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Ralph the mouse craves excitement, but it seldom comes along to his mousehole in the sleepy Mountain View Inn. That all changes when a boy named Keith comes to the inn with his family. Ralph soon sees Keith playing with a toy motorcycle that's the perfect size for a mouse!
When Ralph sneaks out to try the motorcycle, his mother is sure he'll come to no good. Instead, it's just the beginning--for Ralph's motorcycling adventures and, even better, for an unexpected friendship.
Beverly Cleary's humorous fantasy adventure has delighted millions of fans worldwide. This engaging classic roars to life with brand-new illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers, and one of the most appealing characters you'll ever meet!
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Keith, the boy in the rumpled shorts and shirt, did not know he was being watched as he entered room 215 of the Mountain View Inn. Neither did his mother and father, who both looked hot and tired. They had come from Ohio and for five days had driven across plains and deserts and over mountains to the old hotel in the California foothills twenty-five miles from Highway 40.
The fourth person entering room 215 may have known he was being watched, but he did not care. He was Matt, sixty if he was a day, who at the moment was the bellboy. Matt also replaced wornout light bulbs, renewed washers in leaky faucets, carried trays for people who telephoned room service to order food sent to their rooms, and sometimes prevented children from hitting one another with croquet mallets on the lawn behind the hotel.
Now Matt's right shoulder sagged with the weight of one of the bags he was carrying. "Here you are, Mr. Gridley. Rooms 215 and 216," he said, setting the smaller of the bags on a luggage rack at the foot of the double bed before be opened a door into the next room. I expect you and Mrs. Gridley will want room 216. It is a comer room with twin beds and a private bath." He carried the heavy bag into the next room where he could be heard opening windows. Outside a chipmunk chattered in a pine tree and a chickadee whistled fee-bee-bee.
The boy's mother looked critically around room 215 and whispered, I think we should drive back to the main highway. There must be a motel with a Vacancy sign someplace. We didn't look long enough. "
"Not another mile" answered the father. "I'm not driving another mile on a California highway on a holiday weekend. Did you see the way that truck almost forced us off the road?"
"Dad, did you see those two fellows on motorcycles-" began the boy and stopped, realizing he should not interrupt an argument.
"But this place is so old," protested the boys mother. "And we have only three weeks for our whole trip. We had planned to spend the Fourth of July weekend in San Francisco and we wanted to show Keith as much of the United States as we could."
San Francisco will have to wait and this is part of the United States. Besides, this used to be a very fashionable hotel," said Mr. Gridley. "People came from miles around."
"Fifty years ago," said Mrs. Gridley. "And they came by horse and buggy."
The bellboy returned to room 215. "The dining room opens at six-thirty, sir. There is ping-pong in the game room, TV in the lobby, and croquet on the back lawn. I'm sure you will be very comfortable." Matt, who had seen guests come and go for many years, knew there were two kinds-those who thought the hotel was a dreadful old barn of a place and those who thought it charming and quaint, so quiet and restful.
" Of course we will be comfortable," said Mr. Gridley, dropping some coins into Matt's hand for carrying the bags.
"But this big old hotel is positively spooky." Mrs. Gridley made one last protest. "It is probably full Of mice."
Matt opened the window wide. "Mice? Oh no, ma I am. The management wouldn't stand for mice.
"I wouldn't mind a few mice," the boy said, as he looked around the room at the high ceiling, the knotty pine walls, the carpet so threadbare that many of its roses had almost entirely faded, the one chair with the antimacassar on its back, the washbasin and towel racks in the comer of the room. "I like it here," he announced.. "A whole room to myself. Usually I just get a cot in the comer of a motel room."
His mother smiled, relenting. Then she turned to Matt."I'm sorry. It's just that it was so hot crossing Nevada and we are not used to mountain driving. Back...
The Mouse and the MotorcycleBy: Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray