had a slit on the tip of her tongue."

Eyes opened wide, both Crystal and Luke chimed in "Me too!" at the same time.

Overwhelmed with curiosity, Mrs. Winsted quickly ducked her head under the table to look, and as if on cue, Maya raised her head up from Crystal's sneaker, and helpfully, gave Mrs. Winsted a really big yawn.

Sure enough, there it was, a smooth little slit, right there on the tip of Maya's tongue, just like it was in their dreams.


"In my dream," Mrs. Winsted began, "There was a hummingbird that was flying clockwise in ever smaller concentric circles, moving faster and faster until poof it turned into Maya. And then Maya, who was looking right up at me with a great big grin, suddenly yawned, and I could see the little slit on the tip of her tongue. It sort of reminded me of a hummingbird’s tongue."

Mrs. Winsted's mind momentarily wandered, reflecting on the beauty of hummingbirds, and without even thinking, she softly spoke...

“Have you ever observed a hummingbird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers - a living prismatic gem... it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description."

"Mom?" Luke and Crystal were looking at her oddly.

Shaking her head ever so slightly Mrs. Winsted brought herself back to the present. "Oh...sorry kids...I got distracted there for a minute. I was thinking about a poem, by William Henry Hudson, from his book Green Mansions."

Sensing a teachable moment for the children, she continued. "It's very unusual, you know. As far as I know, only reptiles and hummingbirds are born with split tongues.”

"Mom... Mom, listen... something’s happening here, Maya, and the hummingbird flying in circles... that was my dream too,” Crystal was hardly able to contain her excitement.

Luke nodded in urgent agreement. "Mine too!" he added.


Silently, they looked at each other, and a not too distant shared memory surfaced.

It was the day their dog Sammy had passed away. Sammy was a very old dog by then, and he had been dearly loved by all of them.

Crystal recalled that was the day a hummingbird had shown up about 3 weeks sooner than was normal for their season.

What made it even more memorable was that the hummingbird kept buzzing right up to the window, where it would hover and look in, as if it wanted to say something.


The hummingbird's arrival had been particularly magical, because earlier that same day, while attending to Sammy, who was slowly slipping away, Crystal had heard a voice inside her head say very clearly, "Put the hummingbird feeders up." Crystal had paid no attention at the time, since all of her effort had been a single-minded focus on Sammy’s care and comfort.

When Sammy closed his eyes and took his last breath, however, and while Mrs. Winsted and Luke had seen to his burial arrangements, Crystal didn’t waste a moment. She had immediately gone into action.

She dashed downstairs, retrieved the hummingbird feeders from the basement, washed them, and filled them with fresh sugar water.

She had then put them up outside, all around the house, hanging them from the rain gutters, in their familiar places, right outside the windows.


Crystal took special notice that she felt much better after doing this.


“What are you doing, sweetheart?" Mrs. Winsted had asked her at the time. "It's way too early, the hummers won’t be this far north for several weeks.”

But with determination in her voice, Crystal had answered, “I know... but I’m supposed to do this Mom. I think Sammy wanted me to.” And right then, like magic, is when that hummingbird showed up.

Even now, several months later, Crystal still wondered if Sammy’s essence, his
spirit, had somehow returned in the form of a hummingbird.

Crystal thought back to a recent class trip to the museum. The Native American artifacts and exhibits fascinated her. She had spent hours upon hours examining the most beautiful craftsmanship involved in their beaded work, and greatly admired the amazing things the Native Americans made. She was especially drawn to the respect this culture had for all living things.

“They believe that everything has a spirit; all the people, the animals, the standing people (trees), the grasses, the flowers, the stone people (rocks), all the planets, the stars, everything," Crystal's teacher had carefully explained to the class.

"And they believe that everything is a circle," the teacher had continued. "The seasons go round, the planets, the sun, the moon and the stars are round, and life itself is a never ending journey, a circle, where dying is described as ‘dropping your robe’ meaning, you don’t really die, but rather you just change your outside appearance”.

Crystal had found the lesson fascinating.

She learned of shape shifting, where Shamans (medicine men and women), and animals could shift into a different shape at will. There are many stories in Native American lore about this magical ability.

Crystal had particularly liked learning about the Native American belief that when someone dies, they don’t really die, but rather they experience a whole new beginning. The way their teacher had explained it, was that it was sort of like discarding a worn out suit of clothes and putting on a fresh, new set of clothes in which to start the new day.

This explanation had made Crystal smile. "I understand that," she thought.

After breakfast Crystal and Luke followed Maya outside, into the garden. Maya hopped up on a wooden bench, turned and sat down, facing them.

"Okay," Maya began, speaking real words right out loud. "Hold your hands out, cup them, as if you were drinking water, then close your eyes and say the words you first called me with, on the day that I found you.”

Not knowing what to expect, the children closed their eyes and in unison repeated, “What magic will you open my eyes to see?”

Almost as quickly as they said those words, there was a buzzing sound, and when they opened their eyes they saw a tiny hummingbird zipping here and there, flitting in-between them – left, right, up, down, all around them!

The pair laughed with delight, and as they did, two very tiny feathers, each a shimmering, iridescent red, floated through the air. One fell softly into each of their still cupped hands.

“That is one of the many feathers that are on the male ruby throated hummingbird," Maya told them, as she jumped down from the bench next to them. "They use those feathers to attract a mate." she explained. "A very sacred gift has been given to you.”

Bewildered, Crystal asked, “Why is it that every time you show up there seems to be a bunch of colors or winds swirling around like a miniature tornado?”

Maya laughed and her eyes sparkled. “Well that’s for dramatic effect – we think that you humans like that sort of thing.”

Crystal and Luke got very excited - “Who is ‘we’?" Crystal asked Maya. "Are you Sammy?”

"Well, not exactly," Maya replied. "But Sammy is with me."

"And what did you mean when you said you found me?" Crystal pressed.

Maya came closer, and sat down right in front of Crystal and Luke.

Looking up at them she cocked her head slightly and then thoughtfully, she began to explain. “We are here to help you. Every dog is here with a mission to help their human companions.”

"Help us do what?" Luke and Crystal wondered.

Maya answered, hearing their question in her mind as clearly as if the pair had voiced it out loud.

“We help with lots of things, but mostly it's our job to teach love, loyalty, companionship and fun. Sometimes we meet special humans, like you and Luke, who might need a particular type of help, and that is when I‘m called in," Maya replied.


Crystal was puzzled and Luke frowned slightly, as he tried to understand.

“What do you mean?” Crystal asked.

“I have been here on earth for a very long time," Maya continued. "I've helped many different people, but mostly children who are just like you. You are what we call ‘Indigo children’. Indigo is one of the colors of the rainbow; even your names befit you. Luke, your name means bearer of light, and Crystal – your name describes a clear stone that acts like a prism and can reveal the rainbow of colors which exist in the light."

“I like the sound of that” Crystal said with a smile, “But how do you know we're Indigo children?”

“Well, you noticed the hummingbird connection," Maya explained. "You see it as magical. But it is that and so much more. And don't forget, you called me to you and here I am.”

Luke and Crystal blinked.

“Well," laughed Maya, "I think it's time for a little more magic. Each of you take hold of the feather in your hand and close your eyes. No peeking!” she admonished.

“Okay,” Luke and Crystal, said, a little anxiously.

Crystal really did want to keep her eyes closed, but the temptation was just too great. Peeking through mostly closed eyelids, she saw a swirling of colors around Maya. "Here we go, again with the swirling colors," she thought to herself.

The colors began extending to both her and Luke. Crystal could feel her heart beating faster and faster, and a nervous energy started to swell within her. She couldn’t wait any longer and her eyes popped open. Then, Luke began to shrink and in the blink of an eye, he had turned into a Hummingbird.

Although she doesn’t usually think this about her brother, she thought that he was absolutely beautiful. A shimmering green color covered his back and his throat was a brilliant, shiny red.

Crystal began to feel a lightness in her own body, and all of a sudden, everything around her appeared much, much larger.

When she turned her head to look at her hands she saw her fingers were no longer fingers and that her arms had become tiny wings and that she too had been transformed into a beautiful hummingbird.

Luke's eyes flashed open and Crystal could hear him gasp in amazement.

“Can we... can we fly?” Luke stammered.

“Why don’t you try out your new wings and see?” Maya replied.

Both Crystal and Luke started to flap their wings, faster and harder until they could feel their feet lifting off the ground, and then up, up in the air they both went, straight to the top of the trees.

Luke didn’t waste a moment. “Wow, this is amazing – watch this!” Luke yelled as he began a dive-bombing motion towards the ground as he practiced his daredevil maneuvers.

“Be careful Luke!” Crystal warned. Trying to follow Luke, she darted in between the branches and leaves of the big maple tree in their backyard. The tree was the same one she had often watched the visiting hummers play in.

Another hummingbird joined them and they seemed to know right away that it was Maya.

“Okay, now follow me,” Maya directed, and as if they had been flying all of their lives, they flew at treetop level all around their property.

The three of them flitted overhead towards their neighbor’s house. As they flew, they surveyed the wooded area from above. They saw the deer and raccoons and they each greeted other birds that they passed in the air.

Below them, their neighbor was riding his big lawn mower – it all looked so different from the air.

The three of them were flying here, there and everywhere. They zipped in and out, up and down, and finally landed on a branch of that birch tree outside their mom’s bedroom, overlooking one of the red feeders.

Crystal was mesmerized as she tried to get used to the way that a hummingbird sees, because every little movement seemed exaggerated. She looked into their house from the vantage point of the hummers, and she could see what hummingbirds see. There, through the window, was their mom, making the bed and straightening up the room, singing as she did, sharing a little song that could be heard through the open window. Crystal smiled a big hummingbird smile.

The world appeared so different from this vantage point. Crystal realized that her joy came from a different place than it did when she was a little girl. She felt a new appreciation of life begin to bloom inside her.

Then Maya led them to the flowers so they could gracefully sip from a blossom and taste the sweet nectar. Crystal met a honeybee gathering pollen. She was always wary of bees but here the bee looked and felt like a friend. They politely greeted each other, and then off she went.

The three of them flew to the edge of the pond and flapped their wings in the shallow water, splashing and playing.

They took to the air again, and as they were touring the open field, Crystal accidentally dropped her feather.

She started to fall through the air.

“Help, help me!” she cried to Maya.

Just then a swirl of color like a big rainbow pillow appeared beneath her, breaking her fall.

“Thank you, Maya!” a relieved Crystal sighed.


It didn’t feel like a long time, in fact, it felt like only a few minutes had elapsed, but the entire morning had passed. And their stomachs were grumbling. Luke and Crystal were very hungry.

“Crystal, Luke it's lunch time.” Mrs. Winsted called out through the open kitchen window.

Another swirl of colors and Crystal, Luke and Maya transformed back into themselves, and the three of them took off running.

At lunch, between bites of her sandwich, Crystal asked, “Mom, did you know that when the hummingbirds drink from the flowers they tingle inside?”

“Well no, actually I didn't. But how do you know that?” Mrs. Winsted inquired.

“Because when I tasted a flower, that’s what happened to me. And Mom, hummingbirds can see even the slightest movements,” Crystal said, after deciding not to mention their magical adventure.

“That’s nice dear," Mrs. Winsted cautioned, "...but you really shouldn’t go around eating flowers.”

Crystal and Luke giggled under their breath when they looked at each other, knowing the secret they shared. Maya was sitting next to them, smiling her approval that the children had made their special adventure of turning into magical hummingbirds their own little secret.

There was a loud ringing and Mrs. Winsted walked into another room to answer the phone. Maya turned to them and said, “I want you two to get a good nights’ sleep, because in the morning, we're going to go for a hike."

Crystal and Luke stared at each other, each wondering, "What new adventure does she have in store for me? What magic will she open my eyes to see?"

Maya's eyes sparkled.

Her knowing smile was the only answer to the question in both of their minds.

“Just make sure you get rested up – because you're going to need all of your energy for where we're going tomorrow”.

"Uh-Oh," Crystal thought, while both she and Luke stared at each other and considered the same exciting question."I wonder what that means?!"


Maya, Book II - The Dream, by Richard Okun
Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

The Adventure Continues:
Maya Book III - The Hike


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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