Tuesday 15 July 2014



Sam’s mother, to his great relief, seemed pleased when he told her that evening. Then, as mothers do, she began to organise things ready for Ben. Sam had been afraid she really did not want him to have a dog, but she seemed happy enough even suggesting (to Sam’s delight) that Ben should sleep in his room.
“But, not on your bed. We’ll get him one of his own tomorrow morning. And you, Sam, will be responsible for feeding him and taking him for walks. And if he makes a mess – you will have to clear it up – even if you are in a wheelchair.”
Sam was almost too happy to hear what she was saying. He hardly noticed what he was eating for dinner or what was on the TV for thinking about bringing Ben home. He was up early next morning waiting for George to take him to the pet shop to buy everything Ben would need before going to fetch him from Canine Partners.
Being a Labrador, Ben ate his dinner as usual and had no trouble in falling asleep. Although his dreams were about Boris and his life in Russia, once he was awake, Ben began to think about his new life. Most important of all, Clive Baker had not told anyone his secret. Should he tell Sam? He really would have to, but suppose Sam told other people? What then?
It was all rather difficult, so Ben did what dogs are good at doing. He simply put it to the back of his mind and thought about breakfast instead. So much had happened since Boris had told him he had to come to England less than a month ago and despite his worries, Ben just hoped that after all his adventures life would settle down.
Whenever he did think about his journey, he thought most of all about the little old lady, Alice Hanson. It was she who had helped him when he had felt really alone and lost. It was odd, he often thought, but she was a bit like Boris. She had an air of authority about her and people did what she said.
Strangely enough, although Ben could not have known, the little old lady, Alice Hanson, had been thinking about him too. It was more than two weeks since she had found him – or perhaps since he had found her. She knew that Clive had picked up Ben from the police station in Exeter because she had ‘phoned to find out what had become of him, but as the days had gone by, she had been thinking more and more about Ben.

from "Ben's Story" by Norman Tebbit

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