As some of you might remember, a few weeks ago I parted ways with my publisher after a trust issue. Since then, my designer and I have been working on a new cover and new illustrations.
Now here it is … Debbie’s new look.
Debbie is about a ferret who gets adopted from a shelter and goes to live in a condo, where she meets Charlie, the resident cat. While Charlie teaches Debbie the ways of the world, Debbie enlightens Charlie about the life of a ferret. Together they have adventures and get into all sorts of mischief.
The following is a little taste of the story …
My name is Debbie, and I’m a ferret.
You know what a ferret is, right? Have you ever seen a picture of a ferret? Please don’t say that ferrets look like rats. I’m nothing like a rat, and I’ll take it as insult if you compare me to one!
For starters, rats are rodents, while ferrets are more highly evolved in the animal world.
Rats are very active creatures, always scurrying after something.
Ferrets have a much more relaxed lifestyle. We like to take things easy. Did you know that we sleep, on average, 17 to 20 hours a day?
Other than that, rats are not exactly the prettiest animals in the world, are they? But ferrets definitely are. I mean, look at my picture, am I cute or what?
Whenever humans looked at me and my friends, they stopped in their tracks, peered into our cage, and said, “Oh look at these adorable ferrets!” They would comment on our pretty little pink ears, tiny black beady eyes, pert little pink nose and short little legs.
My fur is a mixture of the same sand color as that of my friends, but with touches of black. I even have a black stripe over my eyes. People would say that I look like a bandit. Hmm … perhaps that would be an appropriate name for me, as ferrets are thieves by nature. Well, not actually thieves, let’s just say that ferrets like to collect things and then hide them!
But that was not the case. As it turned out, when I was adopted, my new owner had a proper name ready for me He picked me up, held me at eye level and said “Hello cutie, I’m Andrew. What shall I call you?” His eyes squinted a bit and he cocked his head to the side before he suggested, “How about Debbie?”
Fine by me, I liked the name Debbie. Aren’t there movie stars or celebrities named Debbie?
Andrew, a tall human with red hair and green eyes, bought me a handsome metal cage, wood curls to line the bottom, a flowery velvet hammock to sleep in, a bag of dry food pellets especially for ferrets, some toys, and a litter box for ... hmmm, well, you-know-what.
Home was a condo on the 15th floor. Through the holes in my box, I saw a large sunny room. Keep in mind that, small as I am, everything seemed a bit overwhelming to me.
My cage was placed in one of the rooms, and I saw Andrew taking my food into another room.
And then, gasp! I was taken out of the box.
Whoa, but the place was spacious! Being inside the box didn’t give me a true perspective on the size of the room. Once I was out of it, the room seemed enormous. Scared and intimidated, I cowered low to the ground.
“Welcome to your new home Debbie,” Andrew said, picking me up. “Shall I show you around? This is my bedroom. This is where I sleep at night.”
As Andrew started walking, I got the feeling that I was gliding through the air. He took me from room to room, complete with explanations. Let me see if I remember them all: there was a guest bedroom where visitors slept; a bathroom where Andrew washed himself; a kitchen where meals were prepared and the dishes were washed; and a living room which was, as Andrew said, for hanging out. “And that,” Andrew said, still holding me as we were back in the living room, “is the balcony. Want to see?”
Did I have a choice?
He opened a floor-to-ceiling sliding door and stepped outside.
Good grief! We must have been high up, because I could see for miles and miles!
“We’re on the 15th floor,” Andrew said, moving closer to the edge of the balcony. “Here, have a look.”
Now that I could look down, the true height of 15 floors up made me turn rigid with fright. I had never been outside before, let alone being on top of the world. My whole life I had been in a cage, and if I thought Andrew’s apartment was spacious, that was nothing compared to what he called “outside.” There seemed no end to this breezy room. I guessed it was a room, except that I saw no walls, no ceiling and most frightening of all, the floor was so far away.
“Don’t worry,” Andrew said, feeling my panic. “I won’t drop you.”
Good, I thought, because falling was not an option! It was time to go back inside, because I felt sleepy and needed a nap.
Andrew must have understood, because he carried me back to his bedroom and put me in my comfy new cage. I crawled right into my velvet hammock and rolled myself into a ball. Ah, that was better. I knew I would go to sleep the moment I closed my eyes.
I awoke to a frantic tapping against the bars of my cage, and Andrew calling my name. Drowsy with sleep, I opened one eye.
“Hi Debbie,” Andrew said. “Wanna play?”
Was he serious? I couldn’t have had more than four or five hours of sleep. I yawned wide, as a hint that it was way too early for me to get up.
Instead of taking my hint, he persisted in rattling my cage, but I ignored him. Surely he would give up eventually, but not until he had poked and prodded me a bit through the material of the hammock. When I played dead to the world, he went away.
He must have started cooking something, because a short time later delicious smells wafted my way. Human food no doubt, so no need for me to get up.
Later still, Andrew made a second appearance. Again he tapped my cage, but I still felt too tired to move, let alone get up.
“Come on Debbie wake up,” I heard him say. “I want to introduce you to someone.”
Sheesh, but I really had to do something about this man rattling my cage. Didn’t he know anything about ferrets? Didn’t he know that we sleep most of the time?
I yawned, hoping he would get the message a second time, but clearly he didn’t. He kept on making that dreadful rattling noise.
“Wake up sleepyhead,” he sang. “Someone wants to meet you.”
Oh alright then, let him make the introduction. The sooner we got this over with, the better! After yet another yawn, I slowly uncurled and got to my feet, ready to meet … GOOD HEAVENS WHAT WAS THAT?!
Available on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/m6yrhs9