Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Day in the Pond

Love was in the air in the Land of the Flowered Bed. Pumble had been baking cupcakes and cookies all week and slathering them with pink icing. Cookies had been brushing up on his love poems and trying to write a sonnet expressing his love for the chubby little bird outside. Hairy had been organizing a Valentine's Day party for the entire Land of the Flowered Bed. He had spent weeks sending invitations, planting flowers and decorating the room with pink streamers and hearts. It would have been much more effective if he didn't have to take it down every night before the Boy and Girl came home.

Even the ducks had taken to cooing love songs as they splashed around in the Spa. Only the seals seemed uninterested. They lay in the middle of the floor, pouting and sighing loudly.

"What's wrong?" Hairy asked the seals as he finished last minute preparations. "Did you not finish decorating your Valentine's Day mailbox?"

The seals sneered at the white shoebox and pushed it away with their flippers.

"What's wrong?" Hairy repeated his question. One of the seals barked a curt answer.

"What do you mean you don't have Valentines?" Hairy asked. "I thought the flying pigs were your Valentines."

The seals shook their heads quickly, chattering and covering their faces with their flippers.

"Well, I suppose the fact you like seaweed and they like grass is a big difference," Hairy agreed. Pumble looked up from decorating his latest bunch of cupcakes.

"What about Itty and Bitty?" he asked, licking icing off his fingers. The seals made a face and shook their heads.

"What about the GLUG? Or the butterflies?" Cookies asked, twirling a pen in his feathers. The seals raised their eyebrows in disbelief. "What?" Cookies protested. "Bugs can't eat chocolate. You'd get off cheap."

The seals laid their heads on their paws and stared at the ground with miserable expressions.

"They want a Valentine like them," Hairy explained to Pumble and Cookies. "They're sad there aren't any seals or fish."

"We can be their Valentines!" the ducks cried in unison.

"We would love it!" the first duck crowed.

"We would be thrilled!" the second duck cried.

"Would you prefer chocolate or caramels?" the third duck inquired.

"What about Ace and the Babies?" Hairy asked. "They would be sad if they didn't get Valentines. And don't forget Charlie the Dog and Arthur."

"We forgot," the first duck replied.

"How come we got dogs for Valentines?" grumbled the second duck. "Are there no chickens?"

"There is plenty of love to spread around," the third duck offered sweetly.

The seals barked and clapped their flippers for emphasis.

"I'm sure the beluga whales at Sea World would appreciate a card, but I'm not sure if they'd dine on salmon with you," Hairy replied gently. "And I don't think the killer whales are a good idea. They like to eat seals."

The seals looked at each other, stumped. They tapped their flippers against their chins, thinking very hard. Pumble returned to his cupcakes and Cookies tried to figure out what word rhymed with "owl pellet."

Suddenly, the seals glanced up at each other. Their eyes were huge as they both squealed loudly. Hopping up and down, they clapped their flippers and cheered with glee. Clapping each other on the back, they each scurried to separate sides of the room clutching markers and construction paper.

"What the devil are they carrying on about?" Pumble muttered, smearing icing on his forehead. "Don't they realize I'm trying to create?"

"They're going to be each other's Valentines," Hairy said, grinning. "Isn't that cute?"

"Charming," Pumble said. He cocked his head and looked at his work. "I think I'll make a cherry pie next. For the party."

"Great," Hairy said. He smiled as he watched the seals write Valentine's to each other. Hairy returned to hanging the decorations. He was so deep in thought, he almost fell off his step stool when Cookies spoke.

"What rhymes with vermin?"