Three In A Tree

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Children's interactive ending, with animals.

Submitted: January 27, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 27, 2015



  Once upon a time, in a tall oak tree, lived a Grumpit, a Smiler, and a Fiddle-de-de.

All three of these animals are very solitary, that means that they like being alone, and to find all three living in the same tree was very unusual. And because it was such a puzzle, I thought it best to investigate without any further delay.

Oh, I haven’t told you who I am and why I investigate such unusual things.

My name is Otto Workman Van Landingham, just call me Otto, and I am Chief Inspector of the 48th District for Weird Animal Behavior.

I was appointed by the Royal Order of  "All Breathing Creatures" and anointed by the Queen’s daughter, “Her Hummingbird Majesty, Princess Ziparounda!”

But that’s another story best saved for another time.


Now, to do this investigation in the proper manner I would first need some key items.

The first item is a BLIND. A “Blind” is like a big box that you can hide in. You cut a small hole in the box so you can see out, but the animals can’t see you. You can make the box look like a bush, or shrub, on the outside, or anything else; even a big rock.


I began my investigation by setting up a BLIND just a short distance from the tree that was nearest the pond; the one the animals live in.

I set up the Blind very late at night and just far enough away so that the three little creatures wouldn’t notice what I was doing.   They go to bed very early.

However, I did set up the Blind close enough so I could see and hear what they were doing.

I put branches and leaves all over my Blind so it looked like a big bush.

The next morning I began watching the three animals and started writing down key points of their behavior.

The first thing I noticed was that the Grumpit and Smiler are always running up and down the tree gathering food that will last through the winter. And one of their favorite foods is the nuts that grow on the bushes, all around the pond.

As they find things to eat they stuff their mouths full. When their mouths are so full that they can't carry anymore, then they climb up the tree and put their food somewhere safe.

Each animal has a place in the tree that is their home, which is called a nest or a hollow, and that is where they hide their food.

This Grumpit lives in a large nest made of twigs and leaves and he goes into the nest from underneath. The top of the nest is covered with leaves and tree bark so the rain and snow doesn’t get in.

Smiler, on the other hand, lives in a hollow that is in the trunk of the tree; a hollow is like a hole in the tree.

Fiddle-de-de also lives in the trunk of that same tree, on the other side of the trunk, high above Smiler’s hole.

As Smiler and Grumpit gather their food they always try to carry too much and that causes them to drop some of their food as they go up the tree.

This is when Fiddle-de-dee most of her food gathering does.

When Smiler, or Grumpit, drop some food, Fiddle-de-dee picks it up and puts it in her sack.

Grumpit always complains about losing the food, but Smiler just smiles and says, “Easy come, easy go, we wouldn’t drop it if we’d go slow. You know?”

When Fiddle-de-dee’s sack is full she curls her tail around the end of the sack and carries it up the tree.

And as she carries the sack up the tree, I hear her say.

“I’m not a Smiler, or a Grumpit, I’m a Fiddle-de-de, there’s no one as smart as little old me.”

I continued to keep an eye on each animal and took pictures whenever I could. 

I even wrote down a lot of stuff about the animals on my tablet, and made a file to keep the information and pictures in.

Still, even with my super smartness I was unable to see any reason for those three animals to be living in the some tree.

Nonetheless, I was not about to give up! I knew that I was going to find the answer.



One day, Smiler found a walnut that a Raven had dropped on the grass. The walnut was too big to go into Smiler’s mouth, so Smiler went to Grumpit and said, “If you help me get that walnut up the tree, I’ll give you half”. 

Grumpit just laughed and said to him,  “You silly Smiler, that walnut is too heavy for us to carry and too hard for us to open. How are you going to give me half if we can’t open it?”

Smiler looked rather sad as he said, “Well, I guess you’re right,

but that's a shame, I’ve heard walnuts are really good to eat.”

Grumpit began to pace, back and forth Grumpit walked as he rubbed his chin as he sometimes did when he was thinking real hard.

“Wait just one minute,” mumbled Grumpit. “I think I have a plan, and it just might work. Yes indeed, I think it will work!” 

Then Grumpit whispered something into Smiler’s ear and Smiler’s smile got bigger and bigger, until it was as wide as his whole face.

“All Right,” Said a very excited Smiler. “I can do that!”

Grumpit and Smiler worked together rolling the walnut along the ground until they had it right near the sidewalk.

Fiddle-de-dee was taking a nap and didn’t notice what they were doing.

Suddenly, Smiler ran up the tree and yelled very loudly, “Oh no, I have dropped my walnut and it has fallen ever so near the sidewalk!”

But Fiddle-de-dee didn't hear him because she was still fast asleep.

So Grumpit tossed a very small pebble and hit Fiddle-de-dee on the arm.

Then Smiler said it again, and even loader, "OH NO, I have dropped my walnut and it has fallen ever so near the sidewalk!”

When Fiddle-de-dee heard what Smiler said she rubbed her eyes and looked around. There it was the biggest walnut she had ever seen.

“Yum, yum,” said Fiddle-de-dee, “that walnut of yours belongs to me. I’ll scoop it up and put it in my sack, I’ll take it up the tree and I’ll be right back!” 

“Better be careful,” said Grumpit. “Don’t take it up the sidewalk side of the tree because you might fall and hurt yourself. You’d better go all the way around the tree trunk and carry it up on the grass side. The grass is so much softer and better to fall on, if you were to fall.”

“Oh, fiddle-de-dee”, said Fiddle-de-dee, “I’ve never fallen down from this stupid old tree. Mind your own business, I am smarter than you, just watch how I do what a Smiler couldn’t do!”

So, just as Grumpit thought might happen, Fiddle-de-dee rolled the walnut into her sack, but she couldn’t get her tail around the end! The walnut was so big that it filled the sack full. There was very little of the end of the sack to curl her tail around.

Smiler ran down the tree and said. “What are you going to do now?"

Fiddle-de-dee looked troubled, she had never had this kind of problem before.

"I don’t suppose you would want me to hold onto the sack with one paw and onto your tail with the other, so that you could carry both of us up the tree and get the walnut to your nest," Smiler said in a questioning manner.

Then, with a great deal of Drama Smiler continued by saying, "But I guess that is a silly idea, after all, that would be very hard for anyone to do, even for Fiddle-de-dee.

It would be downright Impossible,” said Grumpit, “that would be much too heavy for anyone to carry! She’s strong, but she's not that strong! No, she would never make it!”

“Oh fiddle-de-dee”, said Fiddle-de-dee, “I can carry most anything up this old tree.”

So Smiler grabbed the sack and Fiddle-de-dee's tail, and Fiddle-de-dee started up the tree.

It went well at first, but Fiddle-de-dee became tired very quickly and began to slow down.

Grumpit watched from the sidewalk as Fiddle-de-dee slowed down to a very slow crawl.

But when she was just a couple of feet from her nest, she stopped, she couldn’t go any further. Not only that, she was having a hard time holding on to the tree!

“I’m going to fall," said Fiddle-de-dee. “let go of my tail! Hurry, I’m slipping!”

So Smiler dropped the sack onto the sidewalk, just as they had planned. And when the walnut hit the sidewalk, it broke open, just as they had hoped. And that is when Smiler ran down the tree to where the sack had fallen.

Grumpit and Smiler pulled the broken pieces of walnut out of the sack and they filled their mouths with the meat of the walnut. And each time their mouths were full they ran to their nests. Soon, they had taken all the good stuff away.

All that was left was the sack and a broken walnut shell.

Fiddle-de-dee was so tired that she could only watch as the food was carried away.

And to her amazement, she had been outwitted by two creatures working together for a common good; one silly Smiler and one old Grumpit.

Well, I, Otto Workman VanLandingham was astonished at how smart Grumpit and Smiler turned out to be. Teamwork had paid off for them in a big way.

Yet, there was still the mystery that I came here to solve. Why were all three of these animals living in the same tree? After all, there were other trees around. Good strong trees with lots of branches to climb around in.

I finally decided to give up until cooler weather because it was getting pretty hot in that Blind. You see, the weather has gotten very warm and in warm weather it gets hot inside the blind.

I thought about moving the Blind under a tree for shade, but all the other trees were too far away from the three animals and the pond. The tree, which the animals live in, stands alone by the pond.


The tree stands alone by the pond! --- The tree stands alone, all alone, by the pond!

That’s it! There is only one tree next to the pond and there are no other trees near the water. This is the only tree near the pond and the bushes.

If any of the animals lived in any of the other trees then they would be too far from the water and the food. The closer they live to the food the faster they can carry the food home.

Yes, that is the answer to the mystery!

All three live in the same tree because that tree is near the water and near the food.

I, Otto Workman Van Landingham, have solved another mystery; as I knew that I would.

And good detectives always solve their cases because they follow the “Clues” and pay attention.

But, what about you, are you a good detective?

Let us see if you can remember the facts.


{1} What kind of bird dropped the Walnut?

{2} Where do theses animals get their water?

{3} Who carries a sack?

{4} Where do all three animals live?

{5} What is growing near the pond, on bushes?


D. Thurmond / JEFalcon

11 - 2001

Rew. 03 - 2019




© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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