Animal Adventures, Out With Animals

New Adventure: Out With Animals

 

Welcome to Out With Animals!

On my blog, Ok Then What’s Next, I took part in a Christmas project for Post Pals. Post Pals is a charity where people can send post to children with severe or life threatening illnesses. As an adult with a chronic illness, I know how much it lifts my spirits to receive fun post- and I’m an adult! So volunteering to pretend to be a reindeer and send post in December seemed like a lot of fun and I knew it would help lift someone’s mood.

I love knitting and I have to spend a lot of time at home due to illness. So I decided to knit small animals, send them out on adventures, and write short stories about them. Then post them on to one of the Post Pals children, who can read the story, take the animal on an adventure of their own and write their own story and share their photos if they want to. They can also see what other animals have been up to on this blog, Twitter or Instagram.

Because I have a chronic illness too, it might take a while to get up and running, and there might be some time delays if I’m having a bad spell. I might also need some help taking the animals out and taking photos of their adventures- so let me know if you want to be involved!

Twitter: @OutWithAnimals

Instagram: @OutWithAnimals

Email: okthenwhatsnext@outlook.com

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Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Peter the Penguin

Hello

My name is Peter the Penguin, and I recently went to London for a weekend to explore and see the sights. I’d heard that some of the other animals had set a challenge for finding different modes of transport, and I thought London would be a great place for this. Plus I wanted to see all of the famous landmarks that I’ve seen on TV.

We had to leave quite early to catch the train. Buying tickets isn’t as easy as I thought it would be- there’s so many different options depending on what time you travel! And they didn’t have a penguin option, only adults and children. How rude!

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We had to buy a lot of tickets because there were lots of humans travelling with me.

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And then we were off!

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When we got to London, I was told that we would be cycling everywhere.

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I’m glad this turned out to be a joke because there’s no way my little flippers could reach the pedals! We got the Tube instead, which goes underground.

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The Tube was quite quick, but people in London didn’t appreciate me trying to talk to them about our trip. They all looked the other way! Maybe they’re penguinists- you know like racists, but against penguins.

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First up, we went to check into our hotel. We walked past this building, which is top secret. It’s where spies meet. Although, considering it’s supposed to be a secret, everyone seemed to know about it!

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Our hotel was quite nice and had bedding with a big, red London bus on it. I decided I needed to make it my mission to find one!

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And we had a cool view of a busy square down below. I liked watching all the people coming and going while the humans sorted out their luggage and got ready.

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I saw a few red buses, but they went before I could get downstairs. Finally everyone was finished unpacking and we were able to explore!

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We walked through China Town. Lots of big cities have China Towns, it’s where lots of people live who come from China or who have parents/grandparents who come from there. It’s like a community away from home. I wonder if there’s a penguin town… the humans said they didn’t think so, but there’d be some penguins at the zoo.

Next we saw Trafalgar Square. There’s a big statue, spike thing (I’m told it’s a column named after a bloke called Nelson) in the middle which commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, which the British (Nelson was the leader, I’m assuming) won.

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You can see him standing on the top of it. We also saw the outside of the National Gallery.

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It’s a huuuggeee building! Inside are hundreds of paintings and works of art. We didn’t get the chance to go inside (look at all the people!), but we did see a chalk artist drawing outside.

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Have you seen Mary Poppins? On the film, Mary Poppins and the children jump into the chalk portraits and dance with penguins. I’m a penguin! So I gave it a try to see if I could travel to a colourful dimension, but it didn’t work 😦

The humans decided to cheer me up by taking me out for lunch. Because we were looking at history and landmarks on our trip, we went to a restaurant called the Admiralty, which is all themed around the sea and ships.

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It’s like being on a ship while you eat!

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I was a bit wary of the old looking handcuffs. It was fun to eat there but I don’t think I’d want to be locked up there!

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We had some pasta

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and some cake

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After lunch, we decided we’d had enough of walking for a while, so I hinted that we should catch a red bus to our next destination.

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Hooray! Buses in London aren’t the same as everywhere else. Here, you don’t get on the front of the bus near the driver, you get on the back. Some people even jump on and off while it’s moving! We got off a bit early so we could walk through Hyde Park. You can see the Millennium Wheel in the background.

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I was really excited by our next destination. Buckingham Palace!

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There’s a long road leading up to it which you see quite a lot on parades on TV. I stood in the middle and couldn’t see the end of it! I got told off though for not paying attention while crossing the road- they only close the road for the Queen, not for penguins it would seem.

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The humans got a bit obsessed with taking selfies.

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It’s actually quite difficult getting everyone and the palace in the photo!

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The Queen has special guards stationed outside the palace at all times. I thought they were statues to start off with because they were standing so still!

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Some were even on horses! But the horses were super grumpy so I didn’t really want to get too close to them. They take their job waaayyy to seriously and were on a bit of a power trip I think. So much so, that the royal guards have to have a sign telling people how grumpy they are and that they might kick and bite!

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It was three of the humans’ birthdays that week, so we went to a theatre performance in the evening to celebrate. It was called 42nd Street. Sounds like a funny name for a street, but apparently it’s an American thing to give streets numbers rather than names.

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The theatre was quite grand on the inside, and had lots of statues and old fashioned decorations.

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This statue is of a famous playwright, Shakespeare.

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I was really not impressed when I was told I was going to have to climb lots of stairs. Where was the lift?!

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Thankfully, some stewards at the theatre took pity on me and helped me out. So I let them have a photo with me in return.

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We made it! And we had good seats and could see everything!

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And there was also ice-cream in the interval! Being a penguin, I like ice-cream because it’s cold and we like cold things. I tried to sneak an extra portion, but they spotted me.

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The next day we were up again bright and early because we had a special trip planned. I wasn’t told where we were going, but I was assured I’d like it. We started off by walking through Covent Garden Market…

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…which was really empty. This is the old market though, where people used to trade. The newer Covent Garden is much more shiny and new looking and has individual shops.

I saw a flash of red and thought it was a red bus, but it turned out to be a telephone box. Before everyone had mobile phones, people used to have to make phone calls from boxes on the street. Using coins. What a faff!

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I was tired from my little legs and all the walking, so I decided to use the phonebox to call a taxi. Not quite as easy to order as an Uber on a smartphone, but you don’t see many of them in London now… Plus it meant I could tick off another mode of transport- taxi!

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I met up with the humans at Tower Bridge.

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And from there we went to HMS Belfast, which is a big ship. I like the sea and ships because that’s where I grew up, in the sea.

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We were allowed to look around the boat and see how it worked and what it was like to live on it.

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It was pretty huge! I think I’d get lost if I lived here. The engine rooms had lots of machinery and dials to make the boat move.

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The ship carried weapons so that it could protect itself if it was attacked.

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I was told they were all empty now, but I still wasn’t keen on getting too close!

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Boats nowadays are controlled more by computers, than by people having to do manual jobs on the boat…

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… which is probably a good thing, because there’s no way I’d be able to work out what all these dials were doing!

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I’d probably get it wrong and have to wear one of these outfit onesie looking things…

 

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… and get locked up on board- apparently they even have a prison on board!

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They have to have everything on board with them, because they could be at sea for months and months. So that includes lots of food…

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…places to sleep…

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… and lots of different types of weapons to make sure they’re ready for whatever comes their way.

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I don’t think I would cope very well living on a ship for that long. Especially with grumpy looking men like this:

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Which made me think about something- why were there no women on the ships?! The humans said that women weren’t allowed to work on ships in the olden days. In fact, women weren’t even really allowed to have jobs then. Seems a bit backwards to me. Now women can do all of the same jobs men can.

Our trip to London was almost coming to an end. We had just enough time to have a look at some of the sights on the Thames:

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and then we had to walk back to the train station.

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I was pretty tired after all the walking. So were some of the humans as well, it would seem! We can’t decide how many types of transport I managed to use, because seeing them and going on them are two different things apparently. Can you help me decide?

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I really enjoyed my time away in London and got to learn a lot about the history and different sights there. I think my favourite part was seeing things like Buckingham Palace and the older buildings in London. Thank you to the 5 humans who took me with them, and I’m looking forward to seeing where I go for my next adventure!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Douglas the Duckling

Hello

My name is Douglas the Duckling and I just got back from my adventure in Portugal with Maisie.

I was a bit sad to be leaving the rain of the UK autumn, because ducks love splashing about in the puddles, but Maisie said we’d have a good time!

We travelled by aeroplane, which I’d never done before. Ducks can fly, obviously, but I’m only allowed to fly short distances at the moment because I haven’t passed my flying test yet. So it was very exciting to be so high in the sky!

We arrived in Portugal and it was nice and sunny and warm. Maisie and I only have little legs, so we shared a ride in her pram. That way we could see more rather than getting tired.

Chickens are a popular animal in Portugal. Although, I’m pretty sure if I’d been there for a bit longer I could have made some people change their mind to preferring ducklings! I wouldn’t say chickens are enemies of us ducks, but we don’t get along much. Nevertheless, I still posed for a photo with this colourful one!

Maisie was proud of me for being kind even when I didn’t want to so she made sure she found me a duck to chat to about Portugal. I learnt a lot about the language- I can say basic greetings in Portuguese now! It’s a little bit like Spanish.

There are lots of pretty plants in Portugal, much more colourful than in the U.K. I guess that’s why it isn’t a bad thing that it’s sunny more than rainy here.

I was still missing water though, so Maisie arranged a special treat for me. A lovely blue swimming pool to splash around in and a unicorn friend!

I didn’t think horses liked water but as he pointed out, he’s a unicorn not a horse! That was by far my most favourite bit of the trip, I could have spent hours in there! Thank you very much to Maisie for looking after me and to her family for making me feel welcome. I’m looking forward to some more adventures soon!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Pablo the Panda

Hola!

My name is Pablo the Panda and I’ve been on an adventure to Spain. Pandas aren’t usually associated with Spain, but my mummy panda really liked the country when she visited so she gave me a Spanish name. When Cate said she was going on holiday to Spain, I jumped at the chance! (well, pandas aren’t good at jumping, but I was very excited!)

Cate helped me pack. I didn’t know much about Spain so I packed as many things as I could, just in case. Cate said it was a good job I wasn’t a grizzly bear because their luggage would have to be three times as big since they’re huge in comparison to me!

Although Spain isn’t too far away from England, we got there quite late so we headed to bed, ready to explore properly the next morning.

My mummy panda said one of the best things about Spain in comparison to England is the fact that you can swim in a swimming pool outside. The weather in the U.K. doesn’t usually get hot enough to be able to swim comfortably without turning blue (not a good look for a panda), but in Spain it gets so warm in the day they have a little nap in the afternoon, called a siesta.

Napping in the middle of the day and swimming outside? I could get used to this!

Cate took me to see the pool. I loved the blue colour.

In Spain they have rules about what you can and can’t wear in the pool, which we don’t have in the UK. So apparently I needed to buy some flip flops to walk around the poolside! Cate found it funny that I’d managed to bring so much luggage but not bring any flip flops!

There was a lot of choice, but I went for green ones with white flowers in the end.

All this walking around made me hot, so Cate said I should stand in the shade to cool down a bit.

It’s a palm tree! I’d never seen a palm tree before! They only grow in warm, sunny places. I was still really hot so Cate leant me her fan.

My panda family originally came from China, and this fan is very similar to the ones we use in China. We like really decorative things which have lots of detail in them.

It got cooler in the evening, so we went downstairs from our hotel and played pool. I was confused because I thought we’d be playing a game in the swimming pool but pool is also a game which you play with a stick (a cue) and lots of coloured balls.

On our last day there, we spent most of the time chilling out and relaxing because it was too hot to do anything else!

I can see why my mummy panda likes Spain so much- it’s warm and sunny and the people are friendly. And you can swim outside! Thank you very much to Cate for taking me there and for looking after me. I’m looking forward to seeing what my next adventure brings!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Bethany the Bunny

Hello

My name is Bethany the Bunny and I went on an adventure with Hollie, Toby and Harry to Wales. We stayed on a caravan park which meant there was lots of other children and activities for us to do.

The first thing we had to do was pick up the keys for our caravan at the front desk. There was a sign that said ‘no animals allowed’ so Hollie, Toby and Harry started coming up with a plan to smuggle me in! Except this nice member of staff said that I was a special exception because I wasn’t an ordinary Bunny.

Once checked in, we went to explore our caravan.

I was expecting a caravan on wheels and for it to be really small. But it wasn’t, it was more like a big hut and had different rooms inside. Hollie and I were really pleased about this because we definitely didn’t want to be sharing with the boys!

It’s supposed to rain loads in Wales so we made the most of the sun and went to play in the park.

I really liked the swings but I kept falling off! I think maybe I’m a little bit small for the swings. So I tried the monkey bars instead with a bit of help.

Hollie said that she didn’t think I’d be much safer on the monkey bars like that (look at his face! 😉 ), so she took responsibility for me.

I was a bit scared at first but Holly helped me be brave and we were a good team!

This was my favourite to play on:

I’m a really skilled hopper and my balance is good, so I managed to beat everyone when we had races.

In the evenings, we went to watch the entertainment on site. One night there was a lizard called Lizzy who invited me and Hollie up on the stage to take part! I don’t think I’m destined for a career in dancing but Hollie did a good job!

We spent a lot of time on the beach during the holiday. I’d never been to a beach before- rabbits prefer grassy places- but the beach was quite fun!

I liked the fact I could dig holes and tunnel through the sand. The others had to use a spade to do it but I found it much too slow!

I really enjoyed my adventure in Wales- thank you to Hollie especially for looking after me, and to Toby and Harry too. My favourite bit was the beach because I liked making tunnels and sand castles. I’m really looking forward to my next adventure!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Caitlin: Getting to know the crew

Hello

I’ve been to two more ports since I last wrote. We went to Brest in France and then Flåm in Norway. Brest is in northern France and is best known as a naval port.

This means it has things like castles and forts and defence posts, to stop invaders from attacking France.

The canon wasn’t loaded. I checked first! It was Assumption Day when we were there, which is a Catholic religious day, meaning a lot of the shops and restaurants were closed, so we didn’t get up to much! We bumped into one of Beccy’s band mates though

Beccy decided I’d been with her long enough it was time I started to meet some of the other crew. And that I could start pulling my weight and do some work!

When we got to Flåm, we had to use the tender boats like we did on the Isle of Man because it was a small port. I was allowed to help supervise in the cockpit.

It looked like a difficult job, so I kept saying ‘left a bit, right a bit’ to help. I don’t think he was impressed though because he kicked me out! Instead I helped passengers get on and off.

We had a bit of time to wander around a bit of the Norwegian countryside while we were there.

You can see that our boat is really close to the mountains! Norway has lots of Fjords, which are a bit like a cross between a lake and the sea.

We found a tractor which I was tempted to try out driving, but Beccy said I’d been in trouble already once that day for trying to operate the boat so I decided to leave it!

We went for a walk with the band mates Beccy plays with instead.

It’s very pretty here. It’s quite chilly though, I think the UK still has sun!

Then we had to head back to the tender boat.

This is the Master At Arms. He’s in charge of security and making sure everything is legal.

And this is a deck cadet. He’s responsible for making sure everyone and their luggage gets on board.

These seamen help with parking and mooring the boat to make sure we don’t float off!

Lots of the crew are from the Philippines so I’ve been trying to learn Tagalog, the language they speak there. I offered to teach them Cat but they said they didn’t think they’d meet many other Cat passengers…

And these are some of the women who work in the salon on board the ship. Some of the crew always have to stay on board when we’re in a port, but it rotates to make sure it’s fair and everyone gets to see lots of different places in the world.

It’s getting a wee bit chilly now, I’m glad I’ve got my fur to keep me warm! Beccy says it’s quite hard work packing for multiple countries and seasons because the crew cabins are quite small and you need to be ready for lots of different weather! I wonder what the weather will be like in our next port…

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Bryony: London & Lego

Hello

I’m back again for my final adventure after a camping trip and going to a wildlife park! This time I wasn’t told where we were going until the very last minute. I managed to work out we were in London because of this view:

It was really exciting when I saw this sign!

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Leicester Square in London is home to the biggest Lego shop in the UK. You can buy lego there, obviously, but the guy who created the shop wanted it to be an experience rather than just a shop. So you can play with it, build things, go to workshops and look at some really cool lego models. It’s a tourist attraction all by itself!

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We’d already been on the Underground to get there, but we checked where we’d been on a lego map- so much cooler than a normal map.

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I’ll be heading off to a Post Pals child, so the Teacher said I should pose for a photo next to a lego post box and practise for when I actually get posted!

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Of course we had to play with the lego ourselves.

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The Teacher and the Curly-Haired Lady made me a twin!

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Can you spot the difference?!

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There was a superheroes model collection for us to look at.

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This Batman wasn’t quite finished, so I offered to help finish up. Except building a Batman lego man is so much harder than building a lego Bryony! Too much grey.

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One of the professional model builders had already finished on though. And they’d also made a Superman.

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I think this is Wonderwoman? Or maybe Cat Girl? I don’t really know, I’m not into superheroes much!

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This is my hero, you see. I love the theatre and plays and reading. So Shakespeare is one of my idols!

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Not a clue who this is…

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… but I liked the fact that the designer had put blue lego in the bath to make it look like water! Can any of the Post Pals help tell me who these heroes are? And I don’t really know who this is either…

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… but check out all the colours in the cape! How cool is that?! I flew off and decided to look at some of the other sculptures out of lego. I quite liked this mirror.

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I had great fun on my final adventure with the Teacher and the Curly-Haired Woman- thank you for taking me on so many adventures! I’m looking forward to telling a Post Pal all about the fun I had, and I’m looking forward to new adventures too.

 

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Molly the Mouse

Hello

My name is Molly the Mouse and I’ve been on a Summer holiday adventure to Portugal with the Solo Clarinet Lady and her husband. The Solo Clarinet Lady was really excited to have a stowaway, but her husband was playing it cool- I think he might be scared of mice!

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We were flying to Portugal, so we checked to make sure we had everything.

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Then we were off! Portugal isn’t too far away, so I was looking forward to being in the warm, sunny weather in the next few hours. However, I was very wrong! Our flight got delayed and we were stranded in Manchester airport!

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We tried to fill in some time by writing a postcard with a picture of a plane on it to tell the other animal adventurers about our drama trying to get our plane.

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And we had races on the moving walkways- they’re really long and you can go really fast! But then we got told the only way we could get there was by flying to London and *then* flying to Portugal.

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I’d never flown before, so I didn’t quite understand where I should sit. The Clarinet Lady said I needed to be in my own seat, not scurrying around the nooks and crannies of the aircraft.

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She decided it would be a good idea for me to read the safety information too. I was quite glad to really- so far lots of things had gone wrong on our adventure!

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We got to Heathrow in London pretty quickly, but then we had to wait even longer for our next plane! I made a friend who told me that sometimes planes get delayed when there’s bad weather or people go on strike and don’t go to work for the day. I wasn’t impressed- I was promised sun!

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Finally we were on our way. There’s our plane!

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This is my celebration dance!

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The Solo Clarinet Lady’s husband didn’t like my dance because he was worried we’d get thrown off the plane if I was too noisy, so he suggested I sit by the window.

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It meant I got some really good views of the clouds. They look like marshmallows!

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We made it! And it was sunny. The bear must have been wrong about the bad weather, the airport workers must have been on strike. However, our travelling was far from over. We had to get another mode of transport.

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This time it was a tram.

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I explained to the driver that Bryony the Butterfly was allowed to drive a train on her adventure and I was much more responsible than her. He agreed quite quickly- he seems pretty laid back! Maybe he didn’t really want to be at work that day either, like the airport workers on strike.

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I did a great job according to the Solo Clarinet Lady, and we made it to our hotel.

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It looked very posh! And they gave us free slippers. Mine were a bit big though!

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The next day, we headed to Lisbon Cathedral so we could see the views of the city.

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There were a lot of steps, but thankfully mice are quite used to old buildings and lots live in the nooks and crannies. So I was able to ask for some shortcuts while the humans had to use the stairs.

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You could see quite a long way. I like how the buildings are really colourful and interesting. Not like our grey ones in the UK.

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There’s a garden on the roof! I wonder how you get there…

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Lisbon, we discovered, is full of hills. Not good for me and my little legs. The people who live there also seemed to agree because someone designed and built a lift to help connect the different bits of the city together so that people didn’t have to do as much walking up and down hills.

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It’s called the Santa Justa Lift. I found a little mouse-sized house. Except then I noticed that there was a cat for a neighbour (see it on the roof?), so I didn’t hang around long!

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I’d had enough of hills by now, so we headed downhill towards the sea.

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Much flatter! Although after all our travelling, I decided I really couldn’t face a boat ride, so we wandered around and explored the area nearby.

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I’m not entirely sure whether it’s a piece of art or just a ‘thing’ that people have decided to do, but it’s supposed to be romantic sharing the name of the person you love and hanging it.

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This artwork was far more interesting! It’s like towers of rocks which look like they should fall over but don’t. They’re balanced really carefully! I wanted to see how stable they were and climb on them but the Solo Clarinet Lady’s husband said if I knocked one down I’d probably knock them all down so I decided against it.

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And check out this huge dog made out of sand! That’s really clever. I wonder how long it took the artist to make him!

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We stopped by Belem Tower, which was created by the King of Portugal 500 years ago to help protect the city from invaders. I was a bit worried about pirates, but now it’s just a place for people to visit- no one is trying to capture Lisbon anymore! There was even a mouse sized version for me to explore!

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There were lots of people down by the sea front and we couldn’t work out why. Until we stumbled across this:

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A cycle race! With all the hills?! They must be really fit!

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The Solo Clarinet Lady said that that’s the kind of face she would have if she had to complete this race- and she works out regularly so would be able to manage it! Definitely not for me I don’t think…

It was time to head back to our hotel for the evening. Problem is, because we’d gone downhill to the sea, we had to go back up again! No way was I walking up those hills though. So we got a Tuk Tuk.

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Which brings our total modes of transport to 4 different types- car to the airport, plane (x 2), tram and tuk tuk. I think that means I’m beating the other animal adventurers so far?

The next day was a bit random in terms of what we saw (you’ll see why in a minute!). First up, we went to a monument called ‘the Monument to the Discoveries’, which celebrates the Golden Age of Portuguese history.

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I was a bit confused. The King of Portugal built a tower so that people couldn’t invade them, but he was quite happy for his explorers to capture other places in the world? The Solo Clarinet Lady said that’s what people did for a while- sail around, find other countries and make a colony, which is kind of like an extension of their country but somewhere new.

Then we visited Castelo de Sao Jorge (St George’s Castle).

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Another way to defend against intruders! Although, rumour has it, someone was a bit stupid one night and left the door open, which meant the enemy soldiers were nearly able to sneak in without much hassle…

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It was pretty hot, so I was glad for a fountain to cool off.

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And there were only a few trees which gave shade.

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I don’t think I’d like to live in this castle much, even if there were some pretty views. Solo Clarinet Lady felt sorry for me with my thick fur, so bought me an ice cream to cool me down.

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I met a friend while I was waiting for her to come back.

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A pink elephant? I thought you only saw those in Dumbo! The pink elephant asked why I was eating ice cream if I was a mouse, and that he knew of somewhere I could get some cheese. Mice love cheese, it’s our favourite food. So we had to go find it!

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Doesn’t it look amazing?! These are fish cakes filled with cheese.

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I’m not a big fan of fish, but I loved the cheese. This is where it gets a bit strange… In the UK, we have factories and colourful shops which have amazing types of chocolate or sweets. Like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In Portugal, they have a similar thing, but for fish. FISH! It’s called the Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardine.

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What on earth? Who likes sardines that much?!

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They even had a merry go round which was sardine themed!

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And a sardine throne with sardines for arms.

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Crazy. At least chocolate and sweets taste and smell nice, even if you don’t like cllllll the different types. Sardines is definitely an acquired taste. I’ll stick with my cheese I think…

The smell started to get to me, so I waited outside for the humans to finish looking.

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All too soon, it was the end of our trip! I have to say, I wouldn’t mind if our plane was delayed on the way home because at least we’d be in the sun rather than grey UK! Sadly it wasn’t though.

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We made it back really quickly in comparison to the way there!

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I had a great time on my adventure, despite the rocky start. I liked seeing the different bits of history and culture which make up Lisbon, even the hills and the sardines! Thank you to the Solo Clarinet lady and her husband for taking me, and I’m really looking forward to sharing my adventure with my new friends!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Caitlin: Liverpool & the Isle of Man

Hello

You’ll be pleased to know I haven’t got lost again since being in the Netherlands. We headed back to the UK to change passengers and pick up supplies, this time stopping in the port of Liverpool.

I was quite excited to be in a place with native English speakers, although Dutch people speak very good English.

Except, despite the fact that they’re very friendly people, I didn’t really understand most of the scouse accent. I had a nice time looking around the city though, despite the grey weather!

Then we moved on to the Isle of Man. I thought this was part of the UK, but it’s not, it has its own separate flag and government and everything. I could understand the accent a bit more!

It’s a very small port, so our big ship didn’t fit in it, meaning we had to get a tender ship (smaller boat) from the cruise ship to the port.

Look how far away we had to dock! It was quite strange being on a small boat after the big one. It moves a lot more so I had to be careful to hang on and not fall in. I had a life jacket as well.

It’s a pretty small island but I liked the look of it. It felt cheerful.

I managed to find a space on the top deck of the tender boat on the way back which gave me a great view.

Then it was back up the gangway to our cruise ship! Next time you hear from me I shall be in France!

Charity, Out With Animals

Sending Animals to Nepal

Out With Animals is making a new link with a charity, Kéta Kéti Avenir, which is a French humanitarian organisation working in Nepal. The charity provides relief and support alongside other organisations to orphaned, abandoned or vulnerable children, helping to make sure they have food, accommodation and an education which develops their social and academic skills.

Kéta Kéti Avenir regularly holds fundraisers and sends volunteers to Nepal to facilitate their work and to deliver items which have been donated. Out With Animals will be sending out a few animals when Marie Thé visits in October. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can check out their website (in French): ketaketiavenir.com

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Maria the Mouse

Hello

My name is Maria the Mouse and I just completed a walking challenge for charity with a lady called ‘Mousey’ and her son, Bailey. We obviously have a lot in common, with her being nicknamed after a mouse, so I knew we were going to be good friends!

I knew we would be walking a fair distance because it’s a walking challenge- it wouldn’t be very difficult if we were only walking a short distance! Mousey showed me the route on a map and I was a bit surprised. We would be walking all the way from Eastbourne to Arundel as part of the South Coast Challenge Route! I’ve only got little legs! Bailey said we’d better get cracking with training then!

Because it’s such a long walk, we needed to take a lot of gear with us, which meant we should also practise carrying it when training. We needed to be covered for all eventualities, including wet weather. I was crossing my paws that it wouldn’t rain…

Once we were all packed, we headed out. We had to make sure we practised walking on different types of ground (terrain) with different slopes and ascents, because the route we’d be following on the main walk had lots of different terrain. I really liked walking through fields like this because there were lots of places to hide!

Bailey said it was ok to play hide and seek for now but it wouldn’t be a good idea on the challenge walk because I might get lost somewhere in the middle and he didn’t want to have to walk twice the distance trying to find me. This seemed quite reasonable to me so I stayed close from then on.

I even snuck into his backpack when he wasn’t looking! He caught me though… I liked being up high because I could see more and my legs were getting tired by this point so I managed to catch a ride on Bailey’s shoulder.

Mousey said I’d done well on our training walk so I was ready for the challenge. I have to admit to feeling nervous, I checked our kit a million times to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything.

Then we headed to the starting point ready to start walking.

There were lots of people walking, jogging and running for charity. I have to say I was quite glad that jogging and running hadn’t been suggested to me, I’m not sure my little legs could cope with that!

We collected our passes to let us into the starting area and so that we could get food and drink at the rest stops.

I liked my pass because it made me feel like a VIP! Mousey said we should go and have a look at the start of the route so we could look back and see how far we’d walked.

Good grief it looked like a long way. What if I didn’t manage all of it? What if I walked too slow? Mousey said it didn’t matter because we were raising money for charity and I should be proud of however far I managed to walk.

The walk took us a really long time and it was pretty hot! We made sure to keep drinking lots of water and to encourage each other to keep going. Bailey was quite good at motivating me when I was getting tired.

At the end we each got a medal! It was nice to have something to remind us of how far we managed to walk and what we’d achieved.

We headed into Arundel for a well deserved rest and some dinner.

Although a challenge, I really enjoyed taking part in the South Coast Challenge. There was a really nice atmosphere, we saw lots of different beautiful views and I made some new friends in Mousey and Bailey- thank you for letting me join in! I’m off for a long rest to recover, but I’m looking forward to what my next adventure will hold!