John Robertson from The Gundog Company has shared some of the children's stories with us after teaching them how to train working dogs.
“There will be an Easter egg hunt next week!” announced the teacher at assembly.
A few children giggled and murmured that the Easter bunny will be here. Lily rolled her eyes. She didn’t believe in Easter bunnies, Santa or the tooth fairy.
The school bell rang as Lily walked down Rupiah Market. Although school had just finished, it was bustling with people selling food, antiques and electronics. Most people were very posh and bought expensive things, but she could also see Agatha the tramp who was standing in the middle of the stony walkway. She began shouting, “Lock your windows, close your doors, and hide under your duvet. The Easter dog is here, all people cower with fear! He steals, he barks, he kills in the dark. So stay away on Easter night, the way he growls will give you a fright!”
Lily hurried home and when she entered the living room her mum’s beaming face was clouded by a look of depression. Lily asked, “W-W-What’s happened?” Alison’s face was grim, “It’s your father. He’s in jail.”
Lily’s father had been accused of stealing the 20 golden Easter eggs, which contained £1,000 in each egg. She ran upstairs and looked in the mirror, people from school called her ugly. It’s not that bad, she thought. She had her mother’s eyes and lips, but her father’s eyebrows and nose made her look strange and her long, golden flowing hair reached down to her shoulders.
The sky grew dark but the bright stars made it seem lighter. As she dropped off to sleep she dreamt of the Easter dog killing people, then there was a faint scream.
She woke up to hear the clock strike twelve and looked out of her window and sighed, but something down below caught her eye. “We don’t have a dog,” she murmured to herself, “so where did the paw prints on the grass come from?” She tiptoed down the stairs and into the front garden. Lily heard another scream and cautiously followed it to find a boy dressed in rag clothes.
“Who are you?” she asked, the boy hesitated but soon answered, “ My name’s Billy. If you’re looking for the dog he went that way.”
Billy pointed to the right where muddy footprints were going up the hill. Lily blurted out, “What happened to you?”
Billy looked surprised but told her, “I’m not a beggar, I’m looking for the dog too, you know.”
As Lily observed him closer, she could see that his clothes were quite posh. “Well, what are you waiting for?” She looked to see Billy climbing up the muddy hill.
As they got closer to the top, Billy realised it was becoming day again and the Great Mountain Shanei (tallest mountain in the world) looked so low it was almost as if they were on the same level. That was when he had a horrible realisation, “Stop! Don’t move!”
But it was too late. Lily had begun sliding towards the edge of the cliff. Billy tried to step back but Lily was holding onto him and soon, he was holding the edge of the cliff as she hung onto his leg. When Lily looked down, she could see tall, leafy trees towering over Rupiah market. She held her breath and waited for the long plunge down the cliff.
Billy heard a faint rustle that grew louder, and then a twig snapped. Whatever it was was breathing heavily and sounded to Billy to have four feet. Billy was jubilant that he was about to be saved until he heard another twig snap and knew that it wasn’t a person. The Easter Dog was looking down on them.
Disaster struck as they began plummeting to their doom, screaming. Billy felt a strong rope against his wrist that was holding onto him and pulling them up. The Easter Dog, whom Lily had thought killed people, was now recusing them. When they were at last on the ground, the dog turned, wagged his tail and walked away.
Shocked at what had just happened, they followed him to find a nest filled with 19 golden eggs. “Billy, have you seen the last egg?” she asked. Lily followed the point of his arm to the Easter dog that was holding the last egg in his mouth.
Gently, she tugged it and walked on, closely followed by the Easter dog and Billy. There were shocks, murmurs and whimpers of fear as they passed the townsfolk until they arrived home where a worried mum was waiting for them. After a long chat, Lily called the police.
“Who’s there and what do you want?” came a gruff voice on the other end of the line.
“This is Lily Small, calling from house number 99. I’ve come to tell you to release my father James Small from jail.”
“And why should I do that?” came the voice, mockingly.
“I’ve got the golden Easter eggs in my hands. A dog stole them.”
“Great snakes!” The voice sounded surprised. “Just wait there a second missy!”
Lily heard the voice barking orders to policemen; they were bringing her father home.
The doorbell rang and Lily and Alison walked to the door. But before they could reach it, the door swung open to reveal a man in an orange jumpsuit. The two hesitated for a moment, but Lily smelt the familiar whiff of Dior perfume and she knew it was him. The man spread his arms and Lily rushed into them followed by a gleaming Alison. The happy family were reunited with the addition of a dog.
What happened to Billy? Well, that remains a mystery….