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Rosi  gripped  Badger’s  spiky fur   as  moonlight  reflected  on the stream   ahead  of them. ‘Hold on tight,’  he  shouted  as  he  jumped  over  the  water  to  land  on the opposite  bank.  She  patted  Badger  on  his  furry  head  as they   turned  onto  the  path  through  the woods.        

Mouse,  not  far  behind them,  skidded to  a  halt and  gazed down into  the stream.   Luna  jumped off  his  back and pointed to  a  small  log  amongst  the grass.  Mouse and Luna dragged  the log across to  the bank.  Mouse  dropped  it  into  the  water  and  climbed  gingerly  aboard.  Luna  fluttered  above  his  head  as  he  paddled furiously  either  side of  the log  with  his  front  paws.  At  last  the  log  bumped  against  the  opposite  side  of  the  stream.  Mouse scrambled up  the bank  shaking  water from  his  paws.  Luna  flew onto  his back  urging  him  to  catch  up with  Rosi and Badger.   

Bumble bee   perched  on  a  large  dandelion,  cleaning  his  delicate wings  with  an antennae  on  top  of  his  tiny head.  Rabbit  pulled  off  the track  holding  his  hind  leg in the air.  Mindi flew  down  to  examine his paw,  and  found  a  sharp  twig  wedged  between his  nails.  As she  pulled  it  out  he  winced and  lay down  on  the  grass.

 She  whistled  to  Bumble  bee. ‘Bee  can  you  go and tell Owl we’ve retired from the race.  Rabbit has gone lame!’ said Mindi.

The little bee  nodded  his head and flew away, tiny wings vibrating in the moonlight.   

Meanwhile, Mindi  foraged  in the  grass and found a  dock  leaf  to  wrap  around  Rabbit’s  injured  paw.         

Back at the starting line Bumble bee  flew  down  onto  Owl’s shoulder.  His tiny antennae bounced up  and  down  as  he  buzzed ‘ Rabbit is  lame and out of the race!’    

Meanwhile  deep  in  the  forest,  Zeke,  yelled  at  Fox  as  he  slowed down and stopped in a clearing.

‘What are you doing Fox’,  she  said  and  fluttered  to  the  ground.

‘Wait here, I ‘m going  to  find  a short cut.’ Said  sly Fox.   

He crept  off  through  the  undergrowth,  leaving  Zeke perched  on  a mushroom.  She folded her wings and dozed  off  in  the  moonlight.  A while  later  she  awoke  and  heard Fox shouting, where was  he?

She hovered  above  the  forest  path, wings  gyrating  like  a  dragon fly,  to search  for him.  Fox lay  in  a  deep  hole,  probably  a  disused  rabbit  warren.  She flew down to the  edge  of  the  hole, peering  into  the  darkness,  Fox’s  amber  eyes stared  back  up   at her.

‘Are you alright Fox?’   

‘Yes I  had  a soft  landing,’  he  laughed  and brushed  soil  from  his  coat.  But I’m stuck down  here  and  I  can’t  climb out.’     

Zeke,  whistled  and   two  tiny  bats  appeared  and  hovered  above  her.  She  pointed  to  Fox  sitting  down  in  the  hole.  Eyes  glinting in the moonlight,  they  flew off like tiny aeroplanes amongst the trees.  Minutes  later  they  returned  squeaking  excitedly,  a  long  piece  of   ivy  creeper  suspended  between  them.

Zeke lowered  the  ivy  creeper  down  into  the hole  ‘Fox grab this  and  hold on tight we’ll  pull you out!’       

Fox  grabbed  the  ivy  and  braced  himself   as  Zeke  and  the bats clung onto the other end.  Between  them   they  hoisted  Fox out  of  the  hole.  He stood  up  and  shook  soil  from  his  bushy  tail. He waved a salute of thanks to  the  little  bats  for  their help.  Fox and Zeke were out of the race.            

Rosi  astride  Badger   glanced  over  her  shoulder,  there was  no  sign  of anyone on  their heels. Clouds  began  to  float  across  the moon.  The  shadowy  figures  of  animals waited  at  the finishing line. Rosi and  Badger,  raced past  the  glow worms  at  the last  marker on  the route. Surely they must be the  winners?   

The End

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