Monday, April 30, 2012

The Thwarting of Mr. Dingsnapple: Chapter One

“…My eggs! He’s stolen my eggs!” Sweetie rooted her beak through her nest and looked back over her shoulder. Mr. Dingsnapple was walking away. He had just placed her four pearly-white eggs in a red wire basket.  She ran as fast as her big webbed feet could carry her. Her huge gray wings flapped with every step.

            “Wait, Mr. Dingsnapple, wait! There’s been a mistake. You’ve got my eggs.”

But all Mr. Dingsnapple heard was a goose’s plaintive honking. He ignored her and continued toward his office. Sweetie panted as she ran and honked. Mr. Dingsnapple was too far ahead. She knew she could not catch him. He went inside and closed the door without a backward glance. The sign over the door said Office: Storybook Farm Petting Zoo.

“It’s too late!” Sweetie stood at the steps of the porch in shocked disbelief. “My eggs, my beautiful eggs. They’re gone,” she sobbed.  But all Mr. Dingsnapple heard was the honking of a goose outside his door.

“If I don’t get them back soon, they’ll die.” Sweetie paced back and forth. “I know he’s made a mistake. I’m sure he’s made a mistake.” She nodded to herself. “That’s it. He’s confused my nest box with another. I’ve got to tell him.”

Sweetie studied the porch and the door. The three wooden steps to the porch were wide and had flat oak railings. Masses of flowers on either side created a rainbow of colors. Each step was nearly chest high to Sweetie. She measured them with her eye, took a determined breath and clamber-flapped her way to the top. Panting, she jumped and scrabbled at the doorknob but could not get it open.

Sweetie had to convince him to return her eggs. If not, all her hopes and dreams of hatching her own goslings would be dashed.

 “Mr. Dingsnapple, Mr. Dingsnapple!” she pecked at the door “You’ve made a mistake.” She paced the porch.

“He’s a good person. I know he’ll understand he just made a mistake.” Sweetie continued to peck at the door. “If I can just make him listen, he’ll give them back.”

Mr. Dingsnapple opened the door, looked down at her and said, “Sweetie, what are you doing up here?”

She tried to explain, but all he heard was a gabbling, honking goose. He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I’ve got work to do.”

Just as he turned to close the door, Sweetie tried to push past him into the office.

“Here, now!” He shoved her back with his foot. “You can’t come in here!” He made a shooing motion with his hands. “I don’t have time to mess with you right now, I’ve got eggs to blow.” With that he slammed the door.

Stunned, Sweetie sat down by the door.  Her heart iced as his words burned into her mind. “Eggs to blow, he said he’s got eggs to blow.” Stricken, Sweetie thought about what that meant. “He’s going to blow my eggs. It wasn’t a mistake.” Her throat constricted. “He did it on purpose.”

She crumpled into a heap by the door and wept.


  1. Good writing but it makes me feel sad and helpless. Please don't leave her there...

    1. Are you feeling what Sweetie feels? If so, I've done my job as an author!

      No, Sweetie definitely isn't left there. When I first started writing The Thwarting of Mr. Dingsnapple, I wasn't sure where it would go.

      By the time it was finished, I realized this just wasn't a little goose story.

      On the surface, it is the conflict between Sweetie and Mr. Dingsnapple.

      But in reality, it has become a forum for mother love, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and overcoming incredible odds.

      In the end, Sweetie does prevail. But she has a challenging trip to get there.