Adventures in cottontail.., p.1
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       Adventures in Cottontail Pines - The Adventurer, p.1

           TK Wade
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Adventures in Cottontail Pines - The Adventurer




  T.K. Wade



  Cover Art Illustrated by:

  T.K. Wade and Coy Fields II

  Adventures in Cottontail Pines:

  The Adventurer

  Copyright © 2013 by T.K. Wade

  Thank you for downloading this free eBook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form, with the exception of quotes used in reviews.

  Your support and respect for the property of this author is appreciated.

  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.






  Gumdrop the mouse had always been an early riser. She was a very energetic rodent who never needed much sleep at night. Instead, she would be up just before dawn and spend some time drawing pictures.

  Gumdrop was a good artist who had practiced for as long as she could remember. She had even sold a couple of her drawings at the local fairs in Cottontail Pines; however, the thing that she loved to draw the most was actually her best friend, Flopsy the lop-eared rabbit.

  The mouse and bunny were best friends and the artwork surrounding her room made that very clear. Some of the animals in Cottontail Pines were unsure of why she seemed so enamored by Flopsy, but as Gumdrop would tell it, “She’s just the most awesome animal in the whole world, and no one is prettier than her!”

  Another pretty picture of Flopsy was pinned to her bedroom wall. Gumdrop took a moment to peer around her room to make sure everything looked good, but she had no plans to stick around. School was out today, and that meant that she would run right over to Flopsy’s house to brush down her soft, white fur. There were few other things that Gumdrop liked doing besides that.

  Flopsy–as usual–was waiting on her bed with her brush resting next to her. The sight had always been inviting to the little mouse, and Gumdrop wasted no time in getting to work. As she began brushing down the white bunny’s fur, she happily said, “I finished another picture of you this morning. I am getting a lot better at drawing you without needing you to be there.”

  Flopsy giggled. “I’m not surprised. You are a very good artist. Even Mister Hooty the owl had many good things to say about them.”

  Gumdrop continued to brush down the pretty, white fur of her best friend. She squeaked girlishly, “No matter what I draw, you’ll always be my real inspiration. How can such cuteness be ignored?”

  Flopsy blushed from the flattery. “Come on, Gumdrop. There has to be other things that you like. I can’t be all of it. Maybe you should find other things you can be inspired by. What about Blacky the skunk or Goober the rabbit?”

  Gumdrop stood firm on her argument. “Those boys are nice, but you are way cuter than they will ever be.” She shook her head in confidence. “You are the only one. Someday, they are going to make you a queen–or something like a queen–and I am going to get to work by your side. You just wait; I bet it’ll happen!”

  Flopsy was still blushing but could not find the words to argue the point. Instead, she just let the mouse brush, and the two began talking about various things happening around Cottontail Pines.

  When Gumdrop’s personal brushing duties were complete, the two decided to head out along the cobblestone path that led through Cottontail Pines. The further they went, the more they realized that some sort of commotion was forming up towards Oak Pass. Flopsy mentioned, “I don’t remember hearing about any festivities today. I wonder what’s going on.”

  Gumdrop was curious about this as well. “Why don’t we go see what’s happening? Nothing feels particularly bad about it. Maybe Cottontail Pines has a new visitor.”

  “Good point. Let’s go see.”

  The two headed over to Oak Pass where the tall oak tree stood. Normally, this was where the children of Cottontail Pines went when it was a school day; however today, it was filled to the brim with many curious animals who were prattling incessantly. Hooty the owl was there trying to calm everyone down. They heard him saying, “Everyone, please try and stay back. He’ll be here shortly. No need to cause a scene. We’re all adults here–at least, most of us are.”

  As Mister Hooty had just mentioned, not everyone there was an adult. Blacky the skunk was there as well, and just behind him was Goober the brown rabbit. Blacky looked frustrated and in a generally bad mood–which was not that strange for him. The skunk said, “Everybody is getting so wound up about this Rocky Road guy.”

  Gumdrop and Flopsy felt a little out of the loop. The mouse asked, “Rocky Road? Who’s that?”

  Goober raised a finger and commented, “Rocky Road is an adventurer that has traveled across many lands that exist well beyond the boundaries of Cottontail Pines. Blacky just doesn’t understand how amazing that is.”

  Blacky crossed his arms. “I could travel abroad if I wanted to. I just don’t see any point to it.”

  The brown rabbit rolled his eyes at the skunk. “It is all about the adventure. Rocky has seen the world, and he’s going to tell us all about it. It will really be fascinating.”

  The skunk huffed and said, “Well, I’ll stay for a bit, but I’m not promising that I’ll like it.”

  Flopsy asked Gumdrop, “So, what do you think? Do you want to stay and see this Rocky Road guy?”

  The mouse smiled at her best friend and squeaked, “Sure! Maybe, it won’t as bad as Blacky thinks.”

  The two mingled into the crowd just as Mister Hooty announced, “All right! I’m sure you have all be waiting to meet the guest of honor! He has traveled to many strange and even dangerous lands across the world, and today, he is gracing our beloved Cottontail Pines to tell us of his amazing adventures! Here he is, Rocky Road… the mouse!”

  Gumdrop’s jaw fell agape as she saw the rather handsome, brown-furred mouse step up before the crowd. She muttered under her breath, “He’s a mouse?”

  Flopsy commented, “Wow. I never heard of an adventuring mouse before.”

  Her little friend shook her head and replied, “Me neither.”

  Rocky Road waved his paws to calm down the crowd. He spoke, “Thank you, one and all! It is my honor to be with you all today. As you know, I have adventured to many strange and fascinating lands. I know that you don’t think it possible for a mouse like me, but I assure you that I am telling the truth.

  “There are many amazing things outside your borders, some of them pleasant and others… quite dangerous. I remember the horrors of the Northern Mud Pits and the quiet repose of the Sugarcane Crossing Gardens. I have had close encounters with all manners of beasts, such as foxes, wolves, and even a cat!”

  Everyone in the crowd seemed very amazed at Rocky’s amazing tale. Gumdrop was especially enamored by his opening and was staring quite immobile. Her eyes were wide, and her mouth was agape.

  There was someone in the crowd that was not as impressed. Wily the fox–a troublesome resident of Cottontail Pines–took the mentioning of foxes to be insulting. He crossed his arms and huffed. “You’d be an easy meal in Foxtail Glen.”

  It was obvious from the crowd’s response that Wily’s comment was not appreciated. Even Mister Hooty glared at the fox; however, Rocky Road replied to the aggressor personally. “I assume you must
be a former resident of Foxtail Glenn, Mister…”

  The fox replied, “My name is Wily–just Wily. And yes I am. What of it?”

  “It is a lovely town, Wily. I admit that the residents there are, at the very least, animalistic; however, it was nothing that I could not handle. By the time I was done with them, they were inviting me to sit at their table as equals.”

  Wily was not pleased by that even one bit. He shouted, “That is a bunch of bologna!”

  Mister Hooty interjected, “What are you trying to say, Wily? Are you implying that Foxes cannot present themselves as civilized animals?”

  Wily was surprised by the owl’s comment and could not think of what to say. He stuttered, “I… I didn’t mean that! Ugh! Just never mind! This whole thing is stupid!”

  There were some chuckles as the fox left, but Rocky defended him, “I don’t blame him for defending his own kind. He’s just a little humiliated because the words came from a mouse. But let this example show that even a mouse can do great things.”

  Gumdrop repeated the words as if in a trance, “Even a mouse can do great things.”

  Flopsy saw Gumdrop’s expression and smiled. “You really seem to like Rocky.”

  “He’s amazing. I never heard of any mouse doing things like that.”

  The bunny agreed, “I can’t imagine ever leaving Cottontail Pines. It’s such a safe town.”

  “Uh huh,” was all the mouse could say. She was much too distracted.

  Rocky pleased his audience with a few more tales; however, the mouse brought up a proposition that Gumdrop could not decline. He said, “I know you want to hear many more stories, and I will be happy to tell you them tomorrow, but I am very tired from my journey to Cottontail Pines. I will be looking for one of your fine inns to stay in, and—.”

  Gumdrop suddenly pushed her way to the front and yelled at him before he could finish his thought, “I have a place! I have a great place! You can even have my bed! I’ll sleep on the floor! Of if you’re comfortable sleeping on the floor because you like that sort of thing, you can do that too! We also have a guest room if you want that! I should have mentioned that first! Oh, please, come stay with me! I promise it will be awesome! Please?! Please?! Please?!”

  Everyone went quiet after Gumdrop’s squeaky outburst. Flopsy was behind her covering her mouth in shock that she had made such an offer so abruptly. Rocky was taken aback by the proposal as well, but he smiled and said, “I would never turn down such a polite offering, but are you sure that your parents would not mind?”

  Gumdrop hopped up and down. “They won’t mind! They can’t mind! I really want to talk to you!”

  Mister Hooty scolded the eager mouse, “Now, Gumdrop, this behavior is not—.”

  Rocky held up his hand. “It is quite all right, Mister Hooty. Her generosity is appreciated.” He looked back at Gumdrop. “I will be happy to stay in your guest room. As much as I like roughing it, a warm bed is a welcome turnabout.”

  The younger mouse pointed down the road behind her. “You can just see it! It’s the second house on the left. Come by whenever you want to!”

  “I’ll be sure to do it. Thank you very much, Miss…”

  She squeaked and blushed. “Gumdrop. My name is Gumdrop.”

  “Thank you very much, Gumdrop. I will be there soon.”

  Gumdrop was already making her way back to her house to prepare it for his arrival. Flopsy had to run just to stop her. “Wait! Gumdrop!”

  The mouse whined, “Flopsy! I’m in a hurry! I have to set up the guest room for Rocky Road.”

  The bunny tried to catch her breath. “I can’t believe you did all that! What got into you?!”

  Gumdrop explained, “He’s so cool, Flopsy! Rocky Road won’t be here forever. I want to learn all I can about him until he leaves.”

  Flopsy seemed to understand. “Will I still see you in the morning?”

  Gumdrop began to dash away again. “Sure! See you then!”

  Blacky and Goober walked up behind Flopsy. The skunk commented, “Looks like Gumdrop has found a new obsession. Hope she doesn’t drive Rocky out of town.”

  Flopsy looked back at him. “What do you mean?”

  Goober responded instead, “Gumdrop really seems to like the fact that a mouse could be so brave. She appears to have become Rocky’s fan.”

  The lop-eared rabbit pursed her lips. “Well, she still said that she would come by. I don’t mind if she is having Rocky over. She’s still my friend. Isn’t she?”

  Goober raised a finger. “I would not worry about it, Flopsy. I doubt anything could tear you two apart.”

  Blacky crossed his arms and mentioned, “I bet Rocky could.” Goober popped the skunk in the shoulder to make him behave.

  Flopsy turned and began walking back to her house. “No, Gumdrop isn’t like that. I’ll see you guys later.” Blacky and Goober waved and everyone went their separate ways.
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