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RAT STORY

 

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Pixie Rides the RollerRat

Written by Kim

Illustrated by Leanne

 

     "Oh, yeah!!" squeaked a very small voice as the ride screeched to a stop.

Underneath the rollercoaster seat was a tiny metal pocket, unnoticed by humans, but just the right size for one rat.

     "There she goes again", a small dumbo velveteen blue rat named Sasha said turning to face her mother, her curly whiskers twitching rapidly.  "Every time she has work to do around the nest, she disappears!!...and where is she this time?  On the rollercoaster!!"  Sarah, a dumbo, blazed, black rat, who was busy gathering together nuts and seeds for her family's dinner, looked at Sasha and sighed, "I know, Sasha, Pixie can't seem to stay away from the fair.  I just don't know what to do with her!"  She shook her head and went back to work.

    Everyday since the fair started, Pixie, a tiny, blue berkshire rat with a head spot, rode the rollercoaster every chance she could.  The first ride happened quite by accident.  One fine  summer day, big trucks started rolling into the field where Sarah and her family made their nest.  The rats lived  in a hollowed out hole in the base of the trunk of a large alder tree.  Pixie was fascinated by the trucks.  In the dark of night, she climbed all over one of them, in and out of the machinery it transported to the fair.  She liked the metal boxes that looked like little cars and the big metal framework; she explored everywhere.  As morning approached, she found a small pocket on one of the metal boxes and climbed inside.  It was really cozy and surprisingly warm.  In spite of her best efforts to stay awake, Pixie found herself overcome with exhaustion from climbing all night.  Seconds later, she was fast asleep.

      When she awoke, she heard voices below.  "Hey, Mac, let's give her a test run!" said a booming voice coming from a tall, tanned man.  Pixie had been taught to stay far away from humans, however she had no choice now but to stay where she was and wait to see what happened.  A shorter man with a higher voice spoke back as he moved a lever with his right hand, "Here she goes!"

     Before she know what was happening, Pixie was moving.  At first, she felt scared, but then felt excited.  Maneuvering her body in the tiny space, she found that by lying on her stomach, she could see where she was going and feel the air rushing past her face and ruffling her fur. 

     "I'm flying", Pixie thought every time she went down a big hill.  "I never want to stop!"  The machine climbed up hills, zoomed down the other side, and swept around curves, almost turning on its side.  Pixie remembered hearing something about "mounting up with wings like eagles" at church.  Maybe this was what if felt like to be an eagle.  She had been saying her prayers every night.  The thing that she prayed for more than anything else was that she would be able to fly.  She had been trying to be good at home, hoping that might hasten the answer to her prayer.  She had been doing pretty well, except for the time she bit her brother, Horatio.  But, after all, that was the day that he found a piece of chewed up bubble gum on the ground and stuck it on her tail when she was sleeping, so he deserved it.   Certain that this transgression was forgivable, Pixie decided that having a chance to fly must be an answer to her prayers.

     Her thoughts were interrupted when her ride suddenly stopped.  It stopped so fast that she almost lost her grip and flew out of her hiding place, but she hung on and was not injured. 

     "Hey, Mac.  She's running great...all set for the fair when it opens in a few hours", the smaller man said.

     "Right.   Let's go get some breakfast before the fair starts", the man called Mac bellowed as the two walked away.

     Pixie emerged cautiously from her secret place and ran excitedly across the field to her home.  Bursting with excitement, Pixie rushed in and exclaimed, "Guess what, everybody?  I went flying like an eagle today in the most amazing machine!  Come quick so I can show you."

     "Pixie, sweet pea, slow down, take a deep breath and tell me what you said one more time."  Sarah put her paws on Pixie's shoulders, then gave her a hug.

      After taking several deep breaths, Pixie told her the whole story to her family.  Her three brothers and two sisters hung on her every word, fascinated by what she had to say.

     "Tell the part about going really fast down the big hill again, Pixie", said her youngest brother, Willy.

     Pixie repeated that part several times upon the request of her siblings.  They all ran to their mother and said, "Mama, Mama, can we ride the RollerRat (the nickname the rat family came up with for the rollercoaster), too?"

      "Now, children," said Sarah.  "I want you to listen carefully to me.  Pixie had a big adventure today and she had fun, but she did something very dangerous.  So, no, I do not want any of you to ride the RollerRat .  She turned to look at Pixie, "As for you, young lady, no more RollerRat rides!"

      Sarah knew, even as she said it, that Pixie would no more stay away from the RollerRat than would a bear stay away from honey, but she said it just the same.  Sarah's intuition was right.  That afternoon, when everyone settled down to sleep, Pixie quietly crept away.  Sarah opened one eye and saw her daughter leaving the nest, but said nothing.  Long ago, she had come to terms with the fact that her daughter was an adventurous rat just like her father had been. 

      Pixie ran straight to the RollerRat.  It was late enough in the day that the lights were starting to come on at the fair.  The little rat loved the bright, sparkling lights.  Hearing the roar of the rides, she ran faster, arriving just in time to climb into her secret hiding place before the box began to move.   This time there were people sitting in the seats above her.  Four girls climbed in at about the same time Pixie arrived.  They were talking excitedly about how scary the ride was. 

      Pixie was ready.  So excited that she could hardly stand it, she held on tight with her little paws, the anticipation almost too much for her to bear. Then, after a loud mechanical noise and a slight jerking motion, off they went, climbing higher and higher.  Suddenly, the box paused and then zoomed down the big hill.  Pixie could hear the girls screaming as they went faster and faster.  She found herself squealing with delight each time the box went down a hill or tipped on its side as it went around a curve.  All too soon, the box slowed rather suddenly and then abruptly stopped moving with a jolt.  Pixie had to hold on really tightly so that she was not catapulted out of the pocket. 

     The girls climbed out and a new group of people stepped into the car.  This happened over and over again.  Pixie rode the RollerRat until the fair closed later that night. 

 

 

      When everything closed down, the lights were turned off, and the people went home, Pixie carefully climbed out of her hiding place.  Just as she was about to jump down, she heard a voice and froze.

     "Hey, Mac, I think I just saw something moving under one of the cars.  Hey, let's take a look."  Joe was peering at the underside of Pixie's car, trying to figure out what he had seen.

     "Oh, come on, Joe.  What could be on the underside of a car? I think you're losing it, man!  Maybe it was a spider, " Mac guffawed.  He had a deep, resounding laugh.  "Remember the last time you said something like that we found a dead possum hanging from the rafters?"

    "Yeah, yeah, I remember. But, this time I really saw something move. Are there any rats at this fair? I'm going to get my flashlight."

      Pixie's heart was beating really fast.  "What am I going to do?", she thought.  Moving so slowly that any motion at all was hardly detectable, she slithered back into her pocket and remained perfectly still.  A few seconds later, a big light flashed across the bottom of the car, skimming over the pocket.  Both men scanned the metal box very carefully and actually looked right at her, but her silvery fur blended into the metal of the car so well that they did not notice her.

     "See, Joe. There's nothing there!! What did I tell you? Let's go home.  It's been a long day!"  Joe followed Mac, muttering to himself that he was sure that he had seen something and he'd find it tomorrow for sure.

     Pixie sighed with relief when the men's voices faded into the distance. When she was convinced that the coast was clear, she carefully climbed out of her hiding place and ran home... and so it was for the next nine days until the fair closed.  Joe never did spot Pixie even though he looked under her car very carefully every night before he went home and Pixie, the tiny dumbo rat who loved the feeling of the wind rushing through her fur, had the best summer of her life!!

      So, the next time you go to the fair, be sure to look under the cars whenever you take a ride on the "RollerRat", and who knows, you might see a little head peeking out and hear a little, squeaky voice saying, "Oh, yeah!!".

 

    

     

    

 

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