Once there was a little Square house on a gravel road that ended far in the woods. Mr. and Mrs. Murray did not need a large home since they were only 2 people.
Their closest neighbors were 3 deer, 1 fox and 7 partridge. 3 + 1 + 7 = 11. Also 5 Crows, 4 Blue Jays and 6 Chickadees often came to visit at 10 o'clock each morning.
All came together in a Circle, as friends. The sun brought warm smiles, like welcome mats for everyone.
Poplar tree branches waved proudly. When Nature planted the first seedling, it became 1 spurt of growth. Now 8 limbs danced in the wind.
Then 2 sons were born to the Murray's. Travis and Matthew. Mr. Murray added a smaller Square section to the house for a new bedroom.
And when Mr. Murray brought home 9 chickens, he built a safe home for them. Their Mi'kmaq Native friend, White Feather, said it looked like a Teepee.
Mrs. Murray thought it looked more like an upside down V. It could also be called a Triangle with 3 sides of equal length. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.
1 black and white Holstein cow was called Molasses. She chewed cuds happily in the nearby field.
"Boots," their 1 gray cat, often slept on the porch. 1 + 1 animals = 2.
Everything seemed peaceful. The grass was rich green. Wild flowers with names like Daisies, Dandelions and Buttercups Circled the house with color. 1 + 1 + 1 equals 3 kinds of flowers.
The vegetable garden was behind the house. 4 vegetables, peas, carrots, beans and tomatoes grew from the red soil of Nova Scotia.
Potato shoots peeked from the ground.
Each morning, Mr. Murray worked in the woods. His favorite pie would be waiting when he returned.
Fresh pumpkin. Yummy. He could imagine 1 large piece, cut in a Triangle, on his plate. He worked hard for his family as the years passed by.
Travis and Matthew soon grew into young men. The family whistled and sang as they worked on their duties. Some called it a job, even hard work.
Every few years the little house was painted white. And the roof shaped like a Teepee was quickly repaired. Especially after a rainstorm soaked Travis's bed. 1 drop plus 18 drops equals an early bath.
The family gathered each night to watch the sun go to sleep. And the moon came out with its Circle of white, almost like a flashlight.
The stars seemed to twinkle just for them. They were like 5 Triangles holding hands. They were a family filled with love.
Soon, Dottie was born. Then a second sister joined the family. It was time to add an extra bedroom Square. Boards were cut and hammered into place.
1 bedroom Square for the boys plus 1 bedroom Square for the girls = 2 bedroom Squares. And when 2 Squares are built in a row, it becomes 1 Rectangle.
When the chickens needed more room to roam, Mr. Murray built them a round fenced in area. It was a Circle of caring and protection.
Travis and Matthew helped with the chores. Their father trained them how to handle tools safely.
After tiny Barry was born, pretty Patty was added to the family. Before long, the Murray's had eleven children. Soon the Murray house had little bedroom squares all around the house.
It had become much larger than when it was first built. And a larger family meant extra brothers and sisters for games. And work.
Often, friends came to visit. They could enter the house through 1 + 1 + ! + 1 equals 4 front doors. There was now a place for all to rush through at once. Delicious food was always waiting patiently on the dinner table.
Years passed by.
Young children's noises could no longer be heard. Once, the house was like a busy stream in the spring. Now it was silent as the quiet pond beside the pasture.
One by one, the Murray children grew into adults. Some married and had families of their own. Houses were built on the same road deep in the forest.
Everyone wished to live near his or her dear parents. That meant more homes with Squares, and Rectangles. And land covered with Circles and Triangles.
Pounding hammers and scraping saws were kept very busy. Friends and family often came to help.
Each time a new home was built, a picnic followed. There was much food and treats, followed by games and lots of laughter.
Animals and birds listened from behind bushes and trees. Yes, this was once a quiet place. But no matter, they had fun watching humans.
More families moved into the area. And when their little houses became too small, more bedroom squares were built. Growing families needed so much room.
Coyotes announced the birth of each child. Their cries carried far into the night.
Sons and daughters created their own gardens. And they raised goats, cows and chickens, too. The same as what their parents did. That meant more Circles and Triangles.
Visiting back and forth was very important. The Murray's quiet house became noisy again with children. Except this time there were many grandchildren.
When they came for a birthday, they brought along 3 dogs, 4 cats and 2 budgies. Three plus four plus two equals nine, plus all those humans, too.
Grandma and grandpa Murray were so happy they moved here long ago. And no longer was this a lonely road in the forest.
Deer, squirrels and owls had lots of company. So many came. Perhaps counting everyone made it a total of 14, or 22 maybe even 37?
Today, the sun brings its warm smile for everyone.
And the wind pushes mightily against a large number of poplar trees. But it is the tinkling of leaves everyone hears this October day.
A clattering of noise is more like autumn shouts of joy!
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Richard & Esther Provencher 2007
NOTE: It would be nice to have an interested e-book publisher bring this story out in picture book form. R&E
All messages for Richard or Esther can be sent directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They enjoy reading comments on their work. Readers are welcome to visit their website at: www.wsprog.com/rp/. Free downloads also available. They live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Many blessings on your loved ones.