This week we are delighted to welcome a guest blogger. A long time resident of our wood, he would like to share with you a recent adventure he had. So without further ado, please meet The Bog Baby.
Hello everyone and welcome to my adventure. I live in the pond at the edge of the field. It is a rather funny pond with squelchy mud around the edge and a large willow tree growing in the middle. Sometimes when it is very hot my pond almost disappears. Sometimes when it rains heavily my pond floods the woods. The younger children call my pond the magic pond because it disappears and then comes back again! Never seen a Bog Baby? Well I am about the size of a frog but sort of round. You couldn’t mistake me for a frog because I am blue! I have boggly eyes and a rather spiky tail. Now I can hear some of you saying you have never heard of a Bog Baby. Well I’m really surprised because I am so famous a lady called Jeanne Willis wrote a story all about me called ‘The Bog Baby’. Of course I don’t live here by myself, all my relatives live here as well. We spend all day playing in the pond and at night we curl up in piles of damp leaves and sleep until the sun comes up.
My adventure began one Sunday morning. Sunday is usually a very quiet day in our pond. During the week we love to watch girls on the field running around hitting a ball with a large stick or listen to the young children playing in the woods. This particular Sunday morning was rather grey and I had woken early to chat to our friends the ducks who visit every year in the spring. Now I was floating up and down on my back, watching the clouds drift overhead and sucking my toes, when suddenly I heard excited voices chattering away and getting closer to the woods. I turned over and swam towards the edge of the pond, peering out from behind an old tree stump. I watched as a group of children made their way into the woods and sat around the logs. I couldn’t quite hear what they were saying. I needed to get closer.
Now I do have some very small wings but these are far too small to allow me to fly. So I scuttled across forest floor, avoiding the large spiky conker shells and peeped out from behind the large oak tree. The sight that greeted me was truly horrifying. The children had a Bog Baby each and they were rolling them back and forth in their hands and trying to squash my friends. I sat still with my paws over my eyes and then, after rubbing my eyes, I slowly looked again, very carefully. Oh my mistake, the children had some blue soft stuff and they were making it into small, sort of round shapes that looked rather …. like me! Suddenly the children were off, collecting beech nuts, conker shells, leaves and pine cones. Before my eyes little Bog babies appeared all over the woods. The likeness was uncanny, it was like looking in mirror.
I spent the next hour darting in and out of the snowdrops watching the children. They giggled and chatted as they built little homes for their Bog Babies. There were houses high up in the trees and houses under the bushes. Each house was made from sticks and carefully constructed to keep out the wind and rain. At one point the children all returned to the logs to eat and drink so I took the opportunity to check out some of the houses. I had just plucked the courage to say hello to the new Bog Babies when the children returned and so I sprinted back towards the pond.
I never got the chance to speak to them because soon the children had gone, taking the new Bog Babies with them. Our quiet lazy Sunday returned to normal. Sometimes, when it is very cold and wet or when our pond disappears, we think we might sleep in the new homes. In the meantime we will live in the wood and play in the pond; catching flies and floating on our backs, sucking our toes. So, after hearing my tale, do YOU believe in Bog Babies and will you tell anyone we are there? We won’t tell if you won’t ….