The Thumbprint Detective: The Broken Vase

I just received the call from 7777 South Bay Drive.
They have a mystery on their hands that they cannot solve.
The mystery of the broken vase.
I will pay a visit to the site and begin to investigate.

I see the pieces of the vase on the floor in the living room near the front door.

I will find out who did it. I’ll begin interviewing the suspects and witnesses.

The goldfish: Fish and Bowl:

It was Saturday afternoon. It suddenly got dark and we could hear the rain falling on the roof of the house. Then there was a flash of light and a loud BOOM!
And the next thing we knew, the vase was in pieces on the floor.

The Nephew: Chris:

I was in my room playing my latest video game when it gotdark and there was lightening and a large clap of thunder and I heard a crash downstairs. That’s when I called you to find out what was going on up there.

The Niece: Kelsey:

I was in my room, writing my latest short story on my laptop, when the rain started and then the lightening and loud rumbling of thunder with a crash. There was no one in the room or near the door, just the broken vase on the floor.

The Dog: Chewy:

I was laying in the hallway for my afternoon nap when all of a sudden there was this loud BOOM! It was so loud it gave me the shakes and I gave one of my best guard barks! I let everyone in the house know that I was awake.

The Mouse: Squealer:

I was making my way to the kitchen for some really good snacks. Then there was a large BOOM just as I was almost to my room, with my snacks in the living room wall. The next thing I know that loud mouth Chewy is yelling and crazy Sox starts chasing me down the hall to the living room wall where I make it just in the nick of time.

The Cat: Sox:
I remember the day really well. It was a stormy Saturday afternoon. The house suddenly got dark and the rain started coming down. Then there was a flash of lightening, a loud BOOM and a loud bark from that crazy dog Chewy. I was in the middle of chasing Squealer when Chewy’s bark scared me so, that I hit the table with my tail and the vase fell and broke into a million pieces!

Can we silence that dog?

Well, it looks like another clean up and a redecoration will be involved. Maybe consider replacing the vase with something wooden or metal so that it will not break when it falls. Next time you have a mystery that you are unable to solve, don’t forget to give me a call!

Another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

The Thumbprint Detective: Who Flooded My House?

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Drive.
The house is flooded and the owner does not know why.
I’m on my way to the site to investigate!

Now at the site: The white house on South Bay Drive
Wow! There is water everywhere! It looks almost like Noah’s ark! I better start looking for clues. I’ll start with the goldfish. They have been washed out of the house and are still in their bowl. Maybe they know something.

The Goldfish: Fish and Bowl
We had settled down in our castle for the night…. Then everything rumbled. The next thing we knew, the front door tumbled down and our home took sail out to the front yard.

The Cat: Sox
You know I don’t like the wet! I was curled up asleep for the night in the nice warm laundry basket when there was a tsunami and all of a sudden, I am riding a wave of water in the basket–Hang Ten to the Yard!

The Bird: Squawk
I was asleep on my perch in my cage, when there was a big rumble and a great wave of water knocks my cage over, the door flies open and I flew out!

Nephew: Chris
I was asleep in my warm bed, dreaming of driving my race car in the Grand Prix when I felt a big rumble and I woke up and everything was flooded. So much for winning the race!

Niece: Kelsey
I was under my covers reading my latest mystery book when I heard a great rumble and then everything was wet and in the front yard. Good thing my book had a waterproof cover so that I can finish it! That’s when I called you!

Is anyone missing? Yes! Where is Chewy the dog?
He’s not in the living room or the bedrooms.
He’s not in the kitchen or the laundry room.
He’s not in the halls.
I’ll check the bathroom!
Chewy is hiding in the bathtub?

The dog: Chewy
I missed by bedtime treat, so I searched the house for something to chew on before I went to sleep. I found this shiny bone between the toilet and the wall and started to chew and chew and chew…..
Until a large amount of water came from between the bone and the wall! I jumped into the bathtub for safety as it flowed down the hall! I was so scared!
Can I help lick everything dry?

Well, it looks like you will need a wet vacuum, fans, rubberboots and towels to dry after this squall. I will leave you my bill on the wall in your hall.

It looks like another mystery solved by the thumbprint detective!

The Digestion Waterworks Vacation

It’s vacation time, but the Cumberland kids,can’t start their vacation until they

complete their summer learning assignment: How do mammals digest their food?

“Are you dressed and ready for your new assignment? I’m sure you will find this a

really great way to start your summer vacation.” said Mr. Burp.

Everyone entered the Digestion Waterworks Waterpark at the giant mouth. ”All goggles

on Everyone into a raft and hold on tight. We are going to follow digestion from the

beginning to the end!”,shouted Mr. Burp.

“We’re ready Mr. Burp!”,shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

“Why is this one moving up, down and side to side with water shooting everywhere?”,

asked Lisa.

“Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and saliva or what you call spit. Saliva

wets and begins to break down the food that is ripped and mashed by the teeth when

there is chewing. When the process is complete, the tongue pushes the food down the

tube called the esophagus(ee-sof-uh-gus)—and here we gooooo!!! AHHHH!!!”,screamed

Mr. Burp.

“The first stop is the stomach where more liquids called acids,enzymes hormones and

water are added to the food to break it down even further.”,said Mr.Burp.

“This feels like a big washing machine!,said Wan.

“Some foods are quickly processed and stored in the liver for later use. The liver

is a warehouse and a filter. It stores packets of food that are processed into sugar

for the body and collects the parts that cannot be used by the body for disposal

later. The rest goes to the small intestine.”, said Mr. Burp.

“Uh-Oh! Now it’s drain time!”,said Wan.

“Wheeee!”,squealed Lisa.

“We are now entering the small intestines it is twenty two feet long in humans.”,

explained Mr. Burp.

“Most of your food is absorbed in the small intestines.”,stated Mr.Burp.

“Hey, this is like passing through a carwash! We keep passing through those fringe

curtains!”,yelled Jon.

“Those things you call “fringe curtains are called villi(vill-eye) in the small

intestine. The liquid food now passes through the villi into the bloodstream to the

muscles and tissues by the red blood cells.”, yelled Mr. Burp.

“Whoa! Where are we now?, asked Mateo.

“It sure is dark! Watch that curve!”, yelled Lisa.

“You are now in the large intestine. This is where some of the water you drink and

water from the food you eat is collected and absorbed by the body.”,explained Mr.

Burp.

“It’s the real waterworks of the body!”,said Mateo.

“Yes. You are right, Mateo!”,said Mr. Burp. “It is also where the solid waste is

processed for disposal. The water from the large intestine is used to form stool or

feces(fee-sees) that is passed out of the body through the anus(A-nus).”

“Here we go!” yelled Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan as their raft shot out into a large

pool of fresh water. Wan said,”And now we are in a large toilet bowl waiting to be

flushed away!”

“That’s right, Wan!”,said Mr. Burp.”And that‘s how we digest food. Are you ready

for your summer vacation?”

“YEAH!”, shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

References

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works
http://www.kidshealth.org/en/kids/digestive-system.html
http://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-you-digest-food

The Cave of the Ear

“Wow, Mr. Burp! Another learning adventure? We have our cave exploring equipment ready to go. The spelunking gear is ready!”, said Jon.

“Yes, today, away we go into the ear and look at how it works!”, said Mr. Burp.”Is everyone attached to your tethers? We don’t want to lose anybody.”

“Yes Mr. Burp!” the group said.

“We will start with the auricle. The outer ear that directs sound. Headlights on as we go deep into the ear!” whispered Mr. Burp.

“Hey! There’s this sticky, slippery stuff on the bottom! I can hardly keep from falling!”, cried Lisa.

“That’s cerumen or what you call ear wax. It keeps insects and dirt from collecting on the eardrum or the tympanic membrane.”, explained Mr. Burp.

“There’s hair all around here on the top, the walls and the bottom. It’s like walking through a carwash!” said Jon.

“The hair helps push the wax and dirt out of the ear canal.”, said Mr. Burp.”Sometimes it builds up and needs a doctor to help move it out, Wan”.

“That is the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum. See it move as we talk?, asked Mr. Burp.

“What’s that on the other side of it?”,asked Jon.

“That is what is called the middle ear. We will explore further. Normally we would not be able to pass through the tympanic membrane, but we will today. Step through this hole.”, said Mr. Burp.

“When the tympanic membrane vibrates or shakes, it makes the three bones of the middle ear move. The bone next to tympanic membrane is the malleus or hammer, which strikes the incus or anvil which shakes the stapes or stirrup. The stirrup vibrates the hairs in the vestibule of the cochlea.”, said Mr. Burp.

“That big snail looking thing is the cochlea?”, asked Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp.”The cochlea is the beginning of the inner ear. There are many hairs in the liquid inside the cochlea that move the auditory nerve which goes to the brain and is recognized as sound.”

“What’s that big tunnel at the bottom of the middle ear under the bones?”, asked Mateo.

“That is called the eustachian (you-stay-shun) tube. It keeps the middle ear dry and maintains the air pressure so that the tympanic membrane and the bones of the ear vibrate without any problems.”, said Mr.Burp.

“Where does it end?”, asked Wan.

“Well, this is how we will leave, so let’s find out!”, said Mr. Burp. “Hold on to your tethers as we slowly descend! When you yawn, this tube opens to let a small amount of air in. It’s that “pop” you hear when flying on an airplane. The air it lets in keeps the middle ear bones dry and keeps the tympanic membrane from rupturing.”

“Weeeeee!”, said Lisa. “That was a straight drop with no curves.”

“Correction. That was a slightly slanted drop without curves.”, said Mr. Burp.

“We are in the mouth!”, said Jon.

“What happens when someone can’t hear?”, asked Mateo.

“It can have three causes or a mixture,” explained Mr. Burp. “The tympanic membrane can be torn as it was when we entered the middle ear, or the bones can become gooey and sticky and won’t vibrate.This is what happens with a cold, allergies or an ear infection. They also will not vibrate if they are under water. This usually happens with allergies or a torn tympanic membrane.”

“If the nerve is damaged,which can be from a virus, medications, or head injury, then the sound is still not transferred to the brain and sometimes there may be a combination of all three!”, stated Mr. Burp.

“Wow! You almost have to be a mechanic to repair the ear!”, said Jon.

“I guess that’s what you would call the doctor that works on the ear. The doctor for the ear is called an otolaryngologist (Oh-toe-laren-goll-oh-jest). Commonly known as the ear-nose and throat doctor.” said Mr. Burp. “They don’t like it when you put things in the ear canal. It is hard to retrieve them when they get stuck and they can cause a lot of damage to the ear by punching holes in the tympanic membrane and breaking the bones of the middle ear. It is not easy to make those repairs. There are very few replacement parts.”

“So we should take care of our ears like we take care of our cars.”, said Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp. “ We need to also keep them protected from loud noises. It damages the hairs in the cochlea. You don’t want to have to use hearing aids before you are 30 years old.”

“Well, this ends today’s adventure. Get ready for the next one, gang!”, said Mr. Burp. “Goodbye!”

“Goodbye Mr. Burp!”, said the gang.”See you next time!”

References

http://www.asha.org
http://www.mayoclinic.org
http://www.healthyhearing.com

The U Story

Once upon an unusual Saturday, Una Ewe awoke at her usual time and walked to her

place at the watering hole in the pasture. All of a sudden, there was a very loud

yell from You Urubu. It was so loud that Una could see You’s uvula when he yelled.

It appeared that You had unfortunately stepped on an unusual and ugly flower. You

was quite upset and unable to remove the ugly and unusual thorn that was on the stem

of the ugly flower. Una Ewe tried to help but was unable to undo the pain that was

making You unhappy and uncomfortable. So Una went to her uncle Uriah for

understanding of how she could best help You. Uncle Uriah called Uma Urial, Uday

Umhofo, Ulyana Uromastix, Ugo Upupa, Ursula Urraca, Ulrich Uakari, and Utku Uinta to

the watering hole for a meeting to decide how to help You.

Uma suggested that Una should use an umbrella to remove the thorn. Uncle Uriah told

Uma that the umbrella was too big.

Uday suggested they use an ultraviolet light on You’s foot and pump the thorn out

with a portable utility pump. Uncle Uriah told Uday that the pump would pump too

hard.

Ulyana suggested cooking some ube and feeding it to You to remove the thorn. Uncle

Uriah told Ulyana that the ube would only make You full and sleepy.

Ugo suggested You dancing a Ukrainian dance in a circle on three legs. Uncle Uriah

told Ugo that was too risky. If he fell, he would make a deep hole and they would

not be able to get him out.

Ursula said she could sew a unique uniform with umber underwear for You to wear to

remove the thorn. Uncle Uriah said he would only look good with the thorn still in

his foot.

Ulrich and Utka suggested that Una go to the university and ask for a solution to

solve You’s problem. Uncle Uriah agreed and sent Una to the university.

Una urgently arrived at the university and went upstairs to the library to look up a

universal answer to removing the thorn from You’s foot. All she found was a group of

people from Uzbekistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United

Kingdom and the United States in an upper room, trying to plan a trip to Ursa Minor

and Uranus. They urgently dragged Una in the room to umpire where they should go

first. Una agreed to umpire their plot, only if they would help her solve You’s

problem. All agreed to unite to solve the problems. Una suggested that they go to

Ursa Minor first, then see Uranus on the way back home. The united countries gave

their suggestions:

Raise You’s foot up as high as possible.

Prop the foot upon a large rock.

Apply ultra utility tape over the thorn.

Pull the tape off the foot hard.

The thorn should be on the tape and have You wash his foot.

Una Ewe thanked the united countries and wished them well with their travels to Ursa

Minor and Uranus. Una Ewe urgently rushed back to the watering hole to tell Uncle

Uriah and the others the information she found. Uncle Uriah gathered all of the

others to assist You with his foot.

Ugo, Ulrich, Uday, and Uncle Uriah tied the finest thick rope around You’s foot and

a large limb of the big tree You was sitting under, and raised it up high. Uma, Una,

Ulyana, and Ursula pushed a large rock under his foot while Uncle Uriah and his team

lowered it onto the rock. Utku placed a large piece of utility tape on the thorn on

You’s foot. Everybody grabbed a piece of the utility tape and pulled H-A-R-D! The

tape was so sticky and strong, it pulled the thorn out of You’s foot.

You was so happy! He thanked everyone! He went to the watering hole and washed his

foot. Uncle Uriah told You that he was one of us and they would do it again if they

had to.

Everybody went to the watering hole and the meadow as they would usually do.

When someone else has a problem they cannot solve, they call Una Ewe.

Until next time, good bye!

The Y X Story

Yuri and Xavier were in the same class in school. Xavier was new to the school and

Yuri thought he was the class leader. He ran the students in the class and

sometimes not in the best ways. Yuri and his followers were not quick to make

friends.They were very rude and unfriendly with Xavier.

It reached the point where they called a meeting after school at the playground.

Why the X? You are so different. Yuri asked Xavier.

X sounds like ks in most cases, when it is riding on the end.

X sounds like z if it is leading or riding in the word.

Why X?

X is used in science and medicine to name or describe such as xiphoid and xylem.

Those words are very old and are either Greek or Latin.

X holds a place in mathematics.

X can be used to name chemicals like xylols and xylate.

X words can name riches such as xeriff or boats like xebecs.

X can make music like xylophone, xalam, xun and xaphoon.

X is used to name places in China like Xizang and Xian.

X names people like Xeros, Xenon, Xenia, Xia

X can be used to name many things!

Y does not say y in any words either, not at the beginning, middle or end, so what’s

so wrong with X?

Y is from Greece and the Romans used it too. It is a consonant and a vowel,

depending on how it is used.

Why Y? You are different, too. Xavier asked Yuri.

Y is for yellow, the color of the sun.

Y is for yummy yumberries, yogurt, yams, yokes, yakitori, and yautia to name a few.

Y is for yak, yapok, and Yellowjacket to add some sting!

Y is for years, yearlings, youth and young.

Y is for yield, yawn and taking a nap in the yard.

Y is for YELL or yodel,when you find yourself in trouble!

Y is yacht if you like rich sailing.

Y is for Yucca, yucky and yurt, a place to live in.

Y is a scientific element, Yttrium and Ytterbium.

Y is for yoga that can be practiced all day.

Y can make music with the yay li tanbur, yazh, and yunluo.

Y is for Yuma, Yonkers, York, Yemen, and Yongzhou.

Y is also a placeholder in mathematics too!

Y is just as important as X, now you see!

Now we see the uses of X and Y even though they are different as different can be!

We see why both are important and have been used a lot!

We have to work together, so let’s give this our best shot!

We will start tomorrow yawned Xavier and Yuri.

We will join together and solve some problems and see.

We will see each other tomorrow when we are free!

The I Story

Itchy, Inky and Ivy planned a very important vacation to the Land of

Imagination. They had eleven hours to plan this trip for seven days or they would

become invisible forever! Ivy chose the places to visit. Itchy was the navigator to

the land of Imagination and Inky wrote the itinerary and ordered the items needed

for the trip. Iceland, Italy, India, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Ireland and Israel were

places they planned to visit, to name a few. Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, and Iowa all

can be in the land of imagination, too!

Inky completed the itinerary, submitted it to the seven giant invisible imps and

pack the great Iron with all their gear, video equipment and instruments for the

trip.

While hanging on for dear life, Itchy, Inky and Ivy, flew backward on the great

Iron, through the keyhole in the front door, to their first site in the

starless, dark as ink night. Itchy navigated the great Iron so smoothly, that

nothing was broken or lost.

First, they landed in Italy to race the gondolas down the Grand Canal. AND THEY WON!

It was on to Pisa to paint the Leaning Tower icterine in the night.

They flew on to Indonesia and landed on an island to build ice blue iridescent

igloos that glowed.

Ivy had an idea to play the inci and indo dafli in Iran and Iraq, while the insects

and the indri danced. Inky answered an invitation to be interviewed by the Imperial

Inchworm of Ireland. Itchy then led the invasion of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, with

an iguana, ibis and impala at his side, his goal was to inflate an indigo balloon at

the top of the tower at the twelfth of the hour. Inky then isolated the intelligent

identical twin aye aye to imbibe in icaco juice, incaberries and ilama. Inky’s

increase in his meal of incaberries led to increased skin itching and eye

irritation, so badly, that Ivy had to invent an imaginary cure for Inky’s itching

that was driving him insane.

They boarded the great Iron and zoomed to Iceland where the Icelandic Sheepdog

ignored them while they independently ate iris ice cream and ilama. Ivy ignited a

fire to melt an iceberg to avoid injury to the great Iron and keep it intact. Itchy

played the ika, izeze and the inzad in an irregular concert for Italian Greyhounds

in Israel. Inky influenced several impartial Irish Setter chefs to include items

with indigo icing on their Indian menu.

When Inky, Itchy, and Ivy returned home on the great Iron, they had equally used

their intelligent imaginations to avoid banishment into the invisible land of

nothingness! Ivy was assigned to write and submit the latest issue of their travels

to the seven giant imps. Inky was assigned to upload a video of the travels to their

website. Itchy created a computer app to access all of their information about the

Land of Imagination. All were safe from becoming invisible, for now.

So, aye-aye and good bye!

The R Story Too!

Reviewing the last episode of our rocket crew’s adventure, Roger, Rita, Rachel and

Raymond were in trouble and about to wreck the razzmatazz rocket in the river rock

rainstorm. The rocket was rolling out of control, it was rusted and the rudder and

gauges were damaged. The crew were not sure what to do next.

Rita radioed to the nearest planet for help. The closest planet was Ruso. It was

only 4 million miles away. The air traffic controller answered on the radio and

instructed their safe landing on the emergency wreck tarnac. The rocket wrecking

crew was waiting for their landing and used their giant wrecker to tow the rocket to

the rocket repair hangar for repairs.

In the meantime, the rocket crew went to the rocketport to rest and recuperate.

There were restrooms, restaurants and three recreation rooms at the rocketport.

Ruso was a planet where everyone went to vacation. It was known for its resorts,

restaurants, rodeo, rock climbing, river rapids rides and roller coasters. Ruso was

inhabited by rats, rabbits, raccoons, roosters, red river hogs, river dolphins,

rheas, reindeer, ringtails, rhinoceroses, robins, rufous rat-kangaroos and rock hyraxes.

There were no humans on the planet. All of the animals appeared to get along

together and were not concerned when others from different planets visited. After

all, Ruso was a vacation resort. The rocket crew relaxed and ate ratatouille and

ravioli and drank raspberry juice for two days, while their rocket was being

repaired.

On the third day of their stay, the door to one of the recreation rooms was suddenly

rammed open. There were three large rhinoceros standing in the broken door demanding

answers to the questions of who were they, where were they from, and why were they

there? The crew could hear the other guests running, screaming and hiding in fear.

Rachel introduced the entire rocket crew to the rhinos and explained the purpose of

their mission. Roger explained what happened to their rocket. The leader of the

rhinos was Roxanne. She was the largest of the three and she had no problem showing

her wrath that day. The other two rhinos, Rabia and Ramona did most of the ranting

and raving which scared most of the guests. Roxanne reminded the crew that their

stay was to be very short and to get out and do not return! The rhinos rudely

retreated from the recreation area. The rabbit in charge removed the rammed doors

and calmed the guests down and said that this was normal for the three rhinos to

rant and rave, they always tried to bully any guest that was human and wreck the

resorts. Rabbit said that their rambunctious raids would have to end soon or the

entire planet would suffer. The rocket crew reviewed the problem and decided to

help. Raymond checked on the progress of the rocket repair. He went to the hangar

where the rocket was being repaired and the raccoon in charge reviewed his roster as

he walked around it. The rocket was on a rack in the air with ten or more rats

making all of the repairs. The rudder was replaced, the rocker cover, and the radio

too. The rocket was sanded to remove the rust and painted razzmatazz red. The

raccoon continued to check his list. He announced that the rocket would be ready to

ride in four hours. Meanwhile, back at the rec room, Roger, Rita and Rachel planned

a way to save planet Ruso from the roaming, ruthless, ruckus of Roxanne and her

rhino gang. The rocket crew challenged the rhinos to a rocket racket ball game where

the loser must stop bullying and ripping up the planet. Roxanne and her rhinos

accepted the challenge. Raymond radioed to Roger that the rocket would be ready in

48 hours. Rita and Rachel shopped for the rackets and balls that they would need for

the rocket racket ball game. Roxanne and her rhinos replaced the worn parts on their

rhino rocket. Raymond soon returned with the razzmatazz rocket ready for the racket

ball game. The racket ball game began at two at the Grand Ruso Sport Stadium. The

game was sold out! It looked like all of the animals and visitors on vacation were

at the game. The rocket crew were in their ship reading the gauges and getting the

rocket ready for the game. Roxanne and the rhinos were in their ship which looked

like a giant surf board with a glass domed top. The game began with the red rubber

racquetball sailing toward Roxanne with rapid speed. Roxanne and her rhinos missed!

The crowd roared as the razzmatazz rocket crew scored! Roxanne served and the rocket

crew returned the ball and Roxanne missed again! This went on for more than an hour.

It was clear that the rocket crew had won this game of rocket racketball! When the

game ended, Roxanne was presented with the Rules of Ruso which included no bullying,

no reckless or rambunctious behavior. Roxanne agreed to repair all damage she and

her rhinos made on the planet. Roxanne and her rhino gang will be watched by radio

television and if they break the rules, they will be removed from the planet and not

allowed to return.Roxanne signed two copies of the agreement. The Razzmatazz Rocket

crew presented Roxanne and the rhinos a gift of peace and friendship. It was a big

basket of ramen noodles, radishes, raisins and ricotta cheese;snacks that the rhinos

really liked.

The residents and visitors of Ruso cheered with happiness because their planet was

saved!

It was again time for Roger, Raymond, Rita and Rachel to return to the razzmatazz

rocket to explore new galaxies, solar systems and planets and spread peace and

friendship. The next adventure was to the Rhombus galaxy!

The R Story

Roger, Rachel, Raymond, and Rita are ready for a new adventure as they will leave

the Milky Way Galaxy and explore new galaxies, solar systems, and planets in the

universe. They will be traveling in their razzmatazz rocketship to their first

destination, the Rhumba Galaxy, ten million light years away from earth. Rhumba

Galaxy has eight thousand solar systems. They decided to visit the Radon Solar

System and its planets to learn more about life in other galaxies and to spread

friendship. The rapid ride of their razzmatazz rocket ship took Roger, Rachel,

Raymond, and Rita to the red planet of Radius.

Radius looks a lot like earth except everything is red. Roger, Rachel, Raymond, and

Rita landed in an area that looked like earth’s Russia. On Radius it is called

Root. The people that live on radius have gold skin and blue hair. They are three

feet tall and have three eyes, arms, and legs and run really fast. All of the

buildings on Radius are round and are red, of course. The houses are round, the tall

buildings and short buildings are round. The cars and planes are round. The trains

are round. The only thing not round and red are the people. Roger, Rachel, Raymond

and Rita gave red rubber rafts, jump ropes, raspberry fudge and red hot bark as

gifts to the citizens of Radius. They also played red rover, red light-green light,

and rugby with the people. Soon it was time to board the razzmatazz rocket to go and

everyone waved goodbye. They were now off to the next planet called Reverse.

Reverse was a strange planet to Roger, Rachel, Raymond, and Rita. Everything was

backward! They landed in a place that looked like Rome on earth, but the statues

heads were on backward, the doors were on the roof of the buildings and houses and

the chimneys were on the ground. The people and the animals walked and flew backward

and their heads were on backward too! Everything moved backward. The cars, planes,

trains, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks and buses all moved backward and they were

rapid too. The people spoke Ruswanda, which sounded like backward English. Roger had

a special translator machine that he kept in his spacesuit pocket for times like

these. The favorite food here was rootbeer and rutabagas. The crew really enjoyed

watching the people eat and drink. It was like watching a circus or magic act where

the people folded themselves into painful shapes. Raymond took pictures with the

families and their relatives. The people were very friendly, but always in a rush,

moving and talking at a rapid pace in reverse. The crew decided it was time to

board the razzmatazz rocket and blast off to the next solar system eight billion

light years away. The trip this time was very rough. They had to pass through a

rainstorm of small river rocks that made rust marks on the razzmatazz rocket. The

rainstorm was so strong, that it broke one of the readings of the gauges on the

dashboard of the rocket! The special red ray lights in the rocket kept blinking on

and off until they went out! There was so much rubble and the rocket began to roll

as it passed through the rock rainstorm. Rita reported a rip on the right side of

the razzmatazz rocket, but no one is able to make any repairs at this time. The rain

is coming down harder now! Will Roger, Rachel, Raymond, and Rita make it to the

next solar system? Will the rock rainstorm wreck the razzmatazz rocketship? Stay

tuned next week to reveal the real answers as the R Story continues!

The V Story

It’s four A.M. and it’s still dark outside. Valerie

Vessyl is sitting on the veranda of her villa packing her very fresh verdant and

vermeil vegetables from her farm for Virgil Vinn to transport in his vegetable

transport van to the village. Virgil will deliver the vegetables to Vernon Vase’s

Grocery Store for vending and Vera Valen’s Restaurant for her famous viand vegetable

soup with vendace, veal, and venison. Virgil Vinn stops at all the farms and gardens

inside and outside the village and transports the fresh fruits and vegetables to the

restaurants, stores, schools, and hospitals in the village every day.

It’s now 6 A.M. and the sun is starting to rise.

Violet Vine is vacuuming her Dee-Vine-Flowers Shop in the village. She just received

her new delivery of vincas, verbenas, violets, viburnum, and venus fly traps from

Vanessa Vikfer’s Flower Delivery Service. Her vivid and vibrant vase arrangements

will vanish very quickly at the Video and Vocal Music Festival that starts today in

the valley at the edge of the village.

It’s seven A.M. and everyone is starting to stir in

the village. The children are rushing to school in lots of vehicles. Some children

are going by bus, some by bike, some by car and some walking briskly to their

schools. Parents are in cars on their way to work, stopping at Victoria Videl’s

Bakery for hot Vienna fingers, vitex and verbena teas, and coffees. The smell of

Venezuela, Vintage and Viennese coffees and vanilla fill the air.

It’s 9 A.M. and the rush is over. Everyone is at

work or school. Virgil Vinn has delivered the fresh vegetables to the schools. The

cooks in the kitchens in the schools have started making vegetable soup, vindaloo,

vla and Vienna sausages. You can hear the student’s voices down the halls as they

name their vowels, verbs and vocabulary words. Virginia Valley’s Clothing Store has

opened and she has just finished her bridal veils, velvet vests, and visors

displays, half off with vouchers. Verner the postal carrier is delivering his

packages and mail with such velocity! The Great Veldt Veterinary Clinic is quite

busy now. Voles, vultures, viscacha, vaquitas, and vangas are sitting in the

waiting room for their vaccines and vitamins.

It’s twelve noon and time for lunch! The students

are in the cafeteria eating their vegetables for lunch. The parents are at the

restaurants and cafe, eating the specials for the day.  Vana and Vorick

Vacations Shop show valuable vacations to Veracruz, Virgin Islands, Venezuela,

Vietnam, Venice, Verona via voyages. Vermont, Virginia and Vancouver views by

rail. Verity and Valentina visit the very sick and injured at Viking Hospital and

take verbena and violets in small vials to share with the patients there. The

Village fire trucks zoom with great velocity down the street to put out the grass

fire in a nearby veldt.

Three o’clock in the afternoon and the children are

out of school, on their way home to do volume, vocabulary, lessons on vertical and

horizontal direction, verb, and vowel homework. The school vehicles take them to the

bus stops and the children walk or ride their bikes home. The parents are still at

work.

Now it is 5:00 P.M. and there are many vehicles in

the streets of the village. Big cars, little cars, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles,

big trucks, little trucks, buses. These are all the parents going home from work.

Parents rushing home to prepare dinner for their families and check their children’s

homework. It’s time to get ready for the festival!

It’s seven P.M. and people are at the gate, in the

veldt in the valley of the volcano, for the Annual Video and Vocal Music Festival.

This year’s theme is the Victory of the Vikings, Vampires, and Vanity. The audience

must have a valid voucher to attend the festival. The vocalists and the audience

are singing all the verses to the songs with great volume. The orchestra is playing

the violins,  violas, veena, vakiha, virginal and vibraslap with the

vocalists. The videos are vivid and visible from every seat in the valley. The

audience joins in with the dance videos of the verbunkos and the vogue. You can

smell the vinegar and vanilla in the air from the cupcakes, cookies, dill and sour

pickles for sale.

Everyone is having a great time!

Now it’s 12 AM midnight and everyone is home in bed

asleep. All is quiet in the village. There is not a peep. Not a dog was barking or

cat meowing or a mouse squeak. Everyone is fast asleep.