Chapter 12


Animals roamed freely in Aunty Bei's house. A twitchy sheep's nose nudged my elbow asking for noodles and a goat stroked past my leg. There were dogs and cats too, and a fat white rabbit with black bean eyes.

I felt so welcome, I didn't want to leave. But Sukee was pawing the ground outside and I knew Dad would be worrying about me.

TT ch12 v01 slin'How about a ride tomorrow?' said Aunty Bei, putting her boots back on for more fence-building. 'I'd like to visit the ancient fort.'

I said I'd ask my dad.

Sukee and I trotted back home. Some men were loading pots of peach blossom and kumquats on a VV. The air smelt fresh and green. New Year was coming!

I slowed at Mrs Potts' place. Dad was painting her door red and his t-shirt was dripping with paint. 'Hey, Miss Gad-about,' he called, 'if you're quick, you can catch up with Mrs Potts. She's just left for the catchwater. Emergency rescue, she said. Tan Tan's gone too.'

Tally ho! Off we go, again!

The catchwater collects rainwater for Shek Pik reservoir. An animal must have fallen into it. The sky was darkening when we reached them. A buffalo stood nearby, snorting and stamping her foot. Mrs Potts was calling down to Tan Tan while heaving on a rope which dangled down into the deep gully.

'We could do with some more muscle,' she puffed, wiping hair from her forehead.

'A baby buffalo!' I cried, jumping off Sukee and pulling her closer.

Mrs Potts tied the rope securely round Sukee's neck. Then, as I pulled Sukee forwards, Mrs Potts tugged in the middle and Tan Tan pushed the buffalo up from behind.

'Mooh!' mooed mummy buffalo when she saw her baby.



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