The scent of fresh-made tea with herbs from the garden around the cottage woke up all 3 dogs right away and they started guessing what was in the mix while getting ready for breakfast. Oona unfolded the map again and noticed that even though there were no street names on it, she could compare the names of mountains and lakes to their own map. The uncertainty of what was expected from them, made Lizzie a bit insecure and Mogwai had to urge her to finish breakfast so she would have the energy for the long walk through the forest.
“Hey Oona, no chasing rabbits!”, they heard from the kitchen just as they wanted to leave. Mogwai laughed and Lizzie pinched Oona playfully in the butt. “We’ll keep an eye on her”, promised Mogwai, and as the sun was rising quickly, off they went, into the woods. With every turn and every step closer to their destination, the tension rose, and happy chatting turned into wild guesses of what they would find. They were so focused on the map and what might happen that they didn’t notice the wild strawberries, nor beautiful streams, or old trees full of character. And they had no clue that there was also another team on its way. When reaching the big X on the map, they got quiet and looked around. The area was much more open than the forest. It looked like others have been camping as they could see a few wooden benched and fire pits. The open place was surrounded by tall ferns, messy grass, and a lot of blueberry bushes.
Hidden behind some bushes, Mogwai found a path up the hill. “Oona, Lizzie, come quickly, I think this is where we have to be!” On the hill, in the shade of some tall trees were 3 old cabins where the paint peeled off, some missing windows, and a strong scent of burnt wood. Mogwai didn’t have to think twice when picking one of the cabins (can you guess the reason why she picked this one?)
Oona tried looking through the dirty window but it was hard to see anything. The door was however not locked, just a bit rusty on the hinges. Slowly they opened the door, it screeched and gave them goosebumps in the middle of the day. Inside it was dark and it took a second for their eyes to adjust and see the wooden benches by the sides, a large fireplace in the middle that smelled liked grilled food, and a table with a candle on by the window on the opposite side of the room. As they entered the cabin, they noticed also that the floor wasn’t made from wood but just very dry sand that stuck to their paws. Lizzie sneezed, three times in a row as she sniffed around. On the table, they found some matches and a card with text on it.
While Mogwai and Lizzie read the card and looked at the puzzle, Oona was looking around in the cabin when by chance, a colorful object in the corner of the dirty window caught her eye. It was a Famous Five book! Oona broke the silence in the cabin: “Woofers, look! Someone left one of Lizzie’s favorite books here!”
Suddenly Lizzie jumped up, her ears forward, her tail high in the air, and she rushed outside. The others froze. Now they heard it too. Barking. Some big dogs seemed to be coming closer quickly. “Let’s run, now!” ordered Mogwai.