COLD JANUARY NIGHT
written by Debbie Williamson
Racum Racoon was walking though the Big Dark Forest. He noticed that it was dark outside and it seemed like it was getting colder by the minute. Racum pulled up his collar on his coat and walked a little faster.
"Racum," Mrs. Squirrel called from her nice warm home in the nearby tree. "Have you seen Mr. Squirrel?"
"No," said Racum. "Where was he?"
"He hasn't come home from work yet," said Mrs. Squirrel.
"Don't worry," said Racum. "My Dad isn't home yet either?"
"Oh," said Mrs. Squirrel. "Well can you ask your Dad when he gets home if he has seen him?"
"I will," said Racum.
"Thank you," said Mrs. Squirrel.
Racum kept walking through the forest as fast as he could. He wanted to get home and get out of the cold. It was bitterly, bitterly cold. Racum went inside his house. It was so nice and warm. He was very grateful for the warmth.
"Racum," said Mrs. Raccoon. "Dinner is ready."
"Where is Father?" asked Racum.
"He is still in the city," said Mrs. Raccoon. "They are stuck in a snowstorm there so they are spending the night."
"Mr. Squirrel too?" asked Racum.
"Yes," said Mrs. Raccoon.
"I see," said Racum, going to get an extra sweater and then putting his coat and boots on.
"Where are you going?" asked Mrs. Raccoon.
"I am going to Mrs. Squirrel's house," said Racum. "She is worried about Mr. Squirrel."
"Okay," said Mrs. Raccoon. "Dress warm."
"I have an extra sweater on," said Racum.
Racum Raccoon walked as quickly as he could to Mrs. Squirrel's house. It was even colder outside than it was earlier. He knocked on Mrs. Squirrel's door and there was no answer.
"That is strange," said Racum to himself. "Where could she be?"
Racum remembered that Mrs. Squirrel frequently went into their storage cellar to get nuts that they had stored there. He went around to the cellar door and he could hear a faint cry coming from the cellar.
"Mrs. Squirrel," Racum called. "Are you there? Are you okay?"
"Racum," cried Mrs. Squirrel. "Is that you? Oh dear, I am so glad you came back. I locked the cellar door behind me. Can you help me out of here?"
"Yes," said Racum. "Give me a sec."
Racum tried the cellar door and he could not get it opened.
"I am going to need a hammer," said Racum. "The lock looks like it is jammed."
"Go in the kitchen upstairs," said Mrs. Squirrel. "There is a hammer there."
Racum searched for the hammer. He could not find it. Just when he was about to give up, he finally found the hammer. He quickly knocked the lock off the hinge and soon he had Mrs. Squirrel back upstairs into her nice warm kitchen.
Mrs. Squirrel was very grateful that Racum and come and saved her. She was just on the verge of getting frost bite because the cellar was very, very cold.
"You must stay for dinner," said Mrs. Squirrel. "It is the least I can do."
Racum enjoyed his meal with Mrs. Squirrel very much and it was very late and very cold outside.
"You can stay right here tonight," said Mrs. Squirrel.
"Sure," said Racum, who was almost asleep in his chair.
Racum had a nice sleep in Mrs. Squirrel's spare room. He got up early in the morning and went home. His mother, was very worried about him but she figured that Mrs. Squirrel would have recommended that he stay the night.
Mrs. Squirrel came by Mrs. Racoon's house a few hours later.
"I wanted to thank your son very much," said Mrs. Squirrel. "He saved my life last night."
Mrs. Squirrel told Mrs. Raccoon all about Racum's heroic effort.
"I'm so proud of him," said Mrs. Squirrel.
"Me too," said Mrs. Raccoon.
That night for dinner, Mrs. Raccoon made Racum is favourite meal and Racum enjoyed it very much.
"We have a hero in our midst," said Mrs. Raccoon, to her husband at the dinner table.
"I know," said Mr. Raccoon. "I saw Mrs. Squirrel in the forest on my way home tonight. She told me all about it. This deserves a raise in his allowance."
"Oh boy," said Racum, happily. "I would like to be a hero everyday."
"Your mother and I already know you are hero every single day," said Mr. Raccoon. "We are very proud of you."