Children Fiction posted June 1, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
The Hedgerow friends are bored.

Let's Go Camping

by Sandra Stoner-Mitchell

"What is going on here?!" Daddy Mouse asked. He had just come indoors to have a cup of tea with Mummy Mouse, and then went upstairs to Timmy and Tommy's bedroom to see what they were doing. The boys were flopped out on their beds and all their friends were there too. They were sitting on the floor looking really miserable.

"Why aren't you children playing outside? It's a nice sunny day, you could be having lots of fun. Come on, all of you...up you all get. Go and get some fresh air, it will do you good."

"There's nothing to do," moaned Timmy Mouse. "We are all bored."

"Nothing to do...Nothing to do? Goodness me!" Daddy Mouse was so amazed. He couldn't remember ever being bored when he was a youngster.

Reggie the Rat, sitting idly fiddling with his tail, looked up and muttered with a sigh, "It is true, Mr Mouse. We have all been thinking, and there really isn't anything we can do."

Millie the Mole also agreed, and so did Vicky the Vole. Cyril the Squirrel was nodding his head. He agreed as well!

Daddy Mouse went over to the chair in the corner of the bedroom, and sat down. The friends were watching him as he scratched his chin, and then twiddled his hair, he hummed and haa-d, and tugged at his ear. He wiggled his toes, and chewed on his lip, and then suddenly...he stood up! He looked at the children and smiled, his eyes were shining and he looked so excited. The children sat up straight; they all wondered what he was going to say next.

"How would you like to..." he began, very slowly, watching the children's eyes widen. "How would you like to go...camping down by the stream and sleep in a tent tonight?"

Well, it was as if Christmas had come again, the friends all jumped up and started bouncing around with delight.

"Can we really go camping? When can we go? Will we have a picnic? Can we take our teddies?"

"Whoa, there!" Daddy Mouse laughed. "You will all have to ask your mums and dads first. If they all say you can go, we will go this morning."

When Daddy Mouse said that, they all ran out of the bedroom and noisily clambered down the stairs, dashing home to ask their mums and dads if they could go. Not only did their parents agree, they packed up lots of food to take with them. Cheese and fresh fruit; carrot sticks and nuts, sweetcorn--lots and lots of lovely things. They even packed some paper-plates and bottles of water. The youngsters, with their parents, then set off back to Mr Mouse's home.

While all the children had been getting ready, Daddy Mouse had cleared out his big van to make room for everything. First, he put the tent in, 'can't forget that', he smiled to himself. Mummy Mouse came out with some blankets for them all to sleep on, and some towels. She knew they would all want to go swimming in the stream. Daddy Mouse looked to see if he had forgotten anything, then satisfied that everything was there, he closed the van doors and drove it round to the front of the house just as everyone arrived at the gate.

"Here we are, then," he said to everyone. "The van is all ready, so put your little bags in the back, and then climb in and sit down. Don't forget to put your safety belts on!" He watched them as they did as they were told, then turned to the children's parents.

"I'll keep a good eye on them," he promised. "And I will bring them home tomorrow." Daddy Mouse gave them all a cheery wave, then jumped into the driving seat and started the engine. Six excited faces, looking out the window, waved as they shouted out..."Good byeee," and then they were off.

"When will we be there?" Reggie the Rat asked Mr Mouse.

"Oh, it won't take us long." Daddy Mouse smiled. "Why don't you play, 'I spy with my little eye', for a little while?"

"That's a good idea!" called out, Millie the Mole. "Can I start, please?" she added, putting her hand up in the air.

All the children told her she could, and waited while she thought of what she would spy.

"I...spy...with my little eye...something...beginning with...T" Millie finished with a smile.

Everyone looked around the van, and then out the windows to see if there were things beginning with, T, outside.

"I know," squealed Tommy Mouse, "It's, tent!"
"Wrong," Millie laughed.
"I know," said Cyril the Squirrel, "It's, tree!"
"Wrong." Millie laughed again, she was enjoying this.
"I know," Reggie the Rat said loudly, "It's, Tiger!"

Now everyone laughed, "Tiger," they all shouted out, "Where is there a Tiger?"

Reggie opened his bag and pulled out his cuddly toy tiger. "Here he is!" he said triumphantly, "This is Toby the Tiger."

Millie was now laughing so much, she had tears pouring down her face.

"Wrong! It is not a tiger, or tree, or a tent. Do you all give up?"

Then a little voice squeaked, "I know what it is." Everyone turned and looked at Vicky the Vole. "It's T for our T-shirts."

"That's right. How did you guess?" Milly asked.
"Because you kept looking at them." Vicky giggled.
"Let's play it again," said Timmy Mouse.

The children played the game all the time, until they reached the campsite.

At last Daddy Mouse stopped the van and all the youngsters looked out the windows to see where they were.

"Everyone out," Daddy Mouse bellowed loudly. "Let's get the tent out of the back of the van."

Reggie the Rat was the first to jump out. He rushed around to the back of the van, to help Daddy Mouse pull out the tent. When it was all on the ground, the others helped to lift it to where they were going to put it up.

"Shall we put it by the stream?" Millie asked. "It does look nice and clear."

"Let's put it a little way back," Daddy Mouse replied. "I can see you all jumping in the water and splashing all the blankets and food."

Cyril the Squirrel laughed excitedly, "I will make a huge wave when I jump in," he said, standing on his tippy toes and reaching his arms up as high as he could to demonstrate how large his wave would be.

Timmy and Tommy Mouse, grinned, "We will jump in together and make an even bigger wave, as high as the sky!"

Daddy Mouse smiled at them, and shaking his head, told them, "No one will be doing anything if we don't get this tent up soon."

It didn't take them long to put it up. When they had finished and everything was in its proper place, they were all ready to go jumping into the water.

"This is such fun!" shouted Vicky the Vole, splashing Tommy Mouse. Next minute she was shrieking loudly, as Tommy splashed her back!

Daddy Mouse sat on the grass and watched them all playing. He had to make sure they wouldn't get into trouble in the water. It could be very dangerous if they weren't careful. All the youngsters had learnt to swim at school. Miss Freda the Frog, their teacher, had taken them to Popsicorn Bog, and had taught them herself.

After a while, Daddy Mouse called them out for their lunch. He put down a blanket and laid out the paper plates loaded up with lots of nice food.

"Tonight," he told them while they were eating, "I will make a small fire so you can toast some marshmallows on sticks. Does anyone know any nice stories?"

Millie the Mole put her hand in the air, "I do, but they are very spooky stories," she grinned. "Perhaps they will frighten you all."

"I'm not scared of anything!" Reggie the Rat, declared loudly.

"Nor are we...are we, Daddy?" Timmy and Tommy said together.

"Well, I think it would be tickity-boo," Cyril the Squirrel said happily.

Vicky the Vole just smiled.

After lunch, Daddy Mouse suggested making a rope swing. "There are lots of strong trees around here," he said, looking up at the branches. "If Cyril would like to take the rope up to that thick branch up there," he pointed his finger at a long branch that reached out over the stream. "Then you can swing on it and when you are over the water, you let go and make a big splash."
Well, this was such an exciting idea.

Cyril immediately agreed. "Yes, I can do that, Mr Mouse." He grinned.

"Okay then, let me go fetch the rope." Daddy Mouse went to the back of the van and brought out a long, thick roll of rope and handed one end to Cyril. "Here you are, now if you can climb up and tie it tightly around that branch, I will be able to make the swing."

Cyril took hold of the rope and put it in his mouth, then scurried up the tree trunk till he reached the right branch. Once there, he tied the rope around it, and then shouted down to Daddy Mouse to pull on it to make sure it was tight enough.

"It's perfect, Cyril," Daddy Mouse called back after giving the rope a good tug. "You can come down now."

While Cyril scurried back down, Daddy Mouse tied two big knots on the rope. "This is what you hold onto," he explained, showing them what he meant by holding the rope with his two hands. "Then, you go back as far as you can...and then run and swing over the water and then let go."

Millie the Mole and Vicky the Vole weren't too sure about that. They decided to watch the boys do it first because they looked like they wanted to have a go straight away.

Daddy Mouse said, "I think Cyril should have the first go for taking the rope up the tree. That is if you would like too, Cyril?"

"Yes please!" he replied, excitedly taking hold of the rope. He went back as far as he could, then ran forward and swung out over the water and let go. "Wheee," he shouted, as he dropped. Then came the big splash and everyone got soaked. "That was tickity boo!" laughed Cyril the Squirrel, climbing out of the water.

"Can I go next?" All three boys asked at once.

One at a time, all the boys had a go, then Daddy Mouse looked at the girls. "Would you two like to have a go now?" he asked.

Millie and Vicky looked at each other and grinned. "You first," Vicky said to Millie.

Millie took hold of the rope and walked back with it as far as she could, then with a loud scream, she ran forward and swung across the water then let go.

"That was so good!" she cried out, joining her friends and shaking water all over them, laughing as they all protested loudly. "Your turn," she told Vicky, handing her the rope. "It's quite alright," she added.

So Vicky took hold of the rope, but because she was so little, she couldn't go back as far as the others. It was not going to work.

"Let me help you," said Daddy Mouse, "Hold on to the top knot...that's it, now I will swing you." Daddy Mouse then took her back and let go.

Vicky was swinging out over the water, but she didn't let go. She went backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, laughing out loud. She was having such a lot of fun without getting wet! When the rope stopped swinging, she let go and dropped down to the ground.

"That was brilliant fun!" she said. All the others thought it looked good too, and each had a go doing it the same way as Vicky the Vole.


That night, Daddy Mouse made a little camp fire and gave them all a very long stick with marshmallows on the end. While they were toasting them, Millie the Mole told her very spooky stories. Reggie the Rat was not as brave as he had told them he was. Vicky had a fit of the giggles when Reggie turned round and hid his face in Tommy Mouse's t-shirt.

All too soon, it was bed time. Timmy and Tommy Mouse gave their daddy a kiss goodnight, then followed the others into the tent. Daddy Mouse went and filled a bucket with some water from the stream and threw it over the fire. Making sure it was really out, he then went to bed in his tent.

The next morning, they were all up bright and early. While Daddy Mouse put their breakfast out, the young friends had a last swim.

"This was the best time we have ever had," Timmy and Tommy Mouse told their dad. "Can we do it again?"

"And can we stay longer next time?" Reggie the Rat asked, and the others nodded their heads, hopefully. "A week...maybe two?"

Daddy Mouse laughed. "We will see...but your mums and dads must agree."

The children all cheered. They knew they would...they would make sure of it by being really, really good!


If you find any little 'nits' please don't be shy, let me know! :)
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