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A illustrated adventure story about a rabbit.

Story and Illustrations © 2001 by Donald L. Brown.
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Chips Adventure Page 8..

    It is early the next morning as the two young rabbits walk out of the village toward the temple. The morning sun lights the nearby mountain peaks as Chip smiles. “It is a beautiful day for flying Tasha.” She nods “I hope it’s the same over the large valley.” He squeezes her paw, and smiles. “We can just fly around the mountains till it clears. “ She nods “Sounds good to me.”

    As they near the temple the dragon flies overhead then quickly lands near them, and asks. “Can I be of help small master?” The young rabbit looks up at the huge beast, and smiles. “Yes I and Tasha wish you to take us to the large valley.”

    The dragon nods “As you wish small master.” He lays down so the two rabbits can climb on his back. Tasha sits right behind Chip as he tells the great beast they are ready. Tasha wraps her arms tightly about the young rabbit’s waist as the dragon wings quickly lift them into the air.

    Moments later they are high above the small valley and soon climb over the mountain that lies just northeast of the large valley. The volcano’s vast crater still active with fire and smoke as the dragon flies near it, then turns south towards the large valley. A bit of fog still lies in the low farmland areas, and over the lake at the south end.

    As they fly over the farms Chip directs the dragon to land near the skunk’s farmhouse. Below they can see the skunk waving up to them as the dragon circles his farm. A few minutes later the dragon lands gently behind Mac’s small home.

    Mac stands clear while the two rabbits climb down from the huge beast. He calls out “It’s good to see you both again.” Chip smiles. “It’s good to see you too Mac. You remember Tasha I am sure.” The skunk nods, “Yes, and you both are always welcome here.”

    Tasha smiles “Thank you Mac, That’s very kind of you.” Chip nods “Yes it is, and we are here to make our wedding plans if the offer still stands.” Mac grabs the young rabbits paw with his “That it is young fellow, Lacy, and Charlotte have been looking forward to seeing you two, I am sure they have a few ideas on how to make a nice wedding.”

    The two rabbits hug a little as they listen to their friend. Mac smiles “You two can find those gals at Tim’s farm. Lacy passed by here about a hour ago, and told me she was going there. If you two are ready we can go now.” Chip smiles “That would be fine Mac “ Tasha nods in agreement, and gives the skunk a little hug.“ Thank you.”

    Mac turns his head a little with embarrassment “my pleasure miss.” Chip pats his friend on the back. “Mac you’re the best friend I have. I hope you will stand with me at the wedding. “Mac looks up at the young rabbit, and nods. “I would be proud too young fellow. Now we should be on our way while it’s still cool.” Chip smiles “thank you Mac. Let’s go!” The two young rabbit’s and the skunk start for the path leading to the raccoon family’s farm.

    Meanwhile at the raccoons farm, Tim noticed the dragon as it crossed over the ridge to the large valley. Returning to his house he remarks. “I saw the dragon, and it appeared to be carrying two passengers.” Charlotte turns to Tim, and asks. “Do you think it is Chip and his friend Tasha?” Before he could respond Lacy interrupts, “I hope so; we need to get started with the wedding plans soon.” Tim shakes his head. “I couldn’t tell, they were too far away.”

    Lacy walks to the door looking out toward Mac’s farm. Mac told me he was expecting them today or tomorrow. So it’s a good chance it was them.” Tim scratches behind one of his ears; “I imagine we will know soon. It’s not that far to the skunk’s farm.” Lacy starts to respond when they all hear Mac’s voice calling out “Anyone at home?”

    The badger’s ears perk up as she steps out the door, followed by the two raccoons. She waves as they walk up to the house. “Land sakes Chip, is this the young lady you are planning to marry?” The young rabbit nods as Tasha speaks up. “You must be Lacy.” The badger nods as Charlotte walks up after her, and says. “Welcome to our farm Tasha. I am Charlotte. I understand you have met Tim. Tasha nods. “Thank you. Every one has been so kind here.” She then gives them each a warm hug.

    Tim speaks up. “Come in everyone, it’s hot out here in the sun.” They all agree, and follow him into the house where they all sit, and make plans for the wedding. Lacy stands “We should have the wedding at shadow falls. It’s not far, and we could have the reception in my back yard afterwards.”

    Charlotte claps her paws “That is a beautiful spot Lacy.” Mac nods “It is a very nice spot, and only a short walk from Lacys farm.” Chip ums. “Could we see it?” Tim nods “Sure, It’s only a hours walk from here. The falls quietly cascade down into a shadowy area with lush green vegetation around a small pond that feeds into a stream.”

    Tasha smiles “It sounds perfect to me. Much like a favorite spot we have in the mountains.” Chip smiles. “It does sound very nice.” Mac nods. “I can’t think of a better spot for a wedding. Lacy smiles “Then come by tomorrow, go to the falls, and make the final plans if all is well.” Chip, and Tasha nod “Sounds fine Lacy.”

    The two rabbits finish out the day visiting before returning with the skunk to spend the night at his home. After supper Mac turns to Tasha “Chip, and myself will spend the night in my barn so you can sleep here.” She smiles “That is sweet of you Mac, Thank you.” The skunk smiles “It is my pleasure.” He then gathers a couple blankets, as Chip nods. “I will be with you in a few minutes Mac.” Once the skunk had left, the two rabbits hugged each other close for a few moments then kissed, and wished each other goodnight.

    The next morning Mac shakes the rabbit saying “Wake up young fellow. It’s time to get up.” Chip blinks then remembers where he is then sits up rubbing his eyes a bit, and says “Good morning Mac.” The skunk nods “That gal of yours just about has breakfast ready, so best get up young fellow.”

    Chip smiles “She is a great cook too. “ He then folds up the blanket carrying it with him as he hurries to the house. Tasha smiles as he walks through the door, and says. “I hope you slept well hon.” The young rabbit gives his wife to be a big hug “Yes I did, Macs haystack made a good bed.“

    The skunk ums as he smells the good food “Young fellow this girl is going to keep you well fed.” Chip nods as he pats his belly. “She has been already.” The skunk laughs out loud “Ha ha she can cook for me anytime.” With that they all sit down to a enjoyable breakfast.

    Later that morning the skunk and two rabbits leave for the badgers farm. Mac points to a distant hill, and says “Lacys farm is just past yonder hill. We will be there in a hour or so.” Tasha smiles “It is a pretty valley Mac, I can see why you all enjoy living here.” The skunk nods, as the three continue walking along the path.

    As they near the badgers farmhouse Lacy waves to them. She shouts “Good morning all!” They all wave back, and shout their greetings in return. Several minutes later they all stand in Lacys front room where she offers them a cold drink of water. Chip mms “That does taste good after that long walk from Macs farm. “ The others agree as the badger smiles offering them more, and says “Yes it’s going to be a hot day for sure.”

    Mac nods “It’s turning out to be a hot summer this year." He turns to Lacy, and says" since you told Tasha, and Chip about Shadow falls they can’t wait to see it.” Chip nods.” We would like to see it now if possible.” Tasha nods “Yes please.”

    Lacy smiles brightly “Land sakes yes, we can go right now. I only need to grab my large hat, keeps the sun out of my eyes. Tasha, I have a spare hat if you wish to use it.” Tasha smiles “No thank you, I will be fine.” Lacy nods all right honey. I won’t be but a minute.” She walks into the next room, and returns with a large wide brimmed straw hat. She smiles “Let’s go folks. It’s not far.”

    Mac nods as he stands “It’s only a 30 min walk from here if I remember right.” Lacy nods as they walk out through the door. She points towards a tree covered ridge in the distance. “It’s over near the base of that ridge where you can see a small stream flowing out of the woods. “

    The four waste no time in making their way down a small path that leads across a large field to the stream near where it flows from the forest. A short time after entering the woods the vegetation grows lush and thick so even the hot sun is hardly noticed after a time.

    The path leads across the stream with large flat stones to step on. Mac nearly slips, but Lacy grabs his arm, and remarks. “Land sakes Mac you best take care or you will get soaked.” Tasha covers a smile as the skunk recovers his footing. Chip calls out. “I think I hear the waterfall.” Lacy nods. “It’s just beyond those large trees.”

    Moments later they all step into a clearing filled with shadows, and mist that has a large sparkling pool of water. At one end a waterfall drops from the vine covered bluff above. The falls though high only have a small amount of water just falling in light sheets. The effect is each breeze carries the spray out across the pool filling the air with rainbows as the mist mixes with each ray of sunshine.

    A short distance from the pool is a small area with several flat stones placed so to make a nice spot to sit. Tasha eyes open wide as she turns to see every spot. “It is perfect Lacy. I would love to be wed here; it’s so beautiful with the flowers, falls, and pool. “Chip smiles, and nods. “Lacy smiles “Land sakes hon. you’re more than welcome to do so. Mac nods standing next to Lacy “Just say when you wish to do it,”

    Tasha smiles “The day after tomorrow ok?” Lacy looks at them, and nods “Sure thing hon that will be fine.” Mac nods. “Then we best get busy cause we only have a short time.” Lacy nods “Mac you should go to the village, and spread the word about the wedding. I am sure most valley folk will wish to attend the reception at my farm. The wedding party should be limited to the raccoons, Mac, Sidney, and Tashas family.” The badger looks over at the rabbits. “Is that fine with you two?”

    Tasha nods “That sounds just fine.” Chip nods “We just want a simple ceremony where we each make vows to each other.” Tasha nods ”My father is the leader of my village. So he will officiate the wedding.” Lacy gives Tasha a hug “It sounds perfect to me. “ Mac smiles “Sounds great come on everyone, we have a lot to do, and time is wasting. “ Lacy nods “Land sakes the skunk is right. Come on. “The rabbits hug, then follow Lacy, and Mac back to the farm.

    Later after returning to Lacys farm Tasha decides to stay there while Mac and Chip return to the skunk’s farm. While the skunk continues on to spread the word about the wedding, Chip walks behind Macs house, wakes the sleeping dragon, then quickly climbs aboard.

    After telling the dragon to take him back to the mountain village the great beast quickly rises high into the air, and quickly leaves the large valley behind with the rabbit holding tight to its back. After a short time the small valley appears in the distance as they just clear a rocky ridge. The dragon lands gently just at the edge of the village, then after Chip tells him to return the next morning the dragon takes to the air, and quickly flies to the temple on the other side of the valley.

    Moments after watching the dragon leave, Chip turns, and heads into the village to find Tashas father. A short time later he finds Dinre, and Tina both near the village center. After telling him the wedding is planned to be the day after next, Dinre nods, and invites him to have supper.

    The next day dawns cloudy over the large valley. At Lacys farm Tasha looks out, and comments. I hope it pretty tomorrow. Lacy nods “I hope so too hon, but there is a large cave near the falls, so if it rains the wedding can go on.” Tasha smiles. “That sounds fine.”

    Lacy smiles as she looks at the young girl. “Did you plan to wear anything special at your wedding hon?” Tasha shakes her head sadly as she pats the dress she is wearing, “No, this is my best dress I fear.” The badger bows her head. “I.. I .. I am sorry, I didn’t mean to..” Tasha interrupts “It’s alright. “You couldn’t know.”

    Lacy steps over, and gives Tasha a warm hug. “Tell you what hon. I have a nice dress I wore many years ago. It might fit you. I would be pleased to let you use it.” The young rabbit looks at the badger with tears filling her eyes. “Are you sure?” Lacy nods with a smile. “Come with me hon, and we will see if it fits you.”

    While Lacy, and Tasha see if the dress fits, and later that day in the mountain village there is much activity as everyone makes ready for the following nights celebration. Chip is amazed at all the activity over the wedding. He turns to Dinre, and says “You don’t have to do all this.” The elder rabbit puts an arm around the young rabbits shoulder, and gives him a squeeze. “You’re to be my son n law young fellow, and we are proud to have you. It’s not every day we have a wedding, and you’re marrying a princess you know.”

    Chip gulps a little with a nod. Dinre grabs the young rabbit by his ears pulling them tight. “My daughter is very important to me, and this village. So you best treat her like a princess if you know what’s good for you.”

    The young rabbit winces with a bit of pain as Dinre holds him with a tight grip.. “I love her sir. I couldn’t treat her any less than with the honor she deserves. The elder rabbit then pokes Chips chest as he says “Just remember my words.” Chip nods “I will sir.”

    Just then a loud explosion rumbles across the small valley catching the attention of Dinre just as he lets go of the young rabbit’s ears. Shaken Chip steps away a step or two, he and the elder rabbit stop to watch the black smoke rise from the volcano. Dinre then turns toward Chip “I fear we may have to leave our valley. I have been watching the fire mountain, its fire, and smoke have grown over these past weeks.”

    Chip looks at the elder rabbit with some disbelief “Do you really think the rocks will reach this far?” Dinre shakes his head “It’s not the rocks son. It’s the fire, when I wasjust a bunny my father took me to the top. “He points to the volcano’s large fiery crater. “ Though quiet as we climbed, there was a great explosion and quake just as we arrived near the craters edge.

    The elder rabbit sits on a large flat stone and continues“Inearly fell into that large pit saved only by my father’s quick hand. Moments later we both stared wide eyed into that fiery abyss as the once solid rock turned red then orange to flow like honey inside this terrible flaming caldron. Including explosions sending showers of molten rocks all around us, we would likely have been killed except for the outcrop of rock we hid under till the activity subsided.”

    The young rabbit sits next to the elder rabbit as he continues to listen. Dinre concludes by saying “My father told me to keep this a secret, I have but now after the fiery mountain is again threatening to send its fire down into our valley we must be prepared to escape.”

    Chip turns to him “I asked Tasha about the volcano a fewweeks ago, but she didn’t feel it was anything to be concerned about.” Dinre shakes his head “I did not wish to worry her or any of the villagers about the danger.” The young rabbit again watches the large plume of smoke rising from the mountain. “Shouldn’t we move the villagers out now?”

    Dinre points to a ridge that runs between them, and the volcano forming part of the valley wall. “That ridge should protect us depending on how big the eruption is.” He then points the other direction. “If we must escape we can go that way. It leads through a narrow gap in the valley wall.” Just then the ground shakes violently for what seems like minutes, followed by a distant rumble. Chip shouts look at the mountain Dinre! Look!!

    The two rabbits watch in amazement as the broken crater of Scar Mtn falls inward filling the fiery pit with huge boulders, and rocks, creating a enormous cloud of dust, and ash that begins to scatter over the small valley and beyond.

    Back in the large valley the same earthquake sends the furries running out of their houses, where some witness the volcano’s craters collapse. At Lacys farm a break in the clouds allow the volcano though distant to be seen by the badger, and young rabbit. Following the strong quake, Tasha cries out. “The fire mountain, it is falling. My village is near it. My family, Chip.“ She bursts into tears as the large plume of smoke spreads in the direction of her village.. Lacy grabs the young girl bunny holding her tight trying to console her. “There now, I am sure they will be fine it is only the crater that fell.”

    Tasha looks up wiping the tears from her eyes. She nods with some relief to see that the mountain is still there. “But I must go there.. To help..” Lacy shakes her head “No girl without the dragon it would take you two days to get there. Give your husband to be a chance to return first.”Wait till morning it would be dark before you could go far. Tash nods sadly “You are right, I will wait.”

    Lacy helps the young girl back into her home, and puts her to bed with a cool cloth to her head. A short while later Charlotte knocks on the door, then as the badger answers she pants. “Are you alright? Did you see what has happened?” Lacy nods “I did.” The raccoon looks “Is Tasha ok too?” Lacy nods “She is resting now, but I fear she will leave on foot for her village in the morning if Chip does not arrive.”

    The raccoon looks toward the smoke covered volcano. “I can’t blame her, but I hope the young rabbit, and her village is still ok.” The badger nods “I do also. Land sakes we still want to give them that wedding after all.” Charlotte nods. “Everyone enjoys your fine cooking Lacy.” She smiles. “Thank you Charlotte Raccoon, please come in, and stay awhile. Tim knows you’re here doesn’t he? The raccoon nods as she enters the small house.

    Later at the mountain village Dinre, and Chip spread the word that everyone should stay inside till the dust, and smoke clear a bit. Chip tells the elder rabbit “I best return to let Tasha know we are okay.” The elder rabbit looks toward the volcano “For now it is quiet, the collapse seems to have slowed it for now.”

    The young rabbit looks at the volcano for some time, thennods “But suppose it blows its top later without warning.” Dinre nods “That is possible, but we need the celebration of your marriage to my daughter, so it must go on as scheduled, especially now that they may loose their homes. Without it our village may vanish into history, this wedding will secure a future for our village.

    There are plans in place to move the villagers to safety. Our valley guards know the plan, I will tell them to move the villagers if the volcano becomes active once more. We can leave at first light tomorrow. Chip nods “I will be proud to be a leader with Tasha when the time comes sir.” Dinre smiles “I think my daughter has chosen well.” He and Chip spend the rest of the day making ready for the next days celebration, though tempered by the days events.

    The clouds from the previous day are gone as the dawn breaks with a bit of ground fog lying over the fields of the large valley. In the mountains the air is clear as Chip, Dinre, and Tina walk towards the temple, each carrying a small bag of things for the wedding.

    The stars have just disappeared into the morning sky as the dragon flies over then circles once before landing on the path ahead of them. The dragon says. “Morning small master, what do you wish?” Chip instructs the dragon to lie down so he and the others can climb on. Once Chip tells him they are ready the great beast quickly rises into the sky. Its great wings make the flight seem effortless as they climb above the high mountain ridge.

    Tina gasps as the ground quickly falls away. Her little paws tightly hold on to Chips belt as they continue climbing. Dinre doesn’t say anything for a time, but holds tight to the dragon. A few minutes later he remarks “This is remarkable; I often imagined what flying would be like, but this is wonderful.”

    He smiles at the little bunny “Tina you should open your eyes. You may never get a chance to fly again.” Tina decides to look now that the dragon’s movements are steadier. A little to the left, then right, she looks back at her father “This is really fun” Just then a gust of wind bounces the dragon a little, and the little bunny grabs tight again.

    Chip looks back with a smile “I wasn’t sure about flying myself, but I find I enjoy each flight more.” He then points “We will be there soon.” A few minutes later the large valley spreads out before them as they cross the last high ridge. Ground fog looking a bit like snow is scattered across the many fields as the dragon leaves the mountain heights behind.

    Dinre asks “Where do we land.” Chip looks back, then points to the skunk’s house in the distance “There, that little house on that small hill. We will land behind it.” The elder rabbit nods “I see it” Tina asks “Where where?” Chip points. “Right down there.” Tina nods as she holds tight while the dragon descends steeply for the landing.

    The great beast makes a low pass over Mac’s house then turns, and softly lands in the small field near the barn. They barely have time to climb down from the dragons back when they see Mac waving, and calling out greetings to them all.

    “Good morning, I am glad to see you all are well. We were worried after the earthquake, and the volcano’s eruption.” Chip nods and introduces Tashas family.” The skunk holds his paw out “Glad to meet you, and this cute little one as well.” Tina smiles brightly as her father shakes paws with the skunk. Not seeing a skunk before Tina asks “Why do you have a big tail Mr.?” Dinre apologizes for Tinas curiosity, but the skunk just smiles at the little bunny, then says. “We should be going, I am sure Tasha is very worried about you.”

    Chip thinks for a moment and says “It’s over a hour on foot. I best fly there, you go ahead, and I will meet you there.” Dinre nods “That would be best. “ They all wave as Chip climbs back on the dragon who moments later lifts off, and flies in the direction of Lacy’s farm just as the suns first rays spread across the valley floor.

    With that the furry group walks quickly toward Lacys farm. The elder rabbit smiles as he looks at the large fields. “This valley is more open than I remember, Looks nice though.” Mac nods “We have cleared much land over the last several years. But we left the trees on the steep hills to prevent erosion.” Dinre nods “I am impressed. You lowlanders have done well with this valley over the years. Mac smiles “Thank you.” A few minutes later as they top a small hill, Mac points to a distant farm house. “There is lacys farm.” The elder rabbit squints a bit “We should be there in an hour I think.” The skunk nods “That’s about right.”

    Even before the stars were gone from the morning sky Tasha was outside hoping to see the dragon coming over the high mountain ridge. But the ground fog was making it hard for her to see. Tears fill her eyes as she imagines her village being lost to flames, and falling rocks.

    Lacy gets up as she notices the young girl gone. She steps outside to see her standing a short distance away looking toward the mountains. She hurries toward Tasha, and asks if she had seen the dragon yet. Sadly she shakes her head. Then says “If I don’t see anything soon, I must go as I can’t stay not knowing how they are.”

    The kindly badger gives the young girl a hug. “I know girl. I would be the same way. But at least wait while I fix you some breakfast and food to take with you. Tasha looks at Lacy with a bit of a smile. “Thank you, that is very kind of you.”

    Lacy smiles “It’s no trouble, it will be ready soon. Tasha looks a while longer as Lacy returns to the house. A short time later Tasha returns as well. There she tries to eat a bit of breakfast while the badger fixes some food for the trip.

    Even though Lacy tries to get the rabbit girl to wait for the sunrise, she is ready to leave thanking the badger for her concern, and asks her to tell Chip that she is returning to the village if he arrives after she leaves. Lacy wishes her well then watches till she is out of sight.

    The badger turns to walk back to her house as the first rays of the morning sun sparkle in the wet grass. She just starts to enter her house as the mighty dragon flies low over head. She gasps with surprise as it makes a steep turn, then softly lands nearby.

    As Chip jumps down, and runs up to her she exclaims “Land Sakes young fellow you could give a body a terrible fright that way.” The young rabbit nods. “I am sorry, but I wanted to get here before Tasha decides to go home.”

    Lacy shakes her head. “You just missed her. She left about a hour ago.” The young rabbit looks toward the mountains. “Tell me which way she went. The village is fine, her father, and sister are walking here with Mac as we speak.” The badger nods, and points “I tried to get her to wait, last I saw her she was going up that ridge.”

    The young rabbit shouts as he runs back towards the dragon “Thank you; tell the others I went to find her.” Lacy waves “I will young fellow. Good luck.”

    With that Chip climbs on the dragons back, moment’s later dust, and loose grass fills the air as it quickly rises into the early morning sky. Lacy shields her eyes, and then watches as it flies toward the distant mountain ridge. She turns to look toward the skunk’s farm “I must have refreshments for Mac and the others when they arrive.” She then hurries back into her house.

    Nearing top of the mountain ridge, Tasha stops to rest for a few minutes. She wonders what she will find when she gets home. A short time later she reaches the top of the ridge, there she stares in amazement at the still smoking volcano, now in full view she can see how the top has fell in on it’s self. A bit relieved to not see any damage away from the volcano she looks back one last time. She might have seen the dragon then except Lacy’s farm was hidden by another ridge.

Continued once or twice a week.
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