Mrs. Peppercorn, Benjamin Bean, Jinx the cat, Charles the rooster, and Freddy the popular pig took off for Mars in Benjamin Bean's fabulous space ship, despite the treachery of one Mr. Bismuth. It was Mrs. Peppercorn's fiddling with the controls that knocked them off their course and landed them in a far more strange place then they had prepared for.
Would they survive in this weird land? What was the huge flapping thing that whizzed at them? Where were they? Would they ever return to earth?
Freddy and his assorted space crew were plagued by these questions - trapped in another world - victims of their own planetary curiosity. Whether everything came out all right remains to be seen.
Here is Mrs. Peppercorn's finest poem IMHO. She is the first voice and is speaking to a young chipmunk who obviously does not appreciate her poetry!
"O goodness me! O goodness gracious!
How large is the universe! How spacious!
How large it is I greatly fear
That you have no distinct idear.
It really quite surprises us
To find it so enorm-u-ous.
It just goes on mile after mile;
To reach its end's impossibile.
And you could travel weeks and years
And never come out anywheers.
Because for all your haste and rushing
When you get there, there isn't nusshing
There isn't nusshing there at all,
And you feel pretty miseraball,
For though you holler bloody murder
You simply can't go any furder,
"Oh, please excuse me," the other voice interrupted, "but I really must get home. My mother - "
"I thought we'd settled about your mother," said the first voice. "Now listen:
And down on the United States
Shine all the stars and satellates.
Above the trees, above the house,
The stars shine all tremulouse.
Like little lamps they brightly shine,
A-burning high grade kerosine.
Each star in all the constellations
Winkles and twinks. My goodnes gracious!
My goodness me! How truly beauteous
They are! And kind of cuteous,
The way they hide behind the moon
So you can't see just what they're doon'."
"What's 'cuteous' mean?" asked the smaller voice.
"Don't pretend to be any more stupid than you are," said the first voice severely. "You know quite well what it means."