Never Alone
written & illustrated by Grandad


Storm had been a very happy cub-pup up to 2 weeks ago, his mum was a fox and his dad was a boxer dog. They all live very happily together and Storm had a great time growing up with his parents, until the day he went to school. From day one neither the dogs or the foxes at school wanted anything to do with Storm. The dogs would not accept him because he was not a proper dog and the foxes would not accept him because he was not a real fox. Nobody wanted to sit with him, so he sat alone in class, stood in the playground alone and ate his lunch alone. Every day he was bullied and teased by the dogs and foxes calling him a "nothing animal", this hurt Storm, because his mum and dad had taught him to love every animal equally.




Storm did not want to go to school, but he knew he would make his parents sad if he didn't so he went. The worst time for Storm was break time, no one talked to him and they all ganged up on him, so he used to sit up on top of the equipment in the playground away from everybody. Storm could not work out what he had done wrong, okay he was half dog and half fox, but did that really make him a bad person. They took his lunch, bit him, yanked his tail and called him nasty names. Storm did not fight back, his father always told him, it was wrong to fight, he never complained and continued to turn the other cheek, but he had to admit, he was finding that hard.



One morning Storm arrived at school and all his class, was standing outside their classroom door, usually as Storm past, they would trip him up and call him nasty names, but today nothing. So Storm went into the classroom and sat there, the bell went, but no one came in. After 20 minutes his teacher came in and said "Storm, I am going to put you a year down, the whole of your class have refused to enter the class, until you are moved and I am afraid their parents have asked for the same thing." "What have I done wrong miss?" Asked Storm. His teacher bent down and cuddled him and replied "you have done absolutely nothing wrong, nothing, but I have to think about the whole class." "Yes miss," said Storm and cleared out his desk and went to the classroom next door.



This went on for a couple of weeks, until one day when Storm arrived at school, the gates were locked, there was no pupils, no teachers, nobody. Then Storm saw a dog from his new class and asked him "where is everybody?" "Have you not heard, oh perhaps you haven't, I mean who would tell you." Replied the dog. "Has something bad happened?" Asked Storm. "Yes, a puppy has gone missing, it's been lost for over 6 hours." Replied the dog. "We are all going to hunt for her." he continued to say. "I will come with you." Replied Storm. "No, what good are you, you are not a dog or fox and besides, nobody wants you there." Replied the dog, as he turned and ran towards the houses.



The parents of the puppy, were very sad, they had woken up early in the morning, to find their puppy girl had gone missing. They were very worried, as she had never been out on her own, they were not sure, if she had just wandered off or someone had taken her. They showed everyone her picture and told them all her name was Cherry. All day Storm, could hear people calling "Cherry " all around town, but sadly they could not find her. So they decided to go into the forest and mountains that surrounded the town to look for her. "Dad, can we go too? asked Storm. "No son, I have also been told to stay away, it's not right, but we will respect their wishes, because that's who we are." Replied his dad.



They searched for Cherry for 2 nights and 2 days and there was no sign of her, the dogs and foxes were exhausted and needed to rest. The weather was absolutely awful, the wind was unforgiving and the rain was that cold rain that soaked everything. One of the dogs, who was a friend of Storm's dad knocked and told his dad the news. Storm decided he would go and find Cherry and before anyone could stop him, he was out of the front door and gone. His dad shouted after him, but he carried on running, nothing was going to stop him, he had to find Cherry, she had been out there for nearly 3 days on her own.



First Storm, went to Cherry's home, he wanted to pick up her scent if he could, but there had been a lot of rain, so he was not sure he would. He went very quietly, he did not want to upset Cherry's parents or meet any angry foxes or dogs. There was no scent to pick up, but he did manage to find a ball in the dry, which Cherry played with and teethed on and had a good smell of it and went down the road, towards the forest and mountains. Storm was sure if Cherry had been in the town, she would have been found by now. So braving the rain, he hurried into the centre of the forest, hoping he would pick up Cherry's scent.



So, our brave Storm, spent over a day looking, not stopping for food or sleep, he knew what it was like to be frightened and wanted to find her as soon as possible. Then came the point when Storm was exhausted and could not go on, so he prayed to the God of the mountain, to give him strength. His family believed in nature and that each part of nature was very important and that we should live with nature and not destroy it. The wind blew him over and he end up in a bush, it made him angry, until he saw the bush was full of berries, he began to eat and it gave him strength continue.



The berries gave him enough strength to continue for another 8 hours, but there was no sign of Cherry, A number of times he had found Cherry's scent but lost it as quick as he found it. He realised he had to go home, he was very disappointed and knew everyone in his class would call him a loser and a nobody animal, he didn't mind that, he was just worried for Cherry, so with a heavy heart he started to turn for home.



He had only gone a few steps when he heard Cherry whimpering, he stood still and listened to work out what direction she was in. She whimpered again and off Storm ran, towards Cherry, as he ran he heard another sound, which made him stop in his tracks. What was he to do, he knew what he had to do and ran even faster towards Cherry. The way was slippery and the rain was falling hard, but he had to get to her.



He came to a clearing, there was Cherry, totally exhausted, unable to move and there was a huge bear just about to jump on the poor puppy. Storm was never going to allow that and snarled as loud as he could, stopping the bear in his tracks. Poor Cherry was unable to move and Storm knew he had to help her and quickly. She was a puppy in trouble, it didn't matter to Storm, whether she was a fox or dog, or even a giraffe, she was simply an animal who needed help his help.



Storm snarled and snarled at the bear and to get it's attention Storm bit his leg, the bear turned around and roared loudly and decided to attack Storm. "Cherry Cherry run run, save yourself," said Storm. Cherry slowly got on her feet and started to move away and hid in some deep bushes, full of thorns, so that the bear could not get her. She watched as the bear got closer and closer to Storm, Storm was the one who had found her, not given up on her and had used all his skills to find her. Storm knew  he could not fight the bear, but at least Cherry was safe now and he decided to stand his ground and closed his eyes.



Suddenly, Storm heard a roar, a roar he recognised, he opened his eyes and there was his dad, "Storm leave this to me, you have done your job, now let me do mine." Said his dad. The bear looked at this dog, he knew these dogs, they were brilliant fighters and he had heard many stories about them and so he decided it was best to leave now and leave he did. Storm's dad told him he had been looking for him, for over a day now and also had heard Cherry and just knew Storm would be with her. "Dad, erm, am I in trouble, am I erm, grounded?" asked Storm. His dad thought for a moment and replied "lol, no not this time, we will have a chat tomorrow, but no you are not in trouble, you are a hero."




As  the sun came out, they arrived at the home of the parents of Cherry, the dad ran out and hugged Cherry hard and then thanked Storm's dad, but Storm's dad stopped him and said," I did not find Cherry, it was my son Storm who found her, he went out into the mountains, with no thought for himself, stood up against a bear for Cherry, he is the hero in this story." The dad turned to Storm and said "we owe you everything, thank you seems not enough and I am so so sorry about how you have been treated, when it came down to it, it didn't matter who Cherry was, you saved her. We all need to learn a lesson from you." Storm smiled and replied," it's okay sir, my parents bought me up to believe everyone is equal and I still believe that." Everyone nodded and with that Storm and his dad went home, as Storm was very very tired and hungry.



They  got home and Storm's mum hugged Storm tightly and asked him what he wanted to eat, Storm said he would love his favourite, beef stew, his mum had made a pot of stew 2 days ago and had kept it warm waiting for him. Storm stretched out in front of the fire and by the time his mum came back with a bowl of stew, Storm was fast asleep, his parents decided to let him sleep. Sleep he did, Storm slept for 24 hours, while he slept, his parents had many visitors at the door, people thanking Storm for finding Cherry, thanking them for bringing up an amazing son. His class mates, came on mass and bought him a gift, his dad thanked them but told them they had treated his son badly. They all lowered their heads and said they would include Storm from now on.



When Storm was well rested, he went back to school, when he entered the playground, everyone went quiet, "oh no, this is just like before," thought Storm and was about to go back out, when one dog howled, then another, then another. Then the foxes joined in, this was the equalivant to humans clapping, until every single one of them were howling. The teacher asked him to give a talk to the whole school next day, when he told his dad in the afternoon, he told his dad he was scared. His dad thought for a moment and then said "Storm, you are an animal that stood up to a huge brown bear, surely you talking is nothing compared to that and besides we all know how much you love to talk." They both giggled and the next day, Storm gave his talk, at the end everyone howled and the person who howled the loudest was his dad.



Storm now loves going to school, he is very popular, not because he is a hero, but because he is a really lovely animal and that finally his friends took the time to get to know the real animal and not to respond to his look, They found out that Storm was funny, clever and he taught them all, how to track. We are all born equal and it's so important we include everyone and make our world a better place to live.