Chapter 1: The Rising Tide
The good neighbors sat on grass by the edge of the stream. The sun was warm and a light breeze softly rustled the leaves of the trees overhead. Leaning back against the gnarled trunk of a friendly old willow, they lazily dipped their toes in and out of the cool flowing water.
“That’s odd,” one of the neighbors said.
“What’s that?” replied the other.
“Isn’t that one of Possum’s jelly jars?” the first neighbor asked lifting his foot from the water and pointing with his big toe.
Looking out across the water, the other neighbor spotted a small round object bobbing to and fro. It had a brightly decorated lid over a fancy round glass container. It certainly did resemble one of Possum’s signature jelly jars.
“Why yes! I do believe it is,” said the other. “Shall we fetch it? It’s been a while since we’ve visited with good old Possum. Returning her jar will be the perfect excuse.”
Indeed it is always a pleasure to visit with Possum. Because at her lodge, one is always guaranteed a warm welcome and tasty treats. When friends come to visit, Possum serves them all of the biscuits and breads and cakes that they can possibly eat. And she tops off these delightful baked goods with the most delicious homemade jellies.
The jelly jar itself seemed to be in no hurry as it gently drifted past them in the mild current and the good neighbors were in no hurry to get up from their comfortable resting spot. But thoughts of a visit with Possum soon got the best of them. Reluctantly they stood and stretched and brushed themselves off. Turning downstream, they began walking along the water’s edge and it wasn’t long before they caught up again with the floating glass object.
It had worked its way close enough to the shore so that with a little help from a fallen branch, the good neighbors were able to coax it to within reach. Raising it out of the water and opening the lid, they found that the jar contained a small crumpled piece of paper on which were the familiar scribbles of their dear friend Possum. They did their best to decipher the marks.
“H E L P!” were the letters written at the top of the note.
“Oh, goodness,“ it continued. “Water rising. Possum in peril!”
No sooner had they read the last words than the good neighbors were scrambling through the woods on their way to the rescue.
Next: Chapter Two: A Seafaring Possum