TRAVELLIN’ RICK GOES TO MARS
written by Debbie Williamson
“My, what terrible weather we are having,” said Travellin’ Rick, looking out his kitchen window.
It was only the middle of October and yet snow was beginning to fall to the ground.
“It’s too early for this,” said Travellin’ Rick, sadly. “Summer was too short this year.”
Just then the phone rang.
“Oh hi Bob,” said Travellin’ Rick to his agent. “How are you?”
“Great,” said Bob. “Its nice and warm here.”
“Sure it is,” said Travellin’ Rick. “You’re in California.”
“What is it like up there in Canada?” asked Bob laughing. “Or, should I even ask?”
“Cold, snowy and terrible,” said Travellin’ Rick.
“Oh well,” said Bob. “Get used to it. It will be even colder where I’m sending you next.”
“I’ll go get my snowsuit,” said Travellin’ Rick, thinking Bob was going to send him to the Arctic.
“No,” said Bob. “You aren’t going to need a snowsuit. You are going to need a space suit!”
“Spacesuit!” exclaimed Travellin’ Rick excitedly. “Where am I going?”
“Mars,” said Bob.
“Mars!” exclaimed Travellin’ Rick, a little timidly. “Bob, that is so far away.”
“Yes it is,” said Bob. “But you are the best man for the job.”
“Whats the assignment?” asked Travellin’ Rick.
“That is top secret,” said Bob.
“Oh boy!” exclaimed Travellin’ Rick.
That evening Travellin’ Rick invited his parents for dinner and told them about his upcoming mission. Of course, his mother cried the whole evening long but his father congratulated him and told him he was very proud of him.
“My son,” his father said. “An astronaut! Amazing! We’re very proud of you, son.”
Travellin’ Rick left the next day on his long journey to the red planet. Upon arriving on the dusty planet, he radioed Bob, who was at the space station command center.
“Okay Bob,” said Travellin’ Rick. “I’m here. Now what is my mission?”
“Your mission is to find out if there is life on Mars,” said Bob.
“Okay,” said Travellin’ Rick. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Good luck,” said Bob.
“Thanks,” said Travellin’ Rick. “I’ll need it.”
“I’ll see you in six months,” said Bob.
“Definitely,” said Travellin’ Rick.
There wasn’t much to do on Mars. It was pretty lonely for Travellin’ Rick but, he had a mission to do. He set to work right away.
Travellin’ Rick took soil samples every single day and then tested them in his makeshift laboratory. He had traveled a great area of the planet but couldn’t find anything that would lead him to conclude that there was life on Mars.
“I’m going to go a little further west tomorrow,” said Travellin’ Rick to himself.
The next day Travellin’ Rick took some food, water, flashlight and a tent with him in a pack he carried on his back. He walked west the whole day. Near the end of the day, it was getting too dark for him to see anything. He decided he would set up camp.
Travellin’ Rick was quite comfortable in his tent. He ate his space food and then decided to go to sleep.
During the night, Travellin’ Rick was awaken by a loud noise. It was coming from right outside his tent.
Quickly, Travellin’ Rick got up and went outside. At first he couldn’t see anything but then he saw something out of the corner of his eye behind a rock cliff.
Travellin’ Rick went over to the rock cliff and he was totally amazed at what he saw. There in a small group were about 100 creatures. These creatures had tiny faces, long arms and legs that just kind of dangled and jolly round stomachs.
One of the creatures stood out from the rest. This creature worn of gold upon her head. Travellin’ Rick knew this was the queen or ruler of the creatures.
The creatures soon spotted Travellin’ Rick standing there, watching them and they quickly gathered around their leader. The leader issued them their orders, in their strange language that sounded like a series of beeps.
Within seconds, Travellin’ Rick was completely surrounded by these creatures. They grabbed hold of him and threw him into a cave where it was very dark.
Travellin’ Rick looked around the inside of the cave with his flashlight. He saw gold everywhere. The walls of the cave glittered from the light shining on them.
Travellin’ Rick reached out to touch the walls and suddenly he woke up back in his tent.
“I must have been dreaming,” said Travellin’ Rick trying to figure out what had happened. “It looked so real. The creatures and the gold.”
Travellin’ Rick walked for miles and miles that day and never say any sign of life on the planet.
Soon, the six months were up and it was time to go home. He started up the spaceship and headed for Earth. Just before he landed on Earth, he noticed something on the dashboard of the spaceship. It was the gold crown that the Queen creature had been wearing.
“It wasn’t a dream after all,” said Travellin’ Rick. “There really is life on Mars.”