The Adventures of Darwin


Stories for Children

The  Adventures  of  Darwin

This is a series of 12 books for children between the ages of 4 and 7, based around a young Springer Spaniel dog called Darwin and his human family. He is a bright and fun-loving dog that often gets himself into all kinds of scrapes and adventures. He not only understands everything the humans say to him, but can also talk back, though the humans cannot hear
him.  In the course of each adventure, the reader also encounters interesting details of the natural world.  

Excerpt from Darwin’s Adventures:

Darwin and the Commando

 Collies

 

It was April and Alexander’s school had closed for Spring Holidays.

Mum, Dad and Alexander were busy packing. They were going away on a holiday in the mountains.

‘We’re going to stay in a cottage in the Blue Lakes Nature Park,’ said Mum, ‘and we’ll go walking in the mountains every day.'

But Alexander’s dog Darwin was not very happy.

‘O no, they’re packing suitcases!’ thought Darwin, ‘that means they’re going away! And that means they’re going to leave me in the kennels!’

Darwin didn’t like being left in the kennels. He was very sad. He crawled under Alexander’s bed and hid there.

 (Picture of Darwin hiding under bed)

 Alexander came bounding up the stairs.

‘Darwin!’ called Alexander peering under the bed, ‘come on boy! We’re all going on a holiday tomorrow! It’s going to be great fun!’

‘Don’t tell me!’ said Darwin, ‘Last time in the kennels that Great Dane barked all day! And there was that Mr. Bull Mastiff next door to me. He snored all night! I could hardly sleep!’

Soon everything was packed into the car.

‘We’re ready to go,’ said Mum, ‘where’s Darwin?’

They found Darwin still under Alexander’s bed.

‘I don’t want to go!’ said Darwin pretending to be asleep.

‘Come on you silly puppy!’ said Dad pulling him out, ‘you’re going with us!’

Darwin went on pretending to be asleep.

‘Silly dog!’ said Dad and carried Darwin downstairs and put him in the car.

Darwin lay down among the shoes and Wellington boots.

 (picture of car with roof-pod etc. Darwin sitting miserably in the boot among wellington boots.)

 Alexander was excited. He sat in the back seat with the map open on his lap and gave Dad directions.

 (map with Alexander’s house and in the far distance, the Blue Lakes Nature Park.)

 They drove on and on for many hours.

From time to time Darwin sat up and looked out.

‘This is taking a long time!’ thought Darwin. He was getting bored. ‘Cars and more cars! Nothing but cars!’

He lay down again and fell asleep.

Then suddenly Darwin sensed they were slowing down. And he could smell something.

‘Looks like we’ve arrived! What’s that smell?’ Darwin wondered, ‘it smells like a farm.’

Darwin sprang to his feet. He sniffed the air left and right.

‘But this is not the smell of kennels. And it’s not the smell of cows either,’ Darwin said with a woof.

The road curved right and left. They careened up the mountains and whooshed down hump-back bridges.

 (picture of a car with a pod on the roof winding up a mountainous road beside a lake. Blue mountains in the distance.)

 ‘Well, here we are in the Lakes Nature Park! Isn’t it beautiful!’ said Mum.

Just then Darwin looked out and saw some new animals.

‘Tum de dum!’ Darwin said to himself in a low whistle, ‘Now what are these!?’ he wondered.

They looked like big white pillows with four black stick-like legs underneath. And they had black heads. Some heads had fearsome curly horns. They were busy munching on the grass.

‘Darwin is up!’ said Dad looking in the mirror, ‘Darwin, look! Sheep! And what do sheep say? Baa! Baa!’

‘Sheep? Coo! Woof! said Darwin excitedly.

He jumped about wagging his tail vigorously thumping it against the Wellington boots.

A light rain was falling but the sheep didn’t seem to mind.

‘Look! Baby lambs!’ said Mum.

In one field there were lots of fluffy little lambs. Some were lying on the grass next to their mothers. Some were gambolling about and jiggling their tails.

 (picture of ewes and lambs in a field)

 Darwin could hear the sheep saying: ‘Baa!’

‘Baa!’ said Darwin.

Before long they turned into a village. They drove up a steep driveway and there it was, their cottage.

It was magical when they got out of the car.

Mountains stood high all around them. Their tops were covered in snow. The rain had stopped and the sky was clear blue. A pale blue lake shimmered in front of them. Everywhere daffodils bloomed and birds chirruped.

 (picture of a magical Lakeland view- snow-capped mountains, a cottage in the valley, lake in the near-distance, birds in trees etc.)

 With a woof! of delight Darwin leapt out of the car. He tore around the small garden. He checked all the smells once over. Seeing a bit of wool on the ground, he leapt back.

‘What’s that?’ he wondered.

He crept up to it and took a sniff.

‘Aha!’ thought Darwin, ‘this is the smell of those pillows with horns! Baa sheep!’

Darwin was very excited. He ran around the garden. When he came to the five-bar gate he crawled under it and out into the driveway.

Just then, to his shock there came a loud barking of dogs. Two Collie-dogs came charging at Darwin.

‘Darwin, come back!’ called Alexander.

‘Yow!’ yelped Darwin and scuttled back under the five-bar gate.

The Collies came chasing after Darwin. They didn’t bother to crawl under the gate. In one leap they leapt over it into the garden and cornered Darwin.

‘Who’re you?’ one asked gruffly.

‘Yow!’ said Darwin.

‘Yeah, who are you?’ the other also asked gruffly.

‘Yow!’ said Darwin backing away, ‘who are you?’

‘We’re the Sheepdogs! We rule here OK!’ they said.

Alexander came running to Darwin’s rescue. ‘O boy!’ said Alexander, ‘don’t they look like Commandos!’

Alexander chased the Collies away. They leapt over the gate out into the driveway again.

‘It’s all right, Darwin,’ said Alexander hugging Darwin, ‘just keep away from the sheep-dogs. They must belong to the sheep-farm next door.’

‘Uh-h,’ said Darwin, ‘I’m not scared of them anyway!’

Darwin put his head through the five-bar gate and barked at the Collies as loudly as he could.

‘Remember this is all our territory!’ said the Commando Collies barking back.

Then they did several wees against the gate-posts and went their way.

 (picture of Darwin with his head through a five-bar gate, barking at two collies on the other side walking away but turning to give Darwin a look)

 ‘Darwin! Stay in the garden! All right?’ said Dad, ‘don’t go wandering off!’

Soon they unpacked their things and then went for a walk.

‘Darwin, walk to heel!’said Mum.

There were no cars on the village road, so they walked right down the middle of it.

Darwin was delighted. He took no notice of Mum’s ‘heel’ command. He tugged and pulled on the lead, sniffing at all the scents along the roadside.

Just then they heard a great roar of dogs barking and sheep ‘baa’ing. A pack of Collie-dogs were coming charging along.

‘Clear the way! Clear the way!’ said the Collies, ‘out of the way, city dog!’

Behind them came a flock of sheep jamming up the narrow road.

Darwin was terrified.

‘Dad,’ shouted Alexander, ‘take hold of Darwin!’

But Alexander needn’t have worried.

In one leap Darwin leapt into Dad’s arms. Mum, Alexander, and Dad with Darwin in his arms, stood to one side squeezed against a stone wall.

The Collies went past them followed by the sheep. They moved in a tight pack, pushing and shoving each other. And what a din they set up! Baa! Baa! The farmer was driving them up from behind on his quad bike. Riding with him were two sheep-dogs.

‘Look!’ said Alexander, ‘it’s the Commando Collies riding on the quad bike!’

Darwin trembled in excitement and fear. Dad held on to his collar.............................................................
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