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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Gabriel's Tale - Chapter 9

Once again this month I have borrowed one of my Beatrix Potter illustrations from last year.  This one is of Jeremy Fisher.  Plus, rather than draw a pond-drenched Gabriel, I've used a photograph of the real pond-drenched Gabriel.  His chase after a frog that leapt into my neighbor's lily pad-covered pond, that looked like grass to him, gave him quite a shock!  I saw it coming as the whole scene evolved before me, but was not quick enough to stop him.

Last month we left off where Duchess waves a wild flower in the direction of Hawkshead to show Gabriel where he should go.  Here are excepts from Chapter 9:

Chapter 9 – On to Hawkshead

It was late in the day when Gabriel finally arrived in Hawkshead.  He’d stayed off the road and instead followed a footpath.  He hadn’t wanted to be caught as a stray dog and jailed.  That did not prove to be a wise choice, however.  He’d been distracted by a movement in the grass, and forgetting his mission, gave chase only to end up in a weedy pond!  It turned out to be a frog he’d followed into what he thought merely a patch of high grass. 

Much to his dismay he scrambled out to the sounds of much croaking that sounded like laughter to his wounded pride.  Looking like a drowned rat Gabriel quickly shook himself dry.  As weary as he was he was determined to press on until he found a way to hitch a ride to Scotland.  Sally had told him there were delivery lorries there.  He just had to find one returning to Scotland that evening.  Without looking back he decided to risk the main road. 


To his relief, once in town he noticed several other dogs roaming about.  One, a large hound, was snapping up a scrap of meat fallen from a diner’s sandwich at the outdoor café.  Gabriel trotted up confidently, looking his most beseeching.  Just when he thought a kind-looking lady was about to give him a bite the hound bared his teeth and gave a low growl—“Grrrrrr.”  

Gabriel bowed his head and backed away slowly—into a tree, looking foolish once again—where he lay down to wait.  Hopefully, the hound would get his fill and eventually leave. 


He let his nose guide him until he found a garbage can already turned over onto its side.  He approached it with caution. Slowly and lightly he crept closer.  Yummm…He could tell it was beef scraps.  Suddenly, without warning, Gabriel found himself tackled by a—by a cat!  A very large tomcat who was hissing in his ear and clutching him around his neck!

They rolled down the alley together--Gabriel struggling to free himself from the cat’s clutches.  Finally, they came to rest at the bottom of the lane against a high stone wall.  “What do you think you’re doin’ man?” the cat screeched.  “This is my turf!”  Gabriel looked sufficiently frightened that the cat—Theodore he would soon learn—took pity on him and released him.  Gabriel stammered, “I…I didn’t know.  I….I’m sorry.  I….It’s just I haven’t eaten all day.” And then he began to cry.  “Oh, geesh,” the cat mumbled.  “You make me feel like a cad.  Where are you from?”  So Gabriel blurted out the whole story while Theodore invited him back to the scraps of beef left behind in the alley.  Soon Gabriel ate his fill and thanked Theodore who further amazed him when he offered Gabriel a place to sleep for the night just around the corner.  Gabriel fell asleep with a promise from his new friend that he’d find a ride to Scotland. 

Because I started this project without any planning ahead it only just occurred to me that while I might be working on Chapter 12 during the 12th month of the year I would not be posting it until the first of next year, and since I wanted to post the last chapter on December 1st, I would have to double-up this month.  Therefore, Chapter 10 will be posted mid-October.  We are getting close to the end and it's about time because Gabriel is getting pretty exhausted.  It's been a long, long journey.

❤️Take Joy❤️


  1. Enjoyed reading this chapter. A lot of excitement and action! I love your writing and the artwork, both!

  2. Poor Gabriel! Thank goodness for Theodore, a good Samaritan, but my oh! my, poor Gabriel looks so bedraggled, almost unrecognisable in his photo. I hope he's recovered!
    ~~~Deb in Wales

    1. I'm so glad to hear that you are really getting into the spirit of my story! ❤️

  3. Such a cute story. Even if you don't publish it OFFICIALLY, your grandkids - and great grands eventually - are going to love it. I can't believe your energy, Cathy. This is the THIRD blog of yours I've received in my Inbox in the past few days! How do you do it? Oxygen? Vitamin E? Wheaties? Probably a dynamite combination of all three, I bet. Whatever it is, don't stop. Looking forward to the rest of the story - and then others. Have a wonderful Fall week! 🍁

    1. Thank you, Janet. I do the blogs ahead of time and post them on the 1st. As I mentioned, I did not plan ahead when I did my first post and chose the first day of the month. And I'm already changing my mind about what I wrote about posting the next one on the 15th! But won't say what that is in case I change my mind again! 😜


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