“Now I need something to put in my basket,” he decided. “Let’s see what’s available.” And he began scouting around. He found a couple of nice round kernels of corn and a few grains of wheat. He carried them to the bale and then hurried outside to see what he could find.
Close by he found some sweet clover blossoms. “Randy doesn’t like clover, so just one will do,” he said busily. Then, he happened to think of the grape vine. “Ummm, wouldn’t that be good! I saw some ripe ones there yesterday!” And off he went to check it out.
The grapes were ripe and plump and there was a bunch hanging near enough to the ground for him to reach. They were so big and round he could only hold one at a time. “Oh, bother!’ thought Freddy. “It’s too far to make two trips with these.”
He sat down on a rock and thought about it. “I know!” He popped the smallest one in his mouth and pushed it over into a cheek pouch. Then, he picked up the other and headed for the barn. He put the grapes with the other goodies and looked over what he’d found. “That looks like a nice picnic! Just wait ‘til Randy sees…” and before he could finish the thought, in flew his friend.
“Well, well! Look at all that stuff! How we gonna carry it?’ Randy said as he settled on the bale.
“See this thumb I chewed off a glove? It makes a dandy basket. I even found a piece of wire for the handle, but you have to bend it. OK?”
“Sure,” said Randy. He picked up the wire with his beak, stuck it in a nail hole and pried upward until it was shaped like a U. Then he bent it a couple more times so it had a hook on each end. They worked it through the glove material. “Why, that’s as good as anybody’s picnic basket.” crowed Randy. “You’re some smart mouse!”
Randy held the new handle in his beak while Freddy put in the corn, the pile of wheat, the sweet clover and the grapes. Then Freddy climbed on Randy’s back and off they flew, the basket hanging from the big bird’s claws.
Over the house, the pasture and the creek they flew, over the roads and all the way into town where they lit on the big tree in the center of the park. There were no animals or carnival rides this day. Just people walking around and playing games and, sure enough, having picnics! There were all kinds of blankets and tablecloths spread on the grass and people were eating their evening meal.
“Hey, there’s Pete and his family! They came to our fireworks, too!” Freddy pointed to a spot on the far side of the grounds.
“Now, I’ll get my part of the picnic,” said Randy. He flew down and looked over the parking lot. A bright red scrap caught his eye and he swooped down to pick up a red bandanna someone had dropped.
He brought it back to the broad limb where Freddy was waiting. “Spread this out for a tablecloth and I’ll keep an eye out for dessert.” The two friends arranged the contents of their picnic basket on the cloth and fell to. Randy liked the corn and wheat, and he especially enjoyed the grapes. “You sure packed a great picnic lunch, Freddy!” said his friend. “Maybe I can find a candy apple after it gets dark.”