By Eva Longland, aged 10

It was Roberts last day as a fireman, he was about to retire. He was dreading the lonely days ahead. The day so far had been uneventful. As he squeezed his tea bag for his third cup of tea that day he was interrupted.

RING RING. A shrill voice screamed from the phone “ HELP! a poor little cat is stuck in my oak tree”. Robert sighed, was this the last rescue of his career?

As Robert clung onto the hydraulic ladder he peered through the leaves, to his amazement he was not greeted by a cat but a most peculiar looking dog that was covered in feathers sat in a nest. It was complete with wings and a crest. He asked himself how did this bird dog get here?

A few weeks earlier a puppy lay at a roadside shivering and distressed, abandoned by her owners. Her breathing was shallow she willed the night to take her, ending her troubles. She had nearly given up until the morning sun warmed her matted fur, she had made it. Her first sight were the birds foraging for twigs and leaves to build their nests. They looked carefree and were singing in the trees. She envied their ability to build their home from scratch. This amazing sight filled her with a new courage and motivation. Why couldn’t a dog build its own nest and provide for itself?

She collected sticks and moss to build her nest in the hedgerow and would regularly forage for food behind the village pub. She thought if I want to fly like a bird I will need feathers. This was achieved by rolling in mud and then in random feathers.

Returning from a food foraging expedition she had collected a mouldy sandwich and a broken umbrella which she hooked to the nest for shelter. That night a storm erupted and a huge gust of wind blew the umbrella into the air taking the little dog and nest with it. When the wind settled the umbrella gently floated the nest and dog into an oak tree.

Awaking in the morning she was thrilled ‘I’ve achieved it’, I believed I could live like the birds and it has happened. She surveyed the picturesque scenery and enjoyed the birds tuneful songs. However she thought ‘How I am to get down from here? Gingerly she got out of the nest and balanced on the branch. She lifted her feather covered legs one at a time and tried to flap them. Soon she realised there was no hope.

Robert held this unusual looking creature firmly as the hydraulic ladder turned and flew down to the safety of the fire engine. Flying again thought the puppy.

A week later Robert sighed as he tried to find a matching pair of socks. As he looked at the puppy making a nest with his clothes he realised retirement was not going to be dull, he may just have to wear odd clothes.

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