Lulu was eagerly looking forward to further explorations and adventures
in the upstairs with Bubba that afternoon. She knew there wouldn’t
be any food or water available upstairs, so she ate a big lunch and
went out to the side lawn, where the sun did not reach till afternoon,
and there she found plenty of fresh dew still on the lush green grass
that flourished in the morning shade. Then, feeling satisfied, Lulu
returned to the underhouse for a little nap.
she said drowsily to herself as she curledherself comfortably in the
sand, “you’re a lazy lizard, and you love your little naps.”
Which was sort of true, for her dreams were always nice, and a little
nap left her feeling fresh and ready to do new fun things.
Almost an hour later she gradually awakened, in a drowsy noon-time-nap
sort of way, and wondered what she should do until it was time to
“Maybe I’ll go up now and just look at my room until Bubba shows
up,” she said to herself, lifting a golden-eyed gaze in search of
any of her pesky brothers who might have ideas about following her.
Then, seeing none, off she ran.
A minute later she poked her head out her “door”, and there in the
living room all she could see was a tall flat surface a few inches
from her nose that completely blocked her view of the room.
“It must be something left by the men mother mentioned,” she said
to herself, and settled down in the doorway to wait for Bubba.
Lulu had just gotten comfortable and had time to notice shadows of
other large objects apparently standing both to the right and to the
left of the one in front of her that blocked her view of the room,
when Bubba’s voice reached her from the front hallway.
“Hello, hello, hello. Lulu! Are you here? Looo Looo!”
Lulu leapt down to the floor before answering, “I’m in here, Bubba.
By our door.” Then she sauntered casually out from behind the big
flat view-blocking object, just as though she had had perfect faith
that he would show up, and had come down from the doorway and been
walking around for ever so long.
“What are all these things?” asked Bubba just as Lulu became aware
that the room was virtually full of tall sheet-covered wooden frames
like the one just in front of her doorway.
“I really haven’t the faintest idea, Bubba,” replied Lulu. “My mother
said a big truck with ‘Circus Magnus’ on it came early this morning
and some men made a lot of noise up here. That’s all I know, except
that my silly brothers were all excited about imaginary dogs and cats.”
“I’m pretty sure there aren’t any dogs here, and I don’t think humans
would leave a cat shut up in an old house like this, so let’s find
out what these things are.” said Bubba.
“How....” began Lulu, pausing to watch Bubba fly upward.
“Watch!” replied Bubba, who was always ready to show off a little.
He swooped down to the top of the shape Lulu was looking at, gripped
the covering sheet with his sharp-clawed hind feet, and then, flapping
his wings as hard as he could, dragged it up and off the wooden frame
and let it fall to the floor.
“ACHooo,” sneezed Lulu in the small cloud of dust from the fall
of the sheet. Then she looked toward the frame and cried delightedly,
What she saw seemed the perfect image of her older sister Ernestine.
It was Ernestine who had run off, when still quite young, with the
handsome traveling sales lizard from another neighborhood. But it
was also Ernestine whose large size Lulu’s mother always mentioned
when she cautioned Lulu about eating and napping too much.
But in a moment Lulu saw that it wasn’t really Ernestine at whom
she was looking. It was her own mirror image, reflected in a mirror
that made her look very fat!
“Wow!” said Bubba, alighting beside her. “Do you look Fat!”
“What about you?” responded Lulu. “I look fat and nice, but you
look really geeky in the mirror! Ha ha. Look at you! You’re so long-bodied
Bubba, who knew he should have known better than to tell a girl she
looked fat, even in a Fun House mirror, was nevertheless unabashed,
and grinned ever more broadly as he watched his mirror image grin
ever more geekily back at him.
“Ernestine and Eric the Red.” he replied. “They go pretty well together.”
“A bat like that probably couldn’t even fly,” persisted Lulu, trying
to make a dent in Bubba’s self assurance. Why did you call him Eric
“For the Norse explorer who discovered, well-- Greenland,” replied
Bubba rather distractedly, for he was thinking back to what his father
had told him about the science of flight when he was a little bat
and just learning to fly. “ Eric is what you would call a low- aspect-ratio
design, with short broad wings. Maybe for low speed or maneuverability.
Or maybe he’d fly really fast, like short-winged jet fighters do.”
“Well, I’m sure I don’t know anything about that,” said Lulu.
Encouraged by that, Bubba went on, “He’d probably be able to fly
really slowly, at a steep angle of attack without falling out of the
sky. And he could probably glide really really slowly in ground effect,
-- that’s when he’s half his wing-span from the ground. Gliding is
something bats don’t usually do at all.”
Lulu was completely mystified by all this, and was sure that was
the effect Bubba was trying for, so she remained silent, winking first
one eye and then the other at Ernestine in the mirror.
“Well, anyhow,” said Bubba, relenting, “let’s see what’s under the
next sheet.” And with that he flew up and dragged the dust cover most
of the way off another mirror, but left it to hang so it did not fall
and raise another dust cloud.
“Thank you, Bubba.” said Lulu. “I think this one is different.”
“Yep. ‘Sure is,” said Bubba, alighting beside her. “That lizard
is not as fat as Ernestine, and that bat is not quite as geeky as
Eric the Red.”
I’m glad you admit that Eric the Red is geeky looking,” said Lulu.
“I mean, he looks nice enough, but just a little bit weird.”
“I guess so,” conceded Bubba. “But what are we going to call this
“How about Willow, and,..uhh--.”
“Wilbur,” interjected Bubba as Lulu paused.
“I have an Aunt Willow who’s as sweet as can be, and she looks very
much like this. Do you have an Uncle Wilbur, Bubba?”
“No,” replied Bubba. “It’s just another name of someone I admire,
and the alliteration, I mean, using the same initial letter, W, will
help me keep track of who’s who around here. There are lots more mirrors,
you know, if that’s what all these covered shapes are. Let’s see what
the next one is like.” And with that he flew up to uncover another
tall wood-framed mirror.
As Bubba moved the sheet aside, Lulu stared intently into the now
uncovered third mirror.
“In this mirror I don’t look very much heavier than I really am,
“Hmmm,” hmmed Bubba, “I think it shows both of us just as we are.
This mirror is really quite flat. That’s Lulu and Bubba you’re looking
“Oh,” said Lulu, somewhat taken aback. “Well, let’s see another.”
Then she watched as Bubba neatly lifted the dust cover from the next
frame and draped it to one side. Then the two of them positioned themselves
in front of the mirror and admired their reflections.
“Ooo Bubba,” said Lulu. “That’s just the way I’d like to look. So
slim! So svelte. So soigne!”
“Him?” said Bubba, smiling broadly and pointing at his own reflection
to cover the fact that he did not know the meaning of “soigne”, and
was a little unsure of “svelte”, “You’d really like to look like him?”
“NO, of course not!” replied Lulu. “Like HER, you conceited bat!”
“Just kidding, Lu. Though frankly, she seems a bit on the skinny
side to me. But I look really cool in this mirror, don't you think?”
“He looks a little smart-alecky to me, but a very flighty shape,
yes,” replied Lulu. “What shall we name them? How about Opal, after
an old school-friend of mine?”
“And Orville, after Wilbur’s brother, Orville Wright. You know, Wilbur
and Orville, the humans who built the first controllable airplane
and were the second kind of mammal to learn to really fly,” rejoined
Bubba, hoping the dignity of the name would help counteract the slightly
smart-alecky look Orville seemed to have.
“Opal and Orville they are,” said Lulu. “Let’s see, we’ve got Eric
the Red and Ernestine, Wilbur and Willow, Bubba and Lulu, and now
Orville and Opal, is that right?”
“I guess so,” said Bubba, “though I’m not sure why we’re naming them.”
“ ‘Cause it’s fun,” replied Lulu. “One of MY heroes, Richard Feynman,
said, ‘Only do what’s fun, and disregard others’, so let’s see the
next mirror, Maestro.”
“Yes. Bubba The Magnificent will now present Magic Mirror Number
Five!” intoned Bubba, and flew up to neatly uncover the fifth mirror.
This mirror proved to be as strongly curved as the first one, but
in a different way.
“It’s Priscilla Lizard!” cried Lulu, looking at the dangerously thin-appearing
image of herself.
“And lets see,” said Bubba. “How about ‘Percy’ for this emaciated
morsel of myself. Priscilla and Percy. A perfect pair.”
“Oh dear!” cried Lulu. “I don't think I can get any skinnier than
this. I wonder what the next mirror can be like.”
“ ‘Only one way to find out,” said Bubba, and uncovered another mirror.
But it simply showed another Ernestine and Eric, and the next revealed
another Willow and Wilbur. Some time later, when even Bubba was tiring,
they uncovered the last mirror in the room, and it too seemed like
a re-run, showing the fourth Opal-and-Orville pair.
“Well,” said Lulu, still full of energy, “maybe we could roll all
these mirrors together so we could have some clear floor to slide
That did not stir much enthusiasm in Bubba at all.
“I’m kind of tired of lifting and moving things,” he said. “Besides,
sliding on the floor is not my favorite sport.”
“Oh,” said Lulu, whose favorite sport it had just recently become.
“Of course. I didn’t think. I was just wondering what we could do
On to Chapter 7!
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