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Chapter 13 - The black-clad girl

Chapter 13 - The black-clad girl



Sometimes Rachel and Ringel took Harry to the bird pond to show the birds that Harry was not at all dangerous. Passing the green house they always stopped to say hello to Beastie, sometimes picking a few apples along. The master was not at all disgruntled by Rachel and Harry’s visits nowadays (and of Ringel flying around he knew nothing). The master of the green house was secretly happy to see Rachel and Harry because they reminded her of playing chess, and that made him feel good.

Harry had learned a new word. It was “yip”. It meant all the things that were not either “Harry” or “hi”. It gave pleasant variety. “Harry yip hi” or “hi yip” almost sounded as if he was saying something meaningful!

Today they were on their way to the pond again, said “hi” to Beastie when they passed the green house and waved to the master enjoying his coffee behind the kitchen window. They could soon see the shore of the pond. All the ducks and mallards had grouped on the shore and were making massive noise!

- What a mean kid!

- Do we have to stand here all day or should we change ponds?

- She can’t continue all day but my feet are beginning to go numb!

The birds had been standing at the shore for a lengthy period already, and when Rachel reached the shore she could see why. The biggest black clad girl was standing on a self made raft, throwing pebbles at the birds. There was a big pile of pebbles awaiting for their turn. When the girl noticed Rachel and Harry, she started aiming at them.

- Why is that girl throwing stones at you?

- She wants to revenge the time we attacked her.

It was possible to reach the whole area of the pond with the pebbles unlike you could have done from the shore. The girl had clearly planned her revenge by taking into account that the birds could have swam around the pond and keep a good distance between themselves and the girl.

Wind was starting to feel annoyed by being thrown stones through it. They could not hurt but yet they disturbed the wind that had settled down for a nap over the pond. After a while he got so angry that he upped and left in a fury. The tops of the trees gave a heated whoosh!

The sudden move of the wind raised the waters and the surface started waving as if in a storm. The small raft went up and down in the waves. They were so deep that when the raft was in a valley between the waves, only the girl’s head could be seen from the shore.

The girl tried to balance on the unstable raft, and for a while it seemed that she could manage to stay on it, when all of a sudden a huge wave hit the raft and it tilted over! The next time the raft was visible from the shore, the girl was nowhere to be seen!

This started a big commotion!

Rachel was the only one who could have helped but she could only swim with her hands on the bottom (and that was no use in this situation) and Harry could swim but very slowly. Ringel came up with an emergency plan:

- Rachel starts swimming to the raft and the ducks and mallards see that she stays above water. Harry and I go and get Beastie to help. When the master sees Harry alone, he will also follow Beastie and come and help us!

Rachel was afraid because she was a bad swimmer, but without any hesitation she kicked her sandals out of her feet and run into the now calm water with ducks and mallards following closely at her tail. She could hear Harry leave with Ringel running away to get help. This time Harry did not waste time in bouncing around but ran as fast as he could with his little paws. As if he had also understood that this was not a time to play.

Rachel swam doggie swim as fast as she could. The birds helped her by diving under and pushing her into more speed from below. Even with help, the journey progressed very slowly, and the girl was nowhere to be seen on the surface.

In the meanwhile, Ringel and Harry had reached the green house. Ringel quickly filled Beastie in on the situation and Beastie immediately jumped over the metal gate and speeded towards the shore with Harry on its tail. The master happened also to be at the window and saw Harry racing to the gate alone, his watchdog to jump over the gate and shooting towards the path going to the pond. The master did not hesitate. He started following Beastie as fast as his legs would carry him. The legs of the master had not been working like this in a very long time! The buggie that was scouting for food at the green house had also heard Ringel’s report and in a flash was alarming all buggies of Berry Lane 10 to the pond!

Rachel and the birds had now reached the raft. The birds helped Rachel on the raft and some of them also accompanied her on it to follow the situation. Rachel stuck her head into the water and tried to see the black clad girl. She could not see anything because the water was so murky. She started grasping the water with her hands, all around the raft, but nothing! Rachel was scared that she would not find the girl. She wanted to cry but determinedly she bit her lip and took the long pole that was tied to the raft with a thread. She used it to feel the water all around.

Suddenly the pole hit something under the water! Without further thought Rachel jumped into the water and was able to catch the drowned girl. With one hand Rachel held on to the raft, with the other she tugged the girl to the surface and closer to the raft.

The birds saw what Rachel was attempting to do. Some of them dived under the girl and lifted her upwards. The birds on the raft took hold of anything that they could and pulled the girl to the raft. Then the birds helped the totally exhausted Rachel onto the raft and supported the other girl so that Rachel was able to lift her into safety.

The next moment, Beastie was next to the raft. It swam behind it, grabbed the edge with his teeth and started pushing the raft towards the shore. The raft was heavy with the two girls aboard. Beastie started to become tired. And then a miracle happened! (Well, actually it was one more in a long row of miracles because the whole rescue operation was one big miracle!)

The buggies that had hastily made their way to the scene had already noticed what had happened and held an emergency conference. The buggie guards now carefully lowered the Buggie Queen on the raft. Some buggies grouped on each side of Beastie at the edge of the raft, another row of buggies took hold of their hind legs, then another row took hold of their hind legs and so on, until behind each buggie at the edge of the raft there was a meter long line of buggies pushing the raft onwards. There was so much buggie power in them that Beastie had to do his best to keep up with them!

The master walked into the shallow water and lifted the black clad girl into his arms - the girls face was very pale - and carried her to the shore and started first aid. The master had been working in the fire brigade when he was younger so he knew exactly what to do.

Rachel, Harry, Ringel, the mallards, the ducks and the buggies all silently looked on. Ringel went next to the master and the girl and looked at them for a moment. Then he looked sadly into Rachel’s eyes. Rachel felt a piece in her throat and could only whisper: - Help her!

Ringel was still looking Rachel in the eyes when he opened his fist and golden dust was freed in the air. The gold glistened around the master and the girl, whirled there for a long time and then vanished.

The master continued giving first aid. Everybody just watched and waited, in total quiet.

Then the girl coughed once! Then another time! And right after that, the third time! The girl was alive!

The girl was coughing and coughing and coughing for so long that for many years after this incident she did not want to cough at all, nor to drink water. She had swallowed and breathed a lot of water inside her, and it took a long time for her to cough it all out.

Harry and Beastie started barking joyously, the birds to quack from the bottoms of their hearts and the buggies shouted “yippee” and flew erratically around. This time they even forgot to count the point when they bounced into each other (and you know, you always get points for that, no matter if a game is on or not!).

- Shouldn’t you have stayed to see that the girl was alright?, asked Rachel from Ringel.

- My job is to see that you are alright.

- But you left me alone when you went to get Beastie.

- No, you were not alone. Another angel was there to look over you.

- Who?

- Whose picture do you watch every night before going to sleep?

- The angel in the picture?

- Yes. She is the guardian angel of that girl.

Rachel could not ask any more because she was still panting.

Rachel’s father called for an ambulance, Rachel watched the girl lifted in the ambulance and the car left to take her to the hospital. When the back doors of the ambulance were closed, Rachel saw how the pastel blue angel of the picture set herself to sit next to the black clad girl and smiled to Rachel gently.

Rachel and the master were interviewed to the local newspaper and there was a story half page long of them, with pictures. Even though Rachel had honestly told what had happened, and even the master confirmed that the buggies had pushed the raft to the shore, they were not even mentioned in the story.

But neither were Ringel and the birds. It only stated that Rachel had seen Sadie (that was her name) fall off the raft, swam to her and lifted her to the raft. The master had luckily been running after his stray dog at the same time. The dog had helped the raft to the shore after which the master had revived the girl.

How boring that miraculous incident had been turned into by the magazine!

Everybody gained something out of the occasion, though. Rachel, Beastie and master each got a medal for saving a life and a diploma for their courageous act.

Each of the buggies was granted one hundred points from the Buggie Queen and that was unheard of! Up until this summer the previous buggie record holder had been able to gather 91 points during the whole summer, and there was still time left to collect more points! You can only imagine what kind of a celebration took place in the castle that evening!

Ringel was once again feeling good because Rachel had conquered her fears and acted so courageously.

And if nothing else, Harry and the birds gathered more life experience and received a lot of praise from Rachel and Ringel.



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