Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Billy The Matchmaker

A guest post by Katy Page.

Billy the guinea pig had crossed the rainbow bridge. At first he had been unsure but his good friends Boris and Badger had reassured him that it was okay, so Billy had gone to join them. After a week or so he had settled in and he'd made several friends especially female ones. Every evening he would go and snuggle with his human friend Grandma pig who had gone to the Rainbow Bridge just a couple of weeks before.  Grandma Pig had always had a soft spot for Billy. 

After a few weeks Billy found himself in a bit of a rut. He would get up, have a snack, meet some friends for a chat or a game, have a snack, See his girlfriends, have a snack, Go for a little walk, have a snack and then go back to bed. One day he was drinking water from a particularly refreshing stream when Badger arrived. Billy had a question for him
"Badger, where does the stream come from?"
"I don’t know; it runs all through this part of the rainbow bridge."
"But it must start somewhere. I once chewed a book on rivers and streams. All waterways have a source."
"Well there is a lot of this place that hasn’t been explored" Said Badger.

Billy and Badger waddled off to meet their friend Boris and they all went to the basil patch. After they had eaten they talked to some of their other friends. Puppy the celebrity guinea pig was collecting pretty flowers for all his girlfriends. It took him a while as he had nearly five hundred.  Puppy looked a little tired and harassed, so after a brief chat they continued on, wandering into the main meadow where most of the other guinea pigs gathered. Some had become engineers to provide the Rainbow Bridge with unlimited Wi-Fi and piggy sized laptops. Billy had liked to blog when he was earthbound so he was considering getting himself a laptop. Boris had a little stall in the market place selling his special sauerkraut. Several other pigs had also used their talents to open a stall and there was quite a vibrant market place. There was no money over the Rainbow Bridge. Everyone just gave their things to anyone who wanted it and everyone was very respectful. Nobody was greedy because there was always plenty for everyone. It was like the exact opposite of the human dominated world they had left behind.

Boris went to open his stall for the day while Billy and Badger browsed through the market. Badger stopped to look at some special foot cream because he was very proud and protective of his feet. Seeing what Badger was looking at Billy rolled his eyes and wandered a bit. He knew Badger would be there for ages trying to choose. A few stalls along he met Mabel. Mabel was one of Puppy’s girlfriends and had lived with one of his online earthbound friends. Mabel liked to sew and knit and generally make things. Billy stopped to say hello and saw that Mabel had made a little pith helmet and backpack. Mabel saw him looking and wheeked quietly.
"You can try them on if you’d like to Billy."
"Thank you Mabel. I think I will"
Billy put the little helmet on his head and settled the backpack on his fur. Mabel smiled and said shyly
"Oh wheek! They suit you. You look like a real explorer pig."
Hearing Mabel say that, all the things he had been thinking about suddenly came together in Billy’s mind. He saw Badger coming with a new pot of lavender scented foot cream.
"Hey Badge how would you like to go on an adventure?"
"Ooh I’m not sure Billy. Will my feet get dirty?"
At this point Mabel came over and showed Badger her newest product. In her paws were four little pig sized shoes made out of tough green leaves. Badger immediately tried them on. Finding out how comfortable they were Badger looked hopefully at Mabel. In answer to the unasked question Mabel smiled and said
"Of course you can have them Badger."
Badger grinned and turned to Billy
"Ok" he said. "Let’s go on an adventure!"
Mabel gave Billy permission to take the helmet and backpack and two other small bags. Billy thanked her and gave one of the bags to Badger who put it on and stored his foot cream in it. They wandered over to where Boris was giving out his sauerkraut. Billy gave him the last bag and explained everything.
"Let’s go on an adventure. There is so many places here that haven’t been explored. It will be fun. We know the weather is warm enough for us to sleep outside and there isn’t any danger here. We can start by following the stream. What do you think?"
Badger and Boris thought about it and both agreed happily. They decided it was too late to start that day and anyway they needed to get supplies. They decided to meet early the next day in the main meadow. That afternoon they all gathered things they wanted to take. Billy gathered basil, his laptop, a bottle of water, some rope, pictures of all his girlfriends (These took up a lot of space.)and some dry food. 

Badger packed his new foot cream, a towel so he could wash and dry his feet, some coriander, a water bottle and some seeded food bars from the market. Boris chose a large jar of his finest sauerkraut, some biscuits to eat it on, water, a picture of his nephew Baci, little jars for specimens and some Basil beer. The next day they met early and after Billy had said goodbye to his girlfriends they set off. At first it was all things they had seen before but around mid-morning they were further than any of them had been before. Mostly it was just fields of various tasty plants and the stream had become a river. After a while they decided to stop for lunch. They sat on the river bank eating various plants from the area. They were just about to move on when they heard a strange noise and a canal boat chugged into view. At the helm was another guinea pig. Seeing them watching, the piggy waved madly and nearly fell off the boat. They exchanged looks as the boat pulled up alongside them. The piggy grinned and leapt on to the bank, missing the landing and ending up in a heap in front of them. Billy looked at the mass of white fur laying there and suddenly two black eyes appeared.
"Hi! I’m Captain! People think I’m strange but I’m not! Not really! Well okay a little bit! Actually a big bit! Yep I’m totally odd!"
"Hi Captain I’m Billy this is my friend Boris and my other friend Badger." replied Billy hesitantly. The odd ball of fluff in front of him wriggled around a bit and became a long haired piggy. Once she was looking at least vaguely normal, apart from the huge slightly dim smile, they invited her to join them for snacks. Captain accepted gratefully and they all sat down.

"So Frauline Kapitan vair are you goink?" Asked Boris. The vast quantities of sauerkraut that he consumed each day had given him a German accent.
"Oh nowhere in particular Boris. I just like sailing up and down the river in my boat. Isn’t it awesome? I found it moored here when I first arrived. I’d always wanted my own boat being called Captain and all and it’s so pretty with all the painting on it."
"Wow you talk a lot." Remarked Billy, not meaning to be rude, but rather stating the obvious.
"I do don’t I Billy? My humans always said I was noisy. They also said I was good natured but thick as two short planks. I don’t know what that means or whether or not should I  should be offended. They were very good humans. I thought I would miss them terribly when I came here but I can still see them and I’ve got my boat. She’s called The Carrot Cruiser. Do you like it? I thought it up all by myself."
"How do you know your boat is a girl?" Asked Badger.
"Silly Badger! All boats are girls! Anyway thanks for the snack I really should be going. Would you like to come up river on my boat with me?"
Captain seemed pleasant so they gratefully accepted. After a very through tour of The Carrot Cruiser Captain cast off and they sailed up the river. Billy, Badger and Boris sat on the deck watching the scenery slide serenely by. Captain chatted away the whole time, well aware that no one was really listening to her but she didn’t mind. 

After a couple of hours Captain announced she was turning around to go back down the river as this was the widest part. Billy, Badger and Boris thanked her, got off the boat and waved as she sailed off down the river. Soon dusk began to creep in so they decided to settle down for the night. After a filling dinner of things they foraged they all found something to do. Billy started writing up the day’s events on his laptop, Badger cleaned his shoes and feet and rubbed his lovely new cream into them and Boris collected some seeds of the plants he hadn’t seen before and carefully documented them in his notebook. After such an adventurous day they were all very tired and slept soundly, dreaming of food, napping and girlies. 

The next morning they woke to a beautiful clear dawn. After refreshing themselves in the river they had breakfast and prepared for another day. They walked for a few hours when they came to a fork in the road.
Boris picked it up.
 "Zat ist sehr strange." He said. "Vot on erse ist ein fork doink in der mitte der stra├če." Billy rolled his eyes and wish that Boris came with subtitles. Boris looked around. Mein goodness!" He exclaimed. "Zair ist ein knife und ein schpoon also. Und zey are havink ein hallmark. Zeyare beink real silver. Ich vill keep zis cutlery as ein souvenir."

Where Boris had found the fork the road split in two. One way carried on long the riverbank the other went through a lovely forest. After a quick discussion they decided to try the forest path. The forest was shady and cool and full of lovely scents. When it came to lunch time they found lots of juicy berries and even some apples. They carried on through the forest all afternoon and just as dusk came creeping in  they came across a cabin. Outside the cabin there was a pale ginger and white guinea pig busily tending to his garden. He looked up and smiled so they went over to say hello.
"Hi I’m Billy and these are my friends Boris and Badger."
"Hi my name is Percy I live here and grow special parsley. Would you like to try some?"
 "Does a guinea pig poo in it's cage?"  Said Billy. Well, it was a silly question.

Percy invited them into his cabin and gave them all a fresh morsel of parsley. They all agreed it was the loveliest parsley they had tried. Percy looked embarrassed and thanked them. He showed them all the things he made from it. There was parsley wine, parsley biscuits, parsley soup and pickled parsley. Boris particularly like the pickled parsley. Percy invited them to stay the night and they accepted. That evening Billy asked Percy a question.
"Why don’t you bring your parsley products down to the main meadow? There’s a little market there most days."
‘I’d be too shy anyway how would I get down there? It’s too far to travel in a day and this is the best place to grow parsley.’
Billy thought for a while and had an idea.
"Do you know where the river is wide?"
"Yes it’s about an hour’s walk from here if you use the shortcut."
"There’s a piggy who sails up and down the river on her barge. That’s where she turns around. I’m sure she would deliver your products to the main meadow and someone could run a stall for you."
"That’s a brilliant idea! Thank you Billy but I’m still shy about talking to her."
"Don’t worry about that she has a computer on her boat. I’ll email her and tell her to meet you there tomorrow lunch time and trust me you don’t need to worry about being quiet with her. She'll talk enough for both of you."

With a smile Billy wrote quick email to Captain and settled down for the night. The next morning Billy, Boris and Badger woke up to the most delicious smell. When Percy saw they were awake he served them warm parsley biscuits and hot fruit tea. They ate every bit and thanked Percy profusely. After breakfast they set off again, Boris with a jar of Percy’s extra special pickled parsley in his bag, they came to the end of the forest and found themselves back beside the river. Towards lunch time they heard a strange noise.  It sounded a little like their humans' shower from back when they were earthbound, only without the dreadful singing. They wandered on and all of a sudden they all stopped and stared. In front of them was a large waterfall in the most beautiful glade they had ever seen. The grass was a lush deep emerald, the flowers seemed to glow with colour, the trees were all shades of green, the fruit looked so juicy it would burst and in the middle was a deep blue pool that the waterfall tumbled noisily into.

For several minutes they just stood and stared overcome with wonder. As they stood there the sun came through the trees and the mist from the waterfall shimmered in all the colours of the rainbow. Billy, Boris and Badger had a delicious lunch in the glade. Boris sketched the scene  and Billy wrote a description on his laptop. No matter how hard they tried they couldn’t quite capture the wonder of being there. After a few hours they discussed it and decided nothing could quite match this as a destination for an adventure. It was time to return to the meadow and all their friends. They were just about to begin walking home when they heard a familiar chugging. Looking down the river they saw The Carrot Cruiser coming. Soon it pulled up next to them in the deep pool. Captain grinned at them from the helm and next to her was Percy.
"Hi! Look we came to see if you want a ride back down the river. Percy told me there would be room for me to turn around up here and you probably wouldn’t go any further not that you can unless you want to do some rock climbing but I doubt that. Wow this place is so lovely I’m speechless." All four of the boys burst out laughing and Captain looked around confusedly. 

Billy, Boris and Badger scrambled onto the boat after captain had turned around. Billy stood at the back of the boat watching the glade recede into the distance. Percy came and stood beside him.
"Beautiful isn’t it? I often go there when I want to think."
"I can see why. I hope you don’t mind Captain. She’s a bit chatty. Said Billy"
"Not at all. I’ve only known her a day but I already think she’s wonderful."
Billy looked at Percy who was blushing under his fur and smiled. He knew that look. It was the one he knew he had himself when he had met his girlfriends. He looked at Captain happily steering her boat and bobbing about to a tune only she could hear. He looked back to Percy
"Go for it." Said Billy.
"For what? I don’t know what you mean." Percy looked puzzled.
"Yes you do. You’re a boar and she’s a sow its natural."
"But she might turn me down."
‘I don’t think she will. Just try’
Soon they were as far down the river as Captain could take them. As they disembarked Billy nodded to Percy and inclined his head to Captain who was waving madly again. Percy smiled nervously got back on the boat and went over to Captain. Billy turned around after a few minutes and looked down the river. In the distance he could see a canal boat chugging along and at the controls two pigs snuggling together. Billy smiled to himself and caught up with Boris and Badger. 

After a few hours they began to recognise familiar landmarks. Soon after that they arrived back at the main meadow where Puppy and all their friends were waiting with a surprise. Captain had been down to the meadow and told them everything so they had organised a welcome home party. Billy, Boris and Badger were surprised and happy to be home amongst their friends. The party went on long into the night with lots of snacks, basil beer and girlfriends. Boris was even able to make use of his knife, fork and spoon. A few months after his adventure Billy was working on his new project, a book about his adventure, when his laptop pinged. It was an email from Captain. He’d had several from her recently but this one seemed different. Opening it a picture caught his eye. Reading it quickly he printed it out, the engineer pigs had been very busy making techy things, and rushed into the meadow. When he had found all his friends he announced with a big smile on his face.
"Captain and Percy are getting married! We are all invited it’s going to be at the waterfall glade in a few weeks’ time."
Everyone cheered and busily went to work getting suitable gifts for the happy couple. The day of the wedding was clear and sunny and everyone agreed that Captain looked beautiful with white flowers braided into her fur. 

After the wedding Percy got Billy alone and thanked him for all he had done. Billy laughed and assured Percy it would have happened sooner or later. That night they had another amazing party and Billy felt his adventure had been very satisfactory indeed.



    My nip beer almost came out my nose from laughin' so hard when Billy picked up that fork.


  2. Great work Billy. Cheers and that is a wonderful story Katy Page. Nice to hear about Billy's and friends adventure on the rainbow bridge.
    Alaisha & Homes & Stevie