The Swamp

He wandered, not sure whether it was aimless or not. Lost on the path that was meant to be taking him home.

Was it the right path?

It had occurred to him that this path might not be going in the direction it was meant too.

He’d narrowly escaped the clutches of the Swamp Witch, and was now looking for the way home.

The forest was enchanted. Gerard knew that much. Around knobs and hollows in the trees fairies buzzed. Their different coloured auras looked like tiny moving lights in the gloom.

And in patches where the light shone through the dense canopy, little gnome villages could be seen, their red and white toadstool shaped houses obvious if you knew where to look.

He walked past such a village, positive he’d seen it before.

But there ahead, he saw it. Proof that the path was deliberately leading him astray. The Swamp Witch’s house stood out, tall and proud in amongst the Swamp.

He smiled ruefully to himself.

Yep. The path home was enchanted too, and he didn’t have a clue as to how to get out.


“I don’t want to go into the water, Mum,” my brother, Wilson, pleaded.

“Silly boy.” She shook her head and then her tail.

Mum, I don’t want to,” he complained again.

So, it was up to me, the big sister, to show the way.

I dipped a toe in, and then joined him in whinging.

“It’s all cold and wet feeling,” I told her.

Mother sighed.

“We’re designed to swim, both my silly ducklings.”

The others were already splashing around in the river, with our Father. This fear was humiliating.

Just then, we heard it. A rustling in the bushes. All three of us turned, and stared into two amber eyes.

“FOX!” yelled Wilson, and we raced each other to the riverbank and dived in. I looked around, and was relieved to see our Mother swimming towards us.

Looking back to where we had been, I saw the fox slunk off heading towards the cover of the forest.

“I told you the water was safe,” she admonished.

Once upon a time I would have resented her smugness, but today?

As Wilson and our other brothers and sisters joined us, and Father took up the rear, I was too relieved to care.