It was a beautiful summer day on the farm. Sparky, the dog, was laying on the porch resting after a fun morning of playing with his friends. He was watching the people go by and would bark to say hello to them. Scamp, the monkey, was hanging from the porch railing waving at the people. People would call out hello.
They were enjoying the sunshine. Jack, the donkey, and Blackie, the horse, and Lynnie, the lamb was in the yard nibbling on the grass that had gotten too high. Cutie, the kitten, was curled up on the porch swing taking her afternoon nap.
They heard a vehicle coming up the road and they all turned to look to see what it was. It was a moving van turning into the driveway next door. The house had been vacant for a long time. They were hoping that there would be a small human moving in.
Miss Emily came out to see what the chatter was all about.
"Looks like we are going to finally have neighbors again. What do you think about inviting them over for a picnic?"
The animals cheered and made happy noises.
Sparky and Scamp dashed out into the yard to tell the others about Miss Emily's plan. They thought it was a grand idea. They couldn't wait to meet the new neighbors.
Miss Emily came over to them. "Now you little ones be good while I go next door to take our neighbors a welcome basket and invite them for dinner."
They all nodded and went back to playing.
Miss Emily walked through the yard to the driveway of the house next door. She walked up the steps to the large sweeping porch and knocked on the door.
A lady answered the door. She said, "Oh, hi."
Miss Emily introduced herself. "Hi, I live next door and wanted to give you this basket and invite you and your family over for a picnic tonight."
The lady replied, "I'm Gabi and this is my nephew, Griff who's visiting for the summer. We would love to come for dinner."
Miss Emily asked, "You aren't afraid of animals are you?"
Gabi said, "No, we love animals."
Griff got all wide-eyed. "What kind of animals?"
Miss Emily said. "All kinds. I have a horse, a donkey, a cat, a lamb, a monkey, and a dog."
"Can I play with them?" Griff asked.
Miss Emily replied, "Of course you can. They love people."
Miss Emily headed home and shared the good news with the little ones. They were super excited to meet the neighbors.
"One of our guests will be a little boy named Griff."
They were excited to be able to play with him.
Gabi and Griff arrived a little bit later. Sparky let out a bark to greet them. The others came over to check out the guests and said hello in their special ways.
Miss Emily greeted them.
Gabi said, "What sweet, well-mannered animals you have."
Miss Emily said, "Thank you."
Griff was too busy getting to know the animals to say much. They were running around the yard and the adults laughed at the antics.
They sat on the porch with a drink watching how great everyone was getting along.
After playing for a while Miss Emily called them and said it was time to eat dinner.
Griff and the critters sat on blankets near the porch and had a feast.
Miss Emily and Gabi sat on the porch and enjoyed a quiet meal and talked about the neighborhood and the town and Gabi told her about the places they had lived. The sun had gone down. The critters and Griff chased fireflies until it was time for Gabi and Griff to go home.
They had so much fun and Miss Emily said that Griff would visit again and it was time to get ready for bed. The critters went into the barn and chattered about how great the day was. They climbed into their beds.
Miss Emily picked up the book she was reading to them and sat down where they could all see her and read to them. They drifted off to sleep and she put the book down.
She kissed their foreheads and tucked them in making sure they were comfy. Turning on the nightlight, she smiled and left the barn.
The critters were dreaming of the next adventure