This week, we usually celebrate the end of the month with some form of dress-up party. We can pretend, for one night anyway, to be anything we want to be. From pirates to superheroes, from fairies to wild animals, we get a chance to practice walking in the shoes of another character. Imagination like this is healthy as it helps us develop empathy and understanding as well as how to think outside of ourselves. To celebrate the season in our own way, here is a little more of the story we used last week in the final week of our reading comprehension series.

It was a beautiful morning on the ocean floor. Filtered sunlight flickered through the water to touch the sleeping eyes of the princess in her sandcastle. Beautiful brown eyes were just starting to flicker open when two fighting crabs burst into her room.

Snapping their claws and even hissing a little bit at one another, the smaller black and white crab leaped up toward the bed and tried to hide itself under the soft layer of moss that functioned as a blanket. But flame-red Candy was not going to let Oreo hide so easily. She furiously dug into the moss without any concern for the sleeping princess still in her bed.

“What’s going on?” Sea Princess Eliana asked, as she scooped up her angry pet and tried to soothe the orange-striped claws before she got pinched. She could feel Oreo pushing down to hide under her own flippers and guessed Oreo might have been trying to get at Candy’s food dish again. It wasn’t as if Oreo didn’t have her own dish.

With a sigh, Princess Eliana knew going back to sleep was not possible even though it was still very early in the day. Looking out the window, she watched a school of yellow jacks swim by her window. They were glowing a really bright shade of yellow this morning, their fins just a little too blue, which made Princess Eliana feel concerned.

With a few flips of her fins, the princess rose gracefully from her bed and deposited Candy just on the other side of her room entry with a little push toward the passageway down to the kitchen.

“Scoot. Go get your breakfast before I sic Sammy on you,” she told the colorful crab. She wasn’t even sure if Candy knew Sammy. Sammy was Eliana’s best friend in the ocean, but dolphins didn’t usually come in the house and Eliana didn’t take Candy out for her walks.

Candy waved her claws over her head for a moment in what might have been a frightening display if Princess Eliana were much smaller, but a crab didn’t offer much threat to a mermaid. It didn’t take long before Candy decided to do as she was told.

As soon as Candy left, Oreo poked her head out from under the covers, gave a happy jump, and, by waving all eight legs around while still afloat, managed to land in Eliana’s arms. Eliana gave her other pet a few comforting pets before letting the crab go and flicking her way over to her mirror. She brushed her hair and got ready for the day. Before she headed to the ground floor, she made sure to grab her traveling bag. She had a suspicion she might be exploring today.

Hope you enjoyed this little start to a story. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing more and I’ll be sure to send you updates.

Next month, we’ll turn our focus to numbers and the problems that can happen with dreaded math.

Make believe is healthy