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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Pop! Goes the Mouse

Ginger, the mouse, led the other mice down to the fairgrounds. "Come on! Hurry up! We'll miss it all if you don't get a move on." She darted through the glen, crossed a log that had fallen over a river and ran through the woods. "Here we are. There is the fairgrounds." Ginger pointed to the ferris wheel and spinning rides.

"I smell popcorn," said Tawny.

"I smell cotton candy," said Arbunkel.

"I see balloons," said Andy. "Let's go see the balloons first." Andy didn't wait for the others, but rushed over to the man with the balloons. He tugged on a string that was hidden from the balloon man's view. The others joined him.

"Andy, you're going to get us killed. What if he sees you?" Tawny shouted at the other mouse.

"Nobody will see us. Here," Andy said, handing them each a string. "Grab on tight. If you tug at it, the balloon will bounce up and down in the man's hand." Andy tugged to let them see. "Hee hee. Isn't it funny?"

The other mice agreed it looked quite fun to jiggle the balloons. They tugged at the strings, each giggling at the fun.

Arbunkel pulled on his too tight and it untied the string holding the balloons together. It came undone and all the balloons lifted into the sky, with the mice attached.

"Och, look what you've done, Arbunkel. We're all going up to the clouds." Ginger held on tight. "Don't let go. Maybe a wind will blow us over to a tree and we can jump off."

The mice held on as the balloons soared through the sky. When a breeze began to blow, they all felt relieved. "Whew, finally a wind. I wonder where it's taking us." Tawny looked down. "We're headed for the village. At least there are a lot of trees there."

Andy shouted in terror as his balloon popped. He fell through the air and landed in a chocolate cake that sat out on a table. Chocolate flew everywhere. Andy smiled. "Cake? Chocolate cake? Yummy." He gobbled it down. He lay back with a round belly and watched as one by one the other balloons popped.

Ginger fell into a fruit tart. Tawny landed in a cream puff and Arbunkel landed in a trifle. The other mice fell into pies, souffles and custards. They hadn't gone that far after all. They'd all landed right in the middle of the cake sale. Lucky for them all the people were off watching the Highland dancers and hadn't noticed the mice eating their food. As they finished Ginger said, "We'd better get out of here before someone finds us." Though it was difficult to run because of their plump and very full tummies, the mice made it home safely.

"Well, that was the best fair I've ever been to," said Tawny. "We had a balloon ride and all the sweets we wanted."

That night the mice slept well, all dreaming of the fun time they'd had at the fair.

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