“The games and puzzles would be fun,” replied Bubba after listening
to Lulu’s explanation of how her ten dream-inspired bat and lizard
shapes would work “Humans are good at making those sorts of things.
I wonder if your friend Mr.-Osborn-Next-Door would help?”
“Oh yes!” cried Lulu. “Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll bet he wouldn’t
mind making a few for us! Let’s go find him right now and ask.” And
with that Lulu ran to the stairs and made the fourteen small running
jumps that took her to the first floor. Bubba followed, flying. He
watched Lulu and shook his head at the complexities non-flying people
had to deal with just getting from one place to another.
Down to the underhouse and across the lawn they went, Bubba flying
cautiously close above Lulu so as not to lose his way, for he was unaccustomed
to flying in the bright daylight. Once they were among the roses they
could look out onto Mr.-Osborn-Next- Door’s back yard, and while they
waited for him to appear, for practice Lulu explained again how the
Lizard and Bat tiles, as she called them, worked, and went on to explain
some of the games that might be played with them besides the fun of
just fitting them together to form endless numbers of beautiful tilings.
She also told Bubba how Mr.- Osborn-Next-Door had rescued one of her
brothers after a cat chased him into Mr. Osborn’s swimming pool. The
pool had been cold in the early spring, and Lulu’s poor brother had
chilled so fast that he stopped moving even before he had sunk all the
way to the bottom. But Mr. Osborn fished him out and warmed him by putting
him inside his shirt until gradually life and motion returned. After
a while her brother felt fully recovered, and only then realized where
he might be.
Zip! out of Mr. Osborn’s collar he flew, running in the air long
before his feet hit the ground. Home he raced, bug-eyed with fright,
but already concocting fabulous fibsabout his daring escape from the
big human, and his heroic adventures at the bottom of the pool.
Finally, Lulu remembered Mr. Osborn’s invitation to visit his roses
for lunch, and each of them had just finished a satisfying snack when
Mr.-Osborn-Next-Door emerged from the back door of his house with a
book and a tall glass of iced tea which he carried to a lawn chair in
a shady area by the pool.
Lulu and Bubba raced over and had no trouble getting Mr. Osborn’s
attention. Being a large animal did not keep Mr.-Osborn-Next- Door
from being very good at understanding small animals. After listening
to the whole story of Lulu’s inspiration and invention, Mr. Osborn
said he would have to see her drawings for himself.
“Fortunately,” he said, “old Mr. Sievert left a key with me for use
in emergencies, and I don’t think he would mind if we made a little
inspection trip. I’ll go in and get it, and then let’s go see.”
They got the key, and a pad of paper and a pencil, and off they went,
Bubba riding on one shoulder and Lulu on the other.
Upstairs in the old house, after a brief look at the mirrors and
Madame Czonka’s miniature mountain of possessions, Mr. Osborn was
very impressed with Lulu’s drawings, and copied them in pencil on
his pad of paper as Lulu explained them.
“We were hoping you might make a few of these as little puzzle pieces.”
“Well, yes, I might be able to do that.” replied Mr. Osborn, but
let me study these and then I’ll find out if anyone else has ever
done anything like them. Then maybe I can do even better than make
just a few.”
“What do you mean?” asked Bubba.
“Well, if I can’t find anything like them, and I think there’s a
good chance of that or I’d have heard about it, why then I might be
able to get you a patent on them, Lulu. Then maybe we can get some
manufacturer to produce them so a lot of people everywhere can enjoy
them. I’ve got a do-it-yourself book on getting patents, but for right
now you’ll just have to wait while I work on it.”
Lulu was overwhelmed, and did not know what to say.
“What would Lulu get out of it?” asked Bubba.
“If the patent makes some money, why, I guess Lulu will be the richest
little artist and inventor lizard in town.” replied Mr. Osborn.
And that is just what happened. With Mr. Osborn’s help the ten different
bat and lizard shapes were patented, manufactured, and offered for sale
as toys. Later on, Mr. Osborn helped with paper-work and formalities
when Lulu bought the old house from Mr. Sievert, who moved the mirrors
back to his circus and sent Madam Czonka her belongings. Lulu now rents
most of the house to a nice lady who teaches high school biology and
who sees that no harm comes either to Lulu or Bubba or their families.
Lulu has had the attic improved for the comfort of Bubba’s family, and
she uses the front parlor as her own studio where she can create her
designs with paper, pencil, ink and watercolor. Lulu and Bubba plan
to use part of the big room to open a public gallery and tea room so
that people can come in and enjoy Lulu’s work. Meanwhile, a few of Lulu’s
many designs and drawings decorate this book.
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