Here is the next chapter of my new children’s book, Riverland (Book 1 of the Dividing Line Series).
Uncle Tim went to Riverland because of his dog, Bella Number 2, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is a rather grand name for a roly-poly, snorty-porty, smoochy-pouchy sort of dog.
Bella Number 1
But first, I must tell you about Bella Number 1, who belonged to Uncle Tim’s big siblings. She was old when Uncle Tim was young. She tried to do her doggie duties, but her tail was the only thing that moved properly. When she died, although Uncle Tim’s big siblings didn’t need a dog anymore, he did. He still had a German Shepherd, but that dog was busy with important stuff like guarding borders. Anyway, little children need snorty, smoochy sorts of dogs.
Something else I must tell you is that Uncle Tim is part dog. His big brother called him dog-boy because he always had a dog next to him. Also, he can hear things that other people can’t—just like dogs. I’m not sure what use that is because I think it only means that he can hear annoying, high-pitched buzzing sounds that other people can’t. And who would want to?
Bella Number 2
Being Bella-less, Uncle Tim got Bella Number 2. I’m sorry that the next part of the story is sad, but don’t worry. Sometimes, the very happiest things come from the very saddest things. Bella Number 2 was a sick puppy who only got to her first birthday before also dying. When Nannie brought her body back from the vet, Uncle Tim ran up to the car, hoping that the vet had saved his little dog. When he saw her lifeless body, he said she smelt different, that it wasn’t her, and he ran inside. Ten minutes later, he came back out, picked up Bella, and carried her to the deep hole his father had dug in the back garden. You’re not supposed to bury dead dogs in your backyard when you live in the city, but sometimes Nannie follows the rules and sometimes she doesn’t. Uncle Tim kept whispering to Bella to wake up. She didn’t. Before bed, he dragged a shovel to her grave and said he better check that she was alright.
Nannie took the shovel and said, “Let’s get ready for bed. I have something to tell you.”
As Uncle Tim lay silently in his bed with his toys in a circle around him, Nannie said, “I know you are sad, but I promise you will feel better. And besides, I know where Bella is. And we are going there right now.”
And that was how Uncle Tim first went to Riverland!