Gone-Nuts goes to Canada

Gone-Nuts goes to Canada

 His favourite pastime was reading travel books and poring over maps. How he longed to travel to all the places he saw in those books and maps! Every evening, after dinner, he would switch on his bedside lamp, curl his bushy tail around him to keep himself warm and spread out before him maps of different countries of the world. He had bought these maps with the pocket money his father had given him.

One night, Gone-Nuts spotted Canada on the world map. And in a corner of the map, he spotted, much to his delight, a picture of a delightful, red-coloured squirrel with a long tail, munching a nut which he held between his paws! That is how he discovered that in far-off Canada there lived his country cousins, the big red squirrels!

“Oh wow! What a wonderful country it must be! I’d love to meet my cousins there,” he thought to himself.

The next morning, at breakfast, he asked his father if they could all go to Canada for a holiday. “Dad,” he said, “I believe our cousins there are big and red in colour and that they have bushier tails than us. Can we visit them?”

“Gone-Nuts dear,’ interrupted his mother, tying a ribbon on his tail, “Eat up your porridge. When your dad saves enough money, he will take us all to Canada, or wherever else you like.”

At school that day, Gone-Nuts kept dreaming about Canada. The summer holidays were approaching. How wonderful it would be if they could go to Canada to see his country cousins, he thought, although he knew that his father did not have enough money for that. He worked in Winky the Wolf’s farm, where he picked cherries from the trees and sold them at the Sunday market, but that was not enough to buy them all tickets to travel all the way to Canada.

But Gone-Nuts just would not stop day-dreaming about his Canadian holiday, for he was a determined and strong-willed squirrel. As he sat on his chair, twitching his tail and imagining himself scampering around with his Canadian cousins, the school gong rang. It was Marbles the Mongoose, the school monitor, making an important announcement.

 “All junior squirrels can participate in the inter-school Spoon-and-Nut Race next Saturday,” he declared.

Gone-Nuts could not believe his beady eyes, for guess what the prize for the winner of the race was? A five-night, fully-paid holiday to Canada for the winner and his family, plus a special dinner at Squirrel Dale with Mrs and Mr Red Ripple, the Mayor of the largest squirrel settlement in all of Canada!

Hopping on to the nearest tree, Gone-Nuts scampered home at top speed. That night, he knelt down in his room after dinner, tucked his tail around him and prayed hard. He wore up early next morning, squeaking excitedly as he grabbed a nut and spoon from the kitchen and ran off to the park to practise. The early bird, they say, catches the worm. You could also say that the early squirrel catches the nut!

For a whole week, Gone-Nuts woke up at that same early hour and practiced running with a spoon in his mouth and a nut in it till it was time for him to go to school.  Finally, the day of the contest dawned. Gone-Nuts’ mom fed him a fat sandwich with a generous dollop of peanut butter and a glass of frothy hazelnut milkshake. “That will give you all the energy you need for the race, son,” she said, wishing him good luck.

Gone-Nuts scampered off confidently. He had been chosen to represent his school, Meadows Manor, at the Spoon-and-Nut race. When he got to the venue of the race, he was delighted to find that his school mates had put white ribbons on their tails bearing his name to support and cheer him.

Marbles the Mongoose blew the start whistle. And goodness! Gone-Nuts balanced the spoon and nut so well and sped across the finish line in record time, leaving all the other squirrels far behind. His hard work and determination had paid off.

Yes! He was the winner! Beaming with delight, holding paws with his mother and father, he went on to the stage to receive his prize.

The next day, Gone-Nuts packed his bags and with his mother and father boarded the Shaky Squirrel Airlines flight to Canada. At the airport, guess who came to welcome them? Rushy, Brushy and Crushy, Canada’s most famous red bushy squirrels, Gone-Nuts’ long lost country cousins. Now let’s wait for a post-card from Gone-Nuts to know how he enjoyed his Canadian vacation.