ADVENTURES IN COTTONTAIL PINES
T.K. Wade on Shakespir
Cover Art Illustrated by:
T.K. Wade and Coy Fields II
Adventures in Cottontail Pines:
Copyright © 2016 by T.K. Wade
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
ADVENTURES IN COTTONTAIL PINES
In the quaint town of Cottontail Pines, you never really know what kind of amazing things can happen or who you may meet. It is really a fine place to visit, and this lovely reputation traveled to other places by way of a certain owl named Mister Hooty. He is the leader and resident professor of Cottontail Pines, and he simply wanted the world to know how great his little town was. Little did he know that his bragging caused the trouble in this story.
It all began on a rainy evening. There was even a few claps of thunder in the distance. Most of the animals were staying indoors to avoid getting wet. Unbeknownst to these animals, a very scary creature was getting very close to the borders of the town. Fang the wolf was thinking about an easy meal on this wet day, and the sweet-natured animals of the town were presently on the menu.
The hateful creature licked his chops a few times before setting a paw across the border. He could see all the lit windows and thought all he would have to do would be to crash one of those windows in and pull out a poor, hapless animal. Yes, that seemed like a very good idea to someone as cruel as Fang.
“What are you doing, Fang?” came the stately voice of one Mister Hooty. He had been sitting perfectly still in a nearby tree.
Fang saw him presently and said, “I was admiring your fine village. That’s all.”
“If you progress even a step further, I shall summon the Badger Guards. They are only one hoot away–if I need them.”
“No need,” said Fang drawing himself back. “I was only having a look–as I said.”
As the wolf slowly walked away on the rainy evening, Mister Hooty said to himself, “That bad wolf is becoming bolder as if late. I half-believe my threat will not work one of these days.” When he was sure Fang was gone, he opened up his wings and flew back to his oak tree in the center of Cottontail Pines–for that was his home.
I am happy to say that the next day was far prettier than the previous one. The clouds were whisked away by the stormy winds leaving it a beautiful, sunny day. All the friendly animals–and even the unfriendly ones–could not imagine staying inside their homes on such a day. Everyone was out and about doing chores, going to market, and even playing in the warm sunshine.
Flopsy the white rabbit was with all her friends at Donut Park. Let me tell you about Flopsy. She was a very pretty girl bunny with ears so very long that they draped down to her feet. She always had to walk very carefully so as to not trip over them. It was really difficult not to like Flopsy, for she always tried to be the friend of everyone.
There was also Gumdrop the mouse. Although she was very small, Gumdrop was the biggest and best friend of Flopsy. She was almost always Flopsy’s shadow wherever the bunny went. They were currently drawing out designs in the sand for how they would rearrange Flopsy’s bedroom that afternoon.
Blacky the skunk was sitting against a tree with his arms crossed. Although a kind-hearted fellow, he was almost always grumpy. Even a beautiful day such as this one could not make him smile. Goober the brown bunny was nearby swinging about a butterfly net. He was the most timid of all of them, but he positively loved insects. This was a very good day to be out trying to catch them too.
The brown rabbit had set himself to capture a particular butterfly that caught his attention. He had swung, missed, swung, and missed again. He chased it all the way into a nearby cluster of trees. Suddenly, he screamed out, and the net few out into the park without its owner.
The incident caught the attention of many of the animals. Flopsy, Gumdrop, and even Blacky ran to go see what had happened to him. “Goober!” cried the white bunny. “Are you hurt?!”
Goober only groaned as a response, so they made haste to find him. They finally saw him with his face in the dirt, and he was rather scuffed. Blacky helped him to his feet. “Did you run into a tree again?” asked the skunk. “You should really look where you are going. I was really busy doing nothing at all, and you messed up my concentration!”
“I didn’t,” whined Goober in a nervous way.
Gumdrop the mouse asked, “Did someone hit you and run away?”
Goober dusted himself off and said, “I don’t know. It was all really sudden.”
“What happened then?” asked Flopsy busy picking pine straw and leaves out of his fur.
“I think someone… stepped on me,” replied Goober nervously. “Somebody really, really big!”
The animals soon heard many of the children in Donut Park screaming. The four friends all ran–Goober limped–back into the park. All the playing children were running away terrified as the largest animals they had ever seen was trying to sit in one of the swing sets. “Oh, great,” said Blacky grumpily. “I suppose doing nothing will have to wait.”
“What is that?” asked Flopsy with wide eyes.
The creature was at least three times bigger than they were (or five times bigger than Gumdrop.) She had a really long thick tail and big, giant feet. It was obvious that those feet were the ones that had trod over poor Goober.
“It’s a monster!” yelled Gumdrop.
“A big, stomping monster!” added Blacky.
Goober groaned again and said, “Actually, that looks like a kangaroo to me. I read about them in my A to Z animal book.”
“A kangaroo?” said Flopsy curiously.
Yes, it was a kangaroo girl who had taken over the swing sets. The metal bars which held them up groaned as her weight pulled down on them. This kangaroo was not just very tall; she was also very chubby. When she tried to swing, the bars gave way, and she fell to the ground bringing all the other swings with her. The set had been destroyed in the process. The kangaroo simply appeared shocked at the outcome and said, “Oopsie!”
The four children nervously approached the newcomer. Flopsy asked, “Who are you? And why did you destroy our swing set… and step on Goober?”
To which the kangaroo replied, “My name is Ptooie Kangarooie. I didn’t mean to do it, and I don’t even remember stepping on a goober. What’s a goober?”
“I’m a Goober,” said the brown bunny in question.
“I just wanted to get to the park,” said Ptooie. “I must have not seen you. Oopsie. I’m sorry, Goober.”
“Where do you come from?” asked Gumdrop the mouse.
“From an animal city up north called Down Undah. I heard so many wonderful things about Cottontail Pines that I just had to see it for myself. And here I am–ruining it with my big bottom.”
The kangaroo was really such a strange thing to see in this town, but after meeting her, she did not seem like such a bad person. She was just very big, and perhaps, a little clumsy as well. Blacky suddenly asked, “Your name, Ptooie. Doesn’t the word ptooie have to do with spitting?”
“Oh, it sure does!” said the kangaroo enthusiastically. “I’m real good at it too! Have a look!” And with that, she spit out a big wad which landed right on the grumpy skunk’s head. Ptooie covered her mouth like she was incredibly sorry about it. “Oopsie!” she said again.
Blacky just stood there as the spittle dripped down his much tinier person. He depressingly said, “You know, sometimes it just doesn’t pay to stand up in the morning.”
Goober proceeded to wipe him off with several leaves. Flopsy turned to Gumdrop and said, “I know she hasn’t really had a great start, but we need to let her know she is welcome here.”
The mouse protested, “She already stepped on Goober. If she steps on me, I’ll be a goner!”
“She didn’t mean to do it,” reminded Flopsy. “We should talk to Mister Hooty about it. I can’t even imagine where she would be staying. There aren’t any houses big enough.”
“What about Wily the fox?” asked Goober still trying to get the spit out of Blacky’s fur. Meanwhile, Ptooie was just sitting there not really doing much of anything.
“He’ll never agree to it,” said Flopsy with a shake of the head.
“He will,” said Gumdrop, “if Mister Hooty tells him to, and that’s the truth.”
“Are you all talking about me?” asked Ptooie.
“Yes,” replied the white bunny. “We’re trying to figure out a place you can stay. Would you come with us to see Mister Hooty? He’s the leader of Cottontail Pines.”
“Sure!” said the kangaroo. “Just lead the way.”
“Just please, be careful where you step,” said Goober with a raised finger.
Cottontail Pines was made up of many cobblestone pathways which all led to the center of the town–a place called Oak Pass. Here is where all the children would come to receive their lessons from Mister Hooty who lived in the oak tree that grew here. Today, however, was not a school day, so the owl had fallen asleep.
“Mister Hooty!” called Flopsy from below.
The owl snorted, and it is such a silly thing when an owl makes that sort of sound. “Who? What is it? Flopsy, is that you?” He peered down from where he was perched. Yes, Flopsy was there, but she had been joined by Gumdrop, Blacky, and Goober–who looked like he had been rather scuffed.
“What’s this all about?” asked the groggy Mister Hooty. “This isn’t a school day. And what has happened to Goober? He looks positively scuffed.”
Gumdrop hopped up and down–which was a habit of hers when she wanted to get attention. “That’s part of what we came to tell you! We have a new visitor in town, and she stepped on Goober.”
The injured bunny raised a finger. “I may need medical attention.”
Mister Hooty ruffled his feathers. “I’m sure you do, Goober. You should see your parents about it. But what is all this about a new visitor? I haven’t seen anyone.”
“SURPRISE!” The voice had come from right behind the unsuspecting owl. He was so startled by it that he fell right off of his perch and came crashing down before the children. Ptooie had snuck up behind him trying to give him a very special greeting, but all it had done was just frighten him down to the ground. “Oopsie,” the kangaroo whimpered.
“What in blazes?!” said Mister Hooty as he was helped back up to his talons.
Blacky grumpily explained, “That’s who we’ve been talking about.”
The owl looked around for a moment before he peered upwards. There was the shameful face of the creature who had startled him off of his branch. “Goodness me!” he cried. “It’s a kangaroo!”
Flopsy nodded. “We already know. Goober read about kangaroos in his A to Z animal book.”
Ptooie wondered aloud, “I wonder what letter I was under.”
Mister Hooty fluffed himself as he stared at the giant. “What do you mean by scaring me silly like that?!”
Ptooie frowned, but Flopsy apologized for her, “I’m sure she didn’t mean to do it. She also didn’t mean to step on Goober and break the swing set at Donut Park.”
Mister Hooty nodded at first. “Yes, I am sure she… Wait! She broke the what?!”
“I was too heavy for it,” said Ptooie sadly. “It all came down around me.” The owl just stared at the giant person incredulously.
Flopsy continued, “I thought maybe we could give her a party tomorrow so she could see how friendly we are in Cottontail Pines.”
“I suppose we should,” muttered the owl in a dizzy state.
“And we should also see if Wily could let her stay with him since his new place is bigger than everyone else’s.”
“That does seem like a good idea,” replied Mister Hooty; although, I am unsure if he was really all there. But he finally decided to ask the large kangaroo, “Young lady, what is your name?”
“Ptooie Kangarooie!” was the reply. “I remember when you came to my city of Down Undah! You had so many wonderful things to say about Cottontail Pines, I just had to come over for myself!”
“And your parents let you come alone?”
“’Course, they did! I tend to knock a lot of things over back home anyways. They tend to just let me walk off now and again so they can clean the place up.”
“Ah,” said Mister Hooty as he looked at the smaller children. “It appears this is my fault. Not that having an enthusiastic guest in town is a bad thing. I shall escort her to Wily’s house; although, I am sure he will not be pleased.”
Gumdrop chimed in, “Well, it’s either that or she’ll be sleeping outdoors!”
“Very true, Gumdrop. Now, Ptooie, come with me. I am going to introduce you to one of our larger citizens.”
“Okie dokie!” said Ptooie, and she followed him taking great care not to step on anyone along the way.
Crash! Crunch! Flop!
“Watch where you’re stepping!” cried Wily the fox.
Ptooie stood within the house with her head lowered. She tried to steady herself against the walls, but her hand shot through one of the window–knocking it out. “Oopsie!” she said in distress.
“My window!” Wily had never been so upset. Normally, he was known for being something of a bully to the animals in Cottontail Pines, but to his credit, he had been trying to get along with them lately. One of the things he tried to do was build himself a house so that he could feel like everyone else. It was the largest house in the town, but sadly, it was just a bit too small for a certain kangaroo.
Mister Hooty had had a difficult time convincing Wily to let the visitor into his home, but he had been stern about it. After all, if Wily was to be an active member of the community, he would need to be nice to newcomers such at Ptooie. Wily–who unlike the other animals in Cottontail Pines preferred to walk on four legs–did not really want someone of a different nature inside his new house–especially one so big. He really did try and dissuade the owl, but in the end, he gave in, and the rest may be a tragedy for the poor fellow.
Mister Hooty did his best to calm down the fox, “Now, Wily, she cannot help her size. Most of the animals from Down Undah are very big. She simply needs a place to stay.”
“She’s breaking everything!”
The owl ruffled his feathers. “Now, that is no way to speak in the presence of a visiting child.” But then a kangaroo tail came out of nowhere and batted the owl into a nearby wall sending feathers floating about. Wily could not help but chuckle at the owl’s misfortune since he felt it was only fair.
“Oopsie!” said Ptooie. “I didn’t see you there.”
Mister Hooty groaned, for he was somewhat bruised after that incident. He tried to stay pleasant. “Quite all right, little… eh… girl. I was intending to move over here anyways. Why don’t you have a seat and try to relax for a while.”
Ptooie sat down. There was a loud noise, and Wily hopped up and shouted, “My table! That was my table!”
“Oopsie!” said Ptooie once again. She stood back up to assess the damage, but the act of turning around sent her tail flying around the room. Mister Hootie ducked just in time, but Wily took the tail in his face and was sent rolling head over tail out of the room. This was followed by another crash!
“Goodness me!” said Mister Hootie.
“Oopsie!” said Ptooie.
“Whyyyy?!” cried Wily miserably from the other room.
As the day wore thin, the animals had all come together at Oak Pass to prepare a welcoming party for Ptooie Kangarooie. This was a long held tradition in Cottontail Pines. You may have heard of it from one of my other stories. You see, one of the great things about the animals who lived there was how well they welcomed newcomers into their society. And since no one had ever seen an animal from Down Undah before, they were all in a tizzy about it. This party would have to be especially big for whoever this new person was.
Flopsy, Gumdrop, and Goober were busy setting up the tables and making the food. There would also be games and fireworks for everyone to enjoy. Blacky the skunk did not really help all that much. He went around with a clipboard making sure everything looked satisfactory. When Flopsy scolded him for not doing any work, he simply said, “Someone has to make sure the work is done right; otherwise, nobody will take Cottontail Pines seriously in Down Undah. If you think about it, my job is the most important of all.” But everyone still believed he was just being lazy.
“What do you think about Ptooie?” asked Gumdrop while she helped Flopsy with a welcoming banner.
“She seems very sweet–maybe, a little on the clumsy side.”
“Have you ever in your life seen someone so big? It’s hard to believe that she’s a kid like we are. It’s even more surprising that her parents let her run off like that.”
“She may have run away,” said Flopsy with some concern. “I’ll bring that up to Mister Hooty when we see him later. But you’re right. I haven’t seen anyone so big.”
Goober walked up carrying a cake with him. “I have been thinking,” he started to say.
Both bunny and mouse replied, “We know.”
Goober ignored the comment and said, “Do you think maybe we are making this party too small for Ptooie’s preference?”
Before Flopsy or Gumdrop could answer, Blacky came out of nowhere with his clipboard and said, “This is a Cottontail Pines party–not a Down Undah party! She’s got to see what kind of parties we throw. Isn’t that the whole point, Goober?”
The nervous, brown bunny had not expected Blacky to speak. “Well, I… er—.”
“Exactly!” said Blacky without letting him speak. “Let’s keep working! We don’t have forever to do this! Put that cake on the table over there, Goober.” And the bunny was rushed away.
Flopsy looked at Gumdrop and shook her head. “That skunk can be so bossy sometimes.”
“And still not doing any of the work!” complained the mouse.
However, many of the animals there were working quite hard so that this mysterious new visitor would be pleased. Oak Pass was full of hustle and bustle and was quite full of animals. They were so busy in fact, that they would have never noticed that they were currently being watched by a wolf just outside the borders.
Yes, it was Fang–a creature who had been showing up once too often lately. He muttered to himself as he laid low, “It seems to me that they are planning some sort of party. The problem with parties is that sometimes children may stray from their parents. How terrible it would be if some hungry wolf would snatch them up during all the distractions?” He clicked his teeth a few times and chuckled.
Well, as much as the animals tried, they could not get the party preparations finished by nightfall. They still wished to have the party in the evening, so it was decided that they would welcome the newcomer on the following day. This meant that Ptooie would have to stay the night with Wily the fox, and I am sure you may be wondering how that went.
While Gumdrop assisted Goober with the final preparations at Oak Pass, Flopsy went with Blacky to check on their guest. What they found was rather surprising! Wily’s house had been partially collapsed. There was an arm coming out one window and a foot coming out of another. Inside was the sound of some very intense snoring which must have been coming from Ptooie herself. But here was the sad part: Outside, Wily was miserably laying on his belly with all four of his legs spread out. He looked fairly beaten up too.
Flopsy–who was a bunny filled with caring for those in need–ran directly to him. “Oh, Wily! What happened?!”
“I’m homeless,” said the fox without moving anything other than his maw.
Blacky the skunk casually walked over to the downtrodden fox and leaned on him a little. “Giant kangaroo was too big for your house?”
“Saw it coming,” said the skunk.
Flopsy scowled at Blacky. “Why didn’t you say something then?!”
“I didn’t have any better idea. Did you? We can’t make a house overnight. Besides, isn’t this Mister Hooty’s fault?”
Flopsy was still rather annoyed with the skunk, but she turned her attention to the poor fox before her. “Are you mad at us, Wily? We’re really sorry about this.”
You know, there was a day when Wily might lose his temper, but lately, it just was not in him. He shook his head and said, “I’m not mad at you. I mean… if you think on it… I may have had most of my furniture destroyed… and I may have had all my windows busted out… and I may have lost all of my foxy dignity… but at least, I still have a roof over my head when that kangaroo gets out.”
There was a loud crash. Everyone jumped as Ptooie’s head poked through the roof of the house sending little wooden planks flying in every direction. “Oopsie!” she said. “I had a nightmare, and it startled me! I think I busted your roof, Wily.”
The fox covered his face with his front paws and decided not to say anything. Ptooie added, “Did you want me to try and fix it?” She pulled her arm in and tried to stand up, but all she did was cause the roof to collapse even further. “Oop…sie,” she said slowly.
Wily–who was still covering his eyes–muttered, “Is it over? Can I look now?”
Flopsy tittered for a moment and placed her paws on his. “Might wanna keep them covered for now, Wily.”
“Okay,” he said pitifully.
While Ptooie struggled to remove herself from the crumbling house, Blacky pulled Flopsy aside and said, “This kangaroo is becoming a problem. I know Wily hasn’t been very nice to us in the past, but even I can’t stand seeing him like this. What are we going to do about it?”
Flopsy frowned. “I really don’t think she means any harm. She keeps saying ‘Oopsie!’ and I think there is a rule somewhere that says if you say ‘Oopsie,’ that you really don’t mean it when you do something terrible.” She looked at the skunk for support. “Isn’t that right?”
Blacky stared at her for a moment. “Where is that rule written again?”
“Never mind,” said the flustered bunny. She looked at Wily and pulled his paws away from his eyes. “We’ll help you rebuild your house after the party. It’ll be back up in no time.”
“You promise?” asked the fox. “Furniture and everything?”
“Everything, and yes, I promise! But for now, I’ll take her off your paws.”
Wily–of course–did not disagree with this. Blacky walked over to the big kangaroo and signaled her over at the risk of being spit on. “Where are we going?” she asked the skunk.
“We gotta see Mister Hooty again. Do you think you can make it all the way there without destroying anything?” Ptooie stared at him as if she was not sure. The skunk added, “Just try to stay a good distance from me and Flopsy. Can you do that?” Once again, she just stared at him. Blacky groaned and then said to himself, “Maybe, I should just run for my life.”
“Whoa, whoa!” shouted Mister Hooty as he fluttered down from a tree. Flopsy, Blacky, and Ptooie stopped in their tracks.
“What’s the matter, Mister Hooty?” asked the bunny.
“We’re still quite busy at Oak Pass. We’d like to keep Ptooie away from it until we are ready for the party to begin.”
“I can help… if you like,” said the kangaroo.
“Thank you, dear, but we have everything well in hand. You are our guest after all.”
“Okie dokie,” said Ptooie with a silly nod that made her ears flap.
Blacky simply began walking away. “They probably need supervision while Mister Hooty is away. I’ll take care of it.”
Flopsy ignored the skunk and stepped up close to the owl. She said to him quietly, “Mister Hooty. I’ve been thinking about it. I think Ptooie may have run away from home.”
“You think so?” hooted the owl softly.
“I don’t think any parent would just let their child run out into dangerous areas. Don’t you agree?”
Both Mister Hooty and Flopsy looked up at Ptooie for a moment. The kangaroo made a silly smile and waved at them. They returned to each other, and the owl said, “I wondered as much, but I’m unsure if the girl would know any better. She does seem a little bit… oh, what is the word?”
“Silly?” said Flopsy.
“Quite so, but I am sure her parents will be worrying about her. I shall have to fly to Down Undah and inform them where their daughter is.”
“You’ll miss the party,” said Flopsy with a frown.
“Ah, but I feel that this was my fault to begin with. I shall inform the Badger Guard to watch over the town while I am away. Do try and keep Ptooie busy until the party… and please keep Goober away from her feet.”
Flopsy nodded. “Oh, yes. That’s a good idea.”
Ptooie suddenly spoke up, “You both sure are having a quiet conversation. Is it about me?”
Mister Hooty fluttered up to a tree branch that was at eye level with the big kangaroo. He cleared his throat and said, “Ptooie Kangarooie, I want you to be honest with me. Tell me the truth. Did you run away from home to come see us?”
The giant kangaroo suddenly looked ashamed. “Well… They would understand if they knew where I was going. Cottontail Pines is the nicest place I ever heard about.”
“But your parents did not give you permission?”
“No. Oopsie. Am I in trouble?”
“Well, not with me. But I will be flying to Down Undah to inform them of your whereabouts. Do not worry. I am sure they will be relieved to find out that you are well.”
“Can I still go to the party tonight?” she asked timidly.
“Of course, and I hope you shall enjoy yourself.”
“Wahoo!” cried Ptooie as she jumped into the air and came down with a massive thud! Mister Hooty lost his balance in the quake and landed on top of Flopsy who had tried to break his fall. “Oopsie,” said the kangaroo with a blush.
The party was finally set up. Almost all the animals from Cottontail Pines showed up–not just for the party but also to meet this kangaroo girl that had been talked about so much. It really was a jolly affair. Everyone was already eating and playing games. Many of the animals were trying to find Ptooie so that they could welcome her there, but the kangaroo was nowhere to be seen.
Blacky and Gumdrop were together near one of the refreshment booths. The mouse was confused as to something. She asked the skunk, “Where is Flopsy and Ptooie? They’re missing the party, and it’s all for the kangaroo to begin with.”
“It’s not my problem,” said the skunk before drinking some lemonade.
His response annoyed the mouse. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It was only my job to make sure you guys got the party made up right. Whether or not the guest of honor–or Flopsy–shows up for it is out of my hands.”
Gumdrop stomped her little feet with indignation. “I wasn’t blaming you! I was just worried about where Flopsy was! Sometimes, Blacky, you can be just so… full of it!”
“Full of what?” he asked.
“Whatever it is that makes you so annoying!”
“I can live with that,” he said with a shrug. “What’s with all the Badger Guards anyways?”
“Huh?” said the mouse as she saw them. Yes, there were badgers standing about looking very intimidating. They did not look like they were there for the party but rather on duty. The Badger Guard was like the police force of Cottontail Pines, and they were not to be trifled with.
The mouse replied, “Mister Hooty had to fly away. Maybe, he was worried something might happen while he was gone.”
“Well, if something does happen,” said Blacky, “it won’t be my fault.” Gumdrop only scowled at him.
Just outside of Oak Pass–where the party was currently being held–Flopsy was standing with Ptooie. “What’s the holdup?” asked the bunny. “The party is for you. Why won’t you go in?”
“What if they don’t like me?” asked the kangaroo. “Not everybody likes me.”
“But I like you,” said Flopsy.
“Even after I knocked Mister Hooty down on top of you?”
“Oh! I know you didn’t mean to do it,” the bunny said with a blush. “And besides, he’s nothing but soft feathers anyways.”
“And I stepped on Goober,” added Ptooie.
“You didn’t mean that either. It was an accident.”
“I spit on Blacky.
“He probably deserved it!”
“I made Wily homeless.”
“Ptooie!” Flopsy suddenly cried. “It’s okay! We’re going to rebuild his house tomorrow! You didn’t mean any of these things. Just come on. Everybody is dying to meet you. Cottontail Pines throws great parties. Let’s just go and have a good time. Okay?”
The kangaroo released a sigh and nodded. “Let’s go have a party! I’ll race you there!”
“Race me?” said Flopsy with horror. “Ptooie, no!” But it was too late; she was already gone.
Blacky was standing next to the punch bowl. First, he noticed the drinks were wobbling in their cups. Then he felt a strange rumbling under his feet. It was here that the skunk began to realize that something bad was about to happen, and he was most certainly right.
The crowds all stopped when they felt the tremors. The badgers all looked around thinking that some monster was soon to appear to accompany those quakes. “What’s going on?” asked a possum. “Is this an earthquake?” wondered a raccoon.
Gumdrop the mouse was just as confused as everyone else, but then she saw Goober the brown bunny running towards her at full tilt. “Goober, what’s happening?” she asked him.
“No time to explain!” he said whisking her up into his arms. After making a heroic dive to the side, Ptooie Kangarooie burst forth into the party knocking over a table of refreshments. Many of the animals ran away in fear of the hopping monster.
“Oopsie!” the kangaroo cried. When she turned around to see what damage she had caused, her tail knocked over one of the game stands. The poor turtle who had been running it had to duck inside his shell to prevent himself from being harmed. “Oopsie!” she said again.
Ptooie began to dance around worried she was going to knock more things over. Animals were kicked about in the process. More tables were overturned. Everybody was screaming. The badgers all ran to try and stop her, but some of them were trampled in the process. It was chaos for sure.
Blacky–who had been standing at the perimeter of the disaster area–took a few steps back to prevent any harm from coming to him. He grumbled to himself about having a whole day’s work being ruined–which is very silly since he did very little work to begin with. Little did he know that a set of evil eyes were fixed on him from behind.
Flopsy finally made it to the party. She hopped up and down and screamed, “Ptooie, stop! Please, stop!”
Ptooie stopped and looked at all the frightened animals huddling in fear. Even the poor badgers were unsure how to deal with this monster. The kangaroo suddenly realized that she had done a very bad thing; although, it still somehow was an accident. “Oopsie,” she said sorrowfully.
Nobody knew what to say. They just stared at this giant kangaroo while huddled in the shambles of a once happy party. Ptooie had never frowned so much. Flopsy walked to her front and could see how upset she was. “Ptooie, I know you didn’t mean to.”
“They all hate me now,” said the kangaroo on the verge of tears. “I should have never come. I should have never, ever come.”
Everything became very quiet. It was so quiet that a little voice crying, “Help!” was heard in the distance.
Goober walked over to the kangaroo with Gumdrop. Everyone listened carefully. It was Gumdrop who figured it out. “That’s Blacky! What happened to him?”
Ptooie suddenly hopped over to the border of the town with the animals following safely behind her. As the kangaroo was so very tall, she peered out over the field and saw what everybody was wondering about. “I see him! A wolf is carrying him away!”
Flopsy cried, “It’s Fang! Oh,no! He has Blacky!”
“Oh, no!” screamed little Gumdrop.
Goober said, “He’s too far away at this point! He’ll be done for!”
Ptooie looked out with determination. Suddenly, she took off–hopping at very high speeds through the field directly for the evil wolf. As fast as Fang was, he was no match for a kangaroo from Down Undah. In fact, he did not even know she was back there. He was confident that he had achieved his meal and that all there was left to do was take Blacky to the forest and gobble him up.
Before he even understood his situation, the giant kangaroo leapt forth with her giant feet forward. She kicked him so hard that he went howling to the side letting go of the skunk in the process. Blacky hit the ground, but before he could thank her, she picked him up and shoved the skunk into a pouch that happened to be on her belly. All he saw was darkness which is really a shame when you consider what happened next.
As the wolf tried to get up on his feet, Ptooie snatched him up from the ground, leaned back on her tail, and used her feet to kick him up in the air over and over again. Finally, she kicked him so hard, he flew all the way into the forest–howling all the way there.
Many of the animals had seen what Ptooie had done, and they all cheered from where they stood. The kangaroo hopped slowly back and was met by a crowd of happy animals. Blacky finally stuck his head out of the pouch with a gasp. “Oh, my gosh,” he groaned. “It’s really sweaty in there!” Flopsy and Goober helped pull him out, but they both thought he was kind of nasty from being inside of the pouch. Gumdrop still hugged him, however. She was just glad to see him all right.
“Hurray for the hero of Cottontail Pines!” an animal shouted. “Hurray!” they all agreed. Ptooie looked down at all the animals who were so happy for what she had done. She could not help but smile. All of her mistakes had been forgiven, and she had been proven a good-hearted giant to all the animals of the town.
In the coming days, Ptooie tried very hard to be gentle with her new animal friends. She walked around on her tippy toes and double checked the ground where she walked. Likewise, the animals were careful not to get in her way, but they all still wanted to stop and talk with her.
Flopsy had become her especial friend. Ptooie and her helped Wily rebuild his house which was really nice of them I think. With the kangaroo’s help, the job took far less time than it had took to build it the first time. This made Wily quite satisfied; although, I doubt he would invite her in as a later courtesy.
Mister Hooty soon returned with Ptooie’s parents. They were much larger than their daughter–so large that the owl thought it best that they all meet just outside the town. Ptooie looked quite ashamed when she met with them, but when she told them about how many friends she had made and also about the rescue, they did not go too hard on her.
It then came to pass that Ptooie Kangarooie was to leave Cottontail Pines. Everyone gathered at the border to see her and her gigantic parents off. Mister Hooty announced to everyone, “I was quite worried that Fang would try something; although, I could not have known for sure. If it was not for this large–and often clumsy–kangaroo, we might have seen the last of Blacky. For this reason, I must say that Ptooie shall be welcome within our fine town any day she chooses.” But then he whispered to her under his wing, “But perhaps, you can send us a letter of warning beforehand?”
Ptooie nodded with a smile. “I will write it very carefully.”
Flopsy hopped up to her and said, “I knew you weren’t doing all those things on purpose. Thank you for saving Blacky and being my friend.”
“I’m glad you’re my friend too, Flopsy. I can’t wait to see you again. Where is Blacky anyhow?”
“In here!” came the muffled voice of Blacky. He crawled out of Ptooie’s pouch with that same sweaty look.
“What were you doing in there?” asked Flopsy.
“Don’t knock it till you try it. I’ve never slept so well in all my life!” Everyone laughed.
Ptooie and his parents waved and set off back to the city of Down Undah. Flopsy and all the animals waved until they were out of sight. No longer would they think of Ptooie as a destructive giant. She would only be remembered as a hero.
Welcome to the magical town of Cottontail Pines, where animals talk, and there is always a friend around the corner. In this new story called “A Kanga-tastrophe,” the animals of Cottontail Pines come across a new very large visitor. A kangaroo named Ptooie has come to see the town that she had heard so many wonderful things about. However, she is so big, that she may be too big for the quaint little animals of the town. Can she pay a visit without stomping everything under her giant feet? Find out what happens in this cute new story by T.K. Wade!