Gary and Morris were down by the riverbed helping Terrance the Beaver haul some logs back to his dam. The warm weather had been heating up his home and he was looking to further insulate his already quite well-insulated walls to keep the heat out.
“These logs sure are heavy, Terrance. You normally carry these all by yourself?” said a tired and sweaty Morris.
“I sure do fellas,” said Terrance. “But the thought of keeping a little extra heat out of my dam is well worth the work.”
The two cats were using a rope Terrance had found at the dump to pull the logs through the brush after Terrance would cut them down with his teeth.
“We’re glad to help,” said Gary. “We just didn’t anticipate such hard work!”
“Well, if you’re feeling a little overheated or overwhelmed, you can always jump in the river for a nice cool bath.”
“You know we are cats, right?” said Morris. “I’ll go home later and lick myself clean, thank you very much.”
Gary and Terrance both looked at each other and then let out a laugh.
“In his defence, I feel the same way,” Gary said.
After dragging their logs into place, the two cats took a break under the shade of a nearby tree while Terrance used his tail to slap mud down all over his dam.
“So, what’s the mud for?” said Morris.
“It’s the insulation! We use the sticks to reinforce the structure, then slap the mud down on top to seal it and keep the elements out.”
When Terrance finished up, he hobbled over to where the cats were to join them and chat for a while. They talked about their shared stories and gossip about their woodland friends.
Terrance had lots to say, as always, but something he mentioned caught the attention of both cats. Terrance said he had been collecting some logs near the vehicle bridge when he saw a bunch of brightly coloured, big metal structures go roaring down the highway on flatbed trucks. He didn’t know what they were, but he knew they looked compelling, and he saw they were heading toward the nearby town of Stony Plain.
Gary and Morris were now very curious, and you know how curious a cat can be. They wanted to know what was going on.
“So, these big things you saw on the trucks. What did they look like?” asked Gary.
“They were big and bright, and they had seats and all these other strange things attached to them. As a builder, I’d love to get up close and have a look at something like that, but when would you ever get the opportunity?”
“I know what you mean,” said Gary. “They could have been headed anywhere.”
The three animals chatted for a little while longer until the sun started to dip in the sky. Gary and Morris decided they should head home as Marjorie would be looking for them soon.
Back at the shelter, the cats made their way inside and grabbed some food and drink. While they were enjoying their meal, they overheard Marjorie talking to some of the other humans.
“Well, it just sounds like so much fun,” said Marjorie.
“I’m going with a couple of friends!” said one of the volunteers.
Gary and Morris were now curious once again.
“Well, it only happens once a year, so why not go and enjoy yourself?” said Marjorie.
“You’re right! I’m off! Have a great night, Majorie!”
“You, too! I’ll see you there!”
Gary and Morris were curious once more, so they followed Marjorie into the next room when the phone rang and she picked it up. After some brief small talk, she mentioned the name of the volunteer who had just left, and that she was headed to the county fair that night. Then she said that she would be going too and that there were a lot of people there.
“The county fair!” said Morris. “I know what that is!”
“What? What are you talking about?” said Gary.
“That’s another thing I learned about while back in the city,” said Morris. “A fair is a big get-together for humans where they have fun. I don’t know much else beyond that.”
“A fair you say?” said Gary.
“That’s right,” said Morris.
The two cats thought about it for a bit.
“You wouldn’t want to go check it out, would you?” said Morris.
“Yes. Yes, I would,” said Gary.
“How fair is Stony Plain?” said Morris.
“Well… that part could be a little bit tricky.”
Stony Plain was the name of the nearest town, and while it was very close by car, the cats weren’t so sure they wanted to walk that far.
“Marjorie is going. I wonder if we could slip into the car?” said Gary.
“I can run totally silent!” said Morris.
Gary laughed then the two cats came up with a plan.
Later that night, Gary and Morris carefully made their way outside without drawing any attention to themselves, then waited in the bushes while Marjorie was getting ready to go.
They knew Marjorie was going to be bringing some baking as she had said so on the phone earlier, and they knew that there was a high likelihood she would leave the car door open just long enough for them to slip into it.
After about 20 minutes of waiting in the bushes, they saw her come outside. She didn’t have any baking in her hands! Oh no!
“What’s going on?” said Morris.
Marjorie made her way to the car, opened the door, got in, and started the motor.
“This is a bad sign…,” said Morris.
Just as she put the car into gear, she made a gesture then put it back into park and shut off the engine. With the car off, she got out and ran back into the house.
“The door!” said Gary. “It’s still open!”
Both cats darted out to the car as quickly as possible, jumped into the car, then tucked themselves down low on the floor.
Suddenly, they heard Marjorie coming back outside, and then the passenger front door opened, a tray of baking was placed on the seat, then she went around the other side and got in.
Gary and Morris looked at each other with a look that said, “Don’t move an inch!”
They drove for a short time on the highway, then slowed down and things got bumpy. Gary and Morris knew they’d likely arrived and were somewhere in a field.
Once the car was parked, Marjorie got out, walked around to the passenger side, grabbed her baked goods, then headed into the crowd. With her out of sight, Gary and Morris opened the car door, climbed out, then pushed it shut with their snouts.
“So, this is a fair,” said Gary.
“I think the fair is that way,” said Morris, pointing at the bright lights and loud sounds.
“Fair… enough,” said Gary, implying he knew he was making a pun.
Morris shook his head.
“Let’s go check this out!” he said.
The cats made their way past the parked cars and towards the front gate. Knowing Marjorie was there and could easily spot them, they decided to go around to the side and jump over the fence – after all, cats can jump.
“Up we go!” said Gary, as he leaped up onto the edge of the fence. A moment later Morris was right next to him.
Once on top of the fence, the plan was to get eyes on Marjorie, then enjoy the fair while making sure she doesn’t cross their path until they saw her heading back to the car, at which point they would run out and get a ride home.
“The view here is pretty extraordinary!” said Morris.
The two cats gazed upon the fair, in its totality, drinking in the bright lights and the excitement.
“Those must be the big contraptions Terrance saw going down the highway!” said Gary.
“That’s right!” said Morris. “I bet they are!”
The two cats were looking at the rides. There was a Ferris wheel, the tilt-a-whirl, spinning cups, a small roller coaster, and a whole bunch more!
“What should we do first?” said Morris.
“Let’s find Marjorie,” said Gary.
The cats walked along the top of the fence, using their bird’s eye view to watch all the people milling around. They would walk, then look around for a bit, then walk some more, and do the same again.
Eventually, they walked past a windowed tent with lots of people inside it. There she was! Marjorie was inside talking to some of the people there.
“Okay great! It looks like Marjorie has lots going on. Let’s go have some fun!”
Gary and Morris jumped down off the fence and started to mill around with all the people. The crowd seemed to love them, and they were constantly being approached.
“You two are so cute!” said one lady.
“Look! They’re friends!” said another.
Gary and Morris decided there was a bit too much attention being drawn to them, so they scurried under the cloth skirts on one of the Midway games.
“There are a lot of people here!” said Morris. “Wow!”
“Agreed,” said Gary. “If we draw too much attention, there is a chance Marjorie will find us and we don’t want to scare her.”
“Right,” said Morris. “What now?”
“We came here to have fun, so let’s have fun!” said Gary. “Follow me!”
The two cats darted out from under the cloth table skirt and ran across a bit of open greenspace towards the children’s car ride. It was the type of ride where two people would sit in a car, the car would leave the station, then go around the track and return, then the next car, and so on.
Gary and Morris thought this one looked fun, but there was a long line and they wanted to keep a low profile. They sat for a moment in deep thought.
“I’ve got it!” said Morris. “We get up high, wait for one of the cars to go by, then jump down into the laps of the people in the car!”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” said an apprehensive Gary as he followed Morris up to a high point on the ride.
“You saw it earlier. Everyone loves us! Look! Now’s our chance!” said Morris, as he pushed Gary’s bum off the platform, then jumped down to follow him.
The cats landed in one of the cars, just like they had planned, but what they hadn’t planned for was this car was occupied by a pair of four-year-olds who were immediately startled and began crying.
“Oh no! We scared them!” said Gary.
Morris tried to calm one of the kids down by gently putting his paw on their face.
“It’s okay fella!” he said.
The child cried harder.
“Abort!” said Gary.
The cats darted off the car and onto the inner ride platform.
“There’s no way out!” said Morris.
“Follow me!” said Gary, as he squished himself down and crawled underneath the ride itself.
“Okay, that was no good,” said Morris.
As they squeezed themselves out from under the ride, they noticed they were right next to the rollercoaster, and there were only two teenagers in line.
“Let’s go on this one!” said Gary.
The rollercoaster pulled into the station, a few people got off the ride, and the two teenagers handed tickets to the operator and took their seats. While the operator wasn’t looking, Gary and Morris jumped into the seats behind the teenagers and braced themselves.
Before anyone could notice, the operator threw the lever, and the rollercoaster was leaving the station.
Gary and Morris got low in their seat and rode the coaster, going up, down, and into some tight curves! Since it was just a county fair, the roller coaster was fairly simple, and it seemed like it ended almost as soon as it had started.
“That was fun!” said Gary.
They heard the operator speak.
“You kids wanna go again? Nobody else in line.”
“Yeah!” they all shouted.
The operator threw the lever and suddenly they were moving again. Gary and Morris were so excited they let out a big meow and the teenagers turned around and saw them.
“No way!” one said. “There are two cats on here?”
“That’s wild!” another said.
One took out their phone and started to record the cats on the coaster.
“We’re famous,” said Morris, with a laugh.
This time, once the coaster pulled back into the station, they hopped out and ran down the back of the platform.
“That was a blast!” said Morris, who was trying to catch his breath.
“You’re not kidding!” said Gary.
Both cats hopped up on the fence and walked back to the tent where Marjorie had been to see if she was still there.
“I see her!” said Gary.
Marjorie was still chatting with friends at the tent.
“This way,” he said.
They walked slowly down the midway, watching all the people play the games. One of the games caught their attention, which was the fishing game. People were trying to catch little mechanical fish using magnetic fishing lines.
Morris jumped on the edge of the tank and started pawing at the fish in the water. A bunch of kids started to giggle and point, and the operator shooed him off the side.
“Great work,” said Gary.
Continuing their journey, the cats came around a corner and saw the big, bright Ferris wheel in the distance. They knew they had to ride it before they left… but the lineup was quite long.
Instead of surprising some unsuspecting visitors, they decided to walk along the crowd of people waiting for the ride to see who would warm up to them.
Being the two cute cats they were, it didn’t take long for them to find some people in the lineup who wanted to give them pets and pick them up.
By the time they got to the front of the line, they were basically best friends with the people in line and they hopped right onto their laps as they got on the ride. As all Ferris wheels do, they slowly loaded people onto the ride and then eventually let it spin for a while.
The views were amazing. Gary and Morris had never seen anything like it before. The bright lights, the people, the heights! It was all very new and exciting for them.
“Morris! Look!” Gary said. “It’s Marjorie!”
The two cats looked over the edge of their Ferris wheel car and saw Marjorie walking through the crowd toward the gates.
“We need to make a move!” said Morris.
The Ferris wheel stopped to start letting people on/off again, but the car the cats were sitting in stopped about halfway up, which meant they’d never make it in time. They looked at each other and nodded.
“Let’s go for it!” said Gary.
Gary and Morris jumped out of the car and made their way down the Ferris wheel infrastructure. The people they were riding with gasped and looked on in terror, but the big steel beams were no match for the cats. In just moments they were back on the ground and tailing Marjorie.
While running, they heard a thunderous snort and fell over in fear. The sound had to come from something massive. Gary and Morris looked over and saw one of the biggest animals they’d ever seen standing in a barn stall.
“WHAT IS THAT?” said Gary.
“I DON’T KNOW!” said Morris.
A family of humans were walking by and the smallest one said, “Mom! Can I pet the horse?”
The mom agreed and they walked over and started to pet the beast.
“That must be a horse!” said Gary.
“That’s what a horse looks like?” said Morris. “I’d heard of them before but never seen one! It looks like Bullwinkle if he ate healthy and exercised.”
“Totally,” said Gary.
Just then they noticed Marjorie walking out the front gate.
“It’s now or never!” said Gary.
The cats darted as fast as they could over to Marjorie and nearly slid into her feet.
“Gary? Morris? What are you doing here?” she said. “This is no place for kitties! Let’s get you home!”
She then walked over to her car, opened the door and the two cats jumped inside. They were tired but very satisfied after experiencing something so stimulating. Their first county fair was in the books, and it had been an absolute blast. According to Marjorie, she had fun too, and it was a nice little surprise she got to share the drive home with her two favourite cats.