Tac wandered off one day toward a glassy-smooth pond which was the local
watering place. She was bored again, and as usual, Tuk was not fun to be
with. All he wanted to do was be a lookout guard.
As she neared the watering hole, Tac heard a strange sound. She quickly
hid in a nearby hole hoping that whatever had made the sound would go
away. “Oh, there it is again!” she thought to herself. It was kind
of a sad sound.
Tac, puffi ng out her chest, bravely crept out of the hole and moved
closer to the sound. Her little heart thumped rapidly in her chest in
anticipation of what she would find.
Peering around a log, she squealed, “My goodness, it’s a lovely big
bird and her wing is caught on something. She’s crying.”
Tac hurried up to the sobbing bird, calling out, “Don’t cry, I’ll
She had forgotten all about being scared.
It was the largest bird that Tac had ever seen up close. It had such
lovely feathers, gray, brown, and white. And it looked like it was in
The lovely bird’s eyes were sad and full of tears.
“Thank you, my child. I am in dreadful pain.”
Seeing that she could not free the bird by herself, Tac said in a
breathless voice, “I will go for help. I’ll be back as soon as I
Tac ran as fast as she could back to her groundsquirrel community.
She hurriedly told Tuk and several town members the problem at the
“Oh, do hurry,” she cried. “The lovely bird is in great pain.”
Tuk called to his friends, “Hurry, hurry, we have important work to
“We’re coming, we’re coming,” they all called.
The little groundsquirrels ran quickly to the bird’s aid, with Tac in
The poor, lovely bird’s wing was caught in plastic loops that come on
people’s soft-drink cans. Someone had carelessly thrown the plastic
loops in the water and the unfortunate bird had gotten caught in one of
The more it had tried to get loose, the tighter the plastic had become
and the more its wing had hurt.
Several of the little groundsquirrels, seeing the problem right away,
started gnawing at the plastic. They were very careful not to hurt the
bird’s wing. Soon they had chewed through the plastic and it fell
away. The bird’s wing was free!
Excerpted from "Tac and Tuk" by C. W. Henney. Copyright © 2015 by C. W. Henney. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
C. W. Henney
Carolee Wells Henney, with her sweet, old, cat between her keyboard and her computer monitor, writes stories about animals for children. And, she has conducted writing seminars for children, talked to children at Elementary Schools, to high school creative writing classes, and to college Children’s Literature classes. She has done book signings, has appeared on local television in Hampton, Virginia, and Bowie, Maryland, and has written award-winning poetry. In addition to four children’s stories published in the last few years, two books, Calbert and His Adventures, and Tac and Tuk, published in the 1990s by what was then Aton Press, in both paperback and hardcover, are still available online from independent booksellers. In the coming months, she plans to publish several more children’s stories, a young adult story, a third novel, short stories, and poetry.. Google and Bing have more information about Carolee Wells Henney.
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