Lucy and Puffin

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
Lucy hopes for her birthday gift.

Submitted: January 06, 2017

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Submitted: January 06, 2017



Lucy had badgered her parents for the past six months, but to no avail. Father said there were none available and Mother had said they were too expensive! Lucy was waiting for her eleventh birthday to roll around and was focused on the one thing, but her parents didn’t seem to be cooperating. She had no intention of giving up, trying to convince them, she had promised to tidy room, to do the dishes for a year and even stopping her nose picking! All to no avail.

The birthday girl woke to music, ‘Happy birthday to you!’ sung by a frog or something, and in the kitchen there was a paper bunting hanging on the wall that said, ‘Happy Birthday Lucy!’ Mother and Father gave her a hug and wished her happy birthday, but there was nothing exciting. A new bag for school, some socks, a book on dinosaurs from Granny and a cricket bat from Granddad.

Unusually there was nobody around when Lucy arrived back from school. Still, she called out as she walked down the passageway, towards the kitchen. Still no answer. When she opened the door to the kitchen Lucy had the surprise of her life! Standing in the middle of the kitchen floor was a puppy, not any puppy, a miniature pinscher puppy! She just stood there with her mouth open, then Mother and Father burst out of the pantry calling, “Happy Birthday Lucy!’

She ran smiling to the little puppy, happy because this was the very thing Lucy had been nagging her parents for!

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ She cried happily.

Lucy admired the sleek back body, the little bits of brown on her eyebrows, her brown gumboots and the stub of her tail. She stroked the sleek body and felt the softness of her ears. She hugged her close, cheek to cheek.

‘What will you call her?’ asked Mother.

‘Puffin!’ replied Lucy-the-little-naturalist, ‘I love puffins!’

For the next week or so Lucy and Puffin came to understand each other and had fun, even though Puffin liked to chew things because she was losing her milk teeth. Mother and father tut, tutted about the mess, but knew it was to be expected. They were pleased to see the bond developing, as they knew it would, and Lucy grew to have perfect control over her small puppy.

There was good news! Lucy had a new cousin! Mother’s younger sister was in hospital with her new-born baby girl and the exciting thing was that they were going to visit them! On the way to the maternity area of the hospital, there was an emergency so Lucy and her mother had to step aside as the stretcher was wheeled past. Lucy caught a glimpse of the little girl they were wheeling. She was wired up to machines that were going, beep, beep, beep and there were tubes from her body to bottles on a stand. The nurses were obviously very worried about their charge and talking technical stuff.

‘Gosh, that’s Debbie from school!’ Lucy suddenly realised. ‘What’s happened to her?’

‘Sush, Lucy,’ Mother whispered, ‘not so loud!’

The new baby was fine any wrinkly, but the horror of seeing her school-mate was playing on Lucy’s mind so she was only half-listening to her mother and aunt talking about the baby popping out.

‘Can we go to see Debbie?’ Lucy asked when they walked out of the maternity area.

‘No, dear,’ replied Mother, ‘she’s a very sick little girl. We will see her when she is better. Promise.’

‘Now you must understand, that Debbie has lost a leg,’ Mother explained, ‘and is in a wheel chair. She is very sad, so might not want to talk to us!’

Lucy knew very well that it was serious because she had heard about Debbie’s rehabilitation and that she wasn’t doing very well in her wheelchair. There had also been talk at school that she may yet lose her other leg! But the recent news was that she was recovering well and her ‘good’ leg was going to be ok.

Debbie was in the sitting room watching television when they went in, and at first she didn’t even turn around to greet her visitors but on the urging of her mother she did so.

‘Sorry you have had such a hard time.’ Smiled Lucy bravely, ‘Look, I’ve brought Puffin to cheer you up.’

Debbie’s eyes settled on Puffin and she smiled. Her mother smiled too!

‘That’s the first time Debbie has smiled since her accident!’ she told the visitors.

Lucy picked Puffin up and held her close. She spent some time whispering quietly to her, and then placed the young dog on Debbie’s lap. Debbie caressed the little dog, and lifted him to her cheek. Her smile was bright and extraordinary! Puffin licked her nose and Debbie giggled. There was a tear of happiness in Debbie’s mother’s eye and Lucy noticed.

‘Her name is Puffin,’ Lucy told her, ‘she is a good little dog and will do what she is told. She is yours now, Debbie, please take care of her.’

As they drove home, tears were streamed down Lucy’s cheeks!

‘That was a good selfless thing to do Lucy.’ Her mother said, hesitating to ask her why, but proud of her daughter’s empathy.

‘I will miss my Puffin, I love her! But Debbie’s loss is far greater than mine!’ Sobbed Lucy.





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