In the days that followed, Pudgy and the beavers were very busy. They had selected a site beside the water wheel, to build the first building of their village idea. It was going to be the grist mill that the hedgehog had spoken of, and it would be a good test whether or not the critters in the woods could do major building without their human friend. The beavers selected an elm tree that would suit their needs, and felled the tree as only they could: by chewing through it. The tree fell with a tremendous noise that echoed throughout the forest. The tree was cut into log wall parts, and then rolled down the hill towards the water wheel.
The noise and activity eventually got the better of Mr. Bear’s curiosity, who strolled through the forest to see the hedgehog and beavers working on a log cabin beside the water wheel. When he arrived, the little critters had managed to set the first row of logs, and were notching out the ends to set the second course. It was going to be a three sided open front structure, and when Pudgy explained it was going to be a grist mill, the large brown bear was a bit shocked. The hedgehog told his grand tale of everything that had happened, and how the humans truly were gone for good now. As the bear listened, he grew sad that Cobalt would not be coming back, but was quickly intrigued by the idea of the critter village.
There was talk of planting beds to grow food, the grist mill to grind things into flour, even a blacksmith shop. Though that last building had Mr. Bear a bit concerned, as the last thing he needed was bunny rabbits burning their tails off at the forge. With help from Mr. Bear, the logs were quickly assembled, and the three walls rose quickly. There were still wide gaps between the logs, and Mr. Bear explained that between the logs of his cabin was a clay mixture. The application of said mixture was referred to as chinking. Along certain parts of the river bank was lots of clay mud, so eventually when they got to that step, the log walls could be sealed. The roof could not yet be put on, because the next important parts were still being sorted out.
Pudgy had to locate stone for the mill, which would be 2 round stones. The stones had to be cut a certain way, and once that was done, a whole structure was built inside. Long story short, it was going to take them a long time to build the mill. Pudgy explained that Cobalt had taken him to a mill once, and that he was so enraptured by the idea, Cobalt had downloaded plans onto his cell phone and texted Pudgy. While the cellular network was down, as the towers were powered off, Pudgy had downloaded it to his phone. The water wheel and solar cell his home had created enough power to run his electrical devices. The phone was connected, and still had some things on it of great use to the hedgehog.
Mr. Bear nodded, and was also very glad he listened to Cobalt, and let him install a couple panels on the roof a couple months back. He was confused when the main power from the local company started to falter at his cabin, and then went out. Then all of the radio stations turned off one by one, and then the cellular towers turned off. The world was so much quieter without the humans. The noise from passing cars were gone, airplanes no longer flew in the skies, and he could hear birds chirping from far distances away. While he had laid in supplies, he knew they would eventually run out, and would eventually have to hunt once again. Pondering for a moment, he asked Pudgy a question. “Pudgy, have you gone back to Cobalt’s house across the road from here?”
The hedgehog looked sad and nodded, “Pudgy and Argente went, but Cobalt was not home. We loaded up on food, and brought it back to Pudgy house. OH! Mr. Bear, can you open cans?” Mr. Bear shook his head, “I have trouble with cans. Yes I have a can opener, but look at these paws.” He held up his massive paws, complete with sharp black claws, “do these look able to handle fine motor skills like using a can opener. I usually crush the can, and dump the peaches all over me.” Pudgy watched his bear friend laugh happily, and then look around the forest. While wiggling his nose, Pudgy frowned a bit, “Cobalt has lots of food in cans. But we can’t get into them,” the critter said with a sigh.
The beavers were still busy cutting pieces of wood into lengths. They were readying roof parts, for when it was time to cover the structure. Pudgy turned to his beaver friends, “thank you Mister and Misses Beaver.” The beavers looked up and wiggled their flat tails, and then returned to chewing on the wood lengths. As he was about to speak, Billie Bunny hopped quickly and right into Pudgy. The two critters rolled up against Mr. Bear’s leg, and all three animals started to laugh. The gray fluffy bunny tugged at Pudgy’s paw, “we found the stone you need Pudgy!” The hedgehog quickly got to his paws, and then scampered after the excited bunny rabbit. Mr. Bear laughed again, and slowly rolled over and onto his paws. He strolled slowly after the two critters, and wiggled his ears at the beavers.
Mr. Bear watched as the two smaller animals were running fairly quick through the tall grass. They were heading up the creek, towards the location of the original beaver pond. Off to the side was a series of large stones peeking up through the dirt. Argente the silver fox was there, as well as Bobbie bunny. Pudgy examined the stone, and nodded to the group, and turned to wave over the approaching brown bear. As Mr. Bear arrived, he looked down at a flat piece of granite that was covered with moss in areas. “Pudgy, why do you need a stone?” The hedgehog turned to his bear friend, “Pudgy needs to make two round stones. The stones turn, and grind the food into flour. If Pudgy has flour, Pudgy can bake all sorts of yummy things. Can you help us move the stone, please?”
The assembled group of critters watch as Mr. Bear smiled, and nodded while approaching. Reaching into the soft ground, he started to dig around the stone. After a couple of minutes, the stone started to wiggle, and Mr. Bear lifted it up with his one paw. Holding it with one paw, he started to walk slowly while trying to hold the stone and walk. It was awkward to say the least, and he paid no attention to the little critters behind him. Mr. Bear would carry it as far as he could, and then would drop it to rest. This was another time he really missed the human, he would have brought the wagon and helped the bear move this.
The bunnies were making faces, because when the stone was moved, an ant colony was disturbed. To their horror, Argente started to eat the ants. Pudgy wiggled his nose, knowing very well that foxes did eat meat, but he didn’t know she would eat insects too. The ants seeing the hungry fox mouth looming above, started to quickly dig underground. Argente giggled, “hey, I have been living in the woods my whole life. You eat what you can, when you find it. They don’t taste too good, but will work in a pinch.” The bunnies tugged at her tail, and then hopped a short distance towards a patch of green grass growing in a strange spot by the creek. Pudgy followed, and watched as the bunnies were digging up wild onions.
Argente giggled, and munched on an onion when the bunnies offered her one. Pudgy had pulled one from the ground, and was nibbling. The bunnies were eating quickly as well, “thesfe afr good!” The hedgehog nodded, “yes. And now we know they grow here, so we can gather them occasionally. We should gather more for Mr. Bear, he is going to be hungry when he stops moving the stone.” The group of animals nodded in agreement, and started to gather wild garlic and onions. Once they had gathered what they could find, they loaded a bunch on top of Pudgy. His quills made for natural tie downs, and the onions were piled onto his back. Soon he was slowly scampering through the woods, while Argente followed behind him.
Mr. Bear had made excellent progress, and had dropped the stone next to the beaver pile of cut wood beside the grist mill. When the critters arrived, the bear was drinking from the creek. As he turned his head, the bear could smell onion and garlic. He watched as Pudgy was loaded with all sorts of wild plants, as well as the bunnies carrying things as well. “What is all of this?” Mr, Bear asked with a smile, and watched as the bunnies start to make a pile on the ground in front of the bear. When Pudgy arrived, the bunnies unloaded him, and added to the pile of food. It was not enough for the bear, but the fact they gathered him food made him smile from ear to ear.
Pudgy waved, “thank you Mr. Bear for carrying the big stone! We brought you food,” the critter said while bouncing. The bear reached down to the pile with one of his massive paws, and scooped up the vegetables, and popped them into his mouth. After chewing and swallowing, “thank you everyone for thinking about me. I am happy to help you with your project. Pudgy, I hope I can have some bread when you bake next time.” The hedgehog bounced happily again, while the bunnies played in the cabin walls, and peeked out from the top course of logs. Argente giggled, “Pudgy, you may not have a mill, that may be a bunny fort now.” The beavers wiggled past them as they walked, and they headed back to their pond to rest.
Mr. Bear stood up, “it is time for me to head back myself. Please everyone, stay safe, now that Cobalt is gone …” The bear said with a sad endnote, as he started to walk off.” The hedgehog waved, and saw that the light was beginning to fade once more as a busy day was drawing to a close once more. The critter motioned for his friends to follow, and soon was scamping across the creek and up to his underground home. Argente and the bunnies followed, and soon all had arrived at the round front door of Pudgy’s home. “Pudgy, we are going to go to our warren now. See you tomorrow,” the two gray fluffy bunnies said in unison and then shot off at bunny speed hopping quickly away. Argente giggled as the hedgehog waved, and then opened his front door. The fox stayed outside, “I too will be heading off Pudgy, so I will see you tomorrow.” The hedgehog turned and waved, and watched as his remaining friend scamper quickly off.
Shutting the door and securing it, the hedgehog went to his washroom, and cleaned himself up. The day was warm, and the night was cool, so he kept his windows cracked. The little critter got into his bed, and stretched out. In time, soon he was fast asleep. He only woke up a couple of times, from nightmares about the camp, but as he fell asleep a new dream started to form. The hedgehog could see his forest, and everyone was running in terror. Hazy shapes were chasing his friends, and Mr. Bear was hurt. As he jerked awake, he called out, “NO DON’T HURT MR. BEAR OR PUDGY FRIENDS!” The critter fell out of his bed, and started to whimper.
Two scared field mice were hiding behind the kitchen counters, peeking timidly at the hedgehog. As Pudgy woke up, and sat up, he motioned to the mice. “Pudgy sorry, Pudgy has a nightmare. Bad dream, sorry Mr. and Mrs. Field Mouse.” The two mice nodded, and slowly approached while twitching their noses at him. Speaking in unison with a high pitched squeak, “we don’t like you having these nightmares all the time Pudgy.” The hedgehog scampered over, and then gently hugged them at the same time. “Pudgy don’t like it either. But they are fading, in time, Pudgy hope will be back to the normal dream of unlimited cookies. Hey, how did you get in the Pudgy house?” The mice pointed to a now fully open window, and giggled. Pudgy nodded, and realized he would need to add a locking bar, but they were friends and he was not upset.
Heading over to the wood stove, he started to build a fire in the firebox. The two mice headed over to the kitchen table, and sat quietly with an expectant look on their faces. After Pudgy had the fire going, and filled the kettle with water, he turned from the stove. “Did you want to ask Pudgy something?” The two mice nodded, and then pointed towards the big room in Pudgy’s house. Mr. Fieldmouse spoke, “from the back of our underground home, we found a cave. So we followed it, and it was open in big spots and tight in others. But it led all the way to the back of your home, with the metal walls. We found a pool of water, and it emptied into a strange black pipe with holes in it. There was also a rusty metal part, with this gooey black stuff coming out of it.”
The hedgehog stopped, and rubbed his chin with his paw. “Pudgy … remember, you wanted to make a tunnel, during the monster attacks. We made the outside secret tunnel, with Cobalt’s help. But Pudgy also remembers … when you squeezed through and got hurt, so Cobalt sealed the hole with metal and caulk.” Mrs. Field Mouse nodded, “Pudgy, we think the tunnel should be made. We talked to the bunnies, and they agree. Their warren floods when it rains too hard, so they have been looking for a new place. The caves are big enough for the bunnies, and just require digging. But we are too small to help, so we need your assistance.”
The hedgehog pondered, and turned back to the stove to check the kettle. What the mice were saying made a lot of sense. The big room was so humans could have a place to sit when they came over to visit. Now that the humans were all gone, there was no reason for the big room. But the village could definitely use a large dry place for things and gathering. The kettle started to whistle, so he took it off the stove and poured the boiling water into his teapot. After adding some tea, and placing the lid on the pot, he turned back to the mice while setting the kettle off heat. “Pudgy agrees, makes a lot of sense. A tunnel from the big room, to the bunny warren, then to the mice home, and to a new exit … will make life much better for everyone. We can not connect to Argente’s house. Pudgy remember, Cobalt found a huge boulder behind the home, so there is no way we can dig through that.”
The field mice bounced happily, and watched as a bunny ear appeared in the window. The ear quickly disappeared, and then two bunny noses appeared. Pudgy laughed, and scampered over to the front door to open it. As he opened the door, two soaking wet but excited bunnies burst in, and knocked him over. “OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY, WE CAN BUILD THE TUNNEL!” The gray fluffy bunnies said in unison. The hedgehog laughed while looking up at his wood ceiling, and watched as Bobbie bunny looked down at him. As the hedgehog got back to his paws, he watched as a torrential downpour of rain was coming from the skies. The creek was running high, his water wheel spinning like crazy, and the beavers working on their dam as the water cascaded over the top. “Today is a good day to stay inside,” the hedgehog said while heading back to the kitchen table.
He got out paper and more crayons, and let the field mice and bunnies draw and play. He served hot tea, and crackers, which soon all were happily eating. The mice explained that they had found a tiny space to squeeze through behind their cave, and they found a series of caves that were underground and behind Pudgy’s home. As they explored, they started to see a big metal thing, so they investigated as close as they could get. They realized what it was … the big metal pipe that Cobalt had used to protect Pudgy’s home. There was water pooling around behind the pipe, and from what they could see, there was a tiny spot where the metal was changing colors. Pudgy rubbed his chin, as he served another round of tea into his friend’s cups. “Pudgy remembers when found water in the big room, Cobalt came with a piece of metal, and this sticky stuff he called caulk. Cobalt ran out of something called galvanized metal, which resists rusting, and had to use other metal.”
As the critters drank tea and drew all over the paper with their crayon pieces, Pudgy was making tiny loaves of bread and laughing as they spoke all at the same time about the tunnel. Soon the bread loaves were in the wood stove, and a fresh pot of tea was brewing. Once things were situated, he headed to a side panel in the wall, and pushed in to make the door pop open. He got out his mining helmet, and put it on. Then he put on his backpack, with the little tools attached to it. “Billie or Bobbie, can you watch the stove please? Mr. and Mrs. Field Mouse, please come with Pudgy.” The mice nodded their heads, and set their cups up on the table. They fell in step behind the hedgehog, as he opened the interior door to the big room.
He scampered over to the button on the wall, which turned on the overhead LED lights. A soft white glow filled the dark room, and illuminated the walls. “When Cobalt built the big seat where the humans would sit, he left the part under the seat mostly open. This was so Pudgy could store things, as well as Cobalt in case of emergency. When Pudgy found water, it came from that part of the big seat.” The hedgehog pointed, and the mice noticed there was a series of little doors around the floor sections of the wooden banquette seats. Pudgy scurried along the concrete floor, and then when he reached the right corner of the seat, he opened a door that was two times tall as Pudgy. The mice wiggled their noses, and scooted past Pudgy to explore underneath the big seat.
There were large chair supports that almost resembled a lower case H, and sidebars bracing the sections. Pudgy recognized the plywood which was used as the part of the seat underneath the cushions. The corner section where the seats connected, was basically a void underneath. The hedgehog remembered how difficult it was for his human friend to reach in and fix the leak. There was much sci fi tv show bad language said, while the man contorted his body to fix the leak. Turning on his headlamp, Pudgy illuminated the area under the bench, and smiled when the mice pointed at an extremely rusty section of metal. “Ahh, here it is. Ok, Pudgy is going to see if Pudgy can pierce metal.” He took off the backpack, and then unclipped his hammer and shovel. Pudgy touched the brown rusted metal with his paw, and the surface was rough and wiggled under slight pressure. He decided to try the hammer first, and swung hard to tap the metal. To both the hedgehog, and mice surprise, the hammer went right through on the first swing.
Mr. Field Mouse wiggled his nose, “Pudgy, metal is not supposed to do that.” The hedgehog nodded, and put down the hammer in favor of the shovel. He then started to poke at the metal, causing chunks to fall out. Soon there was space enough for Pudgy to peek through, and he saw what the mice were referring to. There was indeed a cave behind the home, which he remembered exploring before Cobalt built the home. His friend used the corrugated pipe because there was so much moisture in the cave. It was this one section on the back wall, which gave his friend so much trouble. The mice watched their friend keep poking through the metal, and in a short period of time has opened a hole wide enough for the hedgehog to get through. But he was blocking the wal, because the metal edges were sharp. He then went in with his hammer, and kept tapping to break off the rust, and bend back the sharp metal, to round off the edges. Eventually it was safe, so Pudgy stepped back. He took off his helmet, and set it on the ground with the light still on.
A light beam shone into the cave, and mice carefully scampered past him and into the cave. “You two be careful in the cave, Pudgy needs to check the stove, and then get a broom.” The mice were already out of ear shot, so Pudgy laughed while scamping through the banquette. He headed through the interior door, and noticed the bunnies staring into the fire box. “Pudgy opened hole to the cave, and the….” The hedgehog watched as the exited bunnies twitched their noses, and then like lightning, shot past him to head into the big room. Shaking his head while laughing, he checked the bread, and it was ready to come out. Very carefully he retrieved the bread from the oven, and placed it out on his wooden counters to cool. After securing the stove once more, and taking the tea leaves out of his pot, the hedgehog grabbed his broom from beside the front door. Then scampering once more, he headed through his home, through the big room, to the banquette’s opening. He swept the pieces of metal from the new entrance to the tunnel, and safely to a spot outside where no one would accidentally step on it.
Taking his helmet back, and putting it on his head, Pudgy grabbed his shovel. As he exited his home’s back wall, he could see that the gravel behind his home was wet. Cobalt had put a french drain, covered by gravel all around the back of the home. It would catch the water, and divert it outside to the external water tanks. It looked like something was causing more water to pool back at this corner, which caused the rust. “Pudgy come up here,” he heard the bunnies calling out from further within the cavern. The hedgehog carefully scampered through the cavern, and up a path through some low ceilings. He reached a section of the cavern that turned to the right and a part that headed slightly left. A bunny nose was twitching in his light beam when he looked left.
It was Bobbie bunny, “Pudgy, this spot is perfect for our new warren! It is double the size, and has a smooth stone for us to hop on.” As Pudgy looked around the bunny, he saw Billie looking excitedly around. It was a natural shale rock cavern, and the gray stone seemed to be dry in this section. “This looks like a good spot for your home, and we can even bring over the wood doors that Cobalt made for you.” As the hedgehog backed out, he bumped into Mrs. Field Mouse. She giggled in a squeaky voice, and tugged at his quills gently. Turning around, Pudgy followed her to the right which led to their cavern home. Pudgy could just barely see light coming from a small opening in the cavern wall. “Pudgy see light … we should put an entrance here, with doors so we can shut off the tunnel.” The mouse nodded, “that is what my husband is suggesting. He went to go find Argente, so she knows why her cottage is shaking when we dig.”
Pudgy laughed, realizing the one thing wrong with the tunnel plan, was that it could not connect to Argente’s cottage. Behind the cottage was a huge granite boulder, which Cobalt could not move. But she liked it, since no one could get inside the cottage from behind her partially covered home. The tunnel entrance would be two fox lengths from her home, so she could use the tunnel if it was big enough. Nodding to himself, Pudgy started to gently chip away at the rock near the source of the light. Shale rock is unique in its structure, as it naturally forms sheets. To chip away, you just needed to find the right seam and angle, and it would shave off. So while the bunnies explored their warren, Pudgy widened the hole. Eventually he could stick his face inside of it, and peek outside into the clearing. A curious fox face appeared in the cottage, and then spotted Pudgy’s nose.
“Pudgy, what are you doing in that small cave on the hill?” The hedgehog waved, “we are building a tunnel!” the hedgehog turned to Mrs. Field Mouse, “Can you please go back to Pudgy home, and open the front door for Argente?” The mouse nodded, and scurried off. Pudgy turned back to his female fox friend, “Mrs. Field Mouse will let you in and show you the way. Go to Pudgy home,” he said, while continuing to chip away at the stone. The fox nodded, and started to trot away. The bunnies meanwhile had spotted Pudgy, and began to help him, move the pieces of rock and dirt away. “Can you take that and put it behind Pudgy home? Pudgy has an idea about the water problem,” The hedgehog said and watched his bunny friends start moving the rocks through the cavern.
Argente was amazed and shook her head in disbelief as she trotted down the hill, past the big round door, and to the open front door of Pudgy’s house. The field mouse was waving, and watched as the fox squeezed through the front door. After she was through, Mrs. Field Mouse shut Pudgy’s front door and scurried behind her. As they entered the big room, Argente saw the open door. She padded up to the open cabinet door, and saw the big hole in the wall. “WHO PUT THE HOLE IN THE WALL?” Argente shouted, as she saw a bunny face poke through, “Pudgy help us build a tunnel!” The fox approached slowly, and felt the mouse scurry underneath her. Giggling, Argente watched as the mouse entered the tunnel, and disappeared, The fox could see the growing pile of rock beside the door, that the bunnies were piling up. The metal edges were beat back, but still were a bit sharp, and it would be dangerous for her to squeeze through.
Backing up, the fox sat in the big room, under the soft glow of the LED lights. As she waited, eventually a very dirty hedgehog appeared, with his mining tools. Pudgy waved at his fox friend, “Pudgy want to build tunnel big enough so you can use too. But Pudgy need to make entrance safe, and also add some braces, and make path safe, and lights, and railings, and fix the water issue.” The fox giggled, “well you need to eat, sleep, rest, and then work on tunnel. But honestly, this is a good idea, since all of us can use it. The gathering spot for all affairs is your home anyway, and what better pavillion is the big room for your home?” The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy agrees. The Banquette seat is mostly open underneath, so we can store things here. Maybe beaver friends can widen the wooden parts for us, so tunnel entrance can be easier to access. Pudgy want to put door here, and at other end as well.”
His fox friend nodded, and called into the tunnel around Pudgy. “ok, all of you come back here for break!” Pudgy chuckled, and scampered around Argente and back into his home. Setting his bag, tools, and helmet in a corner by the dining room table; he went to his sink to wash his paws. Soon the bunnies, and the mice arrived, and were washing up in the sink as well. The bread had finally cooled, so Pudgy cut slices for everyone. Checking his cold box, he had a tiny amount of butter left, so he decided to use it. Sparingly he buttered the bread slices, and had enough for all but himself. He passed out the bread, and as his friends happily munched on it, he turned to grab his slice. Argente noticed that Pudgy’s bread seemed less shiny, and watched as he ate his slice.
Afterwards, more tea was poured in the various cups around the room and on the table. Pudgy went to a cupboard, and found the ginger snaps. The hedgehog had precious few left, but he was hosting, so he decided to break them apart into pieces. After all were passed out, there were few crumbs left for him, but what was remaining he ate happily. As his friends bounced happily, and sat the sugary delight, Pudgy smiled as he realized he was so lucky that he had such wonderful friends. He missed Cobalt every day, but with his woodland neighbors, the pain of loss was easing.
After supper Pudgy cleaned up the dishes and cups in his sink, while his friends laughed and bounced happily. As the light faded, his friends began to depart in pairs. Though this time, they used the new tunnel to head to their homes. The bunnies did not want to go back, and wanted to sleep in their new warren, so they followed the mice. Pudgy swung the cabinet door shut in the Banquette seat, and then headed to his interior door to his main home. He shut the door and secured it, then turned to Argente. The fox giggled, “I saw what you were doing Pudgy at supper. Are you running low again on supplies?” The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy have some things in great supply, but other things are scant at best. Pudgy will need to start to forage soon, unless we can figure out how to open cans.”
The fox nodded, and was about to say something, when her ears perked up. Pudgy turned to her, “What is it?” Outside the window, in the darkness of the forest, a strange noise was heard. It sounded like a dog, but it was much more high pitched. There were 4 short barks, and then a longer high pitched bark. Then after the first call, dozens of others started to respond. The fox looked at her hedgehog friend, “turn off the lights, and lock the doors and windows.” Without argument, Pudgy scampered over and locked his front door and braced it. Then pushing the button to turn off his LED lights, he headed back over to his window, and reached up to pull it closed. As he latched it shut, Pudgy could see shapes moving in the darkness. “Argente, what is it?”
The female fox started to ease her attentive stance, and then looked at Pudgy. “Those were coyote calls. It looks like they have decided to move into this area. Pudgy, they are a predator, and will eat small animals like us. They generally move around at night, but have been known to hunt during the day. Now that Cobalt and the other humans are gone, they are moving closer to the human homes. Think about when we went to Cobalt’s house, the garbage rotting, that will attract racoons. The coyotes will follow and eat the raccoons.” Pudgy frowned as the light of the fire from the wood stove caused a faint light to dance on his fox friend’s face. “Then it is good we are building the tunnel,” The hedgehog said softly.
Argente nodded in agreement, and then watched her friend load up the firebox once more with wood before securing it. “Please spend the night Argente, it is not safe to go home tonight.” The fox nodded, and watched as he scampered around to get the blanket out for her. The fox returned to the normal spot she slept at when she stayed over, and then giggled as she was covered by Pudgy with the blanket. The home was warm, and secure, so Pudgy headed to his bedroom and slipped into bed. But he knew his friends were safe, and with the tunnel, they could move safely around. Doors needed to be installed, more measures put into place to protect his friends now that the humans were gone. When the hedgehog pulled up the blanket over his chest, he fell immediately asleep due to being exhausted from the day’s activities. The usual nightmares did not wake him, as he was too tired to be scared.