Basil’s Autumn Adventure
It tells the tale of how he first met the other piggies in Cavyaira, where he came from and a bit about his own family, The Penguinea’s.
Whee hope you like it!
Basil’s Autumn Adventure
By Amy Williamson
It was a fine Autumn morning as the sun rose and bathed Cavyaira in a warm golden glow. On the edge of The Great Woods, not far from Cavyaira Castle there was a village. A little community known as Hollowoak, named so for the great hollowed oak tree in the centre which was now home to the Penguinea family. Lord and Lady Penguinea and their youngest son Basil Penguinea.
Every morning, the animals of Hollowoak would awaken and go out into the woods and fields to gather foods to store for the long Winter ahead. Today was no different and after much begging and complaining Basil was allowed to help for the first time. “Stay close to me and don’t get lost.” Lord Penguinea told Basil seriously as they made their way through the bushes.
Basil ran around excitedly but wasn’t much but wasn’t much help as they began filling the baskets with harvest treats. The baskets were nearly full when Lady Penguinea joined them, wiping her berry juice covered paws on her work apron. “They say it is going to rain,” she warned them, “You had better hurry home Basil. Whee will be along in a little while.” she said patting Basil on the head before turning to the job at hand.
Lord and Lady Penguinea filled the baskets in record time the hurried with them to the Birchwood stores where they joined other mice, rats, voles and guinea pigs in storing the food. Lady Penguinea was just heading home for a basket so they could collect herbs before the rain that would come that night when she froze. “Where is Basil?!”
They searched the house high and low but he was nowhere to be found. “Has anyone seen Basil?” cried Lady Penguinea to the nearby gatherers, but they all had to confess they had not seen him since this morning.
Oblivious to the chaos he was causing, Basil Penguinea skipped along the edge of the of the woods until he came across an interesting looking tree stump and stopped to climb it. When he reached the top, he gasped. He could see all the way over the field from up here. Not far away from where he was currently stood was the biggest apple tree Basil had ever seen. With a squeak of excitement he hopped down and dashed through the tall grasses. It took a few minutes for his short legs to manage the distance but when he reached it, he gazed up in wonderment. The tree was surely as big as his oak tree home., or maybe even bigger. Between the thick twisted roots Basil spotted an opening. “I wonder if any furry lives there?” Basil wondered aloud.
It was very dark inside, cobwebs coating the walls and thick layers of dust covering small front doors to homes. The deeper Basil went, the darker it became, until Basil could no longer even see his own paw when he waved it in front of his face.
Still, Basil was not easily scared. He turned to head back the way he had come. But the passage forked three ways and Basil could not remember which one he had come from. He walked quickly down one but they all appeared the same in the dark. Basil was just about to admit that he was hopelessly lost when he spotted a pinprick of light in the distance and ran towards it. The light was spilling under a doorway. Tentatively, Basil raised a paw and knocked. Something clattered loudly inside and Basil jumped back in fear. Too afraid to run, Basil watched, wide-eyed as the handle began to turn and the door swung open. “Hello,” said the chocolate brown and white lady pig, stood with her paws on her plump hips before him.
A ginger and white face peered round, “Oh Clovey, look at the poor dear. He’s frozen.” she cooed trying to squeeze past. “He could still be a threat Princess.” the brown and white one said stubbornly , not budging. “Let me see.” called a male voice. Immediately the two girls moved aside, revealing a large tri-colour boar. He looked Basil up and down, “What’s your name?” “Basil.” Basil replied in a whisper.
“Well Basil, I am Prince Buddy. This is my wife pig Poppy and her maid Clover and in there is Knight Nutty,” Buddy said pointing behind him, “I think you know who whee are?”
Basil nodded, to stunned to speak. Of course he knew of the Royal Family and the rescue team who had saved the Princess when she was kidnapped only months ago. “Now, you seem like a sensible little boar Basil so you might be able to understand why whee would prefer that others did not know where whee were honeymooning.” Buddy said with a charming smile. Basil nodded. “Why don’t you come in and warm up. You can have a nice mug of strawberry leaf tea and then Nutty can help you home?” Buddy suggested, stepping back to allow Basil room to enter. Basil paused for a moment, then nodded again.
Inside, a fire crackled in the grate and everything was warm and cosy. Basil gratefully accepted the steaming mug of strawberry leaf tea offered to him and settled down to listen politely to Nutty’s greatly exaggerated tales of daring do. The glow of the fire dimmed to embers and Clover began adding fresh logs, making the flames spit and startling Basil out of the relaxed state he had been in. Basil realised he had been gone from home a very long time. “Thank you for your hospitality but I really should be going.” he said reluctantly, setting down his empty mug.
Clover and Poppy fussed over him while Nutty disappeared into the next room to fetch his cloak. “I’m sure whee will meet again young Basil.” Buddy said with a smile as they shook paws. They waved cheerily as Nutty led him down corridor after corridor, tunnel after tunnel until an already tired Basil thought he could not take another step. Finally the passageway widened until it opened up to the outside world again. But it dark out there now, and far colder than it had been this morning. “Basil?” called a desperate but familiar voice in the distance.
“Daddy!” Basil called out in relieved surprise. “I’m coming. Basil.” Lord Penguinea called back, dashing through the grasses towards his son’s voice.
“This is where whee part young Basil. Stay safe, and remember; not a word about us.” Nutty said, then backed into the gloom of the tree roots with only one brief muttered curse as he tripped over his own paws. “Basil! Where have you been?” Lord Penguinea said, bursting through the undergrowth and catching Basil as he flung himself at him.
“Oh ,”Basil said with fake boredom, “Nowhere special.” Then he yawned loudly. Lord Penguinea laughed, “Let’s get you home.”
Carried by Lord Penguinea Basil’s eyes began to drift closed, but not before he spared one final glance at the tree, Between the roots he thought he saw a flicker of light. Maybe from a warm fireplace, and he smiled. He would not forget his new friends easily, and he had a feeling that there were more adventures to come where they were concerned.
By the time they got home Basil was fast asleep in his Father’s paws. Lady Penguinea tucked him up in the nursery and kissed his whiskers. A smile curved his lips. ‘He must be having wonderful dreams,’ she thought as she turned out the light. And he was. Dreaming of the many adventures to come.