In chapter six, Sammy and the cats have just come through the mirror.

Sammy and Peaches followed BB through the mirror. It felt thick and gooey for a moment and seemed to stretch, and then they were through. When they looked back, the other side was a mirror also. They couldn’t see the forest they had come from. The trees were farther apart here, with leaves instead of fir needles, and the sky was lighter.

“Be careful,” said BB. “There may be small patches of mirror magic scattered about here. Keep close together, and stay on the trail.”

Sammy gazed about at the strange new place, then glanced down at the pathway. “Eep!” she squeaked, as she hopped and jumped backwards. She could see a huge hole in the pathway. It looked like it went down forever. But BB and Peaches continued forward. They seemed to be walking on air.

BB looked back. “Sammy, come on. You need to keep up.”

“But…but…there’s a…I mean, how can you…”

“What’s the matter?” asked Peaches. “Oh. Of course, it’s the mirror magic, and you’re not a cat. Cats see what’s really there. Come on, it’s just a little illusion.”

“N-no.” said Sammy. “I c-can’t. I’ll just walk around.” She stepped off the path.

“Sammy! Don’t!” said Peaches. But it was too late. Sammy had stepped right into the real hole that was masked by the magic and was sliding down the sloping sides of a steep tunnel.

Sammy screamed as she slid faster and faster. The tunnel angled away from the path and finally spilled her out onto a flat spot, on a pile of soft dirt and leaves. She shook herself and stood up, feeling a little wobbly. She could see the cats looking down from a ledge, far above her head. The flat area where she had landed wasn’t much bigger than her living room at home. She could see the edge where it dropped down again.

She was wondering how she was going to get back up, when a noise made her spin around. A pile of dirt erupted like a tiny volcano. A hairy head popped up out of the dirt pile. It had big eyes and big teeth. “Oh my whiskers,” said the gopher. “What have we here? This won’t do at all. No, not at all.”

A second gopher popped up near the first. “Dear me. You don’t belong here. Shoo! Go away!”

Sammy clenched her teeth and put her hands on her hips. She glared at the giant gophers. “Well, I didn’t exactly come here on purpose. I fell in by accident. You have no business digging tunnels near the pathway.”

“O my, my,” said the first gopher. “Whatever it is, it has a nasty temper.” It turned to the other gopher. “Let’s just shove it over the edge. Be careful, it might bite.”

BB called down from the ledge above. “Hello there. Sorry to disturb you, but our girl seems to have fallen down your tunnel. Could you help her back up, please? We’re on a mission for Princess Selena.” To Sammy she added, “Remember your manners. No time for tantrums. We have work to do.”

Sammy was shaking and she could feel her face turning red. She wanted to yell angry words, but she took a couple of deep breaths instead. BB was right. She did her best to smile politely, and curtseyed. “How do you do. My name is Sammy. I’m sorry I was rude. Will you please help me get back to the path?”

“Oh,” said the first gopher. “Much, much better. And a mission for the Princess. We’d better help.”

“Yes indeed,” said the second gopher. “We’re the Tweedle brothers. We dig. That’s what we do. But we climb, too. Just start up the tunnel, Sammy girl. We’ll come behind and push.”

With the help of the gophers, Sammy finally made it to the top where the cats were waiting.

“Thank you,” said BB. “Now we must hurry. Come along, Sammy, and keep on the path this time.”

“Wait,” called the first gopher, as they walked away. “I have some advice for the girl.”

Sammy turned around. “KEEP YOUR TEMPER,” yelled the gopher. He and his brother jumped back in the hole. Sammy and the cats walked on.

Strange birds cackled from the trees and nearby rocky ledges. There was a terrible screech, like the sound of crashing cars or a rusty gate being torn off its hinges.

“Sammy,” whispered BB, “you’d better get that cloak out of the backpack and have it ready.”