Marvin’s Moss


Marvin the Moose lived in the forest. Every morning when Marvin awoke, he would run down to his favorite pond for a nice breakfast of green moss. Green moss was Marvin’s favorite food. This was a good way to begin the day, because all Marvin’s friends came to eat their breakfast with him.

Mother Beaver and all her little beavers would be finishing their breakfast of tender bark by the time Marvin came by. “Good morning, Marvin,” Mother Beaver would say. “Good morning, Mr. Moose,” all the little beavers would say.

Bennie Bear was usually picking berries on the hillside nearby. He would stand up on his hind legs and call, “Marvin, I saved some berries for you.”

Perry Pelican was a good friend. After flying high above the pond, he would tell Marvin where the best moss was growing.

Then there was his friend Oliver Otter. He was always playing tricks when Marvin was trying to eat his breakfast. Oliver would swim right up and splash water all over Marvin’s face. “Wake up,” Oliver would laugh.

One morning as Marvin hurried down to his favorite eating place, he was surprised to see that none of his friends were around. But he shrugged his big shoulders and put his nose into the water for some moss. “Oh, no!” he cried. “There’s no moss!” It was true—there was no moss in the pond for Marvin.

Soon Oliver Otter came scurrying through the marsh. Marvin asked him if he knew what had happened to the moss. “I can’t talk now, Marvin, I have to hurry over to Mother Beaver’s house,” answered Oliver, and away he ran.

Was that some moss hanging out of Oliver’s pocket? Marvin wondered.

Just then Perry Pelican flew over Marvin’s head. Marvin couldn’t believe his eyes. Perry Pelican’s pouch seemed stuffed with Marvin’s moss.

Before Marvin could call out to Perry, Bennie Bear bumped into Marvin. Marvin noticed that Bennie’s arms were loaded with fresh moss.

“Aha!” Marvin exclaimed. “What are you doing with my moss?” Bennie Bear was so surprised that he hugged the moss tighter and ran off as fast as he could go.

Marvin was confused. “I’m tired of everyone ignoring me and then running off with my moss,” he grumbled. “I’m going to follow Bennie Bear and see what’s going on.”

Soon Bennie Bear ran into Mother Beaver’s house and slammed the door behind him. As Marvin came near the house, he could smell fresh moss cakes baking. And Marvin just loved fresh moss cakes! He knocked on the door. When it opened, he saw all his forest friends sitting around the breakfast table. As Marvin stepped into the room, they began to sing, “Happy birthday to you.”

Marvin had completely forgotten that it was his birthday. But Mother Beaver and his other friends had remembered. They had gathered the fresh moss, and Mother Beaver had baked fresh moss cakes as a birthday surprise for their friend Marvin!

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Harston