C10 belongs to various wildlife organisations. One of them, the RSPCA, was running a writing competition. Unbeknown to Gary or I, a few months ago she began writing a story to enter into the competition. A few weeks ago she asked whether I would look over it and help her edit it. I really didn’t need (or want- it was her work) to do too much, just some spelling and grammar. I am so proud of C10 for starting something and seeing it through to the end, right up to posting it (just) in time for the competition. Do I think she’ll win? Not a clue. In my eyes, of course, she is a winner just by writing the story in the first place!
For entry to the competition it needed to be about an animal which was rescued by an RSPCA officer. Here is C10’s story:
SNOWFLAKE the LEAST of THEM ALL.
Snowflake loved the exercise classes, but she had a crippled leg which she’d been born with. This meant she could not join in the school running and racing; therefore she was bullied, left out and despised. Horses aren’t supposed to bully, leave out and despise so the teacher punished all who did so with three kicks of the hoof!
Snowflake was the horse princess and because of her leg the horse priests were troubled. Why was a princess born with that leg? Her ancestors had never ever been crippled before. Or had they? It was very troubling. One day Snowflake and her brother Brownie were called before their father the king.
“O dear children, hear me now and hear me strong. Snowflake, it does not please me that you are a cripple. I must banish you from the kingdom, the country, even the world! You are dismissed!” As they turned to leave, their father called, “Brownie, you are to take your sister to Hannisland and leave her there in a forest I have heard of. It is called Forest Fearful. Do you understand?”
“Yes father,” the close to tears Brownie answered.
“Good! You are dismissed”
Brownie raced down the hall to his sister’s room and burst in. “Sister, o sister, listen well. Father wants me, of all horses, to take you to Forest Fearful. Oh goodness, whatever shall I do Snowflake?”
“Dear brother, do not worry. I’ll escape, I promise,” she calmly reassured him.
The next day Brownie and Snowflake boarded the vessel that was to take them to Hannisland. Brownie entered the ship gloomily while snowflake hobbled proudly up the plank. Their father said his farewells and left immediately.
Brownie, the dear thing fretted and worried. As he did a storm broke out and Snowflake ran in exclaiming, “Perfect, perfect! I can escape! Hurray!”
As the storm raged on, Snowflake looked around at the shouting horses running around pulling ropes. Some pulled the ropes to get the sail down. Brownie rushed out of the cabin and cried, “Snowflake, Snowflake! Where are you? Oh please, tell me you are alright? Snowflake?”
“Here, I’m over here! Look a plank of wood! No, it’s actually a rowing boat! Yippee!” Snowflake looked at her brother who was staring at her in disbelief. Were they really going to escape? Suddenly a gust of wind blew the ship away from the rowboat.
“Come on!” Snowflake cried, “It’s now or never!” And jumping into the thrashing, dangerous waves, she swam to the row-boat followed closely by Brownie. Although they were shipwrecked they survived and landed on Hannisland .
Snowflake wasn’t scared in the slightest. She had heard of Forest Fearful before and she wasn’t afraid. According to her old horse nurse, the forest was actually a pretty meadow where flowers grew and grass was plentiful.
But she had been mistaken. Forest Fearful was exactly as it sounded. It was actually a dark forest where hardly anything grew and anyone who entered never came out again. Weasels, foxes and wolves lived there looking and watching and slinking in the shadows, waiting for their next victim.
Somehow in the dark Snowflake was separated from beloved Brownie. Lost and starving Snowflake wandered for two weeks barely surviving on grass and fallen apples. Snowflake was exhausted and collapsed surrounded by blackness. This is how she was found by a local man looking for his lost dog. This kind-hearted man by the name of Mr. Kendall immediately called the RSPCA.
The RSPSA arrived and quickly took control. Snowflake was in bad condition and they wondered if she could be saved.
She was taken back to an RSPCA centre where inspector, Fran Whitten said “I’ve never seen such a horse before, no microchip or number; no tag or collar either.”
Snowflake finally began to recover. Soon she started walking again. When she did, RSPCA vet Danielle Baber noticed her limp. She begged to be allowed to look at it. Surprisingly, the people in charge agreed.
Snowflake, with the attentive care and expertise of Danielle, began her slow journey of rehabilitation. Danielle operated on Snowflake’s leg and for the first time in her life she was able to walk without a limp.
As it was unknown where Snowflake had come from or who she belonged to, the RSPCA looked for an adoptive family. A nearby farm was on the look out for a retired pony to give rides to the children who visited the farm. Snowflake became the star attraction and was given the most spacious, cosiest shed of all the animals. Best of all there hung a sign, big and bright for the entire world to see:
“SNOWFLAKE: THE BEST OF THEM ALL”
C10 is currently working on her next masterpiece chronicling Brownie’s adventures after he became separated from Snowflake!!