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The Backyard Explorers


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This and That:

Dragon Stories

The Backyard Explorers (Part 1)

By Sarah Blauen
Illustrated by Wolfgang Blauen


The trees are starting to bud, the grass is turning green, and the flowers are starting to bloom. It’s SPRING! Dragon, Lion, and Little Dragon were happy the weather was warming up. Winter is finally over. Now they can play outside without having to put on hats, scarves, heavy jackets, and boots. It is much faster to just put on a sweater then run into the backyard to see all the changes.

“Hurry up, Dragon!” Lion and Little Dragon yelled. “We’re going exploring in the backyard.”

“Wait for me!” Dragon called back. “I want to get a jar in case we find some neat bugs!” Dragon and Mom went into the garage and found a large, empty pickle jar. “This one will hold lots of bugs. Can I please have that one, Mom? ”

“Sure, but first let me poke some little holes in the lid. That way all the bugs you find will still get enough air.” replied Mom as she took the jar to the workbench.

Dragon gave Mom a kiss on the cheek and hurried outside with his jar. Little Dragon and Lion were busy making plans about the backyard exploration. The backyard seemed quite different since the snow was all gone. They would need the whole afternoon to check out everything.

The three friends started out on the right side of the yard. They found bushes that were starting to bloom with pink flowers and Daffodils pushing up through the dirt. Some of the plants had more leaves on them than others. The explorers made one discovery after the other.

“Come over here!” roared Lion. “I think I found something to put into the jar.”

Dragon and Little Dragon rushed over to the rose bush Lion was examining. Sure enough, there was a small, round, red bug with a black head. Little Dragon opened his jar and held it in front of the bug.

“Here little bug. Crawl into the jar,” whispered Dragon. But the bug didn’t move.

The three friends looked at each other then looked back at the bug. It didn’t seem to want to go into the jar. Dragon rubbed his horns and thought for a moment.

“I know, let’s put a leaf in the jar. That way the bug will feel more at home,” Dragon told the others. “I think the jar looks too empty to the bug right now.”

Lion picked a new leaf off the rose bush being careful not to prick his paw on a thorn. Little Dragon also pulled a handful of grass and put it and the leaf into the jar. They were ready to try again to catch the bug.

“Come on little bug. We made a nice home for you in the jar,” said Dragon as he put the opening of the jar close to the red bug. This time it worked! The little, red bug crawled into the jar. The three friends were very excited as they screwed the lid back on.

“Mom, Mom!” they called, “come see our bug!”

Mom heard all the yelling and hurried outside. Dragon, Little Dragon and Lion were lying in a circle around the jar. They were watching the little red bug crawl over the grass.


(read on ...) 

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