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Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary ramps up the humor and adventure in the second book in the Mouse series.
With a motorcycle to rev and the open road to see, Ralph S. Mouse is itching to run away from his overprotective family. But once he escapes to a summer campground nearby, the horrors of the wild make him doubt his plan. Angry cats, scary watchdogs, and grouchy gophers are only the half of it! But then he befriends Garf, a sad and friendless boy at the camp. Though he wants desperately to be back home with his relatives, Ralph realizes that he may need to help Garf before he can help himself.
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scolding did Ralph’s heart good. Later that morning after his riding lesson, Garf returned with a piece of screen and some wire to repair the hole. His work was frequently interrupted as campers left the craft shop and drifted off to other activities. When Aunt Jill left, Ralph came down from his hiding place in a series of leaps. Through the screen door he watched Garf sitting on the step weaving the wire patch to the screen with a piece of thin wire, before he said, “Say, Garf, about my
“You’d probably get laryngitis from making a motorcycle noise before you were halfway there.” Ralph was utterly dejected. “I suppose you’re right.” “Bad—Sam! Bad—Sam!” scolded Lana from the trampoline. Ralph ducked under a leaf while some campers walked past. “What am I going to do?” he asked pitifully, as he emerged. “I can’t stay here with the cats. I’m a hotel mouse. I’m not used to living on weed seeds out in the cold. When winter comes I’ll probably die—if the cats don’t get me first.
paw. “What about me? I’m unjustly accused of eating him.” “And what are you up to now?” demanded Sam, and with that question he snapped at Catso, who turned his back and with his tail proudly erect stalked off toward the craft shop, before he suddenly remembered he had not washed lately. While Catso sat grooming his toes, Sam eyed Ralph with interest. “You’re a busy little fellow,” he remarked, not unkindly. “First a motorcycle. Now a wristwatch.” He thought a moment before he said, “Say, where
the inn. “Then I’d better be on my way,” said Sam. “I still have the barn to inspect.” Ralph popped his head out of the hole in the sleeping bag. “Thanks a lot, Sam,” he said. “You saved my life. I really mean it.” The watchband still protruded from the hole, so Ralph crawled back inside and tugged some more until he was sure it was safely out of sight. There. When Karen climbed into her sleeping bag that night she was sure to feel a lump, investigate, and discover her missing watch in a place
bugle in the distance played its slow sad notes, and old Matt left the front door open as he went out on the porch to look at the stars. The moment had come! Ralph snapped his crash helmet in place. He grasped the handlebars and pushed his motorcycle out from its hiding place, avoiding the attention of the night clerk by guiding it along the edge of the baseboard to the front door. On the porch he mounted and with a vigorous pb-pb-b-b-b rode across the cracked concrete to Matt’s feet at the top