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Rowan uses plant sap
to paint his boat

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Rowan's finished boat


FERGUS TELLS A STORY

Hello, let me introduce myself, I'm Fergus Mouse and I am going to tell you a story. Since I am the oldest mouse I know all the stories there are to know about my friends the other mice.

The Tale of Rowan and his boat: part 2

I expect you'd like to hear the next part of Rowan's story about his voyage down the stream. Well, this is how he tells it:

'I'd always wanted to follow the rushing water from the waterfall along the stream as far as it would go, and after many months of hard work, I finally finished my boat. I was worried though about how I would prevent the water from seeping in through the floorboards and sinking it.

One day as I sat by the pool puzzling over this, an idea came to me whilst I watched the waterfall foaming up as it fell. The white foam reminded me of the sap which oozes like sticky glue out of the giant stems of cow parsley, and there was a lot growing near the bank a little way along from where I was sitting. If I painted my boat with this sticky white sap, maybe it would seal it and keep it watertight?

I lost no time in cutting down as many stems as I could carry, and began to squeeze the sap out of them onto the boards of the boat. I left it to dry in the sun while I found some berries for lunch. When I returned, the brown boat had changed into a white one as the sap set on the wood. I couldn't wait to try it out!

The boat was very heavy, and I didn't want it to float away like my little raft had done, so I looked in my hut for the piece of strong twine that I'd found some months before, dropped by a farmer off a bale of hay for his sheep. I tied the boat securely to a rock with this, jumped in, and pushed it out into the stream with one oar. Not one drop of water did I see inside, as my wonderful boat floated high and dry on the water. So the cow parsley sap had worked! Now all the boat needed was a name, but what could I call it? You little mice know what I called it, because you've been out in the boat so many times and you've seen the five letters I carved there....'

Well, the next bit of Rowan's story tells you about how he met a very special mouse just when he least expected to. Come back soon and I'll tell you all about her. Cheerio for now!



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