Mungo checked his list.
"Let’s see now, I’ve got the lists, baskets, snacks, and Ginger, we need
to put you away before the bairns come. Let’s go," he said, putting the
cat in the bedroom.
DING DONG! Mungo put his
papers on the table and opened the door. "Well, hello there, wee Hamish
and Gregor. Come in. Go and help yourself to the snacks," he said. He shut
the door behind them and picked up his papers.
"What are we doing
tonight?" asked Gregor. "There are no pictures on the walls. What are
these baskets for?"
DING DONG! "I’ll tell you
shortly," Mungo said, opening the door. "Hello, wee Fiona and Gavin. Come
inside. And here comes Morag and Andy. That’s the whole gang. Welcome to
"What are the baskets for,
Mr. McGee?" wee Hamish asked.
"Tonight, lads and lassies,
we’re going on a scavenger hunt," Mungo said.
"What’s a scavger hunt?"
asked wee Fiona.
"Each of you pick up a
basket. Look in the bottom of it. You’ll find a list. Each of you have a
different list," Mungo said. The bairns did as they were instructed.
"Mine’s long," said Andy.
"So is mine," Morag said.
"All of your lists are
somewhat long. Now, we’re going to go for a walk all the way to the bottom
of McNair’s Hill and back. While we’re walking, you are to look for the
items on your lists. When we get home, whoever has everything on their
list, will get a special treat," Mungo said.
"I want a treat," said wee
"Then you’ll have to find
everything on your list. I wrote in big letters for you and wee Fiona. Can
you read your lists?" Mungo asked them.
"I can," said wee Fiona.
"Me too," answered wee
"Since the rest of you are
bigger, you all get normal handwriting. Everyone make sure you’ve got
everything. We’re off," Mungo said, leading the bairns outdoors.
"Will you tell us a story
as we walk?" asked Gavin. "You are the Storyteller!"
"Of course. I had planned
to do that," Mungo said. The group walked through the field. Each bairn
examined their list. "You all know how Scotland is famous for its golf
courses, don’t you?"
"My dad likes to play
golf," said Gavin.
"My dad loves golfing,"
"Many Scottish people do.
Golf was invented in Scotland. On with the story then. There was a golf
course next to the sea. On one side were tall pine trees and each of the
other sides were the rocky shores of the sea. Many of the golfers weren’t
very good at playing. Sometimes their golf balls went flying into the
sea," Mungo said.
"I found an acorn!"
screamed wee Fiona, putting it in her basket.
"I found a brown rock,"
"Bairns, you’ll be finding
things as we walk along. Just pick them up, silently, and put them into
your baskets. We’ll talk about them when we get back to the cottage."
Mungo didn’t bother too much with his story as the bairns were darting
here and there, picking up items on their lists. "One day, two eagles
decided to build a nest in one of the tall pines. They spent days fixing
it up, gathering bits of string, grasses, leaves and twigs. When the nest
was finished, the female eagle laid her eggs. She kept them nice and warm,
but one morning was feeling very hungry. She flew off, just for a few
minutes, to find a juicy mouse to eat and while she was gone, a golfer hit
a ball right into the nest. It lay next to the eggs. When the mother eagle
came back, she sat down on her eggs, and the golf ball, and kept them
"That’s funny," said wee
Hamish. He’d found most of the things on his list and was walking along,
listening to Mungo, yet watching for his last few items.
"After a few days, the eggs
began to hatch. Usually an eagle only lays 2 eggs. Mother eagle thought
that she had done just that, but noticed a third egg, which was really the
golf ball. The two eggs hatched and demanded food. Mother eagle knew she
needed to feed her babies but was afraid to leave the nest in case the
third egg got cold. Father eagle had to do all the work while Mother eagle
sat on the golf ball. The other babies started growing bigger. Mother
eagle waited patiently for days but the golf ball didn’t hatch. She was
too hungry, so she flew off to find something to eat. While she was gone
the two babies took the golf ball and pushed it out of the nest with their
beaks. There wasn’t room for a third baby. Mother eagle flew back just as
the ball fell to the ground. She was in despair. She squawked and flew to
catch the egg before it splattered on the ground. Imagine her surprise
when it bounced high into the air, right off the ground. She flew about
watching it bounce up and down. The two babies started to laugh. They’d
never seen a bouncing egg before," Mungo said.
"Golf balls do bounce high,
don’t they?" Andy said.
"Yes, they can. Mother
eagle chased the ball and it finally stopped bouncing. When she flew down
to pick it up she was shocked to see dozens and dozens of other ‘eggs’
lying in a pile. She realized that it wasn’t an egg after all. She quickly
flew up to her nest and her babies, leaving her ‘egg’ with the others,"
"That’s a funny story.
Imagine an eagle thinking a golf ball is an egg," Morag scoffed.
"Does everyone have
everything on their list?" Mungo asked.
The bairns called out,
"Then let’s get back to the
house," Mungo said. They headed back and soon arrived. "Put all your
things on the table. Who gathered everything on their list?"
"I did," said Gavin.
"I did too," said wee
"Me too," answered Gregor.
"I got everything," Morag
"I did too," said Andy.
Wee Hamish didn’t answer.
"Wee Hamish, did you get everything on your list?" Mungo asked.
Wee Hamish started to cry.
"No, I couldn’t find a blueberry."
"That’s all right, wee
Hamish. Don’t cry. You can have a treat anyway," Mungo said. He walked
into the kitchen and brought through six bags filled with sweeties and
biscuits. "Don’t eat these until you check with your mums and dads," he
warned. "Bairns, put the treats away and dump out your baskets. They did
as told. Acorns, stones and other round objects rolled across the table.
Mungo stopped them with his arm. Scooping them towards the center of the
table, he said, "We’re going to make a collage."
"What’s that?" wee Hamish
"We’re going to take these
things you found and glue them onto this piece of wood and make a picture
with it," Mungo said.
He got some glue for each
of them. They began sticking acorns, twigs, pinecones, flowers, pine
needles, rocks of all colors, moss, peat, and various leaves onto the
wood. Soon they had a beautiful collage. "Wow! This is pretty," said
"What are we going to do
with it?" asked Morag.
"I thought we could put it
up on the wall and when you came for story time each Friday, you’d see it
and remember the fun time we had on our scavenger hunt," Mungo. suggested.
"That’s a good idea," Andy
"We’ll help you hang it
up," Gavin said.
Mungo hammered a couple of
nails into the wall and the others helped lift the wood onto it. As they
sat and ate their snacks that night, they all looked up at the collage. "I
picked up that acorn," said wee Fiona.
"I got that stick," said
"You all were part of this
creation," Mungo said. "Each of you contributed and you learned some
things about nature."
"I learned something about
golf," Morag laughed.
"Oh? What’s that?" Gavin
"I learned that golf balls
look like eagle eggs. I learned that eagles only lay one or two eggs, and
that the person who hit that ball, needs more practice," she said.
The rest of the bairns
started to laugh. Mungo brought through a platter filled with hard- boiled
eggs and chocolate eggs left over from Easter.
DING DONG! The parents
arrived. "Dad, guess what we did tonight?" said wee Fiona. "We went on a
scavger hunt and Mr. McGee told us a story about a golf ball and an eagle
and we had boiled eggs for a snack. I had a lot of fun tonight. Look at
our collage," she said, managing to say the word right. "I collected the
acorn," she boasted, pointing at it.
The other bairns told their
parents much the same thing. They thanked Mungo for the wonderful time.
"You can take your baskets with you and don’t forget your bag of
sweeties," he reminded them. Excited, the bairns each took theirs and
left. Mungo let Ginger out of the bedroom. She ran over to the eggs and
ate the few that were still on the plate. Mungo looked at the collage
hanging on his wall. "It was a fun night with the bairns, Ginger. Do you
see the new picture on the wall?" He petted her softly. She looked at the
collage and meowed. Mungo fell asleep in the chair, tired, yet happy after
a wonderful evening with the bairns.