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 Dry Nite

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Zee-Zee

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Age : 40
Localisation : Zee-Zee's house
Registration date : 2007-04-22

PostSubject: Dry Nite   Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:48 pm

Okay, here's the story I'm working on. It's another day-in-the-life-of-Zee-Zee kind of story, and the day's only just started, but to motivate myself to write the whole thing quickly, I thought I'd post the first bit here, exclusive to the Furr Den.

There are gonna be guest-starring roles for a few people soon, so stay tuned! Oh, and about the title - Goodnites are called DryNites over here.

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Zee-Zee

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:50 pm

Bang! Zee-Zee woke up suddenly and sat up in bed at the loud noise from outside his window. The crash was followed by a tinkle of breaking glass and a beeeeeeeeeeeep of a car horn. “Mommy!” the little squirrel squeaked, half scared and half really really wanting to know what was going on. It was still dark outside, his little nightlight was still filling the bedroom with its soft yellow glow, it must be the middle of the night! It might be a monster!

He heard the sound of grown-ups talking and stood up on his big-boy bed, trying to see out of the window through the little crack in the curtains. The crack was too narrow and everything was too blurry – in his not-quite-awake state, he hadn’t thought to put his glasses on. “Mommy!” he called again. Something was definitely happening outside, possibly involving monsters, and he needed to know about it right away!

He heard the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs, and looked expectantly towards the door. Sure enough, it opened, and in came Mommy, wearing her pyjamas and yawning softly. “Ssh, ssh, it’s okay, sweetie, Mommy’s here,” she cooed softly, padding over to the bed in her fluffy slippers and picking the little squirrel up in a cuddle. Zee-Zee snuggled sleepily close. He liked Mommy’s PJs, they were soft and snuggly, and he thought she should wear them more often. Mommy and Daddy were normally already dressed by the time Zee-Zee woke up in the morning.

“It’s okay, there’s nothing to be frightened of, it was just a big loud noise,” Mommy said, reminding Zee-Zee why he’d called for her in the first place. He’d almost forgotten, with all the sleepiness and snuggling. He mumbled “Mmmmmm…” as she stroked his headfur and carried on talking in a soft, quiet, soothing voice. “It was Mr Springbok from down the road, going to work early in his car. He skidded on a patch of ice and crashed into a mailbox, but he’s fine and the car’s only a little bit crumpled up.”

“Can I go see?” Zee-Zee asked, opening his eyes again. He was fighting an internal battle between curiosity and tiredness, but a crumpled car sounded like something he needed to look at.

Zena chuckled and put the squirrel cub back in his bed. “We can see it later, sweetie,” she said. “He’s going to leave the car in his driveway this morning and call the garage to come collect it later, so we can look at it on the way to the daycare this morning! But right now it’s still sleepy-time, and little squirrels need their rest.” She kissed his nose and tucked him back under his blanket, picking up Tommy the teddy, who’d fallen on the floor during the night, and tucking him into bed too.

“Big squirrels!” Zee-Zee corrected, half asleep again. Zena smiled to herself. She must still be half asleep too, she thought to herself, to have forgotten that you can’t use the word ‘little’ with Zee-Zee and get away with it.

“Big squirrels, that’s right, Zee-Zee,” she said, giving him one last nuzzle. “Even big squirrels need their sleep, so they’re full of energy to play tomorrow. Sweet dreams, big boy.”

Mommy tiptoed out of the room and closed the door behind her. Zee-Zee smiled and closed his eyes again. He did feel sleepy, and his bed was warm and cosy. Something didn’t feel quite right, though, and it was stopping him going back to sleep. He tried to work out what was wrong. Tommy was there (he gave him a quick cuddle to make sure), the nightlight was on, there definitely wasn’t a monster outside, just an exciting car crash, what could it be? He rolled over onto his other side, to see if that felt better. No, still uncomfortable. He lay on his back and crossed his legs – a bit better, but something still wasn’t quite right. Something told him he’d be more comfortable sitting up, so he tried that. He opened his eyes and rubbed them sleepily. It was a feeling in his tummy, and he knew he should know what it was. And he was a clever squirrel, he could work it out, he was sure.

“Potty!” he squeaked, suddenly. He needed to use the potty! That feeling was a pee-pee, and all the wriggling around was how you stop it coming out in your pull-up! He just hadn’t realised what that feeling was because he wasn’t used to feeling it when he was in bed. Ooh! This could be very important, he thought to himself, suddenly not sleepy at all. He quickly jumped out of bed again, squeezing his legs together, and pulled down his pyjama pants. He turned towards the nightlight to see for sure – yes, the little blue acorns under the picture of a happy squirrel were definitely still there! He put a finger down the front of the pull-up just to make doubly certain – it was definitely, completely, totally dry!

It wasn’t going to stay dry for long, though, Zee-Zee realised, crossing his legs more tightly and bobbing up and down. He had to get to the potty, quickly, because that pee-pee didn’t want to wait another second! He grabbed his glasses from the nightstand so he could see where he was going, quickly toddled over to the bedroom door and stood on tiptoes to reach the handle, then paused. He wasn’t allowed to come out of his bedroom at night. Mommy and Daddy were very firm about that – big squirrels sleep in their own big-boy beds all night long, they don’t get up to have adventures or see if anything’s happening downstairs or see if Mommy or Daddy need a cuddle. Was he allowed to get up to go to the potty? There was a rule about that, but he couldn’t quite think of it. Potty-dancing frantically, he thought back to that conversation. Call Mommy or Daddy if you need something, they’d said. What if he had to go potty in a hurry and couldn’t wait till Mommy came, Zee-Zee had asked. (He really was clever, he thought to himself proudly, he’d known something like this might happen! Even though he’d mainly asked it because he was looking for an excuse to get out of bed in the middle of the night.) Mommy had pointed to the bed and said something…

Clutching the front of his pull-up, his pyjamas still around his ankles, Zee-Zee quickly looked back in the direction of his bed, and saw something familiar and welcome peeking out from underneath it. His potty! Of course, his little yellow plastic potty was waiting under his bed, just like always, ready for when he was just a little tiny bit bigger and his body was ready to wake up and go potty at night-time. And that day was today!

Tugging down his pull-up and stepping out of it quickly, Zee-Zee dashed across the room, pulled the potty from under the bed and sat down. Immediately, he felt that wonderful feeling of going potty without the accompanying warmth and wetness of a pull-up (which did also feel kind of nice too, of course, but big squirrels probably weren’t supposed to think that, so Zee-Zee tried not to). It was completely silent in the house and outside now and Zee-Zee listened happily to the trickling sound of his little potty filling up. When he was absolutely sure he’d finished, he stood up and admired the sight. He had an empty bladder, a full potty and a dry night-time pull-up… somewhere. Mommy and Daddy needed to know about this, but first, he wanted to completely finish the job all by himself!

Quickly scanning the room, he spotted his pull-up and pyjama pants lying by the door where he’d left them, and scampered over to pick them up. He was going to put those tricky clothes back on all by himself, too, tail-tabs included. That way he’d be able to boast that he was a big squirrel who didn’t need help with anything! He’d done it in the daytime before, but in the gloomy light of a nightlight and with fingers that hadn’t completely woken up yet, it was a little bit harder, and the first two times he tried to get into the pull-up he ended up getting his legs through the wrong holes so that it turned around backwards. He persevered, got it on the right way around, pulled it up and fumbled with the awkward little flap that closed it in the back, above his big, bushy tail. That was the hardest part, of course, because you can’t see what you’re doing and have to feel your way around. He fumbled, dropped the velcro tab, pulled it away from his tail with a little squeak – it pulled out a hair and stung a little bit – lost his balance and fell down on his bottom with a little thump, but in the process managed to fasten the tab just right!

Zee-Zee jumped up and down on the spot a couple of times to make sure the pull-up was going to stay put and to celebrate his cleverness, then repeated the trick with his pyjamas. These were easier now he’d had a bit of practice, and he got them on the right way around first time, and stretched the elasticated hole around his big tail without any real problems at all! He quickly ran through the checklist in his head: Dry bed, dry pull-up, potty full of pee-pee, PJs pulled back up… check, check, check, check! “Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!” he yelled as loudly as he could.

From his parents’ bedroom just on the other side of the wall, he heard the sounds of movement and what sounded like Daddy mumbling “Might have known we wouldn’t get him back to sleep so easily…” Zee-Zee giggled and called out again “Daddy! Mommy! Come here quick! Both of you! Now! Um, I mean, now please!”

Zee-Zee bounced up and down excitedly as he heard the sound of Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom door opening and a mutter of “Next time I see Stefan Springbok…” followed by a giggle and a “Ssssh” from Mommy. Sure enough, his bedroom door opened, light from the landing spilled into the room and Mommy and Daddy both came in to see what was causing so much excitement this time.

“I woke up and went potty all by myself and I didn’t wet the bed all night and I’m a big squirrel, look!” Zee-Zee babbled as soon as he was sure he had his parents’ full attention, and ran to them for a hug.

Zed and Zena couldn’t help smiling as widely as their two-year-old son, and Zed scooped him up in his arms and kissed his nose, while Zena ruffled his headfur. “Just look at that!” Zed grinned. “My big squirrel’s first dry night!”

“What a clever boy!” Zena enthused. “You even dressed yourself again too!”

Zee-Zee giggled happily. Sometimes grown-ups didn’t notice all the clever things he’d done without him having to point it out, but Mommy and Daddy always worked it out with only a little bit of prompting.

“This calls for a celebration!” Daddy said, tickling Zee-Zee’s toes and making him squeak and wriggle. “There’s no way we’re gonna get you back to sleep again tonight, is there?” Zee-Zee shook his head with another giggle. “Well,” Daddy continued, “it’s five-thirty, I’d say that’s a good time for an early breakfast. Let’s have ourselves a dry bed pyjama party!”

And so the trio went downstairs to the kitchen, Zee-Zee bouncing happily in Daddy’s arms, and then Daddy sat him on the table and reached into the cupboard for his big frying-pan. “Gotta be a fry-up, seeing as it’s a special occasion, right?” he grinned. “Full English breakfast?”

Zee-Zee squeaked and clapped his paws. “Yeah! A Daddy breakfast!”

Mommy rolled her eyes and smiled. “Okay, just this once. We’ll all eat your unhealthy Daddy breakfast. It’ll warm us up, anyway. Are your toes cold, sweetie?”

“Uh-huh, a little bit,” Zee-Zee smiled, wiggling his toes as they dangled over the edge of the table. It was a bit cold in the kitchen.

“Let’s get some socks on them,” said Mommy, picking Zee-Zee up again and carrying him into the living room, where a pair of fluffy green socks was warming up on the radiator.

Zee-Zee sighed contentedly, sitting on the soft, comfy couch with his feet now toasty warm and bright green. This was going to be a really, really good day, he thought to himself.

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:32 pm

Cute story, Zee-Zee!
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Lig
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:46 pm

Woot!!!! I love th storie so far ZeeZee! Hehe. Very adorable. Your stories always are. Can't wait to see the rest. ^^

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:48 pm

Awww really cute Zee-Zee,
Big squirrells are fun to cuddle with
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Zee-Zee

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:57 pm

Thanks, guys! I've finally got round to writing some more! I think this story is gonna take a long time to finish, though - it's amazing how much a little squirrel can pack into one day!

A little note about the 'this little piggy' sequence - in our universe, squirrels have five toes on their hind paws. In my pictures, for some reason I draw all cubs with only three toes. So therefore, in Zee-Zee's universe, the This Little Piggy rhyme has six lines and uses both footpaws! ^.^

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:00 pm

Mommy sat down next to him and lifted him onto her lap. “That’s better, isn’t it?” she smiled, tickling Zee-Zee’s fluffy green toes. He squeaked and giggled happily. “This green little piggy went to market…” said Mommy, wiggling the little toe of Zee-Zee’s left foot.

“This little piggy stayed home!” Zee-Zee continued, reaching down to wiggle his own middle toe.

“This little piggy had roast beef,” Zena said, playing with Zee-Zee’s big toe, and giving him an encouraging smile.

“And this little piggy had none!” Zee-Zee chirped, getting louder as he switched to the big toe of his right footpaw. “Are we having roast beef for breakfast?”

“Not today, sweetie,” Zena chuckled. “Roast beef is more of a Sunday lunch kind of thing. Now, this little piggy stayed out all night…” she continued, wiggling Zee-Zee’s right middle toe. “And THIS little piggy…” she smiled, moving on to the last toe and waiting for Zee-Zee to join in.

“Went Zee-Zee-Zee, all the way home!” they chorused, and Zee-Zee squealed and squirmed around on Mommy’s lap as she tickled his toes, tummy, tail and anything else she could get her paws on.

After Zee-Zee was all tickled out and lying draped across Mommy’s lap, shaking with a few final giggles, Daddy’s voice came echoing from the kitchen. “Come and get it!” he called. “Time for a special big squirrel breakfast!”

“Yay!” Zee-Zee chirped, jumping off the couch and scampering through to the kitchen. “Yeeep!” he squeaked, his sock-clad feet slipping on the tiled kitchen floor and dropping him down on his pull-up-clad bottom for the second time that morning. “Owwwww!” he whined, looking up at Daddy for sympathy.

“Oh, poor baby!” Daddy cooed, picking the little squirrel up and cuddling him. “That’s why we say no running in the kitchen, big squirrel. Did you hurt your bum?”

“Little bit,” Zee-Zee sniffled, although it wasn’t hurting any more. He nuzzled Daddy’s chest. Daddy’s PJs weren’t as snuggly as Mommy’s, but they were still nice to cuddle with.

“There there, it’s okay, no bones broken,” Daddy smiled, gently rubbing Zee-Zee’s bottom. He sat him in his highchair next to the table and snapped the tray in place. “Now, this will make you feel better!” he said, putting a big plate of breakfast down on the tray.

“Ooooooh!” Zee-Zee enthused, looking at the enormous helping of food in front of him. There was fried bacon, a fried egg, fried sausage, fried mushrooms, fried bread, fried black pudding, grilled tomato and baked beans. It was what Daddy called a full English breakfast, and Mommy called a heart attack waiting to happen that he wasn’t allowed to eat more than once a month. It was also, Zee-Zee was fairly certain, the biggest breakfast he’d ever had, and full of so many delicious things! And also black pudding, which he didn’t like, but which he sometimes tried just because Daddy liked it.

“That’s too much,” Zena chided. “Even for a big squirrel!” She looked at her own plate and licked her lips.

“You don’t have to eat it all,” Zed said, cutting Zee-Zee’s sausage for him.

“I wanna do it myself!” Zee-Zee said, reaching for the knife and fork. “I’m a big squirrel, remember!”

“Okay, just let me help a little bit…” Daddy said, giving Zee-Zee a smaller knife and fork and helping him hold them right. “Just hold it down with the fork, that’s right, and cut it gently, don’t press too hard!” He nimbly caught the sausage before it skidded off the plate and on to the floor. “There, you’ve got it now! Cleverest big squirrel in the world, that’s you!”

“And messiest,” Mommy giggled, remembering Zee-Zee’s bib and tying it around his neck. She put a sippy cup of milk on his tray and sat down to eat her own breakfast.

Zee-Zee ate almost the whole plateful, certainly more than half of it, anyway, and it was a full-sized Daddy breakfast. Even a bit of the black pudding (which still tasted yucky). And he cut most of it up by himself, with just a little bit of help from Daddy, and he probably didn’t spill as much of it all over himself and his highchair as a little baby squirrel would. He licked egg yolk from his muzzle and sat back in his seat, finally admitting defeat. “I’m full!” he gasped, draining his sippy of milk.

“That’s a good boy,” Mommy said, kissing Zee-Zee’s nose and picking him up out of the highchair. “You’re sure to grow up big and strong if you keep eating that much! Let’s just sit down for a little while and let it settle in our tummies before we do anything exciting…”

“Is it time for daycare now?” Zee-Zee asked, suddenly remembering the big news he wanted to share. “I’m gonna tell everybody how I don’t wet the bed any more!”

“It’s not time yet, honey,” Zena laughed, sitting Zee-Zee down on the couch in the living room. “Let’s see what cartoons are on TV at this time in the morning…” She turned on the TV and gave Zee-Zee the remote, watching with pride as he pressed the buttons for his favourite preschool cartoon channel. It turned out that the early morning slot contained an ancient puppet show that Zee-Zee had never seen before, and he watched it with rapt attention, squeaking and clapping his paws at exciting bits.

Mommy came into the living room just as the commercials were coming on, carrying a little pile of clothes. “Time to get dressed, my big squirrel,” she smiled. She put the clothes down on the couch and held out two shirts, one in each paw. “Button-up shirt or clever T-shirt?” she asked.

Zee-Zee looked from one to the other, a frown of deep concentration on his face. The T-shirt was his very favourite shirt, it had a picture of a magnifying glass and the word ‘clever’ on it, so that everybody who saw him knew at a glance how very clever for his age he was. And it had been a gift from Warren, the big grown-up liger who looked after Zee-Zee at the daycare and who Zee-Zee thought was one of the greatest people in the whole wide world. But the pale blue, short-sleeved shirt had buttons all down the front, just like the shirts Daddy wore to work, and whenever a big fur saw him wearing that, they always told him how very grown-up he looked. It was very difficult to choose between the two.

“Ummmmmmm…” he said, scratching his head and looking back and forth at the two special shirts. “Button-up shirt!” he finally settled on. Grown-ups don’t wet their pull-ups at night, and clever cubs just maybe sometimes do, so today he was going to be Zee-Zee the grown-up squirrel. “Because I’m a big squirrel,” he explained to Mommy.

“That’s right, sweetie, you are,” Mommy said. “Lift up your arms, big squirrel!”

Zee-Zee obediently lifted up his arms, and Mommy pulled his pyjama top over his head without even dislodging his glasses or ruffling his tail. Mommy was very good at dressing and undressing squirrels. Zee-Zee very nearly started to say that he could get dressed all by himself, but then he remembered that he couldn’t quite do those fiddly little buttons yet, so he kept quiet and let Mommy do it. She pulled down and took off his pyjama pants and then reached for his pull-up.

“No, Mommy!” Zee-Zee said, grabbing the waistband. “I don’t need a new pull-up, remember? I stayed dry all night!”

“But that’s a night-time pull-up, sweetie,” Zena smiled. “We change our night clothes when we get dressed in the morning, even if we haven’t had an accident.”

“Nooooo, Mommy!” Zee-Zee whined. He didn’t see why Mommy was being so slow to understand. A pull-up change was something that happened after an accident. It was a bad thing, and he didn’t want it to happen when he’d been a big, clever squirrel and used the potty at night! “I don’t wanna change!” he squeaked, holding the special, dry, night-time pull-up tightly.

Zena rolled her eyes and smiled. “Okay, darling, you can keep your pull-up on if you want,” she said. “Come on, let’s get you dressed. Arms up again!”

Zee-Zee lifted up his arms and tried to look around Mommy to see the TV, which had started showing a cartoon, while she put his grown-up, button-up shirt on. He was glad he hadn’t tried to do it himself, because even Mommy had a little bit of trouble getting his tail out of the way and then fastening those tricky little tiny buttons. But soon enough she’d done it, and then she helped him step into a pair of red shorts, fastening the velcro tab at the back and giving Zee-Zee a little pat on the bottom. “All done!” she smiled. “What a cute little big squirrel!”

Zee-Zee giggled and jumped into Mommy’s arms for a hug. “Daycare time now?” he asked, impatient to let everybody know his news.

“Still not quite time to go yet, sweetie,” Zena said. “We got out of bed very early this morning, we’ll just have to wait a little while before we leave.”

“Awwww!” Zee-Zee whined. Waiting a little while was his least favourite activity. Suddenly, he had an idea, and ran over to the window, climbing up into the window seat to look out. “Mommy, Mommy, can I go visit Unky Rai?” he asked, pointing across the yard to the house next door.

“I’m sorry, Zee-Zee, it’s still too early to go visiting too,” Mommy said, coming up behind Zee-Zee and patting his head. “Uncle Rai is probably still tucked up in bed.”

“No, Mommy, look! Look!” Zee-Zee chirped excitedly. “The light’s on, look! And there’s Unky Rai!” He pointed to a tall, yellow figure moving past the kitchen window, fully dressed and looking like someone who needed a visit. “Please, Mommy? I wanna tell him I’m a big squirrel!”

Zena thought about it. “Well, okay,” she said, and put a finger to Zee-Zee’s lips just before he could scream ‘yay!’ “But…” she continued firmly, “you can only go over there if you ask him first whether he’s busy, and you come straight back home if he doesn’t have time to play with you. Okay?”

“Okay,” Zee-Zee said, with a little pout. “But I get to go visiting all by myself?”

“All by yourself,” Zena confirmed. “Wait there for just one tiny second, and I’ll fetch your shoes.”

“Awww, shoes?” Zee-Zee whined. He preferred to go barefoot everywhere.

“Yes, shoes,” Mommy said, in her I’m-gonna-get-mad-if-you-keep-whining voice. “It’s cold out there and the grass is damp.” She left the room and came back about half a minute later, although to the impatient little squirrel fidgetting in the big armchair it felt a lot longer, carrying a little red pair of grown-up, lace-up shoes.

“Can you start lacing them up for me?” Zena smiled, slipping the shoes onto Zee-Zee’s footpaws. He nodded and carefully took one lace from the right shoe in each paw, crossing one over the other and pulling them tight. “Clever squirrel!” Zena praised. Zee-Zee was still struggling to learn how to tie a bow, despite trying very hard and practicing with any pieces of string that came his way, but he could do a knot without any problem. She finished the job, and they repeated the process with the left shoe. “Okay, you’re all ready to go visiting!” she cheered.

“Yay!” Zee-Zee chirped, hopping off the chair and running at full speed to the back door. “I’m going to visit Unky Rai, Daddy!” he told Daddy, who was putting the breakfast plates away.

“It’s not seven o’clock yet…” Zed started to say, but Zena smiled at him and said “Zee-Zee’s just going to ask Uncle Rai if he can come round, and he’s going to come straight back here with no arguments or whining if Uncle Rai says no, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Mommy,” Zee-Zee said, trying not to get annoyed with all these rules. Mommy unlocked the back door and opened it up for him, and Zee-Zee stepped out into the cold morning air.

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:01 pm

It was a chilly autumn morning, the grass of the back yard was still wet with dew and it was still only just starting to get light. Zee-Zee soon forgot all worry about Unky Rai being too busy to play, and looked around with delight at the early-morning outdoors. He really, really was a big squirrel and nobody could say he wasn’t! How many little squirrels kept their pull-ups dry all night and then went to visit their friends, all by themselves? Ooh, and maybe it was cold enough… he blew out a puff of air experimentally and squealed with delight when he saw it come out as a visible puff of steam. “Fire-breathing squirrel dragon!” he roared, loudly, and blew out some more smoke, running around the garden and pretending to set fire to a watering-can sitting by the flowerbed.

The kitchen window opened and Mommy’s voice came from behind the big fierce squirrel dragon. “Ssssssh!” she said. “Don’t wake the whole street, just go round to Uncle Rai’s!”

“Sorry, Mommy,” Zee-Zee said, and went down to the bottom of the garden where the little squirrel-sized hole in the fence was. This was Zee-Zee’s special route to Raikan’s house, that nobody else was little enough to use, and which let him go round to the house next door all by himself without having to go near the road. He squeezed through, whispering “Grrrrr, big dragon coming to play with Unky Rai!” and ran back up Raikan’s yard to his back door.

Uncle Rai wasn’t Zee-Zee’s real uncle. Real uncles are Mommy’s brother, like Uncle Mark, or Daddy’s sister’s husband, like Uncle Clive, but Raikan was Zee-Zee’s neighbour and friend who helped out at the daycare and who babysat for Zee-Zee when Mommy and Daddy went out, and Zee-Zee loved him just as much as his real uncles, maybe even a little bit more. Uncle Rai was very, very good at playing with little squirrels and he was sure to be thrilled to see a little squirrel this morning. Zee-Zee knocked loudly and repeatedly on the door.

It opened, and there was Raikan, looking down at Zee-Zee with a surprised smile. “Well, good morning, Zee-Zee,” he said, looking across at the squirrels’ house. “Do your parents know you’re here so early?”

“Uh-huh, they know, Mommy said I could come,” Zee-Zee said. He paused for just a moment, wondering if he should say the next part, but decided he’d only get in trouble if he didn’t. “And she said I have to ask if you’re busy and go back home if you are,” he said, looking up with wide, hopeful eyes and shuffling his feet.

Raikan smiled and picked the little toddler up in his arms, stroking his back and patting his little bottom with one big hand. “I’m not so busy I can’t play with my favourite squirrel for a little while,” he said. “But I have to leave soon to go to work, okay?”

“Daycare work?” Zee-Zee chirped, excited.

“No, translator work,” Rai said, and watched Zee-Zee’s ears droop with disappointment. “But,” he continued with a grin, “I am going to drop by the daycare at story time this afternoon!”

“Yay!” Zee-Zee squeaked. Rai told the best stories. He snuggled up happily in Rai’s arms.

“So,” Raikan said, carrying Zee-Zee into his kitchen and sitting him on a counter. “What brings you here at this time in the morning?”

“Ooh!” Zee-Zee squealed, clapping his paws as he remembered why he was here. “Unky Rai, guess what? I woke up and I went to the potty and I stayed dry all night! Look!” He tugged his shorts down at the front to show his pull-up.

“That’s very good, Zee,” Rai chuckled, gently pulling Zee-Zee’s shorts back up. “I’m very proud of you.”

“Is Sirius here? I wanna tell him too!” Zee-Zee chirped, wriggling down off the counter and dropping to the floor before Rai could catch him.

“Now, you know you’re not supposed to jump off high places like that, Zee,” Rai chided, holding the over-excited, squirming squirrel still for a moment. “Sirius is still in bed, I’m the only one who’s awake right now. Would you like to help me make breakfast for him before we wake him up?”

“Okay!” Zee-Zee giggled, feeling even more like a grown-up now. “I already had breakfast, it was a Daddy breakfast and I ate it all, nearly and I only feel a little bit sick!”

Raikan laughed. “That’s quite an achievement after one of your Daddy’s breakfasts.” He pulled over a stool and lifted Zee-Zee onto it so he could reach the kitchen surfaces. “Remember, stand still, don’t wobble and don’t stretch to reach anything,” he said, reminding Zee-Zee of the safety rules for little squirrels standing on big tall stools. “Now, maybe you can pour Sirius a cup full of juice while I make waffles?” He passed Zee-Zee a big carton of juice and an empty cup.

Zee-Zee concentrated, his tongue poking out of the corner of his mouth, as he picked up the juice. Sirius had a grown-up mug, he noticed, not a sippy cup. He wondered if he should ask Mommy and Daddy for a mug just like it now he was a real big squirrel. He was fairly sure he wouldn’t spill anything. Admittedly the last time he’d tried drinking from a cup without a lid it had gone everywhere, but that had been a whole week ago. He was bigger now.

Raikan had turned away to the waffle iron for a minute, but he turned back, hearing the stool wobbling more than it usually did when Zee-Zee was standing on it and trying to stay still. The little squirrel was very carefully pouring juice into the cup, holding the carton with both paws, but his legs were jiggling around and his tail was twitching. Rai had attributed his squirminess until now to excitement, but he had a feeling now that it was down to something else. It must be nearly two hours since that early-morning wake-up, he calculated, deducing that it had been the car crash that did it, plenty of time for a two-year-old squirrel bladder to fill itself up again on an exciting cold morning. He decided to drop a hint or two and see if the clever cub could figure it out for himself.

“Nice work, Zee,” he praised, patting Zee-Zee’s head and admiring the full mug with only a little bit of juice spilled on the counter. “So, I guess you’re going to keep that pull-up dry all day now?”

“Yeah!” Zee-Zee squeaked, smiling widely at the thought. “I’m gonna be dry all day and then I’m gonna get to wear my big boy undies that I got for my birthday!” This had been his mantra for a good few months now, while he struggled with trying to become a big boy at an earlier age than little rodents’ bodies were normally ready for. He crossed his legs unconsciously and smiled proudly up at Rai.

“Well, that’s great,” Rai persevered, lifting Zee-Zee down to the kitchen floor. “So you’re going to go to the potty every time, as soon as you feel like you need to?”

“Yep!” Zee-Zee nodded, squirming uncomfortably but with the part of his brain devoted to remembering the potty still not having fully kicked in. “Are we gonna wake Sirius now? Can I wake him? Can I jump on his bed and say good morning?”

Raikan rolled his eyes and smiled. “In a minute, Zee.” He knelt down and ruffled Zee-Zee’s headfur. “Do you need to potty now?” he finally asked.

Zee-Zee’s eyes widened and he grabbed the front of his shorts urgently. “Yes!” he squeaked. “Unky Rai, I gotta go potty!”

“Good boy,” Rai said, scooping Zee-Zee up in his arms and rushing to the bathroom. He set the squirming squirrel down on the floor, opened the closet and took out the potty chair he kept in the house for little visitors who weren’t always comfortable with his big full-size toilet. He put it down in front of Zee-Zee, who quickly tugged his own shorts and pull-up down around his ankles and sat down with a smile. “You certainly are a clever big squirrel today,” said Rai, sitting down on the edge of the bathtub to watch.

Zee-Zee nodded proudly and looked down between his legs at the blue plastic potty. Maybe he should have asked to use Unky Rai’s big potty like a real big squirrel would, he thought, but then Rai would have had to hold him in place so he didn’t fall in, because there wasn’t a little plastic step or a toddler seat on his potty. It was probably more grown-up to use the potty chair all by himself. After all, the important thing was that his pull-up was STILL dry! And he put it on just before bedtime last night! It was a new world record! He realised that he’d got lost in his train of thought and had forgotten about his pee-pee, but that was easily remedied – with a tiny moment of concentration he let go and beamed up at Unky Rai as the potty started to fill. “I’m pottying!” he squeaked, clapping his paws.

Raikan smiled back. “What a clever squirrel, using the potty for pee-pees,” he said, sounding really, really impressed.

“Way to go, Zee-Zee!” came another voice from the doorway.

Zee-Zee spun around in surprise and completely fell off the potty, landing on his back with his legs in the air. Raikan winced, but the potty chair only wobbled and stayed upright, and luckily the entire contents of Zee-Zee’s bladder seemed to already be in it. Zee-Zee tilted his head backwards, his shorts and pull-up sliding down from his ankles to his knees as he lay on the floor, frozen in his surprised position. He mentally readjusted the upside-down image and smiled widely at the sight of Rai’s son Sirius, grinning down at him.

“Siri!” squeaked Zee-Zee, scrambling to his feet, narrowly avoiding knocking over the potty chair once more, and pulling his clothes back up around his waist, holding them in place so they wouldn’t fall down again. “I was gonna come wake you, but then I had to go potty!”

“Yeah, I heard you,” laughed the eleven-year-old wolfhound. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, picked up the giggling little squirrel in a big hug and gave his headfur an affectionate lick.

“Heehee, I like your PJs!” Zee-Zee giggled, admiring Sirius’s red and white striped pyjamas.

“Me too,” Sirius grinned, dropping Zee-Zee again and adjusting the pants so as not to show too much of a bulge. “So what’s a big squirrel like you doing going potty in my bathroom at this time of the morning?”

“I woke up and went potty and I stayed dry all night!” Zee-Zee squeaked, all in one breath, fumbling with his tail-tabs, and beaming up at his big boy buddy.

“Well, that’s great!” Sirius grinned. “Way to go, big squirrel!” He sighed just very quietly and quickly, shifting uncomfortably in his wet night diaper. Raikan gave his son an understanding smile as he fastened Zee-Zee’s shorts and pull-up for him. “So you had to come and tell us right away?” Sirius laughed.

“Yep!” Zee-Zee giggled. “And we made breakfast, it’s waffles! I helped!”

“Cool!” Sirius grinned, lifting Zee-Zee up under one arm with a grunt of effort and carrying him towards the kitchen as the little squirrel squealed and laughed. “Let’s go eat!” he gasped. “Nope, can’t quite do it, you’re getting too big!” he said, sinking to his knees and putting Zee-Zee back down on the floor.

“I’m nearly as big and strong as you!” Zee-Zee giggled, rolling on his back and looking up at the big strong puppy in awe.

“You’re two big, strong, clever cubs, and I love you both,” Rai said, nuzzling Sirius and bending down to rub Zee-Zee’s tummy. “Now, Zee, I’m sure your Mommy and Daddy are wondering where you are. Maybe you should go back and see what they’re doing while Sirius and I have our breakfast. You can come and play again this evening if you like.”

“Okay!” Zee-Zee chirped, hopping up to his feet and hugging Rai’s tail. “And I’m gonna stay dry all day too! I’m gonna wear this pull-up forever and never wet it!”

Sirius laughed. “Have a great day, Zee!” he said, yawning and nuzzling Raikan, who went to the door to let Zee-Zee out.

“I’ll see you at story time this afternoon,” Rai said with a goodbye wave as Zee-Zee skipped out into the yard.

“Bye-bye!” Zee-Zee chirped, running down to the hole in the fence. It was fully light outside now, and it surely, surely had to be time to go to the daycare at last!

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:53 pm

*giggles* Least Zee had a nice little morning visit to start the day! *wagwag* Thanks for the cameo bro!

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:18 pm

Hehehe. I like it so far ZeeZee very cute story. ^^ Can't wait to see more.

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:46 pm

Zee absolutely adorable and I am just so so pleased that you wrote me into one of your story's. Its just so... I dunno you just captured me somehow and it makes me feel good.

[also sorry about not commenting on this earlier but I did read it when you first wrote it, just didnt write down anything]
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:59 pm

Thanks, Rai! *cuddles* I'm glad you liked it! And there is still more to come of this story, I've written a little bit more, but some time soon I'm gonna sit down and type out all the rest of it that's still floating around in my head... ^.^

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:09 pm

Hadn't noticed this had been updated. Cute stuff as usual Zee-Zee! I love it!
*Lucario gives thumbs up*
I'll be waiting for more!
*Riolu and Eevee watch intently*
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:39 pm

Okies, instead of drawing something tonight (which I promised on FurAffinity I'd do), I decided to write a bit more of this long-delayed story instead. ^.^ It's been sitting in my head for months, I just had to finally get it down on the page! Zee-Zee finally gets to the daycare, and meets some friends!

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:46 pm

Zee-Zee went almost straight back home, just diverting along the way to chase some little birds around Rai’s and his back yards for a few minutes, and pushed open the back door, which Daddy had left open a little bit for him. “I’m home!” he called out, panting a little after all the running (those birdies were fast!). “Is it daycare time now?”

Mommy was in the living room, all dressed and combing her damp headfur. “You had a shower!” Zee-Zee the detective told her.

“That’s right, sweetie,” Mommy chuckled. “What a clever squirrel! Would you like a drink?” she asked, handing Zee-Zee his sippy cup full of juice. He nodded happily and drank it – running around was thirsty work. “Did you have fun with Uncle Rai?” Mommy smiled.

“Uh-huh, I helped make breakfast and I went to the potty again and Sirius was there too and they both said I’m clever and grown-up!”

“Well, that’s wonderful!” Mommy enthused. “And did you thank Raikan for letting you come round and helping you use the potty?”

“Um... yes,” Zee-Zee replied, uncertainly, taking a long sip from his cup to disguise the fact that he was racking his memory for an honest answer. He couldn’t definitely remember whether he’d actually said thank you to Uncle Rai, but he was sure he would have done. He was a good boy, after all, and good boys don’t forget their pleases and thank yous. He resolved to make sure to thank Rai the next time he saw him, just in case.

“That’s my good big squirrel,” said Mommy, patting his head. “Daddy’s going to take you to daycare in just a minute, your bag’s already packed for you.” She pointed to Zee-Zee’s little Bob The Builder backpack, which was on the couch. He scampered over and climbed onto the couch to check that Mommy and Daddy had packed everything he might need for a day at daycare.

“Yay! Messy day!” he giggled, pulling out his smock from the bag. It was one of Daddy’s old shirts, and he wore it to protect his clothes when they were going to do something extra messy at the daycare.

“Yep, I heard there was going to be a fun surprise this afternoon,” Mommy smiled. “Something that’ll leave you needing a bath when you get home, most likely.”

Zee-Zee smiled widely to himself. This day just kept getting better and better! There was something in the bag that shouldn’t be there, though, and he turned to Mommy with an accusing look, about to say something. She seemed to have been expecting it, somehow, and quickly said “I know you’re going to try to stay dry all day, dear, but you might as well take those spare pull-ups along, just in case. After all, even if you don’t need them, maybe somebody else will forget to bring theirs, and then you could give them one of your spares if they have a little accident!”

“Oh yeah!” Zee-Zee smiled. “Because some other cubs at daycare have accidents sometimes, you know, Mommy. I think they forget to use the potty like big cubs do.”

“But of course there’s nothing wrong with having a little accident from time to time,” said Daddy, coming into the room with a smile. “It happens to everybody, even the biggest, cleverest cubs! Now, are you ready to go and tell everyone your news, big squirrel?”

“I’m ready!” Zee-Zee squeaked, jumping down off the couch with a flying leap and putting on his backpack.

Zed chuckled and quickly wiped the muddy shoe-prints from the couch. “Let’s make a quick stop in the bathroom and brush our teeth, and we’ll be all set,” he said, picking Zee-Zee up and giving him a cuddle.

“Awwwww...” Zee-Zee sighed. There were so many things to do before daycare! Waking up early really did make the morning drag on.

But finally, everything was done. Zee-Zee had brushed his own teeth with only a little help from Daddy, washed his paws and face and giggled when Daddy blew them dry with the fur-dryer, told Daddy that he didn’t need to use the potty because he’d gone pee-pee all by himself at Unky Rai’s and come back downstairs where Daddy picked up his keys and grinned down at his eager little cub. “Okay, let’s go!” he said, kissing Zena goodbye. “Bye-bye, Mommy, see you later!”

“Bye-bye, Mommy!” Zee-Zee chirped, running over to her for one last cuddle before holding Daddy’s hand and impatiently tugging him to the door.

Zee-Zee and Daddy strode happily out into the morning sunshine. It was getting warmer now the sun was really up, and it was a beautiful day, with just a little wind blowing in their faces and ruffling their fluffy tails. They walked along the sidewalk towards the nursery fifteen minutes’ walk away, with Zee-Zee skipping alongside Daddy and looking around with excitement at everything. The leaves were turning yellow and red and starting to fall from the trees. As Zee-Zee was looking up, one leaf detatched itself from a tree just in front of him, and he squeaked excitedly, pulling free of Daddy’s had and running to catch it. He nearly got it, but it blew out of reach of his paws and fell to the ground. “Awww, missed!” he giggled, looking up to see if any other leaves were heading his way.

“Zee-Zee, stay close!” Daddy chided, tugging him gently back by the tail. “Remember to stay far away from the road, you never know when a car might come along.”

“Sorry, Daddy,” Zee-Zee said, with a brief unhappy droop of the tail. But then the mention of cars reminded him of something and he perked up again immediately. “Ooh, can we go look at the crumpled car, Daddy? Please?”

Daddy laughed and ruffled Zee-Zee’s headfur. “Of course, champ. We’re nearly at the Springboks’ house now, the car’ll be out front. Now hold paws again, and no running off after leaves!”

“Okay Daddy,” said Zee-Zee, then noticed the big green car sitting in Mr Springbok’s driveway, forgot all about what Daddy had just said, detached his paw again and ran to examine it. The car really was crumpled! There was a big dent in the front radiator and the headlamps were smashed! It was very exciting. But just as he was reaching out a finger to see what the pointy shard of glass hanging from the top of the headlamp felt like, he was suddenly grabbed around the waist and picked up.

“Zee-Zee!” Daddy frowned in his not-happy voice. “What did I just say? No running off!”

Zee-Zee whimpered, suddenly remembering that Daddy had said something along those lines. “Sorry, Daddy,” he squeaked, feeling very bad about it.

Daddy sighed and gave the little squirrel a kiss on the nose. “It’s okay, big squirrel, I know you just got excited. But you have to be careful and do what Daddy tells you, okay? And don’t touch broken glass, it hurts.”

“Oh yeah, I remember!” Zee-Zee said, smiling again. “Like when that plate broke at home and made my finger bleed!” It had been scary at the time, but it was a happy memory, because he’d got to wear a bandage and show his wound to all his friends.

“That’s right,” Daddy laughed. “Clever squirrel! And we wouldn’t want that to happen again, would we?”

“Uh-uh!” said Zee-Zee firmly, shaking his head and squirming out of Daddy’s arms (but making sure to hold his paw as soon as he was standing back on the ground and not to run off).

“Hi, Zee-Zee!” came a cheerful call from the house the squirrels were standing outside. “Daddy smashed the car!” It was Hansie the three-year-old springbok antelope, waving from an open downstairs window. He was still wearing his pyjamas and drinking milk from a sippy.

“Hi, Hansie!” Zee-Zee chirped, waving back. “Heehee, you’re not dressed yet! You’re gonna be late for daycare!”

“Is it?” Hansie asked, worriedly, in his South African accent. “Mommy, are we late?” he asked, turning away from the window.

“No, no, we’re early,” Zed grinned. “Take your time, Hansie!”

“We woke up early because I stayed dry all night and didn’t wet my bed!” Zee-Zee explained, with a proud smile, tugging down his shorts again to show his dry pull-up.

“Me too!” Hansie nodded happily. “I woke up dry all week! Mommy’s very happy.” he added with a smile.

Zee-Zee had been hoping for a rather different reaction to his news. Something like ‘Wow, Zee-Zee, you must be the cleverest, biggest, grown-uppest squirrel in the universe!’ Hearing that Hansie stayed dry at night all the time made him feel less special. “But you wear diapies!” he protested.

“Only at night and at daycare...” Hansie replied, also feeling that Zee-Zee could have sounded more admiring of his own achievement. Recently moving to a new country had disturbed his routine enough that he’d taken a step or two back in his toilet-training, and he was just starting to feel settled in and ready to get back out of his diaper safety-zone.

Zee-Zee was about to say something more, but Daddy interrupted him, pulling his shorts back up and saying “Well, we’ll see you later, Hansie! Come on, Zee-Zee, let’s get on our way!”

Hansie waved goodbye and Zee-Zee waved back as they walked away. Daddy smiled down at him and said “You know, Hansie’s a year and a bit older than you, and you’re both dry at night! Isn’t that great!”

Zee-Zee hadn’t thought of it like that. It was pretty great, really. And there were sure to be cubs at daycare who’d be envious of his dry night! He knew for sure that he had plenty of friends who always made lots of tinkles in their diapers all night long! With a spring in his step, he followed Daddy the rest of the way to the Little Cubs Daycare.

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:47 pm

The Daycare was more quiet than usual, and Zee-Zee looked up at Daddy as they went in through the door, worried that it was closed and they’d have to go back home again. But then a friendly, familiar, grown-up voice purred out “Hey there, Zee-Zee, you’re early today!”

“Hi, Warren!” Zee-Zee chirped, running up to the reception desk where a young liger was sitting, with his feet up on the counter. Zee-Zee scampered around the desk to give his favourite caretaker a hug, and Warren picked the little squirrel up to sit on his lap, while Zed explained with a smile that they’d had an early start.

“Hey, your shirt’s just like mine!” Warren laughed. Zee-Zee gasped with amazement, noticing Warren’s blue button-up shirt. That proved how grown-up he was! He wore a shirt just like Warren!

“Yeah!” he chirped excitedly. “Except yours got writing on it... that says W W!” he announced triumphantly. You have to be a big clever squirrel to remember that W is the one with two points.

“Clever squirrel,” laughed Warren, looking down at the little letters on his shirt, and accidentally tickling Zee-Zee’s nose with his long mane. “That stands for Warren Weather. Maybe you can get a shirt with Z-Z S on it, for Zee-Zee Squirrel!”

“Can I, Daddy?” Zee-Zee asked, turning back to where Daddy was watching with a smile.

“We’ll see,” Daddy chuckled. “I used to embroider my own monograms on all my shirts in college. That’s my dark secret, don’t tell the cool kids,” he said, winking at Warren.

Zee-Zee laughed loudly, although he didn’t understand the big words Daddy sometimes liked to use. Daddy patted his head and said “Have a nice day, Zee-Zee, be good and have fun!”

“Bye-bye, Daddy!” Zee-Zee chirped, and waved goodbye until Daddy was out of the door. Then he hopped off Warren’s lap, dropping his backpack on the floor, and ran through the other door that led down the hall to the playroom, saying “I gotta tell everyone I’m a big squirrel!”

“I think they already know that...” Warren said, but he was talking to himself. Zee-Zee had already burst into the playroom and started looking around for friends.

There weren’t very many cubs in the room yet, but the sharp-eyed squirrel soon spotted another liger, a lot like Warren but smaller and without the mane, playfully pouncing on a plushie mouse. “Lig! Lig!” he squeaked, running over and jumping on top of his friend.

“Hi, Zee-Zee!” Lig giggled, rolling over and hugging. “You’re early! I only just got here, and we had to come early so Warren could unlock the doors!”

“I woke up really early and then I used the potty and I stayed dry all night!” babbled Zee-Zee, pulling down his shorts again to prove it and skipping around with excitement.

“Uh-huh, you do look kind of tired,” Lig agreed, nodding sympathetically. “That’s why diapies are better, you can just stay in bed all night.”

Zee-Zee stopped skipping and crossed his arms sulkily. He had been expecting praise and admiration, rather than sympathy and understanding, but Lig never understood why it was a good idea to use the potty, however hard Zee-Zee tried to explain. “I’m not tired!” he protested. “I’m a big squirrel, and I’m gonna stay dry all day and not have accidents!”

Lig rolled his eyes the way his big brother did whenever someone said something silly to him, and just said “Wanna play? I’m a big fierce kitty, chasing mousies!”

The two of them threw the mouse around the room and ran after it for a while, as the room steadily started to fill up with babies, toddlers and caretakers of all species and sizes. Finally, Zee-Zee looked up, saw a little black kitten toddle through the door, and scampered over to him, yelling “Prav! Guess what!”

“What?” Prav asked, taking a step back so Zee-Zee wouldn’t run right into him.

“I stayed dry all night and didn’t wet my pull-up, not even a little bit!” Zee-Zee beamed.

“So?” Prav said, not looking surprised, delighted, impressed or any of the emotions his squirrel friend was hoping for.

Zee-Zee stamped his foot with annoyance and repeated “I held in my tinkles and I went to the potty all by myself and stayed dry like a big squirrel! And you didn’t! ... Did you?” he added, suddenly very worried.

Prav decided to ignore that question, and just said “I know you did. You always say that. Yesterday you said you never ever wet your bed, ever, in your whole life, even when I was in the crib with you and I saw you doing it!”

Zee-Zee remembered that he hadn’t been completely truthful when he’d talked about his potty prowess in the past. But he just shrugged off this minor complication and insisted “But today I really did, and that’s not fibbing! My pull-up’s still dry! See!”

“I don’t believe you,” Prav said, simply, and wandered away to find someone else who might want to play, instead of just standing around talking about potties all day.

“You... poopyhead!” Zee-Zee shouted after him, swishing his tail angrily. This wasn’t going the way he’d hoped for. He needed to find someone who knew what an achievement it was to keep your pants dry, and he spun around on the spot, looking for likely candidates. “Jerry? Island? Josh? Knuffy? Kin?” he called out.

None of them seemed to be here yet. Zee-Zee cheered up a little at the thought that he might be the only cub in the room who didn’t wet his pants, and then another thought crossed his mind and he quickly grabbed the front of his shorts. “Better go potty, just in case!” he said to himself, and quickly toddled over to the boys’ room. He wasn’t sure whether or not he needed to go, but congratulated himself for his cleverness in deciding to try anyway. That’s how big squirrels make sure they don’t have accidents.

Zee-Zee came out of the bathroom with a huge smile a minute later, walking with the happy skip of a squirrel who’d done a little pee-pee in the potty all by himself, without even being reminded, and bumped into a big, tall, dark fox, who smiled down at him and said “Did you just use the potty, Zee-Zee? Well done!”

“Uh-huh, I went all by myself because I thought I might need to go, and I did need to!” chattered the little squirrel happily. “And ooh, Xenon! I woke up and sat on the potty this morning and I kept my pull-up dry all night! I’m gonna stay dry all day too! And get big-squirrel undies!”

“Well, that’s wonderful,” Xenon said, stroking Zee-Zee’s headfur gently. “We’re all very impressed with how grown-up you are. I’m sure you can do it if you put your mind to it.”

Zee-Zee basked warmly in Xenon’s praise. Adults always know what a clever squirrel you are, even if the other cubs don’t quite realise it. He toddled smilingly away to see what he could find to do in the playroom during free play time – cubs were running and playing all around, while the caretakers circulated, cleaning up messes, settling arguments, changing diapers and suggesting fun activities. Zee-Zee decided to skip over to the reading corner, and settled on a beanbag with his favourite book of the moment, “Miss Bindergarten Has A Wild Day In Kindergarten”. Before starting to study the pictures in detail, though, he got up again. Maybe he needed to use the potty again, he thought to himself. He probably didn’t, but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure...

Ten minutes and five potty breaks later, Xenon came to the conclusion that Zee-Zee needed something to take his mind off the potty just a little bit, and came over to him, rattling a brightly-coloured cardboard box. His curiosity piqued, the little squirrel ran up to the caretaker fox and looked up. “What’s that?” he asked, his eyes wide.

“It’s a jigsaw puzzle, Zee-Zee,” explained Xenon, walking over to a little table in the corner and opening the box. He tipped it over and the solid, wooden pieces spilled out. “Sixty pieces, and they make a picture of a farm. The box says ‘For cubs four years and over’, but I’ll bet a clever squirrel like you can crack it.”

Zee-Zee clapped his paws excitedly. He’d done puzzles before, but this one was much bigger and had so many pieces, he couldn’t even count them! “I can crack it!” he nodded, sitting down in a little plastic chair, picking up two pieces at random and trying to join them together. “How come it says four and over? That’s not fair!”

“It’s because the pieces are quite little, and young cubs might put them in their mouth and accidentally swallow them,” Xenon explained. “But you know that’s a very bad thing to do, don’t you, Zee-Zee?”

Zee-Zee nodded. “Uh-huh, I don’t put things in my mouth any more! I’m a big squirrel!”

“You certainly are,” Xenon said, and knelt down next to Zee-Zee. “Try to find the corners first, and then join them together into a square...” he said, pointing out the pieces with one and two smooth sides.

After the little crash course in advanced jigsaw-solving, Xenon left Zee-Zee to it, and he sat at the table, deep in concentration, fitting pieces together with a happy chirp every time he found a piece he was looking for. Imagine those silly people who wrote on the box saying he was too little to do it! Just because he was only two-and-a-bit, it didn’t mean he couldn’t be a big clever squirrel! And why would anyone put a piece of puzzle in their mouth? He picked up a piece and looked at it. Hard, tough and funny-shaped. What would it feel like to nibble on that? All thoughts of the conversation he’d just had with Xenon fled his mind as his rodent instincts took over. Sometimes, squirrels (even the big ones) have irresistible urges to gnaw on something. He put the piece to his mouth and was just about to bite down hard on it, when a big paw tapped him on the shoulder.

“Not in your mouth, remember?” Xenon said with a smile. He’d seen the far-away look in Zee-Zee’s eyes and hurried back over, digging in his big pockets to find the right one of the many little bags of snacks he kept with him at all times. “Have an acorn instead. That’ll keep those little teeth healthy, and it’ll taste better too!”

Zee-Zee quickly dropped the puzzle piece, stammered “I wasn’t gonna nibble it!” and took the acorn Xenon was offering. He held it in one paw, gnawing happily and enjoying the bitter, nutty taste, while picking up and placing jigsaw pieces with the other paw. His nibble-urges satisfied, he remembered his manners, and called out “Thank you, Xenon!” to the caretaker.

“You’re welcome, Zee-Zee,” Xenon smiled, already on his way to another cub who needed him in another part of the room. “Have fun!”

Zee-Zee concentrated fully on the puzzle again. It was nearly half finished when all of a sudden the table shook, a big bouncy soccer ball bounced off one of the legs and flew up in the air, just missing Zee-Zee’s head, four or five of the puzzle pieces were shaken off the table and down onto the carpet, and finally there came a rather belated shout of “Look out! Ball!”

A group of cubs had chased their ball away from the area of the room where rowdy ball games were allowed (if you were careful) and all the way over to Zee-Zee’s quiet corner. Prav toddled over and picked up the ball. “Sowwy,” he said. “It was an accident. I’ll pick these things up...”

He bent down to reach for the fallen pieces, but Zee-Zee suddenly and dramatically flung himself in front of them, gasping “No! Don’t! It’s not safe!”

Prav looked down in surprise and scratched his head. “Huh?” he said, confused.

“It’s a puzzle and it’s for four and overs!” Zee-Zee explained, picking the pieces up and shielding Prav from danger. “You might put them in your mouth, and that’d be bad for you!”

“But you’re not four and over! I’m bigger than you!” Prav protested.

“Uh-huh, but Xenon said I’m grown-up enough to play with them,” Zee-Zee said, proudly. “He probably likes me best because I’m really really clever and he doesn’t need to change my stinky diapers ‘cause I don’t have potty accidents,” he reasoned.

Although Zee-Zee quite genuinely hadn’t meant any offence or insult by that (he was just explaining the world as he saw it), Prav somehow seemed to get upset. “You always have accidents!” he loudly replied, stamping his feet. “You’re not a big squirrel, you’re a liar and I bet Xenon doesn’t like you because he always has to clean the floor when you wet on it!”

Zee-Zee was horrified by this unprovoked abuse, and yelled back “You’re a meanie baby and you’re not my friend any more!”, standing on tiptoes to look big and tough, but also starting to cry just a little bit.

“Good!” Prav shouted back, equally tearfully, and stomped away back to his game. Zee-Zee sat back down at his table and sulkily muttered “Stupid kitten. He’s jealous because I’m a big squirrel and he isn’t.” He banged a few pieces randomly together, hitting them with his fist to make them join up, then realised they didn’t match, and pried them back apart. Soon enough, he’d forgotten all about the shouting, and was happily humming a little tune to himself as the pieced-together farmyard picture started to take shape.

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Clever big squirrel!

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Lig
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:04 pm

Woot!!! This is adorable ZeeZee! Hehehe I love reading your stories! Thanks for the guest appearance of Lig and Warren in it. ^^ You nailed the personality of em both.

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:01 pm

Cute story Zee-Zee, seems im always getting mixed up in others conflicts. Thanks for including me, its always nice to see how others perceive my character, each one see's him differently, but your representation of Xenon works well with the overall feel of the story. Keep up the great work Zee-Zee!
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Incontinent Wolfhound
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:34 am

I hope Zee and Prav make up after this! *snuggles*

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:24 pm

Glad to see this updated again! Hope Xenon didn't make a mistake in distracting Zee-Zee with the puzzle. We Wouldn't want the clever squirrel to forget that he was going to keep his trainers dry all day now would we?

Riolu: We wouldn't right?
Nathaniel: Of course not! Zee-Zee tries so hard to keep those dry. Cute as a squirrel in diapers would be, it would be a shame if he failed at what he set out to do.
Eevee: That's right!
Lucario: *Resting in a tree not caring either way* Eh, whatever. Either way makes for a cute story.
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Raikan

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:46 pm

Somehow zee you capture the feelings and the mindset of a toddler perfectly. i mean it seems like your writing it as if you actually did it all^^ Such a clever squirrel to write such a long story.
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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:59 pm

Thanks, everyone! *blushes and giggles*

Lig: Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Heehee, I love playing with you and Warren, so it's easy to write about you ^.^

Xenon: Thanks again - sorry if the characterisation wasn't quite right with you, but maybe a bit later on in the story you'll get a chance to do more than just caretaker stuff...

Sirius: Don't worry, they will. They always do, in the end. ^.^

Riolu and the gang: Heehee, I'm too big to get distracted! No wet trainers for this little squirrel today, definitely! *snuggles Nathaniel and giggles*

Rai: *snuggles close* Aww, you always say the nicest things! Thanks!

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Riolu

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:18 pm

*Nathaniel snuggles back*
Aww! I think I'm gonna miss this story (and especially the clever writer)the most.
(See Riolu's Temporary Farewell)
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Riolu

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu May 07, 2009 2:33 pm

In case you haven't gotten much further on this Zee-Zee, feel free to add Nate in if you'd like. I just reread this and it looks like our favorite clever squirrel could use another friend who'd be congradualtory of him.
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Zee-Zee

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PostSubject: Re: Dry Nite   Thu May 07, 2009 2:36 pm

Heehee, I still haven't written any more, so there's plenty of time for Nate to come and join the fun ^.^ Thanks, Riolu!

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