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A illustrated adventure story about a rabbit.

Story and Illustrations © 2001 by Donald L. Brown.
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Chips Adventure Page 5..

    Chip jumps up to say. "I think we should listen to her." The raccoon turns to the rabbit, and says. "Look! I put up with you out of friendship with Mac, and since  you do not live here.. Just mind your own business. " Chip sits, looking a bit sheepish, then says. "I am sorry. I don't know what came over me. I will be quiet."

     Tashas eyes flash as she responds to the raccoon. "It is everyone's  business Mr Pal. This demon will not stop with these demands. It will eventually take all you have. Even your lives if you stay." She takes Chips paw, and says."This kind gentle rabbit is our salvation. Within his pure heart lies the power to make the magic work., and shoot the arrows into the dragon."

     Chips mouth drops open as he hears Tashas words. He gulps as he shakes his head."M.. m..m me?  I...I couldn't. I ..I.. don't know how."  Tasha looks into his eyes, and smiles. "Yes you can. Just relax now.."  Tim shakes his head.. "Now I know we must do as the dragon told us.  This rabbit is afraid of his shadow. He could never get close enough without fainting."

     Tashas gaze seems to give the young rabbit courage as he looks back at her. Mac walks over, and pats Chip on the shoulder."Do what you feel is right young fellow. But I agree with Tim. We must try to follow the dragons demands."   Tasha sighs."You all do as you must. Don't worry about Chip. He must decide if he wishes to do this. I cannot make him."

     Chip looks up at the skunk ,and smiles. "Thank you Mac. Thank you both.  But I want to stay with Tasha for now.  You both should return to spread the word. Mac smiles. "Your welcome to visit anytime." Chip smiles."Your a good friend Mac, and Tim too.. Tell Sidney I hope to see you all again soon. Tim, and Mac wish Chip good luck as they make ready to leave.   He bids them a safe journey as he, and Tasha watch them cross the bridge and disappear past the rocks.

     Tasha turns to the young rabbit, and smiles. "It is time to decide my young friend." Chip looks toward the volcano, and says."You really think I can face the dragon with only a bow, and arrow?"  She reaches out to turn him toward her."Chip. I must tell you this will be very dangerous." A tear rolls down her cheek as she continues."The demon will try to kill you if you fail. But you have the courage inside you. I can see it in your eyes."

     Chip wipes the tear from Tasha's cheek. "You saved my life. If you feel I should do this. I will try.  I will depend on you to teach me how."  Tasha hugs him tight. And with her voice breaking. "I..I will teach you well my young friend. I wish you to live, and be my mate." The young rabbit own eyes tear up as he looks at her. "When we have defeated the dragon. I will have you as my mate. Tasha." She smiles. "Then come with me."

     After gathering his pack, and bedroll Chip, and Tasha walk quickly into the deep woods following a trail that only the young mountain girl knows.  She keeps close watch that he stays close as the trail drops steeply .. The trail at times only a narrow ledge as they make their way  slowly down the mountainside

     Suddenly the trail seems to end at a cliff edge. He looks at Tasha."Where do we go from here? She just smiles, grabs a vine, and swings across a 3 meter gap to another ledge. Chip nearly freezes as he watches a small rock bounce down out of sight.  Tasha throws the vine back, and says."Come on. Swing across. I will catch you."
 

        Chip remembers how he felt crossing the rushing stream the day before, and thinks. He must not fail her. He pulls the vine tight, and swings across. Landing nearly perfect. Tasha only needing to steady him a bit. She smiles. "You did that very well." Chip nods breathing a sigh of relief as they continue along the trail.

         Meanwhile as Mac, and Tim walk down the path into the valley. Sidney shouts.  "Wait for me guys." They stop, and wait for the fox.  He smiles. "Hey where's the rabbit."   Continuing along the path. They tell him about the rabbit girls story, and that Chip decided to stay.  Sidney shakes his head. "There are many strange tales about the mountain folk, and the things they can do."
         Tim sighs. "It would be great if what she said were true. But I feel the valley folk should decide if they wish to do as the dragon demands. Or take a chance on magic." Sidney nods."I understand. But I wouldn't give up on the idea of magic. That dragon couldn't breath fire without some kind of magic I would think."  Mac nods. "Sounds reasonable.." Tim shakes his head."I guess your right."

         The three continue down into the valley.  Mac comments. "Sure a nice day." The fox nods.  "Sure good to see spring after the winter we had." Tim nods. "It was a cold one with a lot of ice, and snow." Mac points. "There's Lacy's farm." Tim smiles."It will be good to see  Charlotte again. " Sidney smiles. "You sure was lucky to find that sweet girl." Tim grins. "Don't I know it. " They all laugh as they head for the farm house..
 
     From inside Lacy's home Charlotte spots the trio walking toward the house. She shouts. "Lacy! They have returned."  Lacy smiles as she looks. "Yes they have." Then they both rush out side to greet them.  Charlotte runs up to Tim, and hugs him tight with kisses too."I worried about you. It is so good to see you." Tim smiles. "Yes. I missed you very much."  He returns the hug, and kiss.

     Lacy smiles. Starting to speak to Mac. Then spots Sidney. " Land sakes is that Sidney fox.  I haven't seen you since last fall."  The fox nods. "The harsh winter kept me close to home, But everyone is fine. Mom said to say hello if I saw you."  The badger smiles as she listens. "Well you tell your mother I will try to visit her  next week."  Sidney nods. "I sure will."

     Mac smiles as stands nearby. Then the badger walks up, and gives Mac a big hug. "It's good to see you Mac. I am glad you returned safely too. " Mac smiles hugging back a bit. "It's always good to see you Lacy. I hope your doing well." She nods. "Charlotte, and I just fixed some lunch, and I have some pie cooling. You all must stay, and eat."

     Tim turns to Charlotte, then to the badger."Sounds good to me. But we must get a message out to the valley folk about what we found." Mac, and Sidney nods.  Lacy. Ohs."Well come on in. You can fill me in while we have lunch."  Tim nods as he, and the rest follow lacy into her home."

     Back on the mountain, the rabbit calls out to Tasha. "Please , I need to rest a few minutes."  She smiles."It's not far now." Chip pants. "You said that a hour ago." She giggles. "Alright. But there is a spring just ahead. We can rest, and drink some water too." Chip nods."That sounds good, I am thirsty."

     A few minutes later the sound of rushing water is heard. Then as they walk between two large rocks they find them selves next to a large pool of water.. Fed by a large spring flowing from a opening in the rock next to a cave. It cascades another 50 meters down onto the rocks below. Tasha walks around the edge of the pool to the spring Then leans down to drink. She then moves aside so Chip can do the same.

     Chip mms as he laps eagerly at the refreshing liquid.  Afterwards he stands wiping the water from his chin."That sure hit the spot." The girl nods."Yes it did."  He then sits on a large rock. "I hope it's not far.  It must be nearly lunchtime.. He removes his pack, and pulls out two apples."Would you like one ?" She nods, and takes one."Thank you."

     After taking a couple bites. He mms."That is good.  Please forgive me if I say or do something wrong. I haven't had much experience being around girls." Tasha smiles. "I will try to remember." After finishing her apple. She stands, and walks over to the cave, and says.."Come, we must enter"

     As Tasha disappears into the cave Chip walks over, and looks inside. He calls out, "It's very dark. How can we see to walk?" Tasha grabs his paw pulling him in. Then says "Just stay close. I know the way by feel." Chip gulps. Hoping it's not far, as a dark cave is very scary.
 
    Walking slowly through the darkness. The sound of water dripping is all that can be heard in the pitch black of the cave. Chip stays close holding Tashas paw with his, not wishing to get lost. After a what seems like hours.  Tasha points to a bit of light in the distance.."We are almost there." Chip smiles."I will be glad to get out of this cave." She nods."Yes, and it will be good to see my home too." They both squint, and  blink shading their eyes as they step out into the sunlight again.

     In a few minutes Chips eyes become  used to the light. He can see a small valley surrounded by nearly vertical rock walls rising over a 150 meters in height. Not far away there are several small stone buildings lining a wide path. Tasha points to one larger building standing at the center."The magic arrows are in there.."

    Chip looks about."Is this your home?." She shakes her head no."It's the place that holds many secrets of our people. It's is here I will teach you how to shoot the arrows."  Tasha points across the small valley."My home is at the far end of this valley."  As they follow a path toward the stone structures he remarks."I would like to meet your family, Tasha." She smiles. "I am sure they will enjoy meeting you too."

    Meanwhile back at Lacy's farm house. The others sit around a large oak table filled with good things to eat. Fish, fruits, and salad. Along with the scent of apple pie cooling nearby. As they begin. Lacy pours each one a cup of mint tea.

     Mac wiggles his nose as he sniffs the air. "My that smells good." The others agree as they start to eat.  Lacy smiles at the skunk. "I am glad your pleased Mac. " He smiles back at the badger as he cuts a bit of fish. "Your the best cook in the valley Lacy."  She smiles brightly. "Why thank you Mac. "

     Tim smiles at Charlotte as she fills his plate. "And your cooking is great too. " She leans over, and kisses Tim's cheek. "Thank you Tim." Sidney grins as he fills his own plate. "I gotta agree with Mac. This is good eating."

     Lacy smiles. "Land sakes. You boys eat all you want..  But what did you find on that mountain that's so important. Tim?"  After swallowing a bite of fish. He responds. "A dragon." Lacy drops the cup she was holding. " Did you say a Dragon?" Tim nods, and tells the badger what the dragon demanded of the valley folk, Mac added what the young rabbit girl said as well.

     Charlotte shakes her head hugging Tim as Lacy grumbles. "The dragon must be stopped. My grandfather told of the demon dragon. And how it nearly destroyed the valley 100 years ago.  " Tim shakes his head."The dragon promised to leave us alone if we do his bidding."  The badger growls as she responds. "Once before the valley folk did as the dragon demanded.. But the demands grew more each time he came to collect from them."

     Mac shudders. "How was the dragon finally stopped?" Lacy sighs."My grandfather didn't know. The dragon just quit returning. This girl Tasha may have the answer. I think we should let her try." Tim shakes his head. "We should allow all the valley folk decide. I think we should try meeting the dragons demands . For now at least." The   badger shakes her head. "I think it's a mistake. But I will help spread the word.

     Tim swallows a bite of fish, and nods. "That would be helpful Lacy. Thank you." The badger smiles. "I am glad to help. " Charlotte chimes in."I will help too."  The raccoon smiles at his wife, and finishes his tea. "It's time we left for the village." Lacy awws. "I was going to offer you all some apple pie." Mac licks his muzzle. "Um I think I will stay to have a slice." Sidney nods. "I will too. " The raccoon shakes his head. "Lacy, Your pie is fine eating. But I just can't hold another bite. "
 
     Lacy smiles as the raccoon gets up. She follows him, and Charlotte to the door." Charlotte. I will stop by tomorrow for the monthly sewing bee."  Tim hey's. "You all can pass the word there."  Lacy continues."Yes, there will be several there that can help spread the word.."  Charlotte nods. "Yes, we normally have a large turnout each month."

     The badger then gives Charlotte a hug as she bids the raccoons a good day. Mac, and Sidney shout catch you later Tim. "He hollers back "Ok".  Lacy closes the door, then smiles at the skunk, and fox. Then carries a large apple pie over to the table.. Mac drools as he watches the badger cut a large slice for him, and the fox. "There you go, Mac, Sidney. Eat your fill. There is plenty."

     While Mac, Sidney finish their pie, and Tim heads for the village with his wife.  Chip, and Tasha continue towards the large stone structure. Unknown to both of them. A shadowy figure slips up behind Chip.  Moments later the young rabbit finds his self pinned to the ground. He cries out as the figure places the point of a large spear to his chest.
 
      Chip again cries out."Don't hurt me please!" The unknown attacker ignores the young rabbits pleas as he leans over him.  Moments later Tasha screams out. "Don't hurt him.." He looks up just as she hits him with both feet, knocking him  into the bushes. She then grabs the spear, and breaks it against a rock.

     Tasha kneels beside Chip as she asks if he is alright. Chip sits up still shaking as he responds. "I.. I think so."  She shakes her head. "I am sorry. I forgot about the guards  protecting our valley. " Rubbing his chest he nods."No harm done. But I sure thought he was going to spear me." She nods, and hugs him tight.

     Upon hearing a moan from the bushes. She steps over to check on the guard. A short but husky rabbit looks up at Tasha, rubbing a bump on his head, and says."You only needed to shout. I wasn't going to kill him."  She blinks. Oh Benji it's you. I am sorry. But when I heard Chip cry out. I just saw red."  Benji slowly stands, and nods. "I will try to keep out of your way next time. Tasha, "

     After helping Chip up. Tasha smiles."Chip this is Benji. He is one of our guards".  He nods. "Sorry Chip. You being a stranger. I thought you might be a thief or wishing to harm Tasha.   Chip shakes his paw, and nods."I understand. Tasha is showing me your very nice valley."  Benji nods turning to Tasha he picks up his broken spear. "Keep him out of trouble."  She nods."I will."   He then disappears into the forest.

     Tasha takes Chip by the paw, and says. "It's not far to the temple. It will be dark soon and I wish to reach our village before then."  He nods as they walk quickly  along. As they get  closer the path changes to broad white stones. Chip looks at the large grey stone building. Broad steps lead up to a large archway over which twin towers soar skyward. Tasha smiles. "It is very old. No one knows for sure how long it has been here." She then leads him up the steps, and through the archway Chip looks all around as he follows the girl into the temple."It's so big."  Tasha nods as she picks up a torch. She lights it from a flame near the entrance. Then they both go down a narrow flight of stairs.  Which leads to a long passageway that ends in a small room. On one wall is a golden plaque. Under which hangs a heavy bow, and a quiver of arrows..

     She looks at the young rabbit, and says." This is the bow, and arrows you will use to tame the fire demon." Chip gulps as he notices a engraving on the plaque. Showing a young rabbit holding a bow drawn back with a arrow ready to fly. The dragon above him, flames shooting from its nostrils as it dives downward.

     He points. "Um. What does the engraving mean?" Tasha sighs."I am sorry Chip. I didn't tell you the whole story.  The engraving was made long ago.  Each time the demon appears. A young rabbit pure of heart must be found to defeat the demon. I am sure that rabbit is you.

     She looks into his eyes. A tear rolls down her cheek as she continues."At first I only thought of our need. But now after knowing you, I fear for your life. I feel I should not wish to live if you were killed." She then turns away softly sobbing.

     Chip places a paw on her shoulder. "Please do not cry.  You saved my life. If it is lost trying to save the valley, and you from the terrible dragon. It will be worth it." She shakes her head."But you mean more to me than this valley, or anything else." Chip wipes her tears away, and hugs her tight. "If it is my lot to tame the dragon. Then so be it."

    She  hugs Chip back as she responds... " And now you must learn to use the bow.. Your life depends on how well you do." She then bites her lip trying to not cry as Chip lifts the bow from it's resting place. He brushes the dust from it's smooth finish. "It's heavy!! " he exclaims as he examines  it.

     She nods. "Yes. It is made from a very strong wood.." She lifts the quiver of arrows from a shelf, and says."These are the special made arrows to carry the magic potion. We have more so you can practice shooting at a target." Chip nods. "I hope I am strong enough to use it.. Um where is the string?"
 .
     She ohs. "My father will make a new string for it.  As it must be very strong, and after a few weeks of practice I am sure your muscles will grow strong enough.  Then you will be ready to meet the demon." Chip gulps once more as he stares at the engraving. Wondering if he has the courage to do the task this very special girl says he must do..

     Tasha clears her throat. "We should go now. It will be dark soon. Bring the bow, but leave the arrows. They will only be used when you are ready." Chip nods as they both quickly leave the small room. He follows along as Tasha carries the torch down the passageway then up the narrow rock stairway. She then extinguishes the torch near the archway .

     She looks up at the sky then turns to the young rabbit, and says."We must hurry. We only have a short time before nightfall, and my village is across the valley." He nods as they make haste for the distant village. The shadows quickly stretch out before them as the sun slowly disappears behind a distant mountain ridge.

     Darkness spreads across the valley just as the two young rabbits finally reach the edge of the village.  Small bunnies follow along as they walk along a path towards the center of the community.. Tasha stops to greet the little ones as Chip stands close by, not sure what to say or do.

     They shout." Did you bring us any treats, Tashie? Please  Please   Please." Tasha takes some sweet roots from the cloth pouch she carries, and nods."Here you are. One for each of you."  Chip smiles as he watches the little ones hop for joy as they get their treats. Moments later she, and Chip continue along the path.

     He turns to her, and says."The little ones are very fond of you." She nods. "Yes, I always try to bring a treat for them when I return. They are very dear to me." Chip smiles. "They are very cute.  They remind me of my hopes to have a family someday when this is all over." She stops. Then turns to him and says."I. would be very happy to be your mate after the fire demon is gone."

      He smiles taking her paw with his. Then starts to speak when a loud voice calls out. "Tasha !!!  Who is this stranger?" Chip quickly turns to look as Tasha moves in front of him, then says, "He is the one who must tame the fire demon."

     Chip's eyes remain fixed on this large older rabbit, His dark brown fur showing signs of greying along his ears, and cheeks. In one paw he holds a long staff.  A light breeze blows his flowing robes as he says. "This one has a pure heart, and agrees to use the bow to tame the fire demon?"

     Tasha nods. "Yes father he has, and has agreed to do his best" A smile crosses the elder rabbits face He then holds out a paw. "Welcome to Coelho village. I am called Dinre. The leader of this village" The young rabbit shakes the elder rabbits paw,  and says.. "Good to meet you sir. My name is Chip Sty."  Then come share supper with us Chip Sty."  Chip smiles. "Thank you sir. I am very  hungry after the long walk here." Tasha smiles as she, and her father take the young rabbit to their home.

     Chip follows along Still remembering the drawing  he knows  learning to use the bow well is important if he is to tame the dragon.  Thoughts of spending the rest of his life with this pretty young bunny gives him a new courage. He must protect her, and her family from the evil dragon.  Even though he may loose his life trying.



Continued once or twice a week.
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