The Garden and the Woods

This story takes place after the Middle Ages and before the 19th century. It is created for grade school children. This story has a happy ending.

Warning: There are sad parts in this story, and it might be scary for some children. Parents, please read this story before you read it to your children or allow them to read it themselves.

Once there was a little girl named Amelia who went outside to play in her garden everyday. The garden that she played in was one of the most beautiful gardens in the kingdom. There was a willow tree at the right side of the garden with a chair underneath it so that she or a member of her family can sit in the shade. In the back of the garden were a few trees with mouth watering apples hanging on the branches ready to be picked and eaten. There were also a few cherry trees riped with the delicious fruit near the left side, and several feet in front was a dirt patch where green beans were growing. On the left side of the fence were tomatoes that were ready to be picked, and on the right side of the picket fence was a grape vine with the sweetest looking grapes. There was also a variety of flowers in the yard including roses, carnations, and daffodils, and In the middle of the garden was a small pond that was surrounded by dahlias and the branches of an ash tree showed it's reflections in the golden water. A few ducks were swimming in the water. Small woodland animals including squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks often visited the yard looking for food and a place to rest. Birds often built their nests in the trees and every morning they filled the air with their melodies.

Amelia loved playing in her garden. Sometimes she made crowns out of flowers and put them in her long light brown hair pretending that she was a queen. Other times she would be singing and dancing, and playing with her kittens. Sometimes her cousins came to visit her and they played all kinds of games including hide and go seek. She also loved playing tea party with her favorite dolls near the flowers or underneath one of the trees.

One day she looked over the fence at the woods behind it. Her parents warned her to never enter the woods, but she became curious and wanted to explore the woods. Her desire to explore the woods grew; it was the only thing that occupied her heart. She became bored with her own garden and with the games she played by herself and with her cousins. She was even bored with playing with her kittens.

One day despite the fact that her parents forbid her to enter the forest, she decided to do that. She walked outside the front gate when no one was looking and sneaked to the back where the woods were.

She entered the woods and began to explore. She walked for five minutes untill she came upon a group of chestnut trees. The ground was littered with chestnuts. Squirrels were scampering up and down the trees carrying chestnuts and chattering to each other. She stood watching them because she was always fascinated by the squirrels.

When she finished watching them, she picked a few chestnuts, turned to the right and walked about twenty feet where a couple of rabbits were eating the grass. She wished that she could hold the rabbit because they were so adorable but she knew that they were wild animals and that they would run from her if she tried to catch them. She contented herself with watching them. One of the rabbits stopped eating grass and looked at her while twitching his nose. When he realised that she wasn't coming any closer he resumed eating the grass. She watched them for about five minutes before they hopped away.

She continued to walk for about another five minutes passing by thorn bushes and vines. She came upon a large bush with wild berries on it. She did not pick any of the berries because she knew they were poisonous. She saw a large group of sparrows, blue jays, and other birds landing on the bush plucking berries off the branches with their beaks. They filled the air with their delightful music.

She turned to the right and walked for about twenty minutes accompanied by bird song. While she was walking she picked up maple and other leaves off the lower branches, as well as sticks, stones, and feathers that were lying on the forest floor.

She came upon a bunch of wild flowers growing near an oak tree including anemones, dandelions, and blue bells. She picked up some flowers and made a crown of them. When she put them on her head she happily danced around the trees. She also picked up other flowers and put them in her pouch with the rest of her collection. She was having so much fun in the woods that she was unaware that she was in there for hours. When she finished dancing she continued to walk and collect things again. She also occassionally saw an animal or a few birds. While she was walking was getting farther and father away from her house.

Cathy, Amelia's mother, was busy dusting and polishing the furniture in the parlor. She took a cloth and poured some home made funiture polish and began to polish the table in front of the couch. When she was finished with that she walked towards some shelves in the front of the room and took down all the nick nacks that they bought and collected during their travels from different places off them. She placed them on the ground very careful because some of them were breakable. She proceeded to wash the shelves with furniture cleaner, and then she polished the shelves to make the them shine. When she was finished with that she began to brush the kittens' hairs, crumbs, and debri off the three couches. When she was finished, she realized that it was time for her daughter's piano lessons.

Cathy walked to the large window that was at the back of the parlor and looked at the very large backyard, and to her dismay she did not see her daughter. Of course the yard was so large that she could not see all of it from the window. She needed to climb to the attic to see the whole yard.

She walked down the hall towards the right wing of the house and climbed the stairs until she got to the attic. She walked into one of the rooms in the attic and looked out the window and she did not see her at all.

Maybe she's hiding, Cathy thought.

She opened the window and began to shout, "AMELIA! AMELIA! ARE YOU THERE?

*A pause.*

ANSWER ME!"

Of course there was no answer because she was not in the garden. She walked to one of the other rooms in the attic and opened a window that showed the front yard, and saw the gardener trimming the hedges.

"DAVID!"

David stopped trimming and looked up at her.

"Can you look for Amelia? See if she is anywhere in the back yard or front yard."

"Yes mam," David answered.

"GET THE OTHER SERVANT TO HELP YOU!" she shouted down to him.

David nodded his head and walked back to the house where the other servant was.

Where could she be? Cathy thought, a little annoyed. She knows she has piano lessons every Tuesday her piano teacher will be here at 2:00 and that is less than ten minutes.

She walked back to the parlor and called her two maids over.

"Molly, Elizabeth, can you please come in here for a minute?"

Molly and Elizabeth stopped cleaning the rooms and entered the parlor.

"Yes mam?" they asked.

"I need you to help me to find Amelia. Her piano lessons will begin soon and she needs to get ready for it."

"We'll look for her," said Molly.

"Should we ask the cook to help us?" Elizabeth asked.

"No, she needs to stay in the kitchen to prepare our meals. Molly, you will search all the rooms downstairs and get the other maid to help you, and Elizabeth; you will help me search for her on these upper floors."

"Yes mam," they said.

Molly walked out of the parlor.

"I'll search the right wing and you search the left."

"Yes mam," she said.

Everybody in the house except for the cook was looking for Amelia in the house and on the grounds.

"Amelia! Amelia!" they called while they were looking for her.

Cathy walked back into the hall that lead to the attic and began to search every room in it. She opened the door to the first room which Amelia's cousin Tom, always slept in whenever he visited with his parents (her husband's brother and wife.) She saw the bed, the dresser drawer, a few of his sporting equipment, and the closet.

"Amelia, are you in here?" she asked.

She looked in the closet and saw that there were some clothes in it.

She walked out of the room and opened the door to another room. This time it was a girl's room with a large doll sitting on top of the dresser.

"Amelia? Are you hiding? Come out it is almost time for your piano lessons."

When there was no answer she began to worry even more. She continued to look for her daughter. When she got to the last room of the very long hallway she heard the bell ring.

"ELIZABETH, CAN YOU ANSWER THAT?" she shouted hoping that she would hear her.

A few minutes later Elizabeth walked to the hall of the right wing and said, "The tutor is here mam."

Cathy walked back towards the front of the room with her maid and greeted the tutor.

"I'm sorry," she said to the piano tutor. "I know she is supposed to be here but we don't know where she is. Almost everybody is looking for her in the house and on the grounds."

"Maybe she's not here," said the piano tutor. "Maybe she went to the park or visited one of her cousins."

"She knows that she has lessons today, and she is not allowed to go out of the grounds without our permission."

"She must have forgotten; sometimes children forget," said the piano tutor.

I hope he's wrong, she thought annoyingly. I hope she's still here, and that somebody will find her soon.

"Come in the parlor and sit down for a while she said to the tutor?"

They walked into the parlor and the piano tutor sat down on one of the couches.

"Would you like some cake and tea?" Cathy asked.

"Yes, thank you," said the piano tutor.

"Elizabeth, go make him some cake and tea."

"Yes mam," Elizabeth said before she walked out of the room.

"Excuse me, but I have to continue looking for my daughter," she said to the piano tutor before she left the room.

A few minutes later Elizabeth returned to the room; carrying a cup of tea and a slice of vanilla cake in her hands.

"Here you go sir," she said while she placed the cake and tea on the table."

"Thank you," the piano tutor said to the maid before she left the room.

Cathy was out in the hall way again when she met Molly whose hair was out of place and whose clothes were disheaveled.

"I can't find her, mam," said Molly.

"Continue looking for her," said her mistress.

Both women left the room and continued to look for Amelia.

"I hope you are not lost; I hope we can find you soon," Cathy said to herself.

Her annoyances over her daughter began to turn into fear. Her insides were filled with nerves.

Back in the woods, Amelia was watching a doe and her two fawns nibbling grass a few minutes later the three deer began to leap out of the area. Amelia began to run after them but they leapt so fast they were soon out of sight. Two seconds later she saw another deer, this one a buck, nibbling leaves off a tree. She watched him from a safe distance for a few minutes before she began to walk further. She walked for about three minutes when she saw a badger running across.

She walked to the left and came to a clearing. A group of badgers were also nibbling on the leaves, and further down was a skunk. Amelia walked a few feet to the left, and entered a clearing. There was a large lake that was surrounded by reeds. She bent down and began to drink some water because the running and playing made her very thirsty. The deer and other animals were also drinking from the lake. After Amelia drank her fill, she realised how tired she was and fell asleep on the forest floor under a willow tree.

Cathy was looking in a room in another hallway when Elizabeth and Molly entered it.

"She's not anywhere in the house," Molly said to her. "We looked for her everwhere."

"I can't find her either," she said to the maids.

"She's nowhere on the grounds," said David, the gardener. "We searched for her for an hour and could not find her."

David approached them. "She's nowhere on the grounds. We searched for her thoroughly for a few hours and could not find her."

"Start looking for her outside the grounds," Cathy commanded. "Knock on the doors of her my relatives' houses. Maybe she is visiting one of them. Look in the woods too."

"Go with him, she said to Molly, and ask the others to help you find her."

"Yes mam," David and Molly said before they left the room.

Cathy plopped down on the bed looking warn out. Elizabeth sat next to her and put her arm around her.

"I don't know what to do? Cathy said with tears in her eyes. "She's my daughter and I love her. I don't want anything to happen to her. What if she got hurt?"

"Don't worry mam, we will find her, and everything will be alright."

"I hope you are right," she said doubtfully while tears began to pour out her eyes.

To be continued.