Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Grand Tale

When we became grandparents, five years ago, I began collecting soft toy critters from our local charity op shops, so that when the grandchildren were ready, the animals would be on hand.
Critters crawling everywhere (note Giraffe on left side of bottom line-up)!

Thus, any room or surface in our house can become a resting place for one or more of these critters (they do seem to roam around), and grandchildren Beren (5) and Kestrel (2) always ask for a few to play with when they come, Giraffe being a firm favourite.

Kestrel's favourite Giraffe (and favourite Dad)
However, recently their animal play escalated to monumental proportions, with every critter in sight being conscripted.

The children had dropped in for morning tea, but we quickly came to realise that although the morning tea was enjoyed,
   Morning tea,             plans and dreams,        mischief in the making
in Beren and Kestrel's eyes it was just preliminary preparation for the real business of the visit: the creation of - you guessed it - a zoo!

The lounge room was the chosen location for our zoo and initially chaos ensued. However, under the guidance of the zoo patron (moi!) it was soon decided to provide separate areas for critters needing similar conditions, e.g. desert, water loving, farm, tree climbing, etc., and soon the zoo keeper (Beren) and his helper (Kestrel) were happily finding suitable food for their charges, including grass for farm animals, gum leaves for koalas, honey for bears,  bamboo for pandas, and a lamb bone for the lion, who was especially hungry.

Let me show you our zoo animals.
Before too long we had our first visitors to the zoo, and our zoo keeper showed them around, at the same time checking that his animals were happy in their new environment.

He brought several to the zoo hospital for treatment, and I am happy to report that all recovered quickly, thanks to the care of the zoo patron, who is also a trained critter nurse.

Look what I found in the cupboard, Nana!
In the meantime, the enterprising zoo helper discovered that she could open the cupboard where the 'special' critters are kept, and proceeded to transport them to the zoo (I am grateful that the zoo staff are quite careful in their handling of all critters in their charge!).


Because the zoo was such a successful enterprise, a follow-up visit resulted in another zoo being built. This time, however, the zoo staff lost control of their animals, and an unsuspecting zoo visitor resting on a nearby park bench was totally buried beneath a zooful!
Poor unsuspecting zoo visitor buried alive

Thankfully, he was rescued, none the worse for his adventure, and seemed in no hurry to leave the zoo.

Monday, 4 March 2013

A Three Dog Night!

Critters a-twitter!
It was early evening, and outside Critter Cottage the birds were settling down for the night. However, inside the cottage Kayzy's Critters were all a-twitter - if non-feathered critters can twitter!  Always interested in what Nana was making, part of the fun for the critters was in trying to guess what her newest creation might be. As they strained to see what Nana Kayzy working on, the guesses flew freely.
Fur-Elise admires Randyll
"It must be a bear," announced Randyll the Rabbit, a recently creation of Nana's. "The feet are too small for a rabbit," and he surveyed his substantial bunny feet with satisfaction. Randyll was a very self-assured young buck, and his confidence in his own opinion was boosted by Fur-Elise's, who thought he was the cleverest bunny she had ever met!

"Hmm, I'm not so sure about that," responded Kenneth the Koala. "Mind you, being a marsupial and not a bear I am not an expert in beariness, but this critter-to-be appears to be developing a different sort of personality to that of a bear."

Babette and Kenneth

O'Shaughnessy and Lah-Fing

"To be sure, his head doesn't seem the right shape for a bear, you know," offered O'Shaughnessy, who didn't often bestir himself to contradict his fellow critters - but the temptation to put the young Randyll in his place was too strong to resist.

Shirley wishes for Wilbur's wisdom
The guesses and opinions continued to fly. "I wish Wilbur were here," said Shirley dreamily. "He would be sure to know what sort of critter it is that Nana Kayzy is making." There were groans across the room. Everyone knew that Wilbur could do no wrong in Shirley's eyes, but this was too much.

Come off it, Shirl!
"Come off it, Shirl!" cried Jo-Mo. "Why should Wilbur know any more than we do? He's a great mate, but . . ."

It's a dog!
Suddenly a high-pitched puppy cry of "I know, I know!" echoed by deeper doggy tones drowned out Jo-Mo's protest. Rosita (another recent addition to Nana Kayzy's fold) and Digger (famous for his treasure hunt with Dennis the Dancing Duck) then declared together, "It's a dog!" and Nana Kayzy looked up from her sewing, smiling her affirmation of their discovery.

It's a very doggy dog
 "How clever you are!" Nana said. "It is a dog, and a rather disreputable dog at that. I'm going to call him 'Ruff'." After this revelation Nana returned to her work, and before long it was clear to all that Ruff was indeed a dog -  a very doggy dog!

"Whoo-hoo!" cried Digger, "thanks, Nana! We dogs are in the minority here, so a third woofer is just what's needed."

Ruff salutes Rosita
Little Rosita didn't say anything else, but continued watching Nana as she put the finishing touches to Ruff.

Then, without warning, Ruff suddenly turned his head and saluted Rosita, making her  puppy cheeks blush to an even deeper shade of rose pink than normal.

Nana smiled to herself and thought, "This could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

It's a three dog night!

Postscript: All the critters featured in this post are available for adoption. More information on each of them may be found on our For Adoption page or by emailing us at