Mini-Moribund Mini-Moribund

In The Wilderness
a Mini-Peter Adventure transcribed by Nikki, 2007

September 23rd: spending some quality time with Mother Nature

     With summer ending, Mini-Peter wanted to have a good outdoor adventure before it got too cold to sleep under the stars. I had found a mini-tent for him at the beginning of summer, but we'd never found time to go. Last week, finally, I had two days off work and Mini-Peter's schedule was clear, so once we were sure Teddy, Kitty and Lugnut were free, it was time to pack up the essentials.


     "What do you need Orange tape for?" I asked him.
     "I can't think of anything just at the moment, but I'd hate to be without it if something came up."
     "Okay then, as long as you're carrying it."

     We arrived at the campgrounds in the mid-afternoon, then hiked up to the campsite we'd chosen. Along the way, we passed some horses! Teddy decided it was time for a break, so he sat with the gear while Mini-Peter, Kitty and Lugnut went to say hello.

hello, pony

     "Don't get too close," I warned. "One hoof on your poor clay head and it's all over."
     "Yes, yes, I know," he assured me, keeping a safe distance while he admired this friendly pony.
     When they returned to Teddy a few minutes later, he had found something for Mini-Peter!

a feather??

     "A mini-feather?!" Mini-Peter marveled.
     "It's just our size!" Teddy giggled. "I thought you might like to keep it as a souvenir."
     "It's wonderful, thank you." Mini-Peter accepted it graciously. "I want to do something special with it..." he thought a moment... "I've got it!" he removed his backpack again and knelt to unzip it and retrieve the Orange tape, then he used it to make a headband, into which he stuck the feather. "You see?" he told me, "the tape has come in handy after all!"
     "So it has," I agreed.
     "Now, which way were we headed?" he pulled out his compass and found east, then picked up his special hiking stick and led the way.
     "Aww, can't we rest just a minute more?" Teddy asked.
     "No, we have to hurry, we still have the tent to set up," Mini-Peter insisted.


     "Ooh, look," I noticed after snapping this photo, "there's a bird following us. Hold onto your feather, Mini-Peter."
     "Wait, wait!" Teddy shouted, finally jumping up and running after his friends. "Wait for me - what if that bird knows I took the feather??" he panicked.
     "Oh Teddy," Lugnut laughed, "you're too much."
     "LOOK OUT!" Kitty screamed as the bird took flight and dived right at Mini-Peter's head!
     "AAAH!" Mini-Peter ducked, but it was too late - the bird snatched the feather and headband right off his head and flew away with it.
     "My feather!" Mini-Peter exclaimed as the bird disappeared. "did you see that?!" he asked me, still shaken.
     "I saw," I said. "Are you okay?"
     "Yes, I'm fine," he gathered himself, "but my feather's gone."
     "I'm sorry. Maybe you'll find another one."
     "I doubt we'll find another so tiny," he sulked.
     "Well, I got a picture with it, at least," I tried to cheer him up. "Come on, we still have lots of camping to do. Let's have some fun, forget the feather."

     We reached the campsite a few minutes later, and I unrolled the tent. Despite making me carry it all this way, the four of them decided they could set it up themselves.

setting up tent

     "Hold those bits steady," Mini-Peter instructed Kitty and Lugnut, "Teddy, on the count of three, push that pole up, same as mine. Ready? One... two... three... lift!" They slid the poles into the fabric sheaths of the tent, secured them at the corners, then put the extra weather cover over the top as the finishing touch. Still clutching his lucky hiking stick, Mini-Peter insisted that they all pose in front of the tent.


     "Good work, you guys," I complimented them. "What would you like to do now?"
     "Look! Look at these!" Kitty leapt out of the tent and snatched up a tiny pine cone from the ground nearby. "Mini pine cones!" She saw another. "They're everywhere!"
     "I used to collect pine cones when I went camping," I reminisced. "Why don't you see how many you can find?"
     So Kitty ran around for about five minutes gathering up all the mini pine cones in sight.

pine cones

     "These are fantastic," Mini-Peter complimented as Kitty showed him her collection. "I never knew there were trees that dropped mini pine cones. Did you?"
     "No," I shook my head. "I had no idea. See, I told you we'd find plenty of cool things out here."
     "You know," he said, cocking his head to the side, "I thought I was imagining things before, but..." he listened for a moment... "no, I do. I hear water."
     "Water?" I listened, and I heard it too. "There must be a creek nearby."
     "Let's have a quick walk around," he suggested, "see what we can find."
     "Sounds like a plan," I agreed, so we put everything we didn't need in the tent and walked in the direction of the water. It wasn't long at all before we came to a tiny creek! Of course, 'tiny' is a relative term...


     "It's a river!" Mini-Peter exclaimed, leaving his lucky staff behind as he inched toward the shore. "Come on, you guys," he coaxed his friends, and Teddy crept up slowly behind him, but Kitty and Lugnut would not budge. "Kitty, Lugnut, come on!!"
     "No way," Lugnut retorted from his safe distance.
     "What's the problem?" Mini-Peter asked.
     "You can lead a cat to water," Kitty philosophized, "but you'll need stitches afterwards."
     Mini-Peter just rolled his eyes and scanned the creek for anything interesting. "What is THAT?!" he pointed with trepidation.


     "WOW," I said, quickly snapping the photo. "It's a crawfish, I haven't seen one of those in years!"
     "Is it dangerous?" Teddy asked cautiously.
     "Well, I wouldn't get too close, but if you leave it alone, it'll leave you alone."
     "Fair enough," Mini-Peter agreed, and crept back from the shore.
     "So what now?" Teddy asked.
     "Oh, we MUST build a dam!" Mini-Peter insisted.
     "A dam?" Teddy asked, confused.
     "Yes, a dam, just like Real Peter used to do!"
     "How do we do that?" Teddy asked.
     "I don't know..." Mini-Peter confessed. "I've never built one before." He looked at me. "How do we build a dam?"
     "I don't know, I've never built one either. Just gather up some sticks and leaves and mud and stuff, I guess, and we'll see what we can do."

     With the five of us collecting material, it didn't take too long before we had a huge pile by the shore. Mini-Peter, suddenly filled with a rush of confidence, insisted that they could build the dam without any help from 'the giant' (he meant it affectionately, of course), so I sat under a tree with hydrophobic Kitty and Lugnut to watch as Teddy handed off materials to Mini-Peter, who carefully constructed the water-tight structure from one shore to the other. By the time he'd finished, it was nearly dark.

the dam

     "That's pretty impressive," I complimented him. It actually worked! Water backed up behind the dam and the shores rose on one side while they lowered noticeably on the other side.
     "Let's hike up that hill so we can see how far it's backed up," Mini-Peter suggested.
     "It's getting awfully late, I don't think we'll be able to see it from up there."
     "It's not quite dark yet. We'll have to hurry! Where's my hiking stick?" He squinted in the dusk. "Where's the torch? Shine it around, I need my stick."
     We looked around for a minute or two, but could not find the stick anywhere.
     "Where could it be?" Mini-Peter asked worriedly. I hope we didn't--" he looked to the dam. "Ohhh, the dam..."
     "Uh-oh, do you think it's in there?" I asked.
     "It is, I see it, look--" he pointed. "Right there at the bottom."
     "Well how did that happen?"
     Teddy looked at the ground. "I'm sorry, I must have handed it to you by mistake."
     "Oh Teddy, couldn't you see it was my lucky stick?"
     "I'm sorry, I didn't notice, I was too wrapped up in helping with the dam."
     "All right, don't worry about it, I'll get it out." Mini-Peter cautiously crept across the dam and got a hand on his lucky stick, then slowly, carefully began to draw it out.
     "Be careful," I warned, as the water continued to back up behind the dam. "I think I hear creaking..."

rescuing the stick

     "It's all right, I've nearly got it-- just one-- more--"


     "Mini-Peter!!" I dropped the camera and ran to the wildly raging river, which crashed over Mini-Peter and trapped him under all the debris that had formerly been his beautiful dam. What followed was a rescue mission of epic proportions - Teddy just stood at the shore in a panic, not knowing what to do; I ran after Mini-Peter as he was carried away in the torrent, and even Kitty and Lugnut helped, finding long sticks to hold out for Mini-Peter to grab onto until I could reach him to pluck him from the cold water and carry him to safety. He choked and coughed and shivered and clutched onto my arm all the way back to the campsite, where I pulled out his sleeping bag and used it to dry him off a bit. Kitty and Lugnut curled up with him to keep him warm while I looked around for stuff I could use to build a fire. Poor Teddy, feeling guilty as could be, approached timidly with a peace offering.

bundled up

     "I'm so sorry, Mini-Peter," he whimpered. "Can you ever forgive me? I saved your stick..."
     "It's ok-k-k-kay, Ted-d-d-dy," Mini-Peter stammered as his teeth chattered, "I kn-n-now you did-d-d-dn't mean it."
     "But I feel so bad..."
     "Don't worry ab-b-b-bout it. We had fun."
     "Nearly drowning was fun??" I asked.
     Mini-Peter just shrugged. "Well, not that bit so much, but the rest of it."
     "So you still want to spend the night out here?"
     "Of course!" he answered stubbornly. "I'm no quitter!"
     We warmed up poor Mini-Peter by the fire until his clothes and sleeping bag were dry, then the four little ones curled up together in the tent to get some sleep.

     In the morning, we packed everything up and headed for home, too tired from the previous night's excitement to do anything else. On the way back to the car, Teddy spotted the headband and feather that the bird had stolen, stuck in a low branch of a tree! I was able to reach it easily, so I brought it down and handed it to Mini-Peter, who put it in his backpack and took it home as a souvenir. He thanked Teddy once again for the gift he'd now given twice.

     "So when are we going camping again?" Kitty asked on the drive home.
     "I think that's up to Mini-Peter," I replied.
     Mini-Peter didn't answer, except with a snore... he was sound asleep.