Put Down Jack

Put Down Jack!

It’s not fair. Not fair for me or Jack. He’s just a poor little creature wanting sympathy. His helpless eyes stare at me saying, “Please untie me! Set me free-we’re buddies right?”

But of course I’m not allowed to. I sat next to Jack so he felt wanted. I mean, I would die of boredom if I was him. A sudden burst of bravery ran through me.

I’ll debate with mum and dad!” I exclaimed. I have the right to let my opinion shine-don’t I? I got up and stormed inside hands on hips and my chin in the air; I felt professional.

“Little Miss Rightest!” scoffed Dad. I just ignored him and rolled my eyes. I glanced out the window and saw mum hanging out the washing. So around I turned and skipped back outside.

“Muuuuuuum...” I began, “can you please come inside for a moment-this’ll take a while.”

“Er, sure honey.” She replied confusion smothering her face.

“I don’t see why Jack should be tied up all the time because it’s unfair! And why do we have to put him down?!” I cried. Tears started swimming in my eyes. Tears of angriness and sadness mixed-but I had to harden up because this was like parliament.

I’ve told you time and time again! Because he jumps up on all the guests and the worst part is that he killed our lamb! Not painlessly but brutally!!!” she sighed angrily. “I don’t want to argue with you Mary!” she cried.

“Fine,” I screamed uncontrollably, “I’ll free him myself!”

“Calm down or go to your room!”

I ran out the door slamming it to slow mum down. I had the most perfecto plan and in my mind nothing could mess it up. My sneakers were thudding on the concrete almost as loud as my heart. Jack greeted me by jumping and whining happily.

“Sit still Jack, don’t worry, you’ll be ok-just sit still!” Jack obeyed but I had to hurry because mum was yelling angrily at me and was running up the path. I fiddled with the clip until FINALLY it came undone. Mum reached for my arm but I flinched away just in time to gain speed and sprint. Through the tall grass we ran.

“Run Jack run! Get away and follow me!!!” He obeyed gratefully. I tore past the old wooden shed, grabbing a container and sloppily stuffing it with dog biscuits. As we darted further into the bush we stopped for a breather and I picked a few berries from the bushes and a couple of apples from the tree. I could faintly hear my mother calling for my father and screaming,” Help somebody help! Call the police!!! The search party too; HELP!!!” If she called the search party they would find me easily. So we kept on going, ducking and diving over and under branches and cobwebs almost choking ourselves without air. In the far distance I could hear my parents yelling my name and the worst part was that they sounded extremely close and I did NOT want them to find us ever. Goats took off in different directions as we bounded through the short spaced clearing. We raced through it and soon we were back in the scrub. I let out a sudden shriek then clapped my free hand over my mouth so no one could hear me. The dog biscuits, apples and berries scattered all over the ground; a few rained down on top of me. But surprisingly Jack didn’t eat them. I gripped the tree branch as my feet dangled in thin air. I had run off the side of the cliff snatching a tree branch on the way down. I hoisted myself back up about half a metre or so. I dreaded the thought of someone finding us, but of course we wouldn’t let them, “Would we Jack?” I thought aloud. “No.” I said answering my own question. He looked down at me then gazed further into the bush, whining.

“Alright then-just let me get up.” I pulled myself up and picked up the remaining ‘survival items.’ Away we went.

After a while we met the fence line. Wow! We must have been running for about an hour if we’ve gone this far! So we followed it; further than we had ever been before but it was certainly worth it if I wanted to save Jack’s life. We stopped for a breather. My blonde hair fluttered in the spine-tingling breeze. I checked my watch. If I hadn’t run away it would be around about tea time. I wished I never knew we were having lasagne. My mouth watered at the thought of me missing out on my favourite dinner. Jack interrupted my thoughts. It was certainly getting darker by the minute and we had no torch to see where going when it did get really dark. But then and there I guess I could use the continuous light on my watch. Boy do watches come in handy these days. But we had to hurry. The sun was dropping rapidly over the horizon. We had to find somewhere to sleep soon because if we kept going, there was a greater chance of falling down a mineshaft and being killed. After about 30 minutes of wide eyed searching, we found a perfect spot underneath a droopy weeping willow tree, great for the two of us. The sun was hardly visible so we sat down and made ourselves comfortable in the crunchy leaves. Even if the search party did come this far, they would never find us here in such a great hiding spot. The dangling branches of the weeping willow tree hid us well. Both Jack and I felt safe with the company of having each other near. I unzipped my thick pink jacket to enlarge it and layed it over us. Jack’s hazel eyes glowed frighteningly at me in the pitch blackness. I used my cap as a pillow and piled up soft leaves and grass for Jack. Then we had our dinner. It was nothing like the dinners we have at home but it would have to make do for now. I had half and apple while Jack munched on a dog biscuit because we had burned a lot of energy that day. Slowly but surely we drifted to sleep...

The night was as scary, as cold and as wet as sleeping in the ocean. The rain pelted down but luckily the trees branches and leaves were thick enough to only let the odd drip leak in. The wind howled like ghosts surrounding us-but Jack soundly slept through it. The freezing wind tried to tug away our only piece of warmth but I clung on to it and pulled it up to my chin. I had a sudden strange fear that we could die of the cold out here. In my mind I could hear my parents screaming and crying; they were calling for help as well. For a minute I felt sorry for them. But that minute didn’t last long. They’ll get over it, I thought. I clutched my jacket close keeping some on Jack as well. I tried to imagine I was in a warm house in a warm bed; but it only made things worse.

The chirping birds, cool breeze and tinkle of raindrops from last nights storm woke me up the morning after the nightmare-night. But that couldn’t make me go home. Oh no not I. Jack was my most bestest bestest BESTEST friend in the whole entire world and nothing could ever tear us apart. One time I forced my parents to take him on holiday with us. They regret it to this very day because he went loo-loo in the car; but they’ll get over it one day.

I glanced at my watch and then at the sky. It was hard to see through the thick branches of the weeping willow but I could just make out that it was daytime. Oh no. It was 7:00am but I planned to leave at 6:00 so I could get a head start. The search party would find us soon; if my parents called them that is.

We wolfed down our breakfast which was enough to hold us over till whenever. I slung my jacket over my shoulder, grabbed the container of food and ran through the scrub just like the day before. Nothing looked familiar. I had no idea what-so-ever where we were going; but in the meantime our goal was to get as far away as possible from home. But that hadn’t been achieved yet. “First things first.” I panted.

Jack cantered past me splashing mud all over my track pants. I ignored carelessly. My mouth was watering. I had a craving for water as I had gone two whole days without water. If I didn’t find a pond or creek soon I would surely get dehydrated. Jack paused for a moment and slurped up some rather unhygienic looking water. After he indulged in his long hard drink we kept going no matter how tired we were. We got about 30 minutes further into the bush when I was certain something wasn’t right. I felt funny. Everything around me was spinning. Suddenly all my surroundings were upside down and blurry. I have to stop and rest for a quick moment, I thought to myself. So I stopped. I bent down with my hands on my knees. And then a zap of pain shot through as my head hit something hard.

My eyes fluttered open. The light was unbearable so I hid my head in my pillow. I heard a soft sobbing in the background which sounded like my mum.

“Huh-what’s going on?” I questioned my voice sounding very croaky. I tried to lift my head but pain rang throughout it.

“Stay still love. You hit your head pretty hard; but you’ll be okay,” a soft voice whispered in my ear. It was the nurse. Nurse-hang on a minute-I’m in HOSPITAL!

“Mum, Dad, Mum, Dad,” I screamed.

‘Shh, hush dear. Rest! You’ll be fine.” The nurse reassured me. But I continued until I heard the hurried footsteps of my mother and father. As soon as they saw me they burst into tears.

“It’s okay! I’m fine –but where is Jack; I NEED him!” I croaked.

‘Oh, Jack is at home but don’t worry about that now-what happened?!” they cried, tears streaming down their cheeks.

Then the nurse broke in.

“I think she needs rest.” She said motioning for my parents to leave.

“But we can’t hold our patience miss, we NEED to know the story!” whined my dad like a child. The nurse was about to protest, but she nodded then left the room. Now the time was right. I took a deeep breath, and began telling the story.

A few days later I was feeling healthier so I could understand.

“When you collapsed of dehydration you hit your head on a huge rock. Jack ran home and helped to lead the police and their dogs to you,” explained my parents.

“Oh I’m SOOO SORRY for causing all that grief!!” I wailed, full of apologies.

“We forgive you darling, as long as you are safe,” they replied.

After all that commotion I caused, my parents let me keep Jack!

That week was the most dramatic and exciting week in my life-so far anyway!

As years past, I grew older and so did my beloved pets including my goats: Doosledoff, Lily, Rita, Casper, Sox and Candy, and of course Jack.

Mum had another baby and named him Michael. And as HE got older his interest in Michael Jackson grew until he was Wacko Jacko’s biggest fan. He also got his own puppy and called him Jacko.

I was around 23 when I drove through the peaceful country road to mum and dads place for afternoon tea. Mum greeted me-but not as usual. Instead of her greeting me as usual, panic was written all over her face.

“It’s Michael - Michael and Jacko; you know his dog,” she said, tears swimming in her eyes.

‘What mum, tell me!” I exclaimed becoming frantic already.

“THEY’RE GONE!!!” she wailed.

“And they have been gone for about a week,” added dad, as pale as a ghost.

And then it clicked. I recognized the scenario that had happened to me at the same age as Michael.

How strange...

The End

By Mary Rose Wilcock aged 11yrs


Mary Wilcock
True Story?: