THE ADVENTURES OF CLARENCE AND DOROTHY NUMBER V, CAMPING WITH THE MOLES
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Ivana Gerhard
a fictional children's story for all ages
July 2015

Ivana Gerhard
Mole house

“We need a vacation”, Danny Mole decided, and told his family to start packing. Danny and Diane Mole have lived under the ground in Clarence and Dorothy Devine’s backyard for many years. They work very hard to have a nice home for themselves and their son Timmy. Every day Danny works in the tunnels while Diane cooks, cleans and tends her mushroom garden (which she sells to local restaurants).

Timmy goes to school and helps his father in the tunnels on the weekends. Every day is like another and although they are comfortable and happy they are tired and in a rut.

“What would be the trip of a lifetime for us Moles? What about camping?”, said Danny.

“What about camping at the Grand Canyon?”, said the Timster. “My word”, thought Diane, who liked the idea, but thought it an ambitious project for people who had barely been out of the back yard.

“We all know this neighborhood and how they like to do everything together. I love our friends but it might be nice to take a vacation from them too, so I think it best if we don’t breathe a word of this to anyone else,” Danny said to his family. However, since Mr. M. has very bad eyesight and does not have a drivers license, he had to call Mr. Turtlety, the taxi driver to make arrangements for the trek.

Ivana Gerhard
The camp

“Holy moley, Danny, a good thing I just got a new car!”, said Mr. Turtlety. Diane had to tell Dorothy because they have coffee every morning, and Timmy had to relay the news to Suzy Squirrel as they play together daily.

Mr. T. decided to get the oil changed in his taxi at Brian Bluejay and Kenny Catbirds garage.

“Better check everything, boys, I’m taking the Moles to the Grand Canyon.”.He could have knocked the birds over with a feather! Dorothy just happened to be at the nail salon getting her claws done when in walked her neighbor Karen Squirrel.

“Oh Karen, come over tomorrow morning for coffee. I’m baking your favorite peanut muffins for Diane Mole to take on her vacation to the Grand Canyon.”

“Oy vey, what a wonderful trip”, said Karen, who couldn’t wait to tell her sisters. Suzy Squirrel didn’t really have much interesting news to relay at her third grade show and tell so she told Timmy’s.

Two days after the Moles decided on their vacation, Diane came out of the tunnel to harvest her Shitakes.

“My word”, said Dee  who was shocked to find everyone in the community converged on her space.

“What in the world?”

“Oh, Diane, What a great idea, when are we going to Arizona ?” said Mrs. Wooddebby, dragging her teenage boys behind her.

”The boys can help us load up the trailer.”

Kenny C. and Brian B. had called all their relatives and were practicing flying In a V formation overhead. Kenny swooped down to tell Diane his Grama couldn’t fly that far anymore and would have to ride in the taxi.

“No problemo”, said Mr. Turtlety, “Lots of room.”

The Pitbull boys in their new cowboy hats were excited to drive out west in their little red pickup truck.

Ivana Gerhard
Pitbull pickup

“Hey, maybe we’ll meet some cowdog girls,” growled Chase.

When Dan came up out of work he had a BIG surprise.

Two weeks later everyone had shut up their houses, tunnels and nests and were on the road.

Mr. Turtlety , the Moles and Grama Catbird led the procession with the taxi’s lighted shell on dim.

 “Bye bye Mewville Beach,” Danny muttered under his breath, “This was so not the plan.”

The Wooddebbys shared Karen Squirrel’s canary yellow convertible, Susan and Sharon Squirrel followed in their smart car, little Suzy rode with Ernestine and her parents, Clarence and Dorothy, in their silver SUV and finally the Pits brought up the rear. The first night they camped it took two and a half hours to pitch three tents. Fourteen days later on their way home it took ten minutes.  

On the third day they stopped at a campsite on the Atchafalaya River. Danny rented a canoe, and convinced Clarence to go downstream with him.

”I’m not too crazy about going out on the water,” said the cat, but because of Danny’s bad eyesight , thought his friend needed him. Danny said he knew how to steer a canoe and insisted on sitting in the back. Things were going well in the swift current for about ten minutes until the canoe scraped the stones on the bottom and they were suddenly stuck.

Clarence put one leg over the side to stand up and found himself under the craft. The canoe lurched forward and dragged him until he was yanked up into the oxygen by Chase, who lost his brand new cowboy hat in the drink.

“Better to lose a hat than to lose my friend.” Clarence was so ashamed that in the past he did not like the Pitbull boys and had avoided them.

On the fifth day the group reached the Grand Canyon. Diane was afraid to go to the edge and held Timmy close. It was the biggest, deepest and most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

“What a tunnel!” exclaimed Dan. Although the Squirrel sisters took a fabulous helicopter ride over the canyon, the birds still got the best view. The Pitbull boys took a three hour bus ride along the rim and to the gift shop made from a cave built one hundred years ago.  On the way home Dotty bought turquoise Navaho  necklaces; one for her, one for her mother in New York and kachina dolls for the little girls from native American vultures. Larry and Chase (with his new hat) went dancing in a country western bar.

Ivana Gerhard
Dot and Ernie checking tires

Everyone was recharged, and Mr. Turtlety, being in such a good mood,almost got up to the speed limit.

When Mewville Beach came into view, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and although vacation was too short, it was agreed that there’s no place like home.

Moral:
Life is what happens while we are making our plans; go with it.


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