Last night it felt like the story was finished, but there are 31 days in October. I am as tired as she is, but let’s see Allie May all the way home…
Allie May made it safely home, however she was too tired to share any stories about her day.
“Tomorrow there will be plenty of time to tell, first I just need to sleep a spell,” she whispered to herself as she went straight to her room.
It was all she could do to crawl into bed under the quilt her Gran had made her. She fell asleep almost instantly. She slept soundly, but none of her dreams were as fantastic or exciting as her actual day.
The garden was full of animals celebrating their freedom from the cave. They sang and danced and told the stories of their adventures over and over. Allie May’s basket contained snacks that she contributed to the picnic that was spread. As they were finishing their joyous meal the sky began to glow with the bands of color that signified the end of the day. Allie May oohed and ahed with the others, but as the sky darkened she knew it was time to go. The dusk felt ominous so far from her house and family.
“What a wonderful day to explore and roam, but now I really must be getting home,” she told her friends.
“Watching you leave makes us sigh, but it’s see you later, not goodbye,” Hugh tried not to sound too sad.
She promised they would have another day together soon. Cleo and Hugh walked with her until she came to the familiar path by the fishing hole. Then with a wave she left them and hurried to get home before the last light of the day was gone.
The music led them straight to the river. When they arrived they saw Tuner, radio still on his back, waving to them from the other side. The water was flowing swiftly and looked rather deep. Allie and Cleo hesitated but Hugh dove right in and started swimming towards him.
Tuner called out to them over the music, “Look there’s a raft over by that moss. You don’t have to swim, you can float across.”
Allie May sighed with relief. She picked up the oar as Cleo took the helm. With a few strong strokes they were on the far bank, and the entrance to the garden was just a few steps away.
Allie May looked up through the trees to try and figure out where the sound was coming from. Her mouth dropped open in shock when she realized it was the rocket they had seen in the caves. The trapped animals must have finished it, because now it was soaring through the clouds above them.
“Come and look! They’re in the sky! I never thought they’d really fly,” she called to her friends. They left their hiding places to watch it make its journey across the sky.
As the sound of the rocket faded it was replaced with music that seemed to beckon them. Allie May felt pulled to it like she had that morning when she first heard the turtle’s radio. She was about to say so when Hugh spoke up, “I bet that is Tuner putting out a call. If we follow we will reach the garden wall.”
So they set off in the direction of the beguiling tune.
They did not actually take much time to celebrate. They were each hungry and tired and ready to be back in a more familiar setting. A faint trail led further into the woods and they decided to try their luck following it. They were climbing up an embankment of rocks and roots when a loud boom stopped them in their tracks. Even the trees and stones shook from the sound of the blast. The trio rushed to hide themselves. The possibility of a hunter angry at the loss of his trap was not far from their minds. They stayed perfectly still and silent while they watched and listened from their hiding spots. They did not see anything approaching but the initial bang was followed by a whooshing sound that seemed to right overhead.
Allie May, Cleo and Hugh were pleased with a job well done. They congratulated each other not just on their latest teamwork, but for all the trials they had passed through together. Clasping hands they pledged long lasting friendship.
“I’m not just saying this, it really is true. I have never had a buddy like either of you,” Allie May told them with a smile.
“We take such good care of one another. I feel I have a new sister and brother,” Cleo agreed.
“Yes! Our strange trio is pretty great. Let’s take time to celebrate!” Hugh added with enthusiasm.
After yesterday’s scribbling crosshatch tonight it was nice to use my new varied point pens to draw a few more precise lines.
“Anyone could be walking along without a care, and then snap, they’re caught in the snare!” Hugh stood up and looked around. “It’s not just a matter of luck. We need to make sure no else gets stuck.”
Cleo and Allie May agreed. They discussed their options and decided the best plan was to dig a hole and bury the rope and net. Both armadillos and coypus are expert diggers so they took care of the hole while Allie May climbed the tree and cut down the rest of the net.
Once it was buried they found twigs and leaves to spread around so that the spot looked like any other place in the woods.
Allie May was pondering what her mother might be cooking for dinner when she heard a loud yelp from behind her. She stood up and looked around. Her friends had left obvious tracks across the sand leading to the woods beyond the beach. She started heading that direction and then heard what was definitely Cleo and Hugh calling her name. She picked up her pace and it did not take long for her to find them. Hugh was stuck in a big net hanging from a tree and Cleo was jumping up and down beneath trying to grasp hold of it.
“While you were finishing up your nap, I seem to have walked right into a trap,” Hugh told her the obvious and then went back to gnawing on the ropes that surrounded him.
Allie May climbed on Cleo’s back which allowed her to reach the net and started cutting at the rope with her knife as well. Working together they were able to rip a large enough hole in the net for the Coypu to push himself through. He fell to the ground beside them with a crash.
“Who do you think put this here? And do you think they are still near? Cleo asked them looking around nervously.
“Let’s see what is beyond the shore. Come on Allie, let’s go explore!” Hugh woke up with tons of energy. Allie May was slower to open her eyes. The sand and the sun felt warm on her skin. She was in no hurry to get up.
“I’ll catch up after you go a little way. For a while this is where I want to stay,” she admitted.
Cleo decided she was ready for a walk, so while the two animals headed off towards the trees beyond the beach Allie May relaxed and gazed at the blue expanse above her. Fluffy clouds that looked like chef hats floated lazily along. Allie May watched them contentedly and thought about everything that had happened so far, and wondered what could possibly happen next.
Allie May found the reef and its creatures absolutely fascinating. She would have liked to float there watching them all afternoon, but she did not have the energy. While coming up for air she noticed that on the other side of the reef there was what looked like a small island.
She pointed it out to Hugh, “Look, we could reach that beach in a snap. And then, we could take a well deserved nap.”
He agreed that a snooze was just what they needed. They carefully swam across the reef and towards the beach. As they got closer they saw that someone was already curled up on the sand. It was Cleo. When they reached her she opened her eyes and mumbled a greeting. They were thrilled to see her but still so tired. Within moments all three were deep in their much needed sleep.