Friendly and Timothy continued watching the trains as they went all around the attic. Timothy walked around and followed one of the slow moving freight trains. He grinned and let out a little giggle as the red, silver and white Pendolino overtook it and tilted around the upcoming corner without slowing down. Friendly followed along behind him. The fox chuckled as he heard Timothy's training pants crinkling underneath his shorts. He couldn't help glancing at his raccoon friend's pull-ups. Timothy looked so cute with his training pants peeking out of his shorts, Friendly couldn't get his head around why he found it so cute though. All he knew is that he liked Timothy very much, and was prepared to do anything for him.
"Do you want to go for a bike ride soon Timothy? There's a nice trail through the woods near here where we could ride together.
"Yes please, Friendly!" squeaked Timothy excitedly.
"Okay, let's go over to the trapdoor and down the ladder. Do you want me to go down first so I can help you?"
"Uh-huh" said Timothy, smiling as he had been a little timid about going down the ladder by himself.
Friendly went down the ladder first... carefully stepping down one step at a time and looking up to make sure Timothy was okay. Timothy came down the ladder behind him, timidly putting one foot down on the next step and holding onto the rail tightly for fear that he'd slip and fall.
"It's okay Timothy, I'll catch you if you fall" said Friendly, putting his paw on Timothy's butt and gently patting the seat of his shorts. Timothy trilled contently in his raccoon way and smiled down at his friend.
"Thank you Friendly" said the chubby little raccoon.
Soon, they had reached the bottom of the ladder and they ran downstairs to fetch their bikes.
"Mom, me and Timothy are going to go for a bike ride. We'll be back in a couple of hours or so"
"Okay Friendly" said Friendly's mom. "Have fun, you two!"
Timothy ran outside and instantly got on his beloved red bike. Friendly went and got his blue bike and also got a bungy cord he could use to pull Timothy along if the path got too muddy for the raccoon's bike.
"I think we're going to have a lot of fun together, Timothy" said Friendly.
"I think so too! I love having an older brother like you. I feel so much safer now" said Timothy.
Friendly couldn't think as to why Timothy would have to feel safer - except maybe from the kids who had picked on Timothy when his bike got stuck yesterday, but he didn't give it much thought. Timothy had already rode up the sidewalk, his training wheels rattling along behind him.
"Wait for me, Timothy!" chuckled Friendly, turning the pedals on his bike and riding after his younger friend.
Soon, Timothy and Friendly reached the trail that ran through the woods towards the river. The fox and the raccoon turned off the sidewalk and rode up the trail together. Friendly rode along behind Timothy, knowing that the path was likely to be muddy and that Timothy's bike probably couldn't cope with it. As the vegetation overhead became much thicker Timothy noticed the path was getting rather muddy. Occasionally when he pedaled his back wheel lost traction for a second before he could get moving again.
"Friendly, I think I'm going to get stuck!" cried Timothy.
Just then, the raccoon's bike stopped with a lurch and his training wheels sank into a very muddy hole.
"Oh no!" he cried, pumping his pedals as hard as he could, but just sending mud flying everywhere as his back wheel spun helplessly in the sloppy mess.
"I'll help you Timothy" said Friendly, pulling the bungy cord from his backpack and wading into the mud cautiously, attaching it to the front handlebar of Timothy's bike.
Friendly then attached the back of the bungy cord to the seatpost of his bike and got back on, putting his bike in the lowest gear so it was easier for him to pedal. Timothy turned his pedals, but his back wheel just spun helplessly in the mud. The leaves overhead jiggled with laughter in the slight breeze and his back tire groaned as it struggled to get a grip in the mud.
"Ready Timothy?" asked the fox.
"Uh-huh!" replied Timothy, pumping his pedals harder to try and get out of the mud.
Friendly slowly rode forwards, pushing off with one of his feet and turning his pedals. As the bungy cord went taught, Timothy's bike began to move. His rear tire continued to groan as it struggled in the mud, and both it and his training wheels came out of the mud with a sucking noise.
"Thanks Friendly!" said Timothy, as his bike regained traction and he could ride again.
"You're welcome" replied Friendly, hanging the bungy cord over his handlebar and riding behind his training-wheeled friend.
Friendly quickly discovered that Timothy's training wheels really did make him get stuck quite often. More mud became present and even Friendly's much bigger bike sometimes slipped a little - whereas Timothy's smaller bike just got completely bogged down and couldn't get any traction.
"It's okay Timothy, I'll help you" smiled Friendly, attaching the bungy cord to Timothy's bike and pulling him free of the thick mud.
It wasn't just mud that made the ride difficult for Timothy either - uneven ground caused his training wheels to get hung up on the bumps and his rear wheel just spun unable to touch the ground. All it took was a gentle push from Friendly to get him going again, but the gravel path was a different scenario altogether. As soon as Timothy rode his bike in the deep gravel, his training wheels sunk into it and his back wheel just spun helplessly, throwing gravel stones everywhere. Friendly tried hard to push Timothy, but as soon as the raccoon's bike budged a little it got stuck again.
"I'm sorry Friendly, I can't do this!" cried Timothy, sniffling as his bike kept on struggling in the gravel.
Friendly sighed and realized that maybe the path was too difficult for his younger friend, but they couldn't just turn back now. The fox smiled at his raccoon friend and gestured for him to get off his bike and walk over to him. Timothy did so and Friendly gave his friend a hug.
"It's okay Timothy" he said comfortingly, rubbing the raccoon's back and letting his friend sob into his t-shirt.
Timothy looked up at Friendly with his wistful hazel eyes. Friendly smiled at him.
"We can probably walk the rest of the way to the river, there's no need to cry" said Friendly, patting the seat of Timothy's shorts and wagging his tail. Timothy gave Friendly a little smile.
"D'you think you can pull me along?" asked Timothy, "When I try walking my bike the pedals keep bumping into my feet"
Friendly grinned, "Okay buddy" he said, attaching the bungy cord and mounting his bike. Timothy mounted his bike too and began to pedal, but his back wheel just spun in the gravel.
"Ready!" squeaked the raccoon, pedalling harder but going nowhere.
Friendly chuckled and turned the pedals on his bike, slowly pulling Timothy's bike along the gravel path.
Soon the path became less gravelly and Timothy could ride by himself. Friendly unhooked the bungy cord from Timothy's bike and let him ride in front.
Up ahead though, there was a rather muddy hill going upwards. It looked very steep and slippery. Timothy bravely turned his pedals on his bike and charged at the hill as fast as he could. As the raccoon rode up the hill, it became much more difficult to pedal and he was slowing down really fast. Suddenly it became easier for Timothy to pedal, but his back wheel groaned as it couldn't get any traction. Soon his speed went to zero although he was still pumping his pedals; his training wheels had taken enough load off of the rear tire that it couldn't get any traction on the muddy hill and the back wheel just spun.
"Friendly! I can't get up this hill!" cried Timothy, as his bike began to slide backwards despite pumping his pedals as hard as he could.
"I've got you Timothy" said Friendly, leaving his bike standing against a tree and standing directly behind Timothy's struggling bike. He put both his paws on Timothy's butt and began to push. He grunted as he pushed Timothy up the hill, looking at the raccoon's training pants as they peeked out of his shorts. He smiled and spoke into Timothy's ear.
"It's okay buddy, your poor bike just can't cope with the mud can it?"
"No" sniffled Timothy sadly, as he pumped his pedals to try and help Friendly, but his back wheel just slipped and spun in the mud.
"It's okay, you don't need to pedal, you'll just make your back wheel slip" said Friendly, continuing to push Timothy up the hill.
Soon, the two friends had reached the top of the hill and Timothy got off his bike.
"Don't you want to keep riding?" asked Friendly
Timothy waddled over to Friendly and hugged him tightly. Friendly looked a little surprised, but he picked Timothy up and hugged him back, placing one of his paws underneath Timothy's butt to support him.
"Awww, what's wrong Timothy?"
"Nothing. I just... thank you for helping me Friendly" said Timothy, snuggling into his fox friend's fur.
"It's okay buddy" replied Friendly, patting the seat of Timothy's shorts and giving him a lick on his cheek.
Timothy began to trill contently in his raccoon way and he gave Friendly a little smile.
"Okay, let's go home" said Friendly, helping Timothy back over to his bike and giving him a little push to help him start off.
Before long, the two friends arrived back at Friendly's house. Timothy parked his bike by the garage door, and Friendly did the same - leaning it against the drainpipe.
"At least you don't have to worry about your bike falling over, Timothy" said Friendly, making sure his bike wasn't going to tip over.
"Nope" chuckled Timothy, as he went over to the front door with Friendly.
Timothy tried to open the door, but as he pulled the latch the door wouldn't budge.
"Huh?" he squeaked, trying again to open the door but failing. "Friendly! The door won't open"
Just then the raccoon saw a paper note on the side of the door-frame, fluttering slightly in the breeze. Timothy grabbed the note and tried to read it... but he wasn't very good at reading.
"What does it say Timothy?" asked Friendly.
"I.... um... I... I don't know" said Timothy, as he struggled to read the words on the note.
"Awww, you can't read?" asked Friendly
"I... I can't read very well" sniffled Timothy.
"It's okay, I'll read it" said Friendly, gently taking the note from Timothy's paw and reading it aloud:
"Dear Friendly and Timothy. Me and your dad have gone out shopping, we should be back soon. You know where the spare key is. Mom."
"We're not locked out are we?" squeaked Timothy anxiously.
"Hmmm... I wonder where that spare key is" said Friendly, in a slightly playful voice.
"Huh?" asked Timothy, when suddenly he heard the velcro-flap on his butt pocket being ripped open.
"I wonder if it's in here" giggled Friendly, putting his paw in the pocket and wiggling it around. Timothy began to giggle helplessly.
"Heeheeeheee! Friendly! Heeheeeeheeeee! That tickles! Heeheeheeheheeeeheeheeee!!!"
Friendly chuckled and closed the pocket on Timothy's shorts, patting it twice to make sure it was closed properly.
"Sorry Timothy, I couldn't resist" chuckled Friendly, reaching down under the doormat and finding the spare key underneath it.
Timothy couldn't help but giggle a little as he and Friendly walked inside.