Back to School Buddies - Part Two
Strong late-summer rays warmed the air as the kids were all leaving the school grounds of Parkland Elementary. Soft wisps of steam rose from puddles on the asphalt playground, the clouds drifting further away from the town of Wedgewood. A slightly chubby five-year old raccoon boy with white ears and muzzle and thick brown headfur wearing a blue t-shirt and orange swimming shorts with white and blue flames sat astride a little red BMX-style bike, propped up on two black plastic training wheels. Next to him a white bunny with brown-tipped ears and fiery red hair wearing a green shirt and brown shorts stood next to his little yellow bike. Behind them a nine-year old red fox wearing a pair of blue sweatpants with red and white accents and a red long sleeve shirt with white and dark blue accents slung his red, white and blue backpack over his shoulder as he paced with his big blue mountain bike.
"Ready to go, Timothy?" asked the fox in a soft voice to the raccoon.
"Uh-huh. At least we don't have to worry about school again until Monday." answered the raccoon in a squeaky voice. "Come on Robby!"
The little bunny boy mounted his yellow bike and turned the pedals, joining the fox and raccoon as they both set off from the school playground towards the gates, and onto the sidewalk of the road that led down to the woods.
"Maybe the path won't be very muddy..." Timothy hoped aloud as he pedaled his bike alongside Robby, both of them with their training wheels scraping noisily along the sidewalk. "You'll give us a push if we get stuck, right Friendly?"
"Of course." answered the fox, as he mounted his own big blue bike and slowly rode along behind the first-graders, his bike in the lowest gear to keep pace with them.
As the asphalt road ended in a cul-de-sac, a paved trail began. This was the beginning of the path through the woods that was Friendly and Timothy's normal route home from school. A dull clunk could just be heard over the scraping sound of Timothy's and Robby's training wheels as Friendly shifted his bike into a higher gear. The pavement ended just before the woods.
No sooner had the boys started on the path through the woods was when their troubles began though. Timothy and Robby pumped their pedals, but their training wheels dug into the soft muddy ground and their back wheels kept slipping. Moments later, both of them had stalled with their back wheels spinning round and round, slipping in the mud.
"Friendly, help!" cried Timothy, still pumping his pedals and sending muddy droplets all over his Lightning McQueen backpack as the back wheel of his bike couldn't get any traction.
"What's happening? Why are we stuck?!" squeaked Robby as his backpack was showered in muddy droplets too.
Friendly had anticipated this and dismounted his bike, chuckling softly as he watched Timothy and Robby pumping their pedals, but just sitting propped up on their training wheels as their back wheels spun, and spun, and spun.
"Looks like you need a push." Friendly answered, with a slight chuckle as he was momentarily fascinated by the back wheels of the first-graders' bikes spinning helplessly.
Some older cubs around Friendly's age stopped too.
"Heehee! First grade babies! First grade babies!" jeered a wolf.
A skunk laughed too as he watched Robby struggling with his bike, pointing to the first grader's little carrot-themed backpack. "What'cha doin' bun bun? Plantin' veggies?"
Friendly frowned at the older cubs and pointed down the trail.
"Go on. Leave them alone." growled Friendly as he prepared to help his little friends.
"It's not fair!" cried Robby as he watched the older kids riding their bikes through the mud with ease, pouting noticeably as he stopped pumping his pedals.
Friendly noticed the bunny's flustering and gently reassured him, smiling sympathetically and resting his paw on the bunny's shoulder.
"Don't worry buddy. I'll soon get you moving again."
Friendly pushed on the seat of Robby's shorts, freeing the little yellow bike's back wheel and training wheels from the mud with a sucking noise and Robby promptly set off again - only to get stuck again a few feet away.
"This path is too muddy!" cried Robby, as he pumped his pedals and just made the back wheel of his bike spin helplessly.
Timothy didn't fare any better once Friendly had helped him get his bike free of the mud either. Mere feet from where he had been stuck, his bike's back wheel spun out and he ground to a halt again.
Friendly squelched through the muck behind Robby and couldn't help but notice the outline of a thick diaper through the bunny's brown shorts as he pumped his pedals fruitlessly. The fox smiled and took off his backpack, reaching inside it he pulled out a couple of bungy cords.
"Yeah. That rain made this path really, really muddy. Nothing for it I guess, I'm gonna have to tow you guys along the path."
"T...tow?" squeaked Robby.
"Yeah, it should be fun. I've towed Timothy before, but I've yet to tow two bikes at once."
Robby looked a little unsure, but as he pumped his pedals again only to go nowhere fast he sighed. "Okay..."
Friendly attached a bungy cord between the rear seatpost of his big blue bike and the front post of Timothy's little red bike. He then helped Robby into position behind Timothy, attaching the other bungy cord to the seatpost of Timothy's bike, and the front post of Robby's little yellow bike. After this he mounted his big blue bike and set it into the lowest gear.
"Ready Friendly!" squeaked Timothy, slowly turning his pedals to try and help.
"Ready!" Robby answered, doing the same but pumping his pedals as hard as he could.
Friendly gently set off. As the first bungy cord went taught, Timothy's bike came free of the mud. Momentarily the second cord went taught and Robby's bike came free too.
"Yay Friendly!" cheered Timothy and Robby.
It was hard going, the path was really muddy and Friendly's bike had to cope with towing his two little friends along, he tried really hard not to make his bike spin out lest he lose his balance. Timothy and Robby tried to help by pedaling, but the back wheels of their bikes just kept spinning as they couldn't get any traction in the mud, their training wheels taking too much load off their tires to really be of much help to the fox at the front of the bicycle train.
Ten minutes later, the trio emerged from the canopy of the thick woods and Friendly pulled off the path to remove the bungy cords from between his and the first graders' bikes.
"Friendly wouldn't leave us struggling. He always helps me out." Timothy said to Robby.
"That was a really muddy path... I don't wanna ride my bike along there again." Robby muttered.
Timothy set off along the sidewalk, his training wheels scraping along noisily. Robby tried to follow, but the back wheel of his bike just spun round and round as he pumped his pedals as the bike was still on the edge of the muddy dirt trail. Friendly chuckled and propped his own bike up against a bench, pacing over to Robby with his eyes on the seat of the bunny's shorts, the outline of his thick diaper visibly moving as Robby was pedaling and pedaling fruitlessly.
"Awww. I gotcha, buddy boy." Friendly said softly as he put both paws on the seat of Robby's brown shorts and gently pushed him and his bike onto the sidewalk.
"Thanks." Robby answered, blushing noticeably as the fox pushed on the seat of his shorts.
Friendly mounted his bike and followed closely behind Timothy and Robby, as the pair of first graders rode side-by-side.
"Vroomvroom! I'mma beat you Lightning McQueen!" giggled Robby as he pedaled faster, briefly overtaking Timothy as the raccoon looked on at his friend and giggled back at him.
"No way! I am speed! I am Lightning McQueen!" Timothy retorted, giggling too.
Friendly chuckled as he kept pace a short distance behind his younger friends, watching as the character portrait of Lightning McQueen on Timothy's backpack jiggled up and down as the raccoon was pumping the pedals on his bike.
Soon, they arrived outside Timothy's house. Both first graders' had promptly forgotten all about the race they'd started, both of them just glad that the ride from school was finally over.
"Is this your house?" Robby asked, still sitting propped up on his training wheels.
Timothy dismounted his bike, followed closely behind by Friendly. The raccoon trundled his bike up the nearly-flat driveway to the garage door and Robby followed suit, with Friendly dismounting his bike and walking it along to where Robby and Timothy waited.
"Did you have a good day at school, Timothy?" asked his Mom as she stood up, letting go of the green watering can she had been watering the flowers with.
"Uh-huh! I made a new friend at school! This is Robby."
Robby smiled bashfully, his ears dropping slightly as Timothy's mom smiled warmly at him.
"Hello Robby. Would you like to park your bike in the garage with Timothy?"
Robby nodded and pushed his bike inside as Timothy did the same. Friendly propped his bike up against Timothy's as they all went inside.
"Glad to see you boys got home safely." said Timothy's Mom. "Oh... What happened with your backpacks?" she inquired, noticing the dried mud on the back of them.
"The trail through the woods was a muddy mess. I had to tow them along it because their bikes were having such a hard time." Friendly answered.
"Oh... Nevermind. It doesn't look too bad, I'm sure that can be brushed off."
The boys went up to Timothy's room, and promptly began to play with some toy cars.
A few minutes later though, Robby twitched his nose and stood up suddenly.
"I gotta phone my Mommy!" squeaked Robby, the bulkiness of his thick diaper lending him a significant waddle as he quickly left the room.
Friendly and Timothy played with the toy cars for a few moments longer, but then Friendly had to go use the bathroom. Timothy stood up and made his way downstairs, listening to Robby talking on the phone.
"Can I have a sleepover? Friendly and Timothy are real nice and I'd really really love to!"
Robby said into the reciever.
Timothy was a few feet behind Robby, he tugged at the waistband of his untied shorts as he kept listening.
"Thank you! Thank you so much, Mommy!" Robby squeaked excitedly.
Just as Robby turned around to hang up the reciever, the raccoon's orange shorts fell to his feet - fully revealing his red pull-ups. Timothy squeaked and tried to pull them up, but Robby burst into a fit of giggles. Timothy blushed, standing rooted to the spot until Robby stopped giggling and looked a little apologetic.
"S..sorry Timothy. I guess that was kinda embarrassing. Have your shorts been untied this whole time?"
Timothy nodded, swallowing before speaking again.
"I... I can't tie laces. Not even the ones on my shorts."
"Aww, that's okay! I'm not very good at it yet either."
Just then, Friendly came up behind Timothy and smiled sympathetically at him.
"Need me to tie your laces, little buddy?"
"I... um..." stammered Timothy
Friendly pulled Timothy's shorts up, standing behind the chubby little raccoon he reached around Timothy's waist, tying the blue laces snugly so the elastic waistband tightened.
"Hey, we forgot all about our race on our bikes!" squeaked Robby, "Friendly? Do you remember who won?"
"I think it was a tie" answered Friendly.
"We'll have to break that tie later, Timothy!" suggested Robby, with a cheeky grin.
As Timothy's Mom was preparing dinner for the boys, they went into the living room to watch some after-school cartoons.
"Are you okay with mashed potatoes and veggies, Robby?" asked Timothy's Mom.
Robby nodded exhilaratedly and licked his lips. "That sounds yummy!"
"Is Daddy coming home tonight?" asked Timothy.
"Sorry sweetie. He's working late tonight. You'll be asleep when he gets home."
Timothy looked disappointed by this news. Friendly put his arm around Timothy in a loose cuddle and smiled warmly.
Just then the doorbell rang. Timothy's Mom went to answer it. Friendly nuzzled Timothy affectionately before standing up and listening to the conversation at the front door.
"Hi there. I'm Robby's Mom."
"Oh! Nice to meet you."
"I've brought Robby's favourite plush. Make sure he doesn't lose it, he's really attached to this."
"Of course. Thank you."
"...and here are some spare diapers for him. He's a heavy wetter, so make sure he has a dry one on before he goes to sleep."
"My Timothy has the same problem. Don't worry, he's in good hands with me."
"I've got to go. I've left Robby's older brothers in the car and they'll be roughhousing if I don't keep an eye on them. If there's any problems, call me."
As Timothy's Mom closed the door, she saw Friendly eavesdropping and chuckled softly. "That was Robby's Mom. Can you take these up to Timothy's bedroom when you guys head up?" She said, discreetly pointing out a small pack of thick white diapers left by the front door.
"Of course, no problem." answered Friendly.
"...I think Robby will appreciate this." continued Timothy's Mom, handing Friendly a giant carrot stuffie that was almost as big as he was.
"Goodness me!" exclaimed Friendly, as he took hold of the giant plush and carried it into the living room. He couldn't quite see where he was going though and bumped into the coffee table, dropping the carrot plush onto the floor.
"My stuffie!" cried Robby, jumping to his feet and leaping on top of it, hugging it tightly and closing his eyes.
"Sorry Robby. I meant to give it to you gently but... it's really big. Even for me!" commented Friendly as he sat down next to the little white bunny.
Robby looked a little unsure but a few seconds later he smiled back at Friendly. "I... I really love this plush. I've had it for as long as I can remember."
A few hours later, the boys had all eaten their supper and as it started to get dark outside, they were told to get ready for bed. Robby held onto his carrot plush on the floor by the TV and didn't want to move.
"Just one more cartoon? Please?" Robby yawned, looking up at Timothy's Mom with pleading eyes.
"It's Timothy's bedtime sweetie. You should be going to bed too."
Robby groaned, but rose to his feet and picked up his giant carrot stuffie.
"Okay." he sighed.
Friendly turned off the TV and Timothy led the way upstairs. Robby tried to follow, but his giant carrot plush kept getting in the way of his feet as he tried to climb up the stairs and it was slow-going. Friendly patiently followed behind, watching sympathetically as Robby struggled to climb the stairs.
"I can carry your stuffie for you, if you'd like." suggested Friendly, wanting to help his little friend.
"No!" Robby squeaked, but then he looked back at Friendly and apologised. "Sorry, I... I know you just want to help. Okay..."
Friendly took hold of the stuffie and carried it up the stairs as Robby clambered up in front of him.
"Almost there... Almost there..." Friendly muttered.
Robby looked back as he reached the top of the stairs and stood next to Timothy, watching as his carrot plush appeared at the top of the stairs.
"We made it!" sighed Friendly, breathing heavily as he handed it back to Robby, who smiled happily at him.
"Thank you for looking after Mr. Carrot for me!"
"Ooof... My pleasure..." Friendly replied, chuckling as he followed Robby and Timothy into the bathroom. He helped Timothy to take off his shirt and shorts, revealing his still-dry Lightning McQueen Pull-Ups. Then he helped Robby too.
"F...Friendly... I..." struggled Robby, as his shorts were pulled to his feet. "I didn't make it to the potty..."
Friendly looked up at Robby's crestfallen face and smiled at him warmly. "Awww, it's okay Robby."
Robby gave Friendly a small smile back, blushing as his diaper squished as he waddled to the sink to brush his teeth. Friendly then remembered what Timothy's Mom had mentioned...
"Oh, right. I'll be right back." Friendly said to Timothy and Robby, heading downstairs.
Timothy's Mom came upstairs and made no fuss as she changed Robby out of his wet diaper and into a clean, dry one. The thick plastic diaper crinkled softly as she secured it around Robby's waist. She then turned to Timothy, checking his training pants.
"How about you Timothy? Do you think your Pull-Ups will keep the bed dry tonight?"
"Uh-huh!" Timothy nodded, pointing out the still-visible numbers on the front of his red training pants.
"Okay then. If you wake up wet in the middle of the night though, tell me so I can put you in a diaper, okay?"
Timothy nodded but said nothing as he picked up his shorts and shirt, and put them into the laundry hamper for his Mom to wash.
"Put your clothes in too Robby, I'll wash them with Timothy's and Friendly's. They'll be all nice and clean for you tomorrow."
Once Robby and Timothy were prepared for bed, they all went into Timothy's bedroom.
"Oh... I don't think the bed is big enough for all three of you." said Timothy's Mom.
"I don't mind sleeping on the floor." answered Friendly.
"Okay. I'll go get the sleeping bag for you, Friendly."
With that, Timothy's Mom left the room. Timothy and Robby clambered into bed, and Friendly tucked them both in under the thick, blue Lightning McQueen duvet.
"Goodnight Robby. Goodnight Timothy."
-- To Be Continued in Part 3 --