Bedtime-Story
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Once Upon A Time.....

In a sheltered pool of water, amidst the rocks at the ocean's edge, there lived a little starfish named Stanley. The water was always warm and salty where Stanley lived, and his home made him very happy.
During the day, Stanley played in sand that glittered and sparkled in the warm sunshine. At night, after the sun slipped over the horizon, Stanley would snuggle up next to his favorite rock and fall fast asleep.

Then one day, Stanley noticed that although his home was cozy, there was something missing.

It was quiet. Too quiet.

There was never anyone to talk to. There was never anyone to play with. The little starfish realized he was lonely.

Stanley thought about this all day long. When the sun slipped away that night, he was lonelier than he had ever been before.

He moved over to his favorite rock and tried to snuggle down to sleep, but for some reason the rock now seemed too hard and too cold.

"If I just had someone to talk to," Stanley said to himself. "Then, I wouldn't be lonely."

Stanley looked up and began to watch the night sky. One by one, bright, twinkling stars appeared, bringing soft light to the darkness.

Stanley had never seen the stars before. He was usually sound asleep before the moon laid its path across the water. This new sight was amazing.

"That's it!" Stanley said, sitting straight up.

"Why, I don't belong in this little pool at all. No wonder I'm so lonely, I must be a star that fell from the sky!"

"But how will I ever get back up there?"

He could see the path the moon spread across the great ocean, and he decided that it must be the path back to the sky. He would just have to find a way to that path.

All night long Stanley lay awake, wondering how he could get to that bright moon path. Stanley had never left his cozy little home. Finally he decided that he would somehow have to go out into the great ocean to find the path to the stars in the sky.

When the tide came in the next morning, Stanley inched his way into the swirling water. The great waves quickly rushed him away out into the great ocean.

Stanley rolled and tumbled this way and that in the mighty waves, and the trip nearly took his breath away. Finally, the swirling and turning finally stopped and Stanley drifted slowly down to the ocean's floor.

Here the water was not at all nice and warm like his little pool. It was dark, cold and mysterious.
...........................

Just then a school of fish surrounded him. Stanley thought that this would be a good time to ask about the moon's path. But the fish simply ignored him and his questions, and swam away.

An old sea horse watching from nearby began to chuckle.

"Silly little starfish!" he laughed.

"The fish learn in school never to talk to strangers. But if you want to know about the moon's path, I will tell you this, you will only find it at night."

This disappointed Stanley, but he knew it must be true, because he had never seen the moon's path during the day. Stanley decided to settle down in the sand and wait for night to come. He could use a nap after his sleepless night.

It seemed to Stanley that he had only just dozed off when he heard a strange noise that sounded very much like somebody shouting
WAKE UP!

Stanley opened his eyes. A huge hungry monster was swimming right toward him, licking its lips and grinning. Quickly Stanley ducked into a big dark space under a rock, and huddled there, shaking with fright.

When a voice spoke from behind him, he was so startled that he jumped straight up and bumped his head on the rock.

"It's okay now!, Calm down," the voice said. "That big puffer fish must have really scared you! Golly, don't you know a starfish should never nap out in the open like that? You were awfully lucky, you know! You almost ended up as that big fish's dinner! "

Stanley turned toward the voice and and found himself face to face with a pretty little starfish.

 

"Oh, thank you for saving my life ," Stanley gasped. "I had no idea it could be so dangerous out here!".

And then Stanley blinked as he looked at the other little starfish. "But who are you? What's your name? Did you fall from the sky, too?" Stanley asked excitedly. "Maybe we can find our way back together!"

The new little starfish giggled, "My name is Marcie. Fall from the sky?? What in the world are you talking about?

So Stanley introduced himself to Marcie, and explained how lonely his little pool in the rocks was, with no one around to talk to or play with. He told her how he had seen the sky so full of stars, and was looking for the moon's path to lead him up to his twinkling family in the sky.

"Oh, Stanley!" Marcie giggled. " You don't belong up in the sky! You're a starfish, just like me! Starfish belong in the water! Anyway, I'm afraid the moon's path would never lead you to the sky. The seahorse told me it's just a reflection of the moon on the water."

Stanley looked sadly at Marcie. "Then I guess I should go back home", he said, "but it was so lonely there."

Then Stanley began to tell his new friend about his quiet, safe home, the warm sun, glittering sand, and his favorite rock.

"That sounds wonderful!" exclaimed Marcie. "But why ever did you leave it? The ocean is full of so many dangers, and the sun hardly ever reaches the deep waters."

"You're right", sighed Stanley. "I don't really want to stay out here. It's too cold and dangerous. It's just that I was so very lonely back there all by myself."

"I have a wonderful idea!", said Marcie. "If you like, I'll go back to the rocks by the shore with you. I will stay and be your friend for always. We can talk and play together, and you will never be lonely again!"

"Will you? Really? I would like that a lot, Marcie!" Stanley exclaimed happily. "We'll be best friends! But it's going to be high tide soon, so we had better hurry up if we want to get home!"

So together, Marcie and Stanley moved along toward the ocean's bottom, to where the swirling waters of the tide could carry them closer to shore.

They stayed very close together so that in the rough waters they wouldn't lose each other, and soon they tumbled safely back into Stanley's sheltered little pool amidst the rocks at the waters edge.
Stanley proudly showed Marcie around his cozy little home. Then, as the sun slipped over the horizon and the stars above began to fill the sky with twinkling brightness, Stanley and Marcie snuggled up to Stanley's favorite rock, and they both fell fast asleep.

Goodnight Stars! - Goodnight Starfish!


The Lonely Starfish - By Marjorie Alcorn - Copyright 1999


About the Author: Marjorie Alcorn of Janesville, Wisconsin achieved two years of college towards her degree in elementary education before she married and devoted the next five years of her life to being a full-time wife and mom. Finding herself suddenly single and thrust back into the traditional workplace at the age of 30, she's gone back to working full time in order to care for her three little snugglers, 5 year Nick, 3 year old Emily and 1 year old Nathan. Her spare moments, (the precious few there are left of them, anyway), are devoted to studying medical transcription. Writing children's stories has long held a special place in Marjorie's heart. Both literate and computer savvy, Marjorie may be the ideal candidate for telecommuting. She tells us she dreams of that one special job which might allow her to work from home. Contact Majorie Alcorn by e-mail at: Mialene@aol.com



About the Illustrator: Jeff Meyers is a talented writer as well as a talented illustrator. Jeff makes his home in Ohio. He enjoys writing fiction for all ages and has been drawing and painting all his life. His artwork includes cartoons, illustrations, computer graphics, and still life drawings. When he's not working at his computer, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Jeff has wonderful examples of both his artistic as well as his writing talent on display throughout Bedtime-Story. Check the Author/Illustrator directory for a complete listing of Jeff Meyers work on Bedtime-Story. Contact Jeff at Jeff@thejeffworks.com or visit his new website: The JEFFWORKS for Creative solutions to your communication needs


About the Other Illustrator: The landscape image of Stanley Starfish's home at the edge of the ocean is from a fractal painting. It is courtesy of award-winning digital artist Sebastian Marquez of Sweden.

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