A non-seasonal Decamot inspired by the following Decamot items:
white bearded old man, north pole, present, red nose, turkey, sleigh, hanging stockings, mince, little helper, holly
The Autumn mist was beginning to clear as they left the National Trust car park. Charlotte was out of the car first, jumping up and down excitedly.
“Please, please may we do the walk first with Holly, then have a go at the orienteering?”
Holly, the white, wire-haired, West Highland terrier never far from Charlotte’s side, looked up expectantly, tail wagging.
“Yes” said her father, “it’s only fair, she’ll need a good leg stretch too after that drive”.
So off they went into the woodland and out along the Surrey hillside and into the sunshine, Charlotte and her beloved pet scampered ahead.
“Oh look”, laughed the little girl, “a white bearded old man!” and when the rest of the family caught up with her she turned to display wreaths of wild clematis, whose seed heads had blossomed into the fluffy beard - like covering which she had wound around her face.
"Old man’s beard, silly!” her brother John taunted her, “and it goes well with your red nose!”
He stooped to pick up a long branch which had fallen out of a nearby tree, and standing up very straight he shouted “Present arms!” and held it up over his shoulder.
“Oh do come on” called their dad, “and stop messing about you two, do you to want to have a go at orienteering or not? Here, I’ve brought along a compass, who wants to be first to have a go at finding the North pole?”
Meanwhile Holly was struggling to get a hold of the stick which John had abandoned. It was far too big and heavy for such a little dog to tackle, but she did not give in easily.
“Now what’s that dog up to?” asked an exasperated father, “If it’s not one of you children it’s your dog holding us up Charlotte”.
“Oh Dad, that’s not fair, all dogs like to chase a stick!”
“Yes but look at the size of it! It’s like a small tree, which tree did it come from John?”
“The Quercus cerris, Dad” replied John self-importantly.
“The WHAT?” asked Charlotte, mystified.
“Turkey Oak, to you, dimbo” responded her sibling, smugly.
When they finally returned home their mother was struggling out of the utility room with a laden basket full of wet laundry.
“We could do with a sleigh to slide this over the lawn instead of me having to carry it” she said, perhaps Holly could have a little harness to drag it along for me?”
“Oh I don’t mind helping” called Charlotte, and she picked out some clothes from the laundry basket and began hanging stockings on the washing line.
Her mother smiled, “What would I do without my little helper?” she said.
“Did you enjoy your walk?”
“Yes, we did thank-you Mummy, and we remembered to stop at Conisbees on the way back to get the mince. Are you going to make a cottage pie? It’s my favourite.”