The Land Schooner

Rated General

Horace Banks came up to his best friends, Wilson Taylor, William Rundlemore, Allen Barns, Aaron Overland, Jeffrey Brabbit, and James Bounders, with an interesting idea. The young otter had seen in a book how attempts at harnessing the wind had been used to travel overland. The others were interested in doing something like that. Aaron Overland spoke up, "Just recently an old car arrived in the dump. The engine doesn't work, but we won't need it anyway."

Wilson mentioned his mother had some fairly cheap fabric in abundance; in fact, she was about to throw it out. So the animals got to work.

Soon the old car had a sail rigged up, and a good breeze was blowing. The boys had to tie the contraption up with a rope. More rope was used to position the angle of the sail, as a means to help with the steering. Since all was in readiness, so they thought, they decided to try it out.

Allen Barns untied the "anchor rope" and the contraption started to roll downhill. The sail caught the breeze, and the monstrosity started to really move. Soon, the breeze turned into a strong wind, and the land schooner was racing down the small gravel road that led to the village dump, and was heading straight for the village.

The schooner shot into town, over the Willow River Bridge, and began heading towards old Jitze van den IJssel's shop. Mr. van den IJssel took one look at the approaching catastrophe and fled. Luckily, with Allen at the steering wheel, and Horace trying to control the sail, the schooner missed the shop.

Suddenly, William had a disturbing thought. "Does this thing have brakes?" he asked.

Allen checked. "Nope. Why do you ask?"

"Because," replied William, "Constable Brabbit's coming after us at speeds he doesn't use to chase the Katzenburg Brats!"

Constable Buxy Brabbit, the town policeman, was very athletic, and could usually pedal his bicycle at speeds that not many cars were driven at. However, this contraption was far faster than anything he'd ever chased. He pulled up beside Lester Brabbit, wheezing. "I-I can't catch up with those guys, Uncle Lester!" he moaned. "I can't even tell how fast they're going!"

Lester chuckled. "And you tell me to stay in shape, Buxy! If you want my opinion as to where they are going, I think they are heading for the farm."

Constable Brabbit set off. Lester called after him, "By the way, I could have sworn I saw Allen Barns in that thing!" Constable Brabbit sped off after the land schooner.

Allen and Horace were having an increasingly difficult time controlling the land schooner as it swept of town. Aaron was looking ahead when he suddenly saw the ditch up ahead.

"Get below!" he yelled. "We're gonna crash!" All the animals hid under the dash and seats. The land schooner sailed nicely over the ditch, but then crashed through a bush and into one of Farmer Barns fences.

When the boys came to, quite a crowd had gathered around the wreck. Constable Brabbit had finally managed to catch up with them. He was trying to look serious, but his relief and the sounds of old Lester's laughter made the scene look more and more comical.

"I hope you boys have had enough adventure," he chuckled. "You're lucky to still be in one piece!"

Farmer Barns looked at the remains of the contraption. "What in the world did you try to build?" he asked.

Allen mumbled sheepishly, "A land schooner."

The boys were brought back to their homes, where they could recover from the day's events. The old land schooner was hauled back to the dump, where Mr. Overland removed the wheels. But for years afterwards, one could still see the tattered remains of the land schooner's sail on Farmer Barns fence.