The Tale of the Footes by Estelle Cade

Once upon a time, Mr. And Mrs. Foote learned that they would be having twins, a girl and a boy. The girl, being in a hurry, was born first and they named her Righty. The boy, a few seconds later, arrived, and they named him Lefty. They were adorable identical twins, and the parents were “toe-tally” thrilled with their tiny baby toes. So sweet, so cunning.

However, as they began to walk Mrs. Foote noticed that Righty’s little toes turned out as she began to walk and that Lefty’s little toes turned inward. Fearing that this might hamper their agility, she enrolled them in Miss Toe Knees School of Dance. The children took to dance immediately! Righty found Ballet to be the perfect style for her and the second that Lefty put on those shiny black tap shoes, he was off and away!

The twins entered many Dance Competitions and soon news of their wonderful talent began to spread. They were billed now as The Tippy Tap Toes Twins and fans indeed stood on tiptoe to see them.  Righty, en pointe, twirled and  twirled on her toes, her arabesques were things of beauty, and her leaps left her fans in awe. Lefty’s toe taps were spectacular, his toes actually sparkled as he double shuffled and did digs and clicks while sometimes also appearing as ‘catcher ‘ for Righty in some of her ballet scenes. He would speedily tap his way across the stage, click, click, click – and be in place she Righty’s last leap brought him right to his arms.  Their audience would gasp in amazement at what two types of toes could accomplish.

Deciding to dip their toes in the water of the film business, they made a movie “On Your Toes and Pointe Your Toes”  which became a box office hit and led to Oscar nominations. All the wonderful dance professionals were thrilled to see their art be recognized and it led to a new  category “Best Odd combination of Dance in One Film”.

One day, after hours of rehearsing for their next live show, Righty untied her ballet shoes, sighed as she rubbed her poor, crooked toes and said, “Lefty – I think it’s time we retired. This is getting too hard for us.” Lefty, removing his well-worn pair of lucky tap shoes and surveying the new set of blisters on his toes said “Sis, you’re right. It’s time to hang up our shoes and retire. But – what would we do? We surely do not want to teach!”

So, calling on their contacts in the dance world – so many with major toe problems, they drew up a business plan and formed a company which they named the Tippy Tippy Tap Toe Shoe Company – Orthopedic Dance Shoes for Worn out Dancers.

The company was wildly successful and Righty and Lefty and their families enjoyed a happy retired life. They moved to a private island they had purchased, where they never had to wear shoes, and where their toes never hurt again.

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Adrift in The Guest Room by Janice Lepore

Margaret ran her fingers through her hair, contorted her face, and adjusted her glasses. Muttering seemed to be her ready response to every frustration these days. Why was it when she read some interesting comments, a string of words that tantalized the imagination, an alphabet soup way of addressing an issue, that she could never remember exactly how it went, where she read it, or who said it, without agonizing over who, what and when?

Readjusting the pillows, best she could, she closed the fairly new publication she had been wanting to read. The author’s first two books had been best sellers for several weeks. One was even made into a movie. The premise of this story was how something that happened to the boy when he was seventeen changed his life forever. The author’s face showed that he was fairly young. The back cover of his third book said he lived in North Carolina with his wife and two sons. Where did he get his ideas? Obviously not from the experiences of his many years in the school of hard knocks.

There had been an interesting article in the morning paper about a man who wrote journal style dribble to counteract the drudgery of a factory job for years He wasn’t on the List, so to speak, but his two very different style books had been recognized with several awards. He explained that he spent his mornings with pen and paper at the library and simply reacted to some idea that raced through his head. On the other hand, he acknowledged that he was fortunate to have a wife who was impressed with his ability to describe events and situations; and therefore willing to support the family for a year. It was a challenge he was enjoying with confidence. It made one feel good inside to read this kind of news story.

Back to the novel, Margaret commanded herself. She had to keep her mind occupied. The doctor had been evasive, to say the least, as to how long she would be propped up in bed with an ankle that resembled a tree trunk, and an elephant-sized foot. Muttering aloud, she congratulated herself on having designed such a comfortable guest room with a lovely view of trees and sky. Chuckling to herself, she acknowledged that she had never intended to be the guest!

Raindrops by Janice Lepore

Susan giggled and continued singing, “Rain drops keep falling on my head” to no one in particular. Clamping the ends of her pillow tightly around her head, Sydney tried to stifle the sound of the rain as well as Susan’s mantra.

 It was day two of their annual family camping trip and also day two of the rain. Sydney actually enjoyed the pitter patter of the rain on the canvas tent as she waited for the excess to run off the angled tarp. There was a rhythm to the combined sounds that made the nights peaceful. It was the dreary, damp days that had everyone mincing words. Reading, writing, playing games together was just more fun in the warm sunshine.

Suddenly Sydney remembered listening to a group singing around a campfire when she was younger and had to go to bed while everyone else – adults, that is – were having fun. There had been words about Moriah and blowing in the wind or something like that. The words had a soft wistful sound that soothed and refreshed at the same time.

 Deeming Moriah the Goddess of the wind, Sydney drifted off to sleep confident that day three would dawn bright and clear, and her twin sister Susan would have no more raindrops falling on her head.

Beautiful by Lori Thatcher

 “Don’t cut my hair, Ma. I need to go to a beauty place, pleeeease,” I whined. My mother told me to stop whining, but I kept on—I knew it was a request, not an order.

I talked fast hoping she wouldn’t say we couldn’t afford it. “Janey got a perm and everyone loves her hair. No one likes my hair. I hate my hair.”

“Come here.” She peered at me and I peered back from under my too-long bangs. She fluffed up my straight, shoulder-length brown hair and sighed. “We’ll go tomorrow.”

Tomorrow was Friday and I would have to wait until Monday to show off my beauty-place hair, but I was thrilled!”

Friday at school was two days long. I ran all the way from the bus stop, charging across the stubble in the corn field. Ma met me on the doorstep with her old black pocket-book. We walked to the neighbor’s house and got a ride into town.

The place smelled smoky and there were old men sitting in chairs against the wall, but I was delighted when the man draped me with a black plastic cape. I couldn’t see the mirror, but I watched the hair fall onto the floor and imagined what everyone would say on Monday. I felt special, a trip to town just for me.

Monday morning, my hair was messy, but I combed it all the way to school. I marched into school beaming and everyone smiled at my beautiful hair. When Janey asked me where I got my hair done, I said, “At the beauty place.”

She said it looked like someone had put a bowl on my head. I didn’t care. My Ma hadn’t cut my hair. She took me to a beauty place, and I felt beautiful.