I'm working on a children's book - can't decide if it's any good or just entertaining for me. What do yall think? Chapter 1 It was one of those weird warm days that sometimes come in early April. There was still some slushy snow on the ground from the week before but it had been melting fast as the temperature had climbed into the mid 60s. All of the animals around the little farm on the hill were relishing the warmth. The two old horses had been acting like a couple of yearlings, galloping around, bucking and rearing just for the joy of it. The dogs had been stretched out on the porch like a big, furry throw rug as they soaked up as much sunshine as possible. The birds and squirrels had been in a flurry of activity as they made the most of the unexpected thaw to increase their stores of food and nesting stuffs. The chickens had been running around in their yard like odd little feather covered wind-up toys as they greedily searched for any insects that had been lulled out by the warm day. Even the cats had ventured out to spend the afternoon on the low wall surrounding the garden - enjoying the warm sun without getting on the wet ground. Now this wasnt anything particularly unusual for Dream. The big calico had grown up on this farm and although she sometimes went out of her way to avoid getting wet or un-necessarily dirty, she could often be found sneaking around under the shrubbery or poking around the loft in the barn. But it was a very unusual thing for Hope. Having come in the late Fall, she had only been on the farm for a few months. She was a tall stately siamese who had belonged to the aunt of the woman who took care of the farm. Hope had lived her whole life in a penthouse apartment in the city. But when the aunt had died, she and the aunts bright green parrot, Reco, were sent to live on the farm. Although Hope had spent many hours lounging in the apartments windows and watching the activities below, she had never seen the world up close. And she didnt waste any time these days letting anyone who was within earshot know that she did not approve of the messiness of the world up close. On this particularly warm day in April, the woman who took care of the farm (all the animals that lived there called her Mom) had left the back door open to enjoy the breeze coming through the garden and across the deck. Dream came out onto the deck. She took a deep breath and giggled as it ruffled her long, thick calico coat. Come on Hope. Its just lovely out here. Come out and see how warm it is. she called as she rolled onto her back on the deck. Absolutely not. Its wet out there. Theres mud everywhere and I can still see some snow too. Im not going to go out and get all dirty just to see the sun. I can see it just fine from here, thank you. Hope called back from inside the door. Oh come on Hope. Just for a moment? Its not the teeniest bit wet here on the deck. NO Please Hope; come out for just a little bit. Youll love it. I promise. Id bet that even old Reco would like to be out here. Mom says that you need to get out more, ya know. Dont be afraid. I am not afraid! Hope snapped. And I dont particularly care what She says. Shes not the one that has to spend the rest of the afternoon getting clean again. And as far as Reco goes, he never goes outside ever! MY Mother always said it wasnt safe for him. Dream walked back to the door and looked at Hope. You really shouldnt be afraid. Nothings going to happen to you here, she said quietly. Hope blinked at her, sniffed, bristled her whiskers and shoved Dream as she walked past her onto the deck muttering, I am not scared of anything on this little patch of dirt. Dream smiled to herself and followed Hope to the middle of the deck where she was sitting primly with her tail wrapped around her feet. Doesnt the sun feel good, Hope? Its so warm today. Its not nearly as warm as the basket next to the woodstove inside. But theres no fire today, Dream chided. And besides, Moms got all the windows open so its just as warm outside as inside. Lets go see the garden. What!? There is nothing in the garden but mud! Im not going. There are pansies blooming and the rosemary smells sooo good today. Im going to sit on the garden wall for a bit. You should come with me. Ya know its just a little leap from the deck to the garden wall. You wouldnt have to get your feet muddy at all, Dream said as she walked to the edge of the deck. She glanced over her shoulder at Hope, then hunkered down, swished her big, bushy tail and leaped down toward the low brick wall that surrounded the small garden. A flurry of tiny birds, startled by Dreams sudden appearance, filled the air for a moment and then settled into the branches of the nearby magnolia tree. The gentle breeze stilled and, for a moment, it was silent in the yard. Dream? Hope called. Dream are you ok? There was no answer. Hope walked a little toward the edge of the deck. Dream? she called again. Still no answer. Ears back, Hope shook herself and walked toward the edge of the deck. You had better have broken your neck, she called. Its terribly rude to ignore someone who is talking to you. She called as she reached the edge. She blinked and looked around. No Dream. Dream? Where are you? Shhhhh Dont shhh me! Hope said spying Dreams tail sticking out from under a rosemary bush. Oh for petes sake what on earth are you doing down there? Hope asked indignantly as she leaned out under the railing. Shhhh! Look at this! Dream whispered. Look at what? Hope asked as she leaned even farther. This! Dream shouted as she hooked a snails shell and tossed it up toward the deck. Hope screamed and jumped. She landed awkwardly on the wall and nearly fell into the garden. What do you think youre doing? Hope hissed. What was that thing? You almost hit me with it. Have you lost your simple mind? That was not funny. What if you had hit me? What if I had broken my leg falling off the deck? Or my neck? Humm? Then what? I swear Dream, sometimes you ju .. Hope froze in mid rant with her blue eyes wide and her mouth open. What is it Hope? Hope? Dream hopped up on the wall to see what Hope was staring at. It was a cat! A big, orange tabby cat. He was sitting under the forsythia hedge at the edge of the yard. .... more to come, if you want.