Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Darth is a Scottish terrier. Scottish terriers are excellent guardians. Unfortunately, as you will soon discover, that can cause a lot of unrest for those whelps living on Little Bark Lane.

Thunder rumbled over the park on Little Bark Lane. Heavy rain fell upon the sleepy houses. It was a cold and miserable night.

Poppy was at home. He lay quivering underneath his blanket. He was scared of lightning. Actually, he was scared of everything. He was mostly scared of lightning.

George was also at home. He was watching television. Actually, he was trying to watch television. The thunder drowned out the sound. George hated thunder. George hated everything.

Iera was also struggling to sleep. He was distracted by something outside the window. He wasn’t scared by the lightning. He wasn’t annoyed by the thunder. Something else had caught his eye…

It looked like a dog. A weird dog. As if by magic, which it may or may not have been, it floated across the pavement, almost hover-like, towards Poppy’s house. “That’s no dog,” said Iera, “That’s a space dog.”

He was right, of course. Wasn’t he?

The next morning, Iera couldn’t wait to get to the park on Little Bark Lane. He was telling everyone about what he had seen the previous evening. “And then,” said Iera, “By magic, he opened up the gate without touching it.”

The throng of dogs fell silent. They were amazed. Some were scared. “Nonsense!” barked Bobby, “I’ve never heard so much rubbish in all my life."

Silence fell on Little Bark Lane. Every dog turned to Bobby. Bobby was the oldest dog in Little Bark Lane. Everyone respected him. “Don’t try and frighten us, Iera,” said Bobby, “Your sad devotion to films has not explained anything other than your warped imagination.”

Just then, Ridley started to choke. Holly was standing beside him. “Ridley, darling,” said Holly, “What’s wrong?” Ridley continued to choke. He choked and he choked and he choked. He even choked some more. His face had turned a sickly green colour. “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” said Iera. “Release him,” replied Bobby.

Iera didn’t know how to.

Just as well because it wasn’t a mysterious force that had made Ridley choke. Can you guess what it was?

It was a pile of poo! Why must Ridley always eat poo!?! What a silly dog. Ridley looked embarrassed. Iera looked embarrassed. Bobby looked annoyed. “Enough of this nonsense!” said Bobby, “This mysterious dog you speak about is just a crazy old story.”

“If that is so, where is Poppy?” asked Iera, “It was his house the space dog entered last night.” Iera was right - Poppy was nowhere to be seen. Bobby, for once, was speechless. For about a second.

“You must find Poppy,” said Bobby, “Only then will we believe your story, Iera.” “I can’t go alone,” said Iera, “It’s far too dangerous.” Bobby nodded in agreement. “Take George with you,” said Bobby, “He is old and wise. He will help you.”

Iera looked happier. George looked miserable. As usual!

After a short nap Iera and George walked down Little Bark Lane in search of Poppy. They searched and they searched and they searched. And then they searched some more. Poppy was nowhere to be seen. Not surprisingly George was even grumpier than usual.

They reached the end of Little Bark Lane. Iera wanted to turn left. George wanted to turn right. “Where do you think you’re going?” grumbled George, “I’m not going that way. It’s much too rocky. This way is much easier.”

“I have a feeling, that’s all,” replied Iera. “I don’t care about your stupid feelings!” snapped George, “Go that way. You’ll be lost within minutes you near-sighted fur-ball.” What a miserable dog!

Iera turned left, walking down the road by himself. “Don’t let me catch you begging for help,” barked George, “Because you won’t get it!” Iera wasn’t listening. He was far too concerned about Poppy’s disappearance.

Before they knew it, the day had turned to night. “That stupid little twerp,” snapped George, “This is all his fault. He tricked me in to going this way – but he’ll do no better.” Suddenly, George heard a noise. “What’s that?” asked George.

The noise was frightening. As if somebody was breathing heavily down his back. George spun round. He could see nothing. It was too dark. “Who are you?” asked George, nervously, “What do you want?” There was no reply.

The heavy breathing continued. It got louder. George was very frightened now. He was so frightened do you know what he did? He ran away. As quick as his little legs could carry him!

The next morning, every dog apart from Poppy was at the park. “Well, Iera,” said Bobby, “Did you find Poppy?” “No,” replied Iera. “And you, George,” asked Bobby, “Did you find Poppy?” “No,” replied George. “How odd,” said Bobby, “You found nothing at all?”

Iera shook his head. George shook his head. What a liar! Just then, it started to rain. The glorious sunshine had been replaced by dismal clouds. Every dog ran under the trees for shelter.

Standing by himself, George felt a sudden shiver down his back. Then he heard a noise. Not just any noise. Can you guess what it was?

“I’ve been waiting for you, George” said Darth, “We meet again at last.” George turned to see the mysterious Scottish terrier staring back at him. Darth continued to breathe heavily. He had a sinister, croaky voice. “You don’t scare me,” said George.

“You can’t win, Darth,” said George, “If you strike me down my friends will soon be over to sort you out.” “I don’t want to strike you down, George,” replied Darth. “Don’t play your silly mind games with me!” snapped George.
“I don’t want to win,” insisted Darth, “I don’t want to fight you.”

George wasn’t listening. He swung his stick at Darth. Darth blocked it. He retaliated, furiously swinging his stick at George. It knocked George’s stick from his grasp. Darth had won. George was suddenly very frightened.

“Enough of this nonsense!” barked Bobby, as he made his way over to George and Darth, “What have you done with Poppy, Darth?” “Who’s Poppy?” replied Darth… “I was hoping one of you could tell me the way to the vets. I have a terrible sore throat.”

Darth’s breathing was getting worse, as was his croaky voice. “But, the other night” said Iera, “You opened Poppy’s gate by magic.” “No I didn’t,” replied Darth, “That was the wind.” Everyone felt very embarrassed.

“We have misjudged you,” said Bobby, “I can only apologise.” “Don’t worry,” replied Darth, “It happens all the time.” And with that, he was gone - seriously, he just disappeared!

Before the gang knew it, glorious sunshine had dried up all the rain. That’s when Poppy appeared. “Where have you been?” asked Bobby. “We searched all over for you,” said Iera. “I had a fight for you,” said George. George never told Poppy he actually lost the fight!

“Where do you think?” replied Poppy… “I was hiding, of course!”

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