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The train pulled into the
station. Rain beat down on its black skin, bouncing off onto the tracks
below. Ian and Mac, two raccoons sat on an oak tree branch. It hung over
the train station. "Letís get out of the rain," Mac said, climbing down
the tree quickly.
"Where are you going?" Ian
called, following Mac down to the ground.
"I say we get on that
train. Itís warm and dry and Iíll bet thereís a lot of food inside," he
"Food? Food? I want food,"
Ian said, drooling.
"You always want that," Mac
answered. The two raccoons waited until nobody was on the platform and ran
up the steps into the train. "Down here," he urged Ian. "Letís hide in one
of these luggage bins until the train gets moving." Ian and Mac climbed on
top of the seats and opened a luggage bin, crawling inside. "Ah, this is
much better," Mac said, curling in a ball.
"But itís dark in here,"
"Shhh. Just close your eyes
and go to sleep. Weíll wake up when the train starts to move," Mac
An hour later Mac woke up.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack went the train down the tracks. He shook
Ian. "Ian, wake up. Weíre moving. Letís go," Mac whispered. He lifted the
lid to the luggage bin and peeked out. There was only one person in that
car and she was sleeping. Her body bounced around as the train went over
the bumps. "Come on."
The two raccoons climbed
down onto the seat and then walked quietly up the aisle. "Letís see if
sheís got any food," Ian suggested. He went up to the sleeping lady. Her
bag was open. Ian looked inside. All he could see was a bag of mints,
which he didnít like, and a package of bubble gum. "Nothing," he told Mac.
"Come on, Ian. Thereís
another car. Just be careful when we are in between the train cars. Donít
fall," he cautioned.
They opened the door and
went into the next car. It was noisy and crowded. "Yikes! Look at all the
people in here," Ian cried.
"Weíll have to be careful.
Letís get up into the luggage bins and move along," Mac urged.
The two raccoons climbed
silently and unnoticed, into the luggage bins and shut the lid. Ian
started to sniff. "I smell food," he said. He opened a bag. "Ah hah.
Sandwiches," he said, pulling the bag out. "I think its roast beef. My
favorite." He took the sandwich out of the bag and handed half to Mac.
They gobbled it down
quickly. "What else is in there?" Mac asked.
Ian searched the bag. His
nose was deep inside. He pulled out a bag of potato crisps, sour cream and
onion flavored, and a package of chocolate-covered biscuits. "Yummy," he
said, opening the salty crisps. Ian and Mac devoured everything quickly.
They went from bag to bag, from one side of the train car to the other,
eating everything they could find. They were at the last bag when suddenly
the lid to the bin opened. They ducked behind a big black leather bag. A
man stuck his hand into his bag and pulled out a wrinkled brown paper bag.
"I smell egg salad," Ian whispered, as the man shut the lid.
"Letís get out of here and
go to the next car," Mac suggested. They opened the lid just enough to
squeeze out and climbed down. They went into the next car. No sooner had
they gone through the door when Mac noticed they were in the dining car.
Right now it was empty, as it wasnít yet lunchtime. On every table was a
bowl of fruit.
"Food!" Ian called out. He
jumped up onto a table and picked up an apple. He bit into it. "This one
is sour," he complained, rolling it across the table.
Mac picked it up and took a
bite. His face puckered up. "It is sour. Yuck." He left the apple sitting
on the table. The two raccoons went from table to table, eating bites out
of each piece of fruit.
They were sitting on the
last table eating bananas when suddenly a net scooped both of them up.
"Well, what have we here?" the conductor asked, peering into the net at
Ian and Mac. "Raccoons on my train. Look at what youíve done to the
tables. Youíve taken bites out of every apple. I know what weíll do with
you," the conductor said, walking out of the train car to the engine.
"Look what I found in the dining car," he said to the train engineer. "Two
raccoons. Now how do you suppose they found their way onto our train?"
The engineer just shook his
head, staring at Ian and Mac. "Weíd better keep them up here until we get
to the next stop and then let them out."
Mac and Ian sat for the
next hour, dangling from the ceiling in the net. Now and then the engineer
poked them. Ian would snarl at him but Mac just sat there, crunched up in
Soon the train slowed down.
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, it went, slower and slower, until it
stopped. The engineer picked up the net and carried it down the steps. Ian
and Mac were juggled around. Ianís foot went into Macís ear. Macís front
paw pulled Ianís tail. They were not happy about this.
The engineer took Ian and
Mac into the woods. He turned the net over and dumped them out onto the
muddy ground. They ran up the closest tree. "There you go, raccoons. Back
where you belong," he said and walked back to the train.
"We belong on the train,"
Ian whined, "with the food."
Mac sat on a branch
thinking. "Well, thereís not much we can do. We arenít getting back on
that train!" he said. They sat and watched and waited. A half an hour
later the train blew its whistle, nearly knocking the two raccoons off the
branch. It chugged its way out of the station and headed down the tracks.
Much to Ian and Macís delight though, another train pulled in to the
station just as the other one left. "Are you thinking what Iím thinking?"
he asked Ian, winking at him. The two raccoons climbed up the steps into