One Last Adventure
Bobby and Billy weren't sure what to do. It couldn't be true could it? Could a company really come and wipe out their entire town for some ritzy beach resort and country club? But that's what their mother had just told them.
"You don't mean it, do you Mom?" Billy asked.
"I'm afraid it's true dear," Mrs. Bunny answered.
"The company is buying up all of the houses. No one can afford to keep their homes," Mr. Bunny explained, "Everyone will have to go."
"You mean we have to move?" Bobby asked. "Everyone? Tobby's family? And Lily Lion's family? And the Storks? Even Andy Fox's family and mean old Mr. Snapper?"
"Yes," his dad answered. "Everybody will have to move."
"But where will go?" Billy asked.
"For now, we'll be going to live in my grandfather's old house," said Mrs. Bunny, "It's not too far from here and it'll give us time to find a real place to go."
"What about the Bears?" asked Bobby.
"We've invited them to come with us. It's a big house, so there's plenty of room for all of us. And it'll be nice to have some friends around at a time like this."
Bobby and Billy both sighed and went off to pack.
A week later, the Bunny family and the Bear family arrived at the big old house. All four boys – Bobby, Billy, Tobby, and little Tobey – dropped their stuff in their rooms and set off to explore the house, though perhaps with a little less enthusiasm than they normally would have.
The house had dozens of rooms with lots of old furniture, but there was nothing of great interest. At least, not until they found the attic. There, they found a monstrous collection of old toys. There were toy trains and cars, puppets, dolls, and an entire miniature village with little people. Tobey immediately ran for the tiny town, dragging his blanket with him, and began to make a game out of throwing the innocent villagers headlong into their houses.
The other three boys started playing with the cars and puppets. They tried to play with the train, but they couldn't seem to make it work. While they were playing, Bobby found a toy hot air balloon. It was attached to a thin wire that ran straight up to the ceiling so that it wouldn't float all over the room.
Bobby flicked the switch on the side of the balloon and a tiny flame flickered to life, filling the balloon with hot air and making it rise to the ceiling. When it hit the ceiling, it knocked against a hidden panel and a paper fell to the floor. Bobby picked it up and read it.
"Hey guys!" he shouted excitedly, "Look at this!"
Billy and Tobby came over to read it too. It said, Dear Reader, My name is Archibald Bunny. I have been blessed with great riches in my life, as you may have noticed from my rather large home. However, most of my wealth I have converted to gold and jewels, as I do not trust the banks. But now men are after my treasure, so I have been forced to hide it. I am old and will have no use for it in my lifetime. So, reader, I leave my treasure to you. Should you be able to find it, that is. You can begin your journey by looking under the hoods of the cars. After you have found what you need, the train will show you the way. Signed, Archibald G. Bunny.
"This is it!" Bobby exclaimed, hopping up and down, "We can save the whole town! I'll bet there's enough treasure that even nasty Andy Fox and mean old Mr. Snapper can keep their houses!"
"Bobby," Billy said, trying to get his twin to hold still, "We've had treasure hunts before and we never end up with any of it. There was Black Beak's Treasure, then that treasure in the lagoon. What makes you think this will be any different?"
"Cause we really need it this time Billy!" his brother answered, "Before, we never needed the treasure. And now, it's actually ours to claim! It was our great-grandfather's treasure and this letter shows that he leaves it to us if we can find it. We have a right to it Billy! We need it!"
Billy sighed. "Fine. What do we do first?"
"The letter said to look under the hoods of the cars to find what we need," Tobby said. "I guess it's a part that will make the train work."
"Okay," Bobby directed, "Gather all the toy cars and let's look in them."
The boys grabbed all the toy cars in sight and started lifting up their little plastic hoods. There was nothing in any of them but a little plastic engine. They looked in car after car after care, but they didn't find anything.
"I don't get it!" Bobby cried in frustration, "Where is it?"
Little Tobey gave a childish shout and chucked something at his big brother. It hit him right in the back of the head. This made Tobey laugh and clap his hands with glee.
"Ouch!" Tobby cried, rubbing his head. "That really hurt Tobey!"
Then he looked down and saw what it was – a little red toy car, covered in baby slobber. He opened up the hood and found a little plastic switch inside. He pulled it out and held it up for his friends to see.
"I found it!" he shouted. Then he turned to his baby brother and patted him on the head. "Good work Tobey!"
Tobey smiled and clapped for himself. The three boys went over to the train track and, finding the switch box, put the missing piece in place. They flicked the switch and, with a hoot of it's toy engine, the train came to life and began to chug down the track. The boys watched it eagerly, waiting for it to reveal some kind of new clue. It raced around the room, passed the miniature little town, then derailed and lay on its side, wheels still turning.
The boys all frowned at each other, then went over to the train. They studied it for a long time, looking for a piece of paper or something that may have fallen out of it when the train derailed. But there was nothing.
All of a sudden, Billy shouted, "Look at this you guys!" and pointed at the floor.
They all took a step back and looked down to find that the floor was actually covered in a detailed painting. It showed the beach, the mountains, and the miniature village was right where their town now stood.
"That's it!" Billy exclaimed. "This whole thing is a map of the area and where the train derailed is where we'll find the treasure!"
"Yeah!" Bobby agreed, pointing at the spot where the train lay. "Look, it says right here, '20 paces from the old wishing well'. That well's still there! I'll bet we could find this treasure, no problem!"
"Yeah, but first we have to get away from our parents," Tobby noted.
"That's easy," Bobby said with a shrug, "We'll just tell them that we want to play with some friends who are still in town."
Tobby grabbed Tobey and they all went downstairs to where their parents were talking in the living room. Bobby told his parents what he had planned and, just as he had suspected, they agreed. The boys didn't really like to lie to their parents, but they knew that they wouldn't be allowed to go on a treasure hunt and, besides, they would thank them for it later.
"But take Tobey with you," Mrs. Bear said.
Tobby groaned, but agreed, and the boys left. They hurried down the steep slope that wound down the mountain to the town. They ran all the way to the wishing well then, facing the direction they had seen on the map, counted twenty paces. They only got to fifteen when they found themselves on the front steps of a store.
Bobby groaned. "I forgot that Mr. Fox's hardware store was built here a few years ago. The treasure must be right under it!"
"We'd have to get into the basement," said Tobby, "But how would we do that?"
"Hey!" a familiar voice called, "What are you guys doing here? I thought you'd moved out already?"
The boys turned to find Andy Fox just a few feet away, straddling his bike as he watched them with suspicious eyes. The boys looked at each other, questioning whether or not they should tell their arch enemy such a valuable secret as the one they had. Bobby sighed. They need Andy to get them into the basement of his father's hardware store.
"We think there's a treasure under your dad's basement," Bobby said.
Andy laughed right in their faces. "You think there's a what? That must be the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"It's true," Billy added, holding out the piece of paper with the first clue on it.
He then told Andy the whole story. The fox actually listened to everything Billy had to say. When the bunny had finished, he gave the paper back to him.
After a pause he said, "And you think this treasure can save our whole town."
"So I guess you need to get into my dad's basement."
They nodded again.
Andy sighed. "Well, I don't really want to move… So… Yeah, alright, follow me." He leaned his bike against the wall of the store and headed up the steps.
The three very surprised friends followed Andy in, with Tobey right behind them. Mr. Fox was inside, packing up his store. He looked up when the boys entered, but, seeing his son was with them, immediately went back to what he was doing. Andy led them around to the backroom and they climbed down the ladder to the basement.
"Well, here we are," Andy said. "So what now?"
Bobby tapped his foot on the wooden floor. "We'll have to take these up and start digging," he said. "We only had five paces to go from the front steps, so I would guess it to be somewhere near… here." He pointed at a spot on the ground.
The other boys nodded and they immediately set to work. Tobey stayed in a corner where he wouldn't hurt himself on the wood and nails. But once the boys started digging, Tobey set down his blanket and came to join them. He liked to play in the dirt.
They dug deeper and deeper. There was no clue telling them how far they had to dig. Then Bobby's paws touched something. It felt like a big burlap sack. That couldn't be it, could it? He had been expecting a treasure chest. He pulled on the bag. It was really heavy. With the other boys' help, they dug out more of the bag and were able to pull it to the surface.
Bobby opened the bag. Inside, he found the most beautiful jewels he had ever seen. Great big rubies and giant diamonds and huge emeralds. There were gold bricks and gold coins and gold leaves too. It would be more than enough to save all of their homes!
Tobby picked up his brother and they ran back upstairs and back outside. They raced through the streets until they came to the building where the company that was buying all of their homes was stationed. They ran into the building, surprising the receptionist, who looked down at the five very dirty little boys with disgust.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"We want to see the boss!" Bobby cried.
She laughed. "Don't be silly. He's much too busy to see some little boys."
They rolled their eyes and ignored her, running right past her desk and through the closest doors. In there, they found several men in suits sitting around a large table. The boys jumped up on the table and stood in front of the man in charge.
"We're here to buy back our parents' houses!" Bobby told him boldly.
The man laughed. "I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life! Your parents owe me far too much money for you little boys to do anything."
Bobby smirked and dropped the back in front of the man. "I think this'll cover it."
Bobby, Billy, Tobby, Tobey, and even nasty Andy Fox stood in the street, watching as their parents happily moved back into their homes. They had saved their town, and that was something they could be proud of.
"You know," Andy said, scowling down at Bobby, "Don't think this makes us friends or anything. I still don't like you. And I still plan on picking on all of you."
The three friends smiled at each other.
"That's okay," Billy said, "You know right where to find us."
"And that's right here," Tobby added. "At home."
Bobby grinned at Andy and put his arms around his brother and best friend. "And that's exactly where we plan to stay."