My week of preparation had passed. Everything had gone smoothly, and I knew I would have no trouble. I had made a solid wooden shield for myself if I needed self-defense from other animals, and I had gathered enough food to eat for one month! I was proud of my hard work, and ready to begin my long journey at last. I ate some homemade candied dandelion stems for breakfast, oiled my wagon with a strong-smelling liquid called Coca-Cola, grabbed a hand-stitched backpack, and began walking. I found an enormous, worn-out compass in a garbage disposal, and I rolled it on the ground when I walked.
My goal was to hike three miles today, but I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon. So far, I’ve only gone about one-fifth of a mile, and it’s taken me five hours to do so! Well, don’t call me a slowpoke, will you? Don’t forget that I am several times smaller than you are! True, mice can scamper and run really fast, which compensates for our small body size, but it’s not very easy to run with a month’s supply of food stocked on your wagon, a backpack on your back, and a wagon that is rusting because you oiled it with Coca-Cola! Enough said; it’s time for lunch.
The salted tree bark I had packed in bulk turned out to be very nutritious and filling, and the candied dandelion stems made a very sweet and tasty dessert. I drank some groundwater from an oak tree, filled my water canteen with the same groundwater, groomed myself, and continued walking again.
It was at this part of my journey that I met up with trouble. If you want to guess, I’ll give you a chance. Okay. So, what are two things that a mouse can’t do? Okay, flying definitely counts. No, mice are extremely good at hiding. How could you not know that? Another answer, please? That’s right – swimming.
I had been walking along, my backpack bouncing on my back, and the wagon creaking and squeaking along on the rough and gravelly dirt road behind me. In my left hand was a map, and I held a long, sharp stick to help me walk on hilly trails. The road wasn’t smooth like the roads back home; instead, it had many sharp, jagged stones. The road was coarse and rough, and my bare feet were aching with pain. I had been looking down the whole time to ensure I didn’t step on any rocks, and I was beginning to feel dizzy, and my neck had started cramping. Looking up, everything seemed to sway. The trees around me, the tall, enormous buildings, even the ground. I immediately dropped my bags and sat down until the wave of nausea passed.
I was thankful to get a minute’s rest to recuperate from the tiring day and my dizziness. I hadn’t rested for several hours, and I was feeling faint with hunger and thirst. Reaching for my water canteen, which was located in a secret compartment in my rusty wagon, I let out an involuntary gasp. I had not been aware of my surroundings before, and now I noticed them for the first time. Three feet away from me lay the largest, deepest canyon I had ever seen! Do you know how large it was? The canyon was about five feet deep – hey, that’s not funny! You do realize I’m a mouse, right? Trust me – I’m not making excuses! If you’ve ever seen a mouse, you would realize how scary a five-foot drop would be! Well, if you’re still not convinced, visualize it as a canyon two stories deep!
For the first time since I started this long journey, I felt afraid. At the bottom of the canyon, there was a huge pool of dirty, litter-filled water. If it weren’t for the fact that the canyon was so deep, and the water was filled with bits and pieces of shattered glass, rusted metal, and other debris, I might have had a chance to jump down, using some scrap tree bark as a raft.
I peered down, cautiously, to search for any humans or wild animals hiding in the canyon. From where I stood, I could only see the middle of the canyon; I was oblivious to the walls and sides. I desperately needed a closer look.
I tried tiptoeing to the edge of the canyon, stepping ever so carefully; I was afraid to move my arms for fear that they would throw me off balance and send me tumbling to my death in the heart of the canyon. Moving my foot just one inch was difficult. I broke out in a cold sweat, and my hands were wet with moisture. I held my arms like a scarecrow, and I was walking stiff-legged, much like a zombie. I held my breath, looked down at the walls of the canyon, and – nothing happened. I ran back to my wagon as fast as I could, tripping over small pebbles on the ground. I collapsed on my backpack, my chest heaving with the breaths that had been waiting to be breathed.
Laying on my backpack for what seemed like forever, I finally mustered the courage to stand up, eat dinner, and lay out the shredded fabric for bedding. Raising my head, which had been buried in the backpack the whole time, I was shocked. How could time pass by so quickly? When I had arrived, the sky was a clear, cloudless blue, and the sun was shining in the sky. A gentle breeze ruffled the green leaves on the trees, and birds were chirping and singing to one another.
Now, the sky was a magnificent violet-purple, tinged with stripes of gold and ribbons of peachy pink. The sun was lowered to the horizon, a dim, auburn semi-circle. It was now sunset, and there were only faint birdcalls to interrupt the silence of the evening. A light wind made the lush carpet of grass sway and dance, ruffling my pristine white shirt and messing up my whiskers.
As I lay flat on my back on the makeshift, shredded fabric bed, I watched the beautiful, glorious sunset until fatigue and exhaustion overcame me like a wave and I fell asleep.