In the Junkyard, Sergeant, the steadfast Junkyard Watchdog, insists on two simple rules: take care of each other, and stay out of sight of the Junkyard Warden. Well, like with any diverse community, "taking care" requires generosity, openness, attention, and creativity. But for the dog, cat, possum, skunk, rat, mice, rabbit, chipmunk, mole, family of raccoons and beaver brigade, that is how it is when you are "all together". Join the Junkyard crew for adventures, challenges, and laughter, as they explore what it means to be a friend, a neighbor, and a community.
ABOUT THE STORIES
This is a collection of 13 spring stories, for the 13 weeks of spring.
When Ben and his Junkyard friends have a conversation about 'hopes and dreams', everyone shares something they'd love to have one day. After hearing some unique and exciting dreams, Zippy offers his. And after all the animals move through their surprise, they resolve to grant him his dream.
The Lucky Statue
The mice stumble upon a little golden statue that seems to be magic! When Spiro identifies it as a bowling trophy, they are initially disappointed - but then Spiro experiences the magic first hand...
Ben loses a special statue that was important to all of the Junkyard animals, and he fails to apologize. Instead, he is determined to replace it. This proves more challenging than he anticipated, but it luckily leads him to understand the true meaning of taking responsibility.
Mud Boat Races
It's raining in the Junkyard again. It has been raining for days. It is not only muddy, but now there are streams flowing everywhere, all along the paths. Most of the animals are stuck in their houses, but a few brave mice have a fun idea: mud boat races! It's not long before all the Junkyard friends join in.
When a shy little mouse named Newberry mistakes a discarded stuffed animal for a fierce badger looking for a tussle, he whips all the Junkyard animals into a tizzy. The alert goes out, and small groups form to meet the ferocious invader. Everyone converges on the site at the same time - ready for anything - and guess what happens next?
Ben is out of sorts. He doesn't feel quite at home in the Junkyard and longs to have some quality time with his friends in town. But when his visit doesn't go as planned, Ben realizes what " home" truly means to him.
Slow, Steady, and Invisible
Terrance and Thaddeus are two snapping turtles who winter in the mud next to the Junkyard pond. When they finally emerge and start their trek to Beaver Lake, the animals realize that their route takes them right past the Junkyard Workers!
It's moving time for the mice again! The mulch pile that they call home is scheduled for removal. Most of the mice know the drill. However, three young mice have never moved before, and they are overwhelmed by the process. Just the sight of the Junkyard excavator sends them into hiding, deep in a hay bale! It takes both Ben and Sally and a little something special to coax them out again.
The Junkyard Way
The Junkyard mice have a challenge: a bluejay stranger keeps taking the little Junkyard treasures they have found. The animals decide to enlist the support of the "Beaver Brigade," but soon realize that there might be a better way. . .
Ricky Rabbit, one of Lil Mamma's grandkits, likes to call himself "Risky" because he is always looking for adventure. He complains that his family doesn't understand him, but is surprised to find out that he is not the only adventurous rabbit he knows...
The Sleepless Cat
Ben Thompson, clever cat, can't fall asleep. When he enlists the help of Rebecca Rowland, the mother of the raccoon family, he learns some helpful relaxation techniques, but he still can't stop worrying and thinking. It takes the unexpected appearance of a sleepwalking friend to help him use his imagination to fall asleep, rather than to keep him awake.
When Dreamy, Starlight and a number of other young mice learn that they are now old enough to go to Mr. Arnold's Bug Farm, most of them are very excited. Dreamy, however, is nervous and doesn't want to go. It takes the wise words of Georgia Bean and the happy smile of Mr. Arnold for her to realize that she can not only do this, but she will have a wonderful time!
Big and Small Alike
The mice really want to see Mitzie Niegel, the mysterious mouse who lives on the Far Side — but they are not allowed to enter the gates. While Spiro thinks that they should be allowed to enter, Ben and Lil Mamma don't think it is safe. This sparks an important debate with the Junkyard animals — should everyone have the same rights and privileges, both big and small?