SICC Story Lines

Opened: Jan 31st, 2002 - 11:35pm
Ready for Editing.


And so the tale begins.... An_African_Journey.
StoryMeezer []
Sir Micky Blue Eyes da Pointers and his trusty war steed, Sak Sarel, journeyed day and night through Africa to reach France. Blue, his squire, rode behind him and led the packhorse with all the provision needed for a quest like this:
There was Whiskas singles and kibble (they where a little worried that foreign food might be a too rich for their liking)
Some smouchies and a ‘pidey stick
Spare flea collars (for when they rough it in the wilderness)
A compass and a map (send by carry pigeon from PD – thanx for the snack!)
Dress collars (for the balls that was sure to be held!)
Moneys and gold and joools for the ladies
His armor and banner and sword and lance (Although Micky preffered claw to claw combat) …

It was almost noon when Micky called a halt. Blue quickly set out a feast of kibble for lunch. After they’ve eaten, they took a quick catnap to escape the heat of the day. The cicadas buzzed them awake. Far off, a lion roared. They were in deepest Africa – on their way to France. This was the stuff adventure were made off!
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Captain Moosey was trying to make sure his brudders packed everything they would need in Africa....lets see....RedDog and Griffin would need sunscreen.....Wolf would need music....Grizzly...well, Grizzly would need supervision..a lot of it....he was a teror!
And FUD!!!! for himself of course, hmmmmm, although Moosey was always ready to try any new food....he'd better make sure he had enough with him..just in case.
"OK boys" said Captain Moosey. "Are we all ready to go? Then lets get a move on.....Mickey is waiting fur us!"
and he hurried them out the door....with Griffin muttering about "don wanna see no lions..they is bigger than me..."
and Grizzly shoving his brudder "Well, everything is BIGGER than you is!"
Captain Moosey []
It was hot on the veldt... Sir Lester pushed the "recline" button on the plush passenger seat of the LandMeezer and wiped the sweat off his whicketts with a monogrammed hankie.

"When do we reach the next rest stop," he grumbled to his driver, "I need to pee."

His Lordship had wondered whether gallivanting through the African bush was quite the right thing to do in high summer, as it was 537 deg below freezing when he'd left the States, and he had begun to shed - badly. He reached over and cranked up the air conditioning.

Leaning back and yawning, he decided that the trip was probably worth it. After all, to travel through the Lands of his Ancestors - the African Wildcat - was something few meezers got to do, and he WAS doing it in relative comfort. He took a mental inventory.

Meowsquito nets...designer sunglasses...plentiful supply of fud and milk in the refrigerated trucks strung out in a long line behind his vehicle....catnip liqueur...flyswatters for the tsetse flies...a valet to iron his safari suit and bring him his meoworning piwws....his journal....and several maps of the continent, dated 1855.

As he gazed at the dust plumes rising ahead from the Micky & Blue's horses, he wondered idly whether he would indeed meet the famous explorer and bring to life the immortal words, "Dr Livingstomeowne, I persume?"
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
The trip from the snowy north to the high desert had been easier than Random had anticipated. He had never tried to travel throught the shadow lands before even though it was a gift given to all of the meezers born in the Blue Mountains. The sons of Amba were said to be the most gifted of all and Random being Amba's first born had found the shadows easy to manipulate. As he walked through the orchard to his fathers compound he wondered if his father would approve of him. He very much hoped so as he wanted Amba's advice on the quest and his blessing. Random remembered his father as being a very large man cat with very pronounced lynx stripes and massive paws. Random was amazed at the cat who answered his scratches on the gate. Could this be Amba, the giant of his memory? The meezer facing him was indeed a large and handsome cat but he was no bigger than Random himself; maybe a bit smaller in fact. It was Amba his father however it was Random himself who had changed.
Amba brruupped in surprise and delight. Amba had known when his son left home to move to the northern tundra that it was possible he would never see his first born again.

"Random, I'm happy to see you, son, but what brings you to the mountains in the dead of winter?"

"An adventure! I am going to Africa to join my friends as they travel to Furrance. I hope to become a knight. There are rumors that Pen-Duick is raising a troop. It will be grand; duels and combat and fair maidens and much gold to be won. I came for your blessing and advice."

"My blessing you have always, but advice hmmm" Amba scratched an ear with a back paw. "Quests....quests and adventures...hmmm. You must be outfitted! Did you bring any weapons?"

"An oak lance and my claws of course," Random answered, unsheathing what looked like a paw full of razors.

"What about amulets and talismans? You can not go on an adventure with out amulets and talismans. You must take representatives of water and air and earth and fire. They can be animal or plant or mineral. Come, Random," Amba said motioning him back through the gate, "we will find your defenses in the magical Blue Mountains."

"I don't have a lot of time to search, Father. I must hurry. I must catch up to my friends in Africa so that we can all arrive in Furrance together."

Amba merely grinned, "Time means very little in the Blue Mountains."
Random []
Wearing his special adventure knights and pirates outfit of a red silk bandana around his neck a gold earring in his ear, and a pouch of kidly goodies on his belt, Firecracker Kid snuck from out under the too watchful eye of meowmy Paprika and snuck after Amba and Random.

Firecracker Kid had been keeping at a distance but following the lynxie men. To the Fireboy, these guys looked like big white tigers padding through the mountains. He knew he would be in big trouble if Paprika found out he was following them, but he could not resist.

He climbed up into a big ponderosa pine and out on a branch above them to listen in as they made their plans.

All of a sudden crrraccckk, the branch broke and he landed on his haunch, the firecrackers in his waistpouch going off pop pop pop.

"What have we herrrreeeee?" says Amba picking up the little red point by his big earring. "A play acting spy! Shooting off firecrackers and scaring the wits out of good Meezer Men and their game?"

Firecracker shook under the booming yowl peculiar to mature Meezer toms.

"No Sir Master Amba Sir," he squeaked, " I just heard a bit about Afrrrika and adventures and knights and swords Sir and oh I dearly would love to go to Afrrika and see
elephants and spotted deers as big as trees girraffs they call em."

Random stroked his chin whiskers. He DID need a talisman for fire, and this young flame point whippersnapper had ears mask and tail like the primal fire of human bean meets Cat mythology.

For as we all know, it was Cat who brought Beans the fire and not the other way round as Beans tell it. The Cat brought Beans the burning cinders of warmth in a silver conch shell for cold nights and good cooking. The deal was that man was supposed to in turn keep Cat warm and provide him with hot meaty meals. But some how, as shameful as Beans were wont to be, they had the story all switched around so that it was Beans who invented fire and not Cat at all. Like as not bean sat by the warm fire and tossed cat out into the cold and ate all the warm meaty meals himself without sharing any with Cat at all!

Random looked at Firecracker Kid dangling by his gold earring.

"Father set him down, for I shall take him as my squire and he will be my keeper of the Fire whilst I sleep."

"Wooowwww!" said Firecracker Kid, his mouth making a big O as he fairly howled the word. "I gets to go ter Afrrrika!"
The Firecracker Kid []
"Silence kid, hissed Amba. "There are things in these mountains that it is best not to awaken. Both of you stay close to me. We will go first to the hidden pool."
The three of them sat off up the mountain; Amba leading, Random following after and the Firecracker Kid running on his shorter legs to keep up.
After many twists and turns of the trail and a switchback or two the three meezers came in to a clearing. The pool glowed an eerie silver green in the cold light of the winter moon. Random wondered where the moon had been hiding for there had been no light at all until they had entered the small glen. Amba motioned the little red boy to stay back and whispered softly in his son's ear "Here is your water charm; The bloom of a magical lotus. It only blooms in the cold light of the winter moon."
"That's impossible," said Random.
Amba smiled showing just the tips of his fangs; "Perhaps, but you see it before you. Gather it before the moon races behind a cloud."
Random walked forward. The pool seemed to grow larger as he approached and the bloom was in the exact center. By some magic his lance appeared in his right paw. Standing at the very edge of the pool and stretching as far as he could Random was just able to catch the bloom on the tip of his lance. Just as he took the flower in his paw the moon scuttled behind a cloud and the darkness closed around him.
Gradually the clouds cleared and the dim star light doubled in the pool showed Random the way back to Amba and the Kid.
"Fire and water are in your grasp," Amba whispered, "sky will be my final gift. Now we must find a gift from the earth."
Amba sat off to the right of the clearing going deeper in to the mountains. "Where are we going?" asked the Kid. Random didn't shush him as he really wanted to know where they were headed too. Amba didn't answer but picked up small branches as he walked and motioned for the others to do the same.
Finally when there mouths were full of twigs Amba stepped around a rock into a small cave. "Well young man, see if you can make a fire and keep it going until we return", Amba instructed.
As the Kid reached into his pouch for another firecracker, Random followed his father further into the cave.
"Should he be using those noisy things to start a fire?" Random asked looking fearfully over his shoulder. "It's all right," Amba grinned back. "I just didn't want him to be talking and clattering the whole night. Gives me a headache."
"Where are we going now?"
"Into shadow, to a place I know. I hid a great treasure there before I met your Mother. I think that you have need of it now."
As they walked the cave became larger, then lighter. Random noticed that the walls of the cave where becoming transparent and sparkled. Beams of light flashed back and forth across the cave in all the colors of the rainbow. It was very beautiful and Random wanted to chase the beams of light and dance as a kitten would in the sunshine. Amba meowed gleefully and clapped his paws with delight. "You like my special place, don't you? I knew you would! You can come here anytime you want"
"How do I get here on my own? I don't know the way!"
"Yes you do! That is the special gift of the Blue Mountain to us meezers. Once you have been to a place if you picture it in your mind you can walk through the shadow lands to get there. Isn't that how you came back to the land of your birth?"
Random thought for a moment and new it was true. This quest thing was going to be easier than he thought if he could go home anytime he wanted.
"Don't get to cocky young man," growled Amba. "You can go anywhere you have been before but not to any when. Time passes in a different way in shadows. Here it is slower so we have all the time we need to gather your charms; but in other shadows time goes like the north wind and you can come back to reality to find battles lost and fair maidens wooed away by another. Only walk in strange shadows when there is no other choice!"
Random looked contrite and looked down at his feet. There on the floor in front of him was a perfectly round stone about 12 inches in diameter. "What is this I wonder?"
"That is what we came for", said Amba. "Pick it up!"
Random carefully hooked his claws under the edge, braced his back feet and heaved. The stone flew into the air and flipped over exposing a handle on the other side. When Random put his paw into the handle and lifted a second time he discovered that the stone had no more weight than a feather.
"It's your shield, Random. It has been in our family for generations. Hard as diamonds and light as goose down", Amba chirped proudly. Random was speechless and his eyes were watering strangly. Amba looked away and growled, "Well let's go back before that little heathern sets fire to the whole side of the mountain!"
Random []
Firecracker Kid stood alone in the cave. The fire was just a little sparkle ball and he wanted to make it BIGGER!

He threw in more branches and some pine cones and soon a mighty blaze leaped up singing the tips of his whiskers.

Yewooorrrr he spat leaping from the cave and lay panting in front of its entrance. Smoke and sparks flew out of the mouth of the cave, and Little Fireboy, hissed with fear.

Fire BAD! he said, grabbing handfuls of clay and tossing them back into the cave behind him until much of the fire lay scattered and smoldering. He backed up a bit to the mouth of the cave and sprayed just a little squirt of tomcat stuff.

He choked as if he had a nasty hairball. Whew, he thought, that stuff smells powerful!
The Firecracker Kid []
"Curtheth!" I cried. I'd opened a window to get thome air while I had a thort nap and a large buggie had flown into my mouf and wath now firmly thtuck between my teef. I couldn't even pry it out with my tharpetht clawth. Blathted Colonieth! I conthulted my mapth and frowned. Thumthing wathn't right here. Bluthing, I realithed it wath upthide down. At thith rate we'd end up in Antarctica inthtead of Furranthe. The thought of it made the hairth on my tail brithtle.

Thtretthed out in front and behind my retinue I could thee a long line of Meetherth, all heading in the thame directthion, more or leth...we would thoon be crothing the famouth LimPooPoo River. I hoped there weren't any crocodilthe. Their teef were even bigger than mine and THEY didn't have to contend with thome huge dithguthting African buggie in their teef. *thigh*

I had been informed that upon arrival in Furranthe, we would have the opportunity to join a Knightly Order of Dark Pawickieth, under the leaderthip of our Ethteemed Athithtant Leader, Pen-Duick, and my whicketth twitthed in antithipathion. I might be an Old F**t (or tho my vathalth whithpered behind my back) but it would be good to get back in the thaddle again and kick thome butt. And I athure you, I am purrfectly capable of doing tho, I wath not dubbed a Knight of the Realm in jetht, you know!

I would have to thend to the Manor for my armor to be duthted off, polithed and delivered to Pen-Duick'th cathtle and a thuitable thteed found! I thuppothed I would have to thell my LandMeether to pay for it...a pity...but the Cauthe of Dethtroying any Dark Lordth of Dithguthting Thingieth and Dethpoilerth of Meetherette Maidenth wath worth it...

My driver eathed the LandMeether up a thort hill, gearth grinding (blatht it, the man mutht have learned to drive at an amuthement park) and ath we crethted the rithe the LimPooPoo River came thuddenly into view...
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
As Random and Amba approached the mouth of the cave the stench wafted toward them. Random started to laugh when he saw the Kid gagging in front of the cave. "At least he got the fire out!" whooped Random. Amba just laughed and laughed . Then the two men cats and the young meezer started laughing and running and tumbling down the path toward the farm.
When they reached the pasture they jumped almost in unison to the edge of the horse trough. Balancing delicately on the edge they drank deeply from the cool water.
Random looked up at the stars wondering how much time they had spent on the mountain. There positions had changed little since they had left the compound what seemed like hours before.
"Time means little on the mountain, Random," said his father. "But now we are in the real world again and must hurry to complete our last tasks. Start gathering sage brush and tumble weed and bring it to the lawn in front of the compound.
After Random and the Fire Kid had gathered a huge pile of the dry plants, Amba had them form it into a row of brush as long as Random's lance and as high as two tall meezers. When they were done Amba directed Random to place his lance on the bier.
"Do your stuff Firecracker Kid!" ordered Amba.
The Kid looked uncertainly at Random. Random nodded once and as the fire took hold he lay with paws tucked under his chest staring at the fire as if in a trance.
Random didn't move through the long night as the fire burned and Amba sang and waved large feathers over the flames.
At last just before dawn the flames died out and there was the lance unharmed lying in the ashes. Amba stopped singing and all was still in the high desert as Random stood slowly and took his lance.
"I name you 'Squirrelsticker'"Random cried!
The Firecracker Kid looked on with wide eyes.
Amba leaped into the air and clapped his paws together three times and just as the sun came over the mountain an enormous Raven swooped down into the camp. Random checked his pouch one last time, grabbed his Shield and Squirrelsticker and sprang to the raven's back." Hurry Kid if you are going to Africa and Furrance we must leave now."
The raven flew so high and fast that by midmorning Random could see Sir Lester's Land Meezer glinting in the sun.
Random []
Micky pulled hard on Sak Sarel’s reigns. Even though he lived in Africa all his life, it was still a sight to see. Before him was the great Limpopo river. Huge logs drifted in it, suddenly to disappear under water, signalling that they were indeed – crocodiles! Suddenly dust billowed all around him as Sir Lester’s LandMeezer came to a stop behind him. He spit some of the dust out of his mouth and give his paw a cursory lick before laying his ears flat.
“Sirrr Lesterrr, I prrresume?” He purred, tail flicking.
Blue stopped tending to the horses and pushed his whiskers forward in eager curiosity.
Just then a huge splash caught everyone’s attention. A hippo was snorting not far off … this was not a safe place for introductions. They needed to cross the river, filled with hippos and crocs! And what was this – Sir Lester was setting up camp!
Huff Stomping, Micky turned to find Blue happily carrying supplies around for Sir Lester.
“Blue!” He hissed. “You’rrre my squirrre! Put that down … NOW”
“O, solly boss!” Blue mumbled and dropped the cast iron pot … regretfully onto Micky’s paw.
[censored] [censored] [censored]
Much later, Micky and Blue were readying to cross the river. Sir Lester was standing to one side, curiously watching Blue saddling up.
“What are you doing?” He politely inquired
“Saddling up, we'rrre crrrossing the rrriverrr” Micky replied and rolled his eyes.
“Oh” Said Sir Lester. “Are you going to swim through?”
“Yes!” Micky replied tersely. He secretly laughed – Sir Lester was never going to get his LandMeezer and all the supply trucks through the deep, wide river! Foreign meezer indeed!
“It’s just” Sir Lester was looking west, frowning in thought
“Just what!”
“Well, why would you swim through a river filled with hippo’s and crocs when there’s a perfectly serviceable bridge just 100 meters from here?" Micky followed Sir Lester’s paw pointing, and there … a bridge!
Amidst howls of laughter from everyone, Micky climbed his horse. Blushing furiously, he gave the command: “Brrreak camp. Onwarrrds and Forrrwarrrds! We’rrre crrrossing the rrriverrr … over the brrridge!”
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Firecracker kid looked down at the shining land meezer and beyond that a ribbony river full of..

"Look Lord Random!" he shouted "Water Dragons!"

The alligators were so huge and soo toothy Firecracker Kid nearly fell off the raven.

"Master Random Sir, is you going to go down an shlay them?"
The Firecracker Kid []

Kid those are crocodiles not water dragons and they have big mouths with very sharp teeth. Each tooth is bigger than Squirrelsticker! If you had spent less time with that sparkle ball and more time watching TV you would know that.
And don't call me 'Lord' or 'Sir'. Just call me Random. I'm not a 'Sir' until I get knighted and if we go around killing perfectly innocent crocodiles we will be sent right back home!
No adventure ! No fair ladies! No honor! No fortunes in gold! No Furrance!
Now let's follow Mickey and Blue and Sir Lester, 'cause they're more experienced. We need to listen and watch for a chance to make ourselves useful.
Random []
Well dey wook wike water dragons my moewmy wont wet me watch TB she shays itsh bad for me and I am hungry I gots animal crackers in my pouch do you want animal crackersh lord I mean sire I mean mishter Ransome sir.
The Firecracker Kid []
Sir Lester was feeling poorly. A touch of sunstroke, purrhaps? Or meowaybe the exertions of helping organize a large number of trekking Meezers to cross the bridge over the LimPooPoo River without any of them (particularly the yeowung squires) falling off and becoming crocodile snax...

He lay back and snuggled into his sleeping bag and thought about the day. They were making good time, but would have to hurry to get to Furrance in time to present themselves at Pen-Duick's castle. The campsite was quiet, with only the sounds of snoring Meezers, the wind through the Ruins of Zimbabwe, and the crackling of the campfire (thoughtfully provided by Random, who knew much about this subject). Suddenly, his tent flap opened...
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
"Gadthookth!" I eckthlaimed. "Who goeth there?"

"It's only meow, Sir Lester," said the Firecracker Kid, as he stepped wide-eyed into the tent. "I wanted to ask you what you think lies ahead on our Great African Journey. Will we see any tigers?"

"I thould think not, young fella, ath we are on the wrong continent for that," I replied. (Ackthually I wathn't quite thure WHICH continent we were on, in fact I wathn't thure what THENTURY we were in.)

"But," I continued, "We will thee lionth. They are called lionth becauth they thpend all day lyin' around. And we thall, no doubt, thee Cheetath. They are called Cheetath becauth they cheat at cardth. Tho don't athk them to play. And ath for Leopardth....they are named after the famouth rock band, Def Leppard. Thith doth not mean they are dea."

Kid'th eyeth grew big and round. "Will they attack us?"

"No, no, I thouldn't think tho, they are our couthins, you know. But it is withe to give them the rethpect they detherve. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to leave a few canth of Fanthy Featht around when we break camp, a thmall giftickie for allowmeowing uth to path through their land."

"And where are we going next, Sir Lester?" the Kid wanted to know.

"Well, to tell the truth, I am not entirely thure. Mickey and Blue, being from Thouth Africa, know their way around better than I. But I can tell you that if we run out of tuna, we will have to vithit Tunithia, which ith a long way from here. To get there, we have to turn left at Egypt."

Egypt! The fur stood on end along Kid's spine and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. His whiskers quivered.

"That's where the pyramids are, isn't it?"

"Indeed, young Thquire. And do you know why the Pyramidth were built, and why they are pointed?"

Kid shook his head.

"Well, it'th becauth thouthandth and thouthandth of meowoonth ago, the Anthient Bean Kingth, known as Pharomeowth, worthipped catth, ath well they thould. To thow their rethpect, when they died, they wanted to be buried in monumenth that would forever thow the world that Catth Rule. So they had themthelveth meowmmified and their thombs built - with the aid of many d*g thlaves - in the thape of a Meether's pointed earth.

"And that'th why the Pyramidth are pointed at the top, and no matter from which angle you gathe at them, it ith obviouth what they are."

I yawned and thcratthed mythelf.

"Now run along, I'm tired. And be a good Thquire to Random, he will make a good Knight, and can teach you much."

And with that, I fell athleep.
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Random's big gray paw struck like lightning snagging the red bandana around the Kid's neck and pulling the half grown kitten the rest of the way out of Sir Lester's tent. "Sir Lester needs his rest. What if every squire in the camp dropped in for a little chat? He would be up 'til dawn that's what."

Random let the Kid go and handed him his sparkle ball. He wasn't really angry at him, for truthfully he could barely contain his excitement at being on this grand expedition. Random would have been chasing the giant African moths that fluttered around the campfire if he had not been exhausted from the the night of preparations followed by the long hot day.
Sir Lester had seemed to suffer greatly from the heat and his nose had seemed a bit pale at dinner. Even though Lester was still loudly cursing the moth that was still stuck in his teeth (for not a single squire had thought to pack toothpicks), Random was a bit worried about him and decided to stay near him during the night. Just as he was pulling his skin from a real sheepy from his pouch and spreading it by the fire he heard a loud breathy snore from inside the tent. Random chirped contentedly and was soon sound asleep.
Random []
I am athamed to admit that I have a hangover. My doctor (who flew in ethpethially on Meether Forthe One to thee me) thaid I thould get more fluidth, tho I pub-crawled through Meowalawi. It ith a good thing I am not driving, ath today we were chathed by a herd of elephanth and a warthog with evil-looking tuthkth all the way through the Therengeti. Forthooth! That warthog wath even uglier than my valet!

The good newth ith that all that catnip liqueur hath dithlodged the giant moth from my teefikieth, altough I thtill have thith blathted lithp....

The troopth are holding up well and ath we travel northward up the Rift Valley, but thortly we enter the Jungle and have many riverth to croth. Lookth like we are going to get our pawickieth wet after all.

Captain Moothey hath thent a Thecretary Bird to Lord Pen-Duick'th cathtle to let him know that Knightth and Thquireth are on their way, with weaponth of rare thorthery and heartth of True Blue to athitht in the Quetht.

I hope there will be a Lady of thuitable Virtue to whom I can prethent my Credenthials and whothe Colorth I may proudly dithplay upon my lanthe...
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Micky was in rare spirits – Sir Lester had kindly shared a bottle of catnip liqueur with him and it went straight to his head. Blue was hiding as he knew exactly what happened when Micky got high.
“And then I said to him … get thee gone out of my sight” Micky roared with laughter and his tail gave two little flicks – ample warning!
“And when he didn’t listen, I jumped at him … like this” And Micky collided with Random, who was completely caught off guard. They tumbled into the food stuff, ruining a perfectly good ham, meant for supper.
Random got up quickly and unsheathed his razor sharp claws – “You want a duel?” He hissed angrily. Micky looked at him blearily.
Sir Lester, just awoken from his own catnip catnap by the raucous, walked out of his tent and immediately sized up the situation.
Soliciting the help of some burly meezers, they restrained Micky – not too gently. “Get thee into thy tent – and sleep it off!” He ordered. He saw Blue peeking from behind the freezer truck and motioned for him to come and help. Blue did so, reluctantly.
Random was still furious.
“He attacked me! Out of the blue!” He exclaimed. Blue cringed.
“Yes, Random, I know. But he’s high. Catnip does bad things to good meezers, unfortunately. I think we should keep Micky away from the catnip liquor in future. We’re in the deepest Africa, tomorrow we’re entering the jungle – and our guide should be sharp and focused for many a danger lurks in its depths.”
Sir Lester stared thoughtfully at Random
“Maybe we can keep this whole thing quiet. You know, so Micky can safe face in front of the ladies when we get to Furrance …”
Lize [Lize@lize']
I confess to being a bit jumpy. This my first trek you know.
I see no reason to mention this again. I don't want the ladies in Furrance to think I'm hot tempered.
Lester what's in that dark jungle anyway? There are some very scarey stories being passed among the squires. I'm keeping Squirrelsticker close by in case even half of them are true.
Random []
Micky woke up with a scorcher of a headache. He remembered nothing of the previous night … nothing, except … he groaned. Blue bustled into the tent, all business.
“Get thee up, young wannabe knight!” He shouted, knowing full well that it sounded like a buzz saw to Micky’s sensitive ears.
“And my, weren’t we the a dodo-head last night” he trilled while licking Micky’s ears clean. Micky winced.
“Doth thee think that thee owenth Random an apology?” Blue inquired.
“Yes, yes” Micky mumbled contritely. He shook of Blue’s ministrations and padded out of his tent. The camp was buzzing with meezer activity. They’d camped on the banks of the might Malawi lake and would soon enter Tanzania
Tanzania, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located - taking the meezers through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit.
Ah! Micky inhaled the fresh air and saw Random padding by, followed closely by the Firecracker Kid.
“Random!” He called. Random turned expectantly.
“Random. I owe thee an apology, it seems.” Micky began. Random interrepted kindly
“Think thee nothing more of it. It shall be as if it never was”
“Thou art most gracious” Micky replied. They gazed at each other, realizing for the first time that they were both doing the knightly speech and suddenly finding it hilariously funny. Micky giggled, guffawed and suddenly roared with laughter.
“I can’t wait to get to Furrance” he confided
“And I think Furrance can’t wait for us to get there” Random smiled
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
"Oh no!" thought Moosey....the boys had all had too much nip....Griffin just didnt seem to know when enough was enough! Now he had to get them up and ready to go....It was a long climb up Mount Kilimanjaro!! How would they ever make it, they were sure to be hung over...
Well, no help for it now...they would simply have to manage..and maybe learn a lesson....same as Moosey himself had learned.
"Let;s go boys! Mickey and the others are waiting on us!"
Grizzly just rolled over.....Griffin opened one eye....:But but Moosey....We is tired"
"Well, up anyway! It's time to go! Are you set to climb?"
Captain Moosey []
The jungle was so full of new sounds and strange smells that Random had forgotten how hot he was. The new surrounding were so exciting he that he didn't even mind walking. The jungle was so thick that the raven couldn't fly through it and if they had flown above it he would not have been able to see the rest of the party.
The leaves on the plants were huge and insects buzzed constantly. Random loved it for he loved bugs and plants with huge leaves for sniffing and snooping under. Suddenly from beneath a particularly large leaf a small brown blur sped across the path and into the undergrowth to Random's left. All sense went right out of his head as he cornered and ran after what ever it was. The small brown blur zigged and zagged and ran under leaves and vines. Random never lost sight of his prey and zigged and zagged in hot pursuit. Finally the creature reached a clearing in the undergrowth and dived down a hole. Random stopped so sudden that he slide several feet on his bum.
Standing up slowly and looking around to see if anyone had seen him sliding on his rear like a kitten, Random REALLY looked around and then he REALLY listened and then he raised his nose into the air and he REALLY smelled. A great gaping pit opened in his stomach as he realized that he was alone. Alone in the jungle. Alone in the jungle and lost.
Random []
I trained my thpyglatheth on the mountainthide and did a quick tail-count. Mickey...Blue...Capt Moothey and hith brudderth...Firecracker Kid...a long line of thervantth, valeth carrying the bockthed luncheth...Random...[exclamation]

RANDOM???? I adjuthted my focuth. The Thtriped Warrior wath nowhere to be theen! Thuddenly I had that thtinking feeling...I lit a , athumed the Lotuth pothition and conthentrated.

"Random.....R-a-a-a-n-n-d-o-o-m..." I intoned. A vithion of my friend thowed me he wath lotht in the jungle. Thith would not do! I uthed my conthiderable Meether telepathick thkills to thend him a methage.

"Uthe the giftth of the Blue Mountainth, Random! The oneth that Amba told you about! Imagine yourthelf HERE, and walk through the thadowth!"
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Well done, Meowen! You have climbed that which no Meether hath climbed before! There will be a thelebrathion tonight (thanth Catnip, methinketh) then we mutht early to bed, for tomorrow we have a long way to trek. We muth path through the Landth of the Mountain Grillerth and on to Chad, which is African for Chat, which is Furrench for Cat. Or tho I am told.

The Kid'th whicketth thot forward and hith tail thwitthed back and forth. Moothey, Griffin and Grithly flattened their earth. Mickey and Blue thot knowing glantheth at each other.

"Grillerth?" they choruthed.

"Yeth, indeed," I thaid. "Large beingth what live in treeth and if thpoken to in the proper way, will grill Chicken for uth all."

I wath thalivating at the thought of it. But enough! We mutht have a Meeting of the Round Fuud Bowl tonight after thupper, at which I would thuggetht we follow Micky'th lead and give Moothey'th Thecretary Bird and Micky'th Carrion Vulture *eck, Vultureth...* thome dictathion, and convey our Greethingths and Thalmontathionth to Lord Pen-Duick and the Lady Fidra, prethent the Court with our written Credenthialth for conthiderathion ath Knighth, and beg him and Lady Fidra on bended pawickie not to hold Vigil until we got there. No, wait...WE were thuppothed to hold Vigil...though it theemed that purrhapth Marley wath thuppothed to hold Vigil...I am THO confuthed...

Random that quietly off to the thide, eyeth downcath. I'd already told him that he thould not be athamed of getting lotht. I did it all the time, even in my own houthe. But hith downcatht eyeth and quiet demeanor had not gone unnotithed. "Where wath Random while we thcaled the heighth of the Thacred Mountain?" everyone wath whithpering.

I raithed my paw for thilence. (I would have thtood up, but I wath thtill a bit thore from the doctor doing dithguthting thingth to me...)

"Random," I eckthplained, "hath undergone a Tetht, and hath pathed with flying Colorth, and the Powerth he hath inherited through hith Geneth (here the Kid interjected, "Jeans? Random isn't wearing jeans!") are, forthooth, thtronger for the Quetht we thall thortly be athked to undertake!"

All the Meetherth were thilent in awe. Magicke Powerth! I, mythelf, knew that Random would be in dire need of hith Powerth, alath, too thoon!
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Micky was very impressed. As Explorer par Excellence, he recognised a very special gift when he has it thrust into his face like this. Random could walk through the shadows! He realized he was in the company of some very special meezers, and even when they reach Furrance, that these meezers – soon to be knights, will be like brudders in arms. They will vanquish foes together!
Micky couldn’t help himself. He started purring. Blue joined immediately, even though he didn’t know exactly why.
And so they travelled: Walking into wispy wisps of mist, purring up a storm (by now, all the meezers had joined in, thinking that this was the way you should walk through a jungle – Micky should know, shouldn’t he). Now and again they heard grunts – saw huge black grillers moving from tree to tree above them. The little ‘uns were crinking their necks to look, bumping into the big meezers, who themselves were overwhelmed by the beauty of the jungle. They all felt a tug on their hearts. This is were their great-great-great grand meezers originated (well, before the temples and stuff)
When they finally made camp, tired but happy, there was a new found camaraderie amongs them all. And when Micky imbibed a bit on the catnip, it was Random who had him flat on his back before he could even think of starting a tussle!
But, that night, as quiet descended over the camp, meezer bodies stretched out before the fire, there was one light still burning. Sir Lester was looking at his maps and worrying. Before they reach Furrance, they will have to cross a big desert!
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Meanwhile, Lord Pen-Duick was purrpurring himself furr the arrival of his Sires, in his Castle in Brittany.
He was kinda furretful, furr he had indeed sent a word around the world requesting all the Knights of the Black Paws to gather around him furr a noble cause, but he still hadn't told them anything about this new idea of his.

He knew they were all a-coming, through-out the world, and mostly deepest Africa.

"My dearest Lord, would you stop fretting around like a 'pidy in a glass-jar!!! What is it you be worrying about? What is it that is troubling you?" Dared Miss Fidra address him.

"Dearest Fidra, I in no way is your Lord, but the mere warrant of your safety. Dearest Lady of the Purest Tempest-sky-blue Eyes, do not fear furr me humble self. Me be a-waiting furr me humble furriends, who be your faithful guardians too!".

But still, Pen-Duick couldn't relax. Let me tell you here what was on his mind:
He intended to ask his Knightly furriends of the Order of the Black Paws to follow him in a new noble cause, called the Night Princes. No doubt they would wholeheartedly follow him.

Dear Moosey and Brudders!! Although the latters might question his noble quest, he knew Moosey would rally them around! And yup Her Dainty-self Missy might be in want of a few Night Princes around!

Sir Pen-Duick smiled thinking of the other knights a-coming:
Sir Lester, maybe on his comfort couch, but always to be counted on,
Sir Valliant Random, gathering his father's charms,
But who was that FireCracker Kid of his??? Mmmm

Pen-Duick was eager to meet them again at long last and was thinking about their ordeal to get across this Affurrican desert just to manage to Furrance!

Such Furriends were they!

He then turned his eyes on his Lady and said to Himself "Never on Earth would I find such true love. Me-fear this truest self of Her might be once corrupted by those Dark o'the Night demons. Diz be why I be a-asking furr me noble furriends to gather around!"

In the face of a full moon he then proffered those 2 azure-almonds of His and prayed for a prompt arrival of the Knights, safe and sound! He then took one last look at his magic emerald board(*), and took it out of its displaying-window. He could almost hear them arriving!

To be continued!
Pen-Duick []
Random looked at all of the meezers sitting around the campfire. he knew he needed to explain but it was so embarrassing. What a kitten stunt to run off in to the bushes like that! Oh well nothing to be done but come clean.
"I got lost in the jungle. I chased a brown squirrel like critter and I got off the path and I got lost. Then Sir Lester telepathed to me and I walked through the shadows to get back. I don't know how it works but the meezers born in the Blue Mountains can walk through shadows to a place if they can see it in their mind. This is the first time I ever went to a place I had never been before. I got to camp from the picture in Sir Lesters mind. I didn't know I could do that but when I saw the camp in Lester's mind I knew how to come. The Firecracker Kid is different. He's my cousin on his mother's side. He can't walk the shadows but he can make firecrackers that light themselves out of ordinary peebles."
Random []
The heat was on … the heat was awful! The whole meezer entourage was panting, even Sir Lester in his air-conditioned Landmeezer. Micky was a little worried, Sir Lester seemed tired. He hope it was nothing too serious!
On top of the refrigerated trucks, meezer upon meezer was laying under big flowery umbrellas, icy drinks in hand, trying to cool off.
Micky stopped and had a quaff deeply from his water bottle. He was suddenly very glad that Sir Lester had joined them. He brought more than enough water with him – he must have travelled a lot in his previous lives!
The desert stretched in every direction. Arid air burned throats and the sun blazed down mercilessly.
Blue had joined the other meezers on the trucks – and Micky didn’t blame him. If he wasn’t needed to scout ahead, he might’ve done the same.
Micky jumped down, padding lightly to the edge of the sand dune and suddenly gasped. Stretch before them, lay an oasis! He suddenly crouched low – motioning for the caravan behind him to stop. It became eerily quiet before the sound of the camp below reached his ears.
Foreign looking cats! In turbans! In tents! Who where these cats? Friend or foe?
Lize [lize@lize']
After the thteamy junglth, which were full of leecheth and thquirrel-like critterth, not to menthion thwamp water black ath Ganymede'th unwathed thockth (and ath thmelly, too) we were finally able to dry our pawickieth and preen our whicketth. It wath hot, and we were all tired, but Pen-Duick would be proud of uth - we were getting clothe to our goal!

And the thandy dethert made a fine ... litter box

Then Micky, Fearleth Thcout, came running up, crouthed low with hith earth flat....there were feral-looking catth ahead at the oathith...with wild eyeth, meowing in a thtrange tongue and thporting evil weaponth...[shock]

Wot to do? Wot to do? I conthulted my Tour Guide. No hewp there, ath I had mithtakenly brought "Antarctica on One Can of Tuna a Day"! Siwwy me!

I beckoned everyone clothe. "Purrhapth," I thaid, "if we rummage in our luggage, amongtht the giftth intended for our potential Ladieth, we will find itemth thuitable for dithguithes...."

And thortly we were all drethed in all manner of thparkly clothing, thilver and gold, gauthy pantaloonth, and veilth acroth our fatheth...

Not without thome trepidathion, we crethted the dune and made our way to the oatheth. The feral catth eyeth nearly popped out of the headth. "Women!" they grinned.

I eckthplained that we were a band of Eckthotic Meetherth, in caravan, on our way to join the Harem of the Theikh of Morocco and if they dared to even THINK about laying a thingle pawickie on any one of uth, the Theikh be happy. But for a few hourth retht, to refill our water bowlth and thafe pathage through the Thahameethe Dethert, we would provide them with ample Catnip Liqueur (if Micky hadn't drunk it all) and danthe the Danthe of the Theven Meetheretteth for them.

Thoon, the Feralth were athleep from over-indulgenth in our thtrongetht thtuff and we high-tailed it acroth the dethert, heading for the coatht! Our little ruthe had worked!

Although we could hardly thtop ourthelveth from laughing- we were quite a thight!
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Crossing the Sahameeze Desert
Blue saw a meezer stealthily pocket something that looked ... almost ... like a digital camera. Was this shy meezer that kept to himself most off the time, taking photos? Photos of the soon-to-be knights, in their meezette clothing and jools. Maybe to be extortied when they are knights in high standing with the ladies?
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Firecracker Kid had looked around for where Random had gotten to and could not find his master cat anywhere.

Golly, I been ditched, he said. He got mad. Sheesh, bad enough meowmy and sishter Fiona ushed to do dis to me. Now coushin Random too.

Sticking out his rather prominant lower jaw he began to track random. Firecracker Kid, used to being ditched by mom and sis so many times, ha learned to become an excellent tracker and hide and seek finder too!

He was crawling on his belly through some tangled sticker bushes when suddenly he heard a low growl and some THING came flying through the brush and grabbed him on the back of the neck.

Ooowwwwwwwwwwww, he yowled and twisted and kicked with his hind legs. As they went rolling through the brush suddenly a bunch of fire crackers went off in his pocket and the Thing and Fireracker Kid became a furry pinwheel of sparks and bangs. The thing couldn't get a good grip on Firecracker Kids neck because of his magic red bandana and they kept rolling along until they both went off a little cliff drop. The thing fell underneath The Kid and it broke its neck.

Whew gad ol fishhooks, said The kid, That wash closh. What is dish thing anyway? It looksh like a squirrely with crocogator teef. Oh oh, an I killeded it!

Just then heard meezers exclaiming about strangers, forgot about finding Random and began dragging his vile beasty thing back to camp.

I shlayed someting he said to himself. But I don't feel too gud about it yet.
The Firecracker Kid []
THOCK!!!! HORROR!!!! Put the Thquireth on Guard Duty in cathe there are any reporterth from National Meowenquirer! I thtrongly thuthpect the Papparattthi Puthth ith that Pendragon in dithguithe. Thurely it cannot be one of our meown? If tho we can only trutht the picth are for our Purrthonal Thcrapbookth only...
Glenda [lester's mom@lester's]
Crossing the Ocean – Almost There!
Micky poked at Firecracker Kid’s slain beastie with ears flat and tail erect.
“What have we herrre?” He breathed. Random and Sir Lester also came to inspect the kill.
“You did good, thon” Said Sir Lester but Firecracker Kid just frowned dejectedly.
“We have a custom in Afrrrica, Kid” Said Micky. “We only kill for fuud orrr to prrrotect ourrrselfs, and always as a last rrresorrrt, the way you did.”
“Do not feel too bad” continued Micky “When you do kill, just rrrememberrr to mourrrn the passing of the beastie and light a candle to help him find the rrrainbow brrridge. You arrre a brrrave squirrre. And one day, you’ll be a worrrthy knight.”

Micky mounted Sak Sarel, and with flourish, turned to address the meezers gathered before him
“Rrright oh! Brudder Meezerrrs, tomorrrrrrow we rrreach the sea. We crrros by boat – and ourrr way will be lighted by candles. We will rrreach Furrance by this weekend! The crrrossing will not be borrring, though. Therrre will be storrrms! … ”
“… and pirrrates …”
“… maybe even ladies to be rrrescued …”
“… how knows … therrre might even be … trrreasurrre …”
And a huge cheerrr arrrose, for what betterrr way to rrreach Furrrance, than as herrroes with joools
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Piratsh. i wanna be a pirate, can I be a pirate now I have a bandana and everything!

Are we almost to Fuurraance yet are we there yet are we almost there yet?
The Firecracker Kid []
Random's eyes were as big as moons. Pirates and treasure and lady meezers! If he had'nt been going to be a knight, he would have been a sailor on the seas looking for adventures.
The Kid was winding in and out of his legs and meowing almost non-stop he was so excited. Random finally remembered his responsibilities and his dignity.
"A sea voyage will be the perfect opportunity to educate these young squires."
"Kid! You have to learn court manners and all sorts of knightly things and there isn't much time."
Random []
A Thort Detour... EGYPT!!! I could not forgive mythelf if, having come tho clothe, we did not vithit the Purramidth and pay our Rethpectth to our Anthethtorth! Who knoweth what manner of Magicke Thingieth thall come our way ath we obtherve the Furryglyphth *blink*!

All aboard the LandMeether.....Captain Moothey, you can drive ath we will leave my Valet and Thervantth here to watth over our thupplieth and luggage and thtock up on Tuna...jutht in cathe, doth anyone know a really good Thpell to protect our goodieth and thingieth?

The Kid wath jumping up and down. I had to athk Random to talk to him ath the thudden movementth were threatening to bounthe uth all out the windowth. But hith enthuthiathm wath infectiouth and thoon we were all thinging with eckthitement...the Purramidth...the Thpinkth...

Farmerth and artithanth gathed in wonder and bowed low with rethpect ath the LandMeether bounthed along the Nile Valley, and whenever we thtopped to buy fith and thlake our thirthtth women held up their kittenth to be kithed and blethed.

At latht...duthty, hot and tired, we thaw in the dithtanth three large pointed Earth...

"Thtop the car, Moothey!" I cried. "There they are!"

Moothey hit the braketh tho hard the airbagth inflated and pinned uth againght the theatth. Quickly we thredded them with our clawickieth and jumped to the thand. The Kid barfed with eckthitement. Micky and Blue thtood in thilenth with whicketth quivering and their mouthth open, letting in the flieth. Moothey blinked thlowly in awe,thurrounded by hith brudderth.

Random and I glanthed at each other. What tailth would the Furryglyphth have to tell? What advithe would the Anthient Oneth offer uth to athitht uth on our Quethtth?
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
Wot to do?
Blue pushed forward his stunning whiskers and purred in surprise. The furryglyph had told him the most astounding thing! He was to continue to Furrance, where he must submit his qualifications for acceptance into the order of the meezers with dark pawickies.
He would not be squire to Micky. He would be a knight!
She told him of some of the adventures, fortunes and honour that awaited him in the future, and of a tortie point meezer that would be his lady.
Blue trembled as he took up his quill … and started to write his application. He was soo afraid Liege Lord Pen-Duick would just laugh at him. But the furryglyph had insisted! Oh, wot to do!
Blue [blue@lize']
The Kid tugged Mickey on his elbow. Mickey since you ish closhest to my age I haffta ashk your advish.

he looked down. I hash a confession to make. In Affricka I tooks one of dem water dragon sparkle balls for my treahsure but I did not tell Random about it.

Mickey said, Sho what, finders keepersh.

Well said Kid, the sparkle ball broked and out came dish mini water dragon.

See he ish my special friend now.

Okay well maybe he will come in useful Mickey said, wondering if he could some how work this to further his knighthood.

Just keep quiet about it Kid i will think of shomting..

That night Mickey snuck up on the Kid while he was sleeping with his baby dragon. Mickey discovered that Some thing Else had designs on the baby water dragon too! Oh NO! This is what he SAW!!!!!
The Firecracker Kid []
There ith thomething furry fithy going on around here!!! I wath jutht thauntering by the Kid'th tent on my way to the litter bockth when I thaw a thtrange TAIL thticking out from under the canvath. AND IT WATH NOT FURRY.


Oh, now it'th gone...purrhapth I am theeing thingth...mutht've been the bugth I ate at dinner...they were a bit thpithy, you know...
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
It wath almotht dawn *yawning into pawickie*.

"Rithe and Thine, Rithe and Thine!" I thouted, "We have to enter the Purramid before the thun ith up!"

Ever thinth we had arrived at Geezer (the name itthelf thent me into parockthythmth of fearful antithipation) I had thenthed that thomething thpethial would happen here.

One by one my fellow Adventurerth thtaggered from their tentth, blinking and thcratthing.

"Bring your candleth and flathlightth," I thaid, "and a thnack, we don't have time for breakfatht."

We headed towardth the Great Pyramid of Tofu at a brithk trot. Purrthonally, I preferred the anthient king'th Greek name, Chopth, and although I wathn't thure whether they were Pork Chopth or Lamb Chopth, they were infinitely preferable to Tofu, which Meowmy tried to feed me onthe. (What cheek! I got her back by burying it under her bedcoverth.)

Along the way the young Blue, no doubt withing to further hith potenthially Knightly knowledge to impreth the Ladieth, kept athking quethtionth about the plathe. "Well," I eckthplained, "Thith ith the Royal Burial Plathe for Memphith, anthient catth' capital thitty."

"Memphis??" queried Blue. "Will we see Elvis?"

"No doubt," I replied grumpily, "Everyone elthe doth."

The thun wath peeking over the horithon when we finally entered the Purramid and filed down the narrowmeow pathageth to to Thacred Burial Thamber.

It wath a pawethome thight, to be thure. In the flickering light of our candlth (I'd forgotten thpare batterieth, blatht it, tho our flathlightth were uthleth) gold gleamed, and joolth, and all manner of eckthpenthive Kitty Toyth (no doubt from Petthmart, judging by the prithe tagth).

Then - wonder of wonderth - in the middle of the room, thtanding guard over the tharcophagath of the King and Queen Catth wath a thtatue of Batht, beloved Cat Goddeth, herthelf!

We knelt to pay our rethpeckth and await a Thign.

"To each of you," the meowed, "I grant you one magicke Thcarab, to be uthed in emergenthieth only; one gold coin, and one prethiouth Lapith Lathuli and gold Jool, to be prethented to the Lady of your Favor in Furranth."

"Meow," the continued, "would you all like thome catnip tea and a thlithe of Hothteth Cake?"

Hothteth Cake? Then we realithed that, thtacked around the wallth were thouthandth and thouthandth of them, thtill in their wrapperth! On tippy-toeth I went over, took one, and thampled it. Amathing! They had been here for thouthandth of yearth and they were thtill edible!

It wath now time to go...we thtill had to buy thouvenirth before we headed towardth our waiting Thervanth and the Great Thip that would carry uth acroth the thea to Furranth, and to our Dethtiny.....
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
After returning from the pyramids the entire company was very tired especially the squires. The young ones dined early and settled down in their tents. I sat by the firelight to open my mail. There was a letter from Kelso Laird of Kentore and Fina all tied with string and sealed with several colors of sealing wax. After looking inside I went to look for Lester.
I was standing by the door of Sir Lester's land meezer waiting for him to return from the litter box. I saw him pause by the Firecracker kids tent and then continue toward me. "Sir Lester, I want to show you the sketch Lady Fidra sent me! it is to be my coat of arms and I think it is very impressive."
"Come in," answered Sir Lester, 'Let'sh look atsh itsh in the lightsh and air condshuningsh."
We went inside and as I started to unroll Fidra's drawing we heard the unmistakable yowls of frighten meezers getting ready to battle. I ran out the door Sir lester at my heels carrying a flashlight. I grabbed Squirrelsticker from outside the door as I ran.
The howls were coming from the Kids tent and I could see Blue's tail lashing under one side. The scene inside the tent was chilling. A large angry crocogator had Firecracker Kid backed against the back side of the tent. What was that clutched in his paw? Oh Cat Gods of Egypt! A baby crocogator and we had a livid mother crocogator about to chomp the Kid in half.
I couldn't think what to do so I just jabbed with Squirrelsticker just as the mother crocogator closed her toothy jaws. I'm not real sure what happen next but The Kid had dropped the baby crocogator to climb up the side of the tent and the mother crocogator had chomped down on Squirrelsticker.
When the adult croc saw the baby was free she opened her mouth and flung Squirrelsticker out on the ground. Then she nuzzled the baby out of the tent and into the dark night.
I picked up my lance from the ground and inspected it carefully. The Blue mountain magic had worked. There was not a mark on it, but on the ground next to where it had landed something white reflected in flashlight beam. A tooth! The mother crocogator had lost a tooth in the rescue of her baby.
I confess that I was so shaken by the experience that I couldn't yet give that Kid the smack on the head with paw that he so richly deserved. Instead I decided I needed to make a trip to the litter box myself.
Random []
The litterbockth got a flogging latht night, with all the eckthitement in camp...and no thervantth, Bean or otherwithe, to empty it *thigh*. Purrhapth we could bury the bockth in the thand and a thouthand yearth henth, bean Archyologithttth (try and thay THAT with a meowthful of thandflieth!!) would thtare in wonder, thaying "what manner of Artyfact might thith be?"

Micky agreed and thuggethted we leave an eckthplanatory note for them. "Never assume," he thaid, "that beanth are going to get smarter with time."

Too true, too true, we all agreed, thaking our headickieth and crothing our eyeth. Thome of them - dethpite yearth of patthient tutoring - couldn't even path Thpraying 101!

Oh well. It wath time to break camp and head back to the coatht. Firecracker Kid, I thaw, wath thomewhat thubdued thith morning. Random carefully packed the thketth of hith beautiful Thield. Blue had packed quickly and wath practithing hith Courtly Bowth. Moothey and hith brudderth were loading the thouvenirth...tho many it'th a wonder the tireth didn't go flat...Mickey admired the Jool the Goddeth Batht had given him.

I tweaked the creatheth in my thafari thuit pantth. The Landmeether'th engine yowled into life. Pointing my pawickie forward I thouted "Go Wetht, Young Meetherth!"
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
To amuthe mythelf I checked my email on my laptop. Thith hath proven difficult, ath thatelliteth haven't been invented yet. And my lap ith tho large the puter keepth falling off.

Our thieldth are magnifithent! Copieth thall be hung in that famouth Furrench gallery in Purrith, the Loo!

There wath a gathp from my worth Companionth. At latht! The thea! We have not theen the thee before, you thee and what a thight to thee it wath. Blue ath a meether'th eyeth. And quite big, reawwy. Bigger than the tub in Meowmy'th bathroom!

At latht we are in Tunith...pawt thitty and full of hithtory. But never meowind that. We had bigger fith to fry *rumbling of tummy*

"Furriendth, Romeowanth, Countrymeezerth," I cried ath we pathed thome old ruinth and I popped up through the thun-roof to thtand on top of the Landmeether. And fell off ath the car hit a pile of camel-dung in the woad. How embawwathing and it didn't help that the otherth were laughing their headth off.

"Where's the port? Where's the port?" cried Mickey, who wath driving.

"You can't have any port till after dinner," I thaid. "It'th jutht not done, you know."

Nevertheleth we could thee the mathtth of many fine thipth - tho Mickey took a quick right turn and we headed for the dockth.

Meow I don't know whether you've ever been in a port thitty but let me tell you, the younger meetherth' eyeth were popping out of their headth at the thightth. Femaleth of no dithernible breed lounged in doorwayth, flicking their tailickieth, ing and baring their teef. And it wathn't all they were baring either. Tattered and evil-looking Tomth thtalked around, yowling and picking their rotten teef, or thlinking by with bruthy tailth and flattened earth. We would haf to keep our witth about uth! The thtreetth and alleyth thtank from the thmell of litterbockthth and rotten fith. The thooner we were a-thailing, the better!

Finally! We came to the dockth and there it wath...Avith Rent-a-Galley, motto "We Row Harder", jutht ath we had been told at the Travel Agent'th in Thouth Africa. We went in.

Meow, there'th nothing a Meether doeth better than haggle over thtuff , and in a few meowinuteth we had our thip - a middlin' thithe one ath the Compact wath a little thmall for our thouvenirth. Even the Captain didn't look too nathty, he only had three teef mithing.

"When do we leave? When do we leave?" thaid the Kid ath he hopped from paw to paw.

We all agreed that tomorrow would be betht ath we were tired, dirty and hungry and needed a good Knight'th retht before crothing the thea to Furranth.

But where would we find a 5 thtar hotel with nithe, thoft blankieth in THITH dump?
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
The Kid was very excited to shee the shea, But he was alsho a bit shad cuz he gots in trouble with Random. He kept fooling with his tailwackie caue the crocogator mommy bit it so hard he had a kink in it like a real Shiamese cat does.

Still it was hard to stay sad too long with the shea shining like a big blue sparkle ball and Sir Lesther bein so jolly in the face of all this tawdry danger.

Finally Kid just clapped his little pawakies together and smiled.

My first BIG ADVENTURE he said.
The Firecracker Kid []
We're sailing ... yes, we're sailing
“Hoist the sails, man the rows, pull up the anchorrr!” Moosey was in charge now – cause Micky knew about Africa, but Captain Moosey knew about sailing.
The sea lay calm and glittered in the morning sun. Dolphins swam ahead, playing in the little waves made by the boat. Firecracker Kid stood out in front, salty air lifting his whiskers and ruffling his fur. He bared his teeth into it and laughed delightedly.
Micky and Random was busy comparing their shields in a corner – pointing out the details and meowing with delight every once in a while.
Sir Lester and Captain Moosey was discussing sea routes and weather.
RedDog, Griffin, Wolf and Grizzly were having a great game of pass the mouse, slipping and sliding over main deck with Blue holding score and attempting to referee.
The excitement was as thick as that red tabby from next door’s head! Tomorrow (one day behind schedule) they will land at France, ready to take their vigil and become knights of the dark paws!
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
The ship sailed on and seemed like forever to the younger meezers!
Suddenly, htey all started slipping and sliding..wot was going on??? The ship was acting mighty funny....Mickey realized it was a storm coming...He quickly rounded up the younger meezers and got them below decks...Captain Moosey busily hanging onto the wheel as the rain and lightning started...
"Lawdy! Hurry up there Mickey..I kin use your help here! " shouted Moosey...
"Be right there Captain" Mickey said ...."just let me get all these boys and gurls secure down in the cabins..."
Moosey was struggling and trying his best to stay on course in the face of the storm...HUGE waves started rolling them about...and as far as he could tell, they were still a LONG way from land....
Captain Moosey []
<"just let me get all these boys and gurls secure down
in the cabins..." >

There are GURRLTH on board? What the...I thall have to thpeak motht theverely to thothe boyth...
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
I am tho THICK....
...but not ath thick ath that d*g necktht door. He'th ath thick ath too thort plankth, that one. Well you know what they thay...cath rule, d*gth drool!

But I digreth!

I had been thunning mythelf on the poop deck (which wath, fortunately, rethently thwabbed down) and admiring my frethly filed clawickieth. Thuddenly my whickettth vibrated and my earth flattened. The wind had changed...waveth were thtarting to build...Captain Moothey wath looking worried.

The thip wath thtarting to bounthe up and down like a deranged terrier. My thtomeowach lurched and I headed for the thip'th thide and joined the otherth in barfing up our lunch. Only Captain Moothey and Mickey theemed unaffected and I wath more than happy to be herded below with the otherth.

Neffur had I theen thuch a Purrfect Thtorm! Not even when I'd fluthed all my toyth down the dunny and Meowmy had to pay thome fat bean with theriouth B.O. $700 to clear it with a thnake. (I hid behind the thofa. I don't like thnaketh.)

There we huddled, thick to a meowan, wet and mitherable while the wind howled like that thtupid d*g necktht door and Captain Moothey curthed at the wind and waveth.

Thuddenly the thip reared up and we all thlid aft in a tangle of tailth and pawickieth...HOLD ON MEOWEN...up, up, and up thome more we wath truly an emergenthy....

The Magicke Thcarab!!!!

"Blue, go get my Thcarab from my backpack, look lively there!" I would have gone mythelf but I wath about to barf again...

Bleth him, he thcurried up the almotht-vertical cabin floor like a rat up a drainpipe and returned meowmentarily with my Thcarab clamped furrmly in hith jawth.

Holding it up I uttered the immortal wordth "GET UTH OUT OF HERE!"

The thip thlid down the giant wave with a giant kerthplath, thending uth onthe again meowving at great thpeed acroth the floor and into the far cabin wall kerplonk kerplonk kerplonk kerplonk kerplonk kerplonk.

Then all wath quiet and we thlowly made our way on deck. Moothey wath draped over the wheel with hith eyeth crothed and hith tonge hanging out, and Mickey wath climbing the rigging, and actually thinging!!!

Then a great thout arothe from the crow'th netht...

"LAND!!!! LAND!!!!"

There before uth, finally, wath Furranth!
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
We made it!
Micky swaggered onto land, dropped to his haunches beside Sak Sarel and sat staring in awe at this beautiful, but to his eyes, strange land. Everyone else was working like ants to remove their luggage and stuff from the boat, trying to find their land legs again.
Sir Lester joined Micky, though. As did Captain Moosey and Random. Blue wasn’t sure if he needed to coucus with them, but decided against it, since Micky gave him instructions to carry both of them’s luggage from the boat.
“I neverrr thought we’d actually make it.” Micky purred astonished. “It is so farrr, we’ve come. Thrrrough jungle and deserrt, overrr land and sea. How much courrrage we had! What brrriliant, courrragous meezerrrs we arrre!”
And then, over the hill, came a retinue to dazzle all meezers alike. The royal entourage of Assistant Leader Pen-Duick, with Lady Fidra on his side. Come to welcome the meezers that travelled all the way through Africa
Mickey & Blue [M&B@Lize']
Gor Blimey!!!! It'th Lord Pen-Duick and the lovely Lady Fidra! And we haven't even wathed ourthelvth! Our fur ith matted and thmelly and we are a METH! I am tho embarrathed!

Quick, meowen! Duck behind thothe thupplieth and give yerthelvth a quick lick! And don't forget to wath behind yer earth!
Sir Lester [lester@gentlemen']
The cats weren't as presentable as they would have liked but it would just have to do, Sir Lester thought as he gave Lord Pen-Duick his best salute and bent over Lady Fidra's paw to kiss it.

"Welcome to Furrance!" cried Pen-Duick. "You must be exhausted but I'm afraid we have to return to the Castle as quickly as possible, the Dark Forces are stirring and we need as many good Knights as we can lay our pawickies on!"

Weary though they were and still itching from the salt water, the band of Meezer adventurers finished loading up and set off.

It was but a short journey to the Castle yet Sir Lester nodded off and nearly fell from his horse (he'd traded in the LandMeezer in Tunis for a fine Arab stallion). But he awoke with a jolt when his mount stopped suddenly, nearly running into the Lady Fidra's horse. There! There it was! The Castle! Flags flew from its turrets and on the breeze, faintly, they could hear trumpets and the clanging of swords as Meezer Knights practised in the fields just outside the castle.

"Meowen," he said, turning to his furriends, "Are you ready?"

And as they slowly wound their way up the road towards the castle's drawbridge, they burst into song.
Glenda [lester's mom@lester's]
The Meezer March...
Sung to the tune of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General", from "The Pirates of Penzance." The Meezers will sing in the order in which they first took up their African Journey


We are the very model of a medieval Meezer-General,
Our paws are on the ground but we know much of the ephemeral;
We know of Fings Wiv Tentacows, they're listed in our catalogs,
We're very well cquainted with the evil tricks of nasty d*gs,
We understand the meaning of the Runes and all things Magickal,
We'll entertain the Ladies with the ancient stories tragickal;
We'll willingly hold Vigil to be Knights of the Black Pawickies -
Upon our word, when dubbed with sword, we'll sharpen up our clawickies!


Upon our word, when dubbed with sword, we'll sharpen up our clawickies!
Upon our word, when dubbed with sword, we'll sharpen up our clawickies!
Upon our word, when dubbed with sword, we'll sharpen up our clawickies!


We're very good at dancing and at midnight caterwauling
But wake us when we're napping, and we'll find that most appalling
In short, in matters Meezer, whether pedigreed or feral,
We are the very model of a medieval Meezer-General.


In short, in matters Meezer, whether pedigreed or feral,
We are the very model of a medieval Major-General.


We meow on many topics in a manner most extemporary
Propound the latest theories with a knowledge most exemplary
We know the definition, and the meaning, of catastrophe
And when to use a comma, and when an apostrophe.

We know when special food's put down, we know just by the smell of it
And we will turn our noses up and yowl just for the hell of it
But when it comes to Knightly deeds, and getting rid of Ganymede,
We'll squish him like we would a nasty 'pidey or a centipede!


We'll squish him like we would a nasty 'pidey or a centipede!
We'll squish him like we would a nasty 'pidey or a centipede!
We'll squish him like we would a nasty 'pidey or a centipede!


Pertaining to the Furryglyphs we found while telling this narrative,
For coding Meezer messages, there's nothing quite comparative;
In short, in matters down-to-earth and matters more ephemeral,
We are the very model of the medieval Meezer-General.


In short, in matters down-to-earth and matters more ephemeral,
We are the very model of the medieval Major-General.


In fact, when I know what is meant by "vigil" and by "charity",
When I can see this task of ours with something close to clarity,
And when I know precisely what is meant by "Fing Wiv Tentacows"
I think I'll be grown-up enough to kneel and take my Knightly vows.
And when I learn to use my Magic Firecrackers with more grace,
When I can make a Courtly Bow and not fall flat on my Meezer face,
In short, I don't think it's too long before I reach my fullest height -
Then you'll say there's never been a better Black-Pawickied Knight!


Then you'll say there's never been a better Black-Pawickied Knight!
Then you'll say there's never been a better Black-Pawickied Knight!
Then you'll say there's never been a better Black-Pawickied Knight!


Though we know matters military, we know of the gentler arts
When it comes to the Ladies, all of us know how to play our parts
But still, in matters down-to-earth and matters more ephemeral,
We are the very model of the medieval Meezer-General.


But still, in matters down-to-earth and matters more ephemeral,
We are the very model of the medieval Meezer-General.
Glenda [lester's mom@lester's]
Fidra was so delighted at their jolly song that she nearly fell off her horse. 'Forward, good meezers! Now that you are arrived the time of vigil will be at hand...starting tomorrow night at sunset! Those of you who have not relayed the designs for your shield to Kelso, please do so as soon as possible.'

She was thrilled, they were all so brave and handsome, the ladies would be very pleased.
Lady Fidra d'Azure [Lady]

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