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Where Has Mum Gone?

by  Pipperhaye

Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009
Word Count: 1682
Summary: Here are the first three chapters, following the adventures of two little puppies. I would really appreciate any comments or recommendations, as this is the first book I have written for children.

Chapter 1
Whistling through the narrow cracks in the puppy’s wooden kennel, the bitter icy March wind tickled Bonnie’s little golden nose making it twitch.

All alone Bonnie lay curled up in a tiny round golden ball, her little legs and tail tucked in tightly in a desperate effort to stay warm. She looked over sadly to her three big brothers, Yapper, Whinger and Long Legs all snuggled up together into a mass of chocolate fur with Long Legs lying across Yapper and Whinger. Smudge as usual was happily crouched in a corner chewing on an old bone, his tiny chocolate tail wagging furiously with pleasure.

Bonnie was the first to hear Mum jump into the puppy pen. Leaping up she ran towards her, but like a herd of Buffaloes, her brothers charged across the kennel. With a vicious shove Long Legs (who decided a long time ago as the largest pup to take on the role of ‘Pack Leader’) pushed little Bonnie aside, snapping “Get out of my way, let me through”

Bonnie unable to keep her balance tumbled over and yelped when Yapper and Whinger clambered on top of her, scratching her soft pink tummy with their sharp little claws to reach Mum.

Recovering her balance Bonnie pleaded to her brothers “Please let me in, I’m hungry”.

“Wait your turn, we were here first” Snarled Yapper.

“Yeah, get out of it, scram you stupid mutt” Growled Whinger

“Smudge where are you, Smudge?” Sitting alone Bonnie called to her only friend.

Bonnie soon realized Smudge was buried beneath his greedy brothers and could do nothing to help her.

Though she knew Mum loved and cared deeply for all her little puppies Bonnie was glad when Mum turned to the unruly boys and let out a warning Bark, telling them to behave. But Bonnie loved best of all Mums’ extra loving licks and snuggling up under her curly golden ears to stay warm.

But something was wrong; Bonnie noticed that Mum was coming less and less to see her. Her three naughty brothers now had a field day, teasing, biting and bullying her.

Thank goodness there was playful Smudge thought Bonnie. She loved to run around in circles playing chase with him, but her favourite game of all was tug with one of the many toys they had to play with. Poor little Smudge would snap and growl back at his brothers, when they started picking on her, but the boys especially Long Legs usually took no notice and would just tell him to ‘shut up’.

Chapter 2

No matter how hard she tried, Bonnie couldn’t stop shivering, if only she could sneak past her brothers she’s be able to cuddle up next to Smudge. Placing one paw in front of the other she started to creep round them.

“Ouch” Bonnie jumped and yelped as Long Legs sunk his long sharp teeth into her leg.

“Get out of the way there’s no room for you here, ‘Ginger Mutt” Barked Long Legs.

“I just want to get past, anyway you wouldn’t have done that if Mum were here, she’d have bitten you back” Bonnie whimpered.

“Yeah yeah, but hey guess what you stupid pup, she’s not, so move NOW”

“What’s going on, can’t a guy get some sleep?” Moaned Whinger

“ Oh be quiet Whinger, it’s just the Ginger Mutt being a pest as usual” replied Yapper as laughing he grabbed Bonnie’s golden tail between his teeth.

Shaking her little tail from side to side he growled, “You heard Long Legs, get out of it”

Running over to Smudge as fast as her little legs would carry her she was not really sure if it was the cold winter air or her brothers bullying that made Bonnie start to shiver again.

Bonnie felt Smudge nuzzle up against her “ It’s OK Bonnie. I’ll keep you warm”.

“Why am I so different from everyone else and why do they hate me so much?” Cried Bonnie.

Bonnie couldn’t stop the tears, she just felt so lonely since Mum had disappeared “Where is Mum?” Cried Bonnie “why has she suddenly stopped coming to play and cuddle us to keep warm?”

Giving Bonnie a reassuring lick Smudge said “I don’t know where’s she’s gone, but I’ve been thinking, we need to try and find her she can’t be that far away.”

“Oh Smudge, if only we could, but how?” Asked Bonnie.

Smudge twitched his little brown nose (something he always did when faced with a problem), then jumped up proudly replied, “I’ve got it, just stick close and follow me.“

Drawing closer to Bonnie he whispered “I have a plan but you must be ready to follow me and run for your life when I say so, no arguments!”

Bonnie could feel her little heart racing and suddenly felt very scared as she thought - was it possible, did Smudge really know how they could find their Mum?

The noise of the bolt on the kennel door being drawn back was the signal to all the little puppies since Mum had disappeared, that Pat was coming in with their dinner. A mad stampede of puppies dived towards her, tumbling over each other with yelps of pleasure “Food glorious Food YIPPEE!”

Smudge leapt in front of Bonnie “Wait Bonnie, you’ve got to stay close to me and get ready to move when I say.”
Bonnie was just about to explain to Smudge that she wanted her dinner, when Smudge barked
“NOW BONNIE - RUN come on follow me”
“But what about dinner, I’m hungry?”
Smudge gave a little growl “we’ll get plenty to eat when we find Mum, come on its now or never – RUN”

Chapter 3

As fast as their tiny four legs could carry them Smudge and Bonnie skidded between Pats legs and hurled themselves out of the kennel door. Long Legs, Whinger and Yapper didn’t notice anything happening, they were too busy filling their fat little tummies with food, but Pat let out an almighty scream “ PUPPIES COME BACK”.

By the time Pat had frantically re-locked the kennel and turned to chase after the little puppies they were nowhere to be seen.

With puppy hearts ready to burst, their little paws pounded over the rough stony track. Sharp bracken scratched against their soft furry coats as they tightly rounded each bend. On and on they ran, until Bonnie could run no more and collapsed on to her side panting and struggling to take in each breath.

Smudge realizing Bonnie was no longer with him, turned and ran back to her side.

“Bonnie, we have to keep going, or we’ll be caught and never find Mum” he managed to say in-between breaths.

It took a few moments before Bonnie could reply “I’m sorry Smudge, just give me a few minutes. Do you know where Mum is? We’ve run an awfully long way; perhaps we should try calling her?”

“Silly girl, that’ll alert everyone to where we are; we need to find her scent and follow it”. Smudge immediately put his nose to the ground and started walking round in circles sniffing the ground.

Bonnie knew Smudge was a very intelligent little pup, but she did wonder what would happen if they couldn’t find Mum’s scent. She decided it’d be better to say nothing yet not wanting to upset Smudge and joined in sniffing along the edges of the pathway.

“Come on, let’s cut across this field I can see another path down the hill” suggested Smudge.

“Er Smudge - that’s no field, it’s a cliff and it’s awfully steep, I don’t think it’s a good idea; we could slip and hurt ourselves.”

“Don’t worry It’ll be all right if we go slowly.”

As Bonnie placed one paw gingerly in front of the other she struggled desperately to keep her balance. It didn’t help much having her four little legs shaking so badly. Smudge although he wouldn’t admit it, seemed to also be having trouble climbing down the steep cliff face.

Then without any warning it happened. Smudge who was slightly ahead of Bonnie, let out a piecing yelp and tumbled over and over down the cliff. His legs were flying in every direction, but he just couldn’t stop himself from falling until with a load thud his frail little body slammed against a large rock.

Although now some distance from Bonnie, she could hear his whimpers of pain and as fast and safely as possible she quickly made her way to his side.

“Smudge, what have you done? Don’t try to move let me check you over first.”

With his head laid down on the damp ground Smudge let Bonnie sniff around his bruised body trying very hard not to whimper too loudly.

Bonnie didn’t want to alarm Smudge and said nothing when she saw the blood on his back left paw. Instead she gently started to lick the paw to clean it, discovering a viscous thorn embedded in the pad. She knew Smudge would not be able to walk unless she could remove the thorn.

“Oh Smudge, I know why you fell, you’ve trodden on a thorn. I’ve got to try and pull it out. I’m sorry, but it’s going to hurt, if I don’t you’ll never be able walk anywhere.”

Smudge looked up into Bonnie’s golden face and knew she’d do everything to help him and not leave him here all alone.
The pain shot up his leg he closed his eyes and tried to remember the good times when they were all happily playing with Mum. He could feel Bonnie’s teeth gently tug at the thorn Ouch, it was so painful he thought

There you are Smudge, all done” Bonnie whispered in his ear, she then gave a few more licks to clean Smudge’s now throbbing paw.

Gently Smudge raised his sore battered body and placed his wounded paw onto the ground. Although it still hurt, the awful stabbing pain had gone.

“Thank you Bonnie, you’re a true friend, perhaps I should let you lead from now on” smiled Smudge.