How to Find Adventure

“Let’s have an adventure”, said Anna.

“All right,” said Crocodile. “Let’s draw a map and make a plan.”

But when they had finished the map, there was no adventure on it.

“That’s just our neighbourhood,” said Anna. “We’ve seen all of that a hundred times. I want to go somewhere else.”

“We can’t,” said Crocodile. “We have to stay home for now, like everyone else.”

“Then I will just go back to bed and dream, it’s more interesting,” said Anna, and she did.

So Crocodile went out alone to walk around the neighbourhood.

“How was your dream?” asked Crocodile when Anna woke up.

“I dreamed we went back in time to see the dinosaurs,” said Anna, “but now I am annoyed that we didn’t really.”

“I’m sorry,” said Crocodile. “I fixed the map, maybe that helps.”

Anna looked at the map. “What are all the crosses?” she asked. “Treasure?”

“That’s all my favourite trees,” said Crocodile.

“How are they better than all the other trees?”

“They aren’t. They are just the ones that I like best.”

“Why?”

“I just do,” said Crocodile.

Anna got her coat and boots and they went out to look at all the trees on the map.

“This one is especially spooky,” said Anna. “I’ll write that on the map, then we know why we like it. Spooky Tree.”

“That’s a good idea,” said Crocodile.

One tree was twisted like a big rope, and another was covered in parrots. One looked not special at all, so Crocodile wrote a short poem on the back of the map to explain it.

One was a Christmas tree that was still covered in lights.

“I don’t know why this tree is so good,” said Crocodile at the last one.

“It is really very good though,” said Anna. “What should we write? Good Tree? They’re all good!”

“Maybe someone else knows more about trees,” said Crocodile.

They sent the map to a friend who lived nearby, and as it turned out, he did know a lot about trees. He knew that the tree they liked especially much was called a hornbeam, and that there were seven more of them nearby which he added to the map. He also added the oldest tree, and the tallest, and one that was from the other side of the world, and one that would be ideal for making guitars out of, and a cherry tree which did not have cherries in it right now, but would be useful to know about in Summer.

“We live in a forest,” said Anna. “It’s just really stretched out along the streets!”

“Have we been to this forest before or not?” asked Crocodile.

“A hundred times and never,” said Anna.

“If we live in a forest and we never knew, where else do we live?” asked Crocodile.

“Let’s make more maps,” said Anna, “then we’ll know.”

They made a map of all the mountains and canyons in their neighbourhood, which were quite small, but very good.

They made a map of everything that might be haunted: things that almost looked like they had a face if you looked carefully, holes that looked like homes for tiny ghosts, and faded shapes on walls that looked like big ghosts hiding.

They made a map of all the cats they met, and then drew some extra cats on the pavement in chalk and put them on the map, too, just to make sure at least some of them stayed in place.

“Maps are amazing,” said Anna. “I did not realise we lived in a haunted forest in the mountains.”

“And there are really a lot of cats here,” said Crocodile. “Some of the chalk ones look dangerous.”

“Good,” said Anna. “I’ll put extra warnings on the cat map.”

“Let’s go home,” said Crocodile. “It’s time for sandwiches.”

“Don’t put home on the map,” said Anna. “It’s secret.”

“Of course not,” said Crocodile. “But everything else is great discoveries. We should share them.”

And they did.


Will you make a map?
Who will you share it with?


Anna and Crocodile are the heroes of How to Find Gold and How to be on the Moon, published by Walker Books.