Antonia Finds a Husband

Chapter 3

Once there was a young girl named Antonia Gigglegoose. Antonia came from a very large family. There were Gigglegoose brothers in the first and second grade, and Gigglegoose sisters in the fourth and fifth grade, and there were even Gigglegoose triplets in kindergarten! Antonia herself just finished the third grade. 

It was summer holidays, and Antonia was working as an Emergency Medical Technician, or, as the grown-ups called it, an EMT. She had started this job unexpectantly when Winnie Walker, her doll, unfortunately, got her leg caught in the spokes of Antonia’s bike when Antonia was pretending to be a school bus driver. It was a slow day as an EMT. No doll needed her immediate attention, so Antonia was thinking of going home and having an early supper.

“Dad! I’m hungry!” Antonia announced as she entered the house.

“Sorry Tony” (Tony was what Antonia’s dad called her when he was in a good mood), but supper won’t be ready for another hour. I just put the meatloaf in the oven, and I’m still waiting for the potatoes to boil.”

“But I’m huuuuuuuuuuungry” Antonia bellowed.

“Well, you’re just going to have to wait.”

“Well, that’s not good at all. My stomach is growling so loud I can barely hear my own thoughts” Antonia thought to herself, “I’m going to find my own husband so that I can have someone to cook my supper.”

“Where can I find a husband,” Antonia wondered to herself.  “I can look at books? Hmmm, Jack in Jack and Jill is too clumsy. He might spill soup or milk when he is cooking my dinner.” Prince Charming? No, he looks like he is dressed for a party or for church all the time. What if I looked at school? 

“Dad, I need the phone.”


“I want to ask a boy that was in my class if he wants to be my husband.”

“No, maybe when you’re older”.

“Ok, then can I ask a girl that was in my class if she wants to be my husband?”

“No, maybe when you’re older” her dad answered mindlessly as he tested the potatoes with a fork.

“Fine,” thought Antonia. “I’ll look somewhere else. Perhaps television will be helpful.”

Antonia went into the living room and turned on the T.V. There seemed to be a curling match taking place on channel 2.  Antonia watched and listened for a few minutes. She didn’t like the yelling the curlers were making “hurry, hard” “sweep faster” began to annoy Antonia and just before she was about to turn the T.V off her heard this wonderfully sonorous voice commenting on the game. “He sounds nice,” thought Antonia to herself. And sat with her chin in her hand to listen to more. It was at a commercial break that Antonia began to wonder what name was attached to the voice she heard. “

“Welcome back to curling corner. My name is Fred Ferguson, and we are in the middle of a riveting game with only 3 shots left.

“Fred”. Antonia said the name aloud. “Fred. That is a very suitable name for a husband.”

 “I should probably learn everything I can about his job so that we have something to talk about over supper”. So, Antonia went to find a notepad and pencil.

Antonia found her notepad and paper and made herself comfortable on the sofa. The curling commenter continued talking about curling and as he did, Antonia took notes. “Rock. Sweep. Key. Ok, I think I’ve got it”. 

After about 10 minutes of listening, Antonia thought she could understand curling enough to have Fred as her husband. Besides, she had lots of stuff of her own to talk to him about. Her job and an EMT, the family dog “Six Toes”, her breadbox playhouse provided lots of stories to share with a husband while he prepared her supper.

Antonia spent a wonderful hour with her new husband. Fred had prepared the most delicious meal. In fact it was her favourite imaginary spaghetti and meatballs!

“Antonia! Supper!” Antonia’s father yelled from the kitchen.

“Sorry, Dad, but I’m not hungry,” Antonia replied, wiping her face with a napkin after eating her supper.

“But you were complaining you were hungry an hour ago. Did you sneak a snack when I wasn’t looking?” Asked her father.

“No, my husband made me supper” Antonia retorted as she attempted to make her way out the door to play with Six Toe.

“Just wait there, young lady. Go wash your hands and sit yourself at the table.”

“Argh, alright. But it would be very rude of you not to invite Fred to dinner.” 

Antonia’s dad blinked at her in confusion. You want to invite who for supper?”

“ Fred. My husband.”

“Fred? Ohhhhkay’. So Antonia’s father squeezed an extra placemat, plate, fork, spoon and knife between Antonia and her sister Arabella.. 

“Who is sitting here?” Arabella asked, gesturing to the extra plate as she plunked herself down at the table.

“That place is reserved for Fred. He is my husband if you must know. He cooks me supper when I’m hungry.

“You’re so weird” Arabella muttered under her breath as she filled her glass with milk.

Every day, after Antonia had finished working as an EMT, she would come home and find Fred on the television. Fred was a very reliable husband. Antonia would turn on the television right at 6:45and there he was. “Hello, Fred. How was your day?”. Fred didn’t really answer her questions so Antonia would have to come up the answers herself. “That’s wonderful, Fred. I’m so glad your friend Bob is recovering from bonking his head on the ice. I do hope he will be out of the hospital soon and back at work soon.” 

Fred was lovely to have around for the remainder of the summer. By the end of the holidays, when school was about to start, Antonia often forgot about her husband and was starting to get excited about fourth grade. One Saturday afternoon, just before the beginning of the school year, Antonia turned on the television to watch Fred at work. Lo and behold Antonia could not find Fred on any of the channels. 

“Hmmmm. I wonder what happed to Fred?  He’s always here waiting for me at this time of day,. Oh well, I guess he had better things to do.” Antonia was momentarily melancholy thinking about how wonderful a husband Fred had been, but then she got distracted by the smell of fresh cookies coming from the kitchen. Her father was back to school baking!

“Would Fred like a cookie or two”, her father asked as Antonia came into the kitchen for her cookie. 

“No. I’ve decided I don’t have time in my life for a husband now that I am going into the fourth grade. I’ll be too busy with my friends.”

“Well just in case you change your mind, here is an extra cookie just in case you run into Fred”. 

“Thanks, Dad!” said Antonia and as she left, she shoved both of the cookies into her mouth. 

The Continuing Adventures of Antonia Gigglegoose….

Antonia Gets a Job

Once there was a young girl named Antonia Gigglegoose. Antonia came from a very large family. There were Gigglegoose brothers in the first and second grade, and Gigglegoose sisters in the fourth and fifth grade, and there were even Gigglegoose triplets in kindergarten! Antonia herself had just finished the third grade. 

That summer Antonia’s older sisters got jobs. Anastasia Gigglegoose (who was just about to start the sixth grade) was getting paid for babysitting the Gigglegoose triplets when mother and father were busy. You see the Gigglegoose triplets were MONSTERS wrecking everything and making all sorts of sticky, gooey messes in their wake. Antonia did NOT want a job taking care of the monsters. Antonia’s other sister Arabella Gigglegoose (who was about to go into in the 5th grade) got paid five cents every time she washed and dried the supper dishes and kept track of her pay in a little orange notebook she had gotten for Christmas.

“I want a job”, Antonia demanded to her mother.

“When you are in 5th grade, you can have your sister’s dishwashing job. For now, you are going to have to make do with your allowance, “Mrs Gigglegoose quipped as she was changing the light bulb above the bathroom sink. 

“Fine. I’ll get a job on my own,” Antonia huffed and marched out of the bathroom.

“Let me know how it goes! I’ll need to know how much to charge you rent!” Teased Mrs Gigglegoose.

Antonia went off to her Breadbox home to contemplate her job opportunities. Antonia’s breadbox home was indeed just that, an old bread crate she had converted into a little “home of her own”.

“I could be a snow shoveller,” Antonia mused, but snow only existed a few months of the year, and Antonia figured she would need to work more than that if she were ever going to be considered a career woman.

“A shoe tier?” Possible. But most of the Gigglegoose children had Velcro on their shoes and therefore didn’t need anyone to help them put on their shoes. However, they usually frolicked about in bare feet, paying no attention to footwear.

“I’ve always wanted to be a bus driver,” thought Antonia. “The only thing is that I don’t know how to drive. I guess Oh well, I guess I’ll have to practice.”

So, Antonia went to retrieve her bike from under the patio and proceeded to pedal her bike up and down the driveway until she felt she was skilled enough to responsibly transport children to and from school.

“Hmmm. Now I’ll need to find some kids to pick up”. To solve this problem, Antonia went into the house and came back with her Winnie Walker doll.

Skipping rope in hand, Antonia proceeded to tie Winne to the back of her bike. Then, after Winnie was secure, Antonia neatly got on her seat and peddled away down the driveway. 

“Why hello Hammersmith children. Welcome to my bus” Antonia had stopped and pretended to open the door of the bus. “Be sure to keep your feet off the back of the seat in front of you. I don’t want to kick you off my bus and have you walk to school”.

Antonia peddled a bit further down the road. “Nice to see you made it on time to catch the bus this fine morning Yoloyellows. Make sure you remember to take your lunch with you into school this morning Yanny Yoloyellow. You don’t want to leave it on the bus like you did yesterday and then feel hungry all day”.

Her final stop was the Barterbertals. “Wade Barterbertal, I want NO more farts from you today. You almost exterminated the entire bus yesterday. Be sure to open your seat window so that we don’t faint if you do let one go and I unconsciously drive the bus into the ditch”. 

Antonia drove up and down the driveway making her way to “school”. Making sure to be safety conscious, every once in a while Antonia would stop at imaginary traffic lights and crosswalks.. Antonia was almost all the way to school when there was an awful crunching noise, and her bike came to a standstill. She could no longer pedal. Something was caught in the spokes of her back tire. “Oh, no!” Antonia thought to herself, “I hope that isn’t a flat tire”.

Antonia stopped, stepped off of her bike carefully, put the kickstand down and turned to look to see what the problem was.

To her horror, Antonia noticed that Winnie’s leg had gotten caught in the spokes. Big tire scrape marks could be seen crisscrossing down Winnie’s leg. “Oh, no! Winnie. Noooooo!” Antonia quickly untied the skipping rope that had been holding Winne to her banana seat then grabbed Winnie by the hair and ran to the house sobbing uncontrollably. “Winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnieeeeeeeee is dying.” She cried.

Antonia’s mother came running from the garage to see what all the bellowing was about. “Antonia! What is the matter? What is wrong?” 

“It’s Winnie! She got caught in my school bus!” Antonia wailed an buried her face into her mother’s shoulder.

“Caught where?”

“In my school bus. I was practicing being a school bus driver with my bike, and Winne’s leg got caught in the wheel.” Antonia howled.

“Antonia calm down, calm down. Let’s take a look”. Antonia’s mother gently took Winnie from Antonia’s arms. Well. I don’t think she’ll lose her leg, but she will have a scar. Come with me, and we will patch her up”. 

Antonio followed her mother and Winnie to the bathroom. Antonia’s mother placed Winnie on the clothes hamper then opened one of the drawers and pulled out the toothpaste.

“Why, toothpaste? Winnie’s teeth aren’t broken.” Antonia asked her voice, muffled by her hanky. 

“Well”, her mother said, “Let’s pretend its antibiotic ointment that will help keep the germs away from Winnies wound”. Then Antonia’s mother put a little bit of toothpaste on her finger and gently wiped it all over the tire marks imprinted on Winnie’s let. She then squirted a tiny bit of toothpaste on Antonia’s finger and had her wipe it all over Winnie’s wound as well.

Next, Antonia’s mom took out the Band-Aids. Gave two to Antonia and instructed, “I think two of these will work. Leave them on for two days and then wipe off the ointment. Winnie should be fully recovered by then.”

Winnie seemed much improved with the toothpaste and band-aid treatment. Antonia hugged her mother “Thank-you. I thought I lost Winnie for good and I haven’t been a bus driver long enough to make enough money to pay for a funeral.”

“Good grief Antonia, getting hurt by a bike doesn’t cause sudden death.” Her mother said in exasperation. 

“It wasn’t a bike accident. It was a bus accident”, Antonia responded curtly, and with that, she took Winnie and went back outside to park her bus properly.


The next day Antonia’s mother went to brush her teeth and noticed the toothpaste was missing. She looked everywhere, even in the clothes hamper and in the bath tub. But she could not find the toothpaste anywhere. “Gigglegoose children! Where is the toothpaste?” Mrs Gigglegoose bellowed from the bathroom.

“I dunno” yelled Anatasia Gigglegoose. “It was there this morning”.

As Mrs Gigglegoose was slamming a bathroom drawer, she happened to glance out the window. There she saw Antonia riding her bike up and down the driveway at full speed stopping to tend to the various dolls that happened to be scattered about the yard. 

“Weeeeoooooo, wheeeeeeoooooooo”, Antonia was yelling. “Out of the way people, the Ambulance is here. Weeeeeoooooooo, weeeeeeooooooo.”

“I guess Winnie has decided that driving a bus wasn’t for her. Mrs Gigglegoose smiled to herself then promptly went to the kitchen and wrote “t-o-o-t-h-p-a-s-t-e” on the shopping list that was stuck to the refrigerator. “Hmmm, I wonder how dollies will require medical attention this week? I better buy 10 tubes.”

The Adventures of Antonia Gigglegoose

Antonia Gigglegoose and her Bread Box

Once there was a young girl whose name was Antonia Gigglegoose. Antonia lived in a breadbox. Actually, it wasn’t really the same as an ordinary breadbox that sits on your kitchen cupboard, it was really an old abandoned crate painted with the words “McGibbens Fresh Bread and other Baked Goods” on its side. These words were painted in what was once red paint but had now faded into a soft pink hue that was reminiscent of the faintest blush that bepaints a lady’s cheek when her hand is kissed by a handsome prince

Antonia liked her breadbox house. She didn’t like it because the gaps between the boards allowed water drops to come through when it rained and puddles to formed at the bottom of the crate. And she didn’t like it because in the evenings her mother, with a pin, would have to pick out slivers of wood she got under her skin when she moved against the wood. Afterwords her mom would put stinging medication on these sliver sores and Antonia did not like that very much at all. Nooooo Antonia liked her breadbox house because it belonged to her and her alone. You see, Antonia Gigglegoose came from a very large family. There were Gigglegoose brothers in the first and second grade, and Gigglegoose sisters in the fourth and fifth grades. There were even Gigglegoose triplets in kindergarten! Antonia herself was in the third grade and she didn’t very much want to admit to anyone that she was related to any of the other Gigglegooses. But as luck would have it, all Gigglegooses could be spotted from a mile away…because all Gigglegooses had green hair! Well, almost green. Gigglegoose hair was so black that when the lighting was juuuuuust right it sometimes looked as green and as glimmering as a big ol’ housefly. There seemed no escaping for Antonia, she would always be part of the swarm of children that made up the Gigglegoose family…that is until she found her breadbox home.

Antonia found her box purely by coincidence. One afternoon, while Antonia was slowly clumping off the bus after a long hot day at school, she spied something off in the distance. She untangled one of the triplet off her right shoulder, and another triplet off of her left shoulder and the third triplet clinging off her backpack (they were sticking to her like flies stick to fly paper) and while all her brothers and sisters made their way to the house, Antonia walked towards the object she spied in the distance. The closer Antonia got the more excited she became. It was the McGibbons breadbox crate! It must have always been sitting there in the middle of the filed, she just hadn’t noticed it before. Suddenly a wonderful idea made its way into Antonia’s brain…this crate would make a marvelous hiding place, some special spot she could go to get away from all her annoying brothers and sisters!

You see, with so many brothers and sisters Antonia had no space to call her own. She had to share EVERYTHING-her toys, her clothes, even her seat at the dinner table (where there were only so many chairs and Antoina had one of the smaller bums in the family). Finding this new breadbox space seemed, to Antonia, like a gift from the angels.

After discovering her new home, Antonia did several things to make her box more homey. First, she found some old craft paint and painted some lovely daises and curly cues on the sides of her crate. Then she found an old yellow bath mat that had somehow made its way into the basement. The old mat was being used as a plug for the broken window in the furnace room. “Oh well” Antonia sighed to herself, “no one will miss it” but as she pulled it from the window, Antonia discovered a little meadow mouse had made himself a home in the mat’s fuzz. “Come along little mouse. There is more room for you with me in my new home” said Antonia as she carefully scooped the little mouse onto her hands and into her pocket. 

At first Antonia spent hours and hours in her breadbox. She spent most of her time sweeping and dusting and mopping….and coughing (it was a very dusty and dirty box). The previous tenets of the box, who were probably some messy bugs and moles, were NOT very good housekeepers. While she was housecleaning, Antonia discovered she had another roommate besides the little mouse she brought with her. This new roommate was a big old hairy spider! But this big old spider was not much of a housekeeper either. He would constantly leave his half-eaten dinner wrapped up in his web- a sight that wasn’t all that appetizing to Antonia. But she didn’t mind sharing her space with a spider- he didn’t take up all that much room- not nearly as much room as all of Antonia’s brothers and sisters.

A few weeks after Antonia had moved into her new house., she had an unexpected visitor- Six Toe Joe the family dog. Six Toe Joe was named Six Toe Joe because he had an extra toe on each of his back paws giving him…. well Six Toes on each paw. Six Toe was fairly excited to see Antonia, so he wagged his tail and slobbered all over her face. “Six Toe, what are you doing here?” Get back home and make sure none of my Gigglegoose brothers and sisters see you. I don’t want any of them following you here and invading my space!” Six Pack looked up at Antonia and blinked his big brown eyes. He seemed to understand Antonia’s pleas for privacy and proceeded to lay down on the old yellow bath mat and way his tail.

Eventually, Antonia was making a rather comfortable home for herself. Over the next several days she had collected more treasures to make her breadbox more comfortable; an old blue chipped sailor boy cookie jar, an old car seat (with only a few springs poking through the upholstery that pinched her bum whenever she bounded on it) and an old jam jar in which she put wildflowers…buttercups and honeysuckle to be exact. She also had her meadow mouse and spider friends, as well as Six Toe and all his toes. 

Eventually Antonia realized there was something missing from Antonia’s new home, and that something was people. Antonia was lonely. For all of her life, Antonia longed for her own space and maybe a little bit of privacy, she wished to fill it with people! She enjoyed having her critter friends around, but they weren’t very good conversationalists. The little meadow mouse would just wander around the crate looking for leftover crumbs from Antonia’s snacks. The spider would just hide in his web, coming out once in a while to wrap up a fly or some other squishy bug that he had captured. And Six Toe, well Six Toe Joe would just lie don’t on the yellow bath mat and wag his brown tail tipping over the jar of wild flowers and making a huge mess for Antonia to clean.

One day Antonia was sitting alone in her crate, as usual, with the mouse, the spider and with Six Toe. She had her chin in her hand and she was twirling her shiny black-green hair around and around with her fingers (Antonia always played with her hair when she was troubled and trying to figure out an answer to her problems). Antonia was wondering what she could do to make her breadbox home more interesting and less lonely. Suddenly Antonia sprang up her car seat couch and exclaimed, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll invite all of my brothers and sisters over to my box. They will love to invade my privacy and bug me by getting into my stuff!”

So that is what Antonia did. She climbed on top of her breadbox crate and stared shouting at the top of her lungs, “Yoo hoo, over here!  All you Gigglegoose brothers and sisters … look over here”! In order to catch the attention of all her brothers and sisters who were, by the way, milling and tumbling and wrestling all over the front yard, she waved her arms like a crazy windmill.

Eventually one of the Gigglegoose brothers spotted Antonia. “Look! There is a little girl yelling and and waving her arms over there in the middle of the field. Hey, it looks like Antonia.”

“It is Antonia, “exclaimed the oldest Gigglegoose, “that is where she has been hiding, in that ratty old bread crate. Six Toe has been sniffing around there for weeks…I thought he had cornered himself a skunk, but there is no skunk, it’s only Antonia!”

“What is she doing over there?” questioned the triplets all together.

“Let’s go find out!” all the Gigglegooses cried together and like a herd of migrating wildebeests they scampered over to the crate and to the frantically waving Antonia.

“Antonia, Antonia, what is this place? A playhouse” A fort”

“No”, replied Antonia, “it’s not a playhouse and it’s not a fort. It is a home and this spider, and this mouse and Six Toe all live here with me.”

“Why’d ya move out here for?” Asked one of the triplets wiping his nose with Antonia’s shirt sleeve.

“I moved out here because sometimes I need to get away from all of you. “ Antonia said pulling her sleeve and rubbing it on her pant leg in order to clean it.

“Well, if you wanted to get away from us, why’d you call us over here?” rationalized Antonia’s older sister.

“I’m beginning to wonder that myself,” Antonia said taking the sailor boy cookie jar away from the youngest Gigglegoose, who was wearing it as a hat. 

“This is so cool,” a Gigglegoose brother said shaking the side of the crate checking to see if it was sturdy. “We could make an awesome spaceship out of this”

“No. It’s not a spaceship, it’s a house.” Antonia said.

“It may be a house to you, but it is a spaceship to me.” 

“And a submarine to me”

“And a motor home to me”

At this, all the Gogglegoose children swarmed in and over and around the breadbox crate that Antonia had once called her home. At first Antonia enjoyed having all of her brothers and sisters with her, they were people to play with and talked to. But eventually Antonia began to get tired of all the noise and she ended up spending most of her time in her box with her hands over her ears. And if you looked closely enough you could see the meadow mouse, Six Toe and the spider, all had their paws and legs over their ears as well…the noise was unbearable! 

Soon Antonia began to wish she could find some place quiet where she could just be alone. But where could she go? She had already given the secret of her breadbox home away to all of her Gigglegoose brothers and sisters. All at once Antonia saw the solution to her problem. Smiling to herself, Antonia carefully and quietly crept out of her breadbox without any of her brothers and sisters seeing her. Antonia then scampered across the small field between the breadbox and the Gigglegoose house. She opened the door and crept quickly to her bedroom There was no one in the house but her mother who was to busy concentrating on fixing the kitchen sink to notice her come in. The house was filled with peace and quiet. Her friends the mouse, the spider and Six Tow had all  followed her because they too were getting headaches from the screeching and hollering of the Gigglegoose children. 

Who would have thought she could find such quiet in the family house?

Antonia sat on her bed, pulled her checkered quilt over her legs and with Six Toe curled up at the edge of the bed and the meadow mouse and spider on the window ledge, she put her arms behind her head and smiled to herself in the stillness of her bedroom. She still had her breadbox home whenever she wanted to play with her brothers and sisters and make lots of noise, but if she ever needed some peace and quiet, well she could always come home.

…stay tuned for the next Antonia adventure “Antonia Gets a Job”