Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers ~ Pet Memory Website

The Island

Chapter 1: The Island

Diane was different from the other children at school. She was nine years old and she lived with her mum and dad on an island and to her it was the most enchanted place in the world.

Near to the small cottage in the centre of the island is a wood. Diane's magic wood! To anyone else walking through the wood, it was as ordinary as any wood. To Diane, it was different. It was her friend. No matter what time of year it was there was always something to do and see. In winter when everything was covered in a crisp white carpet of snow, it became a huge forest in an icy land. In summer it was enchanted and inhabited by fairies and elves who would dance amongst the flowers or dodge under toadstools when it was raining. In autumn when it was foggy, the shapes of the trees became ghosts and the wood was haunted. In spring the trees whispered in the breeze and the pink cherry blossom would blow over Diane and she would pretend to be a bride. 'My magic wood!'

The Magic Wood

Living on an island, the only way to school was by boat. Diane's father worked on the mainland and each morning he would row across the narrow stretch of water. It was grand going to school by boat! How Diane wished that sometimes the sea would disappear if only for a day so that some of her friends could come and share her 'magic wood'.

The Island

One cold December day, Diane woke to find a winter wonderland.
'Dad, have you seen the snow?' she shouted as she made her way down to breakfast.
'Of course I have! Now come and eat your breakfast otherwise we'll be late.' She gave her mum a farewell kiss as she grabbed the bag that contained her sandwiches for her lunch and off they went down to the beach and were soon rowing to the other side.

Everyone at school was excited playing in the snow and the teacher had a job getting the children in when the bell went. They were not allowed to play out at playtime and at lunchtime as it was still snowing. At afternoon playtime it had stopped and out they went eager to make slides and to throw snowballs.
Poor Diane, no-one would let her play.
'You never let us come and play on your island so you can't play with us. Go away!'
Diane went to a corner of the playground and she began to cry. It seemed a long time before the bell rang. Her teacher could see that she had been crying but Diane would not tell about the other children.
At last it was home time. The others left quickly eager to get back to the snow. Diane made her way slowly towards the sea front and the boat that was to take her back to the island. It was five o'clock before her dad came. Usually Diane passed the time feeding the seagulls using leftover crumbs from her sandwiches. She threw them into the air and watched as the gulls swooped down for them. But not today, she was too sad.

At last her dad arrived. He sensed there was something wrong with Diane. She was very quiet as they rowed home and he hoped she was not sickening for something as it was only a few weeks to Christmas. Tea was waiting for them when they got home but no matter how hard she tried, Diane could not eat a thing.
'I don't feel very well', she said, 'I think I'll go up to bed.' She kissed her mum and dad goodnight and went up the stairs.
'I don't think Diane must be well,' said her mum. 'I've never known her go to bed without saying goodnight to her magic wood. I'll pop upstairs and see what's the matter.' She went upstairs and found Diane sitting on her bed crying. 'Come on, what's the matter?' asked her mum putting her arm round Diane's shoulders.
'I love this island and the wood', sobbed Diane. 'I've lots of friends, the trees, birds, flowers and animals, but they are not real friends. I'd love to share them with a real friend. The children at school think I am different because they can't come and play with me. I'd love to play with someone and share my magic wood with them!'
'Look, it's no good crying, come on, dry your eyes', said her mum getting out her hanky. 'We'll see what we can do about it. If we go and live on the mainland it would mean you losing your wood, and you don't want that. You can't have everything. You're lucky. You've got things other children haven't. I'll go downstairs and warm-up your tea and whilst I'm doing that it's not too dark, you can go and say goodnight to your magic wood.
Diane went downstairs feeling a little better. Putting on her coat, gloves and boots she set off for the wood. Once there she felt better. She skipped and danced in the snow making patterns with her footprints. She made snowballs and threw them high into the trees. One hit a branch and snow came cascading onto her head! Diane pretended that lots of snowballs were being thrown at her.
Diane decided she had time to make a snowman before going back home. Scooping snow from some bushes she saw something lying in the snow. It was apiece of card and as she reached to pick it up, Diane recognised the card. It was in fact a work card just like the ones they used in school.
'It's not one of my work cards', said Diane out loud. She suddenly realised what this meant. Someone had been on her island and she was going to find out whom it was. Whilst thinking about this she carries on making the snowman. At last he was finished.
'Now I've got someone to talk to, Snowman. Do you think there is someone on my island? I do hope there is. Will you keep watch for me?'
Diane put the card back in the bushes and then made her way home. After finishing her tea, she went upstairs to bed again. Before getting into bed she opened the window to see if she could see her Snowman. No she couldn't, but she blew him a kiss before closing the window.

The next morning, Diane was up bright and early and before breakfast went to see her Snowman.
'When I get to school, I'll try and find out who has been on our island.'
That morning at school, Diane was to suffer another disappointment.

A boy in her class had taken the card into the playground to show his brother when a gust of wind had blown it out of his hand. Diane didn't hear what else was said. Tears filled her eyes. No-one had been to her island after all. Yet she had hoped! No, wait! The wind, he was her friend. He had brought her a present. She had a new friend after all. No more tears. She would tell her Snowman after school.

When she got home, her tea was ready so she did not have time to go to the wood and see Snowman. Just as tea was finishing, her dad began to tell her something that was about to change her life.
'Diane,' said her dad. 'It will soon be Christmas and we're going to have a party and you will have a friend.'
'Who is she, does she live near here?' asked Diane getting quite excited.
'No, but she will,' answered her dad. 'She's an orphan, that means she has no mum and dad. We've decided to let her come and live with us. She'll be like a sister. She is the same age as you and you can share your island with her.'
For once, Diane was lost for words. Tears filled her eyes. Not because she was sad. Oh, no! She was the luckiest girl in the world. After tea she rushed off to tell Snowman.
'I wonder if she will like me and our wood? I wonder what she is like? Oh, isn't it wonderful!'
She took a leap at Snowman. When she picked herself up she found he had vanished. There was just a heap of snow, pebbles and twigs.
'Never mind, Snowman. I'll make you again tomorrow!'