The night adventure
Everything had started out to plan, James had waited patiently for the rest of his family to go to sleep, even his mother who seemed to sense something was up. Slipping silently into the moonlit river, he made his way out into the lake and across to the willow tree, where Hannah was waiting for him.
James’s takeoff had been perfect and before long the lake had disappeared behind them, soon however he began to tire and his wings ached. Not only was flying quite new to him, but he had never been up at night before. He said nothing to Hannah, not wanting to worry her and struggled on as best he could. Fortunately Hannah was dropping down, and the farm appeared below them. They touched down a short distance away, James landing clumsily in the tall grass, having only come down on water before tonight. He lay there panting, then carefully checked he was unhurt, luckily everything seemed fine. Hannah looked down from the fence post next to him “are you okay?” she whispered quietly, “yes I think so” James replied. They both looked round, taking in their surroundings.
Even from where they stood, Dovecote Farm looked in need of some love and attention. The paint was flaking from the farmhouse windows, there was a large tired looking barn and some dilapidated outbuildings. The whole lot was surrounded by a crumbling stone wall and an old rusty metal gate. There were no lights on and no movement anywhere. Up on the barn roof were the dovecotes which gave the place its name, but there was no sign of the doves, in fact the whole place looked deserted.
James moved cautiously forwards, keeping in the long grass alongside the fence, Hannah flew silently from post to post keeping pace with him. They stopped again, just an old farm track lay between them and the gate into the yard. An owl hooted from a nearby tree, making both James and Hannah jump. James looked up at the little swallow and she smiled at him, he was glad that she had come with him, if he had been alone he was not sure if he could gave gone through with it.
After checking once again that all was quiet, James shot across the track; half running, half flying up to the gate. It was made up of bars and he stepped under the bottom bar, ducking his head down, into the farmyard. Hannah followed him and landed on top of the gate. Ahead lay the farmhouse, to the left was the old barn and to the right the outbuildings. In the centre of the yard stood an old tractor, covered in mud and dust, everything was lit eerily by the bright moonlight.
“Which way do you think we should go?” whispered James, looking round, Hannah shrugged her shoulders “I am not sure, either the barn or those old buildings to the right, it is a pity that we did not get more information from those rats!” James nodded “oh well, lets try the barn first, the door seems to be slightly open”. He crept forwards, following the stone wall which cast a shadow over him, keeping him hidden; Hannah kept level with him, fluttering along the top.
He reached the corner of the barn, the huge wooden door stood open just enough for him to squeeze through, inside was pitch black and James had no way of knowing what lay within! He looked up at Hannah “I do not like this, I cannot see a thing in there”, the breeze blew a dried leaf across the stone yard, making him look round sharply. James took a deep breath “you stay up there Hannah and keep a lookout; I am going to take a look inside”. He peered round one more time, then stepped forwards and entered the barn.