For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

U.S.S. Starship Treehouse
Chapter VII

"Check the instruments once more to make certain everything is functioning properly," Grandma said quietly to Timothy. "Once you're satisfied, go ahead and issue your commands. She's your ship, Captain."

Timothy checked the control panel, then turned and nodded at the occupant of the seat behind him.

Sam Cat expertly fastened his shoulder harness and flicked on his control screen.

"All systems GO, Captain," reported Sam, in perfect English.

Amanda's jaw dropped as she glanced over at her crimson-uniformed seat-mate, First Officer ZammCat .

"Engage, level one," instructed Timothy.

Gently, the U.S.S. Starship Treehouse began to rise through the branches.

Fascinated, Amanda watched the window.


"So where are we going?" Amanda asked again . Timothy’s Grandma leaned over to look at the now brightly pulsating screen.

"Why, it looks as if we’re heading for UNIX23", she said to Amanda, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice.

She looked inquiringly at Timothy. "That planet's located just outside the Wrongulin zone if I’m not mistaken," she said.

Starship Commander Timothy Grey turned to his Grandmother and gave her a great big grin. She couldn't help but laugh.

Still smiling, Timothy turned his attention back to the sparkling sky.

"Full speed ahead, Mr. ZammCat," he ordered.

U.S.S. Starship Treehouse by Cynthia Loomis Gurin
Copyright 1996 - All Rights Reserved

For other stories by Cynthia Gurin: - See the Author/Illustrator Index

Click here (or read on) to learn more : About The Author

Starship Commander Timothy Grey and his crew will rely on each of the books in their library to assist them during their journey.

You can contact any member of the crew of the USS Starship Treehouse by e-mail to let them know if you’d like to hear more of their adventures. If the crew is up in the treehouse when you write, we'll beam your letter aboard so they receive your message right away.

Amanda Grey
First Officer ZammCat (yes, Sam Cat certainly does have his own mailbox)
Starship Commander Timothy Grey


About the Author:

Cynthia Gurin lives in South Florida with her husband Bob, a quartet of cats, two dogs, a remarkably wise duck, and a teddy bear or two. She has achieved recognition in both the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal for innovative marketing techniques. She considers the Personal Ad, through which she met her husband, to be her most rewarding literary endeavor. She holds a senior corporate position in the real world. Send Mail


Authors Note:
The books that Timothy selected for the library in U.S.S. Starship Treehouse are quite real. When they were first published, the set of silver books was called "Wie funktioniert das?" (How Does It Work?) . The Foreward in Volume I begins on page 9 with the words "This volume is not a reference book in the ordinary sense..."

Indeed it isn't. On the other hand, the particular set of books in Timothy's Grandmother's house might contain a wee bit more information in them than the regular version did.

But you know, you never can tell....

The silver books do say one other thing. In ancient, graceful handwriting, in ink which sparkles ever so slightly, is the curious phrase --

"For Joshua and Lauren with love. Don't forget your towel."


Starship Treehouse lift-off and treehouse ladder Animated .gifs were provided by the amazingly talented J. Huyler Case Contact Jeff Case at
Control panel components, those assorted flying, twirling and flashing .gifs, many of which were created with the Alchemy GIF Construction Set, are courtesy of their respective creators, whomever they may be. Our sincere appreciation.

Starship in the forest - Courtesy of Daily Mail, U.K., photo of The Swedish TreeHotel, located in Lulea, Sweden.

Quick Vocabulary

Acrid - An especially bitter, burning odor. This is the way the smoke smelled in the opening space battlescene in Timothy's dream.

Counterpart - Anything closely resembling something else. The plastic starships hanging from the ceiling in Timothy's room, closely resembled their counterparts (the other plastic starships) sitting on his dresser.

Diversion - To divert, distract, or draw attention away from the subject at hand. When Amanda dropped her napkin, her attention was diverted from her breakfast. Thus, Sam Cat was able to gobble up Amanda's bacon when she wasn't looking. In other words, the dropped napkin acted as a diversion, and Sam, who is quite fond of bacon, took advantage of it.

Leaded Glass - The stained glass (colored glass) you see in church windows is one example of leaded glass. This means that the pieces, assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, were held together with lead (sounds like LED), which is a soft, easily moulded metal. Some antique furniture, like the glass doors to the cabinet in the attic of Grandma's carriage house, had leaded glass that was not colored. It was very delicate and very beautiful, and it looked like THIS

Languidly - Lacking in force or quickness of movement. - Grandma stopped in front of an antique leaded glass front bookcase. Pale light insistantly forced its way through ancient windowpanes A dozen specks of dust waltzed (danced) languidly in the sun.

Muted - To silence or muffle, or to tone down either a sound, or in this case, a glow. The four silvery colored books in the bookcase gave off not a bright glow, but instead a kind of muted glow.

Nonsensical - Something that doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of sense. - "William McGregor had developed the curious habit of taping nonsensical labels to various items in his shop, identifying whatever it was as something else entirely. The dented window fan marked "Propulsion System", for example..."

Dingy (din-gee) - Soiled, dull, tarnished, grimy, shabby. "Four automobile seats from a 1959 Nash Rambler, rather badly in need of upholstry, bore a dingy (and nonsensical) cardboard tag identifying the set as a "Flight Deck".

Festooned - Decorated. A festoon is a decorative garland hanging in a curve between two points. Christmas lights and silvery garlands might be a good example. In this instance the term "festooned" described some of the dusty treasures in Grandma's attic as being, ".. curious metal boxes festooned with flashing lights and dials and glow-in-the-dark numbers."

Stricken - To discover, to affect suddenly or unexpectedly, as in, "to strike dismay in one's heart". - "Ignition", announced Timothy. There was dead silence. "Nothing’s happening", complained Amanda from the back seat....What's the matter? I thought we were going to visit outer-space". Timothy looked stricken.

Exasperation - To be exceedingly irritated, annoyed, or to have lost patience. - "Oh my goodness", said Grandma with a sigh of exasperation, "What kind of a crew member am I anyway?. No wonder nothing’s happening. I apologize Timothy. I forgot..."

Crimson - A very deep, rich, dark red color - Amanda's jaw dropped as she glanced over at her crimson-uniformed seat-mate, First Officer ZammCat .

Pulsating - To manifest a pulse; rhythmic beating, or a brief surge of electrical or electromagnetic energy. "So where are we going?" Amanda asked again . Timothy’s Grandma leaned over to look at the now brightly pulsating screen.

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