The sunrise that morning was beautiful. Shades of pink, peach, silver, lemon, emerald, lavender, and turquoise painted the sky. A massive, red sandstone Abbey turned rose in the soft light. The trees around it danced in the wind and leaves whispered quietly to brightly colored flowers.
Oblivious to the beauty outside, the Abbeybeasts slumbered peacefully. Well, almost all. Two Dibbuns sneaked out of their beds. They slipped silently out into the hallway. Then they turned and walked towards one of the other rooms. One, a squirrelmaid named Sarobando, whispered to the otter, whose name was Bragoon. "H'I'll get 'em, you keep watch."
Bragoon complained. "Why does H'I alerways have ter keep watch?"
Sarobando, or Saro as she liked to be called, smirked. "'Cause H'I'm a squiddle, so H'I can move fasta 'n you. Dat's why."
The otter babe sighed. "Fine."
Saro climbed up on to his shoulders and tugged at the doorknob. The door opened slightly. The squirrel crept in. It was Foremole's room. She checked to make sure he was asleep. He was and snoring loudly too. Saro giggled and snatched his sandels from the floor close to the base of his bed. She dashed out and then both the otter and squirrel ran to the kitchens.
Bragoon spotted a bowl full of rising bread dough in one of the ovens. He made a gesture at it to Saro. The tiny squirrelmaid nodded and snickered. She gave the otter the sandels and scampered up the oven. Then she opened the door. Bragoon crawled into the cool oven and Saro after him. The otter kit handed the maid one of the shoes. Then they both stuck the shoes into the dough and hastily pushed it over the shoes. The mischief-makers got out and shut the door, the dough stuck to their paws sticking onto the oven.
Saro licked the dough off her paws. "Heeheeheehee! Wait 'till dey eat dat!"
Bragoon made a face at the taste of bread dough. "Hohohoho! I bet dey all goes 'Yucky, wot's in dat?'"
The Dibbun squirrel did not answer; she had seen a pile of beets on a trolley waiting to be chopped. Another scheme formed in her mind, she pulled Bragoon over, and murmered in his ear.
Foremole woke up and yawned. He got out of bed and was about to slip his paws into his sandels when he noticed they were not there. He rooted about his room muttering. "Hurr, oi knows oi put 'em thurr. Whurr be they?"
At last he had to give up the search and settled for a different pair a size or so too big. He walked down to breakfest and met an outraged Skipper. He greeted the otter. "Good mornin' to ee, Skip. What be ee ramblin' on about?"
The otter calmed down a little bit at Foremole's salutation. "It's the pond, matey. Somebeast's put almost all o' the Friar's beets in it. It's red as blood! An' I know who did it too. Those young scamps, Bragoon an' Sarobando."
The mole leader nodded. "Aye. Those two be gurt trubble, that they be."
Breakfast had already started when Skipper and Foremole reached Cavern Hole. Chattering Redwallers passed hot honeyed oatmeal, fruit salad, and freshly baked bread. The two friends found seats and began piling food onto their plates. Skipper sliced two pieces of bread for himself. The otter spread blackberry jam on it. He did not notice Bragoon and Saro watching him closely. Skipper took a huge mouthful of bread. He swallowed hastily, poured some mint tea, and gulped it down.
Foremole looked questioningly at the otter chieftain. "Yurr. What be's ee matter, Skip?"
Skipper coughed. "Somebeast put sandals in the bread!"
The squirrelbabe and the otterbabe innocently sipped strawberry cordial, remarking.
"Ho dearie me, H'I wunner wot naughty beast'd do a t'ing like dat. D'ya know 'o dided it, Brag?"
"No, H'I 'aven't a clue!"
Bragoon and Saro sat on their beds. They had gotten a good telling off from the Abbot, sentenced to a week of scrubbing dishes, and sent to their room to think over what the Abbot had told them. Instead, they made plans to run away. It was simple. They would wait until dark when everybeast would be asleep, sneak out to the little east wall gate, open it, and good-bye Redwall!
Saro watched the setting sun. "H'I wunner wot de'll say when dey find out we's goneded?"
Bragoon streched. "Dey'll prob'ly cry an' cry an' cry all day long."
The squirrelbabe giggled. "An' since we'll be goneded, dey'll haf to baff each ovver!"
Sister Setiva rapped on the door. "Stop chattin', and get snorin'. Ye've got a hard day taemorrow, the noo."
Saro mimicked the shrew nurse under her breath. "Och, aye. H'I'll do anythin' tae please ye, Sis Setiva bossy whiskers."
They lay down on there beds and stared at each other. Braggon broke the silence. "Wha'?"
Saro propped herself up on a forepaw, blinking. "Wha'?"
"Why are ya starin' a' me?"
"Why are ya starin' a' me?"
Bragoon shrugged. "H'I dunno. H'I be's bored. Don't wanna lie down."
The stars glittered like diamonds on the blue-black velvet of the night sky. Saro sighed as she gazed out at them. "Cummon. Le's jus' go an' if'n we ge' caught, let's jus' say we was firsty."
They opened the door. All was silent and clear. Well, not exactly silent. Snores came from almost every room on that level. The babes ignored this and tippawed down the stairs, stopping momentarily, then continued on their way. Sneaking out at night was no new thing to them. Bragoon and Saro slipped through the kitchens like wraiths, there on moment, gone the next. Bragoon opened the small scullery door. The Dibbuns stepped out into the night. Instantly, they turned and headed for the little east wall gate. The gate's lock was low enough for Dibbuns to open. It creaked loudly as they pushed it open. The otter and squirrel froze. No sound came from the Abbey. Bragoon and Sarobando closed the door after themselves and ran off into Mossflower, not knowing it would be many seasons before they saw their beloved home again.
Here ends the story.