Spring and warm weather had come slowly to the Lane. Well that is not exactly right, warm weather had come. It had been snowed out and so on but this last snow as it melted seemed to say, OK, now it is time for warmer weather. Bopper was ready for it, ready for the warmth of summer, all of the good foods and he could do as he pleased.
Not only had spring arrived on the lane on the middle of May, but Bopper had finished school. He was through with school, no more classes, no more behaving, no more listening to others, now he could do as he wished for as long as he wished; that is if he was not caught by a cat or Hawkeye hawk or in a rat trap or any of those life ending little nuances.
Mouse school did not or does not last too long because the life span of a mouse is not that long, but since Bopper has been so popular, he will live for a long time. “School is nearly out, school is nearly out,” Fug yelled as he and Bopper ran over under the Russian olive trees to where there were some delicious dandelions. “Gosh Bop old buddy, in just a few days we will be adults, we will be able to do what we want.” Fug was bottom of the class, but it did not make no never mind for to him it was over.
Bopper had been thinking of an end of school party or celebration but so far he had no ideas; well actually he had lots of ideas but they seemed to quickly shoot themselves down. It seems that Mrs. Fox had a big litter and had been working long hours to feed her kits, while Hawkeye Hawk and his missus had a nest full of young hawklets and they too were squawking for more food. Then Wise old Barn Owl and Mrs. Barn Owl had three owlets and they too had been taxed to feed their young. “Fug old buddy, it seems that most critters seem to think their young should have young mice, old mice or any mice. It is getting scary; seems every time I go out one of them is out looking for one of us. Heck even at night that old Owl is on the prowl.”
“Bop old pal, lets paint the town red, lets have a party and paint everything red,” Fug said as he had no idea what painting the town red meant. He had heard old Abner house mouse talking about it the other day as he watched the old mice playing corn checkers. I guess you know how to play corn checkers, but then maybe you don’t, so I will tell you. First you must have fifteen kernels of corn. Then a board is laid out in the dirt and as you jump or take a man, you get to eat his piece of corn. Guts Barn Mouse is the champion, he seldom loses and drags a sack of kernels with him.
Bopper got an idea and ran to the barn and scurried around looking for what he wanted and needed, he found it. Bopper then went to the house and down in the basement found some more stuff. He then went to Mrs. Priss Mouse, the local mouse artist and asked her to make something for him. When Bopper told Mrs. Priss Mouse what he was planning, she laughed and thought it oh so funny.
Bopper then recruited some others and they snuck off and went to work, each thinking Bopper’s idea would be a good way to finish school. Bopper kept sending Fug on errands, “Fug go find me some thread, any kind of thread.” Then when Fug came back, he would send him off again. Bopper had an idea, what he thought was or would be a great idea for all of his schoolmates; that is if he could pull it off.
“Fug, old buddy, go see if you can find a way to get up on the roof of the big shed, a route most anyone could use,” Fug grinned, for he liked to help his friend, “And Fug do not tell anyone, no one at all for it is to be our secret, we are going to have an adventure.”
“Sure Bop baby, Fug will do that,” and he turned to go. He took a few steps, stopped, turned, “Bop, what kind of adventure, huh, huh, huh, what kind of adventure?”
“Aw get out of here Fug, you will know when I get it all figured out.” Fug was gone and Bopper realized all of his work had been in vain. His once brilliant idea would not work, it was no good. So then within a short time he came up with another idea, a new plan. After a little thinking he found that most of what he had planned could be used, he must just change the scheme of things. He then made a mental note of all the things he needed tonight when he went into the house, But most of all, he had to get on good terms with Old dog so he would help him. Normally Old dog would do lots of little things for his small mouse friend.
Bopper heard Old dog bark, so he scampered into the courtyard to see his friend. “Hi there little buddy, Bopper my buddy,” Old dog was in a good mood. Old dog lay down and Bopper came close so he could chat with him.
“Tonight I am coming into the house and I will need some help from you, if you would,” Bopper was soft soaping, “ I need your help Old dog, I need a roll of paper towels or a box of Kleenex, need it out in the shed or where I can get it into the shed. I also need a spool of thread, any type sewing thread.”
Old dog raised his head, “Bopper, what do you want napkins or paper towels for and thread, you going to start sewing sleeping bags out of them?” Old dog grinned.
“Old dog two days until the end of mouse school for the summer and I am planning a big fun time for all the mouse students.”
“Do they teach you to stay away from traps and to watch out for old Cat and critters that love to eat mice?”
“That Old dog is one of the first things we learn, how to avoid getting caught or eaten. You should see the pile of bones Wise Old Owl has up where he roosts.” Then Bopper thought, “Oh that is right, you cannot climb around up inside the shed or barn.”
“Bopper, my climbing days are over, heck when I was a young pup, I was chasing a cat, and it ran up into the rafters of the barn and I was smaller, faster and in better shape then.”
“Well, tell me Old dog, tell me, please,”
“I had a full head of steam, right on that cat’s tail and went right up the wall and into the rafter after that cat. As I got up, he went down and I was stuck up there in the rafters and it was way to far to jump.”
“Well what did you do, how did you get down?” Bopper was all ears, for Old dog could tell some real whoppers.
“Well, Bopper, I started to barking and little Luke a grandson of the man was walking up the lane so he came and found me.” Old dog was a laughing, ,”He got a ladder and was going to carry me down, except I was nearly as heavy as he and hee, heeee,” Old dog started that dog laugh.
“Well what happened, he must have gotten you down,” Bopper was creeping closer, “Tell me, please tell me.”
Well he got the ladder all set, got me in his arms and started down the ladder, about half way down Wise Old Owl screeched, little Luke was startled and fell backwards. We hit on a bale of hay but rolled off and hit a can of paint and it busted open and both of us got Red paint al over us.” Old dog was enjoying this, really enjoying it. “Well as soon as I hit the ground, I was off as fast as I could back into the house and back to my bed.” He paused, “When the woman got home and saw all the Red paint all over me and the house, she hit the ceiling. Boy did Luke and I catch what for.”
“Old dog, now you know that is just a tale, you never ran up any wall and got red paint on you.” Bopper was sure.
Old dog grinned, raised his head, “Lift my left ear and look closely at the inside.” Bopper did and there were still traces of paint on his inner ear.
“Well, I will be,” Bopper said. Old dog told him he would help.
That night Bopper went into the house taking Fug along. He found a fresh box of Kleenex and a spool of red thread. Old dog took them to the shed and left them where Bopper could take them inside.
“Fug, old buddy did you find a way up on the roof,” Bopper asked.
“No, Bop buddy, I could get to the top on the inside but could not get out on the roof.” Fug shook his head, Do we have to get on top of the shed?”
“Yes, Fug, to do what I want to, it will be a much better adventure if we can.” So the two went into the shed and spent most of the day trying to get from inside outside and onto the roof. They looked and looked but all to no avail. “Guess we will just have to do it indoors.” Bopper and Fug got Chimna and Chomna to help him after he got Doofus, Wildidgy and Cephus to help him. Finally everything was ready.
“Bop, baby, Bopper old buddy are you going to tell Fug what the big adventure is?” Fug was right in Bopper’s face, “Huh, huh, are you Bop?”
Bopper grinned, “Fug you have worked hard helping me so now it is time, and you get to try it first.” The two scampered up into the rafters to where the Kleenex were neatly stacked. Each Kleenex had pieces of thread tied to each corner and the four threads tied together. “Fug we are going to parachute, parachute down from here.”
“Huh, what Bopper, what, parachute?” Fug was not that comfortable at heights anyhow, “Do what Bop?”
Bopper showed Fug how to sit straddle the thread, hold the corners of the Kleenex and then jump and the Kleenex would act like a canopy and you would float down to the floor. “Ready to be the first mouse to parachute Fug?”
“Maybe you had better show me Bop old buddy, maybe you had better show Fug.” Fug did not like the idea, did not like it one iota. “Show me Bopper, show me then I can do it.”
Bopper thought the idea would work, but he was not sure, but what the heck, someone had to be first. “Fug you do not want to be able to tell everyone that you, Fug were the first to jump?” Fug shook his head no. Bopper pulled a Kleenex close to the edge, got the thread just right, took a deep breath, closed his eyes and stepped off the rafter. He felt his body falling, falling, boy was he going to splat when he hit. Then he felt a jerk and opened his eyes and looked up, the canopy had opened and he was floating down, slowly floating down. Slowly floating, just gradually coming down, all the while looking around, looking up and yelling to Fug. Then he hit the floor. Not bad at all, not bad at all. “You coming Fug, you coming?” Bopper rolled up the Kleenex and started back up. Just as he got to wall, he heard a big scream and saw Fug plummet then the canopy opened and saw his friend floating down. As soon as he got back to the top Fug had landed and was fallowing him up.
“Wow, Bop baby, Wowie, that was neat, neato.” Fug was ready to do it again. They jumped together and after two more jumps, both were so tired they called it a day, a successful day.
“Don’t tell anyone Fug, don’t tell anyone at all, then you can make the first jump as I help every one and get them ready.”
“Wow, oh Wowie, Bop baby, Fug will show them Fug will show them,” Some skunk cabbage root and a few grains of corn and both were asleep, for they were tired and it was to be a big day.
School only lasted a short time and Bopper invited all of his classmates to come with him for a big adventure. Even the teacher went along. “Now first we all must climb up into the rafters, then we, Fug and I will show you.” Bopper led all up into the rafters. Glennie got scared and Manford let her hold his tail as they were the last ones to the top.
“What we going to do, what Bopper, what are we going to do?” Was the question asked by all.
Finally they got to the spot. “We are going to parachute, parachute down from here,” Bopper said. Everyone shied back.
“I will show you all how to do it, I will make the first jump,” Fug said as he came over to the edge of the rafter holding his dirty Kleenex, the one he had used last night. “Bopper will help you, this is neat,” Fug said as he quickly jumped and floated down. As soon as he landed, Fug rolled up his parachute and scampered back up.
“I am not sure of this, it is dangerous,” Nostra mouse said. “You do it Bopper, you show us.”
“OK scaredy mouse, I will,” Bopper said as he grabbed his parachute and jumped. Before his opened Fug was back and he again jumped. Soon there were mouse screams and yells as mice floated from the rafters of the shed down to the floor. Even Miss Mousely the teacher tried it. Only three mice chickened out. All were down looking up when Bopper and Fug went back up for a last jump.
“Kaboom,” a big noise reverbrated through out the building and the mice scattered quickly, deserting Bopper and Fug, all eager to tell their parents and friends about parachuting.
“Last one, Fug, last one,” Bopper said as he got ready to jump. Just as he stepped off the rafter, there was a noise and the large garage door opened as well as the door on the other end of the shed. Bopper was floating down until the opening doors cause a big gust of wind. Bopper was sucked out of the shed and up into the air. The wind caught his parachute Kleenex and he was swept upward and away.
Bopper’s last adventure was a good one as he looked down up the earth as he was hurtled southward. Was this Bopper’s last adventure? (©tomWYO, 052604)
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