The wind and rain battered the small shed in the woods. The thunder roared overhead and the lightning streaked through the trees, crackling as it went. Through the cracked window covered with cobwebs Sheila and Ben could see menacing shadows. Was someone out there? So many weird noises. Were there really witches who lived in these woods? They guessed they would soon find out.
They hid under a sack they had found to hide away as they were frightened and all alone. It had been sunny and warm when they had decided to play truant from school and play in the woods. School was so boring and they could not wait to leave. Why did they have to go every day? What a drag.. The woods were exciting and every time they came it was different.
So many things to see and do, so many animals and birds; a joy to behold They got to know all the birds, Ferdie the Fox, Dolly Dormouse and her family and have fun with the Otters. So much wildlife and so many strange and wonderful plants.
The little stream trickling through slowly to who knows where, but happily gurgling on its way. They would sometimes dip their feet into the clear water and feel the chill on their feet but that did not matter to them. This was fun. This was the life.
No rules, no telling on each other, this was their secret.
They could get into mischief and no one would know, no one would find out what they got up to. This was their place, their secret place. This forest of trees kept their secrets, shared their sorrows and rejoiced in their joy of life, laughter and fun.
The forest had always protected them up until now, had always been their friend and hiding place. Now it was turning into a dark and threatening place; a place they did not know. They were sure the trees were moving nearer and nearer, the wind was menacing and loud. The clap of thunder made them jump and they tried to hide further under the sack, clinging to each other for comfort.
They needed help but there was no one to hear them, no mobile phone, no houses close by. Even if they had one it would not have helped as there would not be any signal. They could feel their hearts beating in their breasts. Their chests felt tight and they wanted to be back at the School. If only.
Back in the village Post Office, Madge the Postmistress looked at the clock. Time to shut up for 10 minutes to fetch the children from School as it was such a bad storm. She did not usually meet them, but to-day was different.. She knew they would be scared of the storm. Putting on her scarf and an old raincoat Madge locked the door and battled against the cold wind and the storm. It was so dark, and when she reached the school gates she was a few minutes late. A solitary light shone through a school window and Madge went to the door and saw the teacher about to lock up. All the children had gone.
The children had left about 5 minutes ago and Made assumed they had gone straight home. Must have missed each other on the way.
Back in the forest, the storm was receding slightly. Inside the shed Sheila and Ben were getting a little braver, and came out from under the sack. Shaking off the dust they decided it would be best to make a run for it.
All of a sudden they heard the most exciting and welcome sound. Voices in the forest looking for them and calling their names. . They knew their two best friends would look for them, that they would never let them down.
Sheila and Ben come through the broken door of the shed and the friends ran towards each other hugging one another with happiness.
Making their way back to the Post Office the four friends were looking forward to their tea and the warmth of the bright fire.
Madge had been about to put out a call for them all, but she was so happy to see them that she told they could have whatever they liked for tea.
As for Sheila and Ben, only they knew why they had not been at the school gates as they always were every afternoon to meet Madge’s children and go home with them.
They too would have an extra treat after their tea. A huge great dog biscuit.
Written By Barbara Brewin ©