Junah Tales: Episode 17: The Power of Herbs

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Here is your next episode of Junah Tales.

Junah discovers what catnip and rosemary can do for cats!

Episode 17:
The Power of Herbs

Junah Tales by M.R. Neer
Episode 17

The Power of Herbs

“We haven’t explored the Herb Corner of the garden yet,” said Junah Cat to Mo Mouse.

“Okay, let’s go over there. I think you’ll like the different smells,” suggested Mo.

They followed the path to the northwest corner of the garden. An array of red roses, peonies, and tulips graced the edge of the patch, but the two friends went past them and waded into the leaves, pulled by the scents of different plants.

The mint reached out to them with its tanginess. The lavender wafted gently around them and made them feel calm. The lemon balm had a citrus smell like the orange the ants had rolled away earlier in the day. The parsley had curly leaves that both Junah and Mo liked to rub against and chew on. The sage and thyme filled their noses with a wild smell. Then, Junah smelled a plant that made him want to chew on it a lot.

Mo said, “Sister Sara said that was a catnip plant. Maybe it’s for cats like you?”

“Well, it sure is something!” said Junah, as he broke off several leaves with his teeth and chewed on them. He started meowing and shaking his head. Then, he rolled on the ground, trying to get more of that catnip in him or on him. He just wanted it more and more.

“We should move on, Junah,” said Mo, motioning to him to follow along to the other side of the Herb Corner.

But Junah just meowed and even growled at Mo. It was like he couldn’t or didn’t want to do anything else but roll in this incredible smell. It just made him feel so good, like tingly all over.

Mo motioned again, and Junah snapped back at her. “Hey, Junah,” urged the mouse, “get over it. Come on, we have more to see.” She grabbed Junah’s tail to pull him away friendly-like, and Junah growled again and flipped around to chase after her. Scared, Mo jumped into the middle of a rosemary bush because she remembered Sara said it had good protecting qualities—and it had big stems that she could hide down in.

Junah jumped after Mo into the bush, rubbing his paws on the rosemary stems as he pushed them aside looking for Mo. But then a strange thing happened. Junah snapped out of his catnip fever and rolled on the ground, trying to rub the rosemary off his paws.

He backed away from the bush and from Mo, and backed all the way out of the Herb Corner. He ran over to the fence, yelping and pawing the ground under the hedges. Whatever that plant was, he had to get it off him. It was awful. Finally, he had rubbed enough dirt into his paws that he could breathe easier. He lay down on the stone pathway on his back, resting his paws in the air.

“Junah, you okay?” asked Mo, gingerly walking up to him.

“Yeah, Mo,” said Junah, turning his head to look at the mouse. “I’m sorry I scared you. What the heck was in that plant—both of them, in fact? They sure made a mess out of me.”

“The plant that you couldn’t get enough of was catnip,” said Mo. “It certainly was something cats like, yes?”

“Yikes, I felt like a different cat,” recalled Junah. “I couldn’t think straight. It was all I wanted. I was totally out of balance. I am so sorry; I could have hurt you.”

“You sure weren’t normal,’” said Mo. “I guess we just have to learn to take it easy with such things, so we don’t get out of balance.”

“I guess so,” said Junah. “What about that sticky stuff in the other plant?”

“That was rosemary,” said Mo. “Sister Sara said it could protect.”

“Well, I don’t know who it was protecting,” moaned Junah. “I couldn’t get away from it fast enough. Yuk! Those sticky leaves! That oil! That smell! On my paws! It hurts just to think about it! I was out of it there too!”

“I could see you were hurting,’” said Mo. “Somehow we all have to learn about what can hurt us, and I guess you learned about it the hard way.”

Junah’s purr:  Get out of balanceget into trouble.

 Stay tuned!  Episode 18 will come your way in two weeks. 

PASS IT ON!  JOIN ME!
Feel free to pass this fable on to others who might enjoy it.
Just share, tweet, or forward it using the buttons below.
To receive the continuing episodes of Junah Tales,
every two weeks, simply join the M.R. Neer Reader Group
by clicking here.You’ll also be able to check out other uplifting fairy tales, fables, and legends that I write.  Complimentary copies of my fairy tale,The Four Tasks of Love, and two free chapters of my novel, The Elixir of Freedom, are available to all readers.
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Junah Tales: Episode 16: The Ladybug and the Grasshopper

Thanks for following my writing.
Here is your next episode of Junah Tales.

Junah and Mo see how every creature has to eat
but can also help each other.

Episode 16:
The Ladybug and the Grasshopper

Junah Tales by M.R. Neer
Episode 16

The Ladybug and the Grasshopper

Junah Cat and Mo Mouse were sitting on the bench watching the garden.

“Over there,” whispered Mo, pointing toward the tomatoes growing in the Vine Corner. A bunch of small red somethings floated in the air. They seemed to be moving up and down randomly. A few fell on the leaves, and Mo motioned to Junah to come over closer but quietly.

They crept near the tomato patch and saw that the red somethings were little red ladybugs, each with handsome black dots on their backs.  They were eating tiny bugs who were eating holes in the tomato leaves. Mo said the tiny bugs were aphids.  “Duma told me Sara had planted some dill plants and fennel along the edge of the vine plants to attract ladybugs,” said Mo. “Duma said ladybugs were the gardener’s best friend.”

“I wonder,” said Junah, “are the aphids bad and the ladybugs good? They are both just eating what they eat.”

“We all have to eat,” said Mo, shrugging his shoulders.

Just then Grasshopper flew into the tomato patch. The ladybugs scattered, but the quick Grasshopper caught an unlucky one.

“Oh, Grasshopper,” said Ladybug, “let me go and I’ll repay you for your kindness.”

“How could a little bug like you help me, a big grasshopper?” questioned the hopper, looking hungrily at the red bug.

“See these little aphids,” said Ladybug. “They are eating up the green leaves. If I eat the aphids, then you get to eat the leaves.”

“Well, I don’t know,” hesitated Grasshopper. “You seem like a tasty meal.”

“But the leaves are better for you,” argued Ladybug. “In fact, my red shell will make you sick. And there are lots more leaves than one ladybug. They are also easier to eat.”

“Okay,” said Grasshopper, “I don’t want to get sick. I just want to eat, and leaves are my favorite food. You can go this time, but if I don’t get full on leaves, I’ll come looking for you.”

“Thank you, Grasshopper,” said Ladybug. “You’ll be rewarded for your kindness.”

Ladybug flew away to join her family, and Grasshopper dined to his heart’s content on tomato leaves. Both were happy.

Junah and Mo smiled at this harmonious result, but suddenly a large shadow swept over the Vine Corner. Junah saw immediately that it was the hawk, back for more food. Instinctively, Junah squatted down to cover Mo and protect her from the hawk. But the hawk just passed over them and grabbed the leaf-eating grasshopper in his claws.

Grasshopper yelped, and almost instantly a flurry of red dots rose up from the vines and fluttered around the hawk’s eyes. He reached up with one of his claws to swat the ladybugs, but in doing so he dropped the grasshopper. The hopper landed on the vines and hid underneath the big leaves. The hawk screeched and flew away. Junah and Mo both breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank you, Junah,” said Mo, “for shielding me from that hawk. A mouse is their favorite food.”

“I just reacted,” said Junah, surprised at his own movement. “I wonder how grasshopper is getting along.”

They looked in the vines. Grasshopper had a bruised leg on the side where the hawk had grabbed him. But other than that, he was all right. He looked around and saw Ladybug sitting on a leaf looking at him.

“You were right, Ladybug,” said Grasshopper. “Even a little bug like you was able to help a big bug like me. Thank you. I’ll never forget it.”

Ladybug smiled. “You’re welcome, Grasshopper,” said Ladybug. “Never underestimate the power of a good deed. I have seen it pay off in many ways.”

“That’s a big thing to know,” said Mo, as she and Junah walked back to the round stone bench.  “Just like you let me go when you first entered the garden, and then I helped you tour the garden. And now, you saved me from the hawk. This is amazing. Helping someone really makes a difference.”

“You’re right, Mo,” said Junah. “I wonder if helping is the secret of the garden. You know, the sisters said after I experienced the secret, then I could help others.”

“That must be part of it,” said Mo. “So we’re on the right track. We just need to keep on experiencing, I guess.”

Junah’s purr:  Every action has a reaction; a good deed always comes back.

 Stay tuned!  Episode 17 will come your way in two weeks. 

PASS IT ON!  JOIN ME!
Feel free to pass this fable on to others who might enjoy it.
Just share, tweet, or forward it using the buttons below.
To receive the continuing episodes of Junah Tales,
every two weeks, simply join the M.R. Neer Reader Group
by clicking here.You’ll also be able to check out other uplifting fairy tales, fables, and legends that I write.  Complimentary copies of my fairy tale,The Four Tasks of Love, and two free chapters of my novel, The Elixir of Freedom, are available to all readers.
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