Reiver’s Adventures in Narnia.
14th April 2019.
Reiver’s Adventures in Narnia.
As the guttural sounds of Janine’s little polo slowly faded from his hearing, Reiver finished up the last of the ‘breakfast’ and the ‘midday snack’ that the carers had left for him. ‘Such paltry portions’, he thought to himself. ‘You just can’t get the staff’. Since the demise of the sadly-missed Sherlock Romes, it had become harder to score a square meal around here without his brother’s famous brain to help him. Add to this the terror of what the humans called his ‘diet plan’…! Reive shuddered at the very thought. Making a mental note to ‘suck up’ more to the vet next time he saw her in the hope of changing her mind, Reive decided to go and chase up some mice in the garden. After hearing repeatedly from his brother about the diseases they carried, even he wouldn’t attempt to eat one; he just craved a little sport to take his mind off the crushing hunger. Entering into the weak sunlight through the cat-flap, Reiver headed for the raspberry bushes where he was sure he’d seen a new rodent hidey-hole. As he wormed his way through the Spring growth, the path went on and on until he realised he’d lost his way. This was difficult even for him, in an enclosed garden; but it looked like he’d managed it. Carrying on regardless, as he always did when faced with the unknown, Reive soon realised something else; the weather was getting swiftly colder, and he could smell snow in the air. This was odd because, when glancing backwards, a bright sun seemed to be shining on the grass. Reive pressed on in the hope that someone might have thrown cat food over the fence in the recent past. The idea that it wasn’t very likely had never deterred him before.
Presently, he heard a merry tune carrying on the cold breeze. It sounded like an ode to the sun, the rays of which (Reiver noted) were getting less and less evident. Snow even crunched, now, under-paw. As he looked to where the tune was coming from, he could see a small, furry creature in a bright red and white scarf playing a tiny cello. As he approached it looked up at him and smiled, revealing hundreds of little, sharp teeth. Carefully, it put down the cello. “Hello”, it said. Reiver, who wasn’t used to his prey talking back to him (or playing musical instruments either), tried to paw the creature on the head to see if it behaved like a mouse. The creature made as if to bite him, but held back. “Naughty naughty”, it chided. “No giving way to your baser instincts. I have a quest for you”. Reiver stopped and tried to think. “What’s a quest”? He asked, puzzled. Thinking Reive had asked ‘What sort of quest’, the creature (a vole) went on to explain. “Many years ago, four humans entered our kingdom and won for us a great battle against a nasty sorceress. As a thank-you, the King granted each a wish. But the fourth human – a strange little boy called Edmund – was hungry at the time, and he wished for a never-ending supply of his favourite food. Now it keeps on appearing every year. We can’t eat it fast enough”.
Reiver, of course, was intrigued. “What food”? He asked, his eyes beginning to shine. The vole sighed. “This is why we lowered the veil between our two kingdoms. To pull you in one Sunday, when your humans were doing the ‘Cook-Inn’ deliveries”. It took him by the paw, and led him to a huge warehouse. “This is where we’ve been storing the surplus”. Reive’s nose began to twitch, and he hauled at the vole’s paw to move it along quicker. Could it be true? He scrabbled at the door of the warehouse, impatient, while the vole pulled the right key out of the folds of its fur. As the key turned in the lock, the vole jumped sharply back – but Reiver didn’t, and got covered in a literal mountain…of tuna! His mouth opened as it fell on him, and pretty soon all that could be heard was the happy sound of his diet breaking. In barely half an hour he had solved the vole’s problem for him. The warehouse was clean and shiny again; all ready for the next year’s delivery. A crowd, which Reive had not seen gathering behind him, gave him a round of applause. “We’re all fed up with tuna”! Screeched a happy owl, hovering above the crowd. “Many thanks for getting rid of it”! Reive smiled. “Call me anytime, for problems like that” he assured her generously. As the animals of Narnia led him back to the huge fruit-forest adjoining their kingdoms, he bid them farewell with a grateful burp. When he re-entered his own garden, evening had fallen. The carers were already home. Duncan, who’d been calling Reive for the last ten minutes, picked him up and carried him into the house. “Janine”, called Duncan, confused. “If he’s on a diet now, how is he putting on weight”? ———————————————————————————————————————— We have two special thanks to give, this week. Firstly to Tesco Musselburgh, for their five-crate donation – their largest donation in the ten weeks since they started. This gave us a rare chance to give our recipients some treats. They were very much appreciated! Secondly, a very special thank you to the wonderful Rhoda. If ever you need verification about how good a person can be, this lovely friend leaves her home in Kinross on Sundays at 8.30am, to travel two and a half hours to our Musselburgh-based arm of ‘Cook-Inn’. She volunteers for almost seven hours, chats a while, then gets a bus home around eight. She will not arrive home until well after dark. If all volunteers everywhere were this dedicated, what a wonderful world we would live in. Rhoda, we love you – and we send huge hugs! That’s all for this week, folks.
Take care, and God Bless.
Janine, Duncan – and Reiver, the champion of Narnia. xx