David Carter's charming new book "Drift and Badger and the Search for Uncle Mo" is out now. It is a book for older children and for the young at heart. Doesn't everyone think they are young at heart? Are you? Let's hope so. We hope you like the book. Please see our website for much more information.
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The Writing Pad
ISBN: 978 - 095597741-1
Published by: TrackerDog Media
Published in the year: 2009
Drift is a red deer fawn, born unseasonably late in the season. He will always struggle against his bigger, brasher brethren. His mother travelled deep into the forest to give birth, as the herds moved on to far to the north.
A tragic accident leaves Drift to fend for himself; to wander the forest, frightened and alone. One moonlit night he stumbles into the shortsighted badger, Daisy, who begins teaching him the ways of the dark and dangerous forest.
After at tip-off from a confused cuckoo with a crazy name, as to the herd’s whereabouts, they set out on the long and eventful journey to locate the herds, and find Drift’s Uncle Mo, but will they find him, and can they survive the hazards and perils of the wild forest?
Follow the exciting adventures of Drift and Badger as they traverse the forest, and lose yourself in another world.
David Carter’s charming new book is out now. Drift and Badger and the Search for Uncle Mo is a story for older children and adults and can be bought from all good book retailers.
Remember, it’s all about Drift and Badger…
Genre: Fiction/Children or Adults
Title: Drift and Badger and the Search for Uncle Mo
Although it begins with a life altering tragedy, the remainder of this story is not only heart-warming but refreshing.
It can be taken very lightly, allowing the reader to relax and block out all other thought. Or you can immerse yourself in this fantasy world, hearing the underlying life skill lessons.
Drift, a newborn Red Deer fawn, has the fortune of being befriended by a short sighted, crazy badger, Daisy. With Daisy’s knowledge of the dangers in the forest, the pair set off in search of Drift’s family, specifically his Uncle Mo. Their journey is not only fun but also treacherous, bringing them both the spirit of adventure as they strive to reach their goal.
Could there be a happy ending?
The Author, David Carter, has lightly scented your mind with a natural ability to share his imagination. Letting your own imagination loose, you can smell the aroma of forest and see the picturesque surroundings. He is a well-known English author, with a variety of published articles, as well as a previous novel that I had the pleasure of reviewing. He has now presented us with another novel, suitable for both children and the young at heart.
Highly Recommended by Reviewer:
Cheryl Ellis, Allbooks Review
"Drift and Badger and the Search for Uncle Mo" is suitable for older children and adults.
We hope you like it.
Thank you for supporting independent publishers.
You can read the whole of the first chapter right here, right now...
The forest in autumn is one of God's great sights when the leaves turn colour and bask in that special golden light. The forest is home to many magical creatures and toward the end of the year it provides the greatest spectacle on earth. Nothing compares, nor ever will.
And so it was when Drift was born, unseasonably late, dropping from his mother on to the mossy bank she had so carefully chosen for his birth. Drift would be the last fawn of the year and would always struggle against his bigger, brasher, brethren.
That didn't concern his mother, nor Drift himself; for he had yet to meet any of his kinfolk for she had trekked deep within the forest, well away from the frantic herds, especially to give birth.
Within minutes he was on his feet, shaking and shivering in the October wind as his mother washed and licked him clean, just in time for a good feed. The first feed is always the most precious when the milk is at its richest and after that, within an hour, he was ready to follow her anywhere.
There was so much to see in the forest and a great deal to learn with little time to lose. Drift followed her from the edge of the woods to the meadow and watched her as she paused and nodded ahead.
'Look,' she said, 'the trees are turning colour, reds and yellows, amber and gold, they are normally green, you see, it will be winter before long and you are so small. We will have to fatten you up as fast as we can, or you won't see the spring.'
Far away a dog barked. Drift stood petrified, his mother confidently standing upright beside him.
'It is all right, little one,' she said. 'It is only a dog. Their bark is far worse than their bite. All noise and no dignity. They have lost their independence. They have sold their souls and gone to live with the humanthings.'
'What is a humanthing?'
'Two legged creatures. Nasty beasts to be avoided at all costs. They stare at you and I can see what they are thinking.'
'And what are they thinking, mother?'
'How they can... how they can...,' his mother hesitated, not wishing to unduly frighten her new fawn. There would be plenty of time to teach the youngster of the terrible ways of the humanthings. 'How they can tease you, that's all,' she finished off. 'How they can tease you.'
They came to a road, straight and true, for roads criss-crossed the forest everywhere.
Drift watched his mother glance one way, then the other, then back the first way, and dash across.
'Come along,' she shouted. 'Don't dilly-dally! Don't shilly-shally!'
The youngster trotted after her and re-joined his mother.
'These are roads,' she explained, 'they are very dangerous places.'
Dangerous, thought Drift, he couldn't see how they could possibly be dangerous.
'Cars and trucks roar up and down at all hours of the day and night, and they don't stop.'
'What is a car, and what is a truck?'
And as if to answer Drift's question a large black car noisily approached from the left.
'Hurry,' she said, 'into the trees,' and she darted for cover. Drift followed mighty quick, anxious not to remain alone in the open.
In the safety of the woods they turned about and watched the car flash by; smoke belching from the rear end. Inside sat a single humanthing, a young male with a wolfish grin set on its hideous face.
'That's a car,' said mother, 'with a humanthing inside,' her nose turned up in disgust, 'and they rarely stop, I told you. Trucks are even worse. They are bigger and harder and even more horrid. You mark my words, young fellow, you must never dally on the roads, never, for if you do, you... '
She didn't have to say anymore. Drift instinctively knew that roads and cars and trucks, and most especially, humanthings, spelt terrible danger.
'Come,' she said, 'we have a long way to go to reach the herds. I can't wait for you to meet Uncle Mo and all the rest. He will be so pleased to see you for you are so like your father, you are, and that's a fact.'
'Where is father?' asked Drift.
'He's gone now,' she said in a hurry and in the way she said it, Drift knew better than to ask any more.
An hour later it began to grow dark.
'What is happening, mamma?' said a panicked Drift, glancing at the blackening sky.
'The sun is going down, that's all. It will soon be totally dark, and there is no moon tonight.'
'I don't like it, mamma, and what's a moon?'
'There is nothing to be frightened of young Drift, and the moon will come back soon. It is like the sun but cold and not so bright and only glows when the sun is resting. Tonight it will grow cold and there will be sounds aplenty from the noisy creatures that live that way. I am sorry to say they have never learnt any manners. They cannot remain quiet like the rest of us, no consideration, my mother used to say, but we have to forgive them for they live in the forest just as we do. They know no better, and they will never change. Stay close to me, and never be frightened of the dark. In time you will come to realise it is your friend, the darkness is a good time. You will learn to enjoy the night and you will always be safer in the darkness than during the hours of daylight. The night is your best friend. Humanthings are afraid of the dark, but we are not... never.'
'I see,' said Drift, still unconvinced, for he liked the colours of the forest, as the sun slipped slowly down below the trees and fell out of sight. The temperature dropped rapidly as they travelled across the countryside and a little later, close by, a fox barked.
'Err!' said Drift. 'What is that?'
His mother stopped in her tracks, her nose and ears twitching.
'It's a fox,' she whispered dismissively. 'Nothing to worry about. They are all mouth and no brains. If the darn thing comes near to you give it a good kick in the chops. That will send it on its way. Big teeth, tiny minds, my old mother always used to say about foxes, and she was right at that as well. Foxes are clueless idiots. They think they own the forest but they do not. I have never seen a fox face up to a stag yet. Never. They haven't got a clue. Masters of the forest, they couldn't master an earwig.'
Drift grinned and thought better than to ask what an earwig was.
Away to the right, in the dark undergrowth, they could both now see the fox moving away, deeper into the thicket, its brush of a tail swaying gently this way and that as it disappeared into the brambles.
'I am hungry, mamma.'
'You will always be hungry. It is natural at your age. But we can't stop yet awhile. We need to cross the river. After that, we can stop and you can feed to your heart's content. It isn't far now.'
The river was twenty feet across but it hadn't rained for a week and the water level was low and it was nothing more than a gentle trot across. Drift enjoyed the first sensation of the cold river on his legs and feet, kicking up the water in fun, splashing his mother, giggling.
'Don't do that, son. You must learn to travel through the forest in silence. It is rule number one. Never attract undue attention to yourself. You just never know who is out there, who may be listening. Travel stealthily. Know where others are, but keep your presence a secret.'
'Sorry, mamma. I will try.'
'Think nothing of it, but learn your lessons well, Drift. Take a quick drink now while you have the chance and then we shall be off.'
How clever his mother was, he thought, how wise and wonderful.
The water was cold and sweet and he filled his belly, though he made sure to leave just a little room for the warm milk he knew would soon be coming his way.
An hour later they came to a large clearing. Through the middle of the open forest ran another road, wider and grimmer and more treacherous than the first.
'This is one of the busiest roads through the forest,' she said. 'Always treat it with the utmost of respect. There is great danger here.'
The tone in her voice alerted Drift. It worried him that there could be anything so dangerous, so terrible, that even his impressive mother might be afraid of it.
They tiptoed toward the highway, his mother peering through the darkness one way and then the other. Her ears twitched, her nose too. Not a sound, other than a distant owl that was showing off to its mate. Hoot! Hoot!
'Shut-up!' she whispered and then she lowered her head and listened to the ground, for occasionally she could tell if danger approached from distant vibrations. Nothing. Silence. It all looked good. A favourable moment to cross. In front of the road was a small fence with another similar barrier on the far side. In the darkness they couldn't see it from where they were, but she knew it was there all right.
'There's a small fence,' she whispered, 'on both sides. I'll show you where it is. You have to jump the fence, cross the road, jump the far fence, and make for the cover of the trees where I shall be waiting. Understand?'
'Yes mamma,' replied Drift sidling up to her warm body, close enough for her to feel his shivers. 'There is nothing to worry or be afraid about. Just do as I say and be quick about it.'
'I will, mamma. I understand.'
'Good, now here it is, look, the first fence.'
To her it was nothing and she could hop over it with little effort as if it didn't exist, but to Drift it was a sizeable obstacle, large logs running from left to right supported by stakes driven into the ground every twelve feet or so.
'I 'm going over,' she said. 'Take great care. I'll see you on the other side in trees.'
'Yes mamma,' he said, forcing himself not to cry.
Then she was away, hopping over the fence, cantering across the road, disappearing into the darkness. He heard her hooves clopping on the tarmac, he heard her leap the far fence and then slowly the noise of her running decreased until there was only silence.
For the first time in his young life Drift was alone and he didn't care for it. He didn't like it at all. He glanced about him. Nothing at all, only the sound of the old owl. He wanted to be with his mother again and the only way to achieve that was to dash across the highway. He feebly hopped at the fence, hitting it, hurting his face, falling backward, banging and grazing his knees.
'Ow!' he muttered, struggling to stand upright.
'Come along!' he heard her calling from the far side.
With all his might he leapt at the fence again clearing it with inches to spare. He ran to the road, setting his front hoof on the hard blacktop as if to check the foreign substance. He glanced one way and then the other. Nothing. He ambled on to the road, pausing a moment to feel the strange smooth surface beneath his feet. It had a peculiar smell. Not unlikeable, but quite different to anything he had ever smelt before. In the next moment he felt as if he were standing on the surface of the sun. He was bathed in the brightest light he had ever known. Terrible sounds came from the left as if from the gates of hell itself.
Beeeeep! Beeeeep! Beeeeep!
Drift froze. He turned and stared toward the pair of blazing white suns that were rushing down on him, angry white eyes that seemed to stare right through him, casting hideous shadows beyond him into the night that frightened him to his soul. The crashing noise of the truck's engine and dashing wheels became unbearable. Time seemed to stand still.
Beeeeep! Beeeeep! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!
Drift tried in vain to move but was stricken with fear. His day old limbs simply would not obey.
The gobbling lights were almost upon him when in a whir of movement and energy his mother dashed from the trees on to the road and butted him across the highway and backward clean over the first fence.
Beeeeep! Beeeeep! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!! Continued the truck as it flashed by, delivering a fearsome blow to his mother's shoulder as it did so.
Thankfully Drift didn't see it, though he heard the loud bump well enough as the lorry collided with the mother. He righted himself in time to see the truck from hell speeding away without ever slowing, up and over a small hill and out of sight to the right. He frantically shook himself and whimpered and leapt the fence back on to the road.
'Mamma!' he cried. 'Mamma, where are you?'
Silence, but for the distant sound of the truck moving away on the far side of the hill. Even the funny fool of an owl had fallen silent.
Drift leapt the second fence and frantically ran around the grass.
'Mamma,' repeated Drift, as he sniffed for her warm body.
A moment later he found her, twenty yards clear of the tarmac, lying on her side as if asleep.
'Mamma,' repeated Drift. 'I am so sorry, mamma. Are you all right, mamma? Please say you are all right.'
But mamma remained silent, and from that day onward, always would.
For three days and nights Drift wandered the forest alone, drinking from the brooks and streams, but never eating. He began to lose what little weight he possessed. He began to lose heart. The moon returned and lit up the night sky as Drift cowered in the undergrowth.
On the fourth night he ventured out, desperate for food. He crept into a clearing, wondering where his Uncle Mo might be when he heard a sound he had never heard before.
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