Looking After Slim

Hamish had gone to visit his friends Angus and Elsie to see their new lambs, Kit and Kat.   Lily had tagged along but was not allowed into the barn with the lambs so she wandered off to play in the paddock with Angus and Elsie’s dogs, George, Lenny and Slim.  

George and Lenny were happy little dogs with shaggy coats and waggy tails and big soppy eyes.  Just looking at Lenny made you feel better. She sometimes went to hospitals with Angus and Elsie’s mum in a special coat to cheer the patients up.  

Slim was much taller than George and Lenny with gangly legs that seemed likely to trip her up, and quite often did when George and Lenny ran round and through them in their games.  Angus and Elsie had brought Slim home from the rescue home a few years ago and Slim was still a little nervous.   She loved Angus and Elsie and George and Lenny passionately, but was a little unsure of new people and new animals. 

Lily very much wanted to be friends with Slim, who she thought very dashing indeed, but Slim was shy and hung back behind George and Lenny. 

“Let’s play chase” suggested Lenny, knowing full well this was Slim’s very favouritest game.  Slim was made for speed – when she ran at full tilt her long legs scissoring wildly – she flew across the field.  George and Lenny tried their best but just couldn’t keep up.   

Seeing Slim start to run, Lily gave a yelp of pleasure and shot after her, a cannonball of fluff.  Lily and Slim hared up and down and round and round madly until Lily, now totally dizzy, fell over her own feet. Slim looked around to see where Lily had gone. 

“Slim watch where you are going” barked George.

But it was too late.  Unable to stop, Slim barrelled straight into a a tangle of barbed wire and posts in the corner of the field, where a fallen tree had broken down a section of fencing.   

Lily ran over to Slim to see if she could help but the more poor Slim struggled the more tangled she became.  “We need to get help” Lily yelped.   

George and Lenny were little dogs, but they had very big barks and they threw back their heads and howled and barked in unison.   The noise brought Hamish, Angus and Elsie running out of the barn.  They clambered over the fence and ran over to see what had happened.    

Angus and Hamish tried to loosen Slim but it was no use. She was stuck fast.      Slim was shivering with fear.  Lily wriggled under the wire to get closer to Slim and licked her ear encouragingly.  “It’ll be all right, you’ll see”

“We’ll have to get dad” said Angus and pointed at the tractor chugging up and down in the next field.    “Everybody shout an’ wave.”

Hamish, Angus and Elsie shouted and waved and the dogs barked and howled but it was no use.   Angus’ dad had big yellow ear muffs on to shut out the tractor noise and couldn’t hear a thing. 

Angus looked around wildly for something to attract his dad’s attention.  There was a broken branch of tree, maybe he could make a flag to wave…..

“Elsie, this is a ‘mergency.”   He pointed at her brightly coloured dress.    Elsie wriggled out of her red pinafore and stood a little sheepishly in her wellies and pink vest and knickers.     Angus pushed the branch through the armholes and declared it “perfick”.   

He clambered up onto the top of the stile in the corner of the field and Hamish passed him the flag.  They waved and waved and barked and shouted.  

Angus’ dad was turning the tractor when a flash of red caught his eye. He peered out and then rubbed his eyes and looked again.  Was that a flag? And why was Elsie running around in the skirly pip? He stopped the tractor and took off his ear muffs and then nearly fell off his seat when the wave of barking, howling and shouting washed over him.  

Something was definitely up.  

The tractor puttered over to the fence. Angus’ dad immediately saw the problem.  “My what a pickle” he said.  “Good job I have my tools in the back”. He jumped down and rooted around in the jumble of old feed sacks, spare tractor parts and tools in the back.  “Here we are” he declared, brandishing a pair of wire clippers.  

With a snip, snip, snap Slim was free.  

She stood up a little shakily then padded over to the anxious group waiting by the tractor.  Hamish and Angus cheered and waved the flag.  George, Lenny and Lily yelped for joy and Elsie ran up and gave Slim a big sloppy kiss right on her nose.  

“Well done you lot” said Angus’ dad “Slim was lucky you were around to raise the alarm.”  

“I think all this excitement calls for a hot drink and some cake.  You boys run on and let your mum know we will most definitely need at least two buns each.  I’ll bring Elsie”

Elsie, who was now a bit goose pimply with cold, was bundled up in a holey old jumper of her dad’s from the back of the tractor and strapped into the co-pilot seat.   George and Lenny jumped in too – to keep her extra warm.   

Hamish and Angus marched off proudly, still waving the flag, with Lily and Slim following on.  When the little procession arrived at the back door Angus’ mum was most impressed and immediately agreed that this was most definitely a two bun AND hot chocolate situation.  It might even need a few floating marshmallows, just to be on the safe side.

Whilst the children slurped their hot chocolate, Angus’ mum admired the flag and “oohed” and “ahed” as the tale was told, with much waving of arms and spluttering of crumbs.

The dogs snuggled up together on the kitchen floor, tired out after all the excitement.  Slim was feeling very lucky. She had her own little family and now she had a new friend too.   

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