Dobble and Pug
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Dobble and Pug
Dobble and Pug is the first Chronicle of Daphne. The story is based on the Greek Mythological Character “Daphne” who can become various animals. This 10-year-old magically becomes a “fish” and has an exciting adventure where she saves a crayfish from being eaten by a Heron and she is saved by crayfish when she’s eaten by a bass. It is 75 pages, about 10,000 words and 31 beautiful illustration by nature illustrator Lynn Galloway. It’s for ages 6 and above, but a lovely read even for adults. This would make the perfect gift for any young reader, and kids learn ecology and even scientific notation without realizing, for all the science is accurate. You can read part of the story below and see a couple of illustrations.
Signed copies are available with Color Illustrations ($14.95 free shipping) or Black and White illustrations with Color Cover ($11.95 free shipping). For multiple copies or school discount, contact me: email@example.com
In the next adventure, Beneath Her Wings, Daphne becomes a Hawk.
CHORES DONE, DAPHNE GRABBED HER LUNCH BAG and canteen, kicked off her shoes, and headed down the old dirt path toward her favorite place in the forest. The moist soil was cold to her bare feet, and the fog left its last departing kiss on Daphne’s face. The narrow trail meandered through the garden, across a small field of wildflowers and bushes, to a large old tree that had long ago fallen across the small brook. Balancing on a log was a fun way to cross the water.
Daphne listened to the birds and insects sing their songs of welcome as she entered the forest. The early morning sun cast long tree shadows across the path. She tried to jump over the shadows and step only on the sunlit path as if the dark shadows were deep caverns. When they were too wide to jump, Daphne would gently tiptoe across them with her eyes closed so that she wouldn’t fall into a dark abyss.
The forest opened into a small meadow with white birch trees and a narrow brook that meandered about until it emptied into a clear, cold stream with cattails growing along the shore.
The sound of the water cascading over the rocks joined the chorus of voices from the birds, insects, and frogs.
The trail led to a grassy area where the stream made a gentle curve. The water had cut the bank into a short, but steep wall as it flowed around the bend. Daphne sat in the cool grass and wild flowers at the edge of the bank and gazed into the crystal clear water a few inches below. This was Daphne’s favorite place. A log emerged from the bank and reached out into the stream, and on it, sitting perfectly still was a frog. Hovering just above it was a beautiful dragonfly.
“Hello Mr. Frog,” she said, “you sure are a pretty frog.
She glanced at the dragonfly. “Mr. Dragonfly, you better not get much closer or you will be a snack for the frog.” As if it heard her, the dragonfly darted safely away.
“Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit,” the frog said, as if complaining that she told the dragonfly to fly away.
Daphne noticed a small fish. To get a closer view she lay down, rested her chin on her arm, and watched it swim around and into a small sausage-shaped object near a cattail plant. She couldn’t see it clearly, but whatever it was the little fish seemed to pay close attention to it. The bird songs and bubbling water were restful, and Daphne slowly closed her eyes. As she wondered what it must be like to be a little fish in this big brook, she fell asleep Suddenly, she felt completely surrounded by cold; it gripped every part of her. Daphne quickly opened her eyes and was amazed to find that she was under water. How could this be, she thought, how did I fall in?
Daphne held her breath as she sank to the bottom. Oh my gosh! I have to breathe. She tried desperately to swim up, but all she did was spin around underwater, for her arms didn’t seem to work properly. She could no longer hold her breath and gave in to the need for air. She inhaled thinking for sure she would gasp and choke on the water. But instead, she felt the water enter her mouth, and it felt just like breathing. She let the water out, but it didn’t seem to come out of her mouth; she had no idea where it went. Over and over she pulled in the water and let it out, and she wasn’t choking.
Daphne reached out for the bottom to adjust herself, but her arms and legs felt very odd. She glanced at her arm and couldn’t believe it when she saw a fin. She looked down at her legs and feet, but she saw an olive and brown fish tail. When she took another breath she felt her cheeks move in and out, but they didn’t feel like cheeks.
Daphne waved her arm, which was now a fin, and she twirled around. She tried to use her legs, but instead swished her tail fin, and it made her dart forward. “Wow! I’m a fish,” she said. “I’m me, but I’m a fish. How can that be.
Excited, Daphne experimented with her new fins, tail, and breathing through her mouth and cheeks. She found that walking upright on legs was nothing at all like swimming with fins. She bumped into plants and stones while she learned more and more about the action of each fin.
Daphne saw movement in the distance. It was the same fish she had been watching from the bank, and it continued to go in and out of the little tube that was stuck between two underwater plants. “Hello Mr. Fish,” she shouted.
The fish turned toward Daphne, scrunched his lips, and in a somewhat formal tone said, “I beg your pardon. My name is not Mr. Fish. I am Mr. Pungitius, a very proud Nine-Spine Stickleback, Stickleback, Stickleback.”
Daphne did her best to swim over to Mr. Pungitius. She swished too hard with one fin and it rolled her over. She used her other fin and it straightened her up again. Mr. Pungitius stopped to watch. Daphne twirled, twisted, turned, and bumped the bottom on her way over to him.
She finally arrived, tilted to one side. “My name is Daphne. I’m happy to meet you, Mr. Pungitius. And I’m sorry I called you Mr. Fish.”
Mr. Pungitius rolled his eyes in disbelief, “I’m not certain I’m happy to meet you, but I accept your apology, and you may call me Pug if you wish.”
Daphne swam an erratic path to get closer and bumped head-on into a big cattail stalk.
“Silly, silly, silly!” he said. “What’s wrong with you anyway?”
“Nothing! I’m just learning how to swim using my arms and tail”
“What’s an arm?” Pug asked.
Daphne wiggled what felt like an arm saying, “This arm, I mean fin?”
Pug said, “Those are your pectoral fins, every fish knows that.”
“But I’ve only been a fish for a few minutes. That’s why I can’t swim very well. I’m just learning how to use my pectoral fins and my tail fin.”
“Oh, my goodness,” Pug said, “it’s not a tail, that is your caudal fin.”
“I’m sorry; I don’t know much about being a fish. I come from the land. I’m the girl who lives in the farmhouse down the trail.”
This totally confused Pug. “How can you come from the land when you’re a fish? What is a little girl, a farmhouse, a trail? What do you mean you have been a fish for only a few minutes? How can you not have always been a fish? Crazy, crazy, crazy!”
“I’m a girl, Pug, honest; at least I used to be. A little while ago I was watching you from the grass, and I fell asleep. Then all of a sudden I found myself underwater.”
Poor Pug. He simply could not understand what in the world Daphne explained. “Stop, stop, stop!” he said. “I simply don’t have time for this silliness. I have to work, work, work on the nest before the water warms up too much.”
“Why?” Daphne asked.
“Because, when the water warms up, the lady sticklebacks will want to lay their eggs. And my nest must be ready.”
“Stickleback? That’s an odd name. Is it because of the funny looking spines on your back fin?”
Pug smirked. “That my dorsal fin, and the nine spines are no funnier looking than the spines of your dorsal fin. What a silly, silly, silly question. You are the oddest stickleback I have ever, ever, ever met.”
“Oh! I’m a stickleback too?” Daphne asked, excited to know what kind of fish she had become. “I knew I had become a fish, but since I can’t see myself very well I didn’t know what kind.”
Pug said, “Dumb, dumb, dumb! Of course you are a stickleback. What do you think you are, a bass? Where in the brook did you come from anyway? Silly, silly, silly!”
“Why do you repeat words?” Daphne asked. “Do all Sticklebacks repeat themselves as you do? Am I supposed to repeat what I say?”
“My, my, my!” Pug said. “Go away! I haven’t the time for such nonsense. Go pester someone else. I have to build my nursery. I must build, build, build.”
“Can I help you?” Daphne asked. “I want to learn how to be a good stickleback. Will you teach me?”
“What? You help? Lady sticklebacks don’t help build the nest. They never, never, never offer.”
“But I want to, please, please, please!”