By Aimee Penley-Martin (13 yo)
Kasey pulled her woolen scarf more tightly around her neck as she stepped out into the cold spring air; although it was almost May the mornings were still crisp. Shep, her border collie bounded around her feet in the ice tipped grass, eager to be out.
“Just taking Shep to the woods Mum.”Kasey called through and turn to Shep.
“All right girl, we’ll be off soon.”
“Okay darling. Remember and watch out for the hunt!” Her Mum answered.
Kasey quickly reached the gate and stile leading into the woods. She loved the woods, especially in the early morning when it was quiet. You could almost hear the life that resided in amongst the trees and undergrowth. Hopping over the stile Kasey unclipped Shep’s lead and let the border collie race gleefully ahead and out of sight. She wandered more slowly behind, pausing to admire the dew sparkling on the cobwebs. A little way into the walk Kasey was just picking up a stick when the sound of horns and hounds reached her ears. She hurried over to Shep and held tightly onto her collar.
“We don’t want you in the hunt now do we, girl?” Kasey knew how angry the hunt got when they were interrupted and she had no intentions of letting Shep be mauled by hounds.
Unusually, the hunt sounded as though it was getting closer. Then, in an instant they were visible, pounding through the forest and breaking the silence that had filled the woods a few second before. Kasey unfroze and looked down, realizing that she was holding an empty collar. There was no time to panic as she swung herself into a tree and scrambled swiftly up. Looking back she saw a black and white shape streak across her farmyard. No need to worry about Shep then. The hunt passed in a moment, filling Kasey’s senses with the clamour of the hunt. She stayed, stunned, where she was for a few seconds and started to climb down. She landed clumsily and then began to run. Not towards the farm but after the hunt.
It was easy to follow the path of destruction. Kasey noticed that there were drops of blood on the ground. She doubled back until she found the fox hole; as expected there was a faint mewling from inside. “Stupid hunt.”She muttered angrily. It was an illegal hunt, but nothing anyone could do would stop it. It hunted in spring and orphaned many young foxes who never made it alone.
Kasey reached inside and gently pulled out the little fox cub. “Come on little one…” She murmured softly, wrapping the creature warmly in her scarf and coat.
She sprinted back to the farmhouse, rushing inside.
“What’s that you have there? You look half frozen!” Kasey’s Mum asked. “It better not be another fox cub, we have little enough space as it is.” Kasey just grinned and cradled the cub in her arms.
“Is there space in the cat basket?”