Blaze . . .

a children's story

by Toni Donelow Stewart 1961 - 2004




(yes, another mouse story!)


Written and was to be Illustrated

by Toni Donelow Stewart


First Draft 2/20/2004 12:42:40 AM


“One needs to be careful while handling such paper, young mouse!” Lectured a bespectacled, elder rodent, from across the room.

            “What do you mean, Dodger?” asked the younger one, on the end of the room near the big window.  They were in the study.

            “Paper cuts.” He mused, “Deep, painful paper cuts.” He accentuated on the words paper cuts . . . point made.  Dodger’s demeanor was one of the “all-knowing,” though, of course he didn’t know everything . . he just thought he did.

            “Well, I don’t think I’ll be handling the paper in that fashion, Sir.”

            “What other fashion is there except to handle it? Handling it is enough, you just never know when a paper cut will slice you.” He shuddered.

            “I know that Dodger, I appreciate your concern, really I do.” Little Blaze, the younger, perhaps a teenage mouse, pushed up his glasses and continued pulling the white notebook paper from the stack.  It was the kind with “College Rule” and the blue was royal, the “red” line pink. And it smelled . . . wonderful, like all paper smelled, as far as he was concerned. Paper itself was just wonderful! But it was bulky and for a sprite his size, heavy too.

            The older of the two continued watching and with twitching whiskers, walked slowly closer to the young mouse in the window.  Suddenly climbing down from his roost, then sliding gracefully across the floor and then shimmying up again onto the top of the desk in front of the window, where Blaze and the notebook paper were.

            “You aren’t thinking of doing what I’m thinking you’re thinking of doing, are you?”  Dodger’s whiskers twitched in a peculiar manner, not seen often by Blaze, his pupil.

            “Likely I am thinking of doing what you’re thinking that I am thinking of doing, Dodger.” Blaze smiled, with his bright white mouse teeth. 

            “You’ll do no such thing.”


            “Do you see that tree house, Dodger?”

            “Yes of course I see that tree house, it is a bain to all adults alive!”  Dodger was getting worked up, his paws were now placed firmly on his furry little hips, his long tail straight out from his puffy body.  He cast a long shadow. Blaze continued with the paper, however.

            “I am going to build my paper airplane and glide swiftly and smoothly right into that window, Dodger, and you may…you may….watch me.”  He announced proudly.

            “Well little Master Blaze, I have seen some foolish things in my lifetime, and I have seen YOU do some foolish things in your lifetime, but I never, this is just—too much young mouse!”

            “Oh Sir, calm down please, this is wonderful, I’m sure it’s been done before.” Blaze heard himself pleading a little, but Dodger’s misgivings weren’t intimidating him..

            “What will you do if you crash? You don’t even have a helmet do you?”  Dodger went on, scratching his head and the whiskers, oh! Twitching, twitching, twitching, like he’d eaten the most nervous piece of cheese.

“Why, this is worse than the time you greased the pendulum on the old grandfather clock so Garnett Winkly couldn’t climb up to snoop on that nasty old cat!”

            “Dodger, she was endangering herself, the cat was watching for her the whole time, I just prevented her from going up there again.” Blaze defended himself.

            “True, but what about the time when you found one of the children’s remote control racecars and left Bratty sitting in the corner with the remote control while you were sent spinning in circles, after he fell asleep on you?  Blaze, your judgment is not the best, by any means.”

            Blaze shrugged his shoulders.

            “Well, Bratty isn’t here is he, Dodger? There you go.  Only me.”

            One eyebrow whisker went up, the other down, Blaze watched closer as Dodger’s face softened.

            “You have me there, Lad.”

            “So you will watch me, Dodger? I am about to FLY.”

            “I’ll watch a flight, not a crash, Blaze.” He cocked his head to the left.

            “Yes.” Blaze nodded.

            “I’ll expect you to rig up a thimble or something for use as a helmet.  Maybe I can find a nutshell while you are folding.”

            “You are helping me, Dodger?” Blaze now had a look of utter shock on his little face, and pushed his glasses up again.

            “NO.” Dodger disagreed. “I am not helping you, but I am trying to lessen your chances of getting hurt should the worst happen, you are gliding out a second story window, remember.” Dodger answered sternly and quickly hurried away, remembering a half a walnut shell he could put to use for this.  And, something to tie it on with.

            “As you wish, Dodger. As you wish.”

            “Well I wish we were in the kitchen looking for cheese is what I wish!” He muttered.

            Blaze merely glanced up as Dodger disappeared from the room. He continued folding and scoring the great piece of notebook paper, while daydreaming of the fabulous, wondrous ride he was about to take.

            He imagined himself soaring into blue skies (in his imagination the paper plane had an engine . . . ). Up! Up! Up! Somewhere in the far-off distance, beyond the clouds but, beneath the bright stars in the skies called “Space.” Zip! Zip! Zip! 

            Blaze didn’t realize that he was dancing on the desktop, thinking of the motions of the plane he was driving in his mind.  In dreams, Blaze was not just gliding to a tree house, but flying a great, fast, speedy plane up over the farthest horizon. Up! Up! Up! Sailing through the pearlescent blue skies as if powered by a jet! Zip! Zip! Zip!  There would be no crashing, and no falling.  Only the mysterious feeling of flight and of things beyond the wildest dreams of any mere mouse he had ever known. Up! Up! UP!!!

            Returning to the here and now, the present time, Blaze stopped and sighed, looking across the great white paper, and at his progress on the folding of the paper airplane. Sighing again, he looked around, and Dodger was nowhere to be seen, he would continue alone and be ready when Dodger returned with the makeshift ‘helmet.’

            The morning sun was graciously providing bright warm light across the desk, and the fresh breeze coming into the window smelled of new-mown grasses from the neighborhood.  How wonderful it is to be alive!

Blaze smiled and took in deep breaths and continued the scoring of the paper in the longest crease, while peering into the window of the tree house.  He saw strawberries! A big bowl of strawberries!  At least one of those shall be MY lunch! He thought, not stopping his work.

            This was the quietest time of the day at the house, and though it was summer, the children had activities and the mother and father were either at work or off on errands for this part of the day, so there was very little chance that any of them should come home and delay Blaze’s flight by appearing in the study where he was on the desk.

            “Almost done, Dodger!” He called out, excitedly. “Almost done!”

            Walking around the great swift looking paper airplane that he alone created, Blaze inspected every crease and necessary fold.  There were no imperfections, this plane was PERFECT! Absolutely perfect, not an angle wrong, not a rip, not a wrinkle, just perfect

            “Oh there will be no living with YOU.” Announced Dodger, appearing seemingly from nowhere with the walnut helmet in open hands, noting the pride in Blaze’s face at his creation.

            Not paying attention to the remark, Blaze looked at the bulky looking helmet, and said: “What if it should throw me off balance, Dodger? It is quite cumbersome looking.”

            “It won’t change anything, just wear it, and protect yourself.” He smiled.

            “Oh alright but what is that strap there made of? It looks like thread?  I think a piece of rubber band would have done the trick, Sir.”

            “That would cut your circulation off dear one.  I will tie it for you.”

            “I would have preferred the rubber band, but oh well, I think this should do.”

            “Yes it will do, Blaze.”  Nodded the elder.

            “Then I shall be off, Dodger, wish me luck?”

            “Of course.”  He nodded again. “Have you got your bearings set now?”

            “Yes I do, a push can’t hurt, do you think that you could give me a shove?” Blaze asked, looking out from under the walnut crash helmet, as Dodger tied it securely at his jaw.

            “I suppose I can manage that.”  He said softly.  “I suppose.”

            “Sure is a nice day for it,” Dodger remarked, helping little Blaze pull the paper airplane closer to the edge of the window sill.

            “They left strawberries in the window, I shall have those for lunch.”

            “One of them, at any rate,” Dodger smiled.

            “I dare to say you will feel much like a bird when you are finished with your flight, Blaze.  That should be interesting.”  He motioned up to the air.  “I do think so.”

            Blaze smiled at this newfound approval from his old friend, and climbed into the center of the folds of the paper airplane.  There was no seat of course, but Blaze figured out just the right place to sit for proper weight distribution.

            “I couldn’t find any paperclips.”  He commented.

            “Oh you don’t need a paperclip, Blaze, you’re the weight.”

            “I see.”

            “Are you ready?”

            Blaze looked down and over to the tree where the tree house was perched, toward the center of the back yard, but this part of the backyard was small, so it wasn’t far away that he would land.

            However, just as Blaze signaled Dodger to push him and the paper plane off the edge of the windowsill, something came running at them! It was Bratty!

            “Bratty! What?”  Dodger heard Blaze say faintly.

            It was too late, Dodger had already given the push Blaze had asked him to, but without knowing that Bratty would suddenly make an appearance and jump into the paper airplane with Blaze!

            The airplane dove straight down, down, down, while Dodger stood speechless at the edge of the windowsill, a look of horror on his face. He had not time to think! There was nothing he could do!  The paper plane, with so much weight, bantered down, down, down! Dodger had to catch his breath and pull himself back from the edge, so as not to fall, himself.

            Terror was scorching through his veins as he peeked again at the side of the house, in fear of what he would see.

            But when he finally got himself to look all the way down, the plane was nowhere to be seen.

            Eaten that fast? Oh my! Thought Dodger. What else could it be?

            What he had not seen was that the plane merely dove down for a few moments and then straightened out with the two little mice aboard her on her first flight.  Dodger then followed his wishes to the tree house, and still nothing.  Panic continued inside him.

            “Dodger, over here!” He heard a small voice not that far away really.

 “Over HERE!”

            The voice was coming from the front of the tree house, apparently the little plane had veered off in the breeze, somewhat, but not too far off calculation, and as he squinted his eyes, he could see both Blaze and Bratty standing near the plane, safe and successful!

            “Oh there you go! Now how are you going to get down?” He answered in a cynical voice, in return for nearly taking his life and breath out of fear.  “Whew!” He added a sigh of relief under his breath. “Enjoy your strawberries!” He added so they could hear him.

            “Thanks Dodger!” he heard Blaze yell back.

            “I’m too old for this.” He said to the air, scratching his head and walking away from the window’s ledge.



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