W. Ray Donoho
Entertainer/Song Writer/Cowboy Poet/Author of Children's Books
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"Christmas Adventures"
W. Ray owns a property overlooking a beautiful valley with a view of the Coastal Mountains he calls his 'Little Ireland'. Ray named the area 'Pards Valley' in memory of his faithful old Yellow Lab 'Pardner' aka 'Tramp'. 

There's an abundance of critters that live there, and on any given day if you listen and watch patiently, you'll see many of them running around gathering food while some are soaring the heavens reaching out to touch the face of God with every beat of their wings, others are sunning themselves or just showing off there majesty as they move silently around in their protected surroundings.
Ray has named many of them, and has imagined lots of adventures  to embark upon with them.

The story you are about to read was inspired by Ray's Baby Sister Maggie and a................Snow Storm?!
Now SNOW! is a very rare thing to take place there at
'Pards Valley', and since W. Ray's Sister asked him to maybe write someday about a little Gray Field Mouse and a Red Cricket? HUMMM? Well, it all came together while watching his furry and feathered friends that Snowy Christmas morning scurrying around with the look of;
                 "Holy Moly!! what is this stuff??!!"  

 


Christmas Adventures In
‘Pards Valley’

 

“OH, My goodness!!” Maggie exclaimed rubbing her eyes in amazement and disbelief, she was waking from a wonderful and restful nights sleep.  “Look! Pete LOOK! You must wake up and see what has happened during the night!”  Pete just opened one eye and turned over muttering something about; “I know-I know I’ll be up in time for our fishing trip Maggs, just let me sleep a little longer”.  “NOOO! Pete you have to see this! It’s-Well it’s never happened before, and we may have to postpone our fishing trip to ‘Pards Pond’ today because of it!” 

 

With that Pete sat up with a ‘HUMPH’, and looked out one of the knotholes in their home located deep inside ‘Pards Valley’. In complete shock and astonishment Pete blurted; “Oh m’gosh, Maggs! what-what is that??” 

Maggie replied; “I don’t know Pete, but it seems to me to be a wonderful new and enchanting thing to wake up to!”

 

With that Pete jumped out of his oh so comfy warm bed of Oak Leaves and Duck Down Zak Duck gave to him as fast as his legs would go. He stopped just short of going outside, and remembered to play Maggie’s favorite song first, he always did this first thing in the morning by rubbing his legs together and making the most beautiful song you have ever heard.

When the song was over Maggie said to Pete; “Wait for me, I’ll be ready in just a shake,” Maggie never dilly dallied, she knew the importance of moving quickly when it was necessary.  She ran her comb one more time through her ever so soft and lovely Grey Fur and long elegant tail, she ran to the door, and stood beside Pete.

 

They looked at each other for a moment as the excitement built up.  Finally Pete could not wait another second, he grabbed the door handle and yanked it open so quickly that Maggie almost fell, she had been standing upright on just her back two legs, and was caught off balance by Pete flinging the door open so abruptly. 

“OH MY! Just look at it Pete,” Maggie gasped, after composing herself and standing upright again. 

Pete just stood there, imagining the thought of stepping out and into this very unusual morning.  “I’ll go first Maggs” he said, “you wait here and see what happens to me before you come out, OK?”

Reluctantly Maggie agreed, she always liked to lead the way, but this morning she felt a little nervous and decided to let Pete have his way. “What should I do Pete if you disappear when you step out there?” she asked, with a look of concern and desperation on her ever so cute and pointy face.  Pete knew she was serious by the way all six of her whiskers folded back against her face, and nearly touched her ears.

 

“If that should happen Maggs, grab that fishing pole over there, (Pete pointed to the tattered and very old fishing pole near the kitchen) and throw the line down the hole that most likely will be left behind as I travel to the bottom”. “This time, instead of me being the fishing bait, I’ll use it to pull myself up and out!”

With that Pete laughed out loud, did a little dance, fiddled a note or two with his legs one last time, brushed off his Red smooth suit and cautiously stepped out side.

 

“OH, m’gosh!!” Pete yelled, “Maggs it’s wonderful, it’s so soft and fluffy!!  Ca’mon out, I believe it’s safe, and we can play all day in it!”

 

Maggie carefully, and oohh sooo gingerly, stepped out and into this new found wonder.  As her toes touched the surface she felt a sensation that reminded her of the time they had gone fishing on a very chilly morning to ‘Pards Pond’ a few years ago. She had slipped on the edge of ‘Pards Pond’, and remembered how Pete had grabbed her paw to hold onto her, and only one foot touched the cold water.  She hesitated for just a moment, expecting Pete to reach for her paw to save her again as she ventured out from the warmth of their cozy home.  However, Pete knew there was no need for that as he watched and encouraged her to take that first step.

 

“Look!” Pete said, “We can walk on top of it, I don’t sink, and neither will you, watch me!” He just had to show off a little by running, jumping, laughing, and playing an entirely new song for her, while daring the white wonder to swallow him up.

 

“Oh what is this Pete? It’s kind of slippery and it’s-it’s so white!” 

Well, at that very moment they both heard something in the distance floating on the breeze and coming toward them. “Do you hear that?” Maggie asked. “Of course I do Maggs, I’m not deaf, just a little chewed on from fishing with you ha!” Pete replied. “Let’s go see what it is.”

 

After adjusting to the texture and feeling of their new surroundings, and Maggie deciding to walk on all four legs, off they went.  This was proving to be the most fun they had ever experienced.

They ran and hopped, sang at the top of their voices and talked of all the things they could do on this cold, white, soft, and oh such fluffy stuff.

 

Now…..

Even though most all the leaves had fallen from the tree’s for this time of year, there came floating down and landed right in front of Maggie a Lone Large Red Leaf. 

“Look Pete, a leaf” Maggie said in amazement, and as she tried to pick it up; ZZZIP! Off it went just out of her reach, Pete saw the situation and came to help catch this Lone Red leaf.  “It seems to have a mind of its own” Pete chuckled, “Don’t worry I’ll get it” Pete said. But, as he reached for it, you guessed it, away it went, as if to say catch me if you can.

This became a challenge to them now, so they teamed up and surrounded the Big Red leaf.

 

Maggie, with a twinkle in her eye said; “Hey Pete it’s the same color as your suit, if you get too close to it, I may have trouble telling which is you!” Maggie laughed, as she sneaked up on the Big Red Leaf.

Pete got to the Big Red Leaf first and pounced on it with a thunderous roar of joy, but to his surprise the Big Red leaf, with him on top of it, went scooting, as fast as lightning down the hill. 

 

Soon the Big Red Leaf slowed down as it neared the bottom of the hill, and came to a complete stop.

Pete and the Big Red Leaf waited for Maggie to catch up. Out of breath, but exhilarated and laughing, Maggie joined Pete on the Big Red leaf. “WOW!” She exclaimed, “That was some ride, do you think it will work with both of us on it?” “I don’t know” Pete answered, “Let’s push it with our feet and see what happens.”

So they both pushed very carefully not knowing just what might happen next. To both their pleasure and surprise the Big Red leaf started to move quite easily toward the sound that was still wafting their direction. 

“Oh, m’gosh” said Pete, “Keep pushing and we can ride to where those lovely sounds are coming from.”

 

Soon they were gliding along perfectly, and only had to push once in awhile, Pete grabbed a branch as they slid past a bush; he would use it to push from side to side to guide their transportation in the direction of the wonderful sounds.

 

As they were sailing along silently over the top of that remarkable and special white surface, they were coming closer and closer to what they had heard. Now hearing more clearly that mysterious sound.

“Pete, I’m sure it’s some kind of music, can you hear it?” Maggie Said. “I’m sure you’re correct Maggs, but I don’t recognize the tune, it’s certainly nothing like I play for you and the night air.” Pete replied.

 

After the long hard journey working together, they pulled the Big Red Leaf up the slope they had encountered, when their Big Red Leaf crested the hill the music became much louder, they could hear the words being sung by a large gathering. The voices were all nestled in a meadow under the tree’s branches now heavy with this white miracle.

 

Down the hill they went, lickety split, and when Maggie and Pete came to an abrupt stop in the center of the crowd, Pete was flipped off the Big Red Leaf. Flying through the air, Pete became stuck headfirst solidly in the white stuff; his legs were kicking wildly in the air playing a strange song.

Laughing, everyone helped pull him out, and after Pete wiped the white stuff from his face, Maggie and Pete recognized all of their friends.

There was Lincoln the Friendly Neighborhood Lynx, Tod The Wonderful Wild Turkey, Mildred and her Newborn Fawn, Fred and Harriet Frog and their 62 children, John Lewis Red Fox, still nervous thinking about the buckshot whizzing past his fine furry tail. And there was Cody Raccoon, Dan Otter,

Sandy Squirrel, Colleen Grasshopper, Finkle Snake, Lisa and Ray Quail and 173 of their immediate family.

“Oh,” said Maggie, “There’s Eddie Mountain Lion, Zak, Sunny, Josh and Samuel Duck, Warren Rabbit, Katherine Hummingbird, Mr. Lin Black Bear, Marilyn Song Bird, Zina Hoot Owl, Tara, Kent and Sydney Mink, and Valerie and Ron Pidgin, there all here Pete!!”

“Oh, m’gosh, LOOK Maggs!” “Here comes Billie Eagle, she was visiting us just yesterday!” “Remember, she was talking about her day soaring above, and mentioned that her tail feathers (which never fail her) told her something strange was up with the weather.”  Well….Looking at the crowd of all their closest friends, they discovered Tad Tadpole, and of course Lord Harold and Katie Hawk. “My goodness” Maggie announced, “The entire ‘Pards Valley’ population is here!” 

 

They were all singing at the top of their voices in perfect harmony, with Katie Hawk singing the lead in an ever so lovely Gaelic Brogue. Then from the gathering in that meadow came the calling of;

“Merry Christmas!!!! To you Maggie, and Pete!”
Words clearly spoken from each and everyone. 

 “What are they talking about Pete?” Maggie asked. “I’m not sure Maggs, let’s ask them,” said Pete. 

 So they asked; “What do you all mean when you say, Merry Christmas?”

Well….

It was explained to them in detail, that this day, is a Birthday celebration for the Lord Jesus the Christ Child. He was born in a Manger in Bethlehem many years ago, and the music that they heard wafting on the breeze and guiding them to this very spot was a song called; ‘Silent Night Holy Night’.

 

Maggie, with a look of wonder on her face said to Pete. ”Pete, the Music we heard was a little like the Star that guided the Wise Men the Shepherds and all the animals to the Stable in Bethlehem!” 

“Oh m’gosh you are right! Do you think that’s what made all of this white stuff happen too?” Pete asked.

And from their crowd of friends came a unanimous thunder of laughter and fun. “Of course”, everyone said;

“It’s why you were guided to this place, to be with all your friends on this joyous day.” It’s ‘Christmas Day’!

you silly Red Cricket and Little Grey Field Mouse!” “Oh yes, the white stuff? That’s a gift from God, it’s called……..............................................SNOW!

After this book is published the rest of this adventure will be made available, I can’t wait, and now I hope you can’t either!

Thanks for taking the time to investigate what’s going on in;
‘PARDS VALLEY’.

I would love to hear what you think?

[email protected]

                                                                                                                       By:                                                              

                                                                                                                       W. Ray Donoho

                                                                                                                    December 25th, 2007

                                                                                                               Copyright January 30, 2008

                                                                                                                          Inspired By:

                                                                                                                  Margaret Rae Philoctete

                                                                                                                      Edited and Art By:
                                                                                                                      Katherine Donoho 
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