Today was a cool breezy day, the sun sat high in the cloudless blue sky. D'arcy, Striker and Marigold had made all
of the arrangements for The Gathering of the Friends of Sir Riley Rambunctious Fan Club, Central Texas Division. They
had the neighborhood park reserved, the pavilion was decorated with brightly colored balloons fastened with large satin
ribbons to the pillars. The blowing breeze played with the balloons, making them bob as if all in agreement that today
was the beginning of a long awaited, very special event.
"In five days, Sir Riley Rambunctious would turn 14!" D'Arcy said to Striker and Marigold as they covered each picnic
table with red and white checked table clothes. Condiments were placed on the table, salt, pepper, eating utensils,
napkins, everything needed for a good old fashioned Texas BBQ. The band was already set up and fine tuning their
instruments. The other entertainment was being unloaded and put into corrals. D'Arcy had ordered 50 miniature ponies
for everyone to ride. Their coats gleamed in the sunlight, their manes and tails were braided and adorned with ribbons
and fresh daisies.
As all manner of vehicles began to arrive, people and puppies gathered under the pavilion, and the band began to play.
Striker handed out air horns and those with air horns played along with the band. Others brought kazoos and tambourines.
D'Arcy climbed up on one of the tables and, with a swift blast of an air horn, garnered everyone's attention. The crown
fell silent so they could listen to what she had to say.
D'Arcy looked the crowd over and was pleased by the turn out. She gathered her thoughts and began to speak.
"Welcome, Friends... to The Gathering of the Friends of Sir Riley Rambunctious Fan Club, Central Texas Division. I am pleased to announce
that in a mere 5 short days, we will be celebrating Sir Riley's 14th birthday. I know this means a great deal to a good
many of you who have followed his brilliant career as a Tenor, as well as those of you who are perhaps more familiar with
the legendary stories of Sir Riley's and Katie WC's world famous Bash Adventures." Many faces in the crowd nodded in
recognition that, yes, they had indeed heard of some of these wild and incredible tales.
D'Arcy continued. "We have prepared an amazing BBQ feast for y'all to enjoy today, as we gather to celebrate Sir Riley's
big day. But first I'd like to ask that we join the band in saluting Sir Riley with everyone's favorite song, "For he's a
jolly good fellow." Please use your air horns, kazoos, tambourines, anything you'd like to make some noise as we honor
this famous Scot."
The band began to play and everyone joined in with instruments and voice. The music carried on the
wind for miles. Following that, the band continued to play for everyone's enjoyment.
Marigold and Striker took care of getting the ponies out for everyone to ride. Some of the younger guests immediately
headed for the riding trails which wind endlessly throughout the park. Others lined up with plates to get some BBQed brisket,
sausage, chicken, potato salad, chips, beans, sweet tea, all the fixin's. The band played on keeping the tempo up and the
As the sun began to set, riders had returned the ponies to the corral, everyone had eaten their fill of BBQ, and the party
began to thin. The grounds were tidied and ready for tomorrow's "The Gathering of the Friends of Sir Riley Rambunctious
Fan Club, Central Texas Division, Day 2".
D'Arcy was the last to leave. She double checked everything. "This was a great start to a 5 day fest", she thought to
herself. She watched Marigold and Striker climb in the ATV, and called to them that she'd be with them in a minute.
She took a minute to sit on one of the park benches, the one that was placed at the base of an tall old live oak tree.
The stars were beginning to make their appearance. The moon was large and round, but not full. It was quiet in the park.
This was her favorite time of the day. She searched the sky and found that one star... you know the one. It's the one
that always comes out first.
She gazed upward and her eyes came to rest on that star. She spoke to it, in a voice so low,
it was but a whisper.
"Riley, my dear friend, I hope that you will be having the most wonderful of all birthdays. It's a
very important one. I wish we could spend some of it together. That would be awesome."
She sighed, then smiled and
stood up and walked toward the ATV where Marigold and Striker waited. She called to them as she got closer.
"This was a
GREAT day, wasn't it?!" They both enthusiastically agreed.
She fastened her seat belt and, with a wicked smile, she said
"Hang on, little ones!"
She pressed her foot firmly on the gas petal! The ATV started with a jump and a roar and bounded
down the street, the bouncing passengers inside were laughing and talking over the roar of the motor. Each one of them
looking forward to tomorrow's party!
As yesterday's partiers began to arrive again at the pavilion, they were greeted and checked in by Striker. This was
going to be a day different from yesterday's affair. This was more of a organizational type of day. Names were being
check off, baggage being sorts from large to small, carry-ones and personal items were going into a different pile, IDs
were being checked and rechecked, things had to be perfect and in order because once we were on our way to the airport
in San Antonio, there was no turning back. Bulverde, Texas was a good 25 miles from the airport but more importantly,
because of traffic, it was an hour's drive. Things had to run smoothly or no one would make the trip.
The busses pulled into the parking lot, the luggage was loaded into storage, the partiers climbed on board and found their
seats. Items were stowed and a head count was taken. Everything and everyone was on board and things were running smoothly.
Marigold was in charge of handing out ID lanyards. As she walked through the buses, she matched the ID to each pup or
person and made a check on her list. Striker was following her with specially made Black Watch tartan t-shirts which
identified each member of the group as a member of the The Gathering of the Friends of Sir Riley Rambunctious Fan Club,
Central Texas Division. While they were simple t-shirts, they looked dressier then the old run of the mill t-shirt.
They had white dress collars and a black thin tie attached. Dapper. Very dapper. :-).
As the members of the jovial bunch wriggled into their shirts, stowed items, and settled in for the trip to the airport,
D'Arcy busied herself with passing out beverages, water, sweet tea, biscuits, etc. for the trip into San Antonio.
The trip, happily, was uneventful and the busses arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Everyone grabbed
their bags and personal items and headed into the airport. Arrangements had been made with TSA to expedite the members
of the group through security. As they cleared security, they headed to the very end of the terminal to the designated
gate. One by one, they boarded the plane, taking their seats. There was excitement in the air, laughing and talking,
good humor. Grabbing last minute items, snacks and games for the long trip ahead. The charter plane was amazing! Every
seat was spacious, every seat was first class, offering music, the latest movies, the best of everything, plus pillows,
D'Arcy announced over the PA that "the Captain was ready to take off, y'all get comfortable, there's a one hour lay over
in Denver and then onto the final destination. Buckle up, relax, enjoy the trip. If there is anything anyone needed,
please press the call button! Have a great trip, I'll be stopping by and checking with everyone during the trip!"
Then, the lights flashed off, the engine roared and the plane lurched forward. As the engine strained to gain altitude
the rowdy revelers were handed a surprise from Sir Riley received earlier this morning. Each one now had a can of silly
spray string. Throughout the cabin, there was the POP sound of plastic tops popping off of aerosol cans and mayhem
By time the first leg of their trip was complete, and everyone had deplaned, the attendants had to
call in to the tower for back up help to clean up the now vibrantly decorated cabin. The entire cabin of the huge plane
looked as if it was an old Italian chianti bottle which had been used for years and years in the burning of many colored
candles which dripped down the bottle's neck in multiple colorful layers. Sticky, drippy silly string was everywhere,
sticking to everything and everyone. But D'Arcy and Marigold agreed that it was a beautiful Bash-esque mess and D'Arcy
knew it would make Sir Riley smile. Marigold took one last look at the colorful stringy stuff that coated every square
inch of the interior. She turned, walked out of the plane and bounced down the tarmac trailing bits of string spray.
They had an hour lay over in Denver and then on to what they thought would be their final destination.
While the flight was late leaving Denver, it didn't really affect the time schedule too badly. It was just more hurried,
"no hill for a climber." :-). With everyone on board, carry-ons stored or checked, the handsome Captain of this huge
plane was determined to get the plane down on the ground reaching it's final destination. No monkey business. There were
The little partiers, all acting like little angels, sat quietly as the flight attendant took a head count, handed out
snacks, water, drinks, pillows and blankets. This plane had first class seating for all passengers and while there were
reports from the Captain of the first leg of the trip about silly string and rowdiness, this captain KNEW what he was
dealing with, he knew his passengers, he signed up for this flight. He was Captain F. Scot Fitzgerald, first cousin to
the world famous Captain of the Scotcorde. He was tall, lean, handsome with kind eyes and a dazzling smile, he had swagger
and he was a Southern gentleman. All of the Scottie lasses were putty in his hands and they all claimed the seats nearest
to the cockpit.
The plane engines roared to life and in moments they were in the air. Destination? Boise, Idaho. Then, chartered busses
would immediate head to Ketchum, Idaho for some fun in the sun and snow. The weather prediction was for cold and clear
weather. The polar vortex would kiss Sun Valley, Idaho but not impact the trip.
The youngest ones were so excited!
Snow! Snow skiing! Snowmen! Snowballs! Snow angels! Snow boarding! Snow skating! Snow sleighing! Snowmobiling!
All things snow!
The chatter in the plane during the hour and a half flight was deafening. The flight attendants were
so patient with the excited wee ones. They patiently answered hundreds of questions asked by the young ones who had "never
even seen snow".
"Yes, you can make snow angels."
"Yes, snowball fights are legal."
"No, don't eat yellow snow."
"Yes, it is so cold that poopcicles do exist."
Questions and more questions. All answered with the utmost patience and
sweetness. This trip was, after all, for the wee ones. It was crucial that they have a good time and their ....ummm...
'creativeness' be encouraged. It would be something that Sir Riley would want for them. We wish he could have made the
trip but understand he had prior engagements in the Bayou.
The plane landed as scheduled. As the excited partiers deplaned and gathered their bags and belongings, they were
immediately directed to the waiting busses. It was going to be a long day of travel but the excitement carried the
day and spirits were running high.
The busses headed toward Ketchum. The landscape was surreal, no trees to speak
of but rolling hillsides and snow capped mountains in the distance. The busses snaked though the valleys. The sun
was bright but the weather was colder than what most were use to. Even sweaters needed sweaters and tootsies were
The busses stopped in Hailey at CK's for a sumptuous dinner. The offerings were wild caught king salmon,
dungeoness crab cakes, fresh trout, vension, elk and on and on...
So many decisions! The group decided to order
one of each dish! The chef nearly fainted when he got the order but took a deep breath and joyously got to work.
Cooking for such an appreciative group with an unlimited budget was refreshing and he knew that he had the best,
freshest food in the area!
The wee ones feasted! Best meal of the day! They ate and ate and ate! The food was so fresh, so delicious!
All of the plates were licked clean! The check was settled, kudos were sent to the chef and a large group of now
weary travelers headed to the Knob Hill Resort in Ketchum.
As the partiers were checked and assigned their rooms, they discovered that they had commandeered the entire first
and second floor of the resort. Resort staff kicked it into high gear as they helped their guests get luggage to
their rooms. Each room was a suite. Complete with large sofa, kitchen, fireplace, HDTV, free wifi, and a wrap around
deck that connected the entire first floor and second floor. They would be able to hop from room to room from the outside
After everyone settled in to their rooms, it was agreed that they would meet on the first floor in the party room for a
little "social networking". :-).
D'Arcy had freshened up and arrangements were made for all to meet in the resort's après ski lodge. As she grabbed her
purse, she heard a knock on the door.
One of the people from the front desk stood at the door, his eyes were wide and he was agitated but trying to maintain
composure while he all but blurted out "Excuse me, Ms. D'Arcy. There are at least 42 huge concrete trucks lined up on
the street. They are here to make a delivery to you, Striker and Marigold but I understand that there may be more trucks
being re-routed to this destination. Ma'am, Ketchum is a small town, we don't have room for all of these large trucks.
We need to make arrangements as quickly as possible. I am going to suggest that we send them to the base of Bald Mountain,
there will be plenty of room there. You can meet them and take delivery of what I can only assume is cement."
D'Arcy noticed that it was growing very late and made arrangements for the trucks drivers to stay the night and keep the
cement trucks running so that the contents in the hoppers would not set up.
The partiers would head to Bald Mountain first thing after breakfast in the morning to see what Sir Riley had delivered
to Ketchum. D'Arcy chuckled to herself and thought "Riley! Riley! Riley! You naughty boy! You have always been so much
fun and are always so full of clever surprises. I know whatever you've sent us will be a great surprise. And I know
Ketchum will NEVER be the same!"
She looked over her shoulder, her face beaming with excitement as she called to Striker
and Marigold "Let's meet our friends downstairs in the Lodge and remember 'What happens at the Lodge stays at the Lodge!'"
It was a beautiful sunshiny day! Breakfast was finished and everyone was bundled up in parkas, ear muffs, gloves,
snow boots and sunglasses! The sun played across the fields and, as the busses drove along, it made the snow sparkle
like diamonds. It was magical and so beautiful. The busses carried them to the base of Bald Mountain where the cement
trucks had been parked. The trucks drivers met D'Arcy and her instructions were to dump the contents in separate piles
along the base.
The trucks all pulled up, turned around and started backing up. The chutes were set up and the contents of the hoppers
began to offload the contents.
"WHOA!!!!! Look!!!! It's .... It's..... It's cotton candy!!!!!!"
Each truck carried a different neon bright color,
yellows, greens, purples, pinks, reds, blues - the colors of a rainbow! The wee ones scrambled towards the cotton candy,
stumbling and tumbling and laughing as they jumped head first into the sweet sticky stuff. Some mixed the snow with the
cotton candy and began making snow creatures, snow Scotties, odd looking puhduls, multicolored totem pole looking things.
Suddenly, someone yelled "Incoming!"
Then SPLAT! Someone had been hit in the head with a sticky neon green snowball. Marigold turned
around to find Striker and several of his buddies standing behind a huge pile of neon colored snowballs... and they were taking
aim. No one was safe.
"Let the snowball fight begin!" a wee one yelled and soon the sky was filled with neon colored
cotton candy snowballs!
Karen didn't realize it, but Mickey and Happy Jack and Alice had decided to balloon their way to Idaho. Mickey and Happy
Jack had seen it done before.
"Just like in the Wizard of Oz, but we'll go to Idaho instead" said Mickey as he set the course
on his GPS. As they sailed along, they learned that when they needed lift or speed they would drop a vat of slowly deflating
helium filled cotton candy out from under the tarp. Occasionally, it would hit an unsuspecting pedestrian.
SOOOOORRYYYYY!" Alice would call out to the unfortunate target.
By the time they reached Ketchum, it was late afternoon
and sky was clear. Alice lit some brightly colored LED lanterns and hung them off the sides of the basket. The threesome
had bundled up with parkas, gloves, boots, earmuffs and a couple of warm blankets. The side of the hot air ballon basket
read in a scratchy handwriting "Ketchum or BUST".
Looking up in the sky, expecting to see their friends at anytime, Marigold was the first to spot them.
"LOOK!" She shouted. "They made it!"
The crowd stopped the snowball fighting and turned to run to where the hot air balloon would land. They
all began to cheer "Mickey, Happy Jack and Alice, come on down! The snow is FUN!"
The balloon gently landed on and sank into a pile of neon orange cotton candy.
"I hope this stuff washes out!" Alice said. "I don't want to be an orange dog! It's not my color! If I had a choice,
I'd like to be a Blue Dog, like the famous one by
"I think I look like Tiffany, personally!" she said as she began wiping off the sticky orange goop.
Marigold agreed! She did look like Blue Dog! Nice!
From snowball fighting to snow sledding and anything else that could be done in the snow, including horse drawn sleigh rides,
the rest of the day was spent having fun on the side of Bald Mountain. By the end of the day, the once pristine, white snow
ski slopes were streaked by cotton candy watercolors that glistened in the fading sun.
They all piled onto the bus, sticky, cold and hungry and headed back to the resort to clean up and then meet after dark in
the snow covered meadow close by. The resort had made arrangements for a HUGE bonfire, roasting wieners on sticks, and
s'mores withOUT chocolate. There would be singing, live local music, and story telling.
It was a perfect night. The sky
remained clear and the stars shined like brilliant, sparkling diamonds. Tonight the moon was full. The party gathered and
found spots to sit on large round timbers which had been placed in a hexagon around a 3 story timber fueled bonfire.
Striker struck the match and leaned into the stacked timbers which caught fire quickly and the fire quickly spread warmth
around its base. It was going to be a fun night. Alice started to sign "Camptown Races" but changed the word "Camptown"
to "Campfire" and soon the others joined in, especially Happy Jack who shouted "Doo-dah, doo-dah!" with the enthusiasm
only a puppy has!
Later that night, D'Arcy had Captain F. Scott on the phone. Arrangements were being made for departure tomorrow.
The busses would be loaded and driven to Boise, all guests would be boarding the plane then the plane would be flying out.
Meals for the flight were being discussed, movies chosen, all of the details, no matter how small, were addressed and
Capt. F Scott would make sure everything would be taken care of IF D'Arcy would make sure that the passengers all behaved.
"I'll certainly try, Capt'n!" she promised. "It won't be easy, they all have gotten a little extra sugar into their bodies
from the cotton candy episode." Capt. F. Scot looked at her and nodded, he understood her predicament. She hung up the
cellbone and then made sure that all of her guests knew the upcoming travel arrangements.
More puppies began arriving on the late night bus. We were surprised but so happy to see Scarlett. We wondered if her mam,
Ruth, knew she was now in Ketchum, Idaho. CherBear, Megan Daisy MacTavish and William Murdoch, Dickens, Mason, Phoebe and
Mickey, Harmony, Hobbes, Holly & Homer, Holly and Ivy, Gertie and Rory, Oliver and Tucker, Mac, the M-Troop, Hunter, Snowy
and Sunny, Clio, Sirius, Brodie, Lucile, Truman, Callie & Mandy, Chelsea, Murphy & Campbell McTavish, Django and Tosh,
Hurley, Pepper, Jack and Roxy, Cooper, Caileigh & BJ, Montgomery and Alanagh, Jack, Lucy and Jeffrey, Riley and Allie, The
Kaynan Scots, Mary O'Neal's Scots and Amy's Scots, Jeb, Brindie, Lady and so many others. All arriving to have some fun in
the snow and sun.
Everyone was up early to meet downstairs for a hearty buffet style breakfast. The wee ones found something fun! A conveyor
belt styled pancake maker! Marigold, Scarlett, Happy Jack, Chelsea and Rory stood by the machine punching and punching
the button to make more and more pancakes. Pancakes were stacked everywhere and the machine began to smoke.
ones, y'all need to stop making pancakes. You're burning up the machine and we can't possibly eat all of these
pancakes!" D'Arcy explained.
Happy Jack said he had eaten at least this much pancakes EVERY single day for breakfast!
D'Arcy smiled at him and said "You are just too cute, Happy Jack! Hundreds of pancakes for breakfast every day, huh? Ok
sweetie, come on!"
She patted his head and lead them all away from the machine.
After breakfast, they all gathered in the lobby waiting for the busses to take them into downtown Ketchum. It was actually
just a short walking distance from where they were staying but the busses made it easier to keep them all together.
They stepped out of the lobby into a brisk, sunny morning. At that same moment, a HUGE semicab pulling 3 tractor trailers
pulled up to the entrance of the resort.
"I've got a live load here, where would you like them off loaded?" asked the driver.
"Who is the delivery for?" asked the young man at the front desk.
"The Bill of Lading says 'in care of D'Arcy Meadows'."
"That's me!" said D'Arcy as she stepped to the front of the crowd.
"Where do you want them?" the driver asked. "Can they be off loaded here?"
"Hmmmm.....what is IT? This LIVE load?" asked the man behind the front desk.
"Not sure," replied the driver.
"Well, let's take a look." suggested D'Arcy.
The driver, the front desk man, and Striker headed to the back of
each one of the trailers.
"On the count of 3, let's open them and take inventory," suggested Striker.
"Good plan." D'Arcy agreed.
The crowd drew closer and began to count loudly. "One! Two! THREE!"
Up rolled the trailer doors and out jumped
hundreds of hopping mad stealth squirrels! They chattered and barked and immediately scattered every which way! All of
the Scotties, eyes gleamed brightly, laser focus kicked in, ears pricked forwards, noses twitched as they all began to run
wildly after the squirrels. Ear piercing screams, arroooos, yipping, barking. It was absolute pandemonium. The squirrels,
en mass, headed toward to hills. The race was on!
"I bet I can catch more squirrels than anyone!" shouted Mason, as he
raced up the hillside.
"You're on!" replied Mickey! "Whoever brings back the most squirrels by midnight tonight will hold
the title of 'Mighty Stealth Squirrel Hunter Champion."
"Cool!" Brodie and Truman said in unison.
"See you in the lobby at midnight, buddies!!! May the best Scottie win!!" shouted William Murdoch.
And the Scotties headed out, barking, screaming, arooing, chasing after the stealth squirrels heading up the mountain.
Meanwhile, down on the Bayou....Riley kicked back in his recliner, watching the MANY Youtube videos of the "Attack of the Stealth Squirrels",
on the internet by dozens of wild-eyed Scotties, intent on mayhem...... and wanting notoriety for the adventure!
He stretched a paw lazily, chuckled at yet another insane Squirrel/Scottie video, freshly posted for the world to see...
"SUCCESSFUL gifting!" he thought...
Seeing D'Arcy in the background of one video, desperately trying to pry a really ANGRY squirrel out of Marigold's mouth,
he smiled...... and with a bold flourish, he blew a kiss to the noble Miss D'Arcy....
Stretching out farther, he smiled..... and watched the NEXT video that'd just posted! FUN BIRTHDAY... he thought to himself!!
Back at the Party, Hans and Bijou had just arrived at the base of the mountain. Hans was looking for Jeb, as Bijou
hit the ground running.
They had attended nose work classes the night before, which made their arrival to Ketchum a few hours later. Bijou was last
running, nose to the ground, toward the mountain hoping to catch a couple of squirrels. She already had 4 squirming,
chattering squirrels zipped in her squirrel pack and knew, with her nose experience, she could catch up with the others
in no time.
As the day wore on, the squirrel reports began to come in.....
From the "Stealth Squirrel Local # 429" .....
*** Over 180 squirrels returned with huge GLOBS
of colored string imbedded in their fur......
*** Two squirrels now have mohawk haircuts.......
*** One apparently had a run in with a SKUNK,
and is now being ostracized from the rest of the group...
*** Four squirrels are COVERED in wood shavings....
*** Two squirrels are dealing with huge stress issues,
have horrid tics 'n twitches, and keep mumbling "YOU're IT !"
From the Admin of Stealth Squirrel local - -
"We greatly appreciate the anonymous gift of the Platinum credit card......
it'll be used wisely......"
D'Arcy knew that it would take the better part of a day to get to her destination and there is no stopping
this determined Scottie lass. At least, that's what she thought... until there was a sharp rapping at the door. She answered
and learned MORE trucks had arrived.
She thought, 'Another gift from the Bayou?! Riley! You are really raising the
birthday bar, aren't ya handsome one?!'
Well, it's food... enough food to feed the entire towns of Ketchum and Hailey combined.
Huge tents were quickly installed, tables and chairs brought in, large space heaters roared to life to heat the space and
the local television and radio stations arrived on the scene and quickly help spread the word that there would be a Feast
straight out of the Bayou compliments of Sir Riley Rambunctious to honor his birthday Eve starting "right her, right now!"
People, dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses, squirrels, jack rabbits, and even coyotes began to gather under the large tent.
Everyone put aside their differences, including species differences, as they gathered to share in this bounty. The meal
began with a toast to Sir Riley, thanking him for his generosity and wishing him a fantastic happy birthday Eve. Most
everyone in this area had never eaten such delicious, spicy food! As each attendee loaded up plates, they talked about
the Bayou, Sir Riley, the Bash adventures, his amazing singing career. They feasted and feasted until they could feast
Capt. F. Scot looked at his wristwatch and caught D'Arcy's attention. With a subtle 'tap, tap' to the face of his watch,
she knew it was time to leave. Everyone exchanged goodbyes and hugs and promised to return.
The plane was boarded without incident. This was going to be a direct flight, no stopping, no plane changing. A specially
chartered flight. The FTA a was advised and the flight plan had been filed and approved.
All Scotties and friends were rowdy as usual but without silly string or cotton candy or squirrels, this flight was
relatively quiet considering its passengers. There was a little running up and down the aisles, jumping from chair to
chair, some loud music, one small but contained food fight by the passengers seated in rows 17 through 23. Striker,
Mickey and wee Happy Jack in row 20, sat right in the middle of the food fight. Some Scotties in the very back of the
plane took naps and a few of the Scotties lasses were double dog and triple dog daring each other to open the cockpit
door so they could sneak a peek at The Captain.
The Captain knew how Scottie lasses reacted to him and was amused. He put the plane on auto-pilot and thought to himself
"this plane knows how to get to THIS final destination, its been there hundreds of times!" He reached back, slid the
door open and turned to talk to his own little Captain F. Scot fan club. The Scottie lasses swooned and each one, in
typical Scottiude, all but elbowed each other out of the way to get closer to the hunky pilot.
The Captain began telling
them of some of his adventures, he surprised them with stories about being second wing - or back up pilot - to some of
Sir Riley's and Katie WC's Bashes. Yes, he had been there but only as back up and he quickly added it was not the same
as actually flying the Scotcorde. The Scottie lasses didn't care what he flew, they just wanted him to keep talking. :-).
Captain excused himself, closed the door to the cockpit and readied the plane for landing. He could see the landing
strip in his sites and in minutes would be on the ground. This would be his first time to land his plane on the
unconventional landing strip. It was now dusk and they had made good time. The plane made a perfect 3 point landing
and the passengers were cheering and whistling and yelling! "We are here!!!" "We made it!" "Let's go!!!!"
All of the passengers left all of their belongings in the plane and hastily ran down the steps or slid down the handrails
of the plane. They hurried down the makeshift Tarmac. They immediately felt the difference in temperature and it was
more humid. And the air smelled spicy like only a Bayou can smell!
The wee ones were chatting about this story or that Bash adventure they had heard about Sir Riley and discussed his music
career, actually squabbling about which was his best song. They wanted autographs, they wanted to hear him sing, they
wanted souvenirs, they wanted.....
"Shhhhh, little ones!!!!! Calm down! There will be plenty of time to meet Sir Riley
at his birthday party. He is a distinguished elder statesman. Y'all will need to show some restraint and respect,"
D'Arcy directed in a calm but firm voice.
"OK! Listen up, please! Y'all need to grab your clothes off the plane, get
cleaned up, dress in your Sunday best, hair brushed, please pay attention to your nails! Y'all need to look your best!
We've got a important party to attend."
"Should we wear our birthday suits?" Jeb asked and all of the young ones burst
into laughter! "Our birthday suits!!!! Heeheee. Get it??!!!! Birthday suits!!!!"
As the wildly infectious laughter
slowly faded into giggling and snickering, they all began to pull out their party clothes and get ready for the big party.
Riley's 14th Birthday !
D'Arcy thought to herself, 'It's Riley's 14th birthday!! His big day had finally arrived!'
She stepped out onto the second story balcony of the old antebellum home. Riley's friends were beginning to arrive in
droves! Some actually arrived by small Amazon delivery drones! Some parachuted down, some came on Harleys, ATVs, buggies,
ponies. Everyone looked splendid! Tux with tails, top hats, sequined gowns, feathered boas for some, casual attire
was the choice of others. No matter what they wore, they all looked great. They were all refreshed and spirits ran high.
This was going to be some party!
To get to the party site, guests strolled through a large old heavy wooden gate which drew them into a lovely large
courtyard. Deep green ivy climbed the interior old brick walls, deep dark red roses had been tucked here and there
in the ivy. In the courtyard, there were at lease 30 large round white linen covered tables with seating for twelve.
Each table was decorated with a beautiful red and white rose centerpiece which held a vintage hurricane lamp housing a
tall white candle already lit and flickering brightly. White china plates, heavy and ornate antique silverware and
crystal made up each place setting. The candles glowed warmly and were placed all around the courtyard to help set the
mood for the spectacular affair. Entertainment for the night was Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band which had been flown in
from New Orleans. Harry Connick brought a few extra jazz playing friends to join his band for the night.
The buffet was set up and ladened with Bayou food. Chefs from Arnaud's, Antoine's, The Brennan family, The Court of
Two Sisters, Ralph & Kacoo's, Mulate's and Acme, Mother's, and Dooky Chase sent specialty dishes and desserts with
compliments. There was also the delicious, rich, hot chicory coffee and beignets from Cafe du Monde and Randazzo's
Camellia City Bakery sent traditional and not so traditional King Cakes for the king of the bayou, Sir Riley. Cajun
and Creole, low country fare at its finest, it was all there. The aroma was powerful and whet everyone's appetites.
For the humans in attendance, there was a full bar, champagne, wines from around the world, specialty beer, and,
of course, the drink of choice in the south, sweet tea.
For the non humans, crystals carafes filled to the brim with
fresh spring water. Without a doubt this was a sumptuous feast fit for a king!
A chime began to ring and the guests turned their attention to the second floor landing. From the landing, Sir Riley
Rambunctious appeared in full regalia. He looked wonderful, strong and healthy. His eyes shone brightly from under
his thick, lush eyebrows. The crowd began to cheer as he walked gracefully down the long set of winding steps. When he
reached the bottom of the stairs, D'Arcy nodded to him from across the room. Their eyes met for a brief moment and her
heart skipped a beat.
Gathering her thoughts quickly, D'Arcy held the mike to her lips, asked for everyone's attention and began to speak.
"Thank you all for coming tonight. This is a special occasion indeed. Tonight we have gathered to celebrate a milestone
in the life of a friend who is so near and dear to us all. Sir Riley Rambunctious."
The crowd went wild upon hearing
his name and began cheering and whistling and chanting "Riley! Riley! Riley! Yeah!!!!!!!"
D'Arcy raised her hand and
the group became quiet again. She continued. "He started his life as a young pup in the Bayou. He was one of the founding
members of the Wild Child gang and grew into one of the single most famous and influential Scotties in the land. He is a
world famous, multi platinum, award winning tenor. He is a hero to those who know him through the countless Bash adventures.
He is a musician. He is a hero. And I'm proud to call him 'friend'. Would you all join me in toasting this extraordinary
The crowd all enthusiastically raised their glasses. "To Sir Riley Rambunctious! May this day be his best
and may all days to come be even better! We raise our glasses tonight to wish you the happiest of birthdays, dear friend,
and we drink to your health, Sir Riley!"
The crowd cheered in one large joyous voice "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, SIR RILEY
The band played Happy Birthday as the guests cheered and clapped and sang and rushed to greet the
distinguished guest of honor.
The music began to play some easy jazz and some guests danced their way unto the dance floor, some others headed straight
for the buffet and some strolled leisurely around the courtyard visiting.
D'Arcy, however, was a bit distracted. She looked through the crowd and couldn't see him. Where was he? When she saw
him on the landing, she noticed he hadn't aged one day since she had seen him on the beach. He was still handsome and
ooohhh so debonair. And the way he dressed, impeccable and so stylish!
She continued to walk through the crowd
searching for him. Her eyes searched all of the faces looking for his face. 'He was here somewhere' she thought,
"probably chatting it up one of his many friends. Always the perfect host.... always saying the perfect thing.
He was simply perfection.' D'Arcy thought as she continued to look for him.
+Where is he?? Her ear pricked back,
twitched and then she heard that voice, HIS voice. She turned and began walking toward the direction of the voice.
The party was in full swing now. The music and laughter of the celebration wafted on the wind and was carried throughout
Moving through the partiers as they danced to the Creole rhythms of the band, D'Arcy made her way across the Courtyard.
She had heard him there, near that great oak draped heavily in Spanish Moss. She stopped... just to absorb the beauty
around her... lush foliage, fragrant roses, the Courtyard, bathed in soft light, the happy sounds of partying friends. She
inhaled, slowly... the aromas of the Bayou were hypnotic.
The touch on her shoulder felt whisper soft. D'Arcy turned to find Riley standing just behind her, his paw resting
lightly on her shoulder. As her eyes met his, he smiled and greeted her with a subtle nod of his head. His paw continued
its hold on her shoulder, as he increased the hold ONLY enough to turn D'Arcy around to face him. She smiled broadly.
"Happy BIRTHDAY, Riley! I hope you're ENJOYING your party!! Your friends were SO eager to help you celebrate this
Riley grinned broadly. "Most assuredly, D'Arcy..... I am VERY touched to see so many friends here to share my happy day!"
He then took one step back, took her paw in his own, and nobly bowed. "What would make me even HAPPIER, though, would be
the honor of sharing the next dance with you!"
As D'Arcy smiled, Riley swept her into his arms, and whirled her into the middle of the Courtyard, to the strains of
LeRoux's "New Orleans Ladies" .
The partiers eased back, allowing Riley and D'Arcy the entire 'dance floor'. D'Arcy saw no one but Riley. His paws
held her close.... his eyes smiling into hers. Sighs were heard from the surrounding crowd, the lasses overwhelmed by
the moment. As the band ended the song, Riley stepped back, extended his paw, and twirled D'Arcy around, then drawing
her back close, he closed out the dance with a 'dip'..... leaning D'Arcy back, Riley supported her weight, and as she
blinked up at him, he gave her a soft kiss.
Wild cheering erupted, everyone cheered. Riley stood back, pulled D'Arcy to stand beside him. Smiling at her, Riley
bowed to the crowd as D'Arcy offered a very ladylike curtsy. They acknowledged the cheers of their friends, then Riley
spoke to his friends.
"I am so very honored to have so many friends who wanted to share this very special day with me here. THANK you all
for coming.... we'll party onnnnnnnnnnnn, we have live music, we have PLENTY of food... a BIG PARTY marathon!! AND,
when you DO decide to head home, just go through the back gate, to the ScotCorde's hangar, where Capt. Scotty awaits
you to take each of you home...... ENJOY THE PARTY!"
Riley and D'Arcy watched as their friends raced onto the dance floor to party the day away. The younger ones had paws
clenching as much buffet goodies as they could hold.... twirling and dancing around as they took huge bites of food.
Others were line dancing, weaving in and out of the crowded courtyard.
Riley took D'Arcy's paw and led her back onto the floor, where they joined their friends, partying onnnnnnnnn....
Riley smiled to himself....... a PERFECT Birthday!!! With a broad grin, he twirled D'Arcy around again.....
earning an even broader smile from her.....
YES, a perfect 14th Birthday!!!
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