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The Heroes of Patell

Brion sees the Sheriff’s Deputy standing in front of the large wooden courthouse doors.

“Good morning Brion,” says the Deputy, “Everyone is inside waiting on you.” The Deputy opens the large door and holds it open for Brion to go in. As Brion walks into the room he is greeted with smiles and congratulations.

Wally walks up to Brion and says, “Good job buddy! I’m very proud of you!”

Brion walks over to a bench seat behind Sparkle and sits down. He leans forward and whispers in Sparkle’s ear, “Wow! Everyone in town is here, what is all this about?”

Sparkle puts her finger up to her mouth, “Shhh,” and motions to Brion to be quiet.

“CAN I GET EVERYONE’S ATTENTION PLEASE?” yells Mayor Edward Ger Beaver, “I would like to get started now!” The room quiets down. “This is a great day for our fine town. I am proud to announce that the Deon Cave of legend has been found in the old town meadow,” the room is filled with the sound of applause. “ Please, please, quiet down! The cave has been found exactly where I knew it would be found some day.” The room is filled with the sound of cheering, “My Grandmother used to tell me the legends of the Deon Cave, and now the legends have all been confirmed by our new hero, Brion Lion!” The room is filled with the sound of cheering and applause, “This great discovery will boost the reputation of the great town of Patell.” The room is filled with the sound of applause, “As your Mayor I will do everything I can, to make sure this great discovery gets the recognition that it deserves.” The room is filled with the sound of applause, “I am pleased to announce that our very own world renowned caver Ted D. Bear has had a chance to go explore some of the Deon Cave, and is here to give us a report of what he has found.” The room is filled with the sound of applause, “Ted D. Bear and Bobby Bobcat, Could you please come up here? Tell us what you have found in the cave.”

The room is filled with the sound of applause as Ted and Bobby go up in front of everyone, “When we first went into the cave,” says Ted, “we were concerned about the safety and possible collapse of the cave.” The room is filled with the sound of gasp and awe, “But I am pleased to announce that the cave appears to be completely safe and sound!” The room is filled with the sound of applause.

“And it smelled really weird too.” Bobby adds, as the room is filled with the sound of laughter.

“All caves smell weird!” exclaims the Mayor laughing loudly.

“We also found one of the biggest flowstones I have ever seen!” says Ted and the room quiets down in amazement, “And lots of stalactites.”

“We also had to use a rope with a bowline knot to descend down to a lower level, there is a river flowing through the cave,” says Bobby.

“Lets give a round of applause for Ted D. Bear and Bobby Bobcat!” yells the Mayor. Ted and Bobby go back to their seats.

“Brion Lion! Could you please come up here!” yells the Mayor with excitement. Brion walks up to where the Mayor is standing.

“This is a major part of Patell’s history. This cave has been lost for years. BUT! Brion Lion has found it,” shouts the Mayor, shaking his fist with excitement; the room is filled with the sound of applause.

“We have an award for you Brion!” says the Mayor, “Benjamin Badger, the manager of our town Archive, has the award. Benjamin, would you please bring the Medal of Honor for our new hero.” Brion looks over as Benjamin approaches him.

Benjamin holds up the Medal of Honor, “Brion could you bend over a little? I am a little too short!” exclaims Benjamin, as the room is filled with laughter and applause. “Your name will be added to the long list of the legendary heroes of Patell!”

“Lets all give a round of applause for Brion, our hero!” shouts the Mayor, clapping.

“Brion do you have anything to say?” asks the Mayor.

“ Umm… well…” says Brion, looking around the room. The courtroom gets very quiet as all eyes turn to Brion.

“My friend Sparkle should have this award,” says Brion, as the room is filled with gasp and awe, “She was actually the one looking for the cave first. I was just trying to a build fort,” All eyes turn to Sparkle, as she slides down in her seat. There is a long silence.

“Well come on up here Sparkle!” yells the Mayor. Sparkle slowly walks up there and stands beside Brion.

“Benjamin, don’t we have another award?” asks the Mayor.

“Yes we do!” exclaims Benjamin. Benjamin walks over and gets another Medal of Honor and hangs it around Sparkle’s neck, “I can easily reach you!” The room fills with the sound of applause.

“Your name will also be added to the long list of the legendary heroes of Patell,” says Benjamin.

“Lets all give a round of applause for Brion and Sparkle!” yells the Mayor clapping. “Since you are heroes of Patell, do you have any requests from the town? Maybe you would both like a statue of yourself with me out in the city courtyard? Or maybe we could commission a mural of the three of us on the side of the courthouse?

Brian and Sparkle look briefly at each other, then Sparkle answers, “No Sir, we both want to go in and explore the Deon Cave!”

“I want to walk in the footsteps of Deon,” says Brion, “maybe we’ll find some artifacts from the battle with the marauders!”

The Mayor briefly flashes a look of disappointment, then replies, “Well maybe we can discuss this…”

“Hey Dad!” interrupts Wally as he runs up to Brion and Sparkle, “Why don’t you take all of us with you and Bobby? We can all help you explore the cave!”

“Yeah! That would be great Mr. Bear!” squeals an excited Sparkle.

Ted walks up to the front and replies, “Well, I suppose I could take some of you with us.”

Sparkle lets out a big howl of excitement, and everyone in the room bursts out in laughter.

“After lunch,” says Ted, “Meet Wally and me out in front of the cave. Be sure to bring some good flashlights, and if you have them, some hardhats too. Also remember that its around 50 degrees in the cave, so bring some warm clothing and sturdy boots.”

Sparkle runs up to her Dad, “Dad may I please go to the cave with Ted and Bobby?”

Howard Hound walks up to the front with Sparkle, “Well sure Sparkle, but Sparky and I would also like to go to the Deon Cave.

Brion looks over at his Dad, Leon Lion walks over to Brion and smiles big. “My Son Brion a hero, who would have ever guessed that!” Then everyone starts laughing.

Leon puts his big paw around Brion and smiles widely, “I’m very proud of you Son! I would love to join you and Sparkle on a tour of the Deon Cave. Let’s all go home and eat, then meet in two hours in front of the cave.”

So everyone goes to their house to eat, gather their equipment, then they go back to the cave.

Ted looks over the group of Spelunkers, “This is going to be quit an adventure! How many of you have been in a cave before?”

Leon and Howard hold up their hands.

“Only two of you!” cries Ted, “Okay we will all need to stay together. Do not get away from the group. Wally you will need to help Bobby and me watch over the younger ones. And who are you?”

“Sparky Hound Sir!” replies Sparkle’s brother Sparky.

“Okay, you have your hardhat on backwards!” says Ted, “You need to get your act together Son!”

“Sorry Sir,” exclaims Sparky as he adjusts his hat correctly.

Bobby leans over to Sparky and whispers, “He’s not usually this tough, and he just wants to make sure everyone is safe. He takes his job very seriously. Caves can be very dangerous.”

Just then Benjamin Badger walks up in front of the cave.

“Sir, are you here to go in the cave too?” asks Sparkle.

“Yes! Indeed! I wouldn’t miss this historic moment for anything!” replies Benjamin, “Besides, I need to document this occasion. I am the town archive manager after all!”

“Yeah!” says Bobby, “Old Benjamin here trained Ted! Benjamin is the original caver!”

“Ted you lead the group,” says Benjamin, “and I will bring up the rear to make sure no one falls behind.”

“I will stay with you Benjamin,” says Wally, as he rushes over beside Benjamin.

Ted looks over everyone’s equipment one last time. “Okay now, Bobby and I will be out front, Leon and Brion you stay with Wally. Sparky, Howard and Sparkle, you stay with Benjamin. Let’s roll!”

So everyone heads into the cold dark cave. When they enter, they start looking around. Brion shines his flashlight up at the ceiling of the cave and sees something, and he’s not sure what it is, so he asks, “Hey Ted, what are those?”

Ted looks up at what Brion’s pointing at, and answers, “Those are called stalactites. They develop when water is dissolved and drips through the cracks of the cave ceiling. As the water is falling, it leaves behind very small amounts of minerals. Over time, the minerals collect and build up and form an icicle – like structure, that structure is called a ‘stalactite’.”

They keep walking through the cold dark cave and Sparky shines his flashlight over on the floor and sees something. “What’s that? It almost looks like a stalactite,” says Sparky

“That is a stalagmite,” says Benjamin, “It forms from the water that falls to the cave floor. It develops the same way as a stalactite, but on the floor.”

“What’s that near the stalagmite?” asks Sparky,

Benjamin answers, “That is called a ‘column.’ It forms when a stalactite and a stalagmite grow and unite into one structure.”

They continue their journey through the cave, and Wally shines his flashlight up at the cave ceiling and sees some bats hanging upside down on the ceiling. “Hey Dad, what kind of bats are those hanging upside down on the ceiling?”

Ted looks up at the ceiling and answers, “Yes those look like brown bats, and they are sleeping so we shouldn’t wake them up.”

Then Sparkle shines her flashlight over to the side of the cave and sees a large rock. “Dad, what kind of rock is that by the water?” wonders Sparkle.

“I believe that is called a “flowstone.”’ answers Dad, “It is formed by calcite or other minerals collected by water running over the cave wall or floor. The process of the water flowing along the floor or walls of the cave creates a sheet – like formation of calcite, forming a flowstone.”

“That’s a very good answer!” says Bobby.

Sparky is looking around and shines his flashlight up on the cave ceiling and sees something that he doesn’t know what it is. So he asks Benjamin, “ Hey Benjamin, what are those on the ceiling?”

“Those are called “straws.” They form from water dripping through cracks in the cave ceiling, leaving behind calcite forming a thin hollow structure that looks just like a plastic straw. When water flows over the outside of the straw, stalactites start to form.”

“What is that by the straws?” asks Brion.

“That’s called ‘drapery’. It is formed when water runs down the wall of the cave and the water collects calcite, forming a structure called ‘drapery’. When minerals make stripes in the drapery, it is called ‘cave bacon’.” says Ted.

Then Sparky asks, “Sir, I was wondering, how do caves form?”

Ted answers, “Caves form from the chemical erosion of rainwater on limestone or dolomite bedrock. Rainwater collects carbon dioxide as it falls through the air. Rainwater is absorbed by the soil of the ground, and as the water drains through the soil, it collects more carbon dioxide. Then the water changes to a weaker form of carbonic acid. As the acid travels through the ground, it dissolves the rock and the cave appears. As more water flows, erosion can also open up larger caverns.”

They continue their journey through the cave and they come up to a drop off in the cave.

“Alright guys we’re at a drop off,” says Ted, “We have to go down there so I’m going to tie a bowline knot in a rope. And when I am done with that, I will let you guys go first to make sure everyone goes down safely.” So Ted ties a bowline knot in the rope and everyone uses the rope to descend safely.

When they get down, they cross through a small amount of water and over some small rocks. After that they go a little farther and they start looking around.

While they are looking around, Sparkle goes over by a large rock and starts looking. Soon she finds something in the dirt. “Hey, it looks like there is something in the dirt,” says Sparkle.

Benjamin goes over and looks at what Sparkle is looking at and says, “Oh yes you are right, there is something in the dirt.”

Then Sparkle starts to dig around it and reveals some more. Soon Sparkle has dug enough dirt away, now she can pick it up and look at it. When Sparkle picks it up and dusts it off, she realizes that the strange object covered with dirt is actually a mask!

Sparkle exclaims, “This looks like a mask!”

Benjamin looks at it and exclaims, “You’re right, that does look like a mask!”

“What kind of mask is this? What could this mean?” asks Sparkle.

“I have no idea.” Says Benjamin.

Brion is also looking around and finds some old burnt paper. He picks it up and says, “Hey this looks like notes of some sort.”

Benjamin comes over to Brion and looks at the notes. He reads one of them, it says, “The marauders attacked the city last night. The first thing they stole was my Father’s sword, I don’t know what they wanted with it…”

“This sounds like a note from Deon!” exclaims Benjamin “I wonder if they are all from Deon, but the rest of it is burnt and blurry, I can’t read it.”

Right as Benjamin picks up another note to read it, they start to hear very strange noises,

“What are those strange noises?” asks Brion.

“I’m not sure.” Says Benjamin.

Right after that, Sparkle looks over and sees the shadow of something run by.

“What was that!” exclaims Sparkle.

“What did you see?” asks Brion.

“I saw the shadow of something running by!” answers Sparkle.

Then they hear more strange noises and they see more shadows running by.

“What’s happening?” says Sparkle, hiding behind Brion.

“I’m not sure but we should probably get out of here,” says Ted.

“Yes we should,” says Benjamin, “I need to go back to the archive with Brion and Sparkle and look at these notes and this mask.”

So everyone gets out of the cave and Ted says, “The kids should go back home. Bobby and I are going back in. We have to explore the rest of the cave.”

“Are you sure you want do that?” asks Benjamin.

“Yes I’m sure. We can’t miss this opportunity to search the Deon Cave, so we are going back.”

Leon says, “I’m going back home, Brion if you want to go with Benjamin go ahead.”

Sparkle asks, “Dad, can I go with Brion and Benjamin to the Archive and study the mask?”

“Yes,” says Howard, “You may go! Sparky you come back home with me.”

“Dad,” says Wally, “I would like to go with Benjamin.”

Ted answers, “You should go with Benjamin, I don’t want you in this cave until Bobby and I figure out what is going on here!”

“Alright, well I’m going to bring Brion and Sparkle back to the archive with me to study these notes and this mask,” Says Benjamin, "Ted, you be careful in there, we don't know for sure whats going on. Everybody else come with me."

So Bobby Bobcat and Ted D. Bear go back inside of the cave.

And now the adventures take a scary turn…

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