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Excerpt for Reginald P. Lizard - A Day At The Beach by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

















Reginald P. Lizard

A Day At The Beach

by Anthony J. Garot







Reginald P. Lizard

A Day At The Beach

Copyright © 2018 by Anthony J. Garot

Cover Copyright © 2018

Smashwords Edition

Release version 1.1

EPUB ISBN 9780463020548

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your sole use, then please purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the work of this author.

www.garot.com

Send mail with questions or comments about this book to reginald.p.lizard@gmail.com

























I dedicate this book to my sister.

She is my best friend in the world.

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Dave and Tasha Pankratz for suggestions and edits.



Preface

Welcome to the third official book in the world of Reginald P. Lizard! You can download the first book, Ellington Owl's Awesome Birthday, for free.

It has been 5.5 years since I released the second book, The Voyage of Captain Reginald P. Lizard And His Amazing Crew.

During that time, I wrote a short story that was never published. This short story described the origins of the characters, e.g. a young lizard meeting a shy filly. I wrote this short story as a gift for my sister’s birthday. Perhaps one day I will re-visit this short story to make a book out of it.

The characters have become part of my life, and even my sister’s. For example, she saw a lizard on a TV series and wrote to me, “He’s just like R.P.L.!” Funnily enough, we refer to Reginald P. Lizard by his initials.

For continuity, I re-read the second book to capture the mannerisms, phrases, and charm of each of the characters. During my re-read, I cringed at my awful art work. I decided to forego adding images to this book.

Overall, this book has richer story telling than the second, and especially the first. While the book is still geared toward kids, it’s a little edgier. It’s intended as much for playful adults. Personally, I feel this book is perfect for reading to your kids—so long as you “do the voices.”

Since I always hate long prefaces in books, I will keep this one to one page.



Anthony Garot, reginald.p.lizard@gmail.com

http://www.garot.com/

Rules Of Hospitality

( so far . . . )

  • Always have extra cakes and coffee, just in case an unexpected guest arrives.

  • The best coffee is the coffee shared with friends.

  • Always send an RSVP to a formal invitation.

  • Every voyage must be christened with a toast.

  • Always serve a guest first.

  • When serving coffee, bring the cream and sugar first.

  • There is always time for another mug of coffee among friends.

  • Send a note after you have attended a party.



Stay tuned for more Rules of Hospitality.



Cast

Key Characters

Reginald P. Lizard

Lady Horse

Ellington Owl

Thelonious Melon

Bootsy Bat

Others Characters

Buddy & Peggy Lee Crab

Sally & Normal Seal

Clumsy Uncle Billy the rock lobster

Rasputin Raccoon

the honorable Herman the hatless hermit crab

Lone Fly McQuade

Felix Fly

Freddy Fungus Fly

Beatrice Beetle

Rino the dog

several seagulls

The Wind

Chapter 1

A Broken Truck

Lady Horse fixed her gaze on a dilapidated truck. “And that is why you should not eat shredded wheat cereal after 7:00 PM.” The horse was talking to a lizard whose head was under the hood of the old truck. Lady Horse wore a pretty blue ribbon in her braided mane, and her dazzling hooves glinted in the sunlight. Reginald P. Lizard crawled out from under the hood, wiped his forehead with the back of his arm, and nodded once to the horse.

The truck had needed a complete overhaul, and Reginald P. Lizard was just the lizard to do it. Tinkering on a truck was a splendid way to spend a sunny spring morning, especially with such good company. Setting a 14mm socket wrench down, the lizard took a swig of coffee, turned to Lady Horse, and then claimed, “Fixed.”

Lady Horse nodded her head vigorously up and down, “Yes, yes, yes, YES! Now we can go to the beach!” With jet-black eyes, Reginald P. Lizard looked at his friend and said, “Just so.” They sipped their coffee while Lady Horse contemplated what she should wear on her head at the beach. A refined lady must consider such important questions.

On impulse, Reginald P. Lizard executed a set of push-ups—for he loved to keep fit. Lady Horse was accustomed to this particular behavior. Lady Horse wondered if it was ladylike for a horse to do push-ups. Then she realized that horses cannot do push-ups. So she said aloud, without realizing it, “If a horse could do push-ups, it would be ladylike to do so. Yes.” Reginald P. Lizard didn’t say anything to this.

The lizard dumped the last dregs of his cold coffee and poured a little more for himself from the thermos. At a nod from Lady Horse, he topped off her mug also. There was always time for another mug of coffee among friends. The temperature increased as the morning slipped slowly into afternoon. While Reginald P. Lizard and Lady Horse picked up tools and cleaned up the mess around the truck, Lady Horse said, “Have I ever told you what would happen if you put diesel fuel into a gasoline engine? Gasoline engines cannot combust diesel fuel, so the vehicle would stop running.”

Reginald P. Lizard answered, “Just so.”

Lady Horse put a last screwdriver into the toolbox. “There, that’s done. Well now we can plan for the beach!”

Reginald P. Lizard blinked at the horse.

“We will need umbrellas and chairs, of course. These should be brightly colored to show onlookers that this is not our first trip to the beach. Yes. Colors as bright as a beach ball. Oh! I do hope no one confuses Thelonious Melon with a beach ball. Come to think of it, though, he’s not really as colorful as a beach ball. The same size and shape, sure . . . but let’s move on. We will need sunscreen—lots and lots of sunscreen—it simply would not do to come home as red as a lobster. Do you think we will see a lobster?”

Reginald P. Lizard looked at the horse, but remained motionless. He learned long ago not to interrupt Lady Horse once she got going.

“We will need water and snacks. Oh! I know what we can bring: a picnic lunch! Yes, yes, yes, YES! I will arrange this myself—I know just what everyone likes. I still have that picnic basket, you remember, the wicker one from the sailboat Eager Horse. What a voyage that was! Anyway, I will count on you to prepare a big thermos or two full of coffee. Will you do that for me?”

Reginald P. Lizard nodded, “Just so.”

Talking more to herself than to the lizard, Lady Horse continued her conversation, “We will need sandwiches and mustard and pickles and olives and fruit, especially mangoes for you, and carrots and celery and bran muffins for Bootsy Bat—with glaze on top because he loves the crunch—and peanuts for Thelonious Melon—my how that melon loves to eat peanuts. Also some sort of dessert—I wanted to bake an apple pie with cinnamon yesterday, but lo the apples were uncooperative—I do so dislike uncooperative apples. I simply couldn’t do a thing with them. Maybe I can think of something else for desert. Do you think I should bring waffles? Waffles can be messy with the syrup and all.”

On and on Lady Horse continued her planning of the picnic lunch.

As luck would have it, a fly buzzed nearer and nearer to the truck, apparently making a beeline for Lady Horse. Reginald P. Lizard’s attention shifted from the conversation to this fly. Without moving his head, he looked away from Lady Horse to better view the fly. His jet-black eyes glazed as though he was in a trance. Truth be told, Reginald P. Lizard often had fly-on-the-brain. Lady Horse didn’t notice the fly as she talked on and on about something or another, but the lizard wasn’t listening.

He waited.

He waited some more.

He waited even more.

He waited for just the right moment, when . . . snap! Out went his tongue, and he caught the fly! He covered his mouth with his hand as munched on the savory morsel. Lady Horse sighed and shook her head.

Chapter 2

An Absent Horse

Reginald P. Lizard finished packing the truck that he fixed the day before. Items included the wicker picnic basket that he picked up from Lady Horse earlier. The wicker had creaked under the heavy contents of scrumptious foods that Lady Horse assembled. Packed items also included the oversized thermos filled with fresh coffee, splashy umbrellas and chairs, and his own addition: kites. Soft, white, hovering clouds that looked like cartoon drawings scattered the sky, but the wind swept them away to show a confident blue. The morning temperature was mild to moderate, suggesting a perfect afternoon at the beach.

Reginald P. Lizard attached a worn horse trailer to the old pickup. He set the trailer tongue on the ball hitch just in front of the personalized license plate that read, “JUST-SO.” On the back of the horse trailer had been placed a bumper sticker that simply read, “I Brake For Flies.”

Just then, Thelonious Melon rolled up to the lizard. “I had the most interesting conversation with a friendly garden snake who sometimes passes through my melon patch. She had met two porcupines. I had never met a porcupine before, so I interrupted her. Apparently, porcupines are rodents, about my height, who have a coat of sharp spines! Can you imagine?—a coat of sharp spines! Anyway, the porcupines were on a journey to go wherever it is that porcupines go. The snake had nothing better to do, so she offered them a ride on her tail. Both accepted her gracious invitation and climbed on board the tail, and they slithered off.

“Who do you think they met along the way? A red fox wearing a red and gray cardigan coat! As the snake describes the scene, the red fox was jumping in a fruitless attempt to obtain a hearty bunch of grapes. Ha! Fruitless! But the grapes were just out of reach. Unfortunately, neither the porcupines nor the friendly garden snake could help him acquire the grapes. The sulking red fox grumbled that the grapes were probably sour anyway, and what he really wanted was tacos! The friendly garden snake said that she knew of a restaurant with a neon sign that read, “Donuts and Tacos.” The restaurant was just along the way to the porcupines’ destination. The porcupines were much enthused by the idea of donuts, so all four decided to stop at the restaurant for a bit of lunch. So the red fox wearing a red and gray cardigan coat got on-board the snake with the porcupines, and they slithered off toward the restaurant with the neon sign.”

“That’s where the story ends, though. The friendly garden snake had to leave for an appointment, so she promised to finish her story another day.”

Reginald P. Lizard blinked at the melon. The lizard imagined fly-tacos and fly-donuts.

Then the lizard pointed to the brake lights. Thelonious Melon was glad to help out. Reginald P. Lizard first connected the brake lights, then he slipped into the driver’s seat of the truck.

“Left, check!” yelled the melon when the left turn signal was flashing.

“Right, check!” he called next.

“Both lights, check!”

Finally, the melon yelled, “Hazard lights, check!” when he saw both lights flashing.

Meanwhile, the round, soft, and huggable Ellington Owl compared the packed provisions to the checklist. It simply would not do to forget anything important. The task of checking inventory was ideally suited to the responsible owl.

“Hoo, ‘sunscreen,’ check.”

“Hoo, ‘bug spray,’ check.”

“Hoo, ‘bottle opener,’ check.”

“Hoo, ‘first aid kit,’ check.”

“Hoo, ‘trash bags,’ check.”

He continued down his list, until finally he said, “Hoo, ‘Test brake lights,’ check.” With an indelible marker, the owl drew a dark check mark in the box after this final item. He scanned the list once more, from top to bottom, to ensure that each item had a dark check mark next to it.

“Hoo, that’s was the last item on our list. Inventory is complete. We are now officially ready to depart for the beach. Are you ready Thelonious Melon?”

“Uh-huh!”

“Hoo, are you ready Bootsy Bat?”

“Yeah!”

“Hoo, are you ready Reginald P. Lizard?”

“Okay.”

“Hoo, alright fellas, let's goooooooooooooooooo!”

Reginald P. Lizard held up a hand.

Ellington Owl then realized something, or rather someone, was missing from his roll call. He looked down in thought while he scratched the earth with his right talons. Then he looked up with wide eyes. “Hoo, Lady Horse! We’re missing Lady Horse! Has anyone seen Lady Horse?”

Reginald P. Lizard looked at his wristwatch, tapped it, then scratched his head.

Bootsy Bat, who liked to get to the bottom of things, announced, “I will go see what is taking her so long.” He flew away from the old truck toward the barn where Lady Horse lived.

* * *

Once past the crooked wooden fence with moss, Bootsy Bat began his descent. He flew right to the bright-red door, with white trim, with a single horseshoe nailed above it. The horseshoe ends pointed upward indicating good luck. While Lady Horse was not superstitious, she didn’t want to tempt fate. Bootsy Bat knocked lightly on the door, then a little louder, then he pounded with all his might. No answer. The door was unlocked, so he let himself into Lady Horse’s stable.

Lady Horse’s stable was well-lit and tidy with fresh hay stacked neatly to the side. Standing next to a tall table whose top consisted of colored ceramic tiles was none other than Lady Horse. She was visibly upset. Her trusty tiara and a new bonnet were both laid out upon the table in front of her. Not realizing the bat had arrived, she blinked in surprise and embarrassment when he called out: “Oh, Lady Horse! We’re ready to go!”

Bootsy Bat flew and landed on the table next to the tiara and bonnet. Lady Horse woefully shook her head from side to side claiming, “But! I simply cannot decide what to wear!”

Bootsy Bat sat down thinking this might take a while. “Well maybe I can help. Why don’t you break down your options?”

“Well, over here I have my faithful tiara, which catches the sun and glitters most beautifully. A horse must look presentable on the beach, after all. On the other hoof, I have this new blue paisley bonnet that I finished sewing yesterday. It took a long time to make, and I am rather proud of it. The bonnet will keep the sun out of my eyes and keep my head cool. Look at the two holes where my ears pop through! It’s quite becoming—don’t you think?”

Bootsy Bat nodded his appreciation.

She continued, “Yet . . . the tiara has never let me down before, and people expect me to wear it. I like the confidence that it brings to me.” She looked down. “Oh dear, oh dear . . . I just simply cannot choose! And I know everyone is waiting on me!” Tears welled up in her eyes as she sadly shook her head from side to side.

“I see,” said the bat pulling on the little hairs on his chin, “That is quite a problem. I can see your quandary.” He flew down to a three-legged stool as he considered the problem in more detail. He looked up at the tiara, then at the bonnet, then at Lady Horse.

In a moment of inspiration, he said, “Muffin crunch! I’ve got it! Couldn’t you take both? That is, you could take both the tiara and the bonnet, then swap them as you desire!”

Lady Horse looked at him puzzled.

Realizing she didn’t understand, the bat continued, “You see, you could wear the bonnet, then switch to the tiara. Or, vise versa, you could wear the tiara then switch to the bonnet. It’s really all about the ‘switching,’ and by that I mean the old switcheroo.”

Lady Horse turned her head to the side and thought aloud, “Both? Swap? Switcheroo?” Then the idea traveled the final 1/8th inch in her brain and sank home. Her eyes widened. Her head nodded up and down, slowly at first, then more vigorously. Finally, she erupted, “Yes, yes, yes, YES! The best of both worlds! BOTH! What a wonderful idea, Bootsy Bat!”

The furry Bootsy Bat flushed with an unnoticeable blush.

Bootsy Bat said, “Great! That’s all settled then. I must say, you did an amazing job stitching that bonnet. You are quite the seamstress.” Now it was Lady Horse’s turn to blush.

Lady Horse pointed to a small sewing kit with her nose, “Thank you for your kind words. In fact, I am bringing this sewing kit to the beach just in case of emergency. I cannot even count how many times this has come in handy.”

Lady Horse placed her tiara, bonnet, and sewing kit into an open handkerchief, grabbed the ends in her teeth, then trotted to the truck that had pulled up alongside her barn.

Reginald P. Lizard tipped his top hat and nodded to Lady Horse as she carried her handkerchief of goodies. He walked her to the back of the trailer. Lady Horse apologized profusely for her tardiness, but the lizard simply winked at her to quell any embarrassment she might feel for being late. Lady Horse breathed a sigh of relief as he opened the door to the horse trailer.

The fastidious owl did roll call, and the numbers jibed, so they were ready.

The nervous melon nudged the owl with the clipboard. “How long will it take to get there?” He had never been to the beach before, and new places excited him.

Ellington Owl replied, “Hoo . . . the trip shouldn’t take long. Considering the speed limit, and accounting for traffic, perhaps 30 minutes.”

The melon nudged Bootsy Bat, “How long is 30 minutes?” Everyone knows that melons have no sense of time—because, you know, wristwatches.

Bootsy Bat replied, “30 minutes is just enough time to take a nap, which I plan to do.” Without warning he yelled, “Shotgun!” Ellington Owl and Thelonious Melon accepted the rule of “shotgun” and gave the bat the front seat. They both got into the back of the extended cab truck.

After three quick knocks to the side of the truck, Reginald P. Lizard got inside behind the steering wheel. While not a superstitious lizard, it didn't hurt to be cautious.

* * *

Reginald P. Lizard remained silent and waited. Lady Horse, who was known for neither silence nor patience yelled out, “Don’t forget your seat belt!”

A seat belt was heard to snick closed. The owl sported a sheepish expression. “Hoo, so sorry! I was so preoccupied that I forgot! I’m all set now. Safety first, you know!”

Reginald P. Lizard put on his driving sunglasses. The engine roared to life at the turn of the key.

Bootsy Bat exclaimed, “Muffin crunch! It started on a dime!”

“Just so,” replied the lizard and nodded.

Reginald P. Lizard dialed the radio to the Sunday Morning Jazz Show. He had enjoyed this radio program since he was a wee hatchling lizard, and jazz just seemed so appropriate for some reason.

Bootsy Bat shut his eyes for a quick nap while Ellington Owl invented a travel game. “Hoo, let’s play ‘I Spy’, but our guesses must end with -orama to be accepted.”

The melon turned to the owl, “What’s an ‘-orama?’”

Reginald P. Lizard looked up into the rear view mirror, “Suffix.”

“Hoo . . . quite right,” said Ellington Owl. “You tack a suffix on at the end of word. So, for example, for our game you might choose: melon-orama, owl-orama, or lizard-orama! Do you see? This suffix business works with most words!”

The melon smiled, “Oh! That does sound fun. May I start?” The owl nodded his approval. “I spy with my little eye . . . something starting with the letter ‘m’.”

Ellington Owl replied, “Hoo . . . map!” He then paused for a moment, realized he forgot the rule to his own game, then countered, “Hoo, wait! I forgot to add -orama! MAP-ORAMA!”

Thelonious Melon—delighted with the owl’s response—laughed, “That’s a great guess, but that isn’t my word.”

“Hoo, mailbox-orama,” the owl countered.

“Wrong again!” laughed the melon, “but that’s another good guess because we just passed a mailbox.”

The owl fell silent as he sought other ‘m’ words.

At a lull in the song on the radio, Reginald P. Lizard offered: “melon-orama.”

“Ha! That’s it! I couldn’t resist since that was the example for how to play the game! OK, now it’s your turn!”

“Just so” said that lizard.

He thought for a moment.

“M,” said the lizard.

“M again?!” squealed the melon in delight!

Ellington Own slapped his forehead with his wing for a classic facepalm.

And so, the boys in the truck played several games of “-orama” while Bootsy Bat snored, and Lady Horse rode in her trailer with her head facing the breeze.

Reginald P. Lizard braked when he saw the “Public Beach Access” sign. They had arrived.

Chapter 3

The Beach!



The sun shines more brightly at the beach for some reason, perhaps due to the reflection off the sand. After parking the truck and unloading the Lady, the group collected the towels, chairs, umbrellas, sunscreen and other gear to carry to a nice section of beach. It was time to relax.

The beach was not overcrowded yet. A group of prairie dogs were tanning on cotton beach towels. A frog and turtle sitting upon beach chairs sipped cool drinks in tall glasses with colorful paper umbrellas on top. A mongoose threw a Frisbee to a platypus. Various marsupials were playing a game of volleyball.

After setting up his folding chair, Reginald P. Lizard applied sunscreen liberally to his skin. Sunshine was surely a lizard’s favorite environment, but this lizard was wise enough to not overdo it. Next he rattled off 30 push-ups—for he loved to keep fit—then he sat back in his chair and poured himself some coffee.

Reginald P. Lizard picked up his book entitled “The Evolution of Bipedal Running in Lizards.” He loved to read. For him, books were like friends—he could reach distant lands, different times, and meet such interesting people. The lizard alternated between turning pages and sipping coffee. He enjoyed the relaxing sounds of the crashing waves. “Just so,” he sighed to no one in particular.

Ellington Owl skipped putting up an umbrella or folding chair, for he had something else planned for his day at the beach. The owl dug an owl-sized trench in the sand with a small shovel brought for this explicit reason. With some help from Bootsy Bat and Thelonious Melon, the owl was soon buried in the sand such that only his head poked out. Bootsy Bat added an oversized Mexican sombrero—a broad-brimmed hat with vibrant colors—atop Ellington Owl’s head. Finally, the owl relaxed.


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