Another guest post from the fabulous @PrincessofVP. A lovely children’s story – and I’m in it again!
“The Dryad was tending her forest. The wild flowers of Spring were all busting out in a blaze of colours. She pottered about, twisting a root here and adjusting some leaves there, making sure everything could get the benefit of the soft Spring sunshine.
Slowly she became aware of an unusual noise and looked around. It sounded like a soft snore but at lunchtime on such a beautiful day she couldn’t understand why anyone would be asleep. Exploring a little further she then saw the most peculiar sight; a black & white tail was sticking out from a patch of daffodils. And there, in the middle of the flowerbed, a small ring-tailed lemur was fast asleep, paws over his nose.
“Well what am I to do with you?” wondered the Dryad.
She sat down next to him in the daffodil patch and stroked his fur softly. But even though he emitted a soft peeping noise and moved closer, the lemur didn’t wake up.
“Really I ought to take you to see Dr Bear but she is away with Lexie Doodle. Perhaps I should take you to the Princess instead. Because you’re a long way from home for such a small lemur.” Scooping him up, she started the walk to the Princess’s palace.
She hadn’t gone very far before her friend the leopard loped across her path. “Oh leopard, darling, please would you carry me to the palace? I found this lemur and I think we need to take him to the Princess.”
The leopard snorted and twitched her whiskers but allowed the Dryad to climb onto her back with her furry passenger. She considered lemurs to be silly creatures.
In the palace the Princess and the Snow Bear were making moon and star biscuits. Really the Princess was making them and the Snow Bear was making a mess with her floury paws.
They both rushed to the door as they heard the Dryad call out then the Snow Bear uttered a little squeal of delight. She’d never seen a lemur before.
“I found him asleep in the forest,” said the Dryad. “He’s a long way from home and I think he needs looking after.”
The Princess agreed. “Snow Bear, take him upstairs and put him to bed with a hot water bottle. It’s important for lemurs not to get cold. You can stay with him until he wakes if you want.”
The Snow Bear took the small lemur from the Dryad and carried him carefully up the stairs. She’d never looked after another animal before and felt all important. She tucked the lemur into bed and cautiously filled a hot water bottle to tuck next to him then waited for him to wake up.
The Lemur slowly opened his eyes and wondered where he was. It was very warm and comfortable and definitely not the forest he remembered being in.
“Hello” said the Snow Bear. “You’re awake.”
The Lemur sat up quickly, his tail straight & quivering, and looked at the Snow Bear with beady amber eyes. At the sight of her nice smile he relaxed again. “Hello,” he replied. “Where am I please? I fell asleep in a forest, I think.”
“You did. The Dryad found you and brought you here. This is the Princess’s palace and she’s my best friend in the whole world.” The Lemur’s eyes widened. He’d never met a Princess before. “But what were you doing in the forest?” asked the Snow Bear.
At her question, the Lemur shivered and shrank back down into the duvet. “I was running away. I was sent to the North to work and it was cold and the rain and snow blew sideways into my fur. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I ran for as long and as far as I could to find some sun.” He looked at the Snow Bear anxiously. “They won’t make me go back, will they?”
The Snow Bear’s eyes filled with tears. She had heard scary tales about the frozen North from her friends. “I’m sure they won’t.” She held out one tiny paw. “Come on, let’s go and ask if you can stay right now.”
The Dryad and the Princess were both outside playing fetch with Jeremy the Beagle. They listened in silence as the Snow Bear spilled out her new friend’s story and the Lemur looked up at them both with big scared eyes. “Please don’t make me go back.”
The Princess and the Dryad shared a look. They would never send anyone back to the cold North. “Of course you must stay,” said the Princess. “I will write and tell them you are staying with me.” The Snow Bear and the Lemur capered in delight.
“But you must help me in the forest,” said the Dryad.
“And Dr Bear in her surgery,” added the Princess.
The Snow Bear squeezed the Lemur’s paw reassuringly. “That’s ok, helping them both is heaps of fun so it doesn’t feel like work at all.”
The Lemur made a bow, flourishing his tail like a French courtier. “Thank you very much, ladies. I am very, very grateful.”
“Woof,” added Jeremy the Beagle, wagging his tail in approval.
“And now it is time for tea.” The Princess led them all inside and the Lemur’s eyes widened in surprise for the table was laden with the moon and star biscuits, a big bowl of all his favourite fruits and, best of all, the largest chocolate cake he had ever seen. Gosh, he thought to himself, I really am the luckiest lemur ever.”