Chapter 1 New Friend
"Mommy please don't go! I'll miss you too much!" Standing there with tears in their eyes and breaking hearts, both mother and child felt the gut wrenching pain of the goodbye to their very souls as every goodbye gets harder and is more painful than the last.
"My sweet girl, you know mommy doesn't want to leave you but I must go." Looking her baby girl in the eyes she explained again, "You are my life, my love, and my strength my little moonbeam. You make this world worth fighting for. Without you I would be nothing and the world would be a dark and dreary place my little love bug. Mommy needs you to be a big strong, brave girl and watch over Nana while I'm gone. Will you do that for me please my sweet precious babygirl?"
Smiling through the painful question to cover the heartache, knowing she was running out of time, she knelt down to her daughter to look her in the eyes, "You are more precious than you know and mama loves you all the way to the moon and back. Whenever you miss me my sweetpea, just look up to that bright moon in the sky and know I am looking at it and missing you, too. We will always be together under the moon my little moonbeam."
Nodding her head her mama wiped the tears from her daughters eyes and kissed her tiny wet face all over and hugged her tight. Be strong my little moonbeam, I'll be back soon and we will have a nice little vacation full of tea parties with all of your friends, okay?"
Reluctantly Kat agreed, "Okay mama, I will be brave and watch over Nana for you." Sniffling but trying not to cry, five year old Katherine straightened her shoulders, stood up tall, and put on her best brave face knowing that it is what her mother needed and wanted to see. "I love you sooooo much, mama! I promise I will be the bestest good girl and watch over Nana for you."
Nodding to her darling daughter, and glancing at her mother she blew her a kiss and told her she would be back as soon as she could. It would likely be about a month this time so not as long as last time with any luck at all.
Nana came over and circled her girls in a big group hug, "My precious girls. My cup overflows". Elizabeth wiped the tears from her eyes, smiled at her mother and daughter, "I love you both, I'll see you soon", and left.
"Nana? Will my mama be back by my birthday?" "I'm not sure moonbeam, but I certainly think she will try her best. She is on a very important job so if she cannot make it back in time it won't be because she didn't try her very best. If she cannot make it we will do something extra special just the two of us, okay?" Looking misty eyed, Katherine told her worried looking Nana that would be okay as long as she could bring her friends, too, making her Nana smile as she nodded in agreement while watching Kat drag her raggedy stuffed animals she called "her friends" off to have a tea party out back in the garden.
Sitting in her favorite spot in the garden among the beautiful flowers and mostly well groomed bushes, Kat lined her friends up next to her and served them all tea. Having Mr. Bear, Mr. Cat, Mr. Wolf, and Mr. Bird all together for tea was Kat's favorite activity next to time spent with her mother and Nana. Kat said they are all misters because she thought it would be nice, and very important to raise good and proper daddies, so she had tea and training every day for her friends to ensure they would all grow up to be good daddies and husbands.
"Mr. Bear, you have to teach your children to be careful of the bees. We don't want them getting stung on their noses when they try to get their honey! Mr. Cat, you must teach your children not to scratch when they are picked up so they don't hurt their humans. That is very important. Mama says I can have a cat soon. I would like you to be their daddy because you are so cute! Mr. Bird, you have to teach your baby birdies to pick the bestest trees for their nest so it is soooo comfortable and they can see everything and the moon! Mr. Wolf, you have to teach your baby wolfies to make the bestest dens! That way they can have a safe place to be with their family when they are done hunting rabbits."
Unaware of the rustling under the bushes until now she continued to happily explain the fatherly duties and responsibilities to her friends. "You must always protect your children and be there for them to climb on whenever they want. This is very important. You cannot be a good daddy if you don't let your children climb on you!" Giggling and serving the last of the tea, "If I had a daddy I would love to climb on him like the biggest tree! Daddy's are brave, too, so you must be brave and strong to be a good daddy."
Hearing a noise Kat asked if they heard it, too. "Mr. Bear, did you hear that?" Getting up to investigate she looked around but didn't see anything. "Maybe it was a rabbit! Mr. Wolf, We should teach you to hunt rabbits so you can feed your children," she said with a smile on her face. "Come along Mr. Wolf, let's get started while the others watch and finish their tea."
Taking Mr. Wolf to the ground by the bushes Kat got down on her hands and knees and pretended to hunt rabbits. Showing her teeth she said, "First you have to look really mean like this! Then you have to growl loud like this," emitting a big ferocious growl that sounded something like a puppy playing, Kat continued to growl and lunge forward to fake attack at pretend rabbits with Mr. Wolf for a while when she heard a snort and a crash in the bushes in front of her. Moving some branches she was startled to find herself face to face with the wet nose of a beautiful black fur ball and a big rabbit hoping away very fast. "Oh hello there!"
Kat waited for the ball of fur to get up but it whimpered instead. Hearing the little black furball whine she looked closer and realized it appeared to be stuck. As she came closer it gave a ferocious little growl. Kat couldn't believe it. It growled at her. "Now now little one, I won't hurt you. You are stuck, let me help you," she tried unsuccessfully to reassure him. The stubborn fur ball continued to growl every time she would get closer. "Listen here you cute little fluffy fur ball, I can't help you if you are gonna be all growly at me. I promise you are safe with me, just sit still for a minute and I will help you!" With that the tiny ball of fur sat quietly while she continued talking to him and explained his paw was stuck but she could get him unstuck as long as he didn't try to bite her and sat still.
"I know it must be awfully scary to be stuck but I won't hurt you and I have Mr. Wolf here with me. I am training him to be a daddy so you can hug him while you are afraid and I can get you unstuck." Kat slid Mr. Wolf up under the fur balls neck. "Here, Mr. Wolf can be your daddy right now. He will give you strength and courage to be brave." With that Kat went to work untangling the vines and removing the tube twisted up on his paw. After a few minutes he was freed and lunged forward licking her face. Laughing, she lost her balance and fell crashing to the ground while the little fur ball was able to come out of the bushes to reveal itself to be a real wolf.
Kat was being smothered with licks to her face and hands and rolled herself over to get up and have a closer look. "You're a wolf!" Looking over to her friend Mr. Wolf she started cheering. "Yayyyyy Mr. Wolf you saved him! You helped him be brave so he could get freed to become a mighty wolf one day!" Looking back at the beautiful fluffy black and silver wolf she put her hand out to pet him. "Come here, I want to pet you." Looking unsure and a little reluctant now that the danger was over she said, " Please, little wolf? I just want to pet you. I'm so glad we could help get you free. I promised I won't hurt you. We can be friends and you can help me train Mr. Wolf his daddy lessons." Tilting his head sideways with his ears perked up as if thinking about it, Kat smiled big and slowly came forward touching his soft fur. With a happy squeal, "Oh you are so soft and fluffy! I LOVE you!" Petting the little wolf's head, scratching it's ears, chest, and back, "You are the most handsome wolf on the whole entire planet! The whole entire universe! We will be best friends FOREVER and EVERRRR! Happiness radiated off them both and just like that the little wolf and Kat would indeed become the best of friends from that day on.
After petting her newest friend she looked at him and decided he would need a name. "I guess we will need a name for you. It will have to be something besides Mr. Wolf though because that name is taken." The little wolf had his tongue hanging out of his mouth looking completely cute and goofy and warmed Kat's broken heart. Kat decided she hadn't been this happy in a long time and hugged him tight. "Oh my little fluffy wolf, I am so happy we are friends now but I have to go, my Nana is calling me for dinner. Don't worry,I will come back later and maybe we can play some more." The little wolf gave a happy bark and ran in circles making Kat laugh. "You should go home and have your dinner, too then we will have fun with Mr. Wolf later." With that the little wolf gave a final bark and headed off into the woods behind the garden. Smiling and happy, Kat collected her friends and headed in to have dinner with her Nana.
"Well look at that big smile! It looks like a little tea party and sunshine with your friends was just what you needed today, huh?" Looking at her granddaughter's happy face she proceeded to set the table and chat about what they wanted to have for lunch and dinner the next day. "Nana, I'm going to have lunch in the garden tomorrow with my friends if that's okay with you? I'm teaching Mr. Wolf how to hunt for his children and Mr. Bear needs lessons on not getting stung on his nose when he gets honey." Chuckling she nodded her head, "Okay moonbeam, lunch in the garden it is!"
Later that evening after her chores were done Kat headed to the garden with Mr. Wolf excited to meet her new friend and tell him all about what they were having for lunch the next day since she managed to talk her Nana into making rabbit stew so Mr. Wolf would be able to appreciate the good food his wife would make after he hunted the rabbits.
Approaching the garden she looked high and low but didn't see her new friend anywhere so she sat down by their bush with Mr. Wolf and waited. "Wonder where he is, Mr. Wolf? I sure hope he is able to come back. He is just so cute with all that soft, fluffy, black hair! I love him so much!" She looked to Mr. Wolf then back to the bushes. She heard the rustling of branches, a happy smile growing on her face when finally his big fluffy black head poked through. Squealing with happiness when she saw him emerge, "FLUFFY! You made it!" Reaching up to hug and pet his soft fur while he happily yipped and licked her face. "I'm so happy you made it back! I talked to my Nana and she agreed we can have lunch in the garden tomorrow and we are gonna have rabbit stew just for you," she excitedly exclaimed. "But don't worry, I didn't tell my Nana about you so we can still be secret friends for now. When I'm bigger we can tell her but for now I think it's best we don't tell anyone," she explained how she didn't want anyone to decide he was a big bad wolf. "For now you are my fluffy little secret! Fluffy, hmmm that's it! I will call you Fluffy! You are so fluffy and beautiful. You are the most beautiful wolf in all the world." Fluffy growled and Kat looked at him and said, "you don't like it?" Looking at her sad face Fluffy whined but decided he didn't want to see her sad so he yipped, licked her face, and let her call him Fluffy while they ran around the garden pretending to chase rabbits until it was time to go in for the night.
With a smile of complete happiness she hugged her Fluffy wolf and promised to see him for lunch the next day. "Good night, Fluffy, this has been the bestest day ever! Well, not my mama leaving but meeting you made everything better. I just wish she was here and then everything would be perfect!" Scratching Fluffy behind his ears she said she would see him tomorrow and ran back to the house with Mr. Wolf to get ready for bed as happy as she had been in a long time.