Smudge is a little mouse who wakes up in a bad mood; plenty of adults know what that is like! It was raining and she thought that this could only mean being stuck in doors all day. Stripe who is the adult character and a badger, tries to cheer up Smudge with breakfast, to no avail, and Smudge will not answer any questions and is really quite rude to Stripe. Stripe tells Smudge to go and be rude ‘somewhere else’ which is exactly what Smudge does. Smudge leaves home! Standing by the river in the rain feeling miserable, Smudge sees Goose paddling by and they go off to play in the treehouse having a really lovely time. Then they see Hare and Mole in their little boat and tell them about Smudge leaving home ‘forever’ deciding to play pirates with them. When the evening draws in and it begins to get dark Smudge says that he can’t go home because he told Stripe that he would never come back. The friends suggest that Smudge spends the night in the treehouse. Smudge watches her friends walk away home in the dark and hears a ‘crack’, only to find it is Stripe with supper. Stripe and Smudge eat their soup for supper together in the tree house and Smudge realises how grumpy she was in the morning and how much she missed Stripe and home. Stripe tells Smudge that everyone is grumpy sometimes; with that realisation they go home to bed.
Stripe and Smudge's relationship is a great example of the adult child relationship with
affectionate illustrations to accompany a lovely warm story.