Sidney Snail had not been out for a couple of days as he had had a bad cold. Ripple the Rabbit had been to visit and so had Frankie Frog.
Frankie told Ripple and Sidney that there was now a new family living on his pond, Pip and Pippa, two white ducks. He said, “ I don’t know what to do. They are very very noisy and wake everyone up very early in the mornings. They are nice and I don’t want to upset them, but something has to be done to keep them quiet” “Hm! I can see that is a problem”” said Sidney “we will have to think of something!
The following day Sidney felt much better and decided some fresh air would do him good and anyway he wanted to meet the new ducks for himself.
Ripple ran up to Sidney and together they walked towards the pond. They saw Frankie asleep at the side of the pond and woke him up. “Why are you asleep Frankie?” asked the two friends. “Pip and Pippa woke me up very early making such a loud noise” replied Frankie, “I don’t know what to do about it – they even wake the fish up. We are all very tired”.
“Where are the ducks? asked Sidney. “I think they must have walked down to the river” replied Frankie.
The three friends decided to go for a walk down to the river. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. Spring was on the way and soon Needles the Hedgehog would be waking up from her winter sleep and bringing her three babies into the garden as would Dolly Dormouse.
As they reached the river they could see Pip and Pippa swimming. Round and round they swam chasing each other and the other ducks. They were having fun.
Suddenly Pip and Pippa spotted the three friends and swam towards them. “Hello Frankie” said Pip “who are your friends?” “Frankie replied, “This is Sidney Snail and Ripple the Rabbit”. They all stayed talking for a while and arranged to meet the following day.
Sidney decided to have an early night, when all of a sudden he heard a lot of noise coming from the garden in the area of the pond. He put on his warm scarf and looked out to see what was happening. In the distance he could see Brushtail the Fox and he could see Brushtail was up to no good near the pond.
Luckily Ripple the Rabbit came to call for Sidney as he too had heard the commotion and wanted to see what was happening.
The two friends ran as fast as they could to the pond (Sidney as usual at the back as he was so slow). Frankie jumped out of the pond and there in the middle of the pond were Pip and Pippa swimming round and round in circles trying to avoid Brushtail the Fox who was trying to catch them. Brushtail had put a plank of wood across the pond so he could reach the two ducks. He would eat them for his supper.
Sidney, Ripple and Frankie had to do something, and very quickly to help Pip and Pippa.
Ripple ran to the hen shed and banged and banged on the door.
A very cross Burt the Cockerel called out and asked who it was. “It is me,” said Ripple “we need your help. Brushtail the Fox is trying to catch Pip and Pippa and he will eat them, we must do something”. Burt asked Ripple to try and push open the door to the hen hut from the outside. He and the hens pushed from the inside and suddenly the door flew open.
Ripple ran off and shouted to Pip and Pippa to follow him. Pip and Pippa, quacking very loudly and by now very frightened, followed Ripple straight into the hen house.
Burt said they could stay for the night and then shut the door behind them.
Brushtail the Fox was so cross as he walked back along the plank, it slipped, and he fell into the water.
Ripple, Sidney and Frankie all laughed. “Serves you right Brushtail,” they said. Brushtail was even more cross and said, “Just you wait until another time – I will teach you all a lesson”. With that he ran off home, still hungry.
The next day the three friends went to the hen house and there amongst Burt the cockerel, Jenny Hen and the other hens were Pip and Pippa quite happily eating the corn in the hen run.
“Thank you so much” they said to everyone. “Follow us”.
The three friends followed Pip and Pippa into the hen house and there in the corner was a nest made of straw. “Burt and Jenny have said we can stay here at night to keep us safe from Brushtail the Fox”. “This is our corner where we will sleep”.
Sidney, Ripple and Frankie were so pleased. Pip and Pippa would now be safe at night. As they left, Pippa handed to them the biggest white egg they had ever seen. They would be able to share that for their breakfast.
The three friends were happy. The ducks were happy. All the animals would be happy in the mornings as Pip and Pippa would not be able to make a loud noise until later in the morning so that everyone would now be able to sleep.
They did feel a bit sorry for Brushtail the Fox. After all if it had not been for him the Ducks would still be on the pond waking everybody up very, very early. Perhaps Brushtail was not so bad, after all. They would have to wait and see.
Written By Barbara Brewin ©
Illustrated by Lenard Eccles