Copyright © 2015 Uncle Amon Books
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There are many things that are well known about the planet Mars. We know that it is the fourth planet from the sun, while we are the third. We know that it is named after the Roman god of war and often called “The Red Planet” because, well, it’s very red. It is covered in tiny, rust colored specs of dust. Even the air on Mars is red.
We know that it holds our solar system’s largest volcano, a massive mountain of rock and lava called Olympus Mons, which stands a titanic 13 miles high and is 372 miles across at its base, that’s more than twice as high as Earth’s highest mountain.
But much of Mars remains a mystery to us here on earth. Perhaps the most important thing many of us do not know is that there is life on mars.
Or, indeed it is more accurate to say there is life in Mars.
Mars hosts hundreds of wild, violent storms each year. The storms whip that rusty dust across the surface of the planet so viciously that the outdoors of Mars is constantly changing, and it’s nearly impossible live up there or to get a good game of volleyball going.
So, many hundreds of years ago Martians moved underground where they built great cities and towns, all beneath the surface of their planet.
For the most part the Martians are a very happy people, living and working and playing much as we do, they just do it all underground.
But there is one young Martian who wants to go exploring. His name is Mickey. Mickey is roughly three-feet tall and green from head to toe. He has two antennae on his head, bright, curious, gray eyes, and a big white smile.
One day not long ago Mickey went to his mom and said, “Mother, I’m nearly three years old, practically full-grown, and I want to explore the galaxy.”
“Why would you want to do a thing like that?” she asked, genuinely curious because she was content where she was.
“There’s so much to see and so much to do!” Mickey answered. “I want to explore it all. Our people used to zip through space whenever they pleased! What happened to that spirit?”
“We ended our space program hundreds of years ago,” she reminded her son. “Because we realized we have more than enough here at home.”
“I love our home,” Mickey said, “but I need to see EVERYTHING.”
“It’s much too dangerous,” she said.
“Well of course it’s dangerous,” Mickey answered. “When something is scary that’s how you know it’s fun!”
“I’m sorry,” she said not sounding sorry at all, “but I can’t allow it. Now go to your room and don’t come out until you are happy living underground forever!”
So Mickey went to his room, but he did not stay there until he was happy forever. He did not stay there for ten minutes, even. He immediately climbed out his window and headed toward the Mars Museum.
Once there, he bought a ticket like everyone else and walked inside. But unlike everyone else, he then stole a space ship!
He found an old flying saucer that, several centuries ago had carried his people to the farthest reaches of the universe! He climbed inside and looked around for the keys. He found them behind one of the sun visors.
He turned the key and the ship came alive!
Lights blinked and engines purred and Mickey knew his life would never again be the same.
The robotic voice of the spaceship said to him, “Where would you like to go?”
Mickey smiled his big white smile and said, “Everywhere!”
Mickey the Martian was about to become the first of his kind to leave the planet in hundreds of years! It was scary. Heck, it was terrifying!
And that’s how he knew it would be fun.
Mickey was a Martian. He was small and green and full of life.
And he had just stolen a space ship!
The ship was a flying saucer, it was two hundred years old, and until about ten seconds ago it was in a display case at a museum.
Now Mickey was flying through the halls of the Mars Museum looking for an exit big enough to fit a space ship.
The museum guards were chasing after him and yelling for him to stop, but Mickey had no intention of doing that.
“Sorry guys!” he yelled. “This is something I have to do!”
With no doors large enough for him to fly through Mickey gritted his teeth, closed his big gray eyes and pulled back on the control stick.
The flying saucer shot upward and crashed through the huge skylight in the roof of the museum!
“Sorry again!” he yelled back, “I’ll pay for that!”
Mickey was out of the museum but still underground, because all Martians lived underground.
Mickey zipped along high above the busy streets of Mars York City totally unsure of what to do next. He wanted to explore the universe, but first he had to get to the surface of his own planet.
“What is your destination?” The ships computer asked him.
“Just show me an exit!” Mickey shouted. He then felt bad about raising his voice and said, “Sorry for yelling. Can you help me get above ground?”
“Certainly,” the computer answered. A map of the city popped up on the ship’s navigation screen with certain areas highlighted. “Exits are located here, here and here.”
One of the highlighted areas was an old mining tunnel that Mickey had visited in kindergarten, so he aimed for that.
The saucer darted inside the tunnel and climbed toward the surface. Stalactites jutted down from the roof of the tunnel, bulldozers and Mars Movers rose high above the ground, but Mickey had logged a lot of hours on his M-box video game system playing space-fighting video games, so he knew just what to do! He expertly zigged and zagged by each of the obstacles, flying a deadly slalom toward a wide-open universe where he could go anywhere and see everything!
He burst out of the tunnel and onto the surface of Mars! But of course he didn’t stop there. He kept rising up, up, up until he broke through the atmosphere and was flying gracefully through the endless, star-speckled black of space.
“What is our next destination?” the ships computer asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Mickey said. “I hear Pluto is nice this time of year.”
Then there was a BANG and a loud hissing noise. The ship’s computer spoke up again saying, “Instead of going to Pluto, how would you feel about crashing into the nearest planet?”
“I wouldn’t feel great about it,” Mickey said. “Why do you ask?”
“Because that’s our only real option at this point,” the computer answered as the flying saucer became more of a falling saucer spinning toward a bright blue planet in the distance.
“Why? Why are we crashing?” Mickey yelled.
“Probably because I’m two hundred years old and really shouldn’t be flying anywhere,” the computer said.
The ship spiraled out of control inside the new planet’s atmosphere and hurtled toward the ground.
“Are we going to die?” Mickey asked, not sure he wanted to hear the answer.
“Fifty/Fifty” came the computer’s not very reassuring answer.
Just before impact Mickey’s last thought was, “Maybe my mom was right.” And then they SLAMMED into the dirt with a CRASH!
When the dust and dirt settled Mickey opened his big gray eyes and said, “Did we die?”
“I don’t believe so,” said the computer.
“Excellent!” Mickey exclaimed. “I love it when I don’t die.”
He climbed out of the ship and looked around at nothing but brown, flat sand for miles and miles in every direction.
“Where are we?” Mickey asked.
“Earth,” the computer said. “A land known as Nevada.”
“Well,” Mickey said, “Let’s start exploring.”
Mickey set out on foot. This is what he wanted, to see new things in new places.
“There’s an old Earth saying,” the computer said. “There are two great tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it.”
Mickey sighed and kept walking. One way or another, this was an adventure.
A fun fact to remember about Mars is that it’s cold. Cold like you mean it with temperatures ranging from 195 degrees below zero on a cold winters night all the way up to a balmy 100 degrees below zero during the summer evenings. At the Martian equator the planet can actually get all the way up to seventy degrees before plummeting more than 160 degrees when the sun goes down towards the end of one of Mars’ 24 hour, 37 minute, and 22 second long days.
Even when all the Martians moved underground many centuries ago they kept the AC on all the time. They were used to the cold.
The Nevada desert on the other hand is pretty darn hot. In the region known upliftingly as Death Valley, which sits a terrible 282 feet below sea level, it can get up to 120 degrees.
So it’s not surprising that Mickey the Martian made it roughly fifteen feet through this desert before collapsing onto the sand. He had recently crashed his flying saucer here on Earth as he attempted to explore the universe.
His lime green skin grew darker and darker as he lay on the sand baking under a sun that he had never known because he spent his entire life under ground.
When the military Humvees rolled up to him a few minutes later Mickey didn’t really care that he would probably be abducted and held prisoner as an alien invader. Or maybe worse. Maybe too-curious scientists would cut him open to see what makes him tick. Dissect me if you want, he thought, just give me a glass of water first!
General Jackson Pants stepped out of one of the camouflaged beasts the military rode up in and stomped up to Mickey. “What in the diggity doggone heck are you?” he asked.
Mickey used all the remaining strength in his tiny Martian body to stand, look General Pants right in the eye and say, “I’m an explorer.” He then immediately passed out from heat stroke.
When he woke again Mickey was behind bars at what looked to him like some sort of Army base. He didn’t know any more than that, except the number “51” had been painted in huge letters on each of the mean, gray walls.
Because he’s a Martian, and things are a little different on The Red Planet, it was at this point that Mickey decided to make a rousing speech. He thought he could change everyone’s mind, maybe change humanity for the better and then be on his way.
“We are not so different, you and me!” he began. “I am a little shorter than you, a little greener than you – though not that much greener than the fellow in back there. I think he’s going to throw up. Anyway, we all want the same things. Love, life, cookies every now and again. Too many cookies for this guy,” he said pointing at an overweight man near his cell. “Not to be rude but your health is important. Where was I? Oh yes—“
It was at that point that someone threw a shoe at Mickey and yelled, “Shut yer trap!”
Mickey was not great at speeches and also he was speaking Martian, which no one else on earth could understand.
Just then, however, as Mickey was about to lose all hope, every single military man and woman in the base fell asleep. Just fell over snoring.
“Um…what?” Mickey said to no one in particular, since everyone was out like a light.
But an answer came nonetheless. “I thought perhaps you could use a hand,” said the voice. It was the computer from his spaceship speaking through the PA system!
“How did you do that?” Mickey asked.
“I pumped the room full of carbon dioxide. Not enough to harm anyone, just enough to let them go to sleep for a while. But you breathe CO2 all the time, it is the most prevalent gas on Mars, so you were not affected.”
“Brilliant!” Mickey yelled in joy. “Now how do I get out of my cell?”
There was a long silence and then finally the ship’s computer said, “Well I can’t fix all your problems for you, can I?”
Mickey looked around for the solution. The keys were far out of reach, there didn’t seem to be any kind of electronic lock that could be rewired or hacked. It was a real stumper. Then Mickey realized that he didn’t have bones.
Martians are basically made of green Jell-O. So Mickey just squeezed his way between the bars and then BLOOP popped back into shape.
He carefully stepped over his snoring captors and out the door, back into the noonday sun of Death Valley.
He was, he hoped, homeward bound.
The last few hours had been eventful for the very young, very green Martian known as Mickey. He defied his mother, stole a spaceship, promptly crashed that spaceship, was captured by the United States Military, and then escaped when all of the guards were convinced to take a nap by a roomful of carbon dioxide being pumped inside their base. And it’s not even lunchtime.
As he walked out of the army base where he was, until only a few moments ago, being held captive. Two things occurred to Mickey. First: his space ship still didn’t work. And second: Martians are used to very cold temperatures and are therefore terrible at walking under the heat of the sun. The last time he tried to do that he made it roughly three yards. He would need to get much farther than that if he was going to get back to his flying saucer.
He was in a pickle, but Mickey didn’t mind pickles so much. They are delicious.
And Mickey had a secret weapon: the two antennae on top of his head allow him to communicate with anyone and anything, even machines.
He stood in the shade just outside the army base that had yet another enormous “51” painted on the side of the building, and he sent his thoughts screaming through the air to his ship. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked his ship. “How can I help?”
The ship’s answer came flying straight back into his brain through his antennae: “I’m low on brake fluid. Could you please pick some up?”
Mickey knew he should have checked his fluids before stealing the ship, but there just wasn’t time. Either way there was nothing left to do at this point but work the problem.
Mickey scratched his head as he thought. Those huge camouflaged machines the military rode in, the ones someone called “Humvees,” he seemed to remember them stopping when and where they were supposed to, they must have brake fluid!
But to get to them the young Martian would have to wade back into the lion’s den, so to speak. He just hoped everyone was still asleep.
The door creaked much louder than Mickey thought was reasonable as he snuck back inside but everyone remained soundly asleep, which was a plus.
Mickey tiptoed over to one of the Humvees, popped the hood and began looking for the brake fluid. It was helpfully labeled, but the writing was in English. Mickey reached out once more with his telepathic antennae, found the mind of the nearest guard and downloaded the English language into his own brain.
Then he could read everything around him. He easily found the brake fluid, twisted off the cap and, using a nearby soft drink container, sucked the brake fluid out with a straw and spat it into the cup. It did not taste good.
Mickey was feeling very pleased with how things were going and, of course, that’s when, all at once, everyone woke up.
They were all a little groggy, but Mickey knew that they would figure it all out soon enough and he did not want to be around when they did. So Mickey jumped into the car, found the keys under the sun visor again (that’s where keys always seem to be), turned the engine over and tore out through the garage door that was not quite as open as it was closed.
Mickey was getting pretty good at breaking things while escaping.
He zoomed through the desert with the truck’s AC on full blast and another dozen Humvees chasing after him.
Mickey came to the spaceship and slammed on the brakes but, of course, he had just sucked all the brake fluid out of the engine. Oops.
Mickey cut the wheel hard to the right and leapt from the moving car!
He flew through the air and shouted toward his ship: Open the roof please!
The ship’s glass dome retracted and Mickey flew into the pilot’s seat. “GO GO GO!” he yelled.
The ship’s computer answered, “I still do not have any brake fluid.”
“That is a problem for future Mickey!” Mickey said. “For now I don’t need you to stop, just go!”
The ship rose into the air and away from the army. Mickey sighed in relief. Earth seemed to him like a fine place, but he was happy to leave.
Mickey was a Martian, as in he was from Mars. He was small and green, he had two little (and very useful) antennae on his head and he was having a bit of a day. But things were looking up. Literally things were looking up as the young Martian and his flying saucer rose higher and higher into the air.
About two miles above the earth, where the air was pretty thin but there was still air to speak of, Mickey climbed outside his ship and popped the hood. The ship was out of brake fluid and the last time that happened, Mickey crash-landed into the wrong planet, so he aimed to fix it. The problem with this plan, though, is that he didn’t have any way to stop the ship while he repaired it, so as he poured the new fluid into the engine the ship continued to rise higher and higher toward outer space!
As the last drop of brake fluid fell into place Mickey closed the hood and jumped back into his pilot’s seat. The glass dome of his flying saucer closed above him just as he broke through the atmosphere into the black expanse of space.
“Where would you like to go next?” the ship’s computer asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Mickey answered. “I think I want to go anywhere else, but I think I need to go see my mom. I guess we better go home.”
“Home it is,” the computer said, and the ship shot off toward The Red Planet.
Soon enough, maybe too soon for Mickey’s liking, he was back on Mars. He parked the ship topside, even though all Martian’s live below ground. Mickey didn’t know if he’d ever get to see his flying saucer again, but he knew his only chance was keeping it out of reach of the others.
Mickey said his goodbyes and slowly marched down the exact same mining shaft he had first escaped through. He walked through the streets of Mars York City and, eventually, through the doors of his home where his mother was waiting for him.
Mickey had disobeyed his mother, stolen a ship, broken all kinds of stuff and surely he was in for it. He wasn’t sure if she’d hit him with her fist or like a frying pan or something, but he was pretty sure she’d bonk him and good.
Instead she hugged him.
She told him he had worried her half to death and she was so glad he was okay. She told him she loved him so much. Then she grounded him for the next 51,000 years.
“You have to listen to your mother,” she said. “I only want to keep you safe!”
Mickey understood. He knew his mother loved him and wanted the best for him.
“But the truth is,” she continued, “I need to listen to you, too. In fact, we all do. There’s a huge universe out there and it’s our privilege to go and see it. Your story of stealing one of the old saucers and going to Earth, it inspired the whole planet! We’re starting up a whole new space program. We’re going to be explorers again and it’s all because of you.”
Mickey was so moved by this he began to cry. He had messed up pretty much everything he had tried to do, but somehow he still managed to change the world. Not bad for one little Martian and his stolen space ship.
Then Mickey’s mother said, “But you’re still super grounded.”
~ ~ ~
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Q: What was the first animal to go into space?
A: The cow that jumped over the moon!
Q: Where do aliens park their space ships?
A: On a parking meteor!
Q: Why do cows love outer space?
A: Because of the Milky Way!
Q: What do Martians like to read?
A: Comet books!
Q: What kind of music do aliens listen to?
Q: What was the astronaut’s favorite snack?
Q: What did the alien say to a cat?
A: Take me to your litter!
Q: Why did Mickey the Mouse go to space?
A: He was looking for pluto!
Q: What do you call the moon on Thanksgiving?
A: Full moon!
Q: Why did the sun go to college?
A: To get brighter!
Can you find your way through the maze?
Can you find your way through the maze?
Can you find your way through the maze?
Can you find your way through the maze?
All rights reserved. This book is a work of fiction. No part of this book or this book as a whole may be used, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or means without written permission from the publisher.
Mickey the Martian is a very adventurous alien. He wants to explore the universe, but his mother does not think it's a good idea. Against her wishes, he steals a spaceship and you'll never guess what happens next! This is an excellent read for beginning and early readers. Each story is easy to read and exciting with cute and bright illustrations for younger readers. This book is especially great for traveling, waiting rooms, and read aloud at home. -Fun games and puzzles included -Excellent for beginning and early readers -Cute short stories that are great for a quick bedtime story -Funny and hilarious jokes & illustrations for kids Story List & Activities: -Go West, Young Martian -Crash and Hopefully-Not-Burn -Dreamland -Martian vs. Machine -To Go Far is to Return -Funny Outer Space Jokes -Games and Puzzles -Game and Puzzle Solutions Scroll up and click 'buy' and spend some quality time with your child!