All weekend long, Mommy kept talking about the animals down in Mary Land. There were the cats, Tipper and Beauty, Bucky-the-dahg, the horses: Cinnamon, Diablo, Toughy, Foxy Lady, Shadow, St. Casper and Cocoa the pony. There were so many of them, and they seemed so marvelous from what the Mommy said that Peep was frankly worried. What if Mommy decided she liked them better and stayed down there and never came home again? Here in New Jersey it was just the Daddy and the cats, and the grey horse over in Howell. How could they compete with all those animals? It seemed like Mommy especially liked the Bucky-the-dahg. She didn't even call it a dog - it was a dahg. What was up with that?
Peep paced the house while Mommy and Daddy went out to the movies on Sunday afternoon, wondering what to do. How could she compete with these unknown animals? Back and forth, back and forth - and Peep still didn't know what to do. Maybe if she could communicate with them, and tell them how much she, Rudy, LT and Daddy needed the Mommy then they wouldn't be so nice to her, and Mommy would definitely want to come home.
Maybe that was what she needed to do. Communicate with them. She doubted that they had email like she, Rudy and LT did, so that wouldn't work, and she didn't know their phone number, and since the animals didn't live in the house anyway it wasn't like she could call them. What to do? She looked around for Rudy and LT, wanting to ask their advice, but they were nowhere in sight.
Peep jumped up into the window and looked to see if Mommy and Daddy were coming back yet. They weren't back, but the sight of Daddy's truck gave Peep an idea. Maybe she could stow away in Mommy's car very quietly and go down there for the week with Mommy. It would be the perfect way for her to get to meet those animals and assess how much of a threat they were to her, and to talk to them. That's exactly what she'd do - be a stow-away.
When Mommy and Daddy returned from the movies and came into the house, Peep streaked out the cat door to examine the car. If luck was with her, one of the windows would be open, and she could jump in the car. The driver's side windows were closed, but it looked like the front passenger window was open, at least part-way. Peep ran around to the other side of the car, and yes, it was open part way. Peep jumped up on the hood, walked on to the top of the side view mirror and squeezed herself into the car. She's seen LT do it lots of times, and knew from him how to best get in without falling on the ground.
Peep squeezed under the front passenger seat, starting from the floor in the back. It was a tight fit, but as long as no one sat on that seat she'd be fine. A few minutes later, Mommy came out with some clothes and bags and put them into the trunk. She went back into the house, and Peep could hear the Mommy calling, "Peep, Peep - where are you? Mommy wants to say good-bye to you." Peep felt bad, but she couldn't be two places at once.
Mommy came out and got in the car and started it up. Peep was never fond of riding in the car, and doing it on top of the workings for the seat wasn't comfortable. She eased out slowly, and while Mommy wasn't looking she sneaked over so that she was on the floor behind Mommy's seat. She figured that there was no way that Mommy could see her there.
It was a long ride, and by the time Mommy pulled into the house where she was staying in Mary Land, Peep was in a bit of a state. She didn't like the motion of the car, or the smell of all the cars on the road. Mommy had to keep the windows open to keep the car cool, and it smelled terrible.
As she pulled into the driveway, Mary Rose said, "Here at last. The traffic was terrible, and I'm so glad to be back and off the road. Hello, Cinnamon! Hello, Diablo. Hello everyone! Oh, and here's Bucky - oh, good dahg, Bucky! You are such a good dahg! Mary Rose opened the door and ruffled Bucky's fur. By this time, Peep had retreated back under the passenger seat and was wondering how to get out of the car.
The opportunity came almost immediately. The Mommy left her car door open, and opened the trunk to get things out. Peep scrambled out from under the seat and streaked out of the car door and under the car. Bucky, who had been keeping Mary Rose company, saw the streak of black and smelled the odor of an unfamiliar cat. "Whooof are you? Whooof are you?" he barked at the undercarriage of the car.
"Bucky, leave my car alone! Bucky - come on boy!" Mary Rose grabbed an armful of her belongings and headed towards the house.
Peep felt abandonned. Mommy had just walked off and left her - and with that darned dahg. She was about to cry when she thought to herself, "Duh, of course she walked off. She doesn't know I'm here, and can't know I'm here. This has to be a secret." Peep looked out from under the car, scoping out what she could see of the property to find a place to hide and observe. There were some bushes around the house - that was a good place to start. She ran, belly low to the ground, from the car to the bushes, and hid under a particularly thick one.
Mommy came back out and got a few more things from the car, closed the door and went inside. She could hear the Mommy's voice calling out hello to various people or animals - she didn't know. She could see some of the horses, had seen a quick glimpse of the dog, and suddenly realized that she had no guarantee of food until she could get back home again, and worst of all - didn't know how to get into the house to find a safe place from mean animals. Oh, what have I gotten myself into, thought Peep.
Peep sat under that bush for another hour, wondering what she should do next. Finally she heard the Mommy's voice again, and it sounded like she was talking to the Daddy. "What do you mean, you can't find Peep? She's probably just hiding from LT or Rudy. I wouldn't worry about it. I love you...."
It could be a very long week for everyone, thought Peep. She couldn't let the Mommy know she was here, so she and Daddy would worry all week, and she herself would be hungry and possibly miserable, particularly if it rained and she couldn't find anywhere safe and dry. Oh no....
Photo courtesy of Martin LaBar - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/98358482/