Please accept my apologies for not updating this blog as much as I had intended.
I am currently writing the sequel to George's Odd Socks, namely George's Odd Gloves...
As a way of a grovelling apology, and for the those who have not yet read George's Odd Socks, I have copied chapter 7 as a little taster for you, under the mugshot below. Truly hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed scribbling it down....
Looking forward to writing so much more here soon!
Take care all..
Chapter Seven – A Dog’s Nest
At just about the same time that George was going to school, Sprout was doing his first tour of the back garden. He liked to inspect all the bushes first, although some bushes needed a double sniff. All seemed to be in order, more or less. He then checked out the plants, a small vegetable patch and the snails that lived by the greenhouse, the grass and shrubbery by the shed and of course the tree. He then, last of all, looked inside the watering can. Sprout had once found a baby robin called Archie who had become trapped inside the watering can and was far too small to hop out, it was quite scared and chirping for his mum. It was only Sprout’s bravery (this is what he told the baby robin) in knocking the can over that had saved Archie from having a particularly bad day. They had become good friends ever since.
The watering can however, was entirely clear of occupants and Sprout’s bravery was therefore not required, he disappointingly thought and so he moved on to sit beside the privet hedge. Sprout knew that a new nest was being built in the back of the hedge, the sparrows had been really busy recently collecting twigs and other nesting type building materials and although they had politely refused Sprout’s offer to show them where the best twigs could be found, they didn’t mind him watching as they carried on making the nest. Sprout lay down and watched carefully as the twigs were carried and positioned, the sparrows seeming to know exactly where to put them. He wondered if he should make a dog’s nest using his bones, he gave it some considerable thought but then realised that it was too risky and that his bones would be on view for the world to see, this was something he definitely didn’t want, oh no, no way was anyone going to see his bone collection.
A dog’s nest was still a good idea though, thought Sprout. He had become something of an expert on nests, he knew where each one was in the garden, the sparrows had two, and one in the bush behind the tree and this new one he was watching being built in the privet hedge. There was the robin’s nest in the old rusty kettle behind the shed, there was a mistle-thrush nest tucked away somewhere in the main fork of the lower part of the tree and some blue-tits lived in the bird box that was attached to the back fence, Charlie had made the bird-box in school, it really was very well made, Charlie had allowed George, Carly and Marley to each paint a small bird the front of the box and Mr Pickles had added on the roof of the bird-box a tiny pretend TV aerial made out of matchsticks, although this had fell off the first time it had rained. Sprout thought more about his nest spotting skills.
He had recently discovered a cow’s nest when he was on holiday in the caravan park; it was one of the strangest things he had ever discovered. He knew that cows laid milk bottles, just like the birds laid eggs and that whilst he had never seen a cow’s nest, he realised that they must make nests, this was the reason they were always carrying pieces of grass and probably twigs in the mouths. The cows didn’t have a clue about hiding their nests thought Sprout, for he had discovered it was hiding outside the caravan park shop next to two big blue gas bottles and a basket full of flip-flop sandals that were for sell. It was a plastic nest, the cows must have been useless at making nests as well as hiding them, the farmer must have bought it for them. Yes, it was definitely a cow’s nest, thought Sprout. There had been three cow’s eggs in it, waiting to hatch. The fact the Sprout had discovered a plastic crate with three milk bottles in it and not a cow’s nest with three cow’s eggs, was never explained to him.
Sprout was thinking about how good he was at nest spotting when he realised somebody was watching him. He froze, only his whiskers were slightly twitching. It was a worm. Sprout wasn’t sure if it was the same worm that he had caught with his favourite bone number five many dog-years before but it might have been and as he watched, never moving a paw, the worm wormed his way out of his hole with a wormy wriggle. He wriggled straight under Sprout and wriggled onto the small stone path. This was a big mistake for the worm, the path was hard to wriggle on and as it slowed down Sprout had a wonderful idea. He would make the worm a worm’s nest. And he knew just where to find one!
He raced across the grass straight into the kitchen and stuck his head in through the door and looked around. Yes, it was still there, on the table. It was a stripy drinking straw that George had drunk his morning milk with before he went to school. It had been missed when the breakfast things had been cleared away. Sprout grabbed the straw in his mouth and raced back to the garden where he excitedly laid the straw directly in front of the worm. The worm, who had realised that it would have been much better to wait in its hole rather than wriggle out when Sprout was close by, was cursing its luck. One minute it was enjoying a quiet wormy morning in a comfortable muddy hole, the next minute it was stuck on a stone path with an excited Sprout looking down at him. He then noticed the drinking straw, it had a small hole which was just about the same size as his muddy one and he decided it was better to wriggle into that rather than stay on the path.
Sprout couldn’t believe how well his plan was going. He knew that the drinking straw would make a perfect worm’s nest, it was cleaner than the muddy hole and it looked quite fashionable with the stripy pattern on its side, oh yes, it was a fantastic worm’s nest, oh how he was good he was with nests, he was an expert, he must show Mrs Pickles his latest thing. He picked up the worm nest, complete with the worm and raced back into kitchen. Mr Pickles was sat at the kitchen table reading the morning newspaper and never noticed Sprout as he put the worm’s nest-in-a-straw on the table, next to Mr Pickles’s glass of orange juice. Mr Pickles looked down from his paper when he realised that Sprout was trying to get his attention. ‘Hello Sprout, you look pleased with yourself…..been chasing next door’s cat, have you?’ Mr Pickles asked, as he absent mindedely picked up the straw-complete-with-worried-worm and dropped it into his orange juice.
‘The nest, the nest, the worm’s new nest, it’s in your juice!’ barked Sprout, but of course Mr Pickles wasn’t fluent in dog-barking.
‘Want a walk in the park, do you Sprout? Need a run-about do you?’ Mr Pickles asked, as he lifted the glass and put the straw to his mouth.
‘You’re drinking my worm, you’re drinking my worm!’ continued to bark Sprout, but he was too late.
Mr Pickles sucked hard. The straw seemed to be a bit soggy, so he gave an extra hard suck. The worm shot through the straw at high speed, flew into Mr Pickles’s mouth, past his teeth and landed with a squiggle at the back of Mr Pickles’s throat. It gave a little wriggle, just to make sure nothing was broken.
Mr Pickles had stopped thinking about taking Sprout for a walk in the park. In fact, he had stopped thinking about anything at all. He was far too busy gagging on the worm that was now wriggling somewhere in the back of his throat for him to be concerned about trying to think of anything. Incredibly, the straw was still in Mr Pickles’s mouth and the poor, confused worm had decided it was absolutely better to be back inside the straw rather than inside this new, slightly pinky, slightly teethy and slightly gummy type of hole. It was yet another mistake for the worm, whose day was turning out to just a tiny bit worse than Mr Pickles, although Mr Pickles might have disagreed. This was the first time that orange juice had attacked him. He gagged and sputtered and coughed and choked and finally he spat as hard as he could.
The worm shot out of the straw like a bullet from a gun. It flew through the air and landed on the opposite kitchen wall, next to the framed photo of Aunt Marvin and Her Diamond Trio. The wormy wet stain it left on the wall was in a peculiar arrow shape, it gave the appearance that Aunt Marvin’s photo was being pointed at and being highlighted as something you really shouldn’t miss if you were in the Pickles’s kitchen. The worm, which had now slid to the floor, had decided that everything really was worth missing in this particular kitchen and wriggled across the floor escaping through the back door before anyone could notice.
Sprout looked for it, not understanding why it would want to leave the nest so early. Sprout picked up the worms-nest-straw which was now on the floor and checked it for worm’s eggs which, sadly, there were none and, feeling a little bit frustrated with Mr Pickles unusual behaviour, went back to the garden to watch the sparrows. Mr Pickles, still unsure of what had happened, continued to drink his orange juice, but this time with a much redder face and, very nervously, straight from the glass.
It was going to be one of those days, he knew.