“A Seaside Adventure”
It was a beautiful sunny day and Ears Mouse was eating a lovely thick slice of homemade toast, with his very favourite homemade Damson jam. He had made the Damson jam himself from fruits that had fallen the previous autumn and it had turned out very nice. He had the top section of his front door wide open and the Sun was shining straight into his kitchen. He could feel the warmth of the Sun on his face and thought to himself “this is going to be a very hot day” . He could hear a lot of activity outside his house as the many animals in Oak View forest went up and down the trail foraging for food.
Tap Tap Tap, he heard on the bottom of his door. He then heard some light scratching and then a black round thing popped over the top – Ears Mouse knew straight away that it was Harry Hedgehog’s nose as this was something he did a lot.
“Morning Harry” Ears Mouse said.
“Morning Ears Mouse” Harry said, “it’s such a beautiful day, isn’t it”?
“Yes, indeed it is” said Ears Mouse.
“I have just been to see our other friends in the forest and have asked them if they fancy a day at the beach” Harry said “it’s probably the last very nice day that we will have this Summer – so best to make the most of it” he continued. “are you up for it?” Harry asked Ears Mouse.
Ears mouse could think of lots of chores that he needed to do around the house, as he needed to fix a few things before the Autumn and Winter arrived, however he looked at Harry who had a big grin on his face thinking of the fun they would all have at the Seaside. Ears Mouse could not disappoint Harry and the others and inside he really wanted to go himself. “Now that sounds a fantastic idea” said Ears Mouse “ is everybody else up for it”?
Harry did not need to answer that question, as just then all of his other friends appeared at his front door. There was Hammy Hamster, Molly Mole, Sid Squirrel and Freddy Frog. Olivia Owl was now perched on top of the door. They had all been listening in to Harry and Ears Mouse hoping that Ears Mouse would say yes – as it would not be the same without Ears Mouse. It always seemed to be a better adventure when he was there.
All of the other animals, except for Olivia, had sunglasses on and held buckets and spades, and each had a rucksack with drinks and food.
“We thought that it would be best if we went to Shell Island beach” said Molly, “it is by far the nicest beach”. “isn’t that a bit too far to walk” said Ears Mouse, “especially on such a hot day like today and with all these buckets, spades and rucksacks to carry”?
“Ohhh – I suppose you are right Ears Mouse” replied Molly, looking disappointed.
“I have an idea” said Hammy Hamster, “we could ask Donald Donkey if he would like to come as well. I know where we can get some carrots for him to eat to give him energy for the journey”
Everybody thought that would be a great idea. They all know that Donald could be a bit stubborn and moody sometimes, even though they were all good friends with him, and he always seems to be in a better mood if he could eat some carrots first.
Once Ears Mouse had packed his rucksack and put on his straw hat and sunglasses they all set off with Hammy Hamster leading the way to where the carrots were stored. The carrots were in an old wooden shed at the edge of a field and there was a small hole in the corner of the shed – just big enough for Hammy to crawl in. He handed out a few carrots to the others and Molly and Sid put them into their rucksack as they were larger than the other animals.
Sitting in the next field was Donald Donkey. They all approached Donald and told him what a great place Shell Island beach would be and that they would have lots of fun. “Are there any carrots there?” asked Donald Donkey. “OH YES” said Sid Squirrel quickly, before any of the others could reply ”there are some under the shells on the beach” . Sid knew he should not tell lies, but he also knew that if Donald knew that they had carrots in their rucksacks then he would ask for them now and then not feel like doing anything afterwards.
“Yum Yum – carrots” said Donald, “OK – I’m in” said Donald. “Horray” the others shouted – jumping into the air – Freddy Frog managing the largest jump. Donald lay down in the grass, told everyone to climb onto his back and then he got up. When he got to the gate Sid Squirrel jumped onto it, opened it to let Donald out onto the track and then shut it. He then jumped onto Donald’s back again.
Olivia Owl, hovering above, said that she would guide them all to the beach as it was a long time since they were last there. Whilst it was only about a mile or so it would have taken most of them all day to get there and another day to get back if Donald had not come along. With Donald doing all of the walking it was only a short while before they could see the lovely blue sea and the golden sand in view.
When they arrived at the beach Donald walked around a bit until they had chosen a nice place near a sand dune. Donald sat down on his bottom and the animals all slid down his back like a slide in a fairground. “Wheeeeee” they all said as they slid down into the sand.
Molly Mole and Harry Hedgehog started to lay out a picnic blanket while their other friends ran, hopped and flew down to the sea shore. Ears Mouse dipped his toes into the sea just as a wave went out – “Ouuuuuu” that’s a bit cold he said. Freddy Frog said that he did not like salty sea water as it made him itch. Donald walked slowly along the shore to cool himself down and then he sat in the water. Just then a large wave came in and he was not fast enough to get up and was knocked over. He quickly got up, the quickest anyone had ever seen Donald move in all of the time that they had known him . He then ran onto the dry sand. The other animals laughed for a while, but when Donald decided to dry himself off by shaking himself they all got covered in sea water and sand.
Ears Mouse almost got caught by a wave but luckily Olivia Owl swooped down in time and lifted him out of the water and onto the dry beach. “Thank you” said Ears Mouse to Olivia, “no problem” said Olivia.
“Anybody hungry “ Molly Mole shouted. She had put all of the lovely food and drinks on the blanket. There was bread, cheeses, worms, insects, grain, milk and water. Ears Mouse had also brought some of his home-made cake and biscuits.
Donald Donkey then remembered about the promise of carrots. “Sid”, said Donald, “where did you say the carrots would be”? When nobody was looking Sid had put some carrots in the sand and had placed large sea shells on top of them. “They live under sea shells” said Sid, “have a look to see if you can find them”.
Donald lifted a few shells with his hoof and quickly found some carrots. He moved a few more with his nose and found some more. He was amazed that carrots grew under shells as he had never heard of that before. The others laughed at this so much it hurt.
Once they had all finished lunch they decided to play some games on the beach. Molly had brought an old tennis ball she had found buried in the ground when she had been digging under the ground. They threw this to each other until Harry Hedgehog missed it and it landed on the spines on his back and burst.
“Let’s play a new game” said Freddy Frog, “let’s see who can jump the highest”. “Nooo” they all said, “you always win that one” said Harry.
“I know” said Molly, “let’s see who can find the most interesting thing on the beach”. “Great idea” said Sid Squirrel and they all agreed.
Donald though that carrots would be an interesting find and so he started to look under every shell that he could see on the beach. Ears Mouse found a nice shell which, when he held it to his ear, he could hear the sound of waves – or was it real waves he was hearing? Harry found a nice piece of seaweed with large round brown bubbles which popped if he sat on it. Molly found a lovely round and smooth stone, which she thought she would bring home to remind her of the beach. Olivia found a nice feather from a seagull which she would bring home for her nest.
Sid Squirrel had wandered down the beach a bit and then climbed a sand dune. As he came over the top he could not believe his eyes. There in front of him was a giant sea shell with a top and a bottom. He had never seen a shell so big before. It was so big that he thought that he might be able to fit into it.
After a while all of the animals returned to the picnic area to see what each other had found, however there was no sign of Sid. They all decided that they better look for him and Donald Donkey lay down to let them climb on his back. Donald walked up and down the beach and then started to climb the sand dunes. “Stop” said Ears Mouse, “I can hear a noise like Sid shouting” – Ears Mouse had very good hearing due to his large ears. “Over in that direction” he said, pointing in the direction of one of the sand dunes.
Donald climbed the sand dune with the others hanging on to his fur so that they did not fall off. When he got to the top of the dune they all saw the very big sea shell. “Wow” said Harry, “I’ve never seen a shell that size” and the others agreed. They could see that the shell had a top and a bottom but it was closed.
“Are you in there?” said Ears Mouse, knocking on the shell. “Yes” said Sid, “I closed the lid to see if I could fit inside and now cannot get the lid open again – please help to get me out”
One by one the animals tried to prise open the lid of the shell but it was jammed shut. “I can’t see how we will get this lid open” said Ears Mouse, “it’s jammed shut”. Just then he had an idea and whispered something in Donald’s ear. Donald got up very quickly and hit the big shell with his hoof. The shell lid flew open and Sid jumped out just in case it closed again. “What did you whisper into Donald’s ear?” asked Molly. “I told Donald that a giant shell may have a giant carrot under it” laughed Ears Mouse.
Sid took a carrot out of his rucksack and gave it to Donald to thank him for freeing him from the giant shell.
It was getting late by this time and everyone agreed that they had better set home before it got dark. They packed up their blanket and picnic leftovers and put them into their rucksacks. Donald lay down and let them all climb onto his back and they started on their way home.
However, they did not get far before Donald came to a halt. “Whats up Donald?” asked Sid. “Nothing” said Donald, this is just what donkeys do sometimes. “So what can we do to make you move again?” asked Sid. “Have you got a carrot?” Donald asked. When Sid told him that he had one remaining in his rucksack Donald told him to tie it on the end of a stick and to dangle it in front of Donald’s nose. Sid broke off a branch of a hazel bush and tied the carrot onto the end of the branch with a pink ribbon which Molly leant him. Just like magic Donald started to walk again following the carrot in front of him.
It was not long before they arrived back at Donald’s field, which Sid opened and closed as he had done before. “Thanks Donald” they all shouted as they waved goodbye to him. Sid gave Donald the last carrot which he enjoyed.
“Everyone coming back to my place for some nice toast and jam?” asked Ears Mouse. “Yes please” they all said. They had really enjoyed their seaside adventure today.
That night Donald had a lovely dream about a giant carrot hiding under a giant shell by the seashore and fell asleep with a big smile on his face.
“©2013 Artie Edmonds”