Chapter 1

“Chirp! Chirp!” said the young baby bird as the beautiful orange sun was rising over the farmer’s field.  The baby bird sat nestled warmly in the lovely nest that mother bird had made.

 “It’s such a pretty day” said baby bird to mother bird. 

Mother bird stood on the edge of the nest gazing over the countryside looking for something for baby bird to eat.

“It is a pretty day,” mother bird said to baby bird. 

“Am I almost ready to fly?” asked baby bird. 

“Almost,” she said to baby bird.  “but don’t try it yet, it is a very dangerous place if you fall to the ground” she exclaimed.

Mother bird, returning from looking for food, said “baby bird!” “You get down off the side of that nest!”  Baby bird was wobbling while trying to stand on the edge of the nest.

 “I really want to fly mother!!” he said eagerly.

“CHIRP!”  Mother bird cried.   “You could have slipped and fallen right out of that nest!  You are not to try to fly yet; I will let you know when you are ready.”

“Awww!  Mother” he sighed while wagging his head and folding his wings.

The next morning as the sun’s ray’s peeked over the farmer’s field, baby bird said “I am ready to fly, I just know it, and I feel like my wings are very strong now!”  “While mother is away, I will get up on the side of the nest and just stretch my wings for a while.”  “This feels so good to stretch my wings! Ha Ha! I am ready to fly.”

“OOOPS! Help!” baby bird cried as he slipped off the edge of the nest.  THUD! He hit the ground hard and after shaking his head from side to side, he shouted “WOW that hurt.”  He tilted his little head back to see where he had fallen from.  “Oh no!” he thought, “Mother will be very upset with me;”  “I have to get back home.”

“Oh, how will I ever get back up there?” he wondered as he kept flapping his wings and trying to fly.  He could only get as high as he could jump.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a little brown bunny rabbit came hopping by baby bird. He stopped and was surprised to see baby bird  

“What are you doing down here?” asked the bunny.

“I fell from up there” he said pointing to his mother’s nest in the tall, tall pine tree.

“Do you know how dangerous it is for you down here?” bunny asked.

 “My mother told me there were a lot of dangers on the ground, but I didn’t mean to fall, I really thought I could fly.”

“We had better get you to a safe place before Fickelgrubber finds you out here.”  Bunny said worriedly.

“Who is Fickelgrubber?” baby bird asked. 

“First, what is your name?” bunny asked baby bird.

“My name is Chirp, what shall I call you bunny?”

“You can call me Walter, Chirp, and Fickelgrubber is the meanest, scariest, nastiest, wildest, ugliest cat in the whole countryside” “We really need to get you somewhere safe, so follow me.”   

Chirp followed Walter as fast as he could but he was having trouble keeping up with him. 

“You’ve got to hurry, Chirp!” Walter said as he turned and noticed Chirp falling behind.

Walter ran into the brush surrounding his family’s house and Chirp was right behind him.

 “Wait here Chirp, I will get my mother, and she can help us figure out what to do.”

 “Mother… Mother, I have a friend with me.” Walter shouted. 

“Where have you been, Walter, I was looking all over for you?” Walter’s mother asked.

“Mother, I met a young bird who is too young to fly named Chirp, and I brought him home because I was afraid Fickelgrubber would see him.”  “He couldn’t fly yet and fell out of his nest.” He said excitedly.

Mother rabbit poked her head around the corner and saw Chirp, looking scared and trembling. 

“We need to get him back to his mother; she will be looking all over for him.” She said.

Spring brought good weather which brought Fickelgrubber out more often to lie in the sun on the porch of the old farm house where the people lived. 

Fickelgrubber walked out onto the porch and stretched his front legs out in front of him and raised his back legs as far as he could and yawned wide enough that Mr. Farmer could have driven his tractor into his mouth.

“I wonder if I can find a slow mouse today?” he asked himself, preparing to make his rounds around the farm house.

 “Those mice sure are fun to catch and play with.” said Fickelgrubber while looking in the end of a hollow log with his eyes squinted and an evil grin on his face.  He crept around the barn, looking for some little animal he could chase down and devour. 


Chapter 2

Now Fickelgrubber was not your ordinary stray country farm mouser, he was pitiful to look upon, a real scary cat.  Not because he looked scary but because he looked like he had been caught in a tornado and thrown down in a mud puddle.  He looked that bad.

Sccrraaatch! “Oh that feels sooo good” Fickelgrubber said dragging his claws down the side of the barn.  That was the same sound you would hear as if fingernails were dragged down a chalkboard, the kind that makes your teeth hurt.

“Chirp…Chirp where are you?” cried mother bird frantically.  She had been searching for Chirp since she returned with his dinner.

Suddenly she saw Fickelgrubber around the backside of the barn.  “Go away, you nasty cat!” she screamed as she whizzed by his head causing Fickelgrubber to turn a flip.

“You go away!!” she repeated as she dove out of the sky at him with all the speed she could muster.

At first Fickelgrubber ducked and ran for cover, slamming his head on the side of the barn and tripping over a rake.

“There’s got to be a reason why she would want me to leave” he said crouching behind a tomato plant in the farmer’s backyard garden.

Back at Walter’s house Mother Rabbit was thinking of a way to get Chirp back to his nest.

“Walter.” She said. “Take Chirp over to Mrs. Squirrel and tell her I sent you to see if she or Mr. Squirrel have any ideas about how to get Chirp back home.”

“Ok, mother, we’ll go and see” said Walter.

“C’mon, Chirp, let’s go, but stay close to me, so we don’t get near Fickelgrubber.

“Ok, Walter, you lead the way.”

Walter and Chirp ran as fast as their little legs would carry them, first around the farmer’s tractor, then to the hay bales that are stacked behind the barn.

“What does Fickelgrubber look like, Walter?” said Chirp. 

“Well, Chirp, He is big, furry and black and looks very mean, his whiskers are bent, his fur is matted down and he doesn’t wash…ever.”

“Have you ever been chased by him, Walter?” Chirp asked.

“Oh, I haven’t yet, but my mother has, and she says he is meaner than he looks” replied Walter.

“Where do the Squirrels live?” Chirp asked Walter.

“We are not far, Chirp so stay close by me; do you see anything that way?” He asked.

“I see something big and black and nasty, here take a look!” said Chirp.

“Quick! Chirp, follow me!”

Walter quickly led Chirp through the maze of hay bales until they finally came out near the woods.  Chirp and Walter were out of breath and tired.

“Did I see what I think I saw, Walter?” Chirp asked.

“That was him, and that was too close for me!”  Walter replied.

“Wow, he WAS big, Walter!” Chirp said remembering the image of that big scary nasty cat.

“Now you see why I was worried for you out here on the farm away from the safety of your mother’s nest.”

“The Squirrels live near here so let’s get started on our way.”

The two arrived at the Squirrel’s house and began to tell Mrs. Squirrel about the chase Fickelgrubber put them through.

“Mrs. Squirrel, my mother sent us to see if you could help us find a way to get Chirp back to his nest.” Walter explained.

“I think we can help, I have heard your mother, Chirp, trying to find you.” She said.

Mrs. Squirrel reached into her apron and pulled out some string and a needle.

“This should help” she said.

“What is that for?” Walter asked.

“You’ll see, Walter, you’ll see.”

Easing out of the house they scurried through the hay bales and passed by the barn.

“Here, Walter, take the other end of this string and tie it to that wheelbarrow over there while I tie my end here.”

“Chirp, you wait here, I’ll be right back” said Mrs. Squirrel.

Mrs. Squirrel crept out of the safety of the piece of pipe they had been huddled in.  She stuck the needle into the ground about two feet in front of the string that they had stretched across the ground.

“That should do it!” she said.  The needle was now sticking straight up in the air in front of the string.

“Ok, Walter, take Chirp and hide in the other end of the pipe until I call for you” she said firmly.

Mrs. Squirrel began racing up and down the nearby tree and seeing Fickelgrubber in the distance began to tease him.

“Hey dummy! Come and get me” she said over and over while still racing up and down the tree.

Fickelgrubber was getting mad at the teasing and turned his body toward the squirrel.

“Catch me if you can, dummy!” she said continuing to tease him.

Fickelgrubber finally had enough and ran as fast as he could toward Mrs. Squirrel down toward the barn.  Just then Mrs. Squirrel ran out in front of the string and still teasing she ran away from him.

Fickelgrubber hit the string that Mrs. Squirrel had strung going as fast as he could, and flew into the air, turning flips over and over landing squarely on the needle that was in the ground.

“OOOOHHHHWWW!!” cried Fickelgrubber as he ran back to the farm house, his ears pulled back and tears in his eyes.

“Ok, Chirp, Walter, let’s get going while Fickelgrubber is gone.”

“Wow, what a trick that was Mrs. Squirrel!” Walter said with a huge smile.

“Fickelgrubber has chased me on many occasions, so I always enjoy teaching him a lesson now and then.”

Mrs. Squirrel scurried along with Walter and Chirp around the side of the farm house and now were approaching the front porch where Fickelgrubber often rested.

“Be careful you two,” Mrs. Squirrel said, “we are getting into some dangerous territory.”

“What do you mean?” Chirp said loudly.

“SSHHH! don’t talk so loudly Chirp,” Walter whispered glaringly.

They eased around the front porch but could not see a sign of Fickelgrubber anywhere.

Chirp’s mother’s nest was on the branch of the great big Oak tree in the large front yard of the farm house.  The sun was shining brightly and the grass was tall and in need of being mowed.

“Walter, let’s try to get Chirp over to the lawn furniture which will put us very close to the big Oak tree,” said Mrs. Squirrel to a frightened Walter and Chirp.

About that time Chirp’s mother flew overhead and was still calling for Chirp.

“Chirp!...Chirp!, she cried as loudly as she could.

“Mother, Oh Mother!, here I am, over here,” he shouted and jumped up and down.

Fickelgrubber was just coming around the side of the house when he heard Chirp cry out for his mother.

“Ahhh, now I’m gonna get that bunch once and for all!!”

He crouched down, clawed at the ground and laid his ears back close to his head and lunged for them as fast as he could possibly go.

“RUN!!”, screamed Walter, seeing the large cat out of the corner of his eye.

The three ran in different directions across the yard.  Fickelgrubber bounded left then right and settled on chasing in the direction of Mrs. Squirrel since she had been taunting him.

“You’re finished!” he shouted as he closed in on her.

Mrs. Squirrel was running as fast as she could but Fickelgrubber was catching up fast.

Mrs. Squirrel finally reached the pipe where she had hidden many times before and she darted in just as Fickelgrubber reached out his scrubby paw to knock her down.

“Phew!” she panted “that was close!”

Now she worried about Walter and Chirp.  What would happen to them now that Fickelgrubber knew they were out there alone.

“Walter! ...where are you?” Chirp was scared and found a place to hide in a blackberry bush.  Walter didn’t answer.

“Chirp! ...Chirp!” cried Mother bird.  She had witnessed the commotion on the ground when Fickelgrubber chased after the three.

“Here I am Mother!” cried Chirp,  Finally catching her eye as he hopped up and down.

Mother bird heard Chirp and flew down to him.

“Oh Chirp, I was so worried about you!!”  “I saw that awful cat chasing you and I was very scared.”

“Mother, I got lots of help from my friends Walter the bunny rabbit and Mrs. Squirrel.”  “They were helping me get back to you” he said pointing toward the barn.

“I am so thankful that you had help while you were here in this dangerous place.”  “We need to get you back into the nest somehow until you are ready to fly.”

“Mother maybe I should try to fly now since I haven’t even tried since I fell down here.”  Chirp hadn’t even thought to try to fly when he ran from Fickelgrubber.

“Chirp, I think it’s still too early for you to fly but if you want to try, please hurry so I can get you out of this area before that nasty cat comes back.”

He stretched his wings out and began flapping...and flapping...and flapping and then he came back down to the ground.

“I flew! ...I flew Mother!” he said excitedly.

“Yes, you did fly Chirp,” she said proudly.  She was so happy that he could get somewhere safe now.

“Try to get up to that branch,” she said pointing at the tree branch next to the blackberry bush.

Chirp flapped again as hard as he could and he got closer and closer and closer and finally landed on the branch.

“Chirp, I am so proud of you!” said Mother bird as she landed on the branch next to Chirp.  “I would like to get you back home and get you fed.”

“I am so hungry Mother,” his tummy growled in agreement.

Mrs. Squirrel had been watching from the end of the pipe, keeping an eye out for Fickelgrubber when she was startled by Walter.

“Walter!”  “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Squirrel, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Quick, come and look, Walter, our friend Chirp has been able to find his mother, and not only that, he was able to fly to that branch up there.”

“Oh my goodness, that is so great!”  “I was so worried about him.”

Chirp and his mother flew from one branch to another for some time so that Chirp could get stronger and stronger.

“Ok, Chirp, do you think you can make it to the tall, tall pine tree?”

“Mother, yes, let’s go back home.”

The two flew across the farm and headed toward the tall, tall pine tree where they landed and hugged each other for some time.

Walter and Mrs. Squirrel were watching all this happen from the end of the pipe.

“Are you crying Mrs. Squirrel??”  Walter asked tenderly.

“Yes, Walter, I am so happy that Chirp was able to return home with his mother that it brings tears to my eyes.”

Fickelgrubber, heading back to the porch, ran across an old friend named Ferocious.  Ferocious was the meanest, angriest, ugliest Bulldog in the neighborhood who, on occasion would jump the fence meant to keep him away from the neighbors.

“Well, well, what have we here.” he said with slobber drooling from his jaws as Fickelgrubber rounded the front of the farm house.

“AARRRRRGH!” Fickelgrubber screamed as he ran as fast as he could from the snarling dog named Ferocious, around the farm house and down toward the barn and right past the pipe where Mrs. Squirrel and Walter were.