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Every Monday and Friday afternoon we walked to the shops by the seaside, we had done this ever since I could remember.
We went the same way every time. We would stop at the bookshop, then the vegetable shop and the butcher. At every stop I would wait outside the shop while Bob went inside. While I waited I would hear lots of laughter, I liked this even if I did not know what it was about.
My favourite shop was the butcher because after that Bob would come out and say, “Come on laddie.” Then he would take me across the road to the beach and the little waves. He would let me off my lead and I could run madly all around the place chasing and barking at the seagulls. When it was nice and warm and if I was really brave I would chase the friendly waves, but they were never scared of me and sometimes wet me all over.
The very best of this fun time was when Bob would open his paper bundle and give me a sausage. Then we would walk home and I would lie in the sun or in front of the fire and dry out.
It had been just such a day, lots of fun and laughter. On the way home dark clouds started to gather and Bob said we must hurry to race the rain. The wind started to blow; leaves and pieces of paper chased each other along the road.
When we got home I lay beside the fire as usual until it was time for my late evening walk on the back lawn. I was not looking forward to this walk, but it was a rule and I had to go outside.
The wind was howling and the gate was thrown open and was banging on the wall.
Thunder crashed and boomed, lightning flashed, I jumped with fright and then it crashed again. I ran out the gate and kept running. I didn’t know where I was going, I just had to get away from the crashes, booms and flashes. I kept running and the rain pelted down. I didn’t know where I was and right then I didn’t care, I was really frightened. I kept running until I was out of breath. I stopped running and looked around me, I was lost. I could the waves somewhere near but I couldn’t see them, they didn’t sound very friendly.
I was soaking wet and now I had stopped running I was getting cold. I sniffed around and found a bundle of paper. It smelled familiar; I stuck my nose in and snuffled around in the paper, very familiar indeed. I had suddenly forgotten the storm.
I had a treasure, 4 sausages found wrapped in butcher’s paper – left on the path. I was about to help myself when a thought stopped me. This would be Bob’s dinner and had fallen from his bag when we were running to get home. I must take them home for him. Now I knew where I was, on the path to home. I tried to gather up the bag but it was very wet and was falling apart. I tried to hold them all but my little mouth was too small, so I took hold of what could and started off home
As I got to our street I found Bob had come looking for me. I could hear him above the storm whistling and calling my name, “come laddie.”
I ran up to him with 1 sausage in my mouth and the rest dragging on the ground, all the paper had gone. Bob picked me up, sausages and all and gave me the biggest hug, he told me I was the bestist wee foxy in the world.
He really meant it, I know because he gave me all the sausages as a reward. Two sausages each day for the next two days.
(© Copyright A B Inglis All rights reserved. 2011.)