"My dreams won't keep..."

No, no, no! Don't squash my garden veggies!

One summer morning, I looked outside to see some kids in my yard. The taller boy, Mason, had come to collect his big dog that had bounded through my garden and had trampled my tender plants. The dog was now happily running in wild circles around the yard.

Each time the dog had entered the yard on previous occasions, he had growled at me, his lips pulling back in a sinister grin. I'd kept a safe distance on the back deck, with the gate firmly closed, unenthusiastic at the thought of a potential bite from those great teeth. I watched, relieved, as the boys grabbed onto the dog's collar and dragged the brute home.

A few days later, I saw Mason again and I gave him the Bedbug book, as a way to welcome him to the neighborhood. I had one of the original ribbon-bound books left from one of the early shipments. He grinned shyly, accepted it, and left my yard.

In time, Mason became a frequent visitor to my home, as did his younger brother, Myles. They were active little boys who spent their time swinging from trees, building forts out in the yard, playing in the back field and dropping in to see me.

Each Verse by Heart
Mason surprised me one day. He told me the Bedbug book was his favorite bedtime story and that he read it each night before going to sleep. He then he proceeded to recite the entire book to demonstrate that this was so. He knew each verse by heart. He also mentioned that he was now reading it to Myles.

Little Myles, not to be outdone, piped up to prove he could keep up with Mason. The boys giggled as they chanted their favorite lines over and over, and we all stood there laughing, enjoying being silly.

They were very curious as to whether Bedbug would finally get to snooze and asked about the second book. "Mel, when is it coming? Can we get it right away? Will you keep some of the books for us?" I assured them that I would. "Is Bedbug kept awake again?" I winked at them and said I couldn't spill the beans and that they would just have to wait until book II came out to see whether Bedbug finally got to sleep tight.

Their mother, Crystal, snapped the captivating photo (above).

When book II was published, the boys were first in line to get their copies.