Freddie Field Mouses Winters Tail
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Once upon a time in a lush green forest called Greenalot lived a field mouse named Freddie.
He lived not too far from a ravine, amongst the roots of a Weeping Willow Tree.
Freddie had many friends in the forest and one of them was Reggie Rabbit who lived just across the ravine, three meters up & two meters to the left.
Reggie grew all kinds of vegetables including corn, and corn was Freddie Field Mouse's main diet.
He had to go there the following day to buy some from Reggie Rabbit to stock up for the coming winter.
Freddie was at home making root beer in his cosy kitchen when there was a knock on the door.
'Now I wonder who that can be.' Freddie thought and walked over to answer the door.
He asked, "Who is there?"
In reply came, "It's me."
It was a very familiar voice but Freddie knew that he had not heard it in a while.
He opened the door and in walked Swanky Mouse, his door-mouse cousin from the city in Ding-Dong Land.
It was called Ding-Dong Land because all the houses there had door-bells and when they rang the city mice had to take cover because it wouldn't be long before the lady of the house would come into the kitchen to put the kettle on.
Then the mice would have to scatter and hide in their little houses.
"Well hello there cousin Swanky, what brings you to this side of the country?"
"Hi there Freddie old chap, I've come over for a visit before the cold sets in." answered Swanky.
"Well it sure is nice to see you," replied Freddie. "I think we should have a party and invite all our friends from around the forest to welcome you. It will also be nice to have a gathering before the winter sets in, but it will have to be the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to go to Reggie Rabbit's farm to get my supply of corn for the winter." explained Freddie.
"That sounds like a good idea cousin, I haven't seen our friends since the beginning of summer and it sure would be nice to see them all again. Tomorrow I will help you to bring the corn back from Reggie Rabbits farm." said Swanky.
"Oh, that would be great," Freddie said, "it will make the load much lighter for me.
We must not forget to be very careful to stay out of danger from that awful Barry Bullfrog; it makes me nervous just thinking about him."
"But first I must quickly make out invitations to our friends because at noon Postman Porcupine will be here to drop off the mail. I will ask him to drop off the invitations for me."
"So let's get started." suggested Swanky.
After they had finished writing out the invitations cousin Swanky sat down and reminded him about the city where he lives and how different and noisy it was when he compared it to the peaceful forest, and how he had looking forward to visiting Freddie.
He went on to tell Freddie that three days before he had a narrow escape from Fat Cat, the humans pet.
Swanky lives with humans, in a hole behind the stove in the kitchen, where it is always nice and warm. But that is another story.
While Freddie was listening he bottled his root beer and packed them away so they could brew. He was glad that he had made lots of extra so that his friends could have some at the party the day after tomorrow as well, and then came another knock on the door.
Freddie asked, "Who's there?"
"It's Postman Porcupine," came the reply.
"Well hello there Postman Porcupine", said Freddie while opening the door.
"How are you this fine day?"
"Very well thank you," said Postman Porcupine while giving Freddie his post.
Freddie opened the post and saw it was the bill for darning his socks and coat, from Tammy Tortoise, the tailor.
He had his socks and coat darned so the frost didn't creep in through the holes.
Freddie then reached into his pouch and pulled out the money he owed Tammy Tortoise, gave it to Postman Porcupine and asked, "Could you also give her this invitation for me?"
"Yes, I sure can," answered Postman Porcupine, "I don't mind at all as I still have to deliver the
rest of our friends post, your place was my first stop. Do you have any other mail?" he asked.
"I sure do," said Freddie, "as a matter of fact I have quite a few, and one Postman Porcupine, is for you."
"Well thank you Freddie." he replied.
While the two were chatting, cousin Swanky walked into the sitting room.
"Postman Porcupine, do you remember my cousin Swanky Mouse from the city, he is visiting me before the winter sets in?"
They then greeted each other.
"Yes I remember you, we met in the beginning of summer when I delivered the post, it's nice to see you again, but I had better get going so I can deliver all the post before the end of this day." said Postman Porcupine.
They all said their good-byes and Freddie closed the door.
The following morning they got up early, so that they could have a big breakfast before they left to go on their journey to Reggie Rabbit's Farm.
After their delicious meal of fried termites & crushed ginger on fig leaves, their tummies were full and they knew that the meal would have to last them until late afternoon when they returned.
Freddie knew they would not be able to rest or sit on the farm for lunch, as Barry Bullfrog could possibly grab them, and then they would be his lunch!
So they took the rope and set off towards the farm.
The morning was quite chilly and they could feel that the winter wasn't far off now.
The sun was barely peeping through the last of the brown leaves which were left dangling on the trees.
They walked through the forest chatting away softly because they didn't want Barry to hear them heading towards the ravine, knowing he was very dangerous, he would probably hide on the other side and wait for them.
The walk wasn't easy as they were only tiny mice, especially as there were sticks, branches and leaves that covered the ground as it was autumn and the trees had lost most of their leaves.
The only difference between the two mice was that Freddie had dark brown stripes down his back, being a field mouse, and Swanky was plain brown like an ordinary house mouse.
They could hear the water flowing around in the ravine so knew they were near and knew they had to be very cautious after they had crossed over it as Barry was a ruthless bullfrog.
He never had any friends in the forest besides his family, but they lived far-far away down by the swampy side of the ravine, because he was never friendly to anyone that was bigger than himself and anybody smaller than him he would try to eat!
Finally the mice arrived at the ravine where they had to wait for the ferry to arrive, to take them across to get to Roger Rabbits farm.
They sat quietly while they waited for Betty and Ben's river raft ferry.
Betty and Ben were beavers who live in the ravine all year around and they have a raft made out of bamboo.
They pull the raft behind them by means of a rope in their mouths, they use their flapper tails as rudders; all you see are their two heads and the raft behind them.
For payment you give them a small portion of your food supplies when you return from Reggie Rabbit's farm.
Freddie and Swanky couldn't shout out to Betty and Ben to catch their attention, just in case Barry heard them.
So they had to sit it out and wait for them to look their way, then wave their hands like crazy for their attention.
So they sat on the side of the ravine and waited.
They heard Betty and Ben arguing about their two children, who also wanted to start helping their parents with their raft business.
But Mommy beaver said they were too young as the river was rough sometimes during winter from the winds and thought that it could be dangerous for them.
But Daddy beaver said that he thought they were good enough swimmers to handle it.
Then they heard Betty say, "It looks like we have a customer on the other side of the ravine Ben."
"Why yes, you are correct, it looks like Freddie Field Mouse waving at us with somebody else that I don't recognize." said Ben.
So the two beavers pulled the raft over to Freddie and Swanky.
"Hi there you two," said Betty and Ben in harmony.
"I bet you're off to Reggie Rabbit to get your stock for the winter hey?"
"That's right Ben we are, do you know my cousin from the city, Swanky Mouse?" asked Freddie.
"We sure do, we met him briefly at the start of summer when the two of you came down to the ravine to fetch water and you both slid in down a slope, then decided to have a swim as it was so very hot that morning." replied Betty and Ben with a chuckle.
The mice laughed remembering.
They both hopped on board with their rope and shivered as the beavers took off across the ravine, as the wind was crisp down there.
Freddie then told them about the party they were planning for the next day, as a get together before the winter set in, and also told them that Postman Porcupine would be delivering their invitation to them today, so they should look out for him.
Not long after and they were on the other side.
They hopped off and asked Betty and Ben to please wait for them as they could not risk staying too long on the other side because of Barry.
The two mice looked left then right then up, and saw that all was clear, so they took off up the hill.
They walked the three meters up then turned left and walked two more meters,
As they were nearing the farm they could see the very, very tall corn plants.
They rushed through them and bumped right into Reggie Rabbit's foot, they all got such a fright, the three of them jumped into the air at the same time and Reggie almost landed on them.
They all started laughing.
"Hello Freddie, hello Swanky, long -time- no- see, are you enjoying the peace and quiet in the forest?" asked Reggie.
"Hello to you to, yes I'm really enjoying this forest life, I should really come down more often." replied Swanky.
"I was expecting you so I've already cut down a head of corn for you, plus one extra.
I have broken it in half; you can give it to the beavers. I was wandering if you would like some baby carrots as well?" asked Reggie.
"Yes please," said Freddie, "could I also have some cabbage leaves as I would like to make a nice warm stew for all us tomorrow, we having a party and you are also invited Reggie."
"Oh that will be great, I will make sure I get to you early in the morning so I can bring my big pot and some fresh vegetables, then we can have a feast!" said Reggie.
"Thank you very much, that would be wonderful of you because all the forest animals are invited and I would have had to make at least four pots!" explained Freddie.
"Who else is invited to tomorrow's party?" asked Reggie.
"It will be Tammy Tortoise the tailor, Postman Porcupine, Betty and Ben Beaver, Frank Fox, Sammy Squirrel, Anthony Anteater, Harry Hedgehog, Swanky, you and myself.
Oh and I also invited Old man Owl but I doubt he will be making it as his grandchildren are visiting and all they want him to do is read them stories, the whole time!"
The three of them then chatted merrily about what all they had been up to and how they were all looking forward to the party tomorrow.
The mice couldn't help but to keep looking over their shoulders, keeping an eye out for that awful Barry.
After Reggie collected all their vegetables together for them he wrapped them up in a banana leaf.
The two mice took their rope and tied it all up tightly together, so they could pull it back down to the ravine and load it onto the raft.
They said their goodbyes and the mice left.
Left, right, left, right the mice looked, looking out for Barry.
All seemed quite and clear ahead so the mice carried on down towards the ravine.
They had just passed the tall corn plants and were heading towards the forest down to the ravine when they heard a loud, GOTCHA!
Barry jumped out from behind them and just missed grabbing Freddie's tail.
The mice gave him one look and took off as fast as they could, dragging their stock behind them.
(They couldn't leave their stock behind as Barry would destroy it.)
Barry Bull Frog was hopping right after them with his tongue hanging out, thinking about the lunch he would make out of the mice when he caught them.
Freddie & Swanky were running as fast as they could, when suddenly, their stock got stuck on the root of a tree and the two of them were catapulted into the air and landed in a ditch in the ground.
Swanky landed first and Freddie landed on top of him, they then decided to lay dead still, as they could hear the thumping of Barry coming closer and closer.
They thought that this would now be the end of them, as he was getting closer and there was no time to climb out of the ditch to run away, so they didn't move a hair, but stayed put.
Barry came hopping closer and closer and almost landed on them, but luckily just carried on hopping past them.
They carried on lying still, to scared to move, as they continued to hear Barry hopping further and further away from them, mumbling how fast the mice were and that he should think about doing more exercise in future, so he could catch his food more easily.
The mice could not believe that Barry just carried on and on until they couldn't hear him anymore.
They stood up and looked at each other very puzzled.
They hadn't realized that there were sticks and twigs lying on either side of the ditch where they were, that actually saved them.
The silly bullfrog had mistaken the stripes on Freddie's back for the same sticks lying in the forest and Freddie had camouflaged them by lying on top of Swanky.
His stripes had matched the sticks on either side of him, so Barry didn't see them at all and that is why he almost stood on them.
Freddie and Swanky were so glad, they hugged each other.
Then ran off to fetch the corn, then quickly ran down to the ravine where Betty and Ben where waiting for them.
When they saw Betty and Ben they told them about their very lucky escape and Betty then told the mice that she had just seen Barry hoping down towards the swamp, moaning and groaning about how two tiny little mice could out run him.
The mice were still laughing while going across the ravine, only too glad that it was all over.
They knew Barry would never cross over the ravine as he had nearly been eaten by Frank the fox on two occasions, and vowed never to go back across ever again.
So the mice gave Betty and Ben a portion of their corn and headed straight home, all that running had made the little mice very hungry and the last time they had eaten anything was early that morning.
They arrived home, unpacked their goods from Reggie and decided to do the preparation of all the food for the party the next day.
All they needed to do when Reggie arrived with the extra pot or two in the morning was make the fires and cook the food.
They had a few corn kernels for supper and decided to have an early night as they were both exhausted from all the running and drama.
Early the next morning both mice woke up and went to the kitchen where they started the fires.
Then came a knock on the door.
Swanky said he would get the door so Freddie could carry on with the preparations for the party and put out chairs etcetera.
It was Reggie Rabbit with two pots and some more corn under his arm.
"Good morning my friend, close call yesterday I heard?"
"Good morning," said Swanky, "yes it was a very close, scary encounter," then he giggled nervously.
While the door was still open Tammy the Tortuous neared the door and said," Good morning, I had to leave before sunrise to get here in time for the party, but my legs must have carried me a bit quicker today, because I was excited to see you all again."
They all had a good laugh, then went inside and said their hello's to Freddie, who was waiting for the extra pots.
Both Reggie and Tammy were asking about what had happened yesterday with Barry the Bullfrog but both Freddie and Swanky asked them if they could please just wait a while until all their friends were there, and then tell them the story all together.
The last of the food was being put into the pots when there was another knock at the door. Freddie opened the door and it was, Betty and Ben Beaver, Postman Porcupine, Frank Fox, Sammy Squirrel and Harry Hedgehog.
They had all decided to meet at the Rolling Rock pool at the top of the hill near Freddie's house in the Weeping Willow Tree and walk together to his house.
Everyone said their hello's at the door and went inside.
Sammy Squirrel waited at the door to speak to Roger and told him that he had a message from Anthony Anteater, as he lived under the tree that Sammy lived in.
Sammy told Roger that he would not be able to make it to the party because the day before he had put his snout into the termite hill and happened to bump nose's with a new lady anteater who had came through from the other side of the termite hill.
They had both started to argue about who got there first, then Anthony agreed that she had, and that she could have the termite hill.
He was busy walking away when she had called him back and said they could share it.
Anthony invited her in for a visit.
He had then asked her to come again, so he asked me to excuse him from the party today as he was expecting a very special visitor this morning!
Once everyone was sitting cosily in Freddie's little sitting room, he asked them to help themselves to all the delicious food.
He then went on to tell them all about their escape from Barry the bullfrog, with Betty, Ben and Swanky making sure no important bits were left out.
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