When he awoke, rain was falling, but even rain could not stop Tisp. He did what he only had time to do about once a month. Tisp was going into the forest. As he approached the woodland he heard the
blackbirds chirping sweetly, their voices carried by the wind. They were up early and Tisp did not know why but it didn’t bother him at all. As Tisp frolicked through the damp grass he realised the
rain had stopped and would no longer accompany him on his journey into the forest. When he reached the forest of trees a mountain of colour blinded him for a second and he then realised why. The
leaves were decorated with a range of autumn colours from brown to a deep crimson. Tisps scut brushed gently across the forest floor as he hopped softly across the bed of leaves covering it.
He had only gone a few paces when he heard them, snarling, shrieking, they were the hounds. Quick as a flash Tisp turned around and saw what he dreaded he would be able to see. The hounds were pure black, white teeth gleaming, saliva glistening on their snouts. Tisp turned tail and ran far away as could run from this terrible sight. He came to a small clearing where his path stopped. He could hear the hounds coming closer again and then they appeared once more. Tisp was trapped for the trees were packed too tightly together for even a rabbit to get through. Then Tisp saw a small hole in the network of roots from a nearby tree. He darted forward and so did the hounds but he just managed to scramble into his hideaway hole. It was about as big as the puddles that had formed when it had rained. He had a feeling he knew why the birds had been up so early that morning. He had to stay in hiding for a couple of hours. Occasionally a snout could be heard nuzzling the bark but it was usually well off his hiding place. Once one had sniffed right next to the spot were his hole was but he was sure that was a coincidence. Two hours later the hunt gave up. Tisp heard them padding away with the huntsman. It was then he uncurled himself and hopped out of his hole.
He was glad to be out of it because there was no food in the hole and the apple felt hours ago. So he decided to make use of the forest and began to search for something to eat. It was not long before he found what he was looking for, small piece of green caught his eye, a clover patch .He tucked in to the clover patch with great gusto, smelling the sweet scent that the clover gave off. The clover felt good in Tisps empty stomach.
As soon as he had finished the meal, Tisp padded slowly back towards the entrance of the woodland for he was tired after his ordeal with the hunt and needed rest. On the way home he heard the deer prancing through the field, in a couple of minutes he saw them but seemed very distressed but Tisp did not know why. As he got closer he heard gunfire and saw with a jolt one of the deer fall. Tisp knew he had to get home and fast, so at full speed he bolted across the field. He caught a glimpse of one of the hunters pointing at him. A second later the deer were being ignored and all of the hunters began shooting at him instead. He began to go faster and faster so fast in fact the men gave up. For a split second he thought it was all over and they had gone back to shooting the deer but then he saw they were unclipping the hounds. They dangled a rabbit skin under their noses. Tisp shuddered, he knew that he would need to go the fastest he had ever gone to escape or it would be his skin they would be dangling in front of the dogs. He then saw that his warren was only a couple of meters away. If he just went at the moment the hounds were released he would be home. It worked. He bolted forward and he was back in his burrow. He flopped down onto his bed and slept for the whole night.
End of Chapter 2
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