Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers ~ Pet Memory Website

The Island

Blackberry Jam

As the summer months went by, the girls kept their promise to their dad. Rusty was growing fast and Diane and Lucy spent lot of time with him teaching him how to behave. He knew his name and that he had to go to whoever called him. He was also taught commands, sit, stay, stand and fetch. Some of the lessons Rusty found hard to learn, but one thing he learned very quickly was if he did something right he got a pat and a biscuit, if he did something wrong, he got a smack. Rusty loved going with the girls when they went for walks. There was so much to see and smell. He loved to chase rabbits but Diane made sure he never caught one. Once he chased a rabbit down a hole and got stuck and Diane had to pull him out.

During the summer their mum was busy. She liked to make lots of jam. In the garden they had raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant and gooseberry bushes along with some strawberry plants. Diane and Lucy had been busy collecting the fruit and their mother used most of it to make jam. They liked to sit in the kitchen and watch and would help by putting the finished jam into jars, but they always made sure there was some left in the pan so that they could scrape it out to lick! When the jam had cooled a lid was put on and the jars stored away until the winter months.

It was now September and the girls were getting ready to go back to school. They had enjoyed the long summer months and were looking forward to autumn.. The golden colour of the wood as the leaves changed and the first snow that would bring back the snowman.
That morning at breakfast their mum as the girls if they would like to go and collect some blackberries so that she could make the last jam of the season.
'They should just about be ripe,' she said as she made the girls some sandwiches.
'You'll find most of the bushes near High Rise Hill.'
She found them two baskets in which to put the fruit and after all their chores were finished, Diane and Lucy set off for High Rise Hill. Rusty went along to eager to find some rabbits. When they got to Mirror Lake they stopped for a while. Rusty had a drink from the lake as the girls sat down to eat their sandwiches. They had brought a few biscuits for Rusty that he enjoyed. Diane noticed some blackberry bushes.
'Let's go and pick some so that we can eat them with our lunch.'
When they had finished their lunch they went back to the bushes to start collecting the fruit.

Rusty wasn't interested in blackberry bushes so he went off to see if he could catch a rabbit before Diane saw him! It was a very hot day and the girls kept stopping for a rest. Quite a lot of the berries weren't ripe but there were lots of bushes. It was hard work and would take some time to fill the baskets. Lucy decided to have a walk to the top of the hill. Many times she had been warned that the other side of the hill was steep and dangerous. She had seen how steep it was when on the day of the picnic she had climbed up with the other children. At last she was at the top and had a view of the rest of the island. Shee peered down the steep side and noticed many blackberry bushes full of fruit.
'If only I could reach those bushes,' she said to herself, 'I would soon fill my basket. Perhaps, if I'm careful, I could reach them.'
Lucy put her foot ont the slope. It seemed firm enough. Holding onto her basket, she tried to scramble down the slope. The soil and stones began to give way underneath her feet. Soon she was tumbling down. She tried to grab hold of bushes and pieces of grass as she was swept passed hoping they may be able to stop her falling. It was no use, she was falling faster and faster until at last she landed at the bottom. Lucy lay very still. Her eyes were closed.

By now, Diane had nearly filled her basket and wonder how Lucy was getting on.
''Lucy!' she called. There was no reply.
Diane turned round to look for her.
'Perhaps she's over there by those bushes,' and she went to have a look. She wasn't.
'Come on, Lucy! I'm too tired to ply hide and seek. Let's go home, I'm hungry.'
Still there was no sign of Lucy.
'Lucy, where are you?' she shouted.
Rusty came over to see what all the noise was about. Diane expected Lucy to be following him think she may have taken him for a walk.
'You haven't see Lucy have you?' she asked Rusty, but he just lay in the grass panting.
'Perhaps she's already gone home, but she could have told me. Just wait until I see her! Come on, Rusty, we're going home.'
Diane and Rusty set off back to the cottage. Diane was feeling a little upset that Lucy had gone back home without saying anything. When she got back her mum was pleased to see all the blackberries.
'Where's Lucy?' she asked.
Diane was rather surprise to find Lucy not there.
'I thought she had come home before me. I couldn't find her and even shouted. When she didn't answer I thought she was back here.'
'Perhaps she's found some more bushes and when you shouted she didn't hear. When she's found you've gone, she'll come back home,' said her mum. 'Don't worry.'
Lucy didn't come home. Diane helped her mum to wash the blackberries and then get the tea ready. At last her dad came home from work and still there was no sign of Lucy. Diane told her dad what had happened.
'I hope she didn't go to the top of the hill, she may have fallen down the steep side,' he said.
Diane began to cry.
'I wish I had gone to the top to have a look before I came home,' she sobbed.
'Come on,' said her dad. We'll go and have a look. If she was all right she would have been home before now.'
Diane and her dad set off to walk to High Rise Hill. Her mum stayed at home in case Lucy came back. When they reached the top of the hill, her dad looked down the steep side and saw Lucy lying at the bottom of the hill. Diane was still crying as she and her dad walked round the hill to the other side.

It was just after half past eight when they got back to the cottage. Diane's father had carried Lucy all the way back and was taken straight to bed. She wasn't hurt too badly and at last she woke up. Her leg hurt and she had a cut on her head. Then she remembered what had happened. She told them about seeing the bushes on the slope and that they were covered with berries.
'Well,' said her mum, 'I think you have learnt your lesson about High Rise Hill. It's a pity you have learnt the hard way.'
Lucy had learnt her lesson and it was a very long time before she went anywhere near High Rise Hill.