1. I Read A Book To My Father's Friend Who Cannot See by LenniluvsBrian
2. My Brother Teaches The Second Grade by LenniluvsBrian
3. Angels All Around; In The Sky and Underground by LenniluvsBrian
4. A Pocket Full of Change For Turtles Who Cannot Pay by LenniluvsBrian
5. Giving Love Away by LenniluvsBrian
6. You Have All You Need... by LenniluvsBrian
Eight-year-old Lenore sat next to Master Splinter’s blind friend, Andre. She was reading him one of her all-time favourite stories. It was one she had recently gotten as a late birthday gift. The story was called, Thumper’s Sister’s – a story she had read numerous times.
“Thumper didn’t feel that his parents loved him anymore. All they did now was yell because he was too loud when his sister’s were sleeping, or because he would eat too much and not leave them enough to eat,” Lenore read, pausing a moment. “Sounds like home to me, Andre. I get in trouble if I eat too much or am too loud. It’s not fun.”
Andre chuckled softly. “I know that to be true, Little One. But, I believe all families with more than one child may be like that.”
Lenore shrugged, though her father’s friend could not see her do so. “Don’t think it fair, to get in trouble for eatin’. But – I guess yah gotta share food too, huh?”
“Yes,” Andre answered. “Sharing is the nicest thing you can do – well, one of the nicest I think.”
Lenore smiled and went back to reading him her book. “Thumper ran and ran and ran. He ran until suddenly POOF! His feet went out from under him and he was hanging upside down. The poor little rabbit was caught in a snare.”
“Why would people wanna catch rabbits, Andre? They gotta eat ‘em, like they eat turtle stew?”
“I’m afraid so,” Andre replied. “Though, some also believe a rabbit’s foot to be lucky – only it can’t be attached to the rabbit.”
“That’s dumb,” Lenore commented. “How’s he s’pose to hop without a foot.”
Andre shook his head slightly, laughing softly. “So, tell me, does Thumper get free?”
Lenore resumed reading him the book that went everywhere with her – literally – including the bathroom. “It was then that Thumper’s mother and father – who had gone on their walk – came over the hill. When they saw Thumper caught in the snare, they were both worried. ‘Don’t worry son! I’ll get you down!’ His father called. ‘Oh! My poor Baby!’ His mother cried. Soon Thumper was free and his mother quickly hugged him tight. ‘Oh! Thumper! We were so worried!’ She said. ‘We’re glad you’re okay, son.’ His father told him, giving him a thump on the back… They then went home, and Thumper never felt unloved again.”
“That was a very nice story. I thank you for reading it to me,” Andre smiled.
“I like readin’ to you!” Lenore told him sincerely. She moved to hug him, but stopped, remembering he didn’t know her to be a turtle.
“What’s wrong?” Andre asked, sensing her apprehension. “You can climb into my lap, if you’d like.”
“I better not,” Lenore grumbled softly. “You won’t like me then.”
“I’m not exactly a human.”
“And there’s something wrong with that? I’m not exactly able to see, so I'm not able to hug visitors often.”
“You sure you wanna Freak in your lap?”
“Child, you’re not a freak to me. You’re a kind little girl, who’s willing to spend her free-time reading a blind old man a story.”
Lenore smiled big then, unable to help herself. “Raph wouldn’t like me sayin’ I’m a Freak. He says it’s the baddest word of ‘em all.”
Andre helped her into his lap, once she had come close enough to climb up. “Well, maybe to your brother it is.”
Lenore tensed slightly when she felt Andre pat her shell. She wasn’t used to sitting in a human’s lap – she didn’t dare sit in Casey’s lap, and she despised April, though all the others loved her.
Andre smiled warmly at her. “I bet you’re a real pretty turtle, Little One.”
Lenore giggled and gave him a hug. “Nah. I’m average. But thanks for thinkin’ I’d be pretty.”
“I don’t think, I know,” Andre told her, returning her hug. “Only pretty little turtles are allowed in my lap.”
Lenore kissed his cheek affectionately. “I like you, Andre.”
“And I you, Lenore.”
Donatello was extremely frustrated, as he was stuck teaching his sister’s their studies. He knew it was close to Christmas, but that wasn’t reason enough – least not to him – for them to slack off such as they had been doing the past week.
“What’s wrong, Donnie?” Lenore asked, as her other sisters filed out of the room. “Aren’t yah gonna come play?”
“I can’t. Not right now,” Donatello sighed. “Why not?” Lenore demanded.
“I have to grade those tests you guys took – and more than likely failed – before I can do anything else.”
“Why would we fail?”
“Lenni, you girls have been driving me around the bend since you realized Christmas was almost here.”
“Oh! Like when Daydream fell asleep midst a daydream, an’ when Danceingfae fell outta her seat! An’ when HexADecimal dropped her text book, then Arista did the same!” Lenore exclaimed, giggling. “An’ Ziptango and’ I were dancin’ ‘round the room ‘cause we got excited! An’ when…”
“Yes! All those times you acted out and up, instead of paying attention to your studies and learning what was being taught,” Donatello interrupted.
“Oh…” Lenore trailed off. “We didn’t mean to make yah mad, Donnie. We were tryin’ to make yah laugh.”
“Well, save it four outside of the classroom!” Donatello snapped slightly. He softened though, when he saw the look upon his baby sister’s face.
Lenore looked hurt and upset all at once. It had been her idea to try and make Donatello laugh. She missed the old Donatello – the one who would play with them and make them laugh with his odd antics.
“Lenni,” Donatello said softly. “I know you all meant well, but please don’t do those things during class-time. You guys need to learn these things in order to be a fully trained ninja.”
“Don’t wanna be a Ninja no more,” Lenore grumbled softly, her head hung. “It’s no fun.”
Donatello went over to her, and crouched down to her height. He lifted her chin up with his fingers slightly, so that she was looking him in the eye. “Honey, I know you love to play and watch cartoons and make us all laugh – you’re like Mikey in every way when yah do those things. But, you need to be a ninja too – whether or not you like it. We all have to be ninja, whether or not we like it. But, you’ll get used to it. I promise.”
Lenore sighed. “Just wan’ you to play with us.”
Donatello gave her a hug. “I know. And I’m sorry I haven’t played with you guys in a while, but I’ve been very busy with your schoolwork.”
Lenore hugged him back. “Can you play later?”
“How about after dinner, until you guys have to go to bed?” Donatello suggested. “That sound good?”
Lenore nodded her head eagerly. “Yes!”
“That’s provided you girls let me grade your tests in peace before dinner.”
“We will!” Lenore exclaimed, before running out of the room. “DONNIE’S GONNA PLAY AFTER DINNER! LEAVE HIM ‘LONE FOR NOW!”
Donatello was surprised when he heard the girls shriek in delight – it wasn’t usually him they wanted to play with. He stood up and went back to his desk to grade their tests – the tests he had given that day, and that they were supposed to have study for all week
“Who wants to bake cookies?” Michaelangelo called out.
“ME!” A chorus shrieked, running for the kitchen at top speed.
“Whoa there!” Michaelangelo said. “We’ll work in shifts. Younger girls first, then the older ones. No arguing about it or whining. Oldest last, as I need your help with something big.”
The younger girls grumbled at that, as the older ones giggled and ran off to watch cartoons and play games once more.
“Careful Lenni!” Michaelangelo called out to her, as he watched her get the eggs out of the fridge. “Do not drop those!”
“I won’t!” Lenore stated firmly, trying to be extremely careful with the four eggs she held in her three-fingered hands.
Michaelangelo sighed, as he watched his baby sister trip and the eggs go flying. “Lenni…”
“I’m sorry!” Lenore cried, looking ready to burst into tears. “I’m sorry!”
Michaelangelo cleaned up the mess she’d made, then leaned down to kiss her head. “Shh. Don’t worry about it, Kiddo. We’ve more eggs – but I’ll get them this time, okay?”
“Kay,” Lenore nodded, sniffling slightly. She watched as her brother got the eggs and carried them over to where they were needed.
“I need sugar!” Michaelangelo called playfully. He chuckled when a mob of girls came flying towards him with sugar. “Thank-you, Ladies.”
The girls all beamed as each was given a kiss for their sugar. They then returned to whatever kitchen duties they had previously been assigned.
Lenore grinned up at her brother in orange. “How come nobody else will let us bake?”
“Lenni, you know we can’t trust Daydream in the kitchen alone – and some of you don’t care enough about cooking to actually pay attention to whatever it is you are baking,” Michaelangelo reminded her. “That’s why you dudettes gotta be supervised the whole time yah in here – unless yah cleaning everything up.”
Lenore was quiet as she watched him crack the eggs into the bowl skillfully. “I’m glad we get to bake with yah, Mikey,” she told him softly. “You’re the most fun in the kitchen.”
Michaelangelo smiled warmly at her. “Thank-you,” he answered, placing some flour on her beak.
Lenore smirked up at him devilishly, then dumped a whole bowl of flour upon his head after having had stood up on her stool – she’d been pretending to look for something.
“FLOUR FIGHT!” Everyone in the kitchen screeched – though they knew they’d be the ones cleaning it all up later on.
A small hooded figure climbed aboard the city bus that night, hoping to be able to hitch a ride home. The young turtle had deliberately disappeared for a bit, stating they were going off in search of Christmas gifts. Little had they known, that they would wind up so far from home.
“Twenty-five cents please,” the bus driver spoke, as the child climbed aboard. She watched as the child searched their pockets, unable to find any change.
The small turtle was about to climb back off the bus, when she heard the bus driver speak.
“Hey, don’t go,” the driver said softly. “Take a seat in the back, and I’ll make sure no one bothers you, alright?”
The little female turtle nodded, as the driver dropped a quarter into the slot for her. “Kay.”
“But first, tell me where you need to go.”
“Corner of Eastman and Laird.”
The driver raised her eyebrows. This child was far from home – and her route didn’t even come close to passing that street. But – how could she turn the poor, shivering child down after having had paid her way?
“Alright. Go on and sit in back. It may be a while.”
The child nodded, and quickly and quietly made their way to the back of the bus. Once the child was settled, the bus came to life and roared off down the street once more.
After a while, the bus was packed and the small turtle asleep in the back, snoring softly. It was while the young turtle lay asleep, that her hood fell off her head, revealing her face to everyone on the bus.
“Hey! We’ve a freak on our bus!” One woman cried.
“Quick! Shoot it!” Another man shouted.
“Hey!” The bus driver exclaimed. “Leave my kid alone!”
“Your kid?” One person questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes! Problem?” The driver snapped slightly. “She’s dressed up in her favourite costume, as today’s her birthday.”
“Oh…sorry,” the people on the bus grumbled sheepishly. They couldn’t believe they’d almost shot some woman’s child for being dressed up as a turtle at Christmas.
“Now, settle down or get off my bus and walk,” the driver stated firmly. “And leave my child alone. I mean it!”
Everyone on the bus settled themselves once more, and soon were all off the bus as they had all reached their destinations.
The bus driver drove about town, going out of her way, just to get the turtle child in back to Eastman and Laird. She had noticed when the child first climbed aboard that she wasn’t human, but hadn’t let that bother her one bit. Why should she have? Everyone was different – to no fault of their own. And besides, this was a child after all, whether she be human or not.
Eventually, the bus pulled to a stop at the corner of Eastman and Laird. The driver frowned slightly, noticing the abandoned warehouse, but figured the child was trying to get home to her family.
“Hey,” she spoke softly, shaking the child lightly.
The child sat up abruptly, quickly yanking their hood back up over their head. She looked up nervously, only to receive a warm smile in return.
“We’ve reached Eastman and Laird,” the woman spoke softly. “Hope you’re not going to be in trouble for getting in this late.”
“Raph’s gonna be mad anyway. Sensei too,” the child grumbled sleepily. “Wasn’t s’pose to go that far.”
“Oh. Well, I’m glad I was able to return you to your home,” the woman informed her. “Also, you may want to think about getting strings attached to your hood. This way you can keep it up after falling asleep on a bus, and not almost cause riots.”
“Sorry,” the child apologized sheepishly.
“It’s quite alright… uh…”
“Lenore…” The turtle answered quietly. “But everybody calls me Lenni, ‘less I’m in trouble… Which I will be if I don’t get home.”
“It was nice meeting you – Lenore,” the driver said. “I’m Greta.”
“Thanks for the ride3 – Greta.”
Greta smiled at the turtle child again, and handed her a card with her bus schedule and number on it. “If you – or anyone in our family – ever needs a ride, just give me a call. I’ll gladly take you anywhere you want to go.”
“Thanks!” Lenore exclaimed, sounding a bit more awake now. “We like goin’ to the farm house! Ah…can you drive the bus outta the city?”
“I own it, so why not?” Greta shrugged. “Well, you’d best go. It’s late.”
“Thanks Greta,” Lenore replicated, climbing down off the bus. “An’ Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas to you too, Lenore,” Greta replied, before shutting the bus doors.
Lenore watched the bus pull out of sight, then went into the warehouse and used the sewer in there to get home. Donatello had put the manhole in, so that his sisters could come and go easily, when allowed up top with them – namely, so they wouldn’t mess up the elevator.
“Merry Christmas!” Everyone in the turtle household shrieked Christmas morning, as they all dove for the presents under the tree.
Master Splinter let loose a shrill whistle. “Kids! Leonardo shall pass them out in orderly fashion! Please find yourselves a seat.”
Everyone dove for a certain spot in the den – Lenore being lucky enough – as well as the only one - to nab a spot in Raphael’s lap.
“Hurry it up Leo!” Raphael ordered from his spot on the couch, where he had flopped – before having a young turtle hurl themselves into his lap. “We ain’t got ‘till next year here!”
“You’re lucky it’s Christmas, Raph,” Leonardo replied dryly, tossing his brother a gift. “Here Mr. Impatient.”
Lenore giggled and watched as Raphael opened his gift – everyone else was occupied with one of their own. “Whatcha get Raph?”
“I’ll let yah know after I’ve opened it, Rug-rat,” Raphael answered.
Lenore grinned when she saw that he did indeed like the gift she had gotten him – sais warmers. She figured, if they could have gloves for their hands, why not gloves for their weapons – mainly so their weapons wouldn’t freeze to their sides and have a painful removal. She had discovered that the hard way when smaller, after having had used Raphael’s sai as a popsicle.
“Thanks, Runt,” Raphael said, kissing her head. “I’m sure my sais will stay warm and not freeze to me now.”
Lenore beamed, then raised her eye ridges when she was handed a gift She looked at her brother in red oddly, when seeing that it was to her from him. “Whatcha get me?”
“Well, open it and find out,” Raphael retorted.
Lenore eyed him warily, and gave a small shrug. She then unwrapped her gift – her jaw hit the floor once all the wrapping had come off her present. “TIGGER!” She shrieked delightedly, hugging her newest stuffed friend. “I LOVE HIM! THANK-YOU!”
Raphael looked slightly awkward and embarrassed, as he was given a huge hug by his baby sister. “No problem, Kid.”
Lenore sat there for the rest of the morning, in Raphael’s lap, with her new stuffed Tigger in her lap – everyone knew she’d never let it out of her sight now.
Lenore was peeking out of a manhole, when she saw a mother and small child walking along the street. Both humans were in tattered old clothing, that was far beyond repair. She felt horrible when she saw the little girl cry because she wanted a toy and wasn’t allowed one, seeing as they’d no money to even buy food.
“Come along, Cynthia,” the mother said briskly. “Maybe Santa will come next year.”
The little girl howled with displeasure – even more so after receiving a quick swat upon her bottom.
Lenore frowned. She’d thought everybody got something for Christmas. She quickly disappeared back to the lair and sneakily got some food together – enough for two. Most of it was healthy, but she’d also put in a couple treats. She then headed back to the manhole she’d been spying out of, hoping the little girl and her mother hadn’t left quite yet.
She was in luck! The mother and child were still on the street. She yanked her hood up, and tied it tightly. She then carefully got herself and the basket of food out of the manhole, managing to not lose a thing – which, to her, was a miracle in itself.
“Momma!” Little Cynthia wailed. “Wanna Santa come!”
Lenore heard the mother sigh, and quickly moved closer, tugging on the woman’s sleeve lightly. “Excuse me,” she said softly.
The mother turned to look at her. After a moment, she spoke. “I’m sorry, Honey. I’ve no food or money to give you.”
Lenore looked puzzled a moment, then realized this woman thought she was a beggar too. “Oh! I don’ want money,” she explained quickly. “I just wanted to give you something.” She handed the woman the basket full of food, unaware she was being watched closely by someone.
The mother looked quite surprised, when she realized the basket was full of food and other goodies. “But – are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Lenore nodded. “It’s Christmas. Nobody should goes hungry on Christmas.”
The mother gave her a grateful smile. “Why, thank-you, Little Angel. I know Cynthia and I shall enjoy this immensely. Are you sure you don’t need any of this?”
“Nope. Don’t need it,” Lenore answered, knowing if her family found out, they’d be mad, as they needed the food. “Enjoy.”
“Wanna Santa!” Cynthia wailed then, not seemingly interested in the basket of food.
Her mother sighed. “Cynthia, I’m sorry, but Mommy can’t get you one. And she doesn’t know where Santa is.”
“I know Santa!” Lenore told the little girl suddenly, not even stopping a moment to think. “He told me to give you a present for him ‘cause Rudolph had to go potty.”
Cynthia looked up at Lenore through tears. “You see Santa?”
Lenore nodded. “Yep. An’ he wanted you to have this,” she told the little girl, handing her the stuffed Tigger she’d just gotten earlier that day for Christmas. “Santa made him extra special, so always love him, kay?”
Little Cynthia nodded he head eagerly. “Tank-you! Momma! Santa gave present!”
Cynthia’s mother smiled at Lenore, knowing it had belonged to her, seeing as it had been hanging in the belt she wore over her jacket. “Thank you, Little Angel. We shall never forget this.”
“Nada problem,” Lenore shrugged. “Just – take care of Tigger, Cynthia.”
The little girl nodded again, this time showing her agreement.
Lenore gave them a smile, then quickly disappeared out of sight and back down into the sewers. She trudged along silently, wondering if giving up Tigger had been the best idea.
Meanwhile, the one who had been watching the turtle child help out a homeless family, quickly disappeared from the rooftop they’d been perched upon.
Lenore dawdled on her way back home, missing Tigger more and more with each and every step she took. How could she have given away something Raphael had given her? How?
She entered the lair finally, though still silent, and got the shock of a lifetime! There, sitting under their Christmas tree, was an even bigger Tigger – with her name on it! Once her eyes had gone back to normal size, and she’d been able to snap her jaw shut, she ran over to the new Tigger. She looked about to see if she could figure out what was going on.
“I saw what you did,” a gruff voice stated. “That took guts, Kid. That definitely took a lot of guts. So, I thought, since yah gave the other one away, you might like another one.”
Lenore turned to grin at her brother in red, quickly getting up to go and tackle him in a hug. “THANK-YOU!”
Raphael picked her up, hugging her close. He kissed her head. “Kid, don’t ever let anyone call you selfish again.”
Lenore giggled, and hid her face into his neck and her newest Tigger. She knew now that giving Cynthia her first Tigger had been a very good idea – and it wasn’t because she’d gotten an even bigger and better one in return. Nope. It was because she had made the little girl without Santa smile.