Read Ozette's Destiny Online

Authors: Judy Pierce

Tags: #Ages 7 & Up

Ozette's Destiny

BOOK: Ozette's Destiny
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Pants On Fire Press
, Winter Garden 34787
Text copyright © 2013 by Judy Pierce
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher, Pants On Fire Press. For information contact Pants On Fire Press.
All names, places, incidents, and characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Illustrations and art copyright © 2013 by Pants On Fire Press
Art by Natalia Nesterova
Book design by David M. F. Powers
The publisher is not responsible for recipes or websites (or their content).

 

First edition: 2013
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file.
Visit us at 
www.PantsOnFirePress.com
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9860373-0-6
Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9827271-9-5

 

 

 

This book is dedicated to The Divine Miss Piddlewinks, the squirrel who started me on this amazing journey.

 

"Judy Pierce’s wonderful white squirrel, Ozette, represents white squirrels everywhere but more than that, she lives in a magical world inhabited by fairies, elves, animals who talk, and sheer enchantment. This book appeals to children of all ages, including those who haven’t seen a real child in decades. Come and lose yourself in Pierce’s Farlandia. You’ll relish the trip."

 

Darlene Arden

Certified Animal Behavior Consultant 

Author, The Complete Cat’s Meow, Small Dogs, Big Hearts, Rover Get Off Her Leg!

 

This book would not exist without the encouragement and support of the many
friends
who loved reading the Ozette stories online. You are the best! Thanks to my
children
, especially my daughter,
Gail
, who insisted that I write the book and to my grandson,
Madison
, who sat in the back seat of our Subaru while I read the manuscript all the way from Tennessee to North Carolina. Thanks to Author
Darlene Arden
for her encouragement and for loaning me her fairy friend, Ariel, the impish fairy in this book.  Many thanks to friend and editor
DanaRae Pomeroy
who offered wonderful counsel as I fleshed out the story. Big thanks to fellow author
Julie Casey
who designed my web page. My thanks to the wildlife rehabilitators who taught me so much about the bond between humans and squirrels. I am grateful to the squirrels and Bichons who have shared our lives, teaching and enriching us, especially one very special white squirrel named
Ozette
. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Pants on Fire Press who made me feel such a part of their team –
Becca
, my editor,
Cris
, from marketing,
Natalia
, who designed the beautiful artwork and
David
, my publisher. You are great! A huge thank you to my wonderful husband,
Jim
, who encouraged my “overactive imagination” and who supported me every step of the way.

Dedication

Forward

Chapter 1 - A Scruffy Nest Guest

Chapter 2 - What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Chapter 3 - Flying High – Maxwell to the Rescue

Chapter 4 - An Unexpected Reward

Chapter 5 - The Gift of the Acorn

Chapter 6 - The Word is Out

Chapter 7 - Up the Creek with a Paddle

Chapter 8 - Skydiving, Minus the Parachute

Chapter 9 - Skydiving Squirrels

Chapter 10 - The Metamorphosis of Oliver

Chapter 11 - A Delicious Opportunity?

Chapter 12 - A Sticky Situation

Chapter 13 - Oliver’s Misadventure

Chapter 14 - A Pink Blob Indeed!

Chapter 15 - The Floured Apron Caper

Chapter 16 - Where, Oh Where, Have Oliver’s Boxers Gone?

Chapter 17 - Hail Queen Ozette!

Chapter 18 - The Secret of the Acorn

Recipes

About the Author

 

If you’re lucky enough to slip through the thin veil that separates Earth World from the magical kingdoms, you might encounter Farland, a vast territory of lakes, babbling streams, rolling meadows, mountains and gentle forests ruled by Queen Beatrix. It’s an enchanting land filled with fairies, elves, a wise and kind princess and animals living extraordinary lives. It’s also a land of unexplored adventures and magical moments.

And if you venture to the far western corner of Farland, you’ll find the most exquisite jewel in the territory: an old-growth forest called Farlandia, a lush woodland rich with giant hardwoods, evergreens, fern groves and flowing streams lined with lush moss banks.  

And if you look high up to the top of the tallest ancient maple tree, you will find a unique squirrel named Ozette. When she first arrived, no one in the forest had ever seen a squirrel like her, for her coat was a bright white, except for a small splash of gray on her forehead and a hint of pale gray down the center of her back.

Ozette had appeared in Farlandia three full-moon cycles ago during the mild winter and claimed the stately maple tree for her home. Although shy at first, she quickly became a favorite among the fairies, elves and other woodland creatures because of her kindness, loyalty and fun-loving nature.

She was a gracious and generous hostess, and it wasn’t unusual to see friends gathering under her tree to sip tea and chat before their afternoon naps. Though most of the time she chattered away happily and fussed over her friends, she sometimes had a sad, faraway look in her dark eyes when she thought no one was looking. But her friends were reluctant to pry into Ozette’s past, thinking it may be impolite, so they never asked too many questions.

Milligan Mouse, who could never keep his mouth shut, once asked Ozette if she was born in some exotic tree that bore glistening white nuts.

“Could that be why you’re a white squirrel?” he asked, his dark eyes bright with curiosity.

Ozette had simply smiled and passed around a plate of walnut-encrusted jumbledberry scones.

Once, a fairy mistakenly referred to her coloration as albino and Ozette gently shook her head. She related to all creatures that were different, and she certainly admired the beauty of the unusual albino foxes, bears and other albino creatures. But she also didn’t want, or need, to pretend to be someone she was not. 

One spring afternoon, when the ice had disappeared from the forest ponds and succulent buds were swelling on the trees, Ozette lay stretched out full-length on her tree limb. Her back legs dangled down either side of the limb and her chin rested on her front paws. She was just dozing off after playing a rousing game of “kick the acorn” with her fairy friends when she heard a soft whine. She first ignored the sound, thinking she was dreaming. When she heard it again, louder this time, she peered sleepily over the side of the branch. Her eyes sprang wide open when she saw a scruffy white creature sitting under her tree, looking forlorn and confused.  She crept cautiously down her tree to get a better look.

The creature looked a little like the beautiful dog Cassady who often accompanied the queen’s sister, Princess Abrianna. Like Cassady, this creature had four legs, two ears and a tail…but was much, much smaller. And much, much dirtier. While the princess’ dog was a silky, shiny golden retriever, this little creature was small and white – well, mostly white. 

There were several dirty places on its rump, where it had apparently sat in some mud. It had a very black nose, dark button eyes, long floppy ears and a snowy plumed tail that curled over its back, similar to Ozette’s own majestic tail.

“Excuse me,” Ozette said timidly as she poked her head around the tree trunk, ready to make a hasty retreat if the creature proved hostile. “Who are you?”

The creature looked startled and craned its neck to see who was speaking.

“Oh hello,” it said, walking over to the tree. Noting Ozette’s hesitancy, it assured her. “Don’t worry. I won’t chase you. Chasing little animals is how I got myself into this mess in the first place.”

“Um, exactly what kind of animal are you?” Ozette asked.

The creature drew itself up to its full height, which wasn’t more than ten inches, but still well over twice as tall as Ozette. 

“I am a royal canine. In fact, I’m Queen Beatrix’s beloved companion.  My name is Duchess Zorina Muffaroonie, but my queen calls me Duchess Zorina,” she said proudly. “I am a Bichon Frise, a dog of royalty.”

Then the little dog’s bravado failed and her head dropped low. Looking plaintively at Ozette, she whimpered, “and I’m lost, very lost.” 

Lost? How could anyone get lost in these woods? You just had to follow your animal instincts, Ozette thought, but didn’t say out loud because she didn’t want to hurt the little dog’s feelings.

“My name is Ozette and I live here,” she introduced herself. “How ever did you end up in the forest?”

The dog sat at the base of the tree and looked up at Ozette.

“I’m never allowed outside the palace alone. I’m a house pet, you see, but I’ve always wanted to see the outside world. When the cook left the back door open for a minute, I saw my chance and ran out into the backyard. Then I saw a rabbit bounding down the lawn and I couldn’t stop myself from running after it.”

Seeing the sudden look of horror on the squirrel’s face, Duchess Zorina quickly added, “but it was just for fun. I would never ever hurt a rabbit, or any other creature.”

“Then what happened?” Ozette asked.

The dog whimpered again. “I fell into a river and the strong current carried me far away from my queen. When the water finally calmed down, I was able to scramble onto shore. I’ve spent three nights in these woods,” she said, shivering. “I’m cold and hungry, and I want to go home.  If I ever get back to the royal castle, I’ll never leave my queen’s lap again.”

Ozette thought for a minute and took pity on the miserable little creature. “It’s supposed to be drizzly and cold this evening. You’ll need warm shelter and food. There’s room in my nesting hole for both of us. I don’t suppose you can climb a tree?” she asked hopefully.

“I’m a dog, not a monkey!” Duchess Zorina squeaked. “I’m accustomed to sleeping on a lavender satin pillow, not scrambling up tree trunks. Oh, what am I to do?” the little dog asked anxiously as she paced beneath the tree.

BOOK: Ozette's Destiny
9.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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