Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dog Day Afternoon

Hans Hoffmann (ca. 1530 - ca. 1591) 

Molly hadn’t realised how far she'd run until it was too late. She stopped in her tracks, and looked back to the open breadth of greenery and forest. Where was she? And where was Lucy? Two steps forward, sniff sniff, nothing familiar! She had been playing in Richmond Park with Lucy and caught sight of a hare hopping by in the distance. Like an arrow she shot forward! Molly had run and run and run following the hare to a hiding place way beyond where she had been playing with Lucy. Molly saw the hare disappear into a hole in the ground and had been digging furiously to gain access to the hare's underground refuge. But now that she stopped digging, she realised that Lucy was nowhere in sight! Sniff sniff, nose to the ground but she could not pick up her scent. What was she going to do? She didn’t know the park, the area, or even where she and Lucy lived in relation to the park. She slowly started to walk along the grassy region, and looked back and forth hoping that she might see something familiar. It had been midday when they had left the house and headed for the park. They had played, and met other dogs and people that day. Why did she have to chase the hare into the woods? Maybe if she tried to turn back into the direction from which she had been running, she'd find Lucy. Why didn’t she think of that before! "Silly Molly" she thought to herself and started to trot along feeling better that she was headed on the right track… She continued to walk along trying her best to retrace her path. As the sun was fading, the air began to cool. The woods that she had seen in the distance started to get closer and closer. She would be reunited with Lucy in no time!

“Molly! Molly!” “C’mon girl!”

“We’ve been looking for hours Lucy. I think we may have to come back tomorrow and start searching again.”

Lucy’s eyes welled up and her chin began to tremble. “She doesn’t know these woods mummy. She’ll be scared! We can’t leave now!”

“Molly! Molly!” cried Lucy.

They continued walking in the direction of the woods in which Molly had disappeared while chasing the hare.

“Honey, I know you’re upset. We’ll come back first thing tomorrow and I am sure that she will turn up.”

It was hard to pull Lucy away. She and Molly were such great friends. It was heart-wrenching for Lucy to be apart from Molly.

“Come along honey, we’ll go home and come back tomorrow with posters that we can put up as well. She has a collar, someone is bound to find her and give us a ring.”

Slowly they turned toward the path and started to leave the park. Lucy continuously looked back as the tears rolled down her distraught face.

“Just on the other side of these woods, and then I’ll be back with Lucy!”

M-F Boissonneault 2012
What Molly didn’t realise is that she had strayed a fair distance from Lucy when she tore off into the woods just above Pen Ponds. After running through the forest in mad pursuit of the tantalising hare, Molly had been turned around so that when she exited the woods at the other end, she was actually to the left of Pen Ponds rather than above it. At this end of the forest exit, Molly could not see Pen Ponds, and so when she entered the woods in front of her, she confused the woods of Killcat Corner with those of Duchess Woods. As Molly crossed the threshold of the small woods of Killcat Corner, it was as though the lights had gone out. The trees were thick and the air was damp. She stopped for a drink of water from a puddle and then quickened her pace in anticipation of reuniting with Lucy. The walk through the woods seemed much shorter this time, and as Molly left the woods of Killcat Corner, she was dismayed to discover that the landscape did not resemble the area around Pen Ponds. In fact, there were no large ponds in sight! She sat for a moment and exhaled deeply. Looking around, Molly saw a ridge of trees and then another forest. Perhaps those were the woods she had entered in her enthusiastic chase! That must be it. She ran off eagerly toward Victory Plantation. All the while poor Molly had no idea that she was getting further and further away from Pen Ponds.
D. Sharon Pruitt
adapted by M-F Boissonneault
As Lucy and her mum entered the car in the Spankers Hill Woods car park, Lucy sorrowfully gazed through the window in the hopes that she may catch a glimpse of Molly as they left the park. Her mum drove slowly so they could call out on the chance that they may intersect Molly as they drove away. As they turned onto the A3 to make their way back home to Southfields, Lucy began to sob. 

Meanwhile, Molly had completely lost all sense of direction. She had crossed through Kingsfarm Plantation only to find herself on an unfamiliar road. She decided that rather than get lost in the woods once again, she may as well follow this unfamiliar road… The road that Molly now found herself on was perpendicular to the A3, a main thoroughfare. It wasn’t long before Molly reached the juncture to the A3. Cars whizzed by her as she looked from one direction to the other. There was a center wall that separated the traffic, and it looked like it was a bit high to jump over. Molly decided that it would be better to follow alongside the A3 until she found a safer place to cross.

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