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Voyage of the Born Eater Part One

Scottish Charity Number: SCO40701

COOK – INN Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian

                                                                 21st April 2019.

‘Voyage of the Born Eater’ Part one;

The sun shone out of a brilliant blue sky, prompting the Animal Investigators to wonder if they’d woken up in the right country. It was fun, but it didn’t seem natural, to have such amazing weather here, for the Easter weekend. Barney set up a rhythmic barking song, all the better to encourage his carers to take him on a nice, long walk. The cats just lounged, some inside and some outside of the house. Marley and Morris sat on either side of the same window, making it look like it was a mirror reflecting just one cat.

Halfway through his walk, Barney began to recognise the colourful boundaries of the community growing plots. Forgetting for a moment that he had a human in tow, the big dog jumped easily over the fence and thundered round the plot barking for his friend, Eugene the gardening pixie.

The pixie in question, who usually slept through the day in case of discovery by humans, had found himself unable to go to bed because of the nice, warm sun. Tired, but happy, he had been lounging under a huge rhubarb leaf, reading a tiny book and occasionally sipping from an equally tiny cup of tea. Barney’s thundering about had shaken the ground, and spilled most of it on his trousers.

“Hello, Barney” he called out ruefully without needing to look up to identify the culprit. Barney grinned wolfishly, revealing a row of sharp, whitish, pointy teeth.

“Fancy an adventure?” The dog barked excitedly, while the little pixie stood and drip-dried.

Eugene considered carefully. On the one hand, he did like a jaunt and he hadn’t left the allotment in over a week. On the other hand, this was lovely gardening weather. “What sort of adventure?” He asked noncommittally. Barney, who hadn’t thought past the initial invitation, now had to stop and work it out. He remembered Reiver telling him a few days ago about a way through to a cold kingdom,

where voles played musical instruments and people were really very fed up of eating tuna. At the time, the Animal Investigators hadn’t thought much of it, assuming that the plump cat had been lonely without his late brother – and had simply ‘made up’ a land full of friends to keep himself company. But now, to Barney, it seemed like the only idea in his head. So he told Eugene the tale about the kingdom of Narnia.

“I have read about this place,” mused the pixie. “I sneak into the library on cold nights to care for their plants and read about exciting, new places. “I would like to see this fabled kingdom. I would like,” he added thoughtfully, “to find out what veg they are growing this season.”

Barney picked the tiny creature up, settling him on the dog’s huge back where he both hid in, and held onto Barney’s fur for stability. Off home they went, ignoring Fred’s entreaties for the dog to enter the house and instead, thumping off on what Fred thought of as one of Barney’s ‘hare-brained half-hours’. Fred shrugged to himself and went in for a cup of tea, noting that – usually – the big dog would return when he became hungry.

When he got to the village, Barney didn’t bother announcing himself to the owners – he knew it was Sunday, and they were off on their ‘Cook-Inn’ deliveries. He just took a deep breath, and jumped high – right over the Reiver-proof netting which kept the fat cat safe from harm. Barney cleared the soft fruit area, but landed in the middle of the place where Duncan had carefully set out the hundreds of little pieces from the new greenhouse kit, ready to put it all together. The big dog scattered them all over the garden, causing Eugene to ‘tut’ at him and putting him in a tetchy mood. “Didn’t mean it,” he barked grudgingly.

“Halt and desist!” Mewed a familiar, happy voice. Reiver’s cat flap had been left open for him, and he had gone out to investigate the racket. Reive loved new things, and so Barney barked an invitation for him to join in with their adventure. Remembering vaguely about a place where he had found food, Reive agreed.

Thinking about Reiver’s historical head injury, Eugene asked curiously; “I thought you didn’t usually remember who we are?”

“I don’t know you,” the plump cat assured them, shrugging his shoulders and grinning. “I just like to challenge people, and to have adventures involving food!”

Barney and Eugene looked at each other. It was just as well Reive was journeying with them. This way, they could look after him!

Part two will be next week, folks! Twenty-eight families were fed today. More power to our chef and volunteer team. Many thanks to Tesco for donating Hot Cross Buns this week! J

God Bless, all – Janine, Duncan and Reiver the Adventurer.

Cook-Inn helpline; 07531 436 389. Please call for information, to volunteer, or to refer.

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