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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - The Narrow Escape

"Ian, did you remember that we are babysitting wee Molly today? Her mum needs a break and asked if we could watch her. Do you remember?" Mac asked.

Ian, who was sitting on the branch below Mac and was busy munching an apple, looked up. "I didn’t remember, but oh how fun. What will we do with wee Molly today?"

"I thought we’d take her down to see the new puppies at Sarah Sutherland’s croft," Mac suggested.

"What a splendid idea. The puppies are wee and I have to admit, they’re kind of cute. I dare not imagine them in a few weeks though," Ian replied, shivering. "For now, though, they’re harmless and I’m sure Molly will love them. "Speaking of Molly, here she is now."

The two raccoons climbed down from the branches to the ground. "It’s so nice of you lads to babysit my wee Molly. I’ll be back in a few hours to pick her up," Molly’s mum said.

Mac picked Molly up and held her in his arms. "Wave cheerio to your mum."

"Cheerio, Mum," she giggled. "What are we going to do today, Uncle Mac?" she asked. Her mum had told her to call them Uncle and they were both pleased about it.

"We’re taking you to see some puppies. They’re not much smaller than you are though, Molly, but you’ll have fun with them," Mac answered.

"Puppies? I love puppies, especially wee ones," Molly laughed.

"Let’s be off then," Ian said. Mac carried Molly for a while and then handed her to Ian.

"There we are. There’s the Sutherland croft. I see Sarah’s out in the field, tending to the sheep. We’re in luck. The puppies’ mother is out with her. That’s grand. We’ll not be disturbed. Let’s hurry,’ Mac said.

The three raccoons ran into the barn. Sitting among a pile of hay were the six puppies. ARF! ARF! ARF! Their barks were soft and high. Three of them were solid black, one was plain tan, one was tan with black spots and the other was nothing but black and tan splotches. "I like this one," Molly said, bending down to play with the plain tan puppy. It licked her nose. She laughed and let it lick her nose and lips.

Ian fancied the black puppies and picked one up. "Isn’t this a fine fellow?" he said. Its tiny tail wiggled back and forth and its tongue tried to lick Ian’s face. "There’ll be none of that licking," he cheerfully scolded the pup.

Mac picked up the splotchy puppy. "You’re a mixture, aren’t you?" he asked, petting the puppy’s head.

"They’re all so cute, Uncle Mac and Uncle Ian. Look at their little ears. They’re long and floppy," Molly chuckled.

Just then they heard a growling sound coming from the entrance to the shed. GULP! Ian recognized that sound. It was the puppies’ mother. "YIKES!" he whispered, pointing to the dog.

Mac looked up and so did Molly. "Why is that big dog growling at us?" she asked.

Mac whispered, "It’s the puppies’ mother. She thinks we are going to hurt her babies."

"Oh no. We’ll not do that," she said. Molly turned and faced the growling dog. "We’ll not hurt your puppies. We just wanted to pet them."

The mother dog moved towards the raccoons. Mac stood in front of Molly, protecting her. "We’ve got to get out of here, quickly. She looks very angry!" He looked around the shed. "Up there," he called, pointing to a shelf. It had bales of straw lying on it. He lifted Molly and put her safely out of the way. "Jump!" he called to Ian just as the dog attacked.

"YIKES!" Ian cried as he leapt and hung on the wooden shelf. Mac was up, standing next to Molly. "Help me! Help me!" Mac reached down and grabbed Ian’s arms and pulled him up.

"Got you," he said, pulling Ian to safety.

"That dog is mean," Molly said. It stood next to her puppies, checking each of them out to make sure they were safe and all accounted for. When she finished, she turned and started barking at the raccoons, snarling and growling.

"Time to go," Mac said. He looked at the roof. There was a hole in it, large enough for them to crawl through. "Ian, climb through. I’ll hand Molly to you and then I’ll climb out."

Ian squeezed his chubby body through the tight hole in the roof of the shed. "Hand Molly to me," he called down. Mac pushed her up and Ian grabbed her. "There you go. You’re safe now," he said.

Mac climbed out. The raccoons stood on top of the shed. Lying on the ground behind it was a large pile of hay. "Jump and then run towards the trees," he urged Ian. Ian, holding Molly tightly in his arms, jumped from the roof. Mac followed. "Let’s head for the trees before the mother dog sees us." They ran to safety.

"Whew. That was close," Ian said, wiping his brow.

He put Molly down on the ground. "WAA! WAA! WAA! I want to play with the puppies. WAA! WAA! WAA!"

"Now, now, Molly. We can’t do that. It’s not safe," Ian explained.

"WAA! WAA! WAA! Uncle Mac, can we go and play with the puppies?"

"Maybe some other time," Mac answered. He had to distract Molly. What could he do that would take her mind off them? "I’ve got an idea? I know something that’s even more fun than puppies!"

"What’s that, Uncle Mac?" Molly asked, wiping her tears away.

"We’ll go over to the hills and roll down them," he smiled.

"That does sound like fun!" Molly said.

"Yes, it does," Ian chimed in.

They went over to the hills, which were covered with tall grasses and flowers. "Watch me," Ian said. He curled up in a ball and rolled. "Wheeeeeee!" he called as he landed at the bottom. "That was fun. Come on, Molly. Your turn!"

She curled in a ball and rolled down, just like Ian had done. When she reached the bottom she laughed and laughed. She had flower petals and bits of grass smashed into her fur. "That was fun. Let’s do it again."

Mac, following the other two, rolled down. He landed with a plop, near Molly’s feet. She laughed. Mac had a piece of grass sticking out of his ear. He pulled it out and looked at it. "Come on. Let’s have another try."

They spent the next hour having fun at the hill. Molly soon forgot about the puppies. A dark cloud moved in front of the sun. Mac felt the temperature drop and a cool wind blow. "I think its time to head back to the tree now. We’re in for a spot of rain." He pointed to the clouds. "Come on, now. We’ll come back another time," he promised.

The raccoons walked back to the tree, swinging Molly in their arms. Within a few minutes her mum came to pick her up. "I had fun, Mum. Uncle Mac and Uncle Ian took me to a shed and a mean dog tried to eat us!" she innocently explained.

"Um, uh, um, it wasn’t like that. We went to play with the puppies at the Sutherland croft and the mother dog came back, that’s all. We were safe the whole time," Ian said.

"Mum, we crawled out of a hole in the roof and had to jump into a big pile of hay. Uncle Ian held me," Molly added.

Her mum gave Ian and Mac a scolding look. "Oh, you did? It sounds like you had a fun day today, Molly. Did you do anything else that I should know about?" her mum asked.

"We rolled down the hills and Uncle Mac got grass in his ears," she laughed.

Her mum looked at Ian and Mac and then at Molly. "I think you’re no worse for the wear. Tell Uncle Ian and Uncle Mac thank you for the fun day."

"Thank you, Uncle Mac," Molly said, hugging him tightly. "Thank you, Uncle Ian." She hugged him too. She and her mum left.

"Well, that’s the end of that. I don’t think her mum will let us babysit again after that disaster," Ian sighed.

Just then Molly’s mum came running back. "Thanks lads for babysitting. I was out at the Sutherland croft myself today with the girls. Cute puppies!" She winked at them and ran back to Molly.

Ian and Mac stood there staring at each other and then laughed. "Yippee!" Ian cried.

"Yippee!" Mac called out, just as excited as Ian. They couldn’t wait until the next time they could babysit her.

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