The Odd, The Furry, and The Speckled by John Cassidy
The Rise of the Feet Varmints

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When a little girl gets trapped within a terrible storm, the mouse size creatures of Willow Creek risk paw and tail to rescue her as they are bombarded by ravenous crows, hampered by a battalion of ants, besieged by angry bees, attacked by a gruesome mole, flooded by a raging sprinkler system, and still they have yet to travel a single block. Welcome to Willow Creek, home of the rarest pups on earth; they also happen to be the most self-absorbed, neurotic, ill-mannered, chatterboxes this side of the Mississippi. But happy they are, beloved by their masters, and spoiled rotten. But when Willow comes to town, a young varmint straight out of boot camp, they are immediately put off by her toe-the-line demeanor. As tempers escalade, tragedy strikes: Willow and her young master, Misty, get stranded in Redwood City amidst a dreadful storm. To bring them home again, the pint-size varmints soar off on a dazzling adventure that is chalk full of wonder and danger. But the question remains, can these oddball creatures hold it together long enough to save the day? It is a scary world out there after all, especially when you’re the perfect size to be gobbled up.

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 “Um, hello nice bird,” Willow began. “I don’t mean to startle you from your pretty purring, but I’m lost and I’m trying to get back home. I’m in the middle of a very serious emergency so if you could help me that would be ever so nice. Do you happen to know the way to Willow Creek? I heard that some of its humans pass through here to get home.” There was no response. “Oh please Mr. Bird, I’m so cold and wet and tired. And you have to help me because there’s a human child in danger, and she’s in even worse shape than me!” So please, I’m begging you, please help me.” Willow finally saw movement from the bird. Without moving its body an inch, it slowly began to turn its head around. But unlike humans and varmints, where there is a point where their heads stop turning, it’s never did. It kept turning and turning until its head was perfectly in the center of its back. Willow screamed and dashed away as fast as she could. Willow had good reason to panic, and not just because of its horrifying head, it was because of the look in its eyes. It had been drilled into her in boot camp to pick out that particular expression in any species, and that look was ‘bloodthirstiness,’ or at the very least, varmint thirstiness. That look could get a varmint gobbled up real quick if they’re not speedy on their feet.
Published June 4, 2013 by Xlibris. 134 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction

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