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       Adventures in Cottontail Pines - A Kanga-tastrophe, p.1

           TK Wade
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Adventures in Cottontail Pines - A Kanga-tastrophe
ADVENTURES IN COTTONTAIL PINES

  –

  A KANGA-TASTROPHE

  by

  T.K. Wade

  *****

  PUBLISHED BY:

  Cover Art Illustrated by:

  T.K. Wade and Coy Fields II

  Adventures in Cottontail Pines:

  A Kanga-tastrophe

  Copyright © 2016 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.

  *****

  ADVENTURES IN COTTONTAIL PINES

  –

  A KANGA-TASTROPHE

  *****

  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 suc
h 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.

 
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