Dexter was a young blue and yellow Peacock that lived with his mother. They had a small log cabin in the foothills of Mount Benson on Vancouver Island, Canada. His home was quite small but it had a big back yard that had a swing, monkey bars, slide, a tree house and a big sand box. Although he had lots of stuff to play with he was lonely. He had no brothers, sisters or close friends. Sometimes his mother would come out and play for awhile but usually she was too busy cooking and baking in the kitchen. She was a great cook. Dexter’s mom supplied grocery stores and restaurants with her homemade cookies and special desserts. One thing that she always did for Dexter was make sure his favourite Cookie Jar was always full of cookies or special treats. Dexter loved cookies so much that he actually called the cookie jar, his best friend.
Dexter woke up early one morning as the bright warm summer sun was shining on his face. He climbed out of bed and made his way to the kitchen for breakfast. His mother was still sleeping. He went to the cookie jar and carefully opened it and grabbed a few big cookies and put the lid back on quietly so he would not wake his mom. He plopped them into the toaster as he poured himself a bowl of cereal. His favourite breakfast was cereal with hot chocolate chip cookies on top, drizzled with milk. Within minutes the cookies popped up and he created his breakfast treat.
After breakfast he went outside to play in his back yard. After a while he could see his mom in the kitchen waving to him as she slowly mixed up some batter and ingredients for another delicious creation. He ran into the house and gave his mom a hug and said Good Morning. She said, “Dexter, what happened to all the cookies in the cookie jar? Dexter said, “I don’t know as he wiped some chocolate icing off his lips.” “Oh you rascal Dexter, I think you were testing them again, that’s ok but just don’t eat too many. I will make some more for you soon,” said Dexter’s mom. Dexter then headed back outside and continued to play in his yard. Around noon Dexter’s mom yelled out the window that she had finished baking for now and was going to have a quiet little nap in the back bedroom.
Soon Dexter was getting a little hungry for lunch. He thought about the cookie jar and towards the house he ran. He saw the jar in the kitchen but his mom put it high up on a shelf. Dexter couldn’t reach it so he had to drag a chair over from the table, stand on the chair and stretch high up and grab the cookie jar. He placed the jar on the table and had a look around. He hoped that his mom wasn’t near because when he opened up the cookie jar he didn’t want her to hear or she might not let him have any more cookies. He didn’t hear or see his mom so he reached inside the jar and pulled out a few big fresh warm cookies and filled his pockets and stuffed a few into his mouth, put the jar back carefully and quickly ran back outside and up into his tree house to devour the cookies.
Dexter had an old guitar he kept in his tree house and was slowly trying to learn how to play it. He also wanted to write songs or poems but so far he had no luck in doing so. After picking away on his guitar for awhile he became tired. Soon the hot summer day and the belly full of cookies put Dexter to sleep.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon he was awoken by the sound of his mom calling him. His mom said she had to delivery her desserts and other baking to a few restaurants in town and would be back around dinner time. Dexter waved good bye as he climbed onto his swing.
At about 5:00pm Dexter’s mom returned home and called him in for dinner. She had cooked up a big bowl of mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and roasted organic chicken. They both sat down and began eating. Just before Dexter dug into his potatoes he reached into his pocket and pulled out a big chocolate chip cookie. He crumbled it up into small pieces and sprinkled it on top of his potatoes. “Oh Dexter!” his mom shouted.
After dinner Dexter helped clean up the dishes and did a few chores around the house. Soon the sun was setting and it was time for a bath and bed. Dexter’s mom read him a short story, tucked him in, wiped off a little bit of cookie icing from behind his ear, gave him a kiss and said good night.
From Dexter’s room he could look into the kitchen and see the cookie jar high up on the shelf. His window was open and the curtains were blowing back and forth slowly in the warm summer breeze. There was a pale moon shining in the mostly clear sky. Dexter lay quietly in bed thinking of his best friend, the cookie jar. Then he heard some faint music way off in the distance.
It seemed to be coming from high in the mountains. He sat up in bed and listened. Wow, he thought maybe it is some animals playing in a band?
He slipped on his pants and coat and was about to climb out the window to see if he could find where the music was coming from but had an idea first. He snuck into the kitchen, pulled over the chair, reached quietly into the cookie jar and snagged a few cookies which he promptly stuffed into his pockets. He then put the jar and chair back and slowly lowered himself out of his bedroom window onto the ground. It was after midnight, but still there was a warm breeze blowing. He looked back at his house and could faintly hear his mom snoring a bit. He then ran up a small trail which led up the mountain. After about 45 minutes he stopped and listened. All was quiet. Then the music started again, this time it was quite loud, so he knew he was close to where the band was playing. He walked up a steep path, round a corner through some huge ferns and along a narrow rocky ledge.
In a distance he could see a small fire burning and a few lanterns smouldering. Behind the fire he could see a moose playing a mandolin, a deer with a guitar, a cougar stroking a fiddle and a big black bear plucking a bass guitar.
Dexter was a little nervous and now didn’t know what to do. He was about to turn around and head back home when all of a sudden the music stopped and the cougar yelled out to him. “Hey, Stranger, what brings you way up here?” Dexter was shaking a bit but said,” I heard your music from my house and was wondering where it was coming from, so I hiked up here to check it out.” “Oh, that’s ok, hope we weren’t too loud, sometimes the warm summer breeze carries our sound a little further than we would really like it to.” “We don’t practice in the daytime because it is too hot.” “Come on in and meet the band.” said the cougar. “We are called, “Mountain Melodies.” My name is Connor, I play the fiddle. This is Black Bear Bentley, he plays the bass guitar, Dillon the Deer is our rhythm and lead guitar player, and Morris the Moose is our mandolin player.” “We all sing, well some better than others, ha ha. What is your name young fellow?” “My name is Dexter, I live in the foothills of the mountain,” said Dexter. “Its really nice to meet everyone. Could I offer you guys a fresh, slightly squished chocolate chip cookie? My mom makes homemade cookies for stores and restaurants in the town below.” “Absolutely”, said Connor as he reached out and took 4 big cookies from Dexter and passed them out among the other band members.
Then Dexter inquired, “How did you guys learn how to play your instruments so well and write those good songs?” “Well Dexter”, said Conner, “We were very fortunate, we all used to live in a small northern town called Burns Lake. Our band met many talented country musicians who took time to teach us the old traditional methods of playing as well as the more modern styles. Some of us can even read music! I remember during the long winter months our whole band used to stroll up; I believe it was, Osatuik Road and listen to great fiddle, guitar and keyboard music. We enjoyed the tunes coming from a certain house up there as we nibbled our dinner through the piles of snow. We also hung out at local dance halls and peeked through the windows as bands played. You can learn a lot by just listening and watching musicians play. When we moved down south here we all stayed together and continued to play and create our own style of mountain music.”
“Are you a musician Dexter?” inquired Morris. “Not really, I plunk away on the guitar sometimes, but I would really like to learn how to play and write real songs,” Dexter sadly said. “Ha, ha, ha, well you came to the right place my boy,” yelled Bentley. “Dillon writes most of our stuff, mainly about the environment, conserving, recycling, keeping our mountains green and our oceans clean.” “Wow, I never met a real song writer before, is it hard to write a song Dillon?” asked Dexter. “Not really, you just have to think of something and put it to music. It is just like telling a story or an event that you imagined or experienced,” explained Dillon. “Could you help me write a song Dillon?” asked Dexter. “Sure, why don’t you tell me something you like doing or something you like and we will take it from there, create a little story and I will put some music together with the help of the rest of the band,” said Dillon.
“Ok” said Dexter, “It might sound a little corny or weird, but I love cookies and my cookie jar.” “No problem, Dexter. Let ‘er rip, tell me a story about it,” said Dillon.
Then all got quiet as all the band members listened intensely to what Dexter was about to say.
“Here goes,” said Dexter,
“You’re a good old cookie jar, my best friend, yes you are, you always have my favourite treat, every time that we meet, you’re never angry or mad, you make me happy when I am sad, when I reach inside of you and pull out a cookie or two.”
“I’m playing in my yard, having lots of fun, then I think about the cookie jar and towards the house I run, I see the jar in the kitchen, up on the shelf it’s there, it’s up too high for me to reach so I will have to get a chair, I take a look around, and hope that mom is not near, when I reach inside the cookie jar, I don’t want her to hear, I grab a few big cookies and fill my pockets and face, put the jar back carefully and out the door I race!”
“Well that is it, a story, something I enjoy doing. Can you do anything with that Dillon?” inquired Dexter. “I think so, leave it with me to work out a few chords and a melody.” said Dillon. “Come into our little sound and video studio here I would like you to do a quick demo of the lyrics with video then later we could edit in music and fine tune the vocals,” instructed Dillon.
About an hour later they were finished in the studio. Dillon said, “Well I think we got enough to go on for now, it might take a while to finish and we have other commitments so hopefully in a week or two we will have your song complete.”
Just then Dexter noticed that the sun was coming up and the sky was getting brighter. He glanced at his watch and saw it was just about 6:00 am. Dexter then said to Dillon,” Hey, I better get going home now before my mom discovers I am gone!” “It was great meeting all of you, good luck with my song.”
“We will contact you when it is complete and you can listen to it and watch the video on our webpage, what is your email address and we will send you a link to our page.” yelled Dillon. Dexter thought a minute then came back up the trail and wrote out his email address on a piece of paper for Dillon, shook hands with all the band members and ran off down the trail back home.
Dexter climbed back into his bedroom, and lay on the bed. He fell fast asleep. At about 8:30 am his mom called him to come for breakfast. He slowly got out of bed, got washed up and came to the kitchen. His mom gave him a big hug and said, “Looks like another beautiful day.” They both enjoyed a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes, eggs and fresh fruit. Dexter reached into his pocket to grab a cookie to sprinkle on his eggs but couldn’t find any. Then he remembered that he gave his last 4 cookies to the band that lived up in the mountains.
Over the next few days and weeks everything was pretty well normal in the Dexter household. Dexter was playing in the yard, sneaking cookies and his mom baking cookies and pastry for the businesses in town. Summer was quickly coming to an end and Dexter soon would be going to school for the first time in September.
One evening in September just before Dexter went to bed he decided to check his email on his mom’s computer. He doesn’t normally check it too often because he didn’t have many friends that sent him anything. Suddenly his eyes lit up and a big smile came across his face as he had received an email from the Animal Band that he visited in the summer.
The email said that his song, “Good Old Cookie Jar” had now been completed and the final copy was available for review on their web site. The song has become very popular and sales are brisk. Please sign and return the attached forms as soon as possible, Model Release and Writer & Performing Agreement. There were instructions on how to access their music site. The email was signed: Morris, Dillon, Bentley & Connor.
Dexter immediately followed their instructions and found his song and video on the web page. He plugged in some headphones so he wouldn’t disturb his mom and then turned up the volume and sang along with the song as he danced around the kitchen holding the lap top computer. He jumped right up onto the kitchen counter reached up and took the cookie jar down. With the cookie jar under one arm and the computer under the other he made his way into his bedroom, yelled “Good Night” to his mom and closed the door.
For the next hour cookie crumbs were flying and bed sheets were swirling as Dexter danced on his bed listening to his song. Soon the battery on the computer faded and went dead. All you could hear now was the quiet crunch of Dexter eating the last cookie in the jar. It was now late at night and his mom was sleeping. He quietly, took the computer back out to the kitchen, placed the empty cookie jar back up on the shelf and then went back into his room and got into bed. It was hard to sleep from all the excitement and especially the fact that his bed was now full of cookie crumbs. He eventually fell asleep with a big wide cookie grin on his face!
Message to my Readers
Thanks for reading my book. If you would like to Hear and See Dexter perform his “Good old Cookie Jar” song, click on Videos, then click on Dexter’s song.
While you are at the video site you may also want to listen to “Mountain Melodies” the band that played and put together Dexter’s song. “Dweller” the lead singer for the band at the time, has since moved on and is now pursuing a solo career in the music field.