Sir WHIP swung his legs over the edge of his bed early one morning, yawning, but well rested and ready for adventure. One never knew what the day would bring in the Team RoJo household. Once in his bathroom (which Ro and Jo's dad and Poppop had hooked up to the house plumbing so the sink, toilet, and shower all actually worked, though he lived in a doll house) he did his business, then hopped in the shower and lathered up. After that he dried off, then buffed each and every one of his sparkly orange scales until they glittered in the sunlight coming in the window.
He hurried downstairs, out of the house onto the table that his home sat upon, and stepped right up to the edge of it. He leapt off the edge, flapping his wings, and on the way to the floor made himself Ro's size, so he could walk through the RoJo house without getting stepped on and smooshed.
He found his friends in the kitchen, having breakfast, their eyes sliding toward the back door – they seemed a little bummed-out.
"Good morning everyone," Sir WHIP said to Ro, Jo, and Kato, all crunching on cereal or kibble – you can figure out who was gobbling what. "Do I detect some glumness on this fine Saturday morning?"
"Well, it's Autumn, and one of our favorite months of the year," Ro said, her face leaning dejectedly on her fist, her elbow on the table propping it up.
"So why aren't you happy?" Sir WHIP didn't get the gloominess.
"Because our favorite thing is to crunch leaves, like Nana Terri showed me when I was really, really little."
"Oh yes! I enjoy that too! When those big fat leaves' edges curl under just right and make a big crunch when you step on them! So satisfying!" Sir WHIP said, smiling at the very thought of the crunchy goodness under his big dragon feet. And then he thought about the kids' mood some more and said, "I still don't understand why you're so sad. It's a bright, sunny, cool fall morning. Why aren't you scarfing down your breakfasts and jumping on crispy leaves and raking them into piles to leap into?"
"That's why we're a little sad, Sir WHIP. Look outside. It's been raining for the last two days. The leaves are soggier than our corn flakes," Jo said sadly.
"Is that all?" Sir WHIP said, giving a little wave to brush off Ro and Jo's gloomies.
"It will take a week for the leaves to dry out, and it's supposed to rain again on Monday," Ro said, thinking that Sir WHIP didn't fully understand the problem.
"Hurry and finish your breakfast! Time's a-wastin'! Leaves a-waitin'!"
Ro and Jo just looked up from their cereal bowls at one another and rolled their eyes. Their sparkly orange friend obviously didn't understand the water-logged leaf situation.
Nevertheless, they gobbled up the rest of their breakfast and hurried out the door to the sidewalk where Sir WHIP waited for them.
"See?" Jo said, turning about and pointing down at the damp sidewalk where there were still even little puddles with leaves bogged down in them.
"Come with me," Sir WHIP said, and led the way down the block, stopping all the way at the corner. He turned back toward Ro and Jo's house, and began taking very slow steps along the sidewalk, flanked by his friends, and a waggily-tailed Kato. All eyes grew wide as Sir WHIP took a big, deep breath, leaned his big nose down toward the leaves on the sidewalk, and breathed out, kindof sniffing in reverse. Ro and Jo both gasped as little puffs of smoke blew out of Sir WHIP's snout.
But what began to happen next made them both clap for joy. The very warm air that Sir WHIP was blowing out his nose began to dry the leaves on the sidewalk.
At the sight of the leaves curling up and drying out – getting crunchier and crunchier, Ro, Jo, Sir WHIP, and even Kato began hopping and jumping up the sidewalk, crunching all the leaves!
Sir WHIP dried every leaf on the whole block, and soon there were happy children, especially Ro and Jo, crunching, raking, and jumping in piles of leaves all over the neighborhood!
Sir WHIP turned a gloomy morning into a fun fall adventure!
TD - 10/8/2016