Ben speaks to children about what they like to do when it is raining outside
Ben visits a school in Hebden Bridge which was affected by the floods at Christmas
A story about a dog named Boss who learns about the power of nature
No.78 'Come and Praise'
Ben reflects on what can happen when nature gets out of control
The Flood at Honey Pot Farm
By Hilary Robinson
Read by Mike Hugo
I’m not used to lots of fuss. Lots of children rushing through the gates of Honey Pot Farm shouting, “Boss, Boss, where’s Boss?” They like to watch me round up the sheep for shearing, but many come now because I wear a ‘This Dog’s A Hero Badge’ on my collar.
It all began when we moved here from Poland. I lived on a small farm there with Jozev and his family. He was a sheep farmer and volunteer firefighter there, and his son, Kuba, is my best friend. He is seven now.
When we arrived in England, Jozev thought I’d be happier living on the farm rather than in their small flat. The farm’s an urban farm, which means it’s in the city and not far from where they live.
Kuba visits me after school and we go for walks in the woods near the sheep field. He throws sticks into the shallow stream for me to chase.
Jozev is one of the community volunteers here. He does the shearing and he always lets the children take a little sheep wool away.
Most nights I sleep in the donkey stable, and during the day, I’m out and about with the children. They love it when the lambs are born, and it was because of one lamb, Patch, that I got my hero badge.
It had been a wet March with more rain than usual. Sue, the supervisor here, had seen the weather forecast, and said: “It’s ok Boss, they say it won’t rain much tonight, the sheep should be okay.” Well, the forecast was wrong! The rain fell in buckets! Torrential rain pounded down and ran like rivers across the farmyard. I could hear the sheep bleating. They were really distressed. They sensed that they would be in danger if the stream burst its banks and flooded their field.
So, I ran out in the dark and herded them up, just as I would do for shearing, and guided them to the donkey stable.
And then I heard a lamb crying. I looked back and saw that one had been left behind. It was Patch! He was stranded in a muddy pool.
So I ran back across the field – but I was too late! Just as I got to him the stream burst its banks, water flooded over the field and we were trapped. Patch was terrified, shaking and bleating, crying for his mother.
For a few minutes I wondered what to do. There was a danger we could get swept away, but I knew the woods well so I guided Patch to higher ground and we sheltered under an oak tree.
It seemed like ages before morning came. The rain had stopped and Patch had slept a little, but when he was awake he bleated all the time. I could hear his mother calling for him.
The first person to arrive on the farm was Sue. She began making phone calls. Soon after, Jozev and Kuba arrived with life jackets and ropes. Jozev knew the risks that floods could bring. I could see them looking at the flood damage and looking around for me. I started barking loudly. “It’s okay Boss, we’re coming!” shouted Kuba.
The thing is, it’s not safe to cross streams, especially streams that have burst their banks. But Jozev had rescued people and animals before when he was a firefighter in Poland. He put on his life jacket and fastened ropes with clever knots and waded out towards us. “Come Boss, come with me. I can carry you and Patch,” he said. But I was scared now. I kept running up to the stream and back to the tree, barking. Patch was scared too, shivering by the tree.
So Jozev called for Kuba. He put on his life jacket and Jozev tied a rope to him and they both waded across to us. “Come on Boss,” Kuba said gently. “You’ll be okay with us.” He picked up Patch and Jozev picked me up. They held us tightly as they waded across the waterlogged field to the stable.
By now so many people had arrived. There were children cheering and Sue was jumping up and down. “Well done Boss!” she said, rubbing me dry with a towel, “you’re a hero!”
Kuba brought out some biscuits for me and a bottle of milk for Patch. But where was Patch? I panicked again, but I needn’t have worried. He was resting happily next to his mother in the warm stable.