Tuesday 21 May 2024

The holiday – part three


Pumpkin Mice Tales (4)

The holiday – part three

The next morning, the Pumpkin Mice ate their breakfast quickly and set off to the harbour to meet the Fishermice. Although the sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky, there was a brisk breeze and Big Brown Mouse had told them they must wear warm clothes.

‘It can get very cold on the water,’ he said. ‘The sun might be shining now, but the weather can change very quickly.’ The Mousekins grumbled a little, for they felt silly when they saw all the holidaymakers in their shorts and tee shirts, but they knew better than to argue with Big Brown Mouse. They were delighted when Skipper Fishermouse told them he was pleased they were dressed sensibly, and giggled when Big Brown Mouse winked at them.

Once they were on board, they struggled into oilskins and life jackets and had safety lines attached to them. ‘Can’t be too careful on a boat,’ said Skipper Fishermouse.

First Mate Fishermouse started the engine and the Mousekins squealed at the noise and held their noses at the smell of the diesel, but soon forgot such small annoyances as the boat bucketed across the waves. This was an adventure!

After half an hour, First Mate Fishermouse set the engine to idle as Crew Fishermouse One dropped an anchor. There were two other Crew Fishermice, but they had remained at home, for, after all, it was their rest day. Then the engine stopped and the silence was wonderful.

Skipper Fishermouse gave each of the Pumpkin Mice a fishing rod and they were soon watching the floats to see if any fish had taken their bait. Any disappointment they felt at not hauling in nets of silvery fish quickly disappeared as they watched each other’s lines and hoped to be the first to land a catch.

It was Big Brown Mouse who caught the first fish, a fine, shining silver mackerel with green and black tiger stripes on its back. Soon after, there were cries of delight and pride as more wriggling fish were caught. All the fish were returned to the sea, to live another day, to the joy of Little White and White Mouse with the exceedingly long and beautiful green tail, (startling green and quite the longest tail ever seen in Mousedom) for they did not want to see the pretty fish knocked on the head.

Skipper Fishermouse said, ‘We’d better be heading back. There’s a storm brewing.’

Sure enough, the once blue sky was now a dirty grey, with looming dark clouds. The Pumpkin Mice had been so busy fishing that they had not noticed the change in the weather. They shivered in the strengthening wind and for the first time realised how far they were from land. A sharp flash of lightning lit up the sky and an ominous clap of thunder sounded almost overhead and then the rain started. It fell like a heavy sheet, and the Pumpkin Mice were glad of their sou’westers and oilskins.

As the boat turned for home, it passed the lighthouse, red and white and standing tall like a guardian of the rocks. ‘Why isn’t it standing up straight?’ Tiny Grey asked, and Skipper Fishermouse said, ‘Never you fret, little man. ‘Tis the famous Leaning Lighthouse and has always been thus.’  Then he added, ‘Not as famous as the Puerto Leaning Lighthouse, mind, in Mexico.’

He was about to tell them more when First Mate Fishermouse shouted, ‘Look to port!’ The Mousekins weren’t sure what he meant, but Big Brown understood and pointed. Out on the rolling waves was a little yellow duck-shaped raft and in it was a small mouse with big black eyes and pretty pink ears. She looked terrified as her raft headed for the rocks surrounding the Leaning Lighthouse. Skipper Fishermouse got on his radio and called the RNLI.

‘Can’t we save the little mouse?’ said Little White, almost in tears.

Skipper Fishermouse shook his head. ‘No, my little maid,’ he said, ‘The tide and the wind’s too strong and even if I could get near, those rocks would tear my boat apart. Besides, I’ve got all you littluns to think about,’ he added.

Just at that moment, they saw a bright orange lifeboat racing towards them. In it were the rest of the Mousekins’ Fishermice cousins. Their day off had turned into a day of work, for, of course, they were always on call for the lifeboat.

When they reached the safety of the beach once more, the Fishermice helped the Pumpkin Mice out of the boat and they all went home for fish and chips.

Their Fishermice cousins from the RNLI lifeboat arrived just in time to join them. They told everyone how they had rescued the small mouse and taken her home. She was very frightened and rather wet, but she was safe. Her little yellow duck-shaped raft, however, had foundered on the vicious rocks and then sunk beneath the towering waves.

‘Coo,’ said Small Brown. ‘That really was an adventure.’


  1. I love this chapter and I am glad the terrified little mouse was rescued.

    1. I like it when there's a happy ending!

  2. I loved this read, with only one glass of wine being consumed after dinner.

  3. 😍
    Alison in Wales x

  4. Thank heaven for rescues! Your stories are charming.

  5. So glad the little mouse was rescued ... I was definitely at the edge of my seat! xxx

  6. Your stories are wonderful, I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
    Those knitted figures look adorable.

    All the best Jan

  7. Happy ending and we hope the small mouse with pink ears has learned its lesson (get a bigger boat next time)....🐀

  8. Great story! I love the knits.

  9. Linda historia. Me gusto el faro. Te mando un beso.

  10. I can see that I have some catching up to do. This looks wonderful.

  11. Hi Janice - delightful tale ... so pleased Little Brown Mouse was able to be rescued by the Mousekins RNLI - while the Leaning Towner - clever! delightful story again ... and yes so true ... cheers Hilary

  12. I see I put Towner after our art gallery here in Eastbourne ... ah well! It is not leaning! sorry ...


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