Estimated read aloud timing: 5 minutes.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a magical land called Downtheback. Downtheback wasn’t on any maps. If you asked most people, they wouldn’t even know what it was. But Flapjax and Libby knew, and they knew how to get there.
On one particular springtime day, Libby and Flapjax packed their bags and prepared for their next adventure: a mission to explore Downtheback.
Libby, who was extremely organized and careful, packed things like band-aids, a water bottle, and her notepad and pencils. Flapjax packed some snacks.
And then they were off!
Flapjax and Libby quickly made their way through the backyard. At first, they passed landmarks Flapjax knew, like the fishpond he had encountered on a previous backyard adventure. But before long, Flapjax couldn’t recognize anything. They walked around a massive tree and then down a big hill, and suddenly they couldn’t see the house anymore. Flapjax panicked for a moment, but Libby grabbed his hand and they continued on, looking around for a set of wooden steps that would lead them into Downtheback.
The steps were half hidden by ivy and trees, and Libby had to duck and squeeze her way through. Flapjax was smaller and could fit through the brush a lot easier, but he was very careful to avoid the spiders that waited patiently on leaves for unsuspecting furry victims.
Ugh Flapjax hated spiders with a passion.
UGH WHAT WAS THAT? That was definitely a spider! Get it off, get it off!
After a momentary freak-out, when a flailing Flapjax had to be patted down by Libby to be sure there were no spiders crawling on him, they continued on.
Libby was a bit concerned. Flapjax was proving to be more of an indoor bear than she had expected. She hoped he could survive their outdoor adventure…
When they got to the bottom of the steps, Flapjax stared in awe at the wonderful world around him. It was so green! And the trees were so tall! And he could hear water, like a faucet during bath-time, but more…natural. Like the water was whispering instead of shouting.
He padded along the wood-chip path, taking in all of the amazing nature.
But he wasn’t paying attention to where they were going, and Flapjax soon lost sight of Libby, who was on a mission.
He stopped in his tracks and began to panic once again. The one main path split into two that went in opposite directions, and he had no idea which path Libby had taken. He started running down one, but before long he knew it was the wrong one. The path was muddy and little ponds on either side came together at one point making the path impossible to follow without getting all muddy and gross. He turned around and ran back, sprinting as fast as he could down the second path. But there was no Libby in sight.
Flapjax growled. How could she leave him like that? She knew he’d never been Downtheback before!
And then he heard it. A whooshing sound, like something traveling in the air very close to his ear. He turned in the direction of the whooshing and froze. There were two human boys standing on the other side of a bog. One was guarding Libby, holding their captive’s hands behind her back. The other held a bow poised with a second arrow, aiming directly at Flapjax.
Flapjax knew these humans. They were the neighbor boys, Ben and Sammy – sometimes friend, sometimes foe of Libby and Flapjax.
Today, apparently, they were foe. And they had Libby…
Come back next week to see if Flapjax can rescue Libby from enemy hands!