Sleep Travelers

The story of Ning, Dog, & Boss Book 1 by Brenda Colbath

Good Morning, Friends; I hope you are having a good day. I would like to introduce you to some friends of my Dawta in my Children’s Book.

This book has been a Labor of Love.  Dawnzella is my Dawta and my firstborn and holds a special place in my heart.  She is my Rock; she picks me up when I fall on my face and kicks me in the butt when it is needed. 

She is the lonely little girl this story is about.  Most children have one imaginary playmate; my Dawta had three.  She spent many hours playing with them, having imaginary adventures on our Sun Porch in Fairfield, Maine.  

She does not remember what they were, she remembers their names: Ning, Dog, and Boss, and they were her imaginary playmates; after all, she was three years old. 

My imagination created this version to fit my concept of what they might have been.  When Dawnzella was little, we did have a Siamese cat, and as an adult, she fostered an African Gray Parrot.  There is always some truth in fiction, so it is possible her fellow adventurers were a Dog, a Cat, and a Parrot.  

I thank her for allowing me to delve into her precious childhood memories and share them and for editing and proofreading.  

Also, my thanks and admiration go to my faithful husband, Shirl, portrayed as Ranger Shirl in this book.  He also does my covers, edits, and proofreads, too.  He never tries to bring me “down to earth” with my crazy ideas for books.  His encouragement is what keeps me going.  

I value the encouragement of my entire “family unit,” which includes Jazz, our talented Grandchild, and our Son Christopher, without whose love and encouragement I would never write another word.  I Love You More!  

I wanted to introduce you to this book, so keep reading and read the first chapter! Be sure to watch for my reading of that chapter and more on Spotify podcasts. It will be one of the featured books at the LA Times Book Festival at UCLA on April 22 and 23rd.


A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing and must be encouraged.  They vividly imagine being the Captain of their Pirate ship, the hero of their adventure, handsome, beautiful, brilliant, and strong.  They conquer the world and do anything and everything.  The lucky ones keep that childhood wonder; it is so sad many adults lose it on the long bumpy road to adulthood.  This is the beginning of the story of a young girl that will never lose that childhood wonder.  

Her adventure begins when she goes to sleep!  Dog and Dawnzella (Dawnie) take her new friends Ning and Boss on their adventure visiting the animals at the Zoo.  

Come along and meet Ning and Boss as they hopefully become friends with Dog and our heroine and learn what it is like for the animals to live in captivity. 

Chapter 1 The Meeting

Ning strolled regally along the sidewalk, head and tail held high like the queen, she imagined herself to be.  Her dark brown face highlighted her luminous blue eyes that moved from side to side, missing nothing.  Dark brown pointed ears stood at attention, hearing every sound.  Pride of her perfect Siamese coloring, trim body, and delicate beige feet was evident as Ning kept her ears, face, tail, and glorious silver fur spotless.  The only thing missing was a jewel-encrusted gold crown. 

This day her well-tuned nose detected her favorite food: Salmon!  Her empty belly beckoned her to dispel with her regal march; instead, hastened toward her intended feast.  Nearing her heart’s desire, her ears shot forward, detecting the odorous scent of a dawg (that’s how she pronounced dog).  Ugh!  Ning had no desire to come in contact with a common dawg, but the anticipation of a delectable salmon feast spurred her onward to her goal.  

She rounded a corner, nearly bumping into the face of an enormous shaggy dawg that smelled like he had not been in contact with water for a long time. 

It had been several days since Ning had been lucky enough to find anything that suited her sophisticated taste buds; if necessary, she would fight for her dinner, but that would be her second choice.

Her back arched high, her tail shot straight up, and looking down her nose, she spit out, “Exactly, what are you are doing?  This is my Salmon!”  She lifted her paw in an attempt to shoo him away.  “Dawgs have no taste and will eat anything, so go find something to fill your stomach and leave this meal to someone who will appreciate its delicious flavor.”  

“Whoa there, little kitty, wait just a minute!  Perhaps you didn’t notice, I got here first, and I am bigger than you.  Why don’t you run along and find something else to eat?  This filleted half a salmon will just about fill my empty belly.”  The dog said, baring his large teeth in what looked like a big smile.  However, it was evident he was not smiling.

“I can see that you have fallen on hard times by

the look of your matted, filthy coat, but I need sustenance, and this salmon will do nicely.”  She hissed as she arched her back higher, baring her sharp teeth.  

“Look, you seem like a sweet little kitty; tell you what, how about I share my dinner with you?”  With a sigh, he sat back on his haunches showing her he didn’t want to fight.

“Share?”  Ning said cocking her head to one side; thinking it over, she decided that winning a battle with this huge beast would surely ruin her beautiful coat, and she detested getting dirty.  In any event, she knew no matter how famished she was; her tiny belly could only hold a small amount of food.  

“Yeah, share!  You do know how to share, don’t you?”  He said, getting a little impatient, lowering his head, looking her straight in the eye.  

“Of course I do.  How about this?  I will start eating at this end; you start at the other.  But don’t gulp it all down at once before I get my portion.”  

“Tell you what, my dear, why don’t you eat what you want first?  I will take my turn after you are full.  How does that sound?” 

“That is very generous of you, sir.  Thank you,” Ning said, her hackles now relaxed as she crouched down and proceeded to daintily eat from the tail until she was satisfied.  Moving back and sitting down, she proceeded to start cleaning her paws and face as she watched Dawg eat his portion of the salmon, which was the rest of it.  Ning was a little surprised that he didn’t gulp it down like most dawgs would.  She had her face and paws spotless by the time he finished.

The dog sat back, licking his face and looking at this beautiful cat, pleased with himself for negotiating this arrangement. 

“Hello Kitty, by the way, my friends call me Dog.”  Bowing like a gentleman, he continued, “Whom do I have the pleasure of dining with?” 

“My friends call me Ning.”  She said, a little surprised at the reference to “friend.”  

“Ning, tell me the truth, would you have fought me for the salmon?” 

“My belly was growling; fighting was not my first choice; getting dirty and/or injured would be painful, even though I would win,”  Ning said, sitting up straight and lifting her chin a little higher.  

“I can see that you take pride in your appearance.  It is hard to tell right now, but I do too.  Tangling with a determined wolf over possession of my digs, even though I was the victor, left me in this disgusting condition.  The need for food outweighed my desire for cleanliness, but a long swim in the river will take care of that, and maybe my friend Dawnzella will brush me.” 

“What’s a Dawnzella?”  

“She is a little girl that loves me, and we have adventures together.”  

“Uh, you take a little girl on adventures?”  

“Yeah, her parents think I am her imaginary playmate.  When she is asleep, we have fun adventures together.”  

“Does she know you are real?” 

“I am only real to her when she is asleep; when she is awake, I am her imaginary playmate.  Her parents are aware of me as her imaginary playmate but unaware of our adventures when Dawnie is asleep.  As a matter of fact, only she can see me, awake or asleep.” 

“I don’t understand.  If I can see you, and Dawnie can see you, why can’t Dawnie’s parents see you too?”  

“You don’t have to understand; you just have to believe and want to come along and have fun.” 

“My friend Boss and I have many adventures together, too.  As a matter of fact,” she said, looking up, “He is probably perched high in a tree somewhere, watching over me, making sure I don’t get hurt or in trouble.” 

“Tell him to come on down.  I would like to

meet your “Boss.”  I am having a hard time thinking of

you allowing anyone to be your Boss.”  Dog looked up too, and this time Ning was pretty sure that he was smiling.  

“He is NOT my boss; his name is Boss!”  She said, stomping her delicate foot.  

About that time, the sound of small branches cracking and air moving violently above his head startled Dog, and he couldn’t help stepping back a little when a large gray bird with red tail feathers landed between him and Ning,  “Hi, what’s up?”  He said.  

Ning couldn’t help it; she laughed at the startled look on Dog’s face as he jumped back at the sudden appearance of swiftly moving gray wings in front of his face. 

Boss landed and walked closer to Dog cocking his head to the side and looking at him with his large beady eyes.  He turned to Ning and said,  “Ning, is this brute bothering you?  Want me to pluck his eyes out?”  

If Ning could have brought herself to roll on the ground laughing, she would have, seeing the look on Dog’s face.  

Finally regaining his senses, Dog said, “You must be Boss.  Pleased to meet you.”  Although inside his head, he was thinking, “I am not sure I am pleased.  I will make that decision after I get to know you.” 

Published by Time Traveler of Life

Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.

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