Maggie took her new puppy,
Digger, for a walk. It was a lovely day and the hills were covered with
brownish heather bells. They had already bloomed and werenít purple any
longer. "Come on, Digger. Letís go," Maggie said. He let out a few small
yaps, wagged his tail, and followed Maggie into the hills. As she walked,
Digger ran about chasing butterflies and bumblebees. Maggie didnít have
him on a leash, as there was nobody about. When they reached the top of
the hill, Maggie sat down on the grass. She could see the croft far below.
Smoke was billowing out of the chimney. "Digger, Granís making blackberry
jam today, just for me. Iíll give you a taste though," she said to her
puppy. He licked her face and she fell backwards laughing. After a few
minutes, Digger curled up next to her and they both fell asleep.
"Do you know where Maggie
is?" Grandpa asked Gran, who was stirring her jam with a wooden spoon.
"I think she went down to
the play in the stream with Digger. She loves that dog. What a good idea
it was to get him for her," Gran said.
"Well, today Iím burning
the hillside. The heatherís getting too thick and itís time to burn. There
is no wind today either. When she comes back, keep her inside," Granpa
"She can help me with the
jam," Gran said.
Neither of them was aware
that Maggie was at the top of the hill that Grandpa was going to burn. He
started at the bottom and set the heather on fire. Flames shot up and the
fire spread quickly through the dead flowers.
Digger sat up. He sniffed
the air. He knew danger was coming and began to whimper and lick Maggieís
face. Maggie sat up. "Are you done with your nap, Digger?" she said as she
stretched and yawned. "Whatís that smell?" she asked. She stood up and
looked down towards the croft. "Oh no! Grandpaís burning the heather.
Weíve got to get out of here, Digger." Maggie started running down the
side of the hill.
Grandpa saw her. He was
afraid. He didnít know sheíd been up at the top of the hill. "Maggie," he
screamed. "Maggie, take Digger and go down the other side of the hill.
Donít come any further." He stood waving his hands.
Maggie didnít hear him. She
kept running. Digger heard Grandpa calling and sensing extreme danger,
stopped. Maggie turned, calling him. "Digger. Come on boy. The fire will
get us if we donít hurry." Digger turned around and started running the
other direction. "Digger. Come back." He didnít listen but kept running
back up the hill. When he got to the top he started barking. Maggie looked
down and saw the fire quickly coming up the hill. Afraid for Digger, she
ran back to pick him up. When she reached the top, Digger ran down the
other side. Maggie had no choice but to follow him.
Gran came out of the house.
"What are you screaming at?" she asked.
"Maggieís up there with
Digger. She was running right into the flames when Digger turned and ran
back. Theyíve gone down the other side now," Grandpa said, very worried.
"Oh no. Maggie!" Gran cried
out. "Weíve got to go and find her."
"I canít. Iíve got to stay
with the fire or it will get out of control. Go around the back side over
there and see if theyíre there," Grandpa urged.
Gran ran as fast as she
could around the hill. Maggie and Digger were running towards her. Maggie
was calling, "Digger. Digger. Come back here." Digger ran right into
"Maggie, thank goodness you
two are safe. Grandpaís burning the heather. If Digger here hadnít turned
and gone down the other side, well, who knows what would have happened to
you," Gran said, hugging Maggie. She took her hand and they walked back to
"Grandpa," Maggie said,
running into his waiting arms.
"I didnít know you were
there, lass. Iím so glad you are safe. I was very worried. And you boy,"
he said, petting Digger, "you saved Maggieís life. Good boy. Tonight
youíre getting the finest piece of roast beef weíve got into the house."
Digger barked. Gran put him
down and he ran towards the croft. "Letís go inside, Maggie. You can help
me with the jam," Gran said.
Grandpa stayed outside and
tended to the fire and Maggie and her Gran went in. Grandpa wiped the tear
from his face. He was so happy that nothing had happened to wee Maggie.
That night while Grandpa,
Gran and Maggie feasted on her favorite meal, mince and tatties, Digger
gobbled down a hefty portion of roast beef, his reward for taking care of