Jazz Age Wednesdays 23 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 2)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story that resulted from a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  John did one of his terrific lists of Ten Things Not to Do, and I wrote a story.  You can read part-1 here*

John Howell Books

I didn’t share his list with part-1 of the story because I felt it would be sort of a spoiler.  So without further ado, I present John’s list, followed by part 2 of Pip Meets Tiny

 Ten Things Not to Do in a Tree with a Bear

10) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not poke it. If you do, at best he’ll think you want to play. At worst, you will find yourself defending space limb for limb. (Didn’t think you would run out of tree did you, Tiny?)

9) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not open that pastrami sandwich you brought along. If you do, at best you’ll learn to share. At worst, you will give up the sandwich to get your hand back. (Something about the hot teeth getting ready to eat the sandwich weather or not you give it up that gives wisdom huh, Tiny?)

8) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the beast’s manicure. If you do, at best you’ve packed an Emory board. At worst, you’ll get a real close view of the nails why trying to avoid the roundhouse swipes. (You should have guessed the bear was the sensitive type, Tiny)

7) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not swallow. If you do, at best the bear won’t see you. At worst, the bear will take the swallow sign as a que that you are going to eat it. (You can imagine how that sign is going to work out, can’t you Tiny?)

6) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ride your unicycle. If you do, at best you’ll have to go tandem. At worst, the bear will remember an old circus act and nasty trainer. (Hard to ride that thing with broken and bent parts right, Tiny?)

Lucille Ball and Bear

5) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not show the bear your WWF wrestling championship belt. If you do, at best the bear will want it. At worst, you are sharing a tree with the internationally known Russian bear wrestling champ. (You know understand the concept of a bear hug. The question is can you get out of it, Tiny?)

4) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the bear’s bad breath. If you do, at best you will offend the bear and it will stop talking to you. At worst, you’ll offend the bear and it will want to sweeten its breath with your left arm. (You could have been a little more subtle, Tiny. A bottle of mouthwash left discretely on a branch would have done the job.)

3) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not mention the word ‘diet.’ If you do, at best the bear won’t give you any more honey. At worst, the bear will take offense and commit to a pure protean diet. (Guess who is made of pure protean, Tiny?)

2) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not read any Goldilocks bed time stories. If you do, at best the bear will ask a hundred questions. At worst, the bear will want you to go get some porridge. (Where you going to get porridge this time of night, Tiny?)

1) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ask them questions about the Chicago football team. If you do, at best you will have to listen to excuses for hours. At worst, the bear lost a big bet and is still hurting from the loss. (It won’t help to offer a hankie, Tiny. Getting out of the tree might be the best idea.)

Copyright © 2018 by John W. Howell

Now let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties to see how the story progresses. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 2


Rather than a hat, I opted for a long scarf tied as a headband.  The wind whipped up dead leaves into miniature whirlwinds.  The ties of my scarf fluttered like streamers.  It wasn’t a fit day for a walk.  However, Granny Phanny’s Flemish Giant rabbit had gotten loose.  Granny was gaga for Cinnamon Bun, so we were both out looking for him.  My grandmother went one direction while I went the opposite way.

I had already walked as far as it seemed likely the big rabbit would roam, when the sound of a commotion drew me into a beautifully manicured garden.  Since I had not lived in Savannah very long, I wasn’t sure who owned the fine home and grounds.  As much as I wanted to find Cinnamon Bun, I hoped it was not him making such a ruckus on some swell’s property.

Stepping lightly into the ritzy garden I followed the sounds of rustling, grunting, and other destructive noises that came to my ears.  I cringed to think of the damage Cinnamon might be causing. 

The sounds stopped for a moment.  I cast my gaze around, wondering if I had gone the wrong way.  Then the hullabaloo returned, but I realized it was above me in the branches of a grand old magnolia tree.

Savannah, Georgia garden via Wikimedia Commons

Bushwa!  Cinnamon Bun is a clever rabbit, but there was no way he’s gotten up a tree…  Is there?

Perplexed, I stared up into the branches of the towering magnolia.  I could see something moving — something large.  A deep voice added to the ruckus.

“Look, I promise I’ll make them take away the unicycle.  I know it must bring up bad memories for you,” the voice commented.  “Wow, Ursa, you need a manicure.  Your nails are in rough shape.”

I gaped, in astonishment.  What kind of phonus balonus was I hearing?

A disgruntled growl seemed to be the response to the manicure remark.  Then something squishy fell the branches from and slapped onto my upturned face.

A pastrami sandwich? I marveled as I removed a round slice of pastrami that covered my eye.

“Hey!  That was mine!” the deep voice complained.  “Horsefeathers, Ursa!  I’ve had enough of this stuff.  It’s time for you to come down out of this blasted tree.  You know heights give me the heebie-jeebies!”

A growl answered the complaint.

“I guess it’s just as well you dropped my sandwich.  Your breaths is bad enough without pastrami,” the man quipped, and was answered with a roar.

When I heard the roar of a beast, I jumped backward about six feet, eyes bulging.

A broad, tall form backed down from the tree.  He didn’t look my way.  He was intent on coaxing someone nearly as large as himself from the branches.

Oh, make that some thing! I thought and gasped.

He turned at the soft noise I made.  After a moment I recognized him as the big man who had saved my hat downtown.

“You!” I exclaimed, but fell into stuttering.  “And th-th-that…”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“Don’t mind Ursa,” he assured me.  “She’s tame as a kitten.  She’s my partner for the special event.  Ursa the wrestling bear.  It’s all play to her.  Although I admit she’s pretty strong!”

My mouth moved, but I’m pretty sure nothing came out of it.  I looked from the bear to him and back to the bear cautiously.

“Applesauce,” he muttered and lifted a hand to gently remove lettuce and pastrami from my hair.  “I guess you caught my pastrami sandwich.  I’m sorry.”

“Um,” I struggled to find my tongue.  “Thank you for saving my hat yesterday.”

He gave me a grin that was a match for his girth.  Then he looked at my headband and then at my coat.  His eyes clouded with disappointment.

“You didn’t like them?” he asked in a shy seeming tone.

Granted, I had a few things on my mind, not least of which was Ursa the bear.  It took a moment for me to understand what he meant.

“Bear,” I muttered.  “Oh the bear!  With the hatpins.  Was that from you?  They were pos-i-lutely the cat’s meow!” I told him with profuse thanks.  “But why would you do something extravagant like that?  What’s your name anyway?”

The way he blushed I was afraid he was going to clam up with a fit of shyness.  Finally, he told me he was called Tiny.  He said Godfrey Gilley, the grocer told him Granny’s address.  I figured Mr. Gilley was pretty excited to meet Tiny, since he was the star of the wrestling show.  That must have been the highlight of the grocer’s month.

“He was pretty excited,” Tiny chuckled.  “It’s good to meet fans.  I left him a picture too.  Anyhow, I’m far away from home.  It was Valentine’s Day, and I just thought it would be fun to leave a present for a pretty girl,” he explained.

I was the one blushing at that point.

In the distance I heard the puttering of a motor.  I figured it was Granny in her Model-T, and I hoped it meant she had found Cinnamon Bun.  I told Tiny why I was there, in a stranger’s garden.  I offered to take him back into town or wherever he was staying.

Studebaker blue 1920s

“You’re the berries for offering, but Ursa would probably tear the seats in your grandma’s automobile.  And sometimes she gets motion sickness,” he politely declined.  “Besides one of the guys is circling around with the truck.  I knew she probably hadn’t gone too far.  He’ll probably drive past in a minute.”

We both made a face at the prospect of an up-chucking bear.  Ursa looked at us and made an indignant noise.

Tiny hooked a heavy leash to Ursa’s collar and they walked with me to the street, just as Granny Phanny drove up to the spot.  She waved excitedly and called my name.  She had found Cinnamon Bun.  Then she spotted the bear.  Her brow knitted, then her eyes widened.

“Do I see what I think I see?” Granny exclaimed.

Ursa sat back on her haunches and waved one enormous paw.

“Don’t worry, Granny.  Everything’s Jake.  This is Tiny, and that’s Ursa.”

The embodiment of southern hospitality, Granny invited Tiny to dinner.  However, he said he had to get ready for his performance.  He handed me a stack of tickets for the wrestling event and told me to bring as many friends as I wanted. 

The truck Tiny mentioned came into view. The huge wrestler waved, and the driver gave a little beep of the horn.  Then with another blush, Tiny gave me a quick peck on the cheek.  He and Ursa walked to the truck.

“Have mercy.  Well, Pip… I’m glad he was there to find that bear before you found it.  That would have been a sight!  Expecting to find a rabbit and you get a big ole bear instead!” Granny chortled.


Hatpins Ad 1898
Ad for hatpins, circa 1898

“So it was him that left the stuffed bear and hatpins, wasn’t it?” she confirmed.  “I’m surprised you didn’t know who left them, him catching your hat and all.  I guess you didn’t see the way he looked at you.  What I want to know is who you thought would leave you a gift like that,” she added with a suspicious glance at me.

That tone could mean trouble.  I wasn’t sure what to say.  It never occurred to me that a stranger would do something sweet like that, and that’s what I told her.

“The only person who ever mentioned hatpins was Hank Hertz,” I started.  “I was scared to death that Hank had done something like that.  I didn’t want it to be Hank,” I confessed.

“Pip, Hank is a nice boy.  You’re not that much older than him.  You seem to have inherited my bias about age differences.  I hope you’ll get over that.   It would be different for you and Hank than for me and—  Anyway, a year or two is nothing.  A decade or two, now that’s another matter,” she said with a sigh.

At first I thought Granny was referring to Alastair Wong the elder.  She had told me about her relationship with my friend’s great-grandfather.  However, she might also have been thinking about Detective Dabney Daniels — though she’d never admit it.

I suppressed a giggle when I realized Granny Phanny might have been thinking about both of them.  She’d get in a lather if I said it, but Granny was a flapper at heart.

The End



I hope you enjoyed your visit.  You’re the bee’s knees! 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 



This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


116 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 23 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 2)

  1. It was fun to see how John’s list related to part 2 – you were absolutely right not to unveil the list in the last part as it would have spoiled what was going to happen here! I’m cheering you both on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I truly did enjoy this post, glad I saved it until I had time to read. Loved the bear pics. I know dancing bears are quite a bad thing in reality but I can;t stop smiling at the image of them in the circus arena.
    Thanks for a cheerful start to my Friday. Huge hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christoph, you picked up on my line of thinking with the bears. I’m glad you understood. I know the reality was grim. But there are spots of humanity in dank situations — or at least there used to be. Since I can’t manage to keep a fantasy element out of my stories, I gave Ursa a happy life wrestling/playing with her human, Tiny. Mega hugs right back, and thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deborah! I’m so glad you could visit. You know the research geek in me couldn’t let go of your comment. I haven’t bought a paper magazine in so many years that I got curious — and hit repeated brick walls. They don’t seem to put the price on the cover any more, based on online images. But a single issue of January’s Vogue (at Amazon) was $5.89 — compared to the 25 cent PhotoPlay (i think from 1924). I found an inflation calculator. It only went back to 1913 (the pins ad was circa 1889), and that $1.48 would be $37.05 today. However, that provides a skewed estimate, because it couldn’t account for increased value of gemstones. Those pins apparently had real gems along side the rhinestones and gold plate. So that $37 wouldn’t begin to cover the cost.
      I’m very happy you enjoyed this story. You’re the cat’s pajamas!


  3. Entertaining story, Teagan. I was reading the info on the old magazine. My mom loved movies and took me with her when I was young. She told me once that they’d never show anything in a movie that wasn’t fit for family viewing. How times have changed. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great collaboration! At first I couldn’t see where this was going with John’s list, but it was delightful and I’m relieved no Tinys were hurt in the process 😉
    Soooo? Are we going to get more of Pip and Tiny? I detect some mutual infatuation going on here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joanne. I’m so happy you enjoyed this. It’s terrific to work with John.
      Pip seems to be unlucky at love. (Maybe she should take up cards…) 😀 Since Tiny’s constantly on tour with the wrestling team, Pip would probably have to venture away from home — and she’s grounded for her adventures from the Three Things Serial Story. But at Jazz Age Wednesdays, you never know what might happen!
      Huge thanks for visiting. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Denise! I’m happy you enjoyed your visit. John and I worked together this way once before. It was such fun that I asked if we could collaborate with a list/story again. I appreciate you taking a moment to comment. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, I’m glad Ursa has a friend in you Dyanna. 😀 As the story developed in my head the creature in the tree morphed back and forth from a cat to an opossum, to a bear. I sent a vague description of my semi-formed ideas to John, and there it settled on a bear in the tree. I’m glad it did. Ursa was much more fun than the others would have been.
      Huge thanks for visiting and reblogging. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Those hat pins are gorgeous! Maybe we need to bring back some flapper styles 🙂
    I once went to the Ringling Circus with my Brownie troupe and loved it! So much color and excitement, it’s no wonder kids dreamed of running away to join the circus. It’s kind of sad they’re a thing of the past.
    Great collaboration between you and John. I needed a lift to my day and you’ve certainly provided that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, I’m glad you had your circus adventure, Jacquie. I never got to go to one, but always wanted to. In adulthood one came along, I tried to get any of my friends to go — they thought I was nuts. But they had all been as children.
      Oh! I love the Roaring Twenties fashions. It’s hard for me not to go overboard with descriptions of the clothes. Can you imagine what a relief drop-waist dresses were to women who had always worn corsets and bustles? Not to mention short skirts that didn’t tangle your feet.
      I’m delighted that John and I could give you a midweek lift. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You guys did a great job pulling this together, Teagan. This was a delightful adventure and it was fun to see one of John’s lists come alive. I really like the way you handled Granny’s close call with the past. You left us hanging nicely, but you covered the issue well enough today, in case you never go back. My kind of cliffhanger.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Dan. That means a lot to me. I would love to write Granny Phanny’s full backstory one day. She would have grown up in the Victorian Era — LOL, it would be hard to keep myself from going steampunk with it, but that wouldn’t match the Pip-verse. Hmmm, maybe an alternate timeline… maybe if I ever make my way back to The Skull of the Alchemist I could put it there, since I have Alastair Wong the elder in the prequel (Copper). Now I’m babbling away on a tangent. It’s been a long day already.
      I’m so happy you enjoyed this collaboration. Huge thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s lovely to see you Robbie. We collaborated a bit on the topics (list and story), but I have to admit that I cheated. I did research and took notes, but I didn’t write the story until I had read John’s list. Huge thanks for taking time to read and comment. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Jan… thank you. I was so down about this half of the story, feeling like I just wasn’t able to do it well. Your comment means more to me than you could know.
      And I completely agree about John’s list. Fabulous!
      You’re pos-i-lutely darb for visiting. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you thought so, Teri.
      I had always suspected there was a soft side to Tiny, but I got John to confirm that before I started writing. I even dug through a lot of John’s old lists (now *that* was hugely fun research!) collecting any personality/character trait breadcrumbs John had left about Tiny. Maybe one day he’ll do an “All About Tiny” post. (Hint hint, John. 😉 )
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John. Thank you as well. I started reading Exit, pursued by a bear, before your list and Teagan’s piece so right now I’m indeed running around and around in circles, which is why the list is so nifty and insightful. Do have a great evening, and thanks again!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I like the old joke about the two campers. They hear a huge roar in the wood and know a large bear is coming after them. One camper sits down and starts putting on his running shoes. “You are not going to out run that bear with those shoes,” said one. The other replied, “I’m not worried about outrunning the bear.”

          Liked by 2 people

  7. I love, LOVE this story! The way John incorporated Tiny into every one of the hilarious top ten was the perfect setup for your story. Great collaboration. Will Tiny and Ursa continue to be part of Jazz Age??? Let’s hope so!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jennie, your wonderful comment is a huge relief to me. I really didn’t feel I was able to do justice to the story and John’s list. I’m not myself, and that makes it very hard to write. So heartfelt thanks for your kind words.
      LOL… maybe Pip and Tiny are ships that pass in the night — or maybe not. 😀 Anything might happen at Jazz Age Wednesdays. Thank you so very much for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The reader is ultimately the greatest critics, and this reader feels you did John and Tiny and Pip justice, weaving the story together. And it was a great story!! Yes, anything might happen… 😀

        Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so kind, Olga. I felt like I just wasn’t able to do the story justice. But it’s a wonder I managed to do anything at all, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Happy Hump Day! You’re the cat’s pajamas!


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