Mud, Muck and Myer [Merryvale Adventures Book 3]
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by Steven Fisher
Category: Children's Fiction/Fantasy
Description: Lorelei and Sarah return to Merryvale at the request of Merryvale (Merryvale is both a place and a person) to participate in the Extremely Steeplechase. Join them, Godolphin the magical horse, Mr. Quag Myer the mud-maker and Bark, the dog in the newest adventure in Merrvyale!
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2001 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: October 2004
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [34 KB]
Reading time: 19-26 min.
"In this third adventure in the Merryvale Series, Lorlei and Sarah are about to take a slide of their lives. No, not the usual slide, but a mud slide? one down a very, very large mountain. Add being on top of their horses and they certainly were in for the ride of their lives.
As always with all the stories of Merryvale, we are taken into a world of imagination that can only be called " not the norm." The characters, our two young ladies, Merryvale (the person, not the place) and the delightful horses that absolutely love themselves, add such vinegar and spice to every story. In this one we meet a man -- or is he a man? -- who has turned himself into a stick and stays in the mud since everyone always told him he was an old stick in the mud anyway. And we meet Bark, the dog. New characters that fit so well in this up-side-down place called Merryvale and the tale at hand. In this story the girls learn how to overcome fear and have yet another victory in the land of Merryvale. Always a fun read and very enjoyable."
--Shirley Johnson, MidWest Book Reviewer
Sarah and I stood ankle deep in funky mud in the middle of a corral in the middle of Merryvale which, confusingly enough, is both a land and a person.
Sarah held the reins of Lady, a dappled gray pony who's a full head higher than Noodels, my favorite mount with the misspelled name. He's a Palamino Shetland-cross pony. And that's exactly what he was at the moment.
Cross. Very cross.
He was cranky because he was wearing large, black, floppy galoshes. So was Lady, and she wasn't any happier about it than he was because, well, there's nothing sillier looking than a horse in overshoes.
They both knew they looked ridiculous, and it didn't help any that Godolphin stood outside the corral, snickering at the sight.
Godolphin's a giant, sleek, jet-black Morethanthoroughlybred who claims to be older than the world and younger than the universe. He has red eyes, dark wings and breathes fire.
He's the only one of his kind, and thank goodness for that.
If he was any more arrogant, he'd burn a hole through the space-time continuum. In fact, I suspect his arrogance is how he's able to travel faster than the speed of light. One part of the universe allows him to break the laws of physics just so another part will have to put up with him for a while.
At the moment, he was standing outside the corral, snickering better than anybody had a right to snicker.
Well, standing isn't exactly the right word. He was floating about two inches off the ground without even using his wings. He has a maddening habit of doing things like that. Unlike our boots and the galoshes, his hooves were completely free of mud. It made me as cross as Noodels.
Truth to tell, I was nervous. So was Sarah. It was our first visit back to Merryvale since our last adventure, the one with Quashnik. We were afraid he might have gotten loose in Merryvale again.
An amoral man, Quashnik had very nearly destroyed Merryvale and enslaved every one's minds into the bargain. We'd only escaped because I'd whacked Godolphin and Noodels over the head with a board to break his hold on their thoughts. It was a drastic but effective solution. Noodels was still complaining that he had lumps between his ears.
"I don't see why we have ride in all this mud," I complained just so I could forget my anxiety about Quashnik for a while. "We can't even get our feet out of it to get up on the horses. And Lady and Noodels are wearing galoshes. Who's ever heard of horses wearing overshoes? Besides, there's no mud anywhere else around here."
It was true. Above us, the sun shone brightly in a plaid sky. Around the edges of the pasture, the branches of Scotch pines danced a Highland fling. In those branches, a choir of at least a hundred catbirds wearing kilts sang Scottish love songs.
When Sarah and I had arrived, the land surrounding the stable and the corral had been flat prairie with Oglala teepees and buffalo dotting the landscape. Now, it was all mist, moors, and mountains. One mountain, in particular, loomed large, its shadow reaching nearly to the corral. It had a steep north face that looked particularly ugly.
"Merryvale's in a really strange mood today which, considering her moods, is really saying something," I grumbled again to Sarah. She's my best friend with blonde hair and blue eyes. Usually. Today, the eyes were green and so was the hair.
"You look funny," I said.
"You too, Lorelei. Since when did your brown hair become blue and your brown eyes red?"
"I suppose ever since we got here," I answered. My Dad had dropped us off from his battered old Ford Fairmont which was the only car Merryvale ever allowed into her realm because she took extreme pity on its battered condition. A ?hardship case? she called it.
A slurping noise drew our attention down to our feet. The mud was sucking at our feet as if it were trying to swallow us. It was scary and disgusting, all at the same time, and it made me lose my temper.
"Do we really have to put up with this, Merryvale?" I shouted. "We came here for a lesson today. You promised us something different and exciting. Mud is different but it's not very exciting."
"If you're going to have a mud slide, you need mud," a crystalline voice answered me, coming out of the plaid sky. A second later, Merryvale popped into view directly in front of us. Like Godolphin, she floated mud-free a couple of inches off the ground.
As usual, she was dressed in a rider's black coat, tan breeches, with a white stock about the throat, and long, gleaming-black boots. A tall, thin woman who always carries a riding crop, she looks like a Cosmo model wishes she could look.
Merryvale also has eyes of warm frost, coal-black eyebrows, and a straight and fine nose with a slight upturn at the tip. But it's her hair that's really unusual It looks like molten ice, it glitters when she moves her head, and--most maddening of all--it always keeps its shape. She never has to fix it!
Sarah checked our surroundings nervously and asked, "Mud slides? Why do we need a mud slide? Aren't they dangerous? They bury buildings."
"And people too," I added, annoyed as usual at Merryvale's ability to pop in and out of anywhere at anytime and not muss a single hair on her head.
"Not that kind of mud slide," Merryvale corrected us. "A slide made of mud, that's what I'm talking about."
"Where?" Sarah and I asked at the same time.
"Just a moment," Merryvale said and pulled something that looked like a fancy ruler from a pocket. While she fiddled with it, I asked "What's that?"
"It's a mud slide rule," she answered. "Before computers came along, people used slide rules to calculate numbers."
"But not mud slides?" Sarah asked.
"Of course not, silly. This is a special slide rule. Like Godolphin, it's one of a kind."
"Not as stuck-up, I hope," I whispered to Sarah who giggled until Merryvale fixed us with an exasperated stare and asked "How can I get anything done with you two snickering between yourselves?"
"Sorry," we said.
"I should think so. Now, there. I've fixed it so you can take a look at it."
Merryvale held the slide rule at eye level for us to see.
"It doesn't have any numbers on it," I said. "You can't calculate anything with that."
"I told you it's one of a kind, didn't I?" Merryvale replied.
"It's just got words on it," Sarah said. "It says?oh."
Sarah groaned. She's always had better eyes than me so I had to squint to make out what was printed on the slide.
"?Mud?Mud Pi??oh, that's a terrible joke!"
"It's not a joke," Merryvale corrected. "It's a formula for making mud. Now, all we need is my Mud Maker. Where is he, by the way?"
"There's nobody else here but us and the horses," I pointed out.
She ignored me while she searched the corral, then exclaimed "Oh, there you are."
"I don't see anything," Sarah said.
"Me, neither," I added.
"Over there," Merryvale said.
We looked in the direction of her pointing finger.
"That stick, is that what you're talking about?" I asked. It was cottonwood twig. It was in the rough shape of a T with two branches stuck out parallel to the ground.
"Yes, of course. People often said Mr. Myer is a stick in the mud so he decided to become one."
"Yes, Mr. Q. Myer. "Quag?, we call him. He's my Mud Maker. The best Mud Pi maker in the business. His rates are reasonable too. He works on a sliding scale. He is a little like Godolphin, though.