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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Night-time Adventures

An owl hooted. Several crickets chirped back and forth to each other. A gentle breeze blew through the woods, rustling the green leaves. "Iím bored, Mac," Ian whined.

"Youíre always bored and youíre always hungry," Mac answered. "You are the hungriest raccoon Iíve ever known!"

"Iím tired of eating berries and nuts and Iím tired of listening to birds chirp. Letís go to the village and see whatís going on there. Maybe thereís a trashcan or two we can get into. Last week auld Mrs. Mackintosh had a whole steak and kidney pie in her can. She didnít put the lid on either. It was good," Ian sighed, remembering the delicious meal heíd had that night.

"All right. Youíve convinced me," Mac said. "Weíll head into the village. Itís fish and chip night at the Bluebell Inn. Maybe weíll get lucky."

The two raccoons ran through the trees and came to the quiet village. It was a small village, with about fifty houses. It was on a back road that many people drove on to avoid the traffic of the city. They often stopped at the Bluebell Inn for a meal on their way to and from the Highlands of Scotland. Besides the Inn, there were a few homes, a post office, a bakery and pastry shop, a butcher, and a grocer.

Ian stopped and sniffed the air. "I smell fish and chips, just like you said. I can also smell the pastries coming from Mr. Hamiltonís shop."

"I smell them too. Fish and chips first though, then pastries," Mac suggested.

They crept silently to the back of the Bluebell Inn. There were a dozen or so cars parked in the lot. Three huge trashcans sat outside the back door. "Psssst, Ian. Letís go over there. Looks like they forgot to put the lids on the cans again. Maybe thereís a feast for us," Mac whispered.

Mac jumped up onto one of the cans. Ian jumped up onto another. They started rummaging through them, tossing pieces of food onto the ground. "Ah, meat pies," Ian said, throwing bits of crust and meat onto the ground. "And look what we have here, sausage rolls." They joined the meat pies in the pile.

Mac found some cold Scotch eggs, salmon bones with a little meat still clinging to them, and some very hard clootie dumpling. He threw them all onto the ground. "I think weíve enough for a good feast tonight," he said, climbing down from the top of the can. He scooped the food up in his arms and headed into the woods. Ian followed with his stash. They ate everything, even the rock hard dumpling. Mac had to hit it on a stone to break it in pieces. When they finished, they lay back against a large rock. "Ah, that was good."

"Can we go to the pastry shop now, Mac?" begged Ian.

"Iced cherry cake does sound good. Off we go then," Mac said. The two raccoons waddled towards the bakery, not moving quite as fast as before. They went around to the back door. There were no cars anywhere near the shop and the lights were off. "Mr. Hamilton left the back door open. I wonder if he meant to," Mac wondered. He pushed it open slightly, with his front paw. "Hello," he called out. Nobody answered.

Without waiting any longer and being greedy for some sweets, Ian pushed his way past Mac and ran into the bakery shop. Mac followed. They found the glass cases filled with doughnuts, baklava, raisin-filled biscuits, and all kinds of other pastries and cakes. What they didnít see was the cat hiding in a dark corner. They started shoving pieces of chocolate cake into their mouths.

The cat saw the raccoons. She crept towards them and stood; ready to pounce, waiting for a few minutes though, until they were really full. That way theyíd not be able to run as fast. The raccoons ate raspberry jam filled flaky pastries with vanilla icing. They munched on apple dumplings and tarts filled with oranges, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries.

Ian saw something out of the corner of his eye as he walked around among the cakes. "What was that?" he whispered.

"Where?" Mac asked.

"Over there. Something moved," Ian said, starting to feel scared. "What if itís a bear, or a wolf?"

"In a bakery shop? Donít be silly," Mac said.

Just then the cat pounced. It landed right in front of the glass case they were in. "A cat!" screamed Ian and Mac at the same time. They threw all their food into the air and jumped out of the case. They ran as fast as their stuffed tummies would allow them to. They went out through the back door and climbed up the nearest tree. The cat stood at the bottom and meowed at them.

"Cats can climb trees," Ian said, looking down at the furry cinnamon-colored cat.

"Shhhh. Donít give it any ideas," Mac said.

All night long the cat stayed at the bottom of the tree. Ian and Mac were too afraid to move, so they sat on the branch, wide-awake, until the sun rose over the hills. A car pulled up into the back of the pastry shop. It was Mr. Hamilton. The cat ran over to him as he climbed out of the car. Mr. Hamilton petted the cat, who followed him into the shop. When Mr. Hamilton saw the mess of his pastries and cakes, he thought it was the cat that had done it. "You ate my pastries! You ate my cakes! Bad cat!" he yelled.

Ian and Mac sat in the tree listening and giggling. They were relieved to hear the cat getting in trouble. Just then Mr. Hamilton came out the back door carrying the cat by the back of her neck. He threw her in the car. "You stay in there for a while, naughty cat," he said. He slammed the door shut and went back into the shop.

Ian and Mac climbed down from the tall branch. They went over to the car and started laughing at the cat, who wasnít happy. She clawed at the windows, trying to get out. Knowing they were safe, Ian stuck his tongue out. "Weíd better get out of here," Mac said, "before Mr. Hamilton comes back out. I donít think heís going to make the cat stay in the car all day, just until he gets the mess cleaned up. I want to be long gone before then."

They left, running into the woods. Since theyíd not slept the whole night long, they found a hollow log that was lying on the ground and curled up inside of it and immediately went asleep. Tomorrow was another day and another chance for an adventure.

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