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TABLE OF CONTENTSDedication
1 . The Discovery
2. Searching for Tribka
4. The Attic
5. Encounter at Vershire
6. A Meeting of Monsters
7. The Castle
8. The War Begins
9. Kato Strikes Back
10. The Visit
Once upon a time in a small town called Billingsham there lived a little girl named Oolie. The house she lived in was large and gray and sat squarely at the top of a hill. In her front yard there stood an old beech tree. It was so big that squirrels could play in its top branches and look down on the roof of the house. Oolie liked to hide behind the tree when she was playing hide and seek with her friend Tika.
She was hiding from Tika one morning when she discovered a large hole at the bottom of the tree ĖĖ a hole so big she could crawl inside of it. Inside the hole was a little room with a coffee table and an orange sofa. On the floor was an orange carpet and each window in the room had drapes. They too were orange. Even the paintings on the wall had a lot of orange in them.
"Come right in Oolie", said a voice from somewhere in the room. "I was hoping you would come to see me." Oolie looked all around but couldnít see anyone. The voice spoke again: "Iím over here on the couch."
Oolie looked over at the couch and still didnít seen anyone. But then the fox moved and she saw him. He was orange himself so he was very hard to see sitting there on an orange couch.
The fox got up and came over to Oolie. "How do you do," he said gently, "welcome to my den." "I could use a little company. It getís a bit lonely down here sometimes."
"Do you really live down here, Mr. Fox," asked Oolie. "It seems very dark." The moment she said it she knew it wasnít a polite thing to say. I must try to be more polite from now on, she told herself. But before she had a chance to practice, another question jumped out of her mouth. "Why is everything orange?," she asked.
"I love orange," Mr. Fox replied quickly. "Orange is the most beautiful color in the world," he added, stroking his soft orange fur as he talked. "Donít you agree?"
"I donít have a favorite color," Oolie said, trying to be diplomatic. "I like them all."
In the morning the sun burst into her bedroom, calling her from her dreams. She sat up and yawned. Once her eyes were open, she ran to the window and looked out into the yard. There was the tree ĖĖ the big beech tree where Mr. Fox had his den. "Is there really a fox who lives in there," she asked herself, "a fox who loves everything orange?" "Is there a staircase that leads to the top of the tree? Did I really see a dragon yesterday? Or was it all just a dream?
Her eyes moved back and forth across the yard. She was searching for something that would tell her the truth. The tree looked the same as always. There was no sign of Mr. Fox; no hole that she could see at the bottom of the tree. But perhaps it was around the other side. How can I be sure, she asked herself?
And then she saw it. The telescope. It was there on the platform where she watched the dragons. The telescope and platform were real. The staircase must be real. Mr. Fox must be real.
"Oh, I am glad," she cried. "I must go down and visit him again today. Right after breakfast."
Date of Publication: 2008
Length: 142 pages
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