Hi I’m Lucy. If this is your first time reading my stories about witches, and you want to catch up on all the stuff that’s been happening here in Ballyyahoo, Galway, the best place to start is always at the beginning!
If you’ve been reading my blog so far you’ll know that the Raggy rabbit went missing when I was minding him for Miss Parrot and that I was out searching the fields for him when something happened and I got a fright. A bad fright!
It started with a terrible sound. I had never heard anything like it before and it’s really hard to describe if you weren’t there. It was a bit like an animal screaming quietly. It crossed my mind it could be sound of witches. Maybe witches whispering. But I wasn’t sure, it got louder and louder and I realized it was coming from the corner of the field.
A shadowy shape came out from a hole in a tangle of briars. I realized it was The Far-Away Fox and it was looking straight at me. The noise I heard wasn’t a witch at all, it was an ‘alarm bark’ – a screeching, barking sound a fox makes when it thinks its cubs might be in danger.
Then I saw the fox snatch something from the ground with its mouth. She was so fast it was hard to see what it was. All I know is that whatever it was, it’s gone forever now.
I couldn’t sleep that night, thinking of all the horrible things that could have happened to the Raggy rabbit. Being made into a witch’s stew would be horrible, being eaten by a fox would be even more horrible, so I just had to hope that Raggy had run away to join his country cousins.
The more I thought about that, the more I thought it was probably true. You might say it’s wishful thinking, but maybe not. If I was locked up in a garden with nobody only the two Miss Parrots to play with I’d probably run away as well. I kept my fingers crossed that’s what happened.
The next day, I was in the back garden trying to think about how to tell the two Miss Parrots when the doorbell rang. I heard my mum answering the door and then I heard Miss Parrot’s voice twittering away all happy and chirpy. I stayed where I was because I knew poor Miss Parrot wouldn’t be chirping for long – not when she heard the news about Raggy.
But instead of screaming and crying and sobbing and yelling, all I could hear was the two of them laughing and I was just starting to think that my mum wasn’t going to tell Miss Parrot about poor Raggy rabbit at all, when suddenly it all went quiet. I waited and then a few minutes later I heard them both calling me.
FACING UP TO MISS PARROT
That was it. I knew the time had come to face Miss Parrot. I knew she’d either be upset or angry. Or worse still, she might be both, in which case she’d probably cry all over me and beat the head off me all at the same time.
I walked very slowly from the back garden to the front door. I was so worried I could hear my own heart beating as though it had jumped up between my ears. My stomach felt like it was being clenched by a fist but when I got to the front door I got a shock. A big shock.
Instead of an angry or sad Miss Parrot, there was a happy Miss Parrot. She didn’t beat the head off me, or cry all over me like I thought. Instead she smiled and stroked something fluffy that was sitting on her shoulder.
First of all I thought the fluffy thing sitting on her shoulder was a big furry scarf but when I looked closer I could see that although it was furry it wasn’t a scarf. What do you think was sitting on her shoulder? Only the Raggy Rabbit!
I couldn’t believe my eyes at first, but once I stroked him I knew it was Raggy. He was all soft and cuddly and muzzled his squishy head against my cheek.
It turned out that Miss Parrot had been worried about the other Miss Parrot. Did I tell you there was two of them? Anyway, Miss Parrot has been away visiting the other Miss Parrot in hospital who had to get a bit of rusty gate taken out of her foot. She was very sore and she was really missing Raggy so Miss Parrot nipped home, got Raggy, and brought him for a visit.
She had left a message on my mum’s phone but she hadn’t got it and when Miss Parrot checked her phone it turned out she’d sent the message to Micko the mackerel. The message said ‘don’t worry, I’ve got rabbit.’
Micko the mackerel comes round Ballyyahoo every week selling fish, so when he saw the text he just thought Miss Parrot was cancelling her usual order for two mackerel and two Pollock and was having rabbit for dinner instead. Ugh!
THE WORST PRESENT EVER!
After all that investigating and worrying I’d been doing I thought Miss Parrot might have given me a present for minding Raggy even though she never does. For a change she did! But it wasn’t a good present. It wasn’t even a not too bad present, it was a terrible present! Probably the worst present I ever got – apart from the time that eejit Gerry Mac from down the road gave me a stinking, maggoty old fish head he found on the beach.
A MAGGOTY OLD FISH HEAD
No, Miss Parrot’s present was even worse than a stinking, maggoty old fish head – it was a lemon! A big yellow bitter lemon! She said it was the one she’d been going to squeeze on her mackerel and that she didn’t need it since Micko the mackerel didn’t bring her any fish and she had to have beans on toast instead.
To be honest I wasn’t going to take the lemon off her. I didn’t want it but my mother was standing behind Miss Parrot with that look on her face, the strangled look, and so I had to take the lemon.
KEEPING A SECRET
My mum couldn’t keep the grin off her face when she said ‘come on Lucy, don’t you know a lemon a day will keep the witches away?’ She thought she was very funny but I didn’t feel like laughing when all I got for a reward was a big sour lemon.
Mum must have felt sorry for me because a few minutes later she said I could go down to Kelly’s shop and get us something nice for a treat. I took my bike and was there in no time and it was a good job too because you’ll never guess who was there!
It was Biddy! She bought some bread and butter and then she left. I thought she would be well gone by the time I finished in the shop but when I went outside she suddenly stepped right in front of me.
“What in the name of the Banshee from Ballyyahoo Bog are you following me for, Lucy?” she said.
Bye for now