‘Welcome home’ the lion had been saying over and over again. It normally just looked at her like it was waiting for something to happen. What was going to happen?
Rose was sure that she had never had a dream quite like this before. Flying horses and talking lions, whatever next! It seemed as though she was always dreaming of animals in one way or another but this was the first time they had been flying or talking for that matter. How exciting it would be if these dreams could be real, even just part of this dream coming true would certainly be amazing. Of course, she didn’t know at that point just how amazing it would be and it certainly wasn’t the first time that something she had dreamed of, had come true.
She opened her eyes, blinked three times and looked around her room, lying still for a few minutes, letting it all sink in. Everything seemed normal. Pink duvet, pink wallpaper, pink curtains, teddies everywhere! Definitely time to redecorate now that she was thirteen! She jumped out of bed wearing pink pyjamas and giggled as she looked in the mirror. Her long blonde hair was all over the place as usual. She studied herself for a moment. She was not that tall for her age but she wasn’t too short either. She had a soft look about her and a distinct oval shaped face with big blue eyes and long eyelashes.
She had always had vivid dreams ever since she could remember. Some things were the same; the pink coloured horse, the golden lion, the tiara; but some things were new, such as the castle in the mountains and the talking, yes the talking was definitely new.
It had been five years since she had first dreamed of the house and the dreams had become more clear over the years. She hadn’t known at first if the house was even real but after dreaming about it for such a long time she had decided to talk it over with her family and that’s when they had told her. They, Alice and Anthony, were not her real Mum and Dad, she was adopted. Her brother George was her adopted brother too, not her real brother. She had been eight years old at the time she found out but she hadn’t cried, she hadn’t even been upset. It was like she already knewand although she knew that they were not her real family, she still loved them very much. She still remembered how shocked they looked when they had asked her to draw the house in her dreams and she had drawn in such detail the house that they were now going to stay in for the summer. When she had finished the drawing they showed her a photograph. It was a photograph of the house. They said it had been given to them by the adoption agency along with Rose’s most treasured possession, a beautiful tiara, set with small different coloured stones, eight in total. As soon as she had seen the photo she knew that she had been there before and she knew that she had to go there again if she had any chance of finding out what had happened to her real Mum and Dad. Now today was finally the day that they were heading off to the house for the first day of their holiday! She was so excited to see this house and actually feel what it was like to be there.
“Come on George, we’ll be late” she cried as she ran from her room across the landing and banged on his bedroom door. “George, George come out! Oh where is he?” she sighed.
“I’m right here” George called from downstairs. He was full of excitement too and was beaming up at her. It was funny how they looked so alike even though he wasn’t her real brother. He was two years younger but was now the same height and he had the same blue eyes, long eyelashes, gentle features and oval shaped face. They were both very good natured children and loved to spend time together around their family home in the English countryside. They had both grown up there and knew the area well. Rolling hills, rivers and streams surrounded their cottage and had enabled them to enjoy an idyllic upbringing in one of the most beautiful parts of England. Close by was their school, set squarely in the centre of the pretty village where Alice and Anthony both worked. In fact their parents were both born there and had lived there all of their lives. Truth be told none of them could imagine living anywhere else. It was just too beautiful.
The family cottage, was surrounded by countless flowers and gardens where they also grew their own vegetables. Just around the back through their main garden, past the children’s slide, swings and treehouse were the orchards. Apples, plums, pears, cherries, you name it. There was always something tasty to try and Alice made the most delicious fruit crumbles.
Being in the heart of the country also meant that they were surrounded by animals and nature, horses, sheep, cows, ducks, birds and butterflies. Beautiful sounds of birds singing and trees swaying always filled the air.
Rose and George ran into the kitchen where their parents were sitting at the breakfast table eating their cornflakes. The children sat down and started tucking into their toast and marmite.
“So are you all packed and ready for the trip, my lovelies?” asked Alice with a smile. She was a beautiful ladyand in stark contrast to the children she had red hair, just over her shoulders. She had a lovely warm smile and a kind face and the most gorgeous blue eyes that shone. There really weren’t many people you could meet who were kinder and she spent most of her time taking care of her family and friends and pretty much anyone else who needed it!
“Of course they’re packed” said Anthony finishing off his second cup of tea of the morning. Although he didn’t have much hair left these days, this didn’t take away the fact that he was still a handsome man and he also continued in the family tradition of kindness. “But we all had better hurry up or we’ll be late.”
They finished up their breakfast and rushed around the house, getting washed and dressed before jumping into the car, ready to hit the road.
The drive would take them a while and they spent most of the time looking outside at all of the fields, trees and wildlife they passed, including a safari park where they caught a glimpse of the lions and zebras roaming around. Rose remembered going there a few years earlier and had always thought that working there with the animals and learning all about their wonderful ways would just be the best job in the world. She had always been drawn to animals and sometimes she thought that they were easier to get along with than people and that we could learn so much from how they behaved. Along the way Rose told her family that she had had another dream and that this time there had been a flying horse and a talking lion. By now they were all used to Rose’s dreams and the general mood was happy and excited as they covered the many miles of their journey. After a quick stop for lunch the time passed quickly and pretty soon they were heading to the Dorset coast towards the town of Weymouth where their adventure would begin.
As they pulled into the main entrance Rose and George looked at each other with big, wide grins. It was just as they had imagined, densely thick trees meeting in the middle overhead across the road, making it seem as though they were heading into a dark tunnel. Looking into the distance they could see the house and a large open space in front of them. There were two other cars, belonging to their friends, already parked up outside the main house.
“How come we’re always the last ones to arrive?” said Rose laughing as they pulled up next to the house. “They always seem to beat us somehow.”
“I don’t know darling. I expect the others are in the garden already on a beautiful day like this” said Alice, almost to herself as they all jumped out of the car and started unpacking their bags. That is, all except Rose who just stood there as still as a statue staring at the house.
“It’s just wonderful” she said as she finally started to snap out of it “it’s exactly how I knew it would be. Oh, I’m so excited, I just know that we are going to have the most amazing time here, I can just feel it.” With that she picked up her bag and headed into the house with the others. After all now they were here it was time to go exploring with their friends.