The Journey Begins

As midnight approaches, Badger makes his way to the great beech, where almost all the animals have gathered to begin the journey. Mole, however, is missing. He arrives just in time to overhear Adder making some very cruel comments about him and he promptly dissapears back underground. While the other animals set off, Badger has to go back to mend Mole’s hurt feelings and to persuade him to join the rest of the party. He tells Mole that he can ride on his back. Once reunited, the animals leave Farthing Wood for the last time and so their epic journey begins.

Having not had a decent drink for ages, the first priority is to find a water supply. This comes in the shape of a garden swimming pool. The animals all manage to have a good drink, but they have a narrow escape when their noisy activity attracts the attenton of the resident cat. Fox also has to come to Adder’s rescue when Weasel accidently drops her into the pool.

As dawn arrives, the smaller animals are getting very tired. Fox asks Kestrel to find them somewhere to stay. She spots a gorse thicket ahead, but before that there is a road to be crossed. The animals will need to hurry up as Owl points out Everything comes to he who waits, including death on the road!

The animals gather at the roadside. Owl and the Pheasants fly across. The faster animals cross first. Badger, Mole, the Rabbits, Hares, Squirrels and Weasel all make it across safely. Adder leads the second group of Mice, Shrews, Voles and Newts. The smaller animals get across alright, but Adder finds crossing the tarmac difficult and has to be pulled from the path of a lorry by Badger. Fox, Toad and the hedgehogs are the last to cross. All make it safely across apart from Toad, who gives himself up as another lorry approaches. However, the lorry driver spots him and brakes just in time. Owl fends the driver off while Toad makes his way to safety.

Once in the gorse thicket, the animals settle down for a much needed rest.

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