Mumfie's Winter Rescue is a story in the 1996 Mumfie annual .


When Mumfie and Scarecrow go out for a walk one winter morning, they find Whale stuck in frozen ice. Unable to get him out in any matter, Mumfie and Scarecrow try to find Eel and her friends to cut through the ice.

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It was a cold winter's morning. Scarecrow slowly opened his bedroom door. "Brrr", he shivered. "I'd better wear warm socks today." When he was dressed, he went downstairs. Mumfie was finishing his breakfast. As it was Monday, he was eating a large bowl of rice pudding topped with a spoonful of Mrs. Admiral's homemade strawberry jam. There was plenty more for Scarecrow. "I'll have a stick of celery, too," decided Scarecrow. "It's not so nice without celery". Mumfie didn't agree, but he was much too busy munching to say so.

By the time breakfast was over, the weather was colder still. "We need a fire in the hearth," said Scarecrow. "I'll fetch some wood." The logs were neatly stacked at the back of Mumfie's cottage. Scarecrow gathered a big bundle into his arms. When he came indoors, Mumfie was looking through the window. The trees and grass were covered in frost. "Everything looks so beautiful," said Mumfie. "Let's go out before we light the fire." Scarecrow felt an icicle dangling from his nose. "What if we freeze?" he muttered. "We won't if we walk fast enough!" replied Mumfie. 

When they had put on their hats, gloves and coats, the two friends set off through the trees. Soon they reached the beach. "We may not be frozen," gasped Scarecrow, "but look at the sea!" The sea stretched away like a vast sheet of glass before them. Then Scarecrow noticed something else. "What is that in the distance? It looks familiar." "It is familiar," replied Mumfie. "It's Whale!" Scarecrow was puzzled. "If the sea has frozen over, what's Whale doing in the middle of it?" "He must be stuck!" cried Mumfie. "We'd better get our skates on". They hurried back to the cottage, fetched their skates and returned to the beach.

When they'd put on their skates, they stepped gingerly across the ice. "Let's be careful," warned Scarecrow. "If the ice is thin, it might break." But Mumfie and Scarecrow are not very heavy and the ice was very thick. Soon the two friends were speeding towards Whale. "He looks so sad," said Mumfie. "My friends!" boomed Whale. "I'm so glad to see you. I'm in a bit of a hole." His big eyes looked down at the ice. "Stuck, in fact." "We'll help", said Scarecrow, but he didn't really know how. "When do you think the ice will melt, Mumfie?" "It could be days," saud Mumfie. "Unless, of course, we can make it melt." "Hmm," said Scarecrow. He paused for a minute to calm his nerves. "How could we do that, Mumfie?" There was a long silence. Suddenly, Mumfie had an idea. "Electric Eel! She'll be able to help!" "Of course," said Whale. "Why didn't I think of her before?" "We must find her," said Mumfie. "Do you know where she is, Whale?" Whale frowned. "I'm afraid not. I haven't seen her for some time." "Then we'll find her for you", said Mumfie. "Come on, Scarecrow. Let's start looking."

When they had left Whale far behind them, Scarecrow whispered "Where are we going, Mumfie?" "I'm not sure," admitted Mumfie. "But I wanted Whale to think I knew. I thought it would cheer him up." Mumfie and Scarecrow skated on, searchig for a light beneath the ice that would show them that Eel was in the water below. After a while, they began calling, too. "Eel, Eel!" they shouted. But there was no reply. It began to get dark. "Perhaps we should give up," said Scarecrow, who didn't like the idea of being out at night on a frozen sea. "We could try again tommorow." "You may be right," said Mumfie wearily. "Let's start back." But which way was the way back? The ice stretched ahead of them as far as they could see in every direction. "I think we're lost," muttered Scarecrow. "No, we're not," said Mumfie. It's just that we're not quite sure where we are. Scarecrow thought that sounded much like the same thing, but he didn't say so. He looked about him. "Let's go this way," he said. "No, I think we should go this way", said Mumfie, pointing in the other direction.

Before they could decide, they heard a voice. "Well, shine a light-how are you?" Mumfie and Scarecrow spen round. "Eel!" they cried together. "I'm glad you remember me," said Eel, poking her head up through a hole in the ice, "cos I sure haven't forgotten you." "But we're been looking for you all day", said Mumfie. "And now you've found me," said Eel. "D'you want a little help from your friends?" "Why, yes!" cried Mumfie. "How do you know?" "How d'you think?" said Eel proudly, patting her bonnet with one fin. "I'm always switched on!" "It's Whale," interrupted Scarecrow, "he's stuck in the ice." "And you are wondering if I could melt the ice and unstick him, I suppose?" said Eel. "That's right!" replied Mumfie. "Could you?" "Nothing simpler," replied Eel confidentaly. This calls for some team work." And, with a flick of her tail, she dissappeared.

Moments later, Mumfie and Scarecrow saw a trail of lights beneath the ice. "We're ready," said Eel, popping her head up through the hole again. "Where's Whale?" Mumfie and Scarecrow stared at their skates in embarrasement. "Erm, we don't exactly know," said Mumfie. Eel smiled. "Then it's a good job that I think I do. Follow me." The trail of lights set off at a cracking pace, and Mumfie and Scarecrow skated after them. Soon, the dark shape of Whale came into view. He was very happy to see them. "Now stand well back," said Eel to Mumfie and Scarecrow. "Or you might get a shock. Under the ice all the electric eels formed a ring around Whale. "Are you ready, ladies? We need a lot of sparks and to do that we have to get very angry indeed." So all the eels thought of all the things that made them feel angry, and soon there were lots of sparks. Suddenly, there was a high sizzling sound and all the ice around Whale melted. Whale gave himself a good shake. "Free at last!" he cried. "My dear friends, you are so kind." "Don't mention it," said Eel. "I'll see you around sometime." And with a flick of her tail she was gone.

"What will you do now, Whale?" asked Scarecrow."Me?" said Whale. "Oh, I shall dive down to the bottom of the sea where the water's warmer and wait for the sprimg. Goodbye, and thank you," he boomed. Mumfie and Scarecrow waved until he was out of sight. Then, they skated home as fast as they could, thinking all the time of the cosy cottage and the welcoming fire that would soon keep them warm.