Presenting Pavlova

Chapter One: At the Reservoir

Pavlova loved crisps. She loved the rustling of the packet and the different flavours. She also liked sandwiches very much. It depended on the bread, though, more than the filling. She liked the rich brown wholemeal better than the tasteless white.

She could now hear the rustling of a fresh packet of crisps being opened. Hurrying to her feet, she bounded over the hill top and screeched to a halt just in front of a small girl.

Georgia gasped. The two eyes stared straight at her, just inches away, framed by a dark woolly head. She loved animals but had never been face to face with one such as this before.

Pavlova’s eyes locked on to the packet of crisps and she drooled. Now Georgia understood. Extending her arm, she emptied half the packet on to the ground. Pavlova munched happily. Georgia stood by her side and dipped into the rest of the packet. They crunched until all the crisps were gone.

Sandwiches came next. Georgia had cheese and tomato in malted brown bread, and tuna with cucumber in soft wholemeal. Pavlova thought they were delicious but politely refrained from grabbing more than her fair share.

Finally, Georgia emptied half her water bottle into a bowl for her. It was a hot day, so they were both thirsty. Pavlova thought this was the nicest meal with the nicest girl she had ever met.

Georgia’s parents were now calling to her from under the trees where they were resting, so she ran back to them. Pavlova followed them from a small distance. They all strolled happily along the rough track that led over the gentle hills and slopes toward Cronkley Fell. When they stopped at the little shop, Pavlova’s eyes widened. Georgia’s parents bought ice creams. Pavlova had seen these before, but had never tasted one. She watched Georgia lick with relish, and was overcome. Forgetting her manners, she ran up to Georgia and nuzzled her in the ribs.

“Wait!” called Georgia.

Pavlova paused. Perhaps she had been too pushy. Perhaps now she would not get any ice cream. Georgia deftly snapped the bottom of the cone off and dipped it into the ice cream.

“For you, ” she said, holding it towards this woolly creature.

Pavlova gazed at it. This little girl had created a perfect miniature ice cream just for her. Pavlova gently licked it out of Georgia’s grasp. It was heaven.

The man from the shop stepped out. With a furious glance at Pavlova, he bellowed:

“Is this sheep bothering you?”

Pavlova blushed. She knew she had been a little pushy. She knew she was a little greedy. However, she did like to think that on the whole she remembered her manners. After all, she was a well-brought-up sheep. Her parents had been of the finest stock.

“No, not at all,” said Georgia’s parents.

They were actually both pleased and amazed. Georgia loved animals. All animals. Here was yet another example of her forming a friendship. This was the biggest animal that Georgia had come face to face with, and she had handled it well. No interference was needed from anyone else. The man disappeared back into the shop. Pavlova sulkily slouched to the nearest rock seat and flopped down. Georgia finished her ice cream in peace.

Smiling at each other, Georgia’s parents decided they had walked far enough. Tomorrow, they would both be back at work and Georgia would be at playschool. They had all enjoyed the day so very much, but it was time to set off for home. They had travelled up early this morning, so that Georgia could meet Great Aunty Grace, an elderly relative who lived in the hills near Selset. Georgia and Grace had got on extremely well, once Georgia had got over her initial shyness. After waving goodbye to Great Aunty Grace, they had decided to visit Grassholme Reservoir before finally setting off for home. They hadn’t realised how beautiful the area was. All in all, they had the feeling they would be visiting Selset and Grassholme more often.

Pavlova watched as the car pulled out of the car park. Gazing steadily with her huge eyes, she was pleased to see Georgia looking back, her hand waving goodbye.

Chapter Two: Pavlova seeks Permission