The Tale of Rowan and his Boat

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.

Part One

I’m going to tell you George Mouse’s favourite story, the one his father Parsley used to tell George and his sisters when they were little mice, just before they went to sleep in their beds in the Tree house. Rowan used to sit down on Campanula’s bed, close his eyes, and begin… and this is what he said..

‘Once upon a time I lived high in the mountains of Wales, near a gigantic waterfall. It thundered and foamed as it cascaded down from a great rocky height, through an archway and down into a deep pool near my hut. The pool bubbled into a fast flowing stream.

I was all alone, and every night as I fell asleep I used to dream of building a boat of my own, so that I could follow the rushing water along the stream as far as it went. First I built a little raft using twigs, bound together with grass rope that I had plaited but it got caught in the flow of the current and was carried away before I could catch it. I realized I’d have to build a big strong boat with oars, if I wanted to make a long, long journey. So I collected as much wood as I could and dried it in the sun during the day and stored it beside my hut at night to weather it.

I made tools from little pieces of slate and chips of granite which I found by the waterfall, so that I could cut up the wooden branches and shape them into a frame and boards for my boat.
In those days I used to eat wild garlic and berries which I found on the banks of the stream. I hadn’t met your mother yet, and I worked on the boat all day.

I used to make a little fire outside my hut at night, and I slept with pieces of wood all around me. I carved the oars for the boat by using my best granite knife whilst I sat by the fire after supper. I got quite excited as the boat took shape and it seemed that my dream would come true at last. . . what would I find when I set off down the stream?..’

Part Two

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….’

I do hope you enjoyed my story
Cheerio for now!