"The Cob Will Have Nowhere To Live" Children's Chapter Book
"Oh..." The Cob awoke with a startle. "Oh My Goodness...Oh My Word. That sound...that eerie, hissy sound." Anxious and a bit confused, he jumped out of his bed and whirled around, looking in all directions. Then, he stopped. "Where am I" he mumbled, rubbing his eyes. Looking at the window behind him, he remembered. "Thank goodness...I was dreaming. My Socks, that was really scarry" he said shaking his head. Calm, now, he stretched his legs and then his middle.
You see, The Cob had slept a very long sleep, dreaming of the forest, and the fiercest of all Wee Creatures that dwell there. Mantis is her name. She is the most feared forest insect in Bugdom, in Birch Hollow and beyond. She is huge, much larger in size than The Cob's little measurement. She has long, hooky arms that can reach out in an instant...and grab. Her body colors help her to hide in the grasses and tree leaves. This makes her practically invisible. This is her power, and this is her trick, a clever disguise, as she waits for others, to pass her by. The Cob breathed in slowly. "eeeee" Looking out the basement window, to the garden and beyond, he quieted and began to speak...as if in a trance...reciting a story told to him, long ago.
"Mantis waits, still and silent,
breathing whispers, standing close,
watching while you count the dew drops,
like a sneaky, hiding ghost.
Her beady eyes, looking, searching
under hooded brows, they stare,
while her head moves left then right,
little insects be aware.
Hearing not, her licking lips,
tiny creatures pass her by,
never knowing where she's watching,
sniffing breezes, as she spies."
The Cob blinked his eyes...
of her grasping, hooky arms,
'Snatch'...she's got you."
"Oooooo..". The Cob breathed, trembling...
"it's impossible to run...
it's all over...it's all done...
You were here....or maybe................. there,
you're nowhere... ...
you're... ...just.. ...
gone".... ... . . . . .
Quivering his knees. He looked down...
"Oh My Socks...have fallen to my toes". A prickley feeling ran up his spine, he bent and straightened them all, then continued his tale...
"Some brave and clever creatures have lived to tell
how lucky they were,
to hear with their ears
and see with their eyes
those sounds and signs
only Mantis makes,
then, feel inside...
a shivery cry...
just in time...to make their escape.
This fearsome bug has a flaw
deep, within her humungus, horrible core,
that you should never, never ignore.
To herself, she whispers her name "Mantis sss"...
then she ponders her plan...her game,
mumbling outloud, to herself, her thoughts
are caught on the breeze, in the leaves, in the trees
and are carried on the nets, through the Woodwideweb..."
All Wee Creatures listen to it's rythms
which tell of these sounds...and others,
there might be a danger, lurking about.
In one quick, cold, moment, a voice deep inside you will speak.
All Wee Creatures...must listen and must obey..
the shivery cry inside us...will say
"Leap, run, roll, jump, spring high, dive under,
crawl quickly, fly, scatter, climb, flutter fast... away"
The Cob jumped back from the window with a quiver and yelp..."Lucky am I and Lucky I be...I've listened to the webs in the trees...'Mantis ssss'. That Preying Mantis, has never spied me"
He straightened himself, his overalls and socks, he looked over his shoulder. "I truly do not miss those adventures...absolutely, positively frightening. Enough of Mantis sss, no more chilling tales. We need some happy thoughts". The Cob scratched his head and let go of his dream............."Now, what to do today" he said, looking up to see the very tops of his birch tree...