Blossom almost jumped out of his skin…
A quiet knocking noise made him pause. It was coming from outside his window.
Blossom almost jumped out of his skin.
“Psst!” came the sound again, a little louder.
Blossom, are you awake?” Blossom hopped over to his window.
“He’s asleep, stupid.”
“No he isn’t.”
“Yes he is.”
“It doesn’t matter, just wake him up.”
“Who’s there?” squeaked Blossom.
Four furry faces with big bright eyes and long ears appeared at his window.
“It’s Bandit. This is Snoop and Bram and Apollo… we’re your cousins. We live down by the river.”
“You wanna come with us?” asked Snoop.
Blossom stared out into the darkness
“Wh… where… are you going?”
“We’re night adventuring!” declared Bandit.
From his window, Blossom could just see through the garden gate to where a pool of moonlight lit the farmyard. Beyond the yard, in between the farm sheds, one of the orchards loomed, black tree boles in rows like soldiers on parade, the grass rows between, silvered stripes until they all merged into the darkness of the paddocks beyond: the paddocks which he knew led down to the river, where his cousins had come from.
It was very dark.
“Don’t worry,” Bandit assured him. “We aren’t going far.”
“No,” added Snoop. “Apollo and Bram are scaredy cats, so—”
“Are not,” huffed Bram.
“I am,” said Apollo.
“—so, we’re just going to the apricot orchard behind the sheds,” said Snoop.
“Mother’s awake…at the door…”
“Yeah! Talking, with my mum and aunts. We followed them. They’ll be ages, which means you can sneak out,” said Bandit, who appeared to be the little group’s leader.
“There’s a loose nail near the corner of your window. Push against the wire when we say. We’ll do the rest.”
Blossom heard scratching and scraping.
“Push,” came Bandit’s voice, and Blossom pushed at the wire as hard as he could.
It gave a little…
he pushed some more…
then a little more… then…
The wire suddenly gave way and he almost toppled out.
His nose twitched nervously, and his little whiskers all stood on end. He climbed out of the window a bit more. There was nowhere to hold onto and the ground was a long way down.
“You climb out backwards,” said one of his helpful cousins.
But Blossom couldn’t get his tummy back over the window sill. He scrabbled with his little back legs and then lost his balance completely and tumbled out, plop, onto soft fur.
“Oof,” huffed Snoop.
“Ouch,” said Apollo.
“Come on,” said Bandit, “we’re wasting time. Stay behind us, Blossom, and keep quiet, everyone. And be careful of Aunt Agatha’s daffodils. ”
Blossom quivered with excitement. He was on a real adventure!
One by one, they hopped across the lawn and disappeared beneath the leafy overhanging shrubs beside the stone wall on the far side of the garden gate. It smelled earthy and damp beneath the canopy.
“This way. Keep the wall to your left,” said Bandit. Snoop, you bring up the rear. ”