A shaft of golden sunlight slipped between the curtains waking Sophie from her dream. She opened her eyes and yawned. What was that dream she could never quite remember them? She got up,dressed and crept silently downstairs.
Jolly the dog wagged his tail as Sophie patted his head and together they slipped out of the back door and ran across the farmyard. The morning dew soaked her trousers as they made their way over the water meadows to the river.
The river glistened on the early morning sunlight as sophie snuck into her camp. Dad had built a little house for her in the branches of an overhanging willow. Sophie climbed inside and removed the secret viewing panel. she wriggled forward on her tummy and gazed down. There hidden among the water mint and kingcups was a ducks nest. There was a clutch of nine soft blue eggs partially covered by down. Mother duck was out having a paddle.
Sophie was disappointed she was hoping they had hatched. she longed to watch the fluffy ducklings tumbling about on the water.
Sophie was about to turn away when she thought she heard a tiny cry and then a splash. she looked hard and saw to her surprise a tiny basket no bigger than an egg cup went bobbing past.
Quick as a flash Sophie reached out and plucked the little basket from the water before the current whisked it away. The basket was cunningly woven from the stems of rushes and inside was a tiny blanket. Suddenly the blanket quivered and Sophie realised that the basket contained a tiny child.
In her surprise she almost dropped it. The tiny child was dressed in Kingcup petals stitched together with cobweb thread. The child gave cry and Sophie looked back towards the large clump of Kingcups desperately searching for the parents. Nothing stirred, but the more Sophie looked the more the patch of Kingcups seem to resemble a sort of house, or even a palace. There were minute openings in the stalks which looked like windows and lower down the stems seem to have been woven together forming walls and even battlements.
Surely I would have noticed this before thought Sophie. She carefully put the basket down and turned to look again at the amazing house, but when she looked back the Kingcups were just a mass of untidy stems and flowers. Am I looking at the same plant thought Sophie? Am I dreaming? The tiny child was crying and Sophie picked up the basket and gently rocked it back and forth. Immediately the crying stopped. Sophie looked back towards the Kingcups and there, as clear as day, was the palace. This time however she saw movement. A line of tiny figures each carrying a miniature bow and a quiver of arrows came marching into view.
Chapter 2 to follow next month...