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A Tale for Winter

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A Tale for Winter Rebecca Trenner_ It was a cold and miserable January, filled with rainstorms, harsh frosts and a gusty wind that made the trees creak, as their roots clung to the soil for support. The grass was clothed in a cloak of silver and the trees were tipped in white. Most of the animals of the forest were still in hibernation from the autumn months, safely sleeping in their grassy beds and earthly homes. All except one, a young bat named Vladimir, who had not been able to sleep for the howling of the wintry winds. Hanging from the branch of an old oak tree he shivered, with only his wings wrapped around his small body to keep him warm. His feet were bitterly cold and the icy coating on the branch made it hard for the tiny creature to hold on. Vladimir fell into the bed of fluffy snow and frozen grass beneath him. He was all on his own and feeling lonely without his friends, who were fast asleep, hibernating in their dark cave. Vladimir, who was freezing cold right through and missing all his furry friends, began to cry. ...read more.


After just a few hours of slumber Vladimir was woken by a grumbling noise coming from the bottom of the cave. He woke, startled to see a huge grizzly bear approaching him. The bear looked hungry and his stomach was rumbling so loudly it woke Horace too. The immense animal towered over Horace and Vladimir, and both were so frightened they could not move. The bear was coming closer and closer, and with a great sweep of its paw it tried to attack Horace. Nervous and fearful the young hedgehog curled himself up into a prickly ball. As the bear's paw came in contact with Horace's spiky outer skin the forceful beast lurched his head up in pain and began to whimper. Seeing this as a chance to escape, Horace uncurled himself and started to leave the cave with Vladimir flying close behind him. But the bear was not finished with either of the pair. He was starving hungry and in desperate need of food, a tasty bat or a succulent hedgehog were just what he needed. Seeing Vladimir flying about, the bear stood upright and with both his paws began forcefully striking the bat's flight path, desperately trying to knock him from his flight. ...read more.


Just as the bear was about to let go of Vladimir, a huge congregate of bats came flooding into the cave. So many that the bear was blinded by the sight of them and fell over letting go of Vladimir, who flew straight into the crowd of bats, gathered within the cave. Neither Horace nor Vladimir knew that the snow outside had melted and the animals had come out of hibernation. The bats had heard Vladimir's cries for help and had come to rescue him from the ravenous grizzly bear. Vladimir was extremely happy to be reunited with all his bat friends, who he introduced to Horace. Some of Horace's friends had come along too, having heard all the noise coming from the cave and mistaking it for a post-hibernation party! Once all the bats had settled and found places to hang from, the bear stood up. He saw that the snow outside had melted and padded out of the cave to find a tasty tree to feed from. With a free cave all to themselves, the small creatures of the forest had a party until the sun came up. Whilst the bear found himself an alternative soup recipe, made from woodlice and dandelions, rather than bats. ...read more.

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