Authors: Enid Blyton
Tags: #Famous Five (Fictitious Characters), #General, #Fiction
Mother! Mother, where are you?" shouted George, rushing into the house. „Mother, quick!"
There was no answer. George"s mother was out in the garden at the back of Kirrin Cottage, picking flowers. George yelled again, this time at the top of her very strong voice.
MOTHER! MOTHER! Where are you? IT"S URGENT."
A door was flung open nearby and George"s father stood there, glaring at her.
„George! What"s this row about? Here am I in the middle of some very difficult..."
„Oh Father! Timmy"s hurt!" said George. „He went..."
Her father looked down at Timmy, standing meekly behind George. He gave a little snort.
„Hurt! He seems all right to me. I suppose he"s got a thorn in his paw again - and you think it"s the end of the world or something, and come yelling in here and..."
„Timmy is hurt!" said George, with tears in her voice. „Look!"
But her father had gone back into his study again, and the door slammed. George glared at it, looking exactly like her hot-tempered father.
„You"re unkind!" she shouted, „and ... oh there"s Mother. Mother!".
„Dear me, George, whatever is the matter?" said her mother, putting down the flowers. „I heard your father shouting, and then you."
„Mother - Timmy"s hurt!" said George. „Look!"
She knelt down by the dog, and gently pulled forward one ear. Behind it was a big cut.
Timmy whined. Tears came into George"s eyes, and she looked up at her mother.
„Now don"t be sil y, George," said Mrs Kirrin. „It"s only a cut. How did he do it?"
„He tried to jump over a ditch, and he didn"t see some old barbed wire there," said George. „And a rusty piece caught his ear, and ripped that awful cut. I can"t stop it bleeding."
Her mother looked at it. It certainly was quite deep. „Take him to the vet, George," she said. „Perhaps it ought to be stitched. It does look rather deep. Poor old Timmy-boy - well, it"s a good thing it wasn"t his eye, George."
„I"l take him to the vet at once," said George, getting up. „Wil he be in, Mother?"
„Oh yes - it"s his surgery hour," said her mother. „Take him along now."
So Timmy was hurried along the country lanes to the pretty little house where the vet lived.
George, very anxious indeed, was most relieved to see that the vet seemed quite unconcerned.
„A couple of stitches and that cut wil heal well," he said. „Hold him, wil you, while I do the job? He"l hardly feel it. There, old boy - stand stil - that"s right."
In five minutes" time George was thanking the vet wholeheartedly. „Thank you! I was worried! Wil he be al right now?"
„Good gracious, yes - but you mustn"t let him scratch that wound," said the vet, washing his hands. „If he does, it may go wrong."
„Oh. But how can I stop him?" asked George anxiously. „Look - he"s trying to scratch it now."
„Well, you must make him a big cardboard collar," said the vet. „One that sticks out right round his neck, so that his paw can"t get near that cut, however much he tries to reach it."
„But - but Timmy won"t like that a bit," said George. „Dogs look sil y wearing cardboard collars like great ruffs round their neck. I"ve seen them. He"l hate one."
„Well, it"s the only way of stopping him from scratching that wound," said the vet. „Get along now, George - I"ve more patients waiting."
George went home with Timmy. He padded along quietly, pleased at the fuss that George was making of him. When he was nearly home, he suddenly sat down and put up his hind leg to scratch his bad ear.
„No, Timmy! NO!" cried George, in alarm. „You must NOT scratch. You"l get the plaster off in no time, and break the stitches. NO, Timmy!"
Timmy looked up in surprise. Very well. If scratching was suddenly upsetting George, he would wait til he was alone.
But George could read Timmy"s thoughts as easily as he could read hers! She frowned.
„Blow! I"l have to make him that cardboard collar. Perhaps Mother wil help me."
Her mother was quite wil ing to help. George was not good at things of that sort, and she watched her mother cutting out a big cardboard col ar, fitting it round the surprised Timmy"s head, and then lacing the edges together with thread so that he could not get it off. Timmy was most surprised, but he stood very patiently.
As soon as the collar was finished, and safely round his neck, he walked away. Then he raised his hind leg to scratch at his smarting ear - but, of course, he couldn"t get it over the collar, and merely scratched the cardboard.
„Never mind, Timmy," said George. „It wil only be for a few days."
The study door nearby opened and her father came out. He saw Timmy in his col ar and stopped in surprise. Then he roared with laughter.
„Hey, Timmy - you look like Queen Elizabeth the First in a fine big ruff!" he said.
„Don"t laugh at him, Father," said George. „You know that dogs can"t bear being laughed at."
Timmy certainly looked offended. He turned his back on George"s father and stalked off to the kitchen. A little squeal of laughter came from there and then a loud guffaw from someone at the kitchen door - the milkman.
„Oh Timmy - whatever have you got that col ar on for?" said the cook"s voice. „You do look peculiar!"
George was angry. She remained angry al that day and made everyone most uncomfortable. How mean of people to jeer at poor Timmy! Didn"t they realize how terribly uncomfortable a collar like that was - and Timmy had to wear it night and day! He couldn"t even lie down comfortably. George mooned about looking so angry and miserable that her mother felt worried.
„George dear - don"t be sil y about this. You wil make your father cross. Timmy wil have to wear that col ar for at least a week, you know - and he does look a bit comical when you first see him. He"s getting used to it, he soon won"t notice it."
„Everybody laughs at him," said George, in an angry voice. „He went into the garden and a lot of kids hung over the wall and laughed like anything. And the postman told me it was cruel. And Father thinks it"s funny. And..."
„Oh dear, George, don"t get into one of your moods," said her mother. „Remember, Anne is coming soon. She won"t enjoy things much if you behave like this."
George bore it for one day more. Then, after two upsets with her father over Timmy, another with a couple of boys who laughed at him, and one with the paper-boy, she decided she wouldn"t stay at Kirrin Cottage for one day longer!
„We"ll take my little tent, and go off by ourselves somewhere," she told Timmy. „Some place where nobody can see you til your ear is better and that hateful collar is off. Don"t you think that"s a good idea, Timmy?"
„Woof," said Timmy. He thought that any of George"s ideas were good, though the collar puzzled him very much.
„You know the dogs laugh at you too, Timmy," said George, earnestly. „Did you see how that sil y little poodle belonging to Mrs Janes up the lane stood and stared at you? He looked exactly as if he was laughing. I won"t have you laughed at. I know you hate it."
Timmy certainly didn"t like it, but he real y was not as upset about the collar as George seemed to be. He followed her as she went up to her bedroom and watched her as she began to put a few things into a small bag.
„We"ll go to that lonely little spot on the common," she said to him. „We"ll pitch our tent near a little stream, and we"ll jol y wel stay there til your ear"s better. We"ll go tonight. I"l take my bike, and strap everything on to the back."
So, in the middle of the night, when Kirrin Cottage was dark and quiet, George stole downstairs with Timmy. She left a note on the dining-room table, and then went to get her bicycle. She strapped her little tent on it, and the bag containing food and other odds and ends.
„Come on!" she whispered to the surprised Timmy. „We"ll go. I"l ride slowly and you can run beside me. Don"t bark for goodness" sake!"
They disappeared into the darkness, Timmy running like a black shadow beside the bicycle. Nobody guessed they were gone. Kirrin Cottage was quiet and undisturbed -
except for the creaking of the kitchen door, which George had forgotten to shut.
But in the morning, what a disturbance! Joan the cook found George"s note first and wondered what a letter in George"s writing was doing on the dining-room table. She ran straight up to George"s room and looked inside.
The bed was empty. There was no George and Timmy"s basket was empty. Joan went to take the note to Mrs Kirrin.
„Oh dear! How sil y George is!" she said, when she had read it. „Look, Quentin - such a fuss about Timmy! Now George has gone off with him, goodness knows where!"
Her husband took the note and read it out loud. „Dear Mother, I"m going off for a few days with Timmy til his ear is better. I"ve taken my tent and a few things. Don"t worry, please. Tell Anne if she wants to join me, to come to the end of Carters Lane on the common and I wil show her where I"m camping. Tell her to come at twelve. Love from George."
„Well, I"m blessed!" said George"s father. „Al right - let her stay away if she wants to - I"m tired of her sulky face and Timmy"s hang-dog looks. Tell Anne to join George, and maybe I shal have peace for a few days!"
„George should be al right," said his wife. „She"s quite sensible really - and she"s got Timmy. I"l tel Anne to join her when she arrives this morning."
When Anne arrived at Kirrin Station, and looked out for George and Timmy, they weren"t there - only her aunt was there, smiling as usual.
„What"s happened?" said Anne. „Where"s George - and Timmy?"
„Oh - George has gone off by herself," said her Aunt Fanny. „Come along, and I"l tel you!"
Aunt Fanny soon told Anne about Timmy"s ear and the big collar of cardboard that had caused al the trouble. Anne couldn"t help smiling.
„Oh Aunt Fanny - George is quite crazy about old Tim, isn"t she? I"l go and meet her at twelve, and of course I"ll camp with her for a day or two. It"s lovely weather and I"d like to.
I expect Uncle Quentin wil be glad to have us out of the house!"
„How are Julian and Dick?" asked her aunt. She was very fond of Anne"s two brothers, George"s cousins. „Wil they be coming down here at al these holidays?"
„I don"t know," said Anne. „They"re stil in France, you know, on a school-boys" tour. I feel funny without them! George wil be cross to hear they probably won"t be coming to Kirrin.
She"ll just have to put up with me!"
At twelve o"clock Anne was standing patiently at the end of Carters Lane. It ran to the common and then ended in a small, winding path that led to nowhere in particular. Big gorse bushes grew here and there, and slender birch trees. Anne, her belongings strapped to her back, and a bag in her hand, looked over the common to see if she could spy George coming.
There was no sign of her. „Blow!" said Anne. „I suppose she"s changed her mind or something. Perhaps her watch has stopped and she doesn"t know the time. She ought to, though, by looking at the sun! How long shall I wait?"
She sat down by a big gorse-bush, out of the hot sun. She hadn"t been there for more than a minute when she heard a hissing sound.
Anne sat up at once. The sound came from the other side of the bush, and she got up and walked round it. Half-hidden under a prickly branch were George and Timmy!
„Hal o!" said Anne, surprised. „Didn"t you see me when I arrived? Hal o, Tim darling! How"s your poor old ear? Oh, doesn"t he look a quaint old dear in that collar, George?"
George scrambled out of the bush. „I hid here just in case Father or Mother should come with you and try to make me come back," she said. „I wanted to make quite sure they weren"t waiting somewhere a little way away. I"m glad you"ve come, Anne."
„Of course I"ve come," said Anne. „I wouldn"t stay alone at Kirrin Cottage while you were camping out. Besides, I understand how you feel about Timmy. The collar"s a jol y good idea, of course - but it does make him look comical. I think he looks rather a dear in it, I do real y."
George was almost relieved that Anne had not laughed at Timmy as most people had.
She smiled at her cousin, and Timmy licked her til Anne real y had to push him away.
„Let"s go," said George, scrambling up. „I"ve got a lovely camping-place, Anne. You"l like it. It"s near a little spring too, so there"s plenty of water for Timmy to drink - and us too. Did you bring any more food? I didn"t real y bring much."
„Yes. I"ve brought heaps," said Anne. „Aunt Fanny made me. She"s not cross with you, George. I didn"t see your father. He was shut up in his study."
George"s spirits suddenly rose. She gave Anne a friendly punch. „This is going to be fun!
Timmy"s ear wil soon be better, and he loves camping out as much as we do. I"ve real y found a good place - about the loneliest on the common! Nobody near us for miles!"
They set off together, Timmy at their heels, darting off every now and again when he smelt rabbit.