With her glassy warm eyes, the black ewe was the only one who had seen what happened. As the boy sat playing with his toys close to the doorstep, a figure came around the side of the house, lifted him up and cast his toys aside. The boy who was about three years old giggled and threw his hands in the air. Then this unearthly figure ran through the field in a haze of light and dust. The figure, whatever it was, carried the boy Colin gently and the wind transported the boy’s cries of delight over the hill. The sheep smelled an earthy woody smell and the scent of jam from the boy’s out-stretched fingertips as he whooshed by. Taking a wide berth from the rowan tree at the top of the hill, the figure and the boy seemed to vanish and there was a sharp whistling sound in the air
Maura, the boy’s mother came around the corner of the house and immediately knew something was wrong. The boy’s toys were upturned; his small toy train in pieces and a ball was floating in a nearby puddle. She ran around the yard and into the field in front of the house calling out the boy’s name – “Colin, Colin, where are you?” It was no use though, the boy was gone, gone further away than she could possibly imagine. A neighbour that was walking by saw her distress and came running up the lane. “Ann, what is it? What’s wrong?” The words gurgled in her mouth, impossible to get them out, “Colin is gone, he’s gone, I can’t find him, have you seen him Ted? Have you?” Ted sadly shook his head and tried to calm her down, telling her he was probably close by; boys will be boys and all that. Between gulps and tears she explained she had just gone inside for a few minutes to take bread from the oven and she hadn’t heard anything strange but the moment she came back, she sensed emptiness and knew he gone.
For a moment, she felt as though all of the air had been rushed out of her body, she stumbled and her neighbour helped her into a deckchair that was nearby. Her mind was rushing, a stream of thoughts, like water rushing down a mountain. What could have happened? Why was she so afraid? What was this feeling? She knew instinctively that someone had taken him but what she didn’t know was why and how she could get him back.
Ted went into her hallway to use the phone to call the police and she could hear him talking in hushed tones. She glanced to her left and noticed something glistening there in the sunlight. It was a small lump of gold, solid and a deep saffron colour. She reached down among the rose bushes to pick up this piece of gold and she turned it around in her hands. She puzzled at how it had got there and how beautiful it was. As she turned it over in hands for the third time, she felt a tingle in hands and in a flash the gold was gone to be replaced by a small bunch of gorse blossoms. As she saw the yellow gorse blossoms form, she screamed with a mixture of terror and rage.