Neil and the Duck

This is a children's short story. It's quite different from the normal sort of thing I write but the idea came to me and so I wrote it!

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1. Neil and the Duck

Neil wasn’t happy.  Most eight year-olds lived a happy life, going to school, playing football in the playground at lunch and going home to a nice tea made my their Mum. But not Neil. He had no friends at school, he was never at one long enough to make any. Neil’s Mum was always being moved around the country by “head office”, whatever that was. Neil didn’t really know where his Dad was apart from “prison”. This meant Neil had to look after himself most of the time, putting his own tea in the oven and only see his Mum at bedtime. Now he had been moved to yet another town and at this one his school was a long walk from his house.

Neil was walking home from his first day, the familiar feeling of being the new boy having happened again, when he saw a sign. It said “Nature Reserve” and it looked interesting. Neil wandered into the nature reserve and was amazed at what he found. There was a pond and a wood and a river and a marsh and long grass and lots and lots of wildlife. On that first day he saw lots of birds, including a kingfisher and he also saw a fox. The next day he saw two deer and a big, white bird he didn’t recognise. Neil had always liked wildlife but he’d only seen most of it on TV. It very quickly became part of the daily routine, that walk around the nature reserve. As time passed by the animals learnt that he was not dangerous and instead of running away would carry on as normal.

One day Neil was walking round the nature reserve and was horrified to find one of the ducks, one he’d called Stella, had a piece of plastic trapped round her neck. It came from a six pack of cans that some naughty person had just thrown on the floor. Stella looked very poorly and wasn’t waddling around quacking like normal. Neil realised that he would have to be quick to save Stella. He ran all the way home as fast as he could and found the scissors in the kitchen drawer. He was about to run all the way back to the nature reserve when he remembered he wasn’t allowed to run with scissors so he walked sensibly instead, as quickly as he could.

Once he found Stella he bent down to cut off the plastic. Stella looked scared and tried to run off but was too poorly. Neil told her that he was going to help her and she seemed to calm down a bit. He cut off the plastic and Stella looked happy again almost straight away. She gave a loud quack and waddled away. Neil put the plastic in the bin so it wouldn’t hurt any other animals and went home.

Whilst he was gone Stella told all the other creatures about how kind Neil had been and when he came the next day for his usual walk, all the animals came out to see him. The kingfishers sat on the branches by the river, the ducks and swans sat in the river, the deer looked at him through the trees and the fox peered at him from on top of a rock. Neil saw all the animals and a big smile came onto his face. It was the first time where he had actually felt like he belonged somewhere and it was a brilliant feeling.

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