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?