Mary said, “Bears like woods.”
I said, ” Yes. So do I.”
Mary said, ” Can we go to the woods please?”
I said, ” Yes.” So we did. And Leopard came too, and Panda and Other Leopard. And somehow, though I’m not sure how, they smuggled in Tyger, because Tyger had decided that he wanted to go to the woods too.
And when we got there there were dragons, cats and a big big bed.
And Mary and Leopard showed everybody round.
“Here’s the Teepee,” said Mary.
“And this is the kitchen, and the pots and the pans.”
And back at the house Kevin ( who Mary says has big feet) and Claire made a fire and pizza and we all ate pizza, and Betsi was careful because fires are hot.
And Betsi played with Tyger, and put clothes pegs of all different colours in her hair. And later we all went to sleep.
That night Mary and Leopard watched the dragons keep guard around the teepee, whirling and twirling in their dreams.
The next day the naughty dragons played ‘let’s sneak up on the cat, shhh, she’s not noticed. And the cat found a tiny man.
And Mary and Leopard went for a walk to see the sea that was not far away.
And Leopard played Hide and Seek on a beach with spotted stones, and Mary was scared that she would never ever find him again, but then she did.
And when we got back Mary said “I’ve got a key.”
And I said, “Have you? What does it open?”
And Mary said, “Come with me and I’ll show you. It’s secret. It’s beautiful.”
So we walked down the path through the woods and found a magic house, all made of canvas and wood, and painted with mermaids and wishes and dreams.
And inside there was Panda. And Panda was excited because he had found a book and he said “Look! Look! It’s me in a book.” So we all climbed onto the bed to see and Panda read us a story. Panda is good at reading.
Back in the teepee Leopards showed Panda and Tyger they were in a book too. Then the cat and Tyger said they were in books, and everybody read all the books.
And Mary was quiet.
“What’s the matter Mary? ” I asked.
Mary looked sad. “Panda’s in a book. Leopards are in a book. Tyger is in a book and even cat is in a book. All the dragons are in a book. Am I in a book?”
And I said, ” Mary, you were born in a book, a long time ago, and now you are in another book. I’ll read it to you if you would like. And one day we hope you will be in a book all of your very own.”
And Mary said, ” I would like that.”
And she thought for a while, in a quiet thoughtful way and then she said, “And I would like it even more if all my friends could be in it too, because things are always better when they are shared.”
Clever Mary. And I loved her all the more for that.
( With many thanks to Kevin, ( who made the teepee and the yurt and domes, because even though he has big feet he is clever) Claire and Matthew for arranging wonderful weather, providing great food and good company at Trellyn Woodland Camping. And thanks to Betsi for putting pegs in her hair and being lovely and bringing her mum and dad and friends to the woods.)
And while Mary was camping Emily made a film to go with the Starlight Yurt. So thanks also to Celestine and the Hare. Wish you were here.)