Each autumn the people who lived on Annabelle the Collies farm piled all of their best vegetables from the seasons harvest into their truck and drove to the Albemarle County Fair. There, they showed off their big, bright pumpkins, giant squash, and the best of their tomatoes, hoping to win blue ribbons and prove to everyone that they were the best farmers.
Annabelle did not care much about the vegetables, but she loved the fair. And this year she was going to teach Charlie the Goose and Bumble the Bee all about the wonderful food, rides and games. They had never been to a fair before.
It was the first night of the fair. This place is crazy! Bumble yelled to Charlie. Indeed, the fair was a busy, noisy place, with children running left and right, music, laughter, lights, and things the goose and bee had never seen before. Well never find Annabelle in all this mess.
At last, Charlie and Bumble found the Rock-O-Plane, which was like a Ferris wheel, only instead of just turning lazily around, the cages on the Rock-O-Plane went really fast and sometimes spun upside-down. Charlie and Bumble listened to the people screaming.
I cant tell if they like the ride or not, Charlie said.
Annabelle showed up at the Rock-O-Plane a little while later. Look at all the coins everywhere, Annabelle pointed out. Whenever the cages turn upside-down everything falls out of the peoples pockets.
They picked up the coins and offered them to the man running the carousel. He chuckled and told them they werent tall enough to ride.
Since the three friends were not allowed on the rides, they contented themselves with walking around and looking at all of the interesting exhibits and watching the people. Bumble particularly liked a display about honey- that is until he was distracted by a garbage can, where he found some leftover cotton candy and soda. As he feasted, a boy walked by with a big red candy apple in his hand. Bumble the Bee could not resist!
Uh-oh, Charlie said, this could be trouble.
Sure enough, Bumble flew right over and helped himself to the candy apple. The boy screamed when he noticed that there was a bee on his food. Bumble tried to fly away but his feet were stuck!
The child swatted at the bee. Without hesitating, Charlie the Goose waddled over to rescue his friend. Honk! Honk! Honk! he squawked at the boy, who screamed even louder, thinking the goose was trying to attack him.
Then the boys mother came along. Someone help! That goose is going to hurt my son!
Now it was Annabelles turn to act. If she didnt do something, Charlie and Bumble would both be in big trouble. She ran over, barking and growling and making as much commotion as possible.
Make this look good, Annabelle whispered to Charlie, still growling and barking for all the humans to hear. Charlie flapped his wings a few times, honked and squawked, then snatched the candy apple (to which Bumble was still stuck) out of the boys sticky hands, and flew away.
Everyone said Annabelle was a hero for saving the boy from that crazy goose. They gave her all the corndogs and popcorn she could eat. As for Bumble, Charlie carried the apple to the river and gave the bee a good bath. That was too close. No more fairs for you until you learn to control your sweet tooth.
Mike L. Ford is the author of historical novels for kids of all ages. A North Garden native, he now lives in beautiful Greene County with his wife Holly, heir new baby, and their two dogs.