Goose On The Loose
“Lights out, sweet beans,” Mum said from the bedroom door. Bonnie lay awake reading her book of Grimm’s fairy tales. Sylvie was already snoring in her bed.
“Can’t I read a little longer, Mum?”
“Which story are you reading, Bonnie?” Mum asked.
“I’m reading ‘The Goose Girl’. The one where the queen sends her daughter away from home.”
Mum sat on the edge of Bonnie’s bed. “Well, I’d never send you away.” Mum smiled. *smooch* She kissed Bonnie’s forehead.
“Five more minutes of reading, then lights out,” Mum said, closing the bedroom door. Bonnie lay staring at the ceiling with the heavy book open against her chest.
“I wouldn’t send you away either,” the fluffy toy animal on Bonnie’s bedside table said. “Fluffland needs you.” Then he licked warm soymilk from her cup.
“Hi, Dumpling,” said Bonnie. “That’s nice to know.”
“In fact,” Dumpling said as he began to glow, “Fluffland needs you right now.” They flew out Bonnie’s bedroom window.
With Dumpling holding her hand, Bonnie Fields soared into the bright sky of Fluffland. As they flew, Bonnie felt snow hitting her face. But it wasn't cold.
“It looks like snow, but it’s feathers,” said Dumpling.
Bonnie and Dumpling swooped over the whipped cream hills toward the bubbling milk river. They landed upon the narrow beach. Instead of sand, the beach was made of tiny silver cake-decoration balls. Bonnie’s bare feet sunk in.
“It feels lovely,” Bonnie said, wiggling her toes. She brushed some fallen feathers from her nightgown. Dumpling plunged his little snout into the silver sand and began chomping.
“Oh! You like those silver balls too,” said Bonnie. “They’re my favourite cake topping - when cakes have them. So crunchy.”
Dumpling burped before he licked milk from the bubbling river.
Feathers continued to fall around them. Bonnie held out her hand and one landed on her palm.
“They’re so soft,” said Bonnie.
“Funny how such a soft thing comes from such a grumpy creature,” said Dumpling.
“Grumpy creature? Who do you mean?” said Bonnie. A loud honking sound echoed over the valley.
“That’s the grumpy goose. Hamsa,” said Dumpling about the loud honking.
“The goose is called Hamster?” asked Bonnie.
“No, Hamsa. Gary Hamsa, the goose. He and his goose crew are tearing all of Fluffland’s pillows apart. All these feathers are coming from goose-feather pillows. The geese are protesting,” Dumpling said. “That’s where someone speaks out for something they want to change.”
“Oh, I know what that is. My mum and her friends do it. Hmm, Fluffland has loads of pillow problems,” Bonnie said, remembering her past adventure with the cushions.
“Fluffland has loads of pillows,” said Dumpling.
Bonnie shaded her eyes and looked up. A large flock of angry geese circled high above. Flying through the feathers, the flock headed towards the palace.
“I’ll talk with Gary,” said Bonnie. “We’ll sort it out.”
“Whistlecrisp said to take you to Gary Hamsa’s palace as soon as possible,” said Dumpling, pulling Bonnie back up into the sky.
They flew over valleys of popcorn and fluffy dandelion fields, towards mountain-sized stacks of soft bread slices.
“Oh look, the Bridgegators!” Bonnie recognized the furry workers in their vests.
“They’re sawing off the bread crusts. No one likes them in Fluffland,” Dumpling said.
“Just like Earth,” Bonnie said as the wind blew her smooth, dark hair.
They landed on the edge of a creamy moat that surrounded Gary Hamsa’s palace. White mice walked on the surface of the moat.
“How are those mice walking on top of milk?” Bonnie asked Dumpling.
“It’s not milk. It’s frozen custard.”
“How very Flufflandish,” Bonnie said.
The drawbridge lowered. Gary Hamsa came out of the palace gate wearing a silver cape. Bonnie saw there were stacks of empty pillowcases piled high behind him.
“Well, well, well...it’s the famous Bonnie Fields,” the goose said with his wings on his hips. “She’s come to solve everyone’s problems, eh?”
“Sorry you’re grumpy, sir. But I can probably help you.”
“Keep talking,” said Gary. He couldn’t take his eyes off Bonnie’s purple nightgown. In Fluffland, a spot of colour can impress even a grumpy goose.
“You don’t like that the pillows are stuffed with goose feathers,” said Bonnie. “What if we used something else to fill them?”
“Oh - you make it sound so easy! What shall we use then?” Gary Hamsa raised an eyebrow.
“I saw something on the way here that might be useful. Let me have a chat with your crew. You can relax for a bit.” Gary had never been told he could relax.
Gary Hamsa’s crew seemed to be excited to speak with the Bonnie Fields. Bonnie, Dumpling and dozens of geese huddled around the empty pillowcases. Bonnie explained her plan.
“Now everyone, grab a pillowcase and follow me!” Bonnie said.
She and Dumpling took off into the sky and every goose grabbed a pillowcase and followed them. They formed a huge, glorious V shape flying through the sky. They came to the field that was full of fluffy dandelions.
“Okay...now!” Bonnie directed the geese. They dived down with their pillow cases clutched in their webbed feet. In one graceful swoop, the geese gathered the dandelion fluff into the pillowcases. They flapped upward and, along with Dumping and Bonnie, they honked happily as they flew back to the palace.
Bonnie and Dumpling landed on the drawbridge in front of Gary Hamsa.
“I think you’ll be pleased with the new pillow fluff,” Bonnie said as she gave a little bow. Gary Hamsa’s beak curved into a smile. He tried to cover it with his wing.
“Would you like to build a pillow fort with us?” Gary asked Bonnie, finally showing his smile.
“Oh, that does sound lovely, but I need to go now.”
“Well, please come back another time, Bonnie Fields,” Gary said. “We haven't talked about the duvets yet.”
“Duvets? Oh my. Sounds like we will meet again then,” she smiled as Dumpling glowed.
Faster than a blink, Bonnie found herself on her bed. She was lying the wrong way around, with her feet on her pillow. She sat up and took a sip of her soymilk, now cold.
Then Bonnie picked a tiny bit of dandelion fluff off her tongue.